The Eindhoven municipal elections take place on March 16. On this day, the citizens of Eindhoven can decide what kind of city they want to live, by voting for the city council of Eindhoven.
In the third article of the series ‘Eindhoven Elections: your vote counts’ you get to know how the city council works. Piles of paperwork, passionate debates and conversations with citizens… What does a local politician do exactly?
In Eindhoven, the city council has 45 members. Those are the people we can elect every four years, and they are the representatives of the citizens. They are part of a political party. As city council members, we have three tasks: setting the framework for plans for our city, checking the execution and results of these plans and representing the citizens of Eindhoven.
Furthermore, the municipality has an executive board. This board consists of 7 people: our mayor and 6 aldermen. They are responsible for executing the plans and reaching the goals set by the city council. In the previous article, I explained the topics a bit such as housing, social care, culture and climate policy.
Representing the citizens
How do city council members represent the citizens of Eindhoven? There are many ways to do so. For example, facilitating a brainstorming event about student housing, joining the New Year’s Drink or visiting a citizens’ initiative. In this way, city council members can hear about problems people face and also analyse creative ideas and solutions they have. Inspired city council members bring information to the city council and the political debates, in order to set frameworks for plans and control the executive board.
For example, many international students brought to my notice that they struggle with some landlords who ask way too much money for their student room. In a brainstorm, they came up with the idea for a rental team, that supports students to stand up for their rental rights. I proposed this to the city council and sought collaboration with other political parties. After the debate, the executive board got to work on our proposal. For two years, we have had a rental team for students.
This is just one example of how I and my colleagues work as city council members. City council members are really open to conversations and ideas. So don’t hesitate to contact us! Irrespective of the political ideologies, city council members work towards the betterment of the city.
But first things first: the elections. In the next and last article of this series, I will explain how elections and voting works.
Eva de Bruijn (25), social designer and city council member for GroenLinks in Eindhoven