Connect Wageningen is a city council party by youth, students, internationals and newcomers in Wageningen, for all Wageningers. Established in early 2017, the party ran for local elections in March 2018. Our first election resulted in 2 seats in the city council of Wageningen!
Connect Wageningen is founded by Mark Reijerman, with the idea for a greater inclusion and better representation of citizens in the city council of Wageningen. We aim to represent youth and newcomers. With 25% of inhabitants in Wageningen being students and Wageningen consisting of over 100 nationalities, Connect Wageningen wants to make their voices heard in the city council. Additionally, Connect Wageningen wants to improve the cooperation between Wageningen University & Research and the municipality including closing the gap between the university and local citizens.
Our vision for local politics is one that is easily accessible, inclusive, transparent, and represented by the people of the city. One that is connected to-, involved with-, and empowers all citizens to participate in society by strengthening bonds through using locally available resources.
Our vision for Connect Wageningen is to become an enduring local political party who is a leading example for youth, students, and young changemakers across the world that can use our knowledge and experience to drive change in their own region.
By representing youth, students, internationals and newcomers in Wageningen we build a more inclusive society.
All year long, we are visible, accessible, and transparent throughout the city to empower other citizens to participate and create their own city. We do this by being continuously connected every single day; we engage in society and use the knowledge and resources locally available, and offer opportunities to young citizens to build a community of the future. These enable us to accurately influence policy making and drive change.
We do all of this, while striving to make Wageningen a better place for all. Even if the best choice for Wageningen comes at the expense of our own image. Only this way we can guarantee that we will make integer choices.
Above all we are all people and volunteers who want to have a fun time. This ensures that people will have fun working together with us. Therefore, gezelligheid is important to us, internally and externally.
Melissa van der Lingen
Why Connect Wageningen and how we work
The past year, we have been actively taking part in society. Connect Wageningen takes a different approach than most political parties. Most parties often reason from an ideology, such as a social democratic ideology or a greening ideology, often resulting in excluding other sectors and social groups in their decision making. For example, when making a decision on the social domain, a social party wants to make the most social choice, or by a green decision, a green party wants to make the most green choice. This can be very harmful because often the most extreme choice is not the best choice, as other groups and sectors may be completely excluded.
Therefore Connect Wageningen invests in engagement and dialogue with society. The subjects that get the most attention from us are thus not the subjects that we find ourselves most important, but the subjects that have been defined by the new, young and internationals in Wageningen, such as: housing, accessibility and public transportation, internationalization and integration, empty and lonely weekends in Wageningen, sustainability, participation and involvement with the municipality and the position in Wageningen.
Connect Wageningen knows best what plays amongst the new and young Wageningeners, however, this means that we know less about the elderly and long-term residents in Wageningen. In order to make the best decision we are dependent on other parties to cover these social groups and want to especially govern the city together.