- Mayor of Barcelona
Ada Colau is the first woman to be elected Mayor of Barcelona, as part of the citizen municipal platform Barcelona en Comú. She studied philosophy at the University of Barcelona and rose to national and international prominence as a housing rights activist in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis as one of the founders of the Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH).
- Mayor of Madrid
Manuela Carmena is a magistrate and judge. She has been Mayor of Madrid since 2015, when she was elected as part of the citizen platform Ahora Madrid. In 1965 she founded the employment law firm of Atocha (Madrid) where, in 1977, an attack by the far right killed many of her colleagues. She represented workers and detainees during the Franco regime and went on to serve as spokeswoman for the General Council of the Judicial Brank and representative in the Basque Country, judge dean of Madrid and judge of Penitentiary Surveillance, as well as representing Spain in the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. In 2010 she retired and then ‘unretired’ to work for the victims of police abuse in the Committee of the Human Rights Section of the Justice Department of the Basque Government.
- Mayor of Grenoble (France)
Éric Piolle was fired as a senior manager at Hewlett-Packard Company for refusing to set up a relocation plan away from Grenoble. He has co-founded an association to support the children of undocumented immigrants and the Roosevelt 2012 collective, which works for the social and ecological transformation of economy. Piolle was elected Mayor of Grenoble in 2014 with the support of the EELV, the parties Parti de Gauche, Les Alternatifs and the Anticapitalist Left, and two local associations, ADES and the Citizen Network.
- Mayor of Valparaíso (Chile)
Jorge Sharp took a degree in law at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso and active in the Chilean student movement for affordable education of 2006. He was one of the founders of Movimiento Izquierda Autónoma. In 2016 he won a ‘citizen primary’ process to stand for Mayor of Chile’s second city, Valparaíso. As Mayor he has opened a popular pharmacy co-managed by residents that has reduced prices by 90%.
- Mayor of Naples (Italy)
Luigi de Magistris is a former public prosecutor, known for standing up against corruption and the mafia. As Mayor he has appointed a “Commons Advisor” to his government and pioneered innovative initiatives to reverse processes of privatization and protect the urban commons. In 2017 he obtained the ‘Valerioti-Impastato’ award for his work against crime and corruption.
- Regional Governor of Attica (Greece)
Rena Dourou is a political scientist with a background in the anti-globalization movement. Dourou took office as Governor in September 2014, representing the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), and increased social welfare spending to establish food banks, health care for the uninsured. She also ordered tens of thousands of residents disconnected from electricity to be reconnected.
- Mayor de Berkeley (California)
Jesse Arreguin was elected as Berkeley’s Mayor on November 8, 2016, and is the city’s first Latino and youngest elected Mayor in a century. Arreguin began his career on the Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission, where he helped secure funding for hundreds of new affordable units, strengthened inclusionary housing policies, and fought for City funding for student cooperative housing. In 2004, Arreguin was elected citywide to serve on the Rent Stabilization Board, where he strengthened renter protections to help keep families in their homes. From 2008-2016, Arreguin served on the city council where he fought for tenants, immigrants, and civil liberties.
- Councilor, Philadelphia (USA)
Helen Gym is a community and education leader and the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Philadelphia City Council. As a Councilwoman, her primary concern is addressing widespread poverty in Philadelphia, particularly through an emphasis on building a quality public education system. Gym’s political vision is rooted in her organizing background. For over 20 years she has been a leader in some of Philadelphia’s most prominent campaigns, including the opposition to a proposed stadium and casino, the founding of a public school serving immigrant children and families, and campaigns around human rights issues in immigration and deportation.
- Deputy Leader, New York City Council
Ritchie Torres was elected in November 2013 to represent the 15th Council District in the Central Bronx. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, Council Member Torres oversees the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest provider of affordable housing in the USA. He has introduced and enacted legislation on a wide range of issues including expanding job opportunities for public housing residents; protecting the City’s affordable housing stock and improving mental health resources for the LGBT community. Torres is a leading voice on issues related to affordable and public housing, police reform, school integration and youth civic engagement. The youngest member of the City Council, Council Member Torres is a rising star in City politics and has been profiled by numerous media outlets including New Yorker Magazine, New York Times, Newsweek, Observer, Daily News and others.
- Philosopher and Activist
Vandana Shiva is a scholar, environmentalist and feminist. Through her books Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest and Water Wars, Dr. Shiva has made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalization. In 1991 she founded Navdanya, a movement to protect biodiversity, especially native seed, in India. Dr. Shiva is a founding Board Member of the Women Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and chairs the Commission on the Future of Food set up by the Region of Tuscany in Italy. She is also a board member of the International Forum on Globalisation (IGF) and a member of the Steering Committee of the Indian People’s Campaign Against the WTO.
