Elections Rome, interview with Elisabetta Canitano candidate for mayor for “Potere al Popolo”

Elections Rome, interview with Elisabetta Canitano candidate for mayor for “Potere al Popolo”
Elections Rome, interview with Elisabetta Canitano candidate for mayor for “Potere al Popolo”

Elisabetta Canitano, a medical graduate, has been a political activist of the PCI for years. Militant of the first hour of Power to the People, he is a point of reference for the party, with which he is a candidate for the leadership of the capital. A city that is not the one where it was born, but that it knows well because it has moved there since the years of high school.

Canitano, the housing emergency is a topic that is not finding much space in the current election campaign. However, it is a delicate question that must be addressed. What solutions does Power to the People propose to deal with it?

The question really puts its feet on the plate. In the Italian city where the housing emergency is heaviest, the issue was completely removed from the electoral campaign. Power to the People, on the contrary, has placed it and declined it in all its aspects. A) A serious Municipal House Plan is needed to make affordable housing available even to low or very low income families, putting hand to vacant assets and avoiding other pours of concrete. B) The scam of the Zone Plans must be put to an end, making the blocking of foreclosures and illegitimate evictions a priority, the completion of the works of urbanization (making the costs to be paid to the builders who have collected and divided the charges paid by the tenants) and the application of the correct calculation of the maximum transfer price. Public housing and social housing, therefore, and not as smart as social housing. C) Extend the amnesty beyond the date of the Renzi-Lupi decree to give a worthy solution to families in housing occupations, therefore an alternative to eviction and being thrown into the street. D) A decisive action against the liberalization of rents that has brought both families and businesses to their knees, who have often closed more due to stellar rents than due to closures due to the pandemic.

To deliver the waste that abounds in the streets of Rome, the capital has often resorted to plants outside the city perimeter. Discontenting the Romans, who pay a high waste rate, and the municipalities where these plants are present. Power to the People, what do you propose to do?

It is evident that if you do not plan and implement a separate collection plan and house by house, you will not get out of it. To do this, more personnel and a coherent organization of collection and disposal are needed, in strictly public hands. The indecent compromise with the private individuals who manage landfills and plants was very expensive, from an economic, environmental and social point of view, and ultimately impractical. Potere al Popolo believes that it is necessary to put an end to mega-landfills, just as it rejects any hypothesis of new waste-to-energy plants or biogas plants, which turn out to be ecological bombs and, rather, supports the creation of proximity recycling plants, thus avoiding penalizing a territory rather than another with the waste of the whole city.

Rome is the greenest capital in Europe and it is also the one that devotes more space to agriculture. How to enhance its forest heritage, the many trees, and its rural vocation?

It is true. Rome is the greenest city in Europe and this is an immense resource for our city which is instead mortified by the abandonment and dismantling of the municipal Garden Service. The solutions adopted have been either the concessions to private individuals such as the Green Quality Points – which, however, only take care of the spaces given to them in concession and have downloaded their mortgages on the municipal coffers -, or the self-organization of citizens who often put their hands on their own the maintenance of the greenery of their neighborhood. There are certainly agricultural spaces that could see incentives for their use as real urban farms, but there are also large urban parks that could be exploited as a resource by the Municipality and the Municipalities. There are thousands of jobs in green maintenance and the Municipality itself could directly manage the “locations” for events and ceremonies in often breathtaking scenarios as only Rome can offer.

Who is Elisabetta Canitano, the candidate for Mayor of Power to the People

The tourism sector can represent an important driver of economic recovery for the city. Today, however, those who come to the capital stay only, on average, a couple of nights. How is it done to relaunch tourism?

Tourism has become a resource for the few and an inconvenience for many. On mass tourism, in Rome as in other cities, there is an enormous level of private appropriation of income, from which the whole city does not benefit at all. Suffice it to say that almost one billion euros a year of tourist accommodation in Rome is billed abroad by the multinationals OTA (Online Tourism Agency). The latest example was Booking’s 150 million tax evasion. According to the studies carried out, a large part of what tourists spend in Rome is on shopping and catering. Tourist expenses for museums and archaeological areas are negligible compared to the rest. This means that tourism involves only a small part of the city and its benefits are not redistributed to the rest of the inhabitants, cut off from this circuit. It is no coincidence that for some time Potere al Popolo has been proposing a first symbolic measure: that the tourist tax becomes a purpose tax for investments and services in the suburbs. They are just over 100 million euros a year, but the meaning would be very clear in the sense of redistribution. Secondly, it would be time for the tourist reception in Rome to be taken away from the multinationals and managed directly by a dedicated portal of the Municipality.

Public transport, especially towards the suburbs, is a vulnerability that certainly does not improve the quality of life of those who live there. Suburbs and transport, what are the priorities for intervention?

Urbanistically, Rome developed as a completely deregulated metropolis. Managing services in this reality is a very serious problem. Today there are buses that make winding and very long routes to get to the suburbs or to be able to say that there is some line in that neighborhood. We know very well that this has repercussions on bus passage times with very long waits and with the terminus that become the “Bermuda Triangles” where buses disappear, especially in the suburbs. It is no coincidence that Atac has privatized 50% of the kilometers traveled by the routes in the suburbs, a disaster that must be revoked immediately. For Potere al Popolo this logic must be reversed, the Atac cannot be a spa that receives a certain amount per kilometer from the Municipality and must instead become a Special Company (provided for by law) directly in the hands of the Municipality. Compared to the service it is called upon to provide to the inhabitants, the Atac has been underfunded since 2012, it needs less expensive managers, more drivers and vehicles and to bring back maintenance and services, now contracted to private individuals. Bringing the services “in house” is less expensive than outsourcing them, everyone knows, but until now they have done exactly the opposite.

Raggi returns to the elections after completing his electoral mandate. What is your opinion on these five years of five-star administration of the city?

We summarize it simply like this. The Rays junta for the consents it received in 2016 was a lost opportunity and a betrayed expectation, especially in the suburbs. That expectation of rupture and change for the inhabitants of Rome today can be represented precisely and better by Power to the People, by its vision of a Public City, by the Popular Control that we intend to put in place, from its internality to the social unease in our city and from his proposals for overturning social priorities in the decisive choices about Rome.

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