Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam, Netherlands, since 2018
World Mayor Nominations 2021
Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam, Netherlands
The 2021 World Mayor Prize and Commendations will be conferred on mayors who have been showing leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and who are now aiming to make their cities more resilient economically, structurally, socially and environmentally. In fact: Stronger | Fairer | Greener. The organisers of the World Mayor Project are looking for mayors who have shown exceptional leadership skills but also, and more importantly, acted at all times with compassion towards those most affected by Covid-19. The pandemic has shown how vulnerable even the richest cities are when confronted with a disaster like Covid-19. Forward-looking city leaders will now begin to re-think how their communities can be better protected against future threats, both natural and man-made.
Femke Halsema, Mayor of Amsterdam, Netherlands, was longlisted for the 2021 World Mayor Prize by people from her city and elsewhere in The Netherlands as well as from Europe. There have also been critical comments.
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Mayor of Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Nominated by Hennie P., Netherlands:
Mayor Halsema was one of the first who had to deal with victims of COVID 19. She showed a great deal of common sense and did not allow the media to provoke her. Same goes for the time when she allowed a demonstration for Black Lives Matter in those early stages of the pandemic. When the amount of demonstrators turned out to be far larger than expected and appropiate distance could not be kept, mayor Halsema decided not to deploy police forces. That rendered her a lot of criticism from city council members. As always, mayor Halsema takes it serious, answers questions in a serious and very thorough manner. But also puts a stop to extreme criticism. That is her strength: she has her own standards of what is fair.
In the past six months, Halsema has demonstrated great leadership as spokesperson on behalf of all the mayors of bof cities in the Netherlands.
Halsema has a track record in Dutch parliament, where she lead the Green Left political party for roughly a decade. Her position as mayor of Holland‚s largest and most diverse city Amsterdam is relatively fresh. We have yet to see how fair and green she can make it, but with her past achievements and most of all her proven leadership in pandemic times I have no doubt Amsterdam has a bright green and fair future ahead.
Nominated by Niels, Netherlands:
In the relatively short time Amsterdam Mayor Halsema has been in office, she has already endured more than most mayors will in an entire career: a terrorist attack, mass protests and a pandemic. Mayor Halsema has dealt with these crises with determination, courage and compassion, which is perfectly in line with the code of arms of the city.
This mayor stands for her ideals and is not afraid to act on them, even if this is not the popular choice. Her idealism has led more than once to fierce reactions from the media and hecklers. Moreover, her being the first female mayor of the city, has often led to sexist reactions from the public. By the public she often does not just get judged for her role as a mayor, but also as a mother and a woman.
Despite all this, Mayor Halsema succeeded in proving her critics wrong: since she took office, Amsterdam has become significantly more sustainable, safe and enjoyable to live in. Public transport as well as cycling infrastructure has improved, decreasing car use in the city (centre). She made more space for pedestrians and kids to play in the streets. The infamous coal power plant was closed; sustainable energy production is skyrocketing. With her and her council's policies, disruptive and unsustainable tourism was successfully addressed. Crime rates in the city are lower than ever before. Mayor Halsema has stood up for minorities like the homeless, Muslims and people of colour.
Sometimes even when this she had to stand against the national government (e.g. she wouldn't enforce a national ban on burkas as this was "against the liberal norms and values of Amsterdam"). But most of all, mayor Halsema is there for her citizens: Over the past few decades, Amsterdam had become one of the biggest tourist hotspots in the world, decreasing the sustainability and quality of life of the city. Femke Halsema is restoring the city's balance and giving the city back to its citizens. Her idealism, her determination and her compassion make her the best mayor in the world.
Nominated by A P G, Amsterdam:
Under Mayor Halsema the city has become more inclusive. She got rid of the 19th century black face tradition which was rooted in racism. Withstanding a national smear campaign against her. The city is greener and keeps investing in it. She has a learned mind, talks calmly and builds bridges. Her voice is omnipresent in the daily live situations of the citizens, meaning that her legacy, albeit so short, is already huge.
Challenges: People always say that dedication and awareness should be a first step towards progress. And I think it is, however local governments should reinvent how to provider and communicate in better ways in order for this to have a effect.
Nominated by Willemien M., Netherlands:
She has courage, she is strong and she has a good hart for the people in this big city. She wants a greener world and more economic equality between people.
Nominated by Pascale N., Amsterdam:
Femke Halsema stands for the people in the city. For their health, but as well for the economy and the freedom of speech. She is not afraid to stand for the city and force the government to make decisions or take responsibility. She is strong, involved, responsible, honest and brave.
Nominated by Edward, outside The Netherlands:
She represents the city of Amsterdam in a very good way!
She Speaks clear and understandable and serves the inhabitants of Amsterdam in the best possible way. So the Amsterdam inhabitants live in a pleasant city where everything is possible as long it doesn't effect other people in a wrong way!
