Election Programme Amsterdam 2022 - 2026
Think European, act locally
Think beyond borders.
Amsterdam is facing significant changes. The corona crisis has exposed deep divides we can’t ignore. Divides between people whose income was affected and those able to survive with minor adjustments. It showed us the vulnerabilities in the social fabric of our city.
The clock is ticking. We need a fresh vision for the future and to break free of the worn- out patterns of the past. We cannot wait
for answers to urgent problems such as the climate crisis, the housing crisis and the growing inequality of opportunity. Amsterdam deserves politicians who think outside the box and are more concerned with Amsterdammers than with themselves. It deserves politics focused on long-term thinking and connecting. Politics thinking beyond its borders.
We are Volt. We believe that better cooperation is the only way to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. Volt has elected representatives in the European Parliament, the Dutch Parliament and in several European municipalities. With a specific, coherent European programme, we are the first party to connect all European cities and build bridges.
Volt wants the housing market to be more fair and accessible to people with lower and middle incomes. We want to build affordably and keep the city affordable for the future. We want Amsterdam to be CO2 neutral by 2040, ten years earlier than the European Green Deal proposes. The Amsterdam we see is an accessible, sustainable, thriving city that feels like home.
We want a society based on trust in local government that sees, hears and involves inhabitants in decisions that affect their lives. We want a city of equal opportunities and shared happiness, with a great diversity of people and cultures, united in the unique identity of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a child of Europe: a city of pioneers. A city of freedom, peace, good food, music, art, science, innovation and a colourful, shared history. We want a borderless Amsterdam that takes the best ideas from European cities and implements them here. An Amsterdam that develops new ideas and ways of doing things in the fields of climate, social equality and participation. A city that shares its knowledge with other Dutch and European cities. An Amsterdam that thinks beyond the city limits.
The new generation of politicians can‘t wait to get started. We can‘t wait to make the voice of Amsterdammers heard in the city and in Europe. We can‘t wait to represent the Volt voter in the city council with a positive voice.
5+1 challenges for our city
Choosing a sustainable Amsterdam
Climate change has a direct impact on the quality of life in the city. Therefore, sustainability must become the norm for Amsterdam. Volt aims to turn Amsterdam green, and make intelligent choices about our energy use while encouraging sustainable innovation.
Innovation starts with people. Volt 2wants well-being to be an essential driver of economic policy. Complex problems such as the housing crisis are a limiting factor on that wellbeing. A city that seeks balance won’t allow itself to be divided into winners and losers but focuses on the bigger picture and involves everyone in its success.
Real freedom is being able to be who you are and do what you’re good at. We want all Amsterdammers to have equal opportunities, to restore trust between citizens and government and reduce differences between neighbourhoods. Volt strives for an inclusive, diverse city where all Amsterdammers feel both heard and represented.
The modern Capital
Volt wants to ensure a bright future for future generations and give them the opportunity to realise their dreams and ambitions. This is only possible with accessible education for everyone in the city, regard- less of their postal code.
The soul of the city
Amsterdammers should have a say in the most critical choices that affect their lives and future. Volt is also committed to supporting and protecting our vibrant, di- verse culture.
Future. Made in Europe
European cooperation makes Amsterdam stronger, and Amsterdam makes Europe stronger. Volt aims to make Amsterdam one of the leading cities in sustainable innovation - a paradise for sustainability best practices. Just as we get ideas from other European cities, we want other cities to look to Amsterdam for inspiration.
Choosing a sustainable Amsterdam
Volt believes that Amsterdam has what it takes to emerge stronger from the current climate crisis. But we must dare to make choices and act. We’re facing a serious challenge in transitioning to a society in which sustainability is the norm.
Whether it is hot and dry summer days or torrential rainfall in the autumn, the extensive greening of the city is the way to make the capital resilient to the effects of climate change. The municipality is already working hard to make a greener capital possible. However, Volt believes such a project can only succeed if everyone works towards the same goal.
The Green Gallery connects the residential areas with the city centre via a green walking and cycling route through all the parks and cultural highlights and reduces the pressure of mass tourism in the centre.
