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Opinion & Analysis

Equality is not just a buzzword

By Christian Santos

Those of you who know me will be happy that I have put my name forward as a candidate for the GSLP Liberals at this election. Many of you, however, might be asking yourselves: ‘Why politics and why now?’

It is as simple as I am sure. It is because EVERY young Gibraltarian deserves access to opportunities, REGARDLESS of their abilities. And because my passion for our cultural identity, equality, fairness, and the empowerment of our young people is THE driving force of my life. That’s why.

From my work, creating the Gibraltar Academy of Music and Performing Arts, to serving as the Mayor of Gibraltar over the past two years, I have always championed inclusivity, and worked tirelessly to bridge gaps in our society. My “We Are One” campaign as Mayor is the most obvious illustration of that commitment.

For me, equality is not just a buzzword. It is a guiding principle that underpins every decision I make. I firmly believe that every individual, regardless of their background, should have an equal chance at success.

In a world where disparities persist, my commitment is to continue to address these by following in the footsteps of Samantha Sacramento and the revolutionary changes introduced by her - Gibraltar’s first ever Minister for Equality. When it comes to equality, no one can match the GSLP Liberals on their track record.

I am driven by empowering Gibraltar’s youth. I would like to see a Gibraltar where every young person is equipped with the tools and opportunities they need to thrive, regardless of their academic abilities. I believe that a society’s progress can be measured by how well it nurtures its youth. I will work to introduce a comprehensive youth strategy to deliver robust educational initiatives, vocational training, and mentorship programmes that provide our youth with the building blocks for success in the modern world.

I have ALWAYS actively worked to bridge the gap between aspiration and achievement. Today, given the chance, I will have the opportunity to make a difference for all of Gibraltar.

Culture – not just about events

We thrive as a community, by celebrating events that bring us together, but culture is about more than just events. Celebrating the rich cultural diversity in Gibraltar is an indispensable part of who we are. Our small, vibrant community has been a melting pot of cultures for generations, blending influences from many different countries, cultures and faiths. Our cultural identity is what makes Gibraltar so unique. We should treasure and protect it.

While events that showcase Gibraltar are crucial for our community, there’s a deeper layer to celebrate - our identity as Gibraltarians in a multicultural society. We must continue to foster a sense of unity that transcends borders and backgrounds. Embracing our Gibraltarian identity means appreciating the collective experiences and values that bind us together.

This celebration of identity is something that really hit home whilst I had the honour of serving as Mayor of Gibraltar. The celebration of our cultural identity does not and should not negate the importance of events that honour our diverse heritage; rather, it should complement them. By recognising our unique place in this multicultural mosaic called Gibraltar, we strengthen our community bonds and create a future where everyone feels valued and cherished as both Gibraltarians and global citizens. This is precisely what I want to achieve.

On 12 October, your voice is the voice that matters most. To have Fabian Picardo as your Chief Minister, you have to vote for all 10 GSLP/Liberal candidates. It is the only way to ensure that the vision of equality, fairness, and opportunity for our young people, which I and the GSLP/Liberals represent, becomes a reality.

A vote for me, and my GSLP Liberal colleagues is a vote for a more equitable, fair, and promising future for all – a future where no young person is left behind.

Gibraltar hasn’t come this far to ONLY come this far. We are the team with the vision, commitment and connection to get the job done. On 12 October, vote for all ten GSLP Liberal candidates. Vision, vitality and continued prosperity - our commitment for getting the job done and to Keep Gibraltar Safe.

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