Election Programme

for the municipal elections 2021

At our assembly on October 3rd, we not only elected our candidates, but also decided on our election programme. Our programme is the result of months of work. We held internal workshops, thought about our vision for Darmstadt, talked to experts and associations, and above all did a lot of research. We looked around Europe to see how similar cities have successfully solved similar problems and incorporated these best practices into our programme.

You are still missing a topic? You have better ideas or constructive feedback? Great! We look forward to your input, and are excited to learn what we can improve. Feel free to write us 🙂

In short

Our way to do politics

Volt wants to rethink and reshape politics. We want politics to take place at eye level. Volt Darmstadt wants to create a collaborative atmosphere and open dialog to enable all Darmstadt citizens to stand up for their own interests, and thereby improve the city little by little. Transparency in local politics is essential for a healthy opinion-forming process. Citizens need sufficient information to meaningfully question local politics.

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Transparency

  • The city council meeting is to be recorded or broadcast live. Decisions on proposals must be able to be followed
  • Parliamentary information – such as resolutions – must be made more comprehensive and user-friendly for citizens

Citizen participation

  • increased communication of the existing offerings
  • broader publicity and more public outreach
  • make it easier for people to take part in programmes
  • increase financial support for associations and initiatives
  • establish a “Citizen‘s Participation Day“

Political dealings

  • We are committed to an open, factual and pragmatic culture of discussion and decision-making in the City Council. We want to communicate with each other in a respectful and appreciative manner - both in the city council meeting and in all other situations.

Mobility

Mobility is a central element for the quality of life of a city. We call for an integrative mobility that focuses on local public transport (in German also known as: “ÖPNV”) as well as emission-free mobility on foot, by bicycle or other means. For us, integration means, that the mobility of one person is not at the expense of the other. Other European cities like Amsterdam, Copenhagen and last but not least Helsinki are role models for us – let‘s rethink mobility together.

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In General

  • More mobility and quality of life in the city center: less cars, more space for pedestrians & cyclists and more public transport
  • Development of Darmstadt to become the most bicycle-friendly city in Hesse, following European models such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam
  • Creation of a mobility department that includes the city police, the road traffic office and HEAG mobilo as mobility provider
  • Minimizing emissions through consistent speed limit in the city of 30 km/h; 40 km/h for major arterial roads
  • Promote car-, bike- and e-scooter-sharing as an alternative to owning a car

Public Transport (ÖPNV) specifically

  • Expansion of public transport (also in the periphery)
  • Create attractive park & ride options
  • Reduce public transport ticket prices; examine whether financing is possible via a tax based on a percentage of income or a €365 annual ticket.
  • Introduce barrier-free public transport across the board, so that everyone can use public transport without problems

Climate protection, environment & energy

First things first: Volt Darmstadt wants to declare a state of emergency on climate in Darmstadt. Latest since Greta Thunberg, Fridays For Future, 500 demonstrations during the Germany-wide climate strike on Friday, 20.09.2019, and several million people at the protests worldwide, it is clear: If we want to preserve an environment worth living in, we cannot continue like this. Climate and environmental protection concerns us all. We must therefore also ask ourselves how we want to deal with the challenges of climate change in our city and how we can counter them. It is a matter of taking joint responsibility for the future.

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Decarbonizing Darmstadt

  • All holdings, agencies, business, services providers etc. owned or controlled by the city of Darmstadt shall be submitted to the cities target to become CO2 neutral by 2035
  • Ensure achievement of climate strategy targets through consistent monitoring and follow-up
  • Consistently solicit & acquire European and national funding so that saving the climate does not fail due to lack of money

Eco-friendly urban development

  • Urban landscaping with a plan: for insect protection and minimizing dispersal of pollen triggering allergies
  • Green roofs + green facades = cool rooms, because in a green courtyard you can better relax and enjoy meeting your new neighbours
  • A forest management that defies climate change

Involve businesses and personal diet as a Climate Tool

  • At our weekly farmers-market you can also shop with an app - regional, digital, from farm to table.
  • Our Darmstadt-App will show you where to find good vegetarian and vegan food - this will please hungry gourmets as well as smart restaurant owners.
  • We call for a sustainable business park: This is where the economy of tomorrow will be created, because this is where solutions to climate change are being worked on
  • A Green Expo for Darmstadt - Darmstadt becomes an innovation hub for environment and sustainability - universities, congress centers, companies, it‘s all here. Sustainable companies can present themselves and network at the city‘s own trade fair

Local ideas for a better future

  • Without you, we won‘t save the climate! Therefore: A climate protection association from Darmstadt for Darmstadt

Housing

Housing in Darmstadt must be possible for everyone – regardless of income, age or family status. In order to achieve this vision, we must ensure that housing becomes accessible, affordable and attractive for all Darmstadt residents and, of course, remains sustainable. The housing situation of Darmstadt can only be transformed in a sustainable and economical way if politicians work together with local businesses, initiatives and associations.

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Long-term protection against excessive rents

  • Increasing the attractiveness of peripheral regions (e.g. via public transport) in order to ease the pressure on the housing market in Darmstadt.
  • Restructure Bauverein AG. As a social landlord, they should stop distributing dividends to the city and no longer operate on a profit-oriented basis.

