Françoise Schepmans, Mayor of Molenbeek, Belgium, since 2012
WORLD MAYOR 2018
Dedicated to women mayors

The 2018 World Mayor Prize and Commendations will be conferred on women mayors who have made outstanding and long-lasting contributions to their communities. The organisers wish to show what outstanding women mayors achieve all over the world. By doing so, they hope to encourage more women to contemplate a career in local government and run for political office. The women, who will be awarded the 2018 World Mayor Prize and other honours, will be role models for young women and, indeed, men everywhere. Qualities sought ||| Françoise Schepmans, Mayor of Molenbeek, Belgium, has been shortlisted for the 2018 World Mayor Prize. ||| Vote for Mayor Schepmans |||


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Nominations for
Françoise Schepmans
Mayor of Molenbeek (Belgium)

Nominated by Daniela B., Molenbeek:
I vote for Mrs Françoise Schepmans as World Mayor because she transformed a place like Molenbeek, in a very positive way. During so many years, the local administration was incompetent, not interested by the real problems of the local population.
 
During her first mandate, Mrs. Schepmans has built new bridges between the communities of the city, contributed to the local development and tried to change the reputation of Molenbeek. It was not an easy task but yet, the criminality rate is much lower, the school infrastructures are much better, not to mention the image of the city.

It's somehow easy to be a mayor in a city with big budget and no particular challenges. Being mayor in Molenbeek, with outstanding results and many projects for the years to come is definitely a huge challenge and Mrs Schepmans has proven that he has skills as Mayor, clear vision for Molenbeek and good & concrete projects for our city.
 
We therefore fully support her nomination as World Mayor.


Nominated by Danielle E., Molenbeek:
When you are on an enormous ship in the storm, you are happy to have a good captain! Françoise Schepmans went through an overwhelming media storm passed on worldwide, managed to restore the dirty image of our community after the terrorist attacks and done a lot to federate communities who looked at each other suspiciously.
 
She started her term with a catastrophic state of municipal finances. She finish the term having even put millions of Euros aside! And all this having responded to an important demographic boom: when I started in his team twelve years ago, the town had 75,000 inhabitants and in 2018. There are 100,000 people registered, not counting visitors, the undocumented residents and company employees.
 
Over the six years of her term, we did not inflate the municipal administrative staff, but open schools, nurseries, police stations, an off-center services for the population, created new parks, playgrounds, tips advisory services for seniors and youth, reboots a mythical football club, The Racing White daring of Molenbeek, encouraged clubs. The town has many European and world champions in various sports. Great efforts have been made to improve the cleanliness of the streets and for geek‘youth, the innovation of "Molengeek" was encouraged by the visit of the King and has an international reputation.
 
A theatrical festival drains a large crowd in the town throughout the summer, two museums have established themselves. Molenbeek-Saint-Jean was elected Métropole de la Culture in 2014 under her leadership (she has been already an alderman of culture, before to be mayor. She knows very well the city where she was born). The cultural initiative are always diverse, and also trainings artistic in different artistic disciplines.

The industrial chancres have been rehabilitated creating training centers, a hotel, social restaurants.... An in-depth renovation of the housing has been encouraged, neighborhoods are blooming beautify, even if there is still work. The placement of cameras and a big effort on the security have strongly reduced the crimes. Molenbeek-Saint-Jean is potentially incredible, with 30% young people, 30% seniors, a population from 70 different ethnic backgrounds to which Françoise Schepmans who has wonderfully surrounded herself gave the impetus and the means to these talents to finally hatch, always available and listening. And all this in the poorest city in Belgium!  Françoise Schepmans is the best World Mayor. TEXTE FRANÇAIS


Nominated by Claas v H, Belgium:
Françoise Schepmans has one of the toughest jobs in Belgium. The reputation of Molenbeek suffered badly after the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015. Two of the Mayor’s main tasks are to provide a safe environment for all residents of Molenbeek, part of Greater Brussels, and prevent the radicalisation of young Muslim men. She also wants to work with the families of Muslim men who have been attracted by messages of violence. Even though the number of police officers has been increased and three special anti-radicalisation agents appointed, the mayor, while optimistic, calls for sustained vigilance.


