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Our plan for a socially fair and ecological Berlin

Brief summary of the party agenda on the occasion of the elections to the Berlin House of Representatives city parliament on 18 September 2016

Berlin is exciting and beautiful; Berlin is a place where families have had their roots for generations yet also a place where new citizens can put down roots; Berlin is simply an amazing, cosmopolitan city. However, much of what we love about our city is at risk of being lost forever. Berlin is changing rapidly, with the result that an increasing number of people are being marginalised. We want to challenge this development with policies aimed at social fairness.

The city must function again; the city’s prospects for the future must not be thrown away. Instead of starving public and social infrastructures of cash, we will make investments; instead of reducing the number of civil servants, we will increase their number; instead of privatising the utilities, housing, and transport – in other words, all of the public services citizens are entitled to expect – we want to re-municipalise them. We are fighting for a different kind of policymaking and a government whose actions are guided by all of the above.

We want the people who live here to co-design their city. We want their suggestions to be taken seriously, and believe that the scope offered by direct democracy should be extended even further. We want to reduce the obstacles preventing referendums; decisions made by the local people on the basis of referendums should be binding, and additional opportunities for co-determination should be devised. There must be an end to the current “take it or leave it” approach to policy making. We will put a stop to cronyism and corruption in politics. DIE LINKE is fully committed to transparency and does not accept corporate donations.

The city belongs to all of those who live, love and work in it. That is the way it has to be once more. This can be achieved; not today, not tomorrow, but step by step. To achieve it, we need pressure from the left. During the elections to the Berlin House of Representatives city parliament and the district committee representative elections on 18 September 2016, as well as afterwards. Join in!

Nothing is invested in Berlin. With an investment programme, we want to renovate the city’s schools at last, improve the social infrastructure, repair the roads and the public swimming pools, extend the bus and rail network. This is the way to ensure that the city works again, and that we are doing a good job. And: we will give the long-term unemployed and refugees access to new employment opportunities that pay a living wage.

Child and old age poverty is shameful! We will fight poverty. No one must be left behind. We want to establish a tight network of support offers. Evictions and disconnections from the electricity supply hit the poorest people; we want to prevent this and want to protect those concerned. We want everyone who is entitled to a Berlinpass concessions card to receive such a card automatically. We want to extend the categories of citizens entitled to this concessions card.

Rising rents and people being forced to move out of lively districts are destroying the diversity Berlin is world famous for. We need affordable housing for everyone in all areas of the city. The public housing associations should set a good example and make enough affordable housing available to people on low incomes. We intend to increase the number of public housing homes by 25 per cent in the next five years to 400,000 homes.

We intend to put an end to understaffed public services. Far too few civil servants are expected to deal with a rapidly increasing amount of work. However, because their work is what keeps this city going, we need more personnel in the citizen centres, schools, planning departments ... We want strong districts for a strong city.

Decent employment for all is possible and essential. We want to turn local government agencies, public bodies and publicly owned corporations into exemplary employers. They are no place for people working on temporary or otherwise non-permanent contracts. Everyone must be paid a living wage. We also want to create publicly funded jobs all citizens will benefit from.

Everyone has the right to a good education. That is why we need good schools in Berlin, and childcare facilities that have enough places for all children, independent of their background and their parents’ income. Schools where children representing the whole community learn together from the first grade to when they leave are the way forward. There are some schools like this in Berlin, but the competition for a place at one of these schools is fierce – so we need more of them.

Berlin must start to build tomorrow‘s socially fair and ecological city today. This calls for energy supply networks and strong publicly owned utilities. This is the only way to organise the city’s future energy supply for the benefit of its people. Public services are no place for the interests of private corporations. Instead of building more motorways, we should extend the cycle route network and invest in public transport. We intend to stop the regular bus and railway network fare increases and to lower the prices in the medium term.

We believe in human kindness and solidarity: that is why refugees should not have to live in mass accommodation but in homes like everyone else. We take integration seriously, and want to increase the number of German language class offers and the job opportunities open to refugees. Berlin is big enough for everyone – Berlin can cope. We fight against the far right and racism; everyone deserves respect.