In praise of local politics: suffering and passion

The most famous mayor of Berlin, Monika Herrmann, ends in 2021. Why are not all Local politicians as well-known as you? Monika Herrmann in conversation with o

In praise of local politics: suffering and passion

The most famous mayor of Berlin, Monika Herrmann, ends in 2021. Why are not all Local politicians as well-known as you?

Monika Herrmann in conversation with orange space-occupiers in April 2014. Photo: Reuters

honestly: you Know, like the mayor, or the mayor of your district name? And if Yes: Would you recognize him or her on the street? A majority of the staff of these must be answered in the negative to both questions probably. The level of awareness of most of the district mayors and city councils of Berlin Senator of the interior and senators. And even the latter – if you take care of a rather unremarkable division, or even rather inconspicuous – to fight with obscurity values of over 50 percent.

Fight because it belongs of course to the job description of politicians, known(to be). At the local level – i.e. in the districts – and you can only do a few. Heinz Buschkowsky, the long-standing male SPD mayor of Berlin-Neukölln, made it with pithy sayings to the nationwide talk shows. And his successor, Franziska Giffey (SPD) used the Post as a springboard into the Federal Cabinet. And Andreas hostage (SPD) was in front of his Senator's existence city Council and mayor of Lichtenberg. But who knows Frank Balzer, Cerstin Richter-Kotowski and Sören Benn? You have districts all rule, and in terms of the number of inhabitants – a medium-sized German city.

A Name missing in the list above: the Monika Herrmann, since 2013, mayor of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Since had to move Buschkowsky 2015 on grounds of age from office, the Green is the undisputed most famous municipal politician in the city. However, in 2021, the end of the legislative period is concluded; the has announced the 55-Year-old a few weeks ago, officially. Internally, it was no longer a secret. Three terms were enough, said Herrmann in an Interview with the taz. And adds: "Career-wise, it was not considered to be even better! I have achieved in life what I wanted.“

This celebrity is not necessarily to Herrmann himself, even if it contributes, of course, to do their part. The mayor brings the inside post in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, a lot of tasks, for the progressive and unconventional solutions must be found, at least this is the claim of a good portion of the population of 280.000 inhabitants of the inner district.

in 2012, as Refugees only the Oranienplatz occupied and there is a Camp constructions, and later on in the Gerhard-Hauptmann-school moved in, Mariobet it was very soon to her and to the relevant green Baustadtrat Hans Panhoff, the prospects for the people on the square and around it to be – the afterlife of Repression and, sometimes, the rule of law, often against the interests of the former red-and-black Senate and, at times, against the left-wing scene in the neighborhood. The debates were hard, sometimes relentless, like the picture on this page shows; not always ending with a result. Politics was local in an extreme way.

The dispute for the good of dealing with Refugees brought Herrmann in all the Newspapers of the country, as is their attitude when dealing with dealers. Similarly, the current Baustadtrat of the district, Florian Schmidt (Green). The bourgeois media, he is among other things due to the buyback of many residential houses as "Investors fear", and he sat in Sandra Maischberger on the Couch.

But of the everyday life in the Berlin municipal policy: each district four councillors plus the mayor, has at the same time, also a city Council post held, for the whole breadth of content of the district policy. You will lead the management, to prepare policy decisions in the district Council – the district Parliament – meeting of citizens; in the Council, the mayor, you decide on the legislative initiatives of the Senate, there are meetings, meetings, meetings. It comes to Parks and cultural institutions, museums, libraries; to construction plans and Parking management, to nursery vouchers, youth clubs and clean Schulklos; to illegal bulky waste on the streets and social Housing. Working days of twelve hours are the rule rather than the exception.

Nowhere is a political action affects so many people so directly as in the Municipal

Against this Background, the relative obscurity of district policy makers and politicians is amazing. Nowhere in policy is closer to the people than in the Local, rarely a measure relates to so many people so directly as here: if the youth facility is closed, the Parking in front of the house suddenly the money, the week, the market will not be approved due to residents protests. And while many of Berlin is on the inside and Berliners, their Kiez is very close and the value is estimated, this is in the Kiezpolitik much less the case.

Instead, something abgehobenere country – or even the Federal policy focus on the people, which is almost conveys only the medial is, if at all. Of course, a reason for the shadow existence of the Local that the media, including the taz, often focus on the "big politics". But thanks to social media long new channels have emerged, the politicians, as citizens can use.

Who should look over the policy or "up there" outraged by a Facebook page of a media-savvy mayor in more detail or even a couple of hours in a session of the district Parliament and not experience that policy consists only of sham and Show, but often constructive dialogue and Negotiate. And maybe school classes instead of in the house of representatives should look better in your district in the past. It would be the appreciation for the often tedious work of local politicians to increase

At the end of it, then more kiezkönig inside as Monika Herrmann: "The higher you are in politics you climb, the more abstract the policy. That makes me no fun. Here I'm asked, if I sit in a Café, guaranteed.“

Monika Herrmann in an Interview in the this weekend

Date Of Update: 15 November 2019, 19:00