Monday, September 01, 2008

Red-Green in Basel

A statement by my friends Mirjam Ballmer and Peter Jossi:

– Red-green in Basel is a success story that should continue!

In Basel and Switzerland, there is no place for giant election campaigns like those in the USA—and there are no Obamas... The little "sister republic" of the USA only needs small election campaigns. However small they may be, though, for many Swiss with English-speaking backgrounds the local political system is still not easy to understand. As a result of the elections in 2004, there is a red-green majority in the government of Kanton Basel-Stadt, as well as (almost) in the parliament (Grosser Rat).

Mirjam Ballmer, born in the USA and a US citizen (Grossrätin GRÜNE), and Peter Jossi, father of two girls with dual Swiss and American citizenship (Grossratskandidat and board member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Basel-Stadt, SP BS) provide a number of good reasons why Basel-Stadt must stay red-green in the future – and why both of them should be given 3 X's on every election list.

Integration for all people in Basel

An open and tolerant mindset has a long tradition in Basel. For centuries, immigrants have contributed to the cultural identity and economic success of our region. This ability to interact with different cultures and backgrounds has become very useful and important in a global world.

Red-green Basel stands for the long Swiss tradition of openness and development. We know that immigrants from all over the world have helped to build the Swiss success story. The basic rule has to be equal opportunities for everybody – to the benefit of each person and of society as a whole.

Basel – a strong center of business and research – to the benefit of all

The Basel region has a dynamic economy. Innovative businesses, highly qualified employees, and a well-developed infrastructure offering a range of services, along with openness and a high standard of living, are the basis for a successful future for all of us.

Red-green Basel is the driving force to make sure that economic development will include social and ecological sustainability.

Renewable energy – for the future of our children and grandchildren

Fossil fuels like petroleum, petrogas and other non-renewable sources are dead ends. The future lies in renewable energy: the power of water, wind, sun and geothermic sources.

Red-green Basel was the driving force in Basel-Stadt in making sure that the non-use of atomic energy has been made a binding obligation in the new consitution of Kanton Basel-Stadt. As a result, Basel uses (almost) exclusively renewable energies.

High quality of state services – responsible tax reductions for all

Under the leadership of SP Finance Minister Eva Herzog, Basel-Stadt has managed to reduce its state debt. In order to stay attractive, Basel needs to make many significant investments in the coming years. It will require strong cooperation with the neighbouring cantons and countries to address the challenges in such areas as the Universities (Universität und Fachhochschule), the health-care system and public and private transportation.

Red-green Basel has established a new tax law that gives serious tax reductions to low and middle incomes and to families, while not increasing the tax level on high incomes.

A wide variety of culture for every taste and for all ages

Basel is the social and economic center of a trinational region with about a million people. To life up to this role, we need more "freshness” and a downtown Basel full of life and culture.

Red-green Basel calls for a wide variety of culture. Besides the established institutions, we also need to actively promote new creative approaches to culture and to support the young professionals who offer them.

Strong state schools for a family-friendly Basel

The children are our future. Basel therefore has to be a city that families like to move to, where children like to grow up und where they get optimal support in our public schools. Our "Volksschulen” are the integration centers of our neighbourhoods . This is where our children get to know and respect each other, before social and/or cultural differences can cause separation.

Red-green Basel calls for early support for immigrant children to learn German. Strong "Quartierschulen mit Tagesstrukturen" support the integration process and offer children a good learning infrastructure, while taking pressure off their families.

Attractive housing and low-traffic neighbourhoods with open areas and parks

Attractive housing is in great demand in Basel. To establish new and attractive neighbourhoods is one of the most important goals of red-green Basel. At the same time, we have to make sure that there are enough open areas and parks for the whole population of Basel.

Red-green Basel is working on significantly improving public transit for the benefit of the local people and commuters. The street network for pedestrians and bikers has to be massively improved in close cooperation with the officially recognized "Quartiervertretungen,” which coordinate and communicate the needs and demands of the local people.

Mirjam Ballmer, Grossrätin GRÜNE (Liste 8, Wahlkreis Kleinbasel)

- Projektleiterin Naturschutzpolitik bei Pro Natura
- Vorstand Grüne Partei und junges grünes bündnis
- Kulturstadt Jetzt
- Pfadi


Peter Jossi, Grossratskandidat SP (Liste 5, Wahlkreis Grossbasel-West)

- Koordinator SP KMU-Netzwerk (BS), selbständiger Berater /
- GL-Mitglied SP BS (QV-Koordination)
- Vizepräsident Primarschulinspektion Basel,
- Vizepräsident Quartierkoordination St.Johann


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