Leoluca Orlando: My Program For Palermo

On the 6th and 7th of May, we can Free Palermo, return the city to its own citizens making them proud to be protagonists of this new revival. Choosing directly and without any influence the new mayor, so that we have the possibility of restarting a new process of development.

I chose to make available my experience and my passion, because once again we must affirm our right to be protagonists of our lives, to make fundamental choices and live together for the present and the future. Hands off Palermo!

The Municipality must be the place where experience, expertise, love for the city, international relations and professionalism come together to combine future vision and action in the present, in order to change Palermo and improve the lives of all its citizens, and of all who live in Palermo.

The new Administration will move around some focus points within all sectors: to promote development and employment opportunities, cut down on waste and to reorganize  municipal activities (normal municipality tasks), to award merits and to remove political patronage, to offer efficient services and equal opportunities, to carry out strategic plans that involve all citizens.

As Mayor, I will enter into a pact with the part of Palermo which is productive, cultured and supportive.

The city is experiencing a deep crisis, but we must have confidence in the future.

A serious, transparent, credible and reliable Administration, both in Italy and abroad, could resume dialogue and communication with companies, institutions and investors. An administration with experience and efficiency will be the tool to create development and jobs, primarily for and with young people, this will be the tool to build a more livable, attractive and developed city, primarily for the inhabitants of Palermo.

Certainly, the main tools of the Plan will be the Municipality and his own employees, which are proud to be part of an unique exemplary administration for the good of Palermo and of all citizens.

The source of all this will obviously be in the Municipal administrative machine, whose employees will have the pride of being part of a true public administration, to serve the citizens and the city. All citizens must be guaranteed efficient public services, ensuring that the essential ones, such as water, remain in public hands. Cleanliness of the city, efficient transport, production and distribution of sustainable energy and quality, innovation and computerization of communication networks will be the objectives of the companies, which under one organization will be administered by honest and competent people, cutting down on waste and enhancing staff .

The citizens of Palermo could rediscover the pleasure of living in their own city.

At the heart of this rediscovery will be new social and active politics, which will have  as its primary objective  to combine solidarity with responsibility and development with efficiency.

No one in Palermo should feel like a second class citizen! Over the last few years, private capital has had to overcome the shortcomings of the municipal administration, but  now a key role will be played by the integration of all existing forces for the welfare of the citizens so that everybody can have more sense of belonging in Palermo. The Municipal Authority will implement each agreements recognized at international level, as a benchmark of the citizenship rights. The municipality will return to being the place and the tool to defend rights and equal opportunities. To promote the involvement of citizenship and, to help overcome the social discrimination towards the disabled.

A careful evaluation of the new plans will be made with the objective of protecting the territory and the need to resolve the serious problems of the city, most notably mobility and homes, that for too many citizens continues to be a right that is denied.

The city will be the site of a pact between the generations, in which the services appropriate for young children and families will join services, socializing spaces and opportunities for activities for older people as well as young people. Everyone must recognize and be recognized as citizens of today, putting in the network the different realities of Palermo such as the city of Books and the city of narrow streets.

All kinds of schools, from nursery to kindergarten, could and should find their own role as a formative agency to welcome all, offering opportunities of growth and development. To do this, it is essential that schools are efficient and safe, and that those who work there and dedicate passion to what they do should have their rights and professionalism recognized.

The historic center and the suburbs will be at the heart of a strategic development vision. Those who live in the suburbs will not feel any less of a citizen than those who live in the city center. A careful survey of the property confiscated from the Mafia, could be used to give new social assets and sharing space in favor of local community.

Urban life will be the focus of our development plans, including the implementation of  protection and enhancement of the coast, the marina and green areas, starting  from the “Favorita Public park”, historical homes, the remaining agricultural areas of the Conca d’oro , parks and woodlands. A network of Urban gardens and orchards will be promoted.

The recovered green spaces could become places for all to carry out  sport activities. In addition, it will be necessary to re-launch Institutional sport centers again, such as “Palazzetto di Fondo Patti” and others that have been neglected, involving associations, federations, CONI, the International Paralympic Committee, school  and university network.

An intervention on mobility will be initiated , integrating trams, subways and city buses, and at the same time stimulating the use of bicycles and the use of taxis as a means of transport.

Large pedestrian areas throughout the city will become new meeting places for culture, crafts and economy, supporting the retail side, helped by an efficient public transport system to serve the historical markets and those which could be considered as “Outdoor Shopping centers” Let’s put a stop mega shopping malls in Palermo.

The Quality of life and employment also depend on the development of economic activities: trade and handicrafts, industrial facilities and network services will be subject to a production pact with all categories.

All of this, alongside the revival of a political culture that values our spaces, and promotes quality activities, will make of Palermo  again, a welcoming city, bringing back tourists,  re-launch business tourism and promoting new employment. The Municipality will promote the revival of the Mediterranean Exhibition center as a conference center to serve the existing hotel accommodation and space as an area for youth activities, arts and crafts.

We must promote widespread culture, thanks to “houses of culture” to be implemented in each of the districts, as places of meeting and gathering for people who have cultural needs but also for those who have the necessity for social assistance, places to read a book, or simply meet and to socialize, spaces to make a real city.

With the recovery of Cultural Sites and by improving cultural excellence, Palermo could again become, a cultural capital and open to the world that uses culture as a means  to promote wellness and quality of life. No less important will be the revival of cultural and entertainment activities that give vitality to the Historic center and its neighborhoods, increasing the number of open spaces for socializing with the involvement of young people. Giving the possibility that  Palermo in 2019, will become the European Capital of Culture

Our city will be at the forefront of innovation, both in terms of technologies and services (first of all renewable energies, digitization and the development of fast free connectivity), both in terms of research. The Municipality will work side by side with  university, research centers, places of cultural production and cultural distribution, all of which will stipulate agreements to promote excellence and create jobs.

The municipality Administration will be a strategic partner for young people both in job searching as well as international mobility, which will be sustained as a means of individual training and community growth, at least a thousand young people in Palermo each year could participate in international mobility projects. The Municipality will offer  young people innovative services in the information field, starting from a service like  “Informagiovani”, “a public information service for young people, keeping in line with other big cities in Italy and Europe.

As mayor, I will encourage and monitor all aspects of city life, so that all services offered by our administration and that of others are as efficient as those of any big city.

There are many interventions needed in order to restore Palermo to being an efficient, clean, livable and welcoming city. It ‘a great challenge that together we can win.

 Leoluca Orlando

The Editor
Times of Sicily | Sicily in English

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I am presently reading your book” Fighting the Mafia” and learning much about Sicily my parents never spoke about. I am first generation American but feel close ties to Sicily. Thank you for all you have done and good luck in your endeavors to return Sicily to its greatness. Mille grazie!

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