Getting into politics
After a career in nursing, senior roles with the Royal College of Nursing and working as a training and development consultant, Jennette found her natural home as a campaigner within political and public life. She was a councillor in Islington for eight years, including a term as deputy mayor, and was then elected to the London Assembly as a London-wide Assembly Member in 2000. Since 2004, she has proudly represented North East London on the London Assembly, covering the Boroughs of Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest.
Jennette is a relentless campaigner and has consistently linked her political roles to her campaigning work to bring about change for Londoners. When she was Chair of the London Health Commission she campaigned successfully to ensure a smoke-free London. Through her previous involvement with the Metropolitan Police Authority, she successfully oversaw the establishment of Community Safety Boards in her constituency. She has been an active supporter of the Justice4Jamie campaign highlighting the devastating effects of knife crime, and has supported BLUNT 1 and 2 policing initiatives to tackle this problem London-wide, and campaigned against the UK Home Office’s ‘Go Home’ operations.
Jennette chaired the Cultural Strategy Group for London, which contained Mayor Livingstone’s pledge to bring the 2012 Olympics to London. Since then she has worked tirelessly to make sure that Londoners feel the benefit of the Olympic Legacy, as part of her role as Deputy Chair of the Assembly’s Regeneration Committee. Jennette is a fierce campaigner for improved accessibility across London’s transport network, particularly focusing on Step-Free Access at key transport hubs such as Finsbury Park Tube Station.
As Chair of the Assembly’s Education Panel, she has visited and campaigned against the closure of Sulivan Primary School in West London, which is being threatened with closure in order to build a Free School.
On women’s rights
Jennette has been a constant supporter of women’s rights, she is particularly involved in highlighting issues of domestic violence across all of London’s communities.
Jennette is a keen supporter of young people and finds time to mentor and encourage a number of young Londoners as they carve out their own careers in a variety of sectors across the UK, and helped launch an initiative for women working in the creative industry, called Digital Women UK.
Other interests & achievements
Back in October 2009, Jennette was awarded an OBE for her services to local government and London, which came off the back of being awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East London (UEL) for her services to East London in October 2008.
She is a governor of the UEL and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in Islington, is Patron of the UK Association of Forensic Nursing (UKAFN), the Waltham Forest Christian Kitchen and Pan-Arts, a Council Member of the Royal Court Theatre and is a keen supporter of Arsenal FC.