East Belfast Assembly candidate Mrs Long said this year’s poll was a key opportunity to move Northern Ireland forward faster, providing a chance for young people who were born at the time of the Good Friday Agreement to cast a vote for the first time.
“Young people are often passionate about making a difference to society but are apathetic when it comes to politics and voting, as they don’t see it as a means of delivering change. In Northern Ireland, where so much of our politics is focused on the past rather than the present or future, younger voters often become disillusioned. They have ambitions for our community – that it will be fairer, more open and inclusive, and with a focus on equality and human rights. The only way we can realise that ambition is to vote for the sort of progressive politics Alliance offers.
“Young voters can be the key difference this May between Northern Ireland moving forward faster or remaining stuck with the same old slow motion politics of division and fear. There is a clear need for a fundamental change in politics in Northern Ireland and a new generation of voters can help bring that about.
“It is our responsibility to give them something to vote for – to motivate them to come out and vote. This election will see some young people who weren’t even born when the Good Friday Agreement was signed being able to vote for the first time.
“We need to give them hope for the future, an Assembly that creates opportunity and supports progress, and a political system that inspires ambition and produces trust – we need to give them something they can be proud of.”