December 4, 2020

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Sharon Dijksma has been appointed the new mayor of Utrecht

Sharon Dijksma has been appointed the new mayor of Utrecht


Photo: ANP

Sharon Dijksma (49) will be the new mayor of Utrecht. The former State Secretary and current City Councilor of the PvdA in Amsterdam succeeds Jan van Zanen, who swapped Utrecht for The Hague.

The city council preferred her from the list of 27 candidates. Eleven women and sixteen men applied. Right from the start, the people of Utrecht preferred a female mayor. According to party leader Heleen de Boer (GroenLinks), however, they were chosen “on the basis of quality”. “That she is a woman was not a selection criterion.”

A trust committee nominated two names on Tuesday evening. In the end, the advice was crucial. He looks forward to working with you.

Dijksma was received with loud applause. The current City Council for Traffic and Transport stated via a video link that it “wanted to be mayor for all residents of Utrecht”. “I want to get to know everyone quickly under strict rules. It is a difficult time. “She says she“ saw Utrecht change and blossom ”. She is looking forward to her new position. “We will be coming to Utrecht with the family very soon to live in this beautiful city.”

According to the committee, Dijksma best fits the profile, the five-legged sheep that the council has been looking for. As the new mayor, she can further develop the strengths of Utrecht. “She’s a booster. Someone who acts with practical wisdom and self-confidence ”is the rationale.

Additionally, the city council expects that given her background, she can mean a lot to the city’s lobby. De Boer: “You can put the city on the map and keep it. It is visible and accessible. She can connect with all residents of Utrecht. “Something that her predecessor Van Zanen was praised for. It is not yet known when it will start.

Dijksma has held many positions in politics. She began her political career in 1992 with the Young Socialists. In 1994 she became the youngest MP of all time. From 2007 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2017 she was State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Economy and Infrastructure and Environment in two cabinets. In 2018, Dijksma left as a MP to work as a city councilor in Amsterdam. “I leave Amsterdam with a heavy heart. A city that has become dear to me. I enjoyed working on everything that drives and sails. I am proud of my team and what we have achieved. Especially in this difficult time with a major impact on public transport, ”she said after her election.

She was also active in her PvdA party. In 2000 she became group secretary and in 2004 deputy group chairwoman. In the latter position, she was the support and anchor of the then PvdA leader Wouter Bos. In 2001 she was also a candidate for the party leadership of the PvdA, but was defeated by Ruud Koole.