FOR Kim Long, becoming a lead candidate for the Greens at the Holyrood election is a “full circle moment”.

“At uni, I was looking at women in the European Parliament,” she said.

“I noticed the European Greens were so far ahead in terms of women’s representation.

“That made me take them seriously as a party that was committed to justice and equality.”

Long, a Dennistoun councillor, is second on the Glasgow regional list for her party, and a candidate in the Glasgow Provan constituency.

She believes the Greens are “the only party that takes seriously the idea that social justice, economic justice and environmental justice are interlinked”.

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“Not just on a global scale,” she added. “It’s going to happen right here in our city.”

Poor communities will be worse affected by issues such as air quality or a lack of public transport, Long said.

The 30-year-old got involved in politics because she was fed up and “really, really angry” at seeing people fall through the cracks.

She was working for the Hot Chocolate Trust in Dundee, with “really vulnerable young people”, when Westminster proposed a housing benefit change which “would have removed access for young people under 25 – presumably they can all stay with their rich parents”.

“If that had gone through that would have been utterly devastating for our young people,” she said.

“That was a clear moment of that is a specific political thing that has real life, or death, consequences.”

She decided to “go upstream a bit and see if we can change things that stop people being pushed into the water in the first place”.

As she’s learned more about “different forms of inequality” – in the asylum system, in prisons – the angrier she has got.

“That gives me fuel to get stuck in and try and make them better.”

Long also worked for Glasgow Women’s Library, as an unpaid carer for her grandmother and on setting up a social enterprise, Vox Liminis – voices from the margins.

With Vox Liminis, she took the arts into prisons, helping dads to write songs for new babies they were yet to meet, which “always made everybody cry”.

Long would like to work on criminal justice if she is elected to the Scottish Parliament.

“We have a criminal justice system in Scotland that we disproportionately lock up poor people for example,” she said.

“We’ve got a lot of people with mental health issues in jail.”

She wants to have a “really interesting conversation” about crime and punishment.

“What is a good thing to do for victims? What is the purpose of jail? Who is that helping? What is the cost of that? The economic costs and the emotional and family ties that disrupts.”

Long said the pandemic has “exposed how deep the divisions are in our society in terms of poverty and inequality”.

“At the same time, we’ve got the climate clock ticking down,” she added. “We’ve only got nine years to transform everything we’re doing.

“We’ve got a plan to transform our economy, we’ve got this Green vision to transform Scotland’s economy, to create 100,000 new jobs and to invest in the sectors that we need for that transformation.”

Those sectors include renewables, housing and tackling fuel poverty, and public transport, she said.

She is passionate about making her party more inclusive for young people, non-binary people and trans people. “Folk who are not well represented in politics at the moment,” she said.

“Everybody has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

“There’s a lot of policies that create a lack of dignity, whether that’s from food poverty, whether that’s in the asylum system, whether that’s about how trans people are being generally discussed at the moment.

“It’s definitely something that I would want to work on. I want to see a Scotland where everyone has got access to dignity and I don’t think that should be controversial.”