A call to action in response to: Amsterdams plan for their British Amsterdammers
** Update: with the sad news that Mayor Eberhard van de Laan is stepping down as Mayor of Amsterdam, we’ll be refocusing our efforts to help Deputy Mayor Kajsa Ollongren continue his great work **
As a British citizen living in Amsterdam I was taken aback by the mayors open letter to all 16.000 British Amsterdammers. In just one letter I felt even warmer towards the city that is my home than I had before. It wasn’t revolutionary or full of bluster, it was pragmatic and informative. What it said to me was ‘hey Julia, if you fancy staying in Amsterdam, we’ve got your back’.
In the current political climate that’s something! But what happens next? Whilst we are waiting for the next letter I’d like to show the mayor that British Amsterdammers care.
I’d like to help him understand us a little bit more – how long are we planning to stay in Amsterdam? What makes us stay? Who do we feel represents us in the political debates around Brexit. What questions do we have for him?
Are you British & living in Amsterdam? Take this short survey and together we can show the mayor how we care about the city too.
Live responsibly: giving back to the city
If living in Amsterdam teaches us one thing, it’s that we take responsibility for ourselves and contribute to our community. And as Amsterdammers we need to take responsibility for helping the city to know a bit more about the 16,000 british citizens living in it. It will help them to connect better with us, and us with them, and for the city to represent us better in all of the things they do that affect us.
Will this make a difference?
The mayor has met with 200 British living in Amsterdam. Now it’s the turn of the rest of us to share our views, and let the mayor know a bit more about 15,800 he hasn’t had the chance to meet yet. So that next time he or the City speak on our behalf, they do so knowing a bit more about us. And maybe we can recognise more of our own stories and issues in the messages that they share.
So regardless of political persuasion, level of activism or stance on Brexit, if you are one of 16,000 British people living in Amsterdam it’s time to show you care about your home in Amsterdam. With brexit on the horizon, and the changes that will bring, and of course the open letter to us from the Mayor, now is a great time to tell the mayor a bit more about us. To make this happen, I’ve arranged a meeting in October with the Amsterdam Brexit information point to talk to them about this survey – and I’d really like to share with them some things new insights about the British Amsterdammers.
I’m done with political surveys. Tell me something new.
There are no questions about political views or stances on Brexit. That’s been done to death. And there are only so many useful ways you can represent a referendum result. Instead, I’m asking the same questions that I ask my friends to better understand their motives for living here in the current political climate. Curious? Take a look for yourself.
Are you British & living in Amsterdam? Take this short survey and together we can show the mayor we care about the city too.
Also published on Medium.