Energy: the mix of tomorrow
Three-quarters of the greenhouse gas we emit comes from energy use. To ensure a smooth transition from fossil fuels to green energy, we need to make some fundamental choices in municipal policy.
Wind and solar energy complement each other in the sustainable energy mix of the future. Volt supports the placement of wind turbines at sea and in the industrial areas
of the city. Beyond that, Volt doesn’t want new wind turbines in the other search zones, close to residential areas. The advantages of energy generation don’t stack up against the disadvantages for residents and nature. Instead, Volt raises the solar ambitions on available roofs.
By 2030 Volt wants to get rid of energy from burning trees unless the biomass demonstrably comes from Europe and consists of otherwise unusable residual waste.
Hydrogen is one of the energy carriers of the future. We want to encourage hydrogen manufacturing and usage, so that shipping, heavy industry and other sectors can benefit quickly.
We want to encourage the installation of (green) solar roofs by searching, with companies and homeowners, for smart applications and financing constructions that can be arranged quickly and fairly.
With rising energy prices, it is now crucial to prevent precious heat from leaking out due to poor insulation. Energy poverty is
a growing problem and deserves the full attention of the municipality to make the heat transition more inclusive. Volt wants to work on the insulation of houses by motivating home owners, tenants and proprietors for insulation. As an example, we’ll employ transparent sustainability demands adjusted for financial capacity and supportive measures inspired by the British “Home Energy Saving Programme”.
A clean Capital
Ask Amsterdammers what annoys them most and rampant rubbish will be high on the list. The stench, vermin and unsightly appearance should be things of the past. We can also improve waste processing: let’s re- duce urban waste incineration to a minimum and make reuse the norm.
Volt opts for a clean city, where our waste is used to make tomorrow‘s pro- ducts. Less emissions, less air pollution and a step closer to a circular Amsterdam.
Volt wants to equip scan cars and waste containers with smart technology to help solve the waste problem. In addition, we want to make it easier for Amsterdammers to report where things go wrong.
Volt will regularly urge the administration of our city to ensure that the municipality responds faster and better to nuisance reports from residents about, for example, litter, a dangerous traffic situation or nuisance caused by people.
Safety & Security
A level playing field starts with clear rules. We want Amsterdam to remain an open and tolerant city. A city that effectively deals with intimidation, violence and crime. This requires an ongoing dialogue in society.
As far as Volt is concerned, the most crucial point in the debate about the Red Light District is to prevent the exploitation of sex workers and combat human trafficking. We want Amsterdam to cooperate with other European cities and parties to tackle networks that engage in human trafficking.
Volt wants to investigate the best strategy for dealing with so-called “hate crimes” - violence and intimidation ba- sed on origin, religion, gender, political or sexual preference. Such acts contribute to a sense of insecurity on the streets and have no place in our city.
Criminal money creates unfair competition on the housing market, in business and other areas. Volt wants to improve cooperation between security services, government and market players to fight crime and money laundering.
The safety of journalists is essential for free media and a functioning democracy. Therefore, Volt wants Amsterdam
to support journalism in ensuring a safe working environment for journalists through municipal cooperation with the Dutch Association of Journalists and a media campaign on the usefulness of free, independent media.
Volt opposes the trial of citizen observers who check uniformed officers for ethnic profiling during their work. After all, the digital stop form, which Volt supports, is already a tried and tested means of preventing ethnic profiling in Spain and the United Kingdom.
Volt aims to strike a balance between prosperity and welfare. Amsterdam’s trade history and commercial spirit has brought prosperity to the city. Yet, a city that is attractive to live and work in also requires mutual solidarity. Volt opts for a balanced policy that gives room to innovate without damaging the city’s social fabric.
At Home in the City
The housing crisis is felt in large areas of the Netherlands. Our parliamentary group is working hard to combat the situation at a national level. In addition, Volt believes that local action is needed to address the problems in the Amsterdam housing market. The city should take control of public housing. Housing is a right, not a luxury. We want Amsterdam to choose balance: solutions that make a difference for the groups most affected by the housing crisis and structural- ly ensure a fair, social and sustainable hou- sing policy for the future. Volt wants;
A new vision of the leasehold system. More transparency and a clear calculation of ground lease: Amsterdam as the most reliable landlord in the Netherlands.
