1. Ans Persoons

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My political flame was sparked after the first Black Sunday, in 1991. I was 12, living in Antwerp, and with each victory of the Vlaams Blok, my sense of justice and my urge to fight back also grew. Some 10 years later, I ended up in Brussels, where I did an internship at the European Parliament.

My career as a politician really took off when I became a deputy for the City of Brussels in 2012. The Samusocial scandal in 2017 seemed for a while to put a stop to that, as I resigned out of disagreement with the way things were going. A few months later, I managed to win a seat with the citizens' list Change.brussels. A beautiful victory, and I became deputy again.

In the city, I was responsible for Urban Planning and Heritage, and also as secretary of state in the Brussels government, I was able to continue working on those themes. At both levels, I have observed that we are heading for a housing crisis in Brussels.

I am convinced that affordable housing, correct housing, is at the basis of everything. If you provide that, you remove a lot of anxiety and unhappiness from people's minds. For without a decent home, it is very difficult to concentrate on other things and build a life.

I was born and raised in Antwerp, but I have studied, resided and lived in several cities. I started by studying History at Ghent University, and then moved to Paris, where I got a degree in Political Science.

My dream is for Brussels to be a city where everyone enjoys living, and can afford to do so. A city for everyone, with streets and squares designed for both young and old, safe and clean. With enough teachers in the classroom and full lunch boxes in the refectory. A city that is alive, where there is always something to discover. Where people feel free and where everyone has confidence in the future.