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Why am I a candidate for the Amsterdam city council?

Visiting a local business with safety campaign

Campaigning with D66 in the “Pijp”

One of the playgrounds we invested extra in in the past years

Besides the city and politics, cricket is my greatest passion. Champions in 2017!

My colleagues and me, representing D66 in the city council 2010-2014

We need many more houses, especially for middle-incomes; here on “Asscherterrein” in the “Pijp”

Jane Jacobs: urban geographer par excellence and an inspiration for me

My primary school in South: 1e Montessorischool de Wielewaal; can you spot me?

This was the D66-team in Amsterdam South these past 4 years

As city council member 2001-2014 I held many interviews with residents, resulting in this book “Stadsgesprekken” (City talks)

The arts in South: opening art route Art Zuid with founder Cintha van Heeswijck en Rudi Fuchs, curator

A new monument for victims of WWII in my own neighbourhood

In the coming four years I want to represent D66 in Amsterdam local politics. For instance for more houses for middle-incomes, all over town. And for the possibilities of families and children to live and grow up in Amsterdam. More opportunities for our youth to get a job. Arts and culture should be broadly accessible for residents and visitors. And Amsterdam should be a true open and international city for newcomers.

The city attracts

More and more people choose to live, work and relax in cities, and in Amsterdam in particular. I think this is a good thing. As a child growing up in Amsterdam, many people fled the city, resulting in decay and poor living conditions. I think the attraction of Amsterdam nowadays is good for the city and the people who live here. This means better and more housing, a more diverse population, more business opportunities and it creates more possibilities in general, not only in the city centre, but all over town. Because of this development, the city also changes, which I see as a good thing, as Amsterdam has always developed and changed over the years. As a local politician I want to contribute to this development of Amsterdam.

On the road

The best thing about local politics, is that it’s easy to go and see and hear what’s happening. That is why I am always on the move, biking around town, seeing for myself, and speaking to those involved. Not only asking people for their ideas and opinions, but also sharing my views as a D66 politician. Working this way for the past ten-plus years, has resulted in a broad network of people who keep me informed. This, combined with the many reports, studies and policy papers, and of course the social-liberal perspective on society as a D66-politician, is the basis for my way of engaging in politics.

Perseverance and persistence

As a city council member and in the past years as chairman of the borough of South, I have experienced and learned that if it’s real change you’re after patience and perseverance are necessary qualities. You can’t change the world, or even Amsterdam, in a year or in a single period between elections. Take for instance the effort D66 has put into trying to create more houses for middle-incomes. That is a topic I have fought for for more than ten years and only now we are beginning to achieve results. Or more attention to families and children in Amsterdam and the importance of education and the choices parents have for schools. And our persistent efforts for job opportunities for youngsters, so they can profit from the success of the Amsterdam economy.

Passion for the city

When I went to university, over twenty years ago, I chose Urban Studies. Cities and especially Amsterdam had my interest; I wanted to know what made a city tick, why some people left as soon as they got the chance, and others stayed. Why some parts boom and attract, while others deteriorate. And what role residents, businesses and the government have in developing cities.

That interest and passion for the city is still what drives me in politics. And that is why I stand for election for four more years as a D66-politician in Amsterdam!