- Mayor of Badalona
Dolors Sabater is an educationalist specialized in special education, who worked as a teacher until her election as Mayor of Badalona as part of the citizen municipal platform ‘Guanyem Badalona en Comú in 2015. As an activist, she has defended linguistic and political rights from the resistance to the Franco dictatorship to the present day. Sabater has worked in many areas of community action in Badalona, including youth participation, anti-militarism, peace education and environmentalism. In recent years her activism has focused on the rights of people with functional diversity, mobility, social cohesion to combat racism and xenophobia and the campaign against fascism in city halls.
- Mayor of A Coruña
Xulio Ferreiro was elected as Mayor of A Coruña, Galicia in 2015 as part of the citizen municipal platform “Marea Atlántica”. A lawyer by profession, after working on research projects in Germany, the USA, Chile and Belgium, he began his career as a university professor in 2012. Between 2012 and 2015 he was Substitute Judge for the Provincial Court of Lugo. His government has introduced a municipal income to tackle exclusion and poverty and has put an end to waste dumping, a problem left unresolved in A Coruña for decades. It has also opened up its budget to citizen participation. Ferreiro holds monthly “Dillo Ti” meetings with residents in the neighbourhoods of the city.
Debbie Bookchin is an author and award-winning investigative journalist who has written for The Atlantic, The Nation, The New York Times, and numerous other publications. She was press secretary for U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for three years when he served in the U.S. House. She co-edited a recent book of essays by her father, Murray Bookchin, called The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso 2015).
- Councilor of Belo Horizonte (Brazil)
Áurea Carolina de Freitas is a political scientist specialized in gender and equality. Her activism began in the streets, in dialogue with the hip hop movement and with various citizen initiatives to promote human rights. She has held the positions of Undersecretary of Policies for Women of Minas Gerais and is one of the founders of the Youth Forum of Greater Belo Horizonte. She participates in the municipal movement MUITAS pela Cidade que Queremos and was the most voted candidate to the Belo Horizonte City Hall in 2016, where she aims to strengthen the struggle for the rights of historically marginalized groups, such as women, young people and the black community. Among her priorities are the right to occupy public space and the promotion of citizen participation in politics.
- Councilor of Rosario (Argentina)
Caren Tepp is President and Councilor of the municipalist movement Ciudad Futura. She has been active in movements for self-management, the cooperative economy and land rights in Rosario. One of her main lines of work in Ciudad Futura is on strengthening its anti-inflation cooperative, Misión Anti-Inflación.
- Councilor for Participation, Barcelona
Gala Pin is a founding member of the citizen municipal platform Barcelona en Comú and Councilor for Participation and the Historic Centre of Barcelona. Resident in Barcelona since 2003, Pin was involved in the struggle for the right to housing through the Mortgage Victims Platform (PAH). She has worked on issues of internet rights and freedoms and the practice of technopolitics and online democracy since 2009. As city councilor, one of her priorities is tackling the problem of unlicensed tourist apartments in the city centre that are forcing local residents out of the neighbourhood.
- Councilor for Participation, Badalona
Fàtima Taleb is a cultural mediator with studies in modern literature, who was elected Badalona’s first muslim councilor as part of the citizen municipal platform ‘Guanyem Badalona en Comú’ in 2015. She worked for over 15 years in mediation, diversity management and conflict resolution. At city level, she has volunteered in various social and interreligious projects and groups working. In 2012 she coordinated the project ‘Construïm Barri’ to promote peaceful coexistence and multiculturalism in Badalona.
- Councilor for Feminisms and LGBTI, Barcelona
Laura Pérez is councilor for the citizen municipal platform Barcelona en Común. Previously, she worked on tourism development strategies in Peru and Bolivia, municipalism in Ecuador, economic and political rights of women in Guatemala and El Salvador, and on the eradication of sexual violence in public space with UN Women. She had also worked as a researcher in the Program of City Studies at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. As a councilor she has led the creation of a department for gender mainstreaming, which aims to ensure that gender equality is a central goal of all action at City Hall.
- First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona
Gerardo Pisarello is responsible for economy, work and strategic planning at Barcelona City Hall as part of the Barcelona en Comú government. He was previously professor in constitutional law at the University of Barcelona and one of the founders of Procés Constituent, a Catalan movement for a bottom-up process to create a republic for the 99%.
- Commissioner, Portland (USA)
Bookseller, publisher, writer, and activist Chloe Eudaly is only the 8th woman to be elected to Portland City Council in its over 100-year history. Eudaly came of age as an activist during the first Gulf War and has been involved in a variety of social, economic, and environmental justice causes ever since. She has advocated for disability rights, with a focus on school and community inclusion for over a decade. In 2015, she created an online group devoted to exploring gentrification, displacement, affordable housing and tenants’ rights, called The Shed. It was her involvement in this group and the larger housing advocacy community that inspired her to run for City Council in 2016.