Affordable housing is a human right! As a civil engineer, I aspire to ensure that people can live attractively, affordably and ecologically at fair rents. But there is still a long way to go to achieve this goal. Currently, high-income households in major German cities spend around 20% of their income on rent, while households on the poverty line have to spend almost half of their income. At the same time, the construction sector has a persistently high demand for resources and energy, around 38% of global CO2 emissions and a very high volume of waste. It has thus moved away from the Paris Agreement.
As chairman of the committee for housing, urban development, construction and municipalities, I want to embark on the path to an ecological and socially compatible housing and construction policy! We have to create the symbiosis between people, nature and their environment.
Socially acceptable housing construction must be promoted and expanded through regulations. Existing areas must be used efficiently and according to demand. In rural areas, e.g. in the Lausitz region, I would like to promote regional development.
In cities, construction projects are often accompanied by high levels of land sealing, which has a direct negative impact on the microclimate in cities. However, there is immense potential in the built environment to counteract this. The large amount of roof and facade space must be used for greening buildings. This relieves the microclimate and has a positive impact on biodiversity. At the same time, roofs can be used for renewable decentralized energy generation, such as PV or solar thermal. But the construction transition will not be mastered without a building materials transition. We must view and treat buildings as durable goods. To this end, buildings must be designed so that they can be dismantled, life cycle assessments must be carried out, and ecological and regionally available building materials must be used in construction.
In the Bundestag, I am committed to making building a communal task again which does not exclude humans, animals or nature!
In my political actions and thinking, I draw a clear line against racism and right-wing extremism and ideologies of inequality in all its forms. Germany has a massive problem with right-wing extremism and group-based misanthropy - it is not a marginal problem or a problem of the past. In a democracy that sees human dignity as the guiding principle of its actions, anti-racism and anti-fascism must be at the center of our actions. Racism, right-wing violence and structures as well as right-wing extremism must be fought with all constitutional means. Because racism and all forms of discrimination are not only a great danger for affected people, they also threaten the equal and peaceful coexistence of all people.
The best remedy against right-wing extremism and racism is a strong democracy that is defensible against right-wing ideologies. Only a society in which people can develop independently of their origin, social position, religion, appearance, gender or sexual identity is a society worth living in. For such a society, a strengthened civil society is indispensable.
Many civil society initiatives take a stand against hatred and agitation on a daily basis and opt for courage and tolerance. In Saxony in particular, they are an important pillar in the fight against right-wing violence and racism and in strengthening anti-racist educational work. Numerous committed people in local authorities, government agencies, political parties, clubs, associations and trade unions do indispensable, invaluable work for our democracy. They strengthen the cohesion of civil society, build bridges and make an important contribution to the formation of the will of responsible citizens. These initiatives need support and genuine appreciation in the form of financial security and planning safety. They must also be protected from intimidation in their work and must not fear criminalization for their important work. Sports facilities are also enormously important in anti-racist educational work. Sport creates participation, promotes inclusion, and provides a common denominator. Integration, tolerance and shared togetherness are important values in all sports. That is why sports facilities and sports clubs must be supported by politics with financial resources in their important civil society work.
In the Bundestag, I will advocate the following:
1. Consistent combating of right-wing violence in all its forms, in the form of a Democracy Promotion Act.
2. Anti-racist awareness and education work, especially in democratic institutions such as the police.
3. Promotion of political education, especially in local sports clubs.
4. Strengthening our democracy and our civil society as a central prevention against right-wing and racist violence.
The last three decades have been characterized by steady tightening of asylum and residence law. Deterrence, isolation and the shifting of responsibility have no place in asylum policy. Asylum policy must be people-oriented. The individual needs of those seeking protection must be combined with dignity and humanity on an equal footing. A violation of the dignity of those seeking protection is a violation of our basic democratic values.
An ideal world would be one where each person can choose to migrate to a different location, but no one is forced to do so. Until we have achieved this utopia, legal escape routes into the European Union must be created. When people seeking protection make their way to Europe and then drown on the Mediterranean Sea or fall victim to misery administration in camps on the European external borders, then Europe makes itself unworthy of its name. Rescue at sea must be decriminalized and become a state task. Every day that a person spends in the slum administration on Lesvos is one too many! State admission programs must be made possible by a change in the Residence Act. Seehofer must no longer have the right to veto against federal states and municipalities who are willing to accept.
Language, education and work mean power and enable social participation. Therefore, access to language courses, school and access to the labor market must be possible for those seeking protection from their arrival in Germany. In order to arrive safely, it is just as important that those seeking protection can live in their commune in the same way as people with a German passport. That means we have to move away from mass camps and towards our own apartments for refugees. A good arrival also means being able to have loved ones around you. That is why I am committed to dismantling the bureaucratic hurdles involved in family reunification. Because families belong together.
Years or decades of toleration by people in a chain are inhumane. Only a long-term right to stay can break this vicious circle. Deportations are always an inhuman act. Deportations tear people from their lives painfully. I particularly condemn deportations to crisis and war zones such as Afghanistan or Syria. It doesn't matter whether someone has committed a criminal offense or not. The dignity of man is inviolable. And that means no one may be deported to a country where his * her life is in danger.