Monday, July 29, 2019

Five hundred Leaders from the four community organizations in Berlin (SO! Mit uns, Wir sind da!, Wir in Neukölln and Wir bewegen Spandau) gathered on June 18th on the 74 acre former industrial  site in Grünau where we proposed building some 3,000 units of affordable housing. Both borough and state officials were invited to justify their continued vociferous opposition to the plan. They failed to attend, and were called to task by the leadership. The fact remains that Berlin needs a minimum of 20,000 new units a year to accommodate its growing population. Current production is significantly below this number. We will keep up the fight both in Grünau and elsewhere in the city!

Victories both city-wide and local were celebrated and publically acknowledged. The State Secretary for Family and Youth announced significant progress on our package of measures to open the path of certification as early childhood educators to provide a more diverse cohort (especially immigrants and refugees) and thus help to close the gap of some 4,000 missing kindergarden teachers. In a local victory in the southeast of Berlin, the oldest ferry in the city was saved from closing and another line will get increased service at peak times.

The assembly was also an occasion to strengthen the ties between very diverse and geographically separated institutions in the city, both religious and secular, as a clear counterweight to the growing threat of far right and Neo-Nazi movements and parties in Germany.

Photo: Valentin Paster