Mariano Rosario (Opportunity for Talent) is a youth spokesperson at the Madrid City Council

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“I am interested in giving voice to young people in the administration”

“I have only heard of politician’s good gestures in history books”

“Politics are for everyone

 

Mariano Rosario participated in last year’s Opportunity for Talent, a Leadership for Social Change program from AIPC Pandora and Fundación Tomillo. He will be the spokesperson in the Commission for the Participation of Children and Teens on this 4th of May’s plenary session of the Madrid City Council.

 

He will bring the demands of the youth to improve the city, which were collected for months in participatory processes.

 

-Mariano, what are the demands of young people for Madrid?
– Above all, they demand measures to reduce dirt on the streets, light and noise pollution, increase recycling and make Madrid a greener city. Surprisingly, several people agreed to use the Philomena disaster as an opportunity to reforest Madrid with native species. Secondly, they proposed making Madrid a more accessible city for everyone. Then, there were also proposals for the improvement of leisure options for children and teens or the rehabilitation of green areas in the outskirts of the city.

 

– How did you get started on this?
– I started at Teen Participation Points in 2016 because I wanted my nearby park to be cleaner. After that, it was the fact that we didn’t have a library nearby… In the end, it seemed like another way to improve the neighborhood, such as associations or proposals made by neighbours. We do not always feel heard or achieve what we expected, but we always achieve something.

 

– What do you take away from these years of youth participation in the politics of the city?
– I have learned the organization structure of the city of Madrid, what are the competences of each public administration and how to actively participate apart from a lot of other experiences. There were things that went well and that we went back to, such as two festivals called Barrio Fest. And there were others that didn’t do so well. Before the pandemic, we were preparing a conference on multiculturalism.

 

– This teen participation service in the Madrid City Council ends at 18 years of age. You are about to turn 18. Do you plan to continue in another way?
– This is my last year. I want to encourage the younger ones to come closer to their Participation Point and start helping.
Since I must close this stage, I have started to investigate the Youth Council. It is a body that carries the voice of young people to the administration. With this definition, it is obvious that I will dive deep into this. It is what interests me.

 

– How do you see the political class?
– From my point of view, politics is something grotesque. Politicians have built a reputation over the years. I follow Spanish politics and I have only seen good gestures in the history books. It’s our social culture, right? Politicians are just… That is why I relate to friends who live apart from all of this. They declare themselves apolitical. The Greeks thought that if you were apolitical, you were an idiot. That’s their opinion.

 

– And what would you say to young people who have no interest in politics?
– Knowing about politics is absolutely necessary. It is unavoidable. If for each law approved in Congress we would receive an SMS with the personal consequences, we would think about it. Individualism has a lot to do with it. In the end politics are for everyone.

 

Mariano is in his third year of Opportunity for Talent, where he has had an excellent performance. Opportunity for Talent is the Leadership for Social Change program from AIPC Pandora and Fundación Tomillo. It is a 3-year training (from 15 to 18-years-old) that promotes the talent of young people with fewer opportunities due to their socio-economic situation, so that they achieve their dreams and, as a result, they are also agents of change.

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