OBV’s 15th anniversary
To all those who attended OBV’s 15th anniversary event at the United States Embassy in London last week, thank you for making it an unforgettable evening.
His Excellency the Ambassador Louis Susman opened the proceedings with the remarks, ‘this Embassy is honoured to be a friend and collaborator with Operation Black Vote’.
The political parties sent their big guns to represent them. Labour leader Ed Miliband spoke passionately of his involvement with the organisation, stating that in regards to the shadowing scheme, OBV is quietly transforming our elected institutions. The Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander stated that OBV was a constant and positive reminder that their party needed to do more in order to increase BME representation at high office. He outlined a number of programmes that he hoped would get them there.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi informed the 200-strong audience that her involvement with the organisation went back to the very early days back in 1996. ‘We launched OBV up in Batley’, she said, ‘then pounded the streets registering our communities to vote. We’ve all come a long way, our integrity intact, but with still much work to do’.
Head of Equality and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips told the audience that ‘whilst it was right to enjoy the evening and celebrate in OBV’s multitude of successes, If we don’t financially support it, it might not be around to continue the important work that it does’.
Co-founder and first Chair Lee Jasper said the ‘work of OBV had in so many ways transformed our society, and it will continue to do so’.
It was indeed a special evening. I want to thank the team, all those who attended, those who wanted to attend, and above all everyone that has made OBV the organisation that it is today.