Edwin Greve wants to go to the Bundestag. The 27-year-old receives support from a democracy movement. The common goal: finally a more diverse parliament.
August 3, 2020, 7:32 p.m.
At the beginning of July, an email from Edwin Greve appeared in the mailbox with the question: could you imagine running for the Bundestag? The message comes from the Brand New Bundestag initiative, the 27-year-old's answer is yes.
Two weeks later, Edwin, gray shirt, rimless glasses, sits in his apartment in Berlin-Neukölln, his face framed by a screen, two from the Brand New Bundestag team, Matthias and Burak, sit next to him in their zoom windows. A digital get-to-know-you-talk. Question: What do you hope for from a candidacy?
Brand New Bundestag (BNB) is a non-partisan movement that, based on the American Brand New Congress initiative, wants to make the German Bundestag more diverse. For BNB, diversity means more young and old people, more women, more people without an academic degree, people with little or no income, more LGBTIQA +, more people of color, more people with disabilities and more people with a history of migration.
"I'm not the quota Otto." Edwin Greve
"A lot of people might feel provoked by my candidacy," Ed said on a zoom call. It's not easy as a young politician. Ed is also a wheelchair user and has an immigration background, two other factors that could potentially be a target, especially for right-wing circles. Nevertheless, it is clear to him that he wants to try it.
In the United States, the democratic politician from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the American movement managed to be elected to the House of Representatives. The activist Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, is the youngest member of the House of Representatives at the age of 30 and has been causing a sensation since 2019 by vigorously campaigning against sexism and racism.
The initiative's core team consists of six people and is supported by a network of over 50 volunteers. Values for which the initiative stands include equality of opportunity, social justice, climate protection and the European idea. "Fridays for Future, #wirsindmehr, Black Lives Matter: We noticed that there is just so much willingness to change in society and we wanted to bring that to the Bundestag," says Matthias Köhler, who is responsible for communication and press work at BNB is. The movement is a cooperative on the one hand, and a non-profit organization on the other and has received a € 15,000 start-up funding for its project from the Guerrilla Foundation, which supports activists, citizens' initiatives and social movements.
Edwin Greve, 27, an activist and political speaker at the Berlin Migration Council, is one of over 100 people from all over Germany who have been 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 should be determined, who want to fight with BNB for a place in the Bundestag in the 2021 elections. Everyone was allowed to be nominated, the following were desired: political or social commitment, courage and a vision. Party membership is not a must, because as a direct candidate, people who are not supported by a party can also take part in federal elections.