Create new housing

  • Promotion of ecological and economic redensification
  • Building projects for individuals and groups need to be simplified; the city should act as a coordination and advisory body to remove hurdles

Sustainable City Development

  • Review and adapt development plans to changing conditions at regular intervals of no more than five years
  • Increase cooperation with universities for innovative urban development concepts and transformation instead of expansion

Digitization

Volt sees digital technologies as opportunities that must be used properly for our society. It is essential to ensure a high-quality digital infrastructure as a stable foundation for a sustainable digital transformation. Digitization of the city administration aims to improve interaction between citizens and authorities as well as internal processes. At the same time, data protection and people‘s privacy must always be safeguarded.

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Digital Infrastructure

  • Fiber optic expansion
  • Close wireless gaps in the 4G network and promote 5G technology
  • Expand public Wifi

E-Government

  • Enabling digital, quick & convenient interaction with municipal authorities from your home
  • Realizing digitization of public administration internally for increased efficiency

Digitalstadt Darmstadt (~Digital City Darmstadt)

  • Data protection and privacy is paramount
  • No video surveillance at Luisenplatz (or anywhere else in the city), because Darmstadt is the safest non-county city in Hesse
  • Open data: make city data publicly available so that it can be used for research and urban development

Education

Education is the foundation for the future. Therefore, we want to support all those who are active in the field of education (whether as student, teacher or supporting professional) in the best possible way. As operator of the school campus, the city has the responsibility to utilize the potential of those active “on site“ and to support their educational institutions, e.g. with IT specialists, campus managers, and others.

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Improve learning conditions & support teachers

  • Modern & functional buildings through transparent planning & active and constructive participation of parents and students.
  • „Campus manager“ for administrative management tasks, so that teachers and school board can concentrate on the students

Pragmatic and innovative solutions

  • Own school IT helpdesk, so teachers can focus on teaching - and not on IT
  • project-based cooperation between schools in Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany and Europe via (digital) work platforms

Education as foundation for the future

  • Cooperation & active promotion of the exchange of best practices
  • School-independent contact persons for parents and students in case of problems
  • Introduction of a self-governed budget for the student body
  • Making democratic values tangible, e.g. through the support of political simulation games

Equal opportunities

Equal opportunities and social justice are important because they are at the core of our European way of thinking and our democracy. We want Darmstadt to be a place worth living for everyone, so it is important to us to make the city accessible. For us, respectful interaction with each other in everyday life and politics is very important. We want to listen to and understand each other. We are against any kind of exclusion, discrimination and hatred against people, whether it is racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or ableism.

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Equal opportunities for children and families

  • Support for learning German should be continued in daycare centers, even after related programs run by the state of Hessian have been terminated
  • Expansion of existing places in the women‘s shelter and expansion of publicly funded social work and awareness building on domestic violence against men.
  • An LGBTIQ+ contact person in the youth welfare office who citizens can turn to for these topics.

Equal opportunities at the workplace

  • Continue to pursue the city‘s gender equality plan
  • Establish city-supported workshops on dealing with cultural diversity for companies
  • All municipal buildings must be easily accessible for people with special needs
  • Recognize and make volunteer work visible as an indispensable contribution to culture, society, and education in Darmstadt

Equal opportunities for newcomers and EU citizens

  • The provision of educationally relevant information
  • Volt advocates for inclusion, integration, anti-discrimination and equality in all its decisions

Culture & Art

Volt Darmstadt stands for maintaining cultural offerings in a permanent and diverse manner. We want them to be designed inclusively and to continue to strengthen them internationally in close exchange with other European cities. Therefore, it is important to preserve and promote these experiential spaces in the public sphere in the best possible way. One crucial part of Darmstadt‘s culture is also about living together in public spaces.

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Diversity, Inclusion and European Cultural Exchange

  • Preservation and expansion of the diversity of major cultural events such as the Heinerfest, Schlossgrabenfest or Christopher Street Day.
  • Expanding cultural exchange with Darmstadt‘s European partner cities
  • Appointment of a mayor designated to nightlife matters to strengthen and maintain Darmstadt‘s nightlife (after Corona)
  • Maintaining and enhancing public spaces and recreational opportunities, as there is a lack of freely accessible cultural and recreational offerings, especially outdoors
  • Improvement of security in Darmstadt through small projects such as a supported “women‘s night cab” or an independent reporting office for the city police to ensure the control of power within our constitutional state.

Europe in Darmstadt

We do not just live in a Hessian or German city: Darmstadt is characterized by interculturality and more than 11,000 European citizens. Not only students from other European countries come to study, important European companies and organizations such as the control center of the European Space Agency (ESA) or EUMETSAT have their headquarters in our city. More and more citizens from all over Europe move to Darmstadt and make a significant and crucial contribution to Darmstadt‘s role as a science city and to our cultural diversity. It is often difficult for European citizens to participate in the formation of opinions and the further development of our city, even though their new perspectives can make a valuable contribution to our city. We want to reduce these barriers and increase points of contact between Darmstadt residents and our new fellow citizens in order to facilitate integration.

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Support Europeans to get started in Darmstadt

  • Implementation of an EU-Welcome-Desk, as an information platform in physical and virtual form, which bundles and enhances the existing offer for the integration of citizens from other EU countries.
  • Establishment of a community network under the umbrella of the EU Welcome Desk. This is intended to promote the cultural diversity of Darmstadt and make it easier for new citizens to establish private contacts.
  • Integration into the European community through increased cooperation with the European partner cities

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