A Letter from Jenny Leong
To the locals of 2042.
Dear 2042 locals,
I’m Jenny Leong, the Greens MP for Newtown and your representative in NSW Parliament. I’m so proud to represent one of the most vibrant, progressive areas of the country – our community has the opportunity to change the agenda and build the change that lasts.
I’m a long-term resident of Newtown - and love so much about our local area from catching up with friends on Enmore Rd or King St, to watching my daughter play in the local parks, and also watching our creative community connect on the streets.
It’s why when Lockout Laws threatened to change the character and vibe of Newtown, we knew it was so important to sit down and collaborate with the community to protect the Newtown vibe and keep our community as the safe, vibrant and respectful place we all love to live, work, and play in.
Together, we helped champion a locally-led response to the challenges facing the Newtown community, bringing together local people with local knowledge to find locally driven solutions. And while of course there is still always more to do - in particular there is a real challenge at the moment with lots of vacant shops and struggling local creatives and artists, it’s a testament to our collective approach that we have dealt with these kinds of hard times in the past and achieved positive reforms.
I am committed to ensuring our creative, vibrant community is supported and protected – and will continue to ensure artists, performers, live music venues, galleries, and creative spaces are thriving not just surviving.
It’s been a challenging few years and our community knows all too well that the arts, entertainment and creative industries have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis and soaring costs of living. The pandemic saw many artists and crews lose their entire income overnight, as massive events were cancelled, theatres were shut, and art galleries closed their doors. While many people in the arts, entertainment and creative sectors were excluded by the NSW and Federal Government from any kind of dedicated support or relief. Now, as the cost of living soars, we know this is being compounded by rent hikes, income support still not at a liveable rate, and local artists and creative spaces under threat.
The sad, but understandable reality is that more and more people are leaving the arts, music and creative industries for more stability and security. But when creativity - the backbone of our culture, suffers, the impact on all of us is huge.
These problems aren’t impossible to solve - there are solutions. It’s why the Greens are committed to an Artists Wage - a program that would guarantee a living wage for emerging artists and arts workers for a year so that they are free to create and breathe much-needed life and investment into the arts sector.
But that’s not all. We are committed to genuine, ongoing funding for our culture, stories, arts and live music, as well as investing in public spaces and creative venues for people to access.
If you are concerned about a local issue or if our office can assist you with a specific matter, please get in touch - we’re always here to help. You can call 9517 2800, email us on email@example.com or drop in to our office at 383 King St, Newtown.
To stay up to date with our work and campaigns you can head to https://www.jennyleong.org/sign_up or scan the QR code below.
And if you see me out or about on the street or in a pub or café - be sure to say hi!
Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown