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From Community Activist to Member of Parliament: A Dedication to Richmond Park

Sara Gezdari, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park, brings a tale of resilience and dedication. Fleeing Albania during the 1997 civil war, she witnessed firsthand the tyranny of totalitarian rule, shaping her deep appreciation for freedom and democracy. Advocating for free markets and diverse education, Sara believes in amplifying local voices for all. Richmond Park has been her home for over a decade, where she embraces the community’s spirit and family values. Sara’s commitment to service fuels her journey into politics, drawing from her background in finance and hospitality. Her roles extend beyond candidature, including positions in organisations like the Conservative Friends of e NHS. Fluent in multiple languages and with a rich cultural heritage, Sara epitomises diversity and resilience, embodying the strength of the human spirit.

What personal experiences from your childhood significantly influenced your political outlook and values? 

I was born under the communist regime in Albania and fled the country as a child during the 1997 civil war. Before reuniting with my family, I spent two years in foster care in Italy. It is fair to say that I experienced hardship and loss at a young age. But it made me stronger and gave me a greater understanding of what is most important in life. Freedom, education, family, and safety. 

How does your background as a refugee during the Albanian civil war inform your perspective on democracy and freedom? 

I witnessed the results of totalitarian rule firsthand. It was this harrowing experience that instilled in me a deep appreciation for freedom and democracy. 

I am deeply grateful to reside in a nation that values and equally represents diverse viewpoints, except for a minority on social media. We do not need to all have the same opinion. We should treasure, uphold, and encourage this country’s beauty.

What are your key beliefs regarding free markets and education? 

The communist regime I was born into resulted in economic stagnation and educational suffocation. I am a fervent believer in free markets and accessibility to the best education possible. I believe parents should have more, not less, education options for their children. This is what promotes aspiration and growth. 

How do you advocate for local voices and community representation? 

Every voice matters. That’s why I am the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Richmond Park. 

Too often, local people tell me they don’t feel heard by their current Liberal-Democrat representation. That’s why, if elected, I will make our streets safer, champion education, boost local businesses, improve local transport, and protect our green spaces. This is what matters most to people in Richmond Park. 

In what ways do you emphasise the importance of people over politics? 

The issues that matter to people’s day-to-day lives should be the priority for local MPs. I’m not interested in having a kick-about with a political football or paying lip service for votes. For me, it is about people, not politics. It is about supporting our communities’ goals, improving our children’s lives, and making Richmond Park an even better place to live.

What qualities of Richmond Park do you particularly cherish, and how do you advocate for them? 

Richmond Park is a special place. I am incredibly lucky to have raised my two young children here as a single mother. With our great schools, beautiful parks, strong community spirit, and family values, to me, there is nowhere better in London. 

As a half Albanian, half Italian woman, you can easily believe I have a strong voice! And I intend to put that to good use on behalf of the local people. For example, I stand firmly against Labour’s dangerous Parent Tax. This tax, if left unchallenged, has the potential to restrict education for SEND students and the most vulnerable.

How has your professional background in finance and hospitality shaped your approach to politics and policy-making? 

The foundation of my professional experience is the importance of fiscal responsibility. The right investment, both financially and in terms of time and focus, can change lives. This starting-point approach should guide all policy-making, in my opinion.

Could you elaborate on your role as Vice President of the Conservative Friends of the NHS and your advocacy within the healthcare sector? 

My mother is a doctor. So, my appreciation for the healthcare sector started there. During the COVID pandemic, I volunteered at our local vaccination centre multiple times a week while I was 7-9 months pregnant. I am proud to raise awareness and actively engage with NHS workers to find solutions to our healthcare sector challenges. 

How do you contribute to global women’s empowerment efforts, and what initiatives have you been involved in? 

Through my work with the Conservative Women’s Organisation and Women2Win, I join many talented women across the U.K. to encourage and mentor future female politicians. I believe it is vital that we take every opportunity to advocate for women and increase the visibility of diverse skill sets that better represent our communities. 

What unique perspectives do you bring to your role as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Richmond Park, taking into account your own? What is your multicultural background and experiences as a single mother?

I think one of my strengths as a candidate is knowing exactly that—that everyone has a unique perspective. Everyone has a different experience. Everyone is unique. However, everyone is important.

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