Nominated by Pascal D., Belgium:
I would like to support Ms SCHEPMANS for many reasons but especially:
• The reputation of our municipality was deeply defamed following the tragic terrorist attacks in France and Belgium. Our major Ms Schepmans made a great job to change the image of the municipality, making a better place to live ;
• She is available 7 days a week for citizens of Molenbeek ;
• She is close from citizens, always present when we need her support ;
• Several schools were built last 5 years to assume the demographic grow in the municipality ;
• After dramatic management of previous mayor, books of the municipality are back to balance ;
• Ms Schepmans enhanced the efforts to fight against dealing of street drugs ;
• She has shown creativity to improve mobility within the municipality, especially building underground parking and sharing private company’s parking when they are closed


Nominated by Anne M. E. B., Molenbeek:
Françoise Schepmans, Molenbeek Mayor, desserves to win.
Our mayor made such a great step particularly with young - desorientated people (our future) in our suburb to improve security, education, culture, sports after the tragic terrorism events 2015 and 2016 Paris and Brussels. As well, the latest news to co-operate with cities more on a European level is going to open each others' mind for living equally and integrated together. This is my recognition: one of her achievement I point out.
Success to her...


Nominated by Yasmine, Brussels:
Bonjour je m'appelle Yasmine , je vis a Bruxelles. je donne ma voix a Madame Françoise Schepmans , car depuis son début de législature , elle était très courageuse et forte. Je la connais personnellement , et croyez moi , c'est une battante dynamique ayant des grandes qualités humaines
Bien à vous


Nominated by Jan De C., Molenbeek:
Mayor Françoise Schepmans managed to break a 30 years odd majority by creating an tiny alternative majority which held. She has an inclusive approach whilst naming things/problems and she managed the aftermath of the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks (the terrorists came from Molenbeek) with calm and dignity.
Challenges for Molenbeek: F.i. the image of Molenbeek as the 'hell hole of Europe' was turned into something that can slowly be called a hip borrough. This was done through cultural and start up initiatives.


Nominated by Gaetan E., Burssels:
Mayor Schepmans should win the 2018 World Mayor Prize because she did and exceptional job to fight the critics and the bashing after the terrorist attacks, to give a positive momentum, to be the perfect representative of "I like Molenbeek", to give an impetus ton an economical, cultural and sportive renewal in the municipality.


Nominated by Kira F., Brussels:
Francoise is a great mayor! I'm living in working in Molenbeek during 10 years and I see the big changing from the most difficult situation in Belgium and Europe to the nice and quiet living area. Her work is colossal, we must always see where we come from and Molenbeek comes from very far.


Nominated by Suzanne O., Molenbeek:
I vote for Mrs SCHEPMANS because, in 6 years, she changed the life for the best of the inhabitants of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean.


Nominated by Théophile T., Molenbeek:
Une femme de conviction, une bourgmestre qui rassemble et respecte toutes les communautés. Françoise donne le meilleur d'elle-même pour un avenir radieux de son emblématique commune ou elle vit depuis sa naissance...Respect et merci à elle...
Challenges for Molenbeek: Notre Bourgmestre a du assumé les événements tragiques de Paris et du 22 mars 2016 de Bruxelles et Zaventem, car certains terroristes étaient liés à la commune de Molenbeek-Saint-Jean...


Nominated by Christine S., Molenbeek:
Elle est à l'écoute du citoyens et trouve des solutions , elle est fière de sa commune
Challenges for Molenbeek: Redonner une image positif de Molenbeeck Saint Jean a travers le monde !!!!!


Nominated by Eeman, Molenbeek:
Une femme qui gère une commune difficile et compliqué


Nominated by Marc Van G., Molenbeek:
She gives hope to the population after black years


Nominated by Suzanne O., Molenbeek:
Mayor Schepmans’ tasks:
1. Day after Day, clever fight against terrorism and radicalism.
2. She makes the streets more secure and cleaner.
3. She works with the inhabitants to provide more respect, comprehensive behaviors.
4. She opens more schools. There are now a lot of cultural activities for everybody.
Challenges: Eradicate radicalism
Solutions: Meet and talk to young people in schools, clubs and associations


Nominated by Henri C., Molenbeek:
Madame Schepmans a tout mis en oeuvre pour redresser 'image de sa commune ... et elle y parvient malgré les énormes difficultés rencontrées.


Nominated by Thierry V., Belgium:
Outstanding actions for the promotion of Molenbeek after the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks.
Challenges for Molenbeek: the majority of the population is poor and from foreign origin, as such a fertile ground for extremism and Islamisation. The Mayor wants to promote better integration and understanding between communities


Nominated Marie S., Belgium:
Mayor Shepmans is very honest and courageous. She made a very good job in a not easy city.
Challenges for Molenbeek: She made her city more secure (cameras in the street), cleaner. She works against radicalism being near young people with help of educator and animator in the street. Sorry for my English


Nominated by Simon d A., Belgium:
Mrs Schepmans is doing an amazing job to rebuild the image of Molenbeek after the terrorist attack, bringing all the communities together.


Nominated by Sabine S., Belgium
Il lived in the Molenbeek before she was elected an a short period of time after the election. When I return to Molenbeek now, I note the positive changes she brought to the city. Molenbeek is cleaner and safer; she supports artistic projects the city and citizens are proud of; with the support like molen-geek, she gave hope to young people.


Nominated by Ibo, Molenbeek
Electors of Molenbeek were fed up with the Socialist Party (PS) and former mayor (Philippe Moureaux - PS). For a lot of people in Belgium, Moureaux (PS) is responsible for the attacks in Paris and Brussels because the attackers were raised in Molenbeek. Also on his policies based on nepotism, favouritism and hypocrisy. They wanted him to leave. Today people living in Molenbeek are happier and satisfied with the changes brought by Schepmans since PS is in the opposition


Nominated by Antoine T., Belgium:
Commune difficile pour une femme de poigne
Challenges: Faire face à des difficultés d'ordre terroriste avec succès


Nominated by Nadine v R., Belgium:
Molenbeek is a very difficult city and Françoise tries to give a better image of this.


Nominated by Danielle E., Molenbeek:
Quand on a un énorme navire dans la tempête on est content d’avoir un bon capitaine ! Françoise Schepmans a traversé une tempête médiatique écrasante mondialement est parvenue à redorer l’image salie de notre commune après les attentats et fait énormément pour fédérer des communautés qui se regardaient en chiens de faïence.
 
Elle a commencé son mandat, avec un état des finances communales catastrophiques. Elle le termine en ayant mis des millions d’euros en réserve! Et tout cela en ayant répondu à un boum démocratique important : quand j’ai commencé dans son équipe il y a douze ans, la commune comptait 75.000 habitants et en 2018, il y a 100.000 inscrits, sans compter les visiteurs, les clandestins, les sociétés et entreprises nombreuses.
 
 Sur les 6 années de son mayorat, on n’a pas gonflé le personnel administratif communal, mais ouvert des écoles, des crèches, des commissariats de polices, une antenne décentrée de population, créé de nouveaux parcs, des plaines de jeux, des conseils consultatifs des aînés et des jeunes, a fait revivre un club mythique de football, encourager des clubs. Molenbeek compte de nombreux champions européens et mondiaux dans diverses disciplines sportives et pour des jeunes férus d’informatique, l’innovation de « Molengeek » a été encouragée par la visite du Roi et a un rayonnement international.
 
 Un festival théâtral draine une foule importante dans la commune durant tout l’été, deux musées se sont implantés. Molenbeek-Saint-Jean a été élue Métropole de la Culture en 2014 sous son impulsion (elle fut longtemps échevine de la Culture avant d’être bourgmestre dans cette cité où elle est née.) L’offre culturelle y a toujours été diversifiée, ainsi que les formations aux différentes disciplines artistiques.
 
Des chancres industriels ont été réhabilités en créant des centres de formation, un hôtel, restaurant …. Une rénovation en profondeur du logement a été encouragée, des quartiers tristounets s’embellissent, même s’il y a encore du travail. Le placement de cameras et un gros effort sur la sécurité ont fait baisser fortement la criminalité. Molenbeek-Saint-Jean est potentiellement incroyable, avec 30% de jeunes, 30 % d’aînés, une population issue de 70 origines ethniques différentes. Françoise Schepmans, qui s'est merveilleusement entourée, a donné l'impulsion et les moyens de faire naître ces talents, toujours disponible et à l’écoute. Et tout cela dans la cité la plus pauvre de Belgique. Francoise Schepmans EST the best world Mayor. (English text at the top)