Affordable, accessible student housing. Young people deserve a fair chance to build a life in the capital. We want the city to work with educational institutions, housing corporations and the region on a future-proof plan to create affordable space for students, for example by building new campuses.
We also want more space for senior housing; the overheated housing mar- ket benefits from seniors who want to move from an overly spacious home to one that suits their needs. This improves movement in the market.
Future-proof Affordable Living
Due to the housing crisis, Amsterdammers with low and middle incomes keep missing out. Starters have become stagnant and exceptional situations - such as being forced to “temporarily” stay with your ex or “briefly” move back into your parents‘ house - seem to be the new norm. One way or another, the city must maintain and expand the number of affordable homes.
These houses should be built for Amsterdammers, not for project developers or real estate investors. We, therefore, support the proposed buy-out protection, which means that houses with a registered (WOZ) value of less than €512,000 may not be rented out for four years after the sale.
But how do new homes help if the rent is too high for many people? What is the point of the city council investing a lot of money, time and energy in realising new owner- occupied homes if they immediately become unaffordable for most Amsterdam residents the first time they are sold? The most important thing is that housing is affordable from day one and remains affordable after that. This is why Volt makes the following proposals.
Residential funds (Rijswijk model): Amsterdam launches a pilot to build 500 rental homes for people with lower and middle incomes, with rents remaining the same for at least 10 years. If success- ful, the pilot will be extended.
Amsterdam should investigate whether new owner-occupied houses can be built for starters and people moving up the housing ladder via the Affordable Purchase project, as it is the case in Zaans- tad, and financed so they remain affordable even when sold.
Amsterdam should follow the example of Vienna (“Wohnbau Initiative”) and build more homes for middle-income households to keep the city accessible for people who make a difference.
It might be hard to imagine now, but a time is coming when all our energy will come from renewable sources. The sun and wind will provide the electricity you’ll need to get to work, heat your home and cook.
We want to make room for creative people who want to contribute to solving climate issues. A new era demands a new way of looking at how we move around, produce food and generate energy. Volt wants the sustainable leaders of tomorrow to feel at home in Amsterdam today. The city must also take responsibility by encouraging a resourceful economy.
The Dutch government is responsible for 18% of the total Dutch climate foot- print. Our municipality must set a good example with sustainable choices in its procurement policy. Encouraging a circular economy starts with a sustainable government.
We want the municipality to bring the business community and the academic world together and actively create a climate that stimulates sustainable entrepreneurship. This could include paying more attention to start-up pro- grammes, residence permits for know- ledge workers and students and developing a knowledge-sharing platform.
Volt wants Amsterdam to remain an open city, where visitors feel welcome and can enjoy a diverse range of culture, restaurants and shops. However, the balance between the pressure of mass tourism and the quality of life for Amsterdam locals is crucial. The city centre will become a lot more enjoyable if local residents also feel at home there.
We want homeowners who rent out their homes on popular rental sites to bear a greater share of the costs of maintaining the quality of life in the city.
Volt wants Amsterdam to start a regular consultation between the major European tourist cities to exchange experiences and best practices.
Amsterdammers deserve the right to live their lives as they want. Volt wants an Ams- terdam where no one is left out and where you can count on having the same oppor- tunities to realise your dreams and build a future in your own way, regardless of your origin, orientation, level of education or gender.
A city where you can be yourself, where you are heard and seen, is a city you can call home. Amsterdam has a long tradition of
a great diversity of cultures and we must make sure that everyone feels welcome. This diversity is the basis of Amsterdam‘s culture. It also means feeling safe at home and in the street, at work and in public transport, in the pub or at the market. Tolerance is about more than just living and letting live; it is about becoming aware of the equality of all people.
Some Amsterdammers experience more inequality of opportunity than others be- cause of the color of their skin, their name or nationality. Simply put: racism. The experiences of these Amsterdammers deserve specific attention and solutions.
The challenge for us is to recognize and help the victims by revealing conscious and sub- conscious biases and especially challenge all kinds of racist behavior.
