On Thursday 5 May, the capital will vote in its London Assembly Members, as well as a new mayor.
There are 25 London Assembly seats up for grabs and it is the responsibility of those who occupy them to hold the London Mayor to account.
Hackney is part of the North East constituency, as are Islington and Waltham Forest.
Find out more about the candidates and where they stand on key issues.
Samir Jeraj – Green party
Samir Jeraj is a Policy and Practice Officer at the Race Equality Foundation, an NCTJ-qualified journalist and a member of the National Union of Journalists.
Jeraj’s work has been published on the Guardian, The Independent and the Green European Journal.
He was a Green Party councillor in Norwich from 2008 to 2012 and he has recently co-authored his first book with Alice Walker entitled The Rent Trap (Pluto Press).
Housing is a top issue for Jeraj. He is calling for more social housing to be built, more community-led developments, and the creation of a union for renters.
Jeraj is also calling for action to address low pay and high housing costs – crucial, he says, for keeping London a city for everyone.
He is also campiagning for organisational reform of the police and other public services to make them more representative of all Londoners.
When quizzed on the EU referendum, Jeraj said: “The challenges we face, from climate change to conflict, to creating a fair and just society, can only be solved by working together as part of the European Union.
“It is not perfect, and it needs reform, but walking away from the EU is walking away from a positive future of a better Europe.”
Jennette Arnold – Labour party
Jennette Arnold is a Labour and Co-operative party politician and has served on the London Assembly for three four-year terms.
Arnold trained as a nurse and later became regional director of services and special adviser (equalities) to the General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing.
In 1994 she was elected to Islington Council, serving a term as deputy mayor.
Arnold then became the constituency member for North East London in the 2004 London Assembly elections.
Arnold is keen to ensure that the new Mayor addresses the desperate need for affordable social and private housing.
She argues that London has a real housing crisis, with rents rising and poor conditions in the private rented sector, while home ownership is out of reach for the majority.
Arnold is calling for plans to ensure the future employability of young people and adults by improving skills training and creating additional apprenticeships.
She also wants to ensure the police service remains accountable to Londoners.
She believes Britain should stay in the European Union.
Tim Allen – Respect (George Galloway)
Tim Allen is an events and public relations manager and political campaigner.
Allen says he is standing to represent Respect party as he considers George Galloway – who is standing for London Mayor – the best candidate, with a lifetime of campaigning for peace, justice and equality.
Allen is a born and bred Londoner who sees the city as having its heart torn out by developers, the transport system decaying, and travel having become a daily nightmare for millions.
He is calling for a London Assembly where members speak for the hard-working Londoners who pay their wages, for those being thrown out of their homes to make way for gentrification and for those priced out of the city they live in.
Terry Stacy – Liberal Democrats
Terry Stacy is an Islington-based community campaigner and has been a Lib Dem councillor for 14 years. Stacy is particularly focused on housing issues, having worked in the sector for 25 years. Since 2013 he has been chair of a national LGBT homeless charity.
Stacy says that the big issue residents are raising on the doorstep is housing, which is in crisis across the capital. The Lib Dems are promising to turn the former Olympic Precept into a house building fund which will build 50,000 council homes and will support the construction of 150,000 homes for private rent and sale.
Stacy also argues that we have to shift the balance of power to renters, tackling rogue landlords.
Stacy’s second priority is crime. This is an issue with which the candidate has experience, having worked with the police as a former councillor, magistrate and chair of the safer neighbourhood policing panel. He calls for new approaches to crime, such as youth workers in A&E and education programmes in all schools.
Another important issue for Stacy is investment in and growing the public transport used by Hackney residents. He advocates half-price fares before 7.30am to help people get to work and decrease rush-hour congestion.
He believes that all residents should be able to use our transport system, including the disabled and those with children; for this reason he is campaigning for step free access at Dalston Kingsland.
Bill Martin – Socialist party of Great Britain
Bill Martin is a librarian and has been a member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain for 20 years.
He explains that the Socialist Party stands to abolish the wages system and establish a society based on the common ownership and democratic control of wealth, recognising that this change can only be made by a mass movement dedicated to that purpose, and not by leaders.
Martin claims his name is on the ballot paper as a useful legal device to allow people to signal their support for this change.
The Hackney Citizen requested a photograph of Bill Martin from Socialist Party of Great Britain but none was forthcoming.
Freddy Vachha – UKIP
Freddy Vachha is a businessman, physicist, mathematician, software publisher and forensic accountant.
Vachha currently works as day-trader on the London Stock Exchange, as chairman and managing director of the UK division of Florensis, a multinational horticultural group, as a financial consultant specialising in international tax and forensics, and as trustee of many enterprise zone syndicates invested in economically depressed parts of the UK.
For Vachha, the main problems facing Londoners are housing, jobs, affordability, access to local services, health, contamination, overcrowding, public transport, congestion, crime and the overall quality of life.
As a UKIP member of the London Assembly Vachha would help fix these problems; he underlines the need to tackle the root causes of all these issues.
His own extensive experience in detecting fraud and waste would serve as an asset in the GLA, he says.
Sam Malik, Conservative party
Sam Malik is a graduate in marketing from Middlesex University who has worked as a marketing assistant at AM Productions in London and is currently a corporate finance and public affairs intern at Weber Shandwick in London, a public relations firm.
He explains that as the youngest candidate in this seat, his aim is to give voice to the concerns of the young people of London who he feels are lacking representation in City Hall.
Malik has led on projects where he researched, drafted, and reviewed public policy to improve the lives of London residents and businesses, and he has co-operated with senior elected officials, NGOs and think tanks in delivering plans and policy to solve London’s biggest problems.
He regularly participates in public speaking events and debates when addressing residents, businesses, and volunteers.
Jonathan Silberman – Communist League
The Communist League exists to “organise and educate the working class on the need for revolutionary struggle” to establish a “workers and farmers government”.
It says the economic recovery is a myth for working people and what they really need is united working class resistance.
The unions should organise all workers – permanent and agency, UK-born and foreign-born – to defend our interests.
These interests include fighting for government-funded public works to provide jobs and build the homes, hospitals, schools and infrastructure we need.
Communist League members have joined picket lines with tube drivers and visited Port Talbot steel workers. They participated in a solidarity protest outside Finsbury Park mosque after an attempted firebombing and attended a meeting about the dangers of anti-Semitism.
According to the Communist League, as working people struggle together, we gain experience, self-confidence and class consciousness.
Contact the Communist League by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, visiting their headquarters at 83 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB or calling 020 3583 3553/ 4 May, 2016