Dr. Martin Schulte-Wissermann for mayor of Dresden 2022 – Election Manifesto in English
Resident participation in our City is Possible.
All residents must have the opportunity to participate in a variety of ways in shaping the city and its neighbourhoods. To achieve this, I intend to introduce ways in which residents can actively participate in decision-making.
I will also promote instruments for ‘Democracy on Demand’ in Dresden and establish this as a normal part of the democratic process. Sufficient money must be set aside in the budget for citizen participation.
A repetition of the ‘Sachsenbad case’, where the incumbent mayor went against the will of the residents, will not happen with me. There will also not be any secret agreements made in back rooms. As mayor, I would stand for transparency in relation to the city council and the people.
Efficient and Safe Digitalization is Possible.
If we wish to remain an attractive location for residents and businesses, it is vital that Dresden meets the challenges of digitalization head on. At the same time, it is equally as important that the city protects its resident’s privacy.
As mayor, I will introduce open-source software into the city’s administrative departments and in turn make Dresden less dependent on software monopolies. The costs saved can be, for example, invested in local software development.
I will also develop SachsenEnergie into a fully-fledged internet provider. This will not only contribute to the company’s profitability, but will also provide us with options for action in our communities such as to guarantee internet access for every household.
Dresden’s residents should have the opportunity to complete all necessary administrative procedures online and I want to make this possible. Only the necessary levels of personal data should be collected in this process with the guarantee that personal data is protected from third-party access at all times.
Living Diversity, Tolerance and Respect is Possible.
I have always been an advocate, both on the streets as well as in official bodies, for democracy, diversity and tolerance. As mayor, I will remain true to these principles and stand firmly against anti-democratic ideas.
Dresden is the only major city where the right-wing populist PEGIDA movement still exists and has never fallen out of the public eye. Dresden must show that we are more than this minority.
As a first step, I will breathe life into Dresden’s commitment as a ‘Safe Harbour City’.
Modern Mobility Development is Possible.
Dresden must be a showcase city for modern mobility.
To achieve this goal, I will begin by installing a dedicated infrastructure for cyclists which includes bridges, tunnels, bike lanes and streets.
The DVB needs a sustainably improved financing system to rapidly expand its network throughout the city. I will actively campaign, both on a city and state level, for a reduction in ticket prices as well as the concept of ticket-free travel.
Additionally, I will bring in a practicle solution for car-free zones in parts of the city (E.g. Neustadt and Altstadt) which will improve the quality of life. Through better community planning, residents could reach their local amenities within a short time, bringing living, working, shopping and free time activities closer together.
The Prevention of a Climate Catastrophe is Possible.
The central task of our time is to meet climate change head on. Dresden must become climate neutral by 2035 and this is simply a non-negotiable target.
In 2020, as a result of my initiative, the city council called a climate state of emergency. Unfortunately, not enough has been done since then to drive environmental protection forwards in our city. With me as mayor, this will change.
My uppermost priority will be the decarbonization and restructuring of SachsenEnergie. This will ensure the medium and long-term profitability of the company.
Additionally, I will introduce a municipal solar program in order to produce energy for our city. Indeed, any rooftop without a solar panel is a waste.
The Promotion of Culture in all Areas is Possible.
Culture in Dresden is not just represented by our magnificent Semper Opera. Dresden has so much more to offer. This is why it is of great importance for me to promote and to help shape a diverse cultural landscape in Dresden.
A needs-orientated funding scheme for the ‘independent scene’ will be an important part of my concept. This would make sure that artists are paid fairly. Additionally, I want to preserve and create rehearsal rooms, workshops and studios that nurture and encourage creativity.
Equally, as a way of working against the displacement of clubs, which are such an important part of our heritage and culture, I will commit myself to the introduction of culturally protected areas in certain parts of the city.
Creating Affordable Housing is Possible.
Living in a city cannot be reserved only for those with higher incomes. As mayor, I will fight to make Dresden not only a pleasant home for everyone, but also an affordable one too.
I have a clear position on the expansion the municipal housing association WiD and on social housing construction. I intend to restore the cooperative building land model, that was dropped by the city council at the beginning of the year. I also plan to raise the social housing quota and reintroduce the social responsibility of investors for infrastructure.
Furthermore, I will introduce public welfare-oriented urban development and ‘milieu protection’ of residential areas in Dresden in order to maintain a diverse residential landscape.
Utilities are also a cost – social tariffs must be introduced for low-income earners and electricity blackouts must be prevented.
Managing Crisis Situations Thoughtfully is Possible.
In any crisis situation, a mayor must demonstrate good leadership and teamwork skills. For me this means taking responsibility for effective information flow, the mediation and negotiation of the situation at hand and decisive decision making.
When it comes to a pandemic, a flood or a war, the city council resolutions must be implemented promptly, information must be transparently available to the public and honest perspectives must be communicated.
Crises are overcome with solidarity and community. As mayor, I will not only embody these principles in word, but I will put them into effective action.
Establishing a Start-Up City is Possible.
New and innovative ideas are a vital part of a city’s expansion. To drive Dresden forward as a think tank and idea foundry, it is my conviction to make the city more attractive for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
Of course, this requires sufficient space for research, production and sales as well as a smart, unbureaucratic and digital administration. My task as mayor is to take concrete measures to shape Dresden’s image as a start-up city and to project it to the outside world.
Budgeting with Foresight is Possible.
Future generations should not have to pay for the decisions made today. For this reason, I committed to the principle of freedom from debt in the city’s budget.
Avoiding debt is only one side of the coin, the other side is making sure that funds are allocated to the right places. For example, I will make sure the proceeds from city real estate transactions benefit the city housing association WiD directly.
As the mayor creates the first draft of the city budget, I will use this right to present the city finance budget clearly and comprehensively, so the residents of Dresden will be enabled to constructively take part in budget debates.