Volt wants to investigate in which sec- tors or situations - like the labour and housing market or public services - the effects of (institutional) racism are manifested to establish appropriate solutions that tackle racism.
Volt advocates a mentor or buddy system in the neighbourhood, through which newcomers receive help from a resident. In this way, newcomers learn the language faster, can get a job sooner and the bond between groups of Amsterdam residents improves.
We want to increase the acceptance of the LGBTI community and those with a migration background through the role mode approach. Such an approach needs to be incorporated into various crossroads of society like community centres, places of worship, cultural centres, and social media.
We also want to find new ways of making the hospitality and retail sectors more accessible to Amsterdam persons with disabilities, and making proposals to reduce menstrual poverty. We want the city council to take a leading role in starting or expanding programmes that motivate (young) women for jobs in the sectors that they are underrepresented in, such as the STEM- sectors (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
For Volt, the famous Amsterdam tolerance should be unconditional and high safety in the city the standard. Discrimination or exclusion, in any shape or form, is the only thing we should close our city gates to.
Working towards Trust
We want the city to identify problems quickly, look for a solution and earn the trust of its inhabitants. This means that politicians must listen to citizens and actively ensure that Amsterdammers participate socially, communally and economically. Just as a neighbourhood cannot function without residents who make an effort, the city cannot function without a municipality that acts transparently to enable citizens (initiatives), entrepreneurs and organisations to look after themselves and each other.
We advocate an experiment to give people on welfare more control over their lives; less distrust, more emphasis on personal initiative, guidance and customisation. Working should pay off: participants in the experiment keep 50% of their earnings up to a maximum of 200 euros per month.
Volt wants all secondary schools in Amsterdam to offer budgeting lessons to help young people learn about money and prevent them from getting into debt.
We want to work towards improving the health of the youth by focusing on exercise and free healthy lunches at all Amsterdam primary schools.
In addition, a parent’s choice of school for their children should never depend on their financial means. To this end Volt wants to set a maximum contribution from parents.
Bridging the Gap
There are local differences in the opportunities people are given and these divide our city. There are many possible causes: in- equality in wealth, differences in school quality or language problems. The result, however, is unambiguous. Amsterdam is in danger of being a city running at two different speeds. Volt wants Amsterdammers to live together instead of alongside each other.
Amsterdam takes its responsibility in housing refugees. Volt supports this but also realises that the willingness to accommodate people in need is directly related to problems on the housing market. Solutions should therefore be seen in conjunction with the challenges on the housing market. After all, more living space, temporary or other- wise, also means more possibility to offer shelter.
In a prosperous city, there is no excuse for letting people sleep on the streets. Amsterdammers who have been trapped in homelessness for any reason deserve a chance to build a decent life.
That is why Volt wants to expand the current plans of the municipality and initiate cooperation with initiatives such as, for example, the Homies foundation - which is matching homeless persons
to groups of friends that offer to help with housing, employment and financial support. This way, the homeless can get their own lives back on track.
Volt wants the municipality to follow Rotterdam‘s example and invest in more intensive help for students and young people, so they can more easily connect with further education, studies and the labour market. For this purpose, we opt for a guidance platform, information campaigns and extra time with supervisors or teachers.
In order to promote equality of opportunity, we advocate the use of the opportunity class for disadvantaged pupils who can show their ability to reach a higher level in an extra year at the start of secondary school.
Youth Care as a Springboard
After responsibility for youth care was transferred from the national government to the municipalities in 2015, shortages arose. These shortages are taking their toll on young people, especially now. Of the young people aged 18 to 25 years, 12% have mental health problems. Waiting lists are too long, suicide among young people has increased and specialist help is difficult to get access to.
Volt advocates well organised, accessible and affordable youth care for every young person. Investing in better care for our youth is an investment in the future of Amsterdam. Here too, prevention is better and is better and cheaper than fighting the symptoms.
Volt advocates a low-threshold, district- oriented care system, such as a youth care centre, where all youth care, including youth mental health care, youth assistance and protection, comes together. This helps in the early detection of problems and thus the start of a solution.
To reduce the psychological pressure on young people, Volt wants the municipality to promote a structural focus in secondary schools on reducing and control- ling performance pressure and dealing safely with social media.
