Giovanati (Lega): “Bringing back beauty and dignity to the neighborhoods of Milan”
“Catholics must focus on the contents of political action, identified also in the light of a Christian vision of man and society; and they must collaborate with those, Catholic or not, who share such contents”: Deborah Giovanati he chose the words of the cardinal Camillo Ruini when he announced his candidacy for the Milan city council with the Lega. She who has already made a flag of collaboration, dialogue and confrontation in these five years in which she was councilor for the Social of Municipality 9, meeting and listening to the problems and needs of hundreds of citizens. Cattolica, a jurist, mother of three children, has been fighting with multiple sclerosis for a few years. Now a new challenge: to bring to Palazzo Marino and in a fully urban dimension that heritage of values and experiences that have enriched his path up to now. THE INTERVIEW
Education and training, third sector, disability and removal of architectural barriers, family: these are the sectors that have seen you most engaged in these years in the districts of the Municipality 9. What would you take with Palazzo Marino in the event of an election?
My goal is to bring to the city level those models that we have adopted on these issues in recent years, declining them in an innovative way throughout Milan. Especially with regard to social policies, the third sector must be made the protagonist, which is the engine of our city as the pandemic has shown. It is wrong to centralize services according to the model adopted by “Milan helps”, it is instead necessary to support these realities by developing a different vision. Valuing and not using. And this would generate a positive multiplier effect
Let’s go into more detail: education
There is a fundamental theme that must be the fight against early school leaving. But it is also a priority to address the question of solastic construction: going around the city you will encounter too many inadequate schools, with infiltrations, with architectural barriers. With the resources that are on the way, it is necessary to make a strong commitment to the schools
On the disability front, what situation do you find in Milan?
From a young age I volunteered in the field of severe mendio disabilities. Then, since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I have experienced the difficulties that so many go through. This was the lever that made me say: “You try to change things by giving your contribution”. And so, working closely with the Milanese disabled day care centers in listening to families, I understood for example that there is a gigantic problem for endless waiting lists, with families that end up feeling abandoned and alone. Difficulties that have been exacerbated with Covid and with many structures that have closed creating further problems
The theme of disability is intertwined with that of architectural barriers
Milan must aspire to become a European model. This is why I launch the challenge of elaborating an extraordinary plan for the elimination of all the architectural barriers of the city. Starting with overcoming the misleading perception that this is a problem that only affects those with disabilities. Instead, it is also a question of urban decor. A city with a European dimension must have subways with efficient elevators, adequate sidewalks, companies put in a position to adapt to cultivate what is also the so-called accessible tourism.
A cultural change in the first place, then?
Yes. And that must also happen in schools, for example, allowing children with special needs to be able to have everything. For sports but also for normal teaching activities, with desks that are suitable for the size of wheelchairs. It is a trivial but real example: they are small things but they are really incisive for the discomfort they create in daily gestures and activities. A culture must be created in which it is recognized that everyone has different needs. And then we need to be more attentive to those who are most in need
Is Milan a family-friendly city?
How can Milan be defined as a city projected into the future if no more children are born? The fundamental theme is the home, with the difficulties of young families in accessing it. We must also identify levers towards those who build, to ensure that young families no longer run away from the city. But, in addition to the housing problem, there are other aspects: for example, I strongly contest area B, because it affects not only young families but also other categories such as the elderly. All people who do not use the car as a whim but for needs often linked to the needs of their family
Tell us the thing that made you most proud of these five years as a councilor for Social Affairs
So many times we hear that there are no resources. I have always tried to bring more wealth to the territory than the budget allowed. Like? One of the most interesting cases was the redevelopment of the multifunctional youth center in via Ciriè. A former school, a very large structure run by the municipality, which intercepts both young and old. But it was in a state of complete decay, in a context of public housing and with an illegal occupation in progress. We would never have been able to find sufficient municipal resources for redevelopment, but I managed to intercept a project by Renzo Piano and the Milan Polytechnic for the recovery of materials from local companies. And that’s how we came across a municipal warehouse in which we found various pieces of furniture, including those that had furnished the Expo Pyramids. In this way, at no cost, we have redeveloped a place that was given up for lost. Winning the bet to restore beauty to restore dignity to neighborhoods. It was a great party. In short, the resources to be activated are already there, it is enough to know how to mobilize to build something good
And let’s come to Ruini’s sentence: now he will decline his political commitment with the League
Often there is talk of the issue of representing Catholics in politics and the advisability or otherwise of a “Catholic party”. But I think my faith is manifested in everything I do. I am Deborah and I bring my values and the themes I believe in to those parties that are willing to welcome them. So it was with the League and with Bolognini (Stefano, provincial commissioner of the Carroccio, ed), from which I had an opening to bring the work I did in the area to the whole city of Milan
How was the election campaign?
Each campaign is exhausting. But meeting people – an activity to which I have always dedicated a lot of time – is a job that is also needed for later. Start and continue, I never stopped. It is an opportunity to discover realities and worlds that you did not know, a huge baggage also on a personal level. Knocking from door to door is not a search for the vote, but for what is beautiful. To enhance it