At the beginning of July, an e-mail appears in Edwin Greve\’s mailbox with the question: “Could you imagine running for the Bundestag? The message comes from the initiative Brand New Bundestag, the answer of the 27-year-old is: Yes.
Two weeks later, Edwin, grey shirt, rimless glasses, is sitting in his apartment in Berlin-Neukölln, his face framed by a screen, two from the Brand New Bundestag team, Matthias and Burak, are sitting next to him in their zoom windows. A digital conversation to get to know each other. Question: What do you hope for from a candidacy?
Brand New Bundestag (BNB) is a non-partisan movement which, following the example of the American Brand New Congress initiative, wants to make the German Bundestag more diverse. For the NBB, diversity means more young and old people, more women, more people without academic degrees, people with little or no income, more LGBTIQA, more People of Color, more people with disabilities and more people with a history of migration.
“A lot of people might feel provoked by my candidacy,” says Ed on a zoom call. It\’s not easy being a young politician. Ed is also a wheelchair user and has an immigrant background, two more factors that could potentially be a target, especially for right-wingers. Nevertheless, it is clear to him that he wants to try.
In the USA, the Democratic politician from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the American movement have managed to get herself elected to the House of Representatives. The activist Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, is the youngest member of the House of Representatives at 30 years of age and has been causing a stir since 2019 by speaking out against sexism and racism.
Edwin Greve, 27, activist and political consultant at the Migration Council Berlin, is one of over 100 people from all over Germany who were nominated by acquaintances, colleagues or friends at Brand New Bundestag. At the beginning of July, an application phase began, at the end of which nine finalists were to be determined who, together with NBB, would fight for a place in the Bundestag in the 2021 elections. Anyone who wanted to be nominated could do so: political or social commitment, courage and a vision. Membership of a political party is not a must, as direct candidates in Bundestag elections may also be persons who are not supported by a party.
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