TEENAGE law student Jason Russell says he is driven to stand for council by the same passion that fires his belly to represent the “little guy”.
The 19-year-old Mundaring Shire candidate believes the Greenmount neighbourhood he grew up in deserves ‘a better standard of advocacy’.
He wants to represent the neighbourhood he grew up in and to advocate for the suburbs of Bellevue, Greenmount, Midvale and Swan View.
The Murdoch University student may be one of the youngest candidates on the election trail, but at his side is his brother and campaign manager Thomas (22), a former council relations officer at the City of Swan and a public relations graduate.
“Jason has a good idea about the inner workings of a council, the inefficiencies and some of the struggles,” he said.
“He sees the divide between the community and local government and he understands the need for more interaction.”
Thomas was about to go on a working holiday when his younger brother decided to run for council.
“Jason is not affiliated to any political party,” he said.
“His intention is to represent people based on his own views and policy, at grassroots level dealing with the issues, finding out what people want and need.”
Jason said one of those issues was to provide a safe place for disengaged youth.
“West ward has the largest youth population in the Shire and what I’m hearing from people is that kids are on the streets causing problems and getting into trouble,” he said.
“People are concerned about petty crime, graffiti and property damage.
“Brown Park has great facilities but the youth centre is very under-used. I want to provide a youth hub with an after-school drop-in facility so kids have somewhere to go and access to facilities they want to use.”
He became a member of the Shire’s youth strategy review committee in 2016.
The brothers attended Perth Modern School after gaining entry through the gifted and talented program from Greenmount Primary School.
Jason later joined the YMCA Youth Parliament and represented Australia at The Hague International Model United Nations conference in 2015.
Former Shire president Helen Dullard said Jason’s enthusiasm for sensible decision-making was much needed.