Shaping Democracy

Action on candidates running for the office of Governing Mayor of Berlin, Sept 15th 2021


Objective: To be on the calendar of the Governing Mayor

The action’s main objective was to get a commitment for periodic face-to-face meetings with the future Governing Mayor twice a year for the upcoming legislative period (5 years). We wanted to organize access to the city’s political center of power for our organization before the election.

Testimonial from the sitting Governing Mayor Michael Müller

Who can give the best testimony as to why it’s so important to relate to the Governing Mayor?  Exactly, the current Governing Mayor. That is why we thanked Michael Müller at the end of his term of office for the cooperation over the past five years. We combined this with a request for his assessment in the form of a video message to the groups of the Berliner Bürgerplattformen. Mr. Müller was happy to comply with this request. From our point of view a powerful signal to his successor right at the beginning of the action. The testimonial can be viewed on YouTube:

Personal stories & demands

Community Organizing means, that those who are affected by problems develop solutions and stand up for themselves instead of being represented by others. That is why, two 8-year-old girls told us about how gentrification has led to the loss of the place where their association meets, young students spoke about their everyday life in an alternative school and a mother described the discriminatory experiences of her children. Among other things, they demanded that the new Berlin government work to ensure that:

  • civic society associations, communities and social organizations are protected from displacement and gentrification,
  • alternative schools are treated the same way as public schools,
  • the Education Administration be revamped under new leadership,
  • the four core demands of our joint education campaign “Schule muss anders” (the schoolsystem must change) for more staff, more team and relationship time, more multi-professional teams and more participation must be implemented


All candidates agreed to meet with us regularly twice a year in person and confirmed it with their signature on large display board. Most of the candidates agreed to take our demands into the coalition negotiations. That was a positive surprise. But we were prepared to ask for more: Will you meet with us shortly before and shortly after the coalition negotiations to have influence on that process? Everyone said NO except that Bettina Jarasch (GREENS) added: We will not be able to meet but please submit your suggestions, examples and formulations so we can use them in the coalition negotiations and the coalition agreement.