Nominated by Cindy S., Netherlands:
From the beginning of her career she personally stands for a green live and a greener world. Her opinion about that has never changed
She rather stand back or down. She want‚s to give the city back to the people, to the families, less cars and traffic, more space for nature. Attract tourists who likes the history and architecture and nature.
Challenges: Good quality restaurants , less junk food. More attention for a cleaner city, when the bars, restaurant and other public spaces support that, than the visitors automatically will follow. Only Shared electric cars in the city, And create space so we can plant more trees.
Nominated by Helena G., Amsterdam:
Courageous, defying sexist attacks all the time, strong long and short time visionary,v, eloquent and empathic speaker. Knows hoe to find all layers in Amsterdam municipality. Brings personal visits and encourages her citizens.
Challenges: Rooftop gardens. Cut the 5G cell phone crap. I AM battling breast cancer because of 4G. More trees. More water.
Nominated by Sacha W., Amsterdam:
Mayor Halsema dares to go against the ruling opinion for causes she thinks are important standing up for. Femke looks to the community as a whole and tries to do what's best for all, but is not afraid to take controversial measures. She is an empathetic and caring mayor who does not waver under unfair criticism. Femke also wants to reduce the amount of cars in Amsterdam.
Challenges: More trees and bushes. Place solar panels on all houses so that everyone has access to and control over their own energy. Cars should have much less exhaust and be quieter. Motorcycles should not be permitted to make loud noise. Preferably, have free and clean public transport. Free libraries.
Nominated by Michelle U., Amsterdam:
Femke Halsema is the personification of modern day Amsterdam. Her leadership is strong, serious and reliable. She supports all the city‚s citizens and urges the citizen‚s to support eachother. She is not afraid to share her feelings and behaves and speaks as if she is one of us however she is very professional in her work.
Nominated by Jacques, Amsterdam:
First: she has her hart on the right place. She is intelligent, kind, a good politician, she is very involved with all residents. she has an eye for the poor people in the city, people who are in need. She never loses sight of her goal: being a good mayor for all residents. She thinks culture and attention to nature are important in the city. She has a lot of humour! She is the best. She makes us, citizens, a better us. She connects.
Challenges: Lots of greenery in high-rise buildings such as terrace construction with plantation. Green spaces on corners of streets.
Nominated by Jelte P., Amsterdam:
She has a clear vision, is consequent and consistent about this.In the corona virus crisis she is taking a leading role. She has a clear and fair stand for people who suffer the most under the crisis. She is leading a town council that makes big steps for a greener community , especialy policy to keep cars out of the city and promoting pubic transport and cycling
Nominated by Paul W., Amsterdam:
Is benaderbaar, gaat regelmatig de wijken in, is daadkrachtig en laat zich niet manupuleren, is vriendelijk en heeft bij haar aantreden veel tegenstand ondervonden, "de eerste vrouwelijke burgemeester van Amsterdam en nog van Groen links ook!!" Deze virus is voor ons allemaal nieuw, zeker hoe mee om te gaan in een drukke stad als Amsterdam, slaat zich er goed doorheen.
Challenges: Houd van een groene stad met geveltuinen bomen
en stadsparken.Zeker voor Amsterdammers die wonen drie hoog achter in een druk bevolkte wijk.
Nominated by Sacha, Netherlands:
First female Mayor of one of worlds most famous and international city, AMSTERDAM DE GEKSTE! Proud of her and the city.
Challenges: Better places to eat, aa in the quality of the places and food.
Nominated by Aletha A., Nehterlands:
I love how she brings the city together, she has a heart for the climate and animals and she is a woman who stands her ground. I'm proud of her.
Challenges: Speedy bike lanes, parking outside of the city, green roofs, smarter living: less room but instead more functional spaces, maximum number of tourists.
Nominated by Linda, Netherlands:
Parking spots for bikes on the water, and on places where cars used to stand, emission free areas, strong public transport, waiting list for a parking spot for inhabitants. Results a calmer Amsterdam and less cars (also before Corona!). As a former foreman of a green political party she makes her statements in her current policy.
Challenges: Parkingspots for Bikes. Parking spot outside the city and Free public transport. Bikes for rent by city council. Making things like transport easy, low cost. Stimulating good behavior instead of policy that does the opposite, like high parking fairs
Nominated by Mandy, Netherlands:
Femke Halsema is een sterke, intelligente, onafhankelijke vrouw met een sterk rechtvaardigheidsgevoel. Ze durft tegen de stroom van de politiek en publieke opinie in te gaan om zo een burgemeester van alle Amsterdammers te zijn.
Nominated by Fouad R., Netherlands:
Mrs Femke Halsema is a very intelligent and capable Mayor who demonstrated leadership throughout her time as the Mayor of Amsterdam, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. She is also a champion against racism, bigotry and populism. And a very lovable person too!
Challenges: Concrete ideas could be: More trees, gardens in the city. Close off more, traffic heavy areas for fossil fuel card, but provide more and better public electrically powered transport. Give incentives to local businesses and citizens when they contribute to this ideal in the form of less bureaucracy and some tax benefits. There are many more ideas but that would be a very long story here.
