Green Councillor Cleo Lake took up her role as Lord Mayor of Bristol to applause from a packed puiblic chamber where friends, family and members of the local communty had come to see her take up the position of first citizen of Bristol this week.
Cleo gave a funny, powerful and personal speech about her experiences growing up in Bristol as a young woman of colour, her experience working as a dance leader for elders at Bristol’s Malcolm X centre, and her hopes for the year ahead.
— BBC Radio Bristol (@bbcrb) May 23, 2018
Cleo, who is the 11th female Lord Mayor in the 800 year legacy of the position paid homage to her family, teachers and community.
“I am bringing some changes to this position” she said. “I am different from my predecessors. I am a dancer. For the last 10 years I have been a dance leader for the most incredible group of people – the Malcolm X elders forum – many of them are here today.”
“It is of course an absolute honour to my elders and my communitry at large to see me here as first citizen of Bristol the same year as we celebrate 50 years of the St Paul’s Carnival and 70 years since Windrush docked.”
To applause from across the chamber, Cleo promised to bring dance back into city hall, challenging longstanding councillors to share their cha-cha-cha and flamenco in a ‘mosh pit of politicians’ fit for a strictly come council before concluding:
“I honestly believe that Bristol can be a beacon and lead the way in how we can co-exist together and be part of a collective narrative.”
“I am so proud of my city”.