The municipality should investigate how care providers‘ work could be monitored so that customized and high quality care can be rewarded accordingly.
The modern Capital
In recent decades, Amsterdam has become a high-tech capital. We want to further support this development whilst allowing all citizens to equally take part in future advancements. This starts with access to re- liable resources, accessibility of the facilities provided by the municipality, the freedom to let innovative and smart mobility take you wherever you want to go, and an education system that enables all Amsterdammers to reach their full potential.
The Future of Amsterdam
Sharing knowledge is at the heart of a modern city. Allowing the next generation to develop is crucial for the future of Amsterdam. We want our children to become successful, happy and responsible members of society. Education is also important for integration. Therefore, we propose a series of pragmatic solutions to improve education in the city, including:
At preschool, children between the ages of 2 and 4 can learn in a playful way. To initiate equal participation in early ages, Volt wants to lower the costs for parents earning less than 120% of the minimum wage.
Guiding lateral entry into education becomes a common task, with experienced teachers from schools with low shortages guiding lateral entry students from schools with high shortages.
Extra attention for schools with backlogs by deploying extra supervisors, training and guest lectures on subjects such as society and culture.
Volt wants to raise awareness about climate change in secondary schools and MBO. The existing teaching material is supplemented with useful elements from the Education for Climate Coalition.
A new selection system for secondary schools is needed to make the system more fair and transparent. At the same time, the wishes of parents and children should be considered with less arbitrary regulation and more tailor-made options.
Society in the Digital Age
The technology at our disposal allows us to arrange things faster and more conveniently and makes it easier for us to communicate and cooperate with each other. The down- side is that more than 100,000 low-literacy or elderly Amsterdammers may find it difficult to access the resources they need. This forms a barrier to participation in modern society. Volt wants to remove this barrier so that everyone can participate.
Additionally, a ransomware pandemic has evolved in recent years. Hence, it is crucial that both companies and citizens learn how to be safe online.
We focus on digital inclusion. We support (digitally) illiterate people and give them the tools they need to participate fully in modern society, such as teaching them about cyber security (‘how to make a safe password’ and ‘how can I do my taxes online?’).
We also propose a science festival, an accessible event at various locations in the city, where Amsterdammers can dive into the world of science. The various knowledge centres will open their doors and take visitors along on their research into the world of tomorrow.
Together with civil society organisations, the municipality must take a leading role in training companies and private individuals in the field of cyber security. We can only combat cybercrime by mak- ing everyone in our society resilient.
Accessible and in Motion
In 2019, Amsterdam decided that from 2030 no petrol, diesel or gas vehicles will be allowed in the city and from 2025 only zero-emission company cars, taxis, buses and mopeds. Volt supports the ambition for an emission-free Amsterdam. However, due to the short run-up to such a fundamental change of direction, there are possible risks in terms of personal finance, charging capacity in the city and the extra energy demand.
Volt believes public transport and smart mobility solutions are integral not just as an affordable alternative to cars, but as an essential part of a modern city. Accordingly, Volt wants to improve the accessibility of Amsterdam and its surroundings, through innovative and smart public transport connections in the city and from Amsterdam to the surrounding suburbs.
We will complete the Metro Ring: we will extend the metro from Isolatorweg to Noorderpark and connect it to the North-South line.
The introduction of the A-line, using the existing train track but with shorter waiting times for more effective trans- port between city districts, following the example of the S-Bahn in Berlin.
The scarce space in the city must be available for everyone to use. We are therefore committed to reducing the number of parking spaces in Amsterdam by making more use of parking solutions outside the city.
Volt wants the introduction of a new combi-ticket for public transportation. With the combi-ticket, travellers can
use connecting modes of transportation without the need for a double access fee, and people who live further away from the city centre get more discount, irregardless of how often they use public transportation.
The soul of the city
Great art challenges you and puts your empathy to the test. Art sharpens the mind. By creating, singing, writing, painting and rapping, creative Amsterdammers work on a common language and shared experiences. Our culture tells us who we were as Amsterdammers, who we are and who we can be- come.