Nominated by JvM, Amsterdam:
Mayor Halsema is capable to understand the real problems of this city as a citizen and human being, as a woman, as intellectual, as engineer, politician, manager and as a leader and spokesperson. She is capable to make a real strong commitment on behalf of people, with all risks included. This is very needed in times where opportunism, commercialism and exploitation are a standarized part of the system we live in.
Nominated by Kiki D., Netherlands:
She stands up for right to demonstrate of citizens in covid crisis. She has shown integrity against government orders to project het city from spreading covid.
Nominated by D. van de K., Amsterdam:
She always supports minorities. She was very strong in the Corona crisis without national support. She‚s not afraid to take impopulair measurements. She fights for a green city.
Nominated by C.M.B., Netherlands:
She is trying to slow down the number of tourists to the city because they overcrowded the center, drive up housing prizes etc. She wants to make the centre free of cars and therefore she wants to realize a new bridge or tunnel under the river IJ. More green and parks should help fright air pollution .
Nominated by N. B., Netherlands:
She is a liberal and She tworks to make her City green, clean and gender friendly. Works for eliminating drug and prostitution scene in her city. Gets a lot of flack from male and female chauvinistic right wing extremist yet she keeps her integration intact. I am proud of her.
Nominated by Evi, Netherlands:
She is honest and straight and is nog afraid to taken measures against covid 19.
Nominated by Annick, Amsterdam:
Femke Halsema is the first female mayor of Amsterdam. She is honest, strong, stands up for the less fortunate, stands up against racism in the time of Corona. She endures more in this time because she is a woman however she stands strong. She really is concerned for all people in Amsterdam. She is so brave that she stands up to the country‚s government who is not strong enough in its decisions concerning corona.
Nominated by Ronald, Amsterdam:
She is a strong personality in Décolonialize planet earth "and special in this time from Corona virus (covid 19).In where the Netherlands gone to make public excuses on behalf of the peopel, and the state of the Netherlands to the desendants from afro" communities. For the suffered what they suffered at the hands of slavery and slave trade at that time. And special to the people from the Dutch colony" Curaçao.! With the aim to Décolonialize all colonies up our beautiful planet earth".
Challenges: To plant fruit trees in the poorest neighborhoods" for the people who needed those extra vitamines which they cannot afford because their money situations. It will create peaceful situations" and the flowers from the fruit trees in springtime" will spread joy and happiness in the neighborhoods.
Nominated by Ad H., Netherlands:
Strong female mayor for all the residents of Amsterdam. Rich, poor, important or unknown. Color or race. Straight back and fight for the best solution in her town.
Nominated by H. L. S., Netherlands:
Mayor Femke Halsema is a modern mayor who likes a better enviroment.
Challenges: Less cars more metros and electric busses. Also more waterways.
Nominated by F. R., Netherlands:
As the first feminine mayor of this magical city Amsterdam, she is like a real mother to the people!
Critical comment by Wm S., Netherlands:
We understand that there is a nomination for F. Halsema, mayor of Amsterdam.
If this is thrue, this is a big disappointment. There so much she did wrong as a Mayor, there is so much criticism for her. She approved a big meeting for BLM in Amsterdam, which was so wrong in relation to COVID-19. There was found a gun in her house, belonging to her husband, and used by her son. I really can’t understand this nomination!
Critical comment by Martin H., Netherlands:
In the system of the Netherlands a mayor should be there for all the inhabitants of a city.
Mrs Halsema is a mayor for the members of her own political party and some other left wing parties. She has a political agenda that is absolute disastrous for the city in the eyes of so many other inhabitants.
During the lockdown she accepted a huge (Black Lives Matter) demonstration, knowing it would be big, on the limited space of Damsquare where keeping distance would not be possible. The reason for the demonstration was important. But a. she was wearing a button of the demonstrators, which is not appropriate for a mayor, no matter the good cause.
She set a bad example not clearing the square and stopping the demonstrators when too many people came to the square. From then on many people in Amsterdam and Holland in general think keeping distance is important up to a certain point and the unity shown by the Dutch in the first part of the lockdown was lost from then on.
Her party doesn’t like tourism by mixing up people who come to Amsterdam to party and regular tourists, everything is done to chase tourists and nothing is done against party lovers from other towns in Holland and countries around. The 76,000 workers in tourism don’t get her support not even during the worst times for tourism ever - as though 30% of the inhabitants don’t count.
Critical comment by Eefje E., Amsterdam:
The majority of people living in Amsterdam and the Netherlands are very surprised by the nomination of Femke Halsema. First of all, there are much better mayors in the Netherlands, for example, the mayor of Rotterdam. And this, coming from someone who lives in Amsterdam, says something. The majority of the people in Amsterdam find mayor Halsema incapable of doing her job, would rather today than tomorrow have a new mayor, as she does not work on behalf of the people living in Amsterdam, but is solely focussed on what she finds important. Please do not select her,