Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema has announced that she wants to continue in the role for a further six years.
The mayor’s term in office ends next year, and she has now told city councillors that she is available for a further period. “It would be an honour to continue to serve our wonderful city,” Halsema said in her letter to councillors.
Halsema was sworn in as mayor in 2018 and said the three big tasks she outlined then are still current.
“Whether it is the fight against the drugs economy, against encroaching anti-Semitism and racism, against the ongoing violence against lhbtqs and women… I have always been on the side of those who suffer at the hands of criminals, perpetrators of violence, bullies and those who are intolerant,” Halsema said.
In the coming period, Halsema said, she also wanted to restore trust between ordinary Amsterdammers and local government.
“People tell me too often that they want to be treated as an equal partner by the council,” she said. This approach, she said, would include revising the city’s complicated system for permits and licences, and its way of dealing with complaints.
The lack of trust between city and its residents has been growing. Amsterdam’s ombudsman Munish Ramlal told Dutch News in an interview last year that people have become afraid of local government and “that is not okay”.
The mayor has also had a central role in efforts to cut back on nuisance tourism in the Dutch capital and in controversial plans to move much of the city’s sex industry to a purpose-built location outside the medieval centre.
She also hit the headlines earlier this year for saying the city’s international population lived in a bubble.