A city that is world-famous for its cultural treasures must take care of them. We must take good care of our cultural sector, especially after the dramatic consequences of COVID-19. The municipality must get to know the current creative ecosystems and provide structural financial support where necessary to safeguard a lively, diverse Amsterdam culture for the future.
We want Amsterdam to take better care of its cultural heritage to protect the character and cultural-historical value of the city. Among other things, we are asking the municipality to anchor heritage and cultural-historical values in the new environment plan.
Amsterdam must remain a vibrant, creative city. That is why Volt asks the municipality to continue supporting the cultural sector as long as the consequences of the corona pandemic are felt. In this support we can’t forget makers and small entrepreneurs who make cultural life in Amsterdam possible.
Volt opts for cultural development and breaking down cultural barriers, including those between religions. Sport is a binding part of Amsterdam‘s culture. We ask the municipality to facilitate and finance sports days four times a year on which sports clubs open their doors to schools.
Informed and Involved
Volt stands for interactive democracy at European, national and local levels. We want Amsterdammers today and Amsterdammers of the future to be given transparent access to important considerations and to be involved in choices that directly affect their lives.
In the City Council, many decisions are made that have a very long-term impact on people in the city, so-called intergenerational deci- sions. The Future Design method appoints people to represent the distant future when a debate or discussion is held on such an intergenerational issue. These can be people from outside the council, but also internally, you can appoint people who will stand up for future generations.
We support the use of citizens‘ councils and want a permanent citizens‘ forum following the example of Ostbelgien and Aachen. Volt believes that democratic participation goes beyond just having a political voice. It is about being able to make informed choices and acquiring actual decisional power over aspects that affect your life.
Volt wants the allocation of budgets, which are available from the municipality at district and neighbourhood level for social goals, to be determined by the inhabitants of these districts and neighbourhoods over the next four years. The city will monitor the legitimacy of these budgets and ensure that they are not exceeded.
In addition to the aforementioned safety for journalists, Volt also advocates structural support for diverse and versatile quality media that provide the residents of Amsterdam with news, backgrounds and context so that residents always have the right information available to make informed choices.
We propose that the council meets once every six months on location in one of the city districts, invites local residents and deals with specific themes that are relevant to the area.
Politicians and administrators have to respond to changing circumstances with new policies. However, current politics too often disregards how new policies can dismantle or scale-down existing projects and programs.
Therefore, Volt demands an implementation paragraph for each new proposal in the city council that clearly states how the existing capacity, such as available staff or budget, is affected.
Future. Made in Europe
Volt practices politics with an open mind. We draw our inspiration from policies that have already proven themselves in other cities. European cooperation makes our city stronger and Volt will continue to look for new solutions to Amsterdam‘s problems and share the best plans from Amsterdam with the rest of Europe. Future. Made in Europe.
Creative climate lessons from Spain, France and Switzerland.
The Green Gallery is inspired by Madrid, where work is underway to build a 75-km- long greenway around the city. Thereby, the Spanish capital aims to reduce temperatures in the city and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The policy of turning off the lights on closed business premises is taken from France, where legislation has already made this energy-saving measure effective since 2013. Switzerland encourages the use of roofs with subsidies for green roofs. In Basel, about 40% of the roofs are in use to pro- mote biodiversity and climate adaptation.
The Viennese housing approach
Vienna is a pioneer in the housing market. About 60% of the inhabitants of the Austrian capital live in (subsidised) affordable rented accommodation. The city has expanded the zoning plan, thus ensuring much- needed liveability.
Citizen participation from Lisbon
The Portuguese capital has increased its participation from a bottom-up perspective, for example through Lisboa Participa, a project in which the city‘s residents can think and decide about the way the city invests.
European public transport solutions
In Copenhagen and Barcelona, extending metro or bus lines to the airport has had a positive effect on accessibility between the suburbs and the city centre. Brussels has good experiences in bringing public trans- port companies together to introduce combined tickets.
The EU is setting a good example with a lobby register, which we want to apply at a municipal level. In this way, we make decision-making in the city more transparent. From Sweden comes the model of active openness of the municipality‘s objectives and expenditure.
The Netherlands will not improve without Europe, Europe will not improve without the Netherlands.
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