Boris Palmer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Boris Palmer at a Green Party convention, 2006

Boris Palmer (born 28 May 1972 in Waiblingen, Baden-Württemberg) is a German politician and member of the Green Party. He has been mayor of Tübingen since January 2007. From March 2001 to May 2007 he was a member of the Baden-Württemberg Landtag, the State parliament in Stuttgart.

Palmer's father, Helmut, dubbed Remstalrebell (Rems-valley-rebel) was a very well known and controversial figure.[1] The son of a Christian mother and a Jewish father and born out of wedlock, he became a stubborn outsider, a dedicated expert on apple trees[2] and dabbled with politics.[3] Helmut Palmer stood without any success for about 250 elections as mayor in villages and cities in southwestern Germany and fought what he considered bureaucracy, power abuse and antisemitism.[4] Helmut refused to pay several fines, e.g. in libel cases, and was briefly imprisoned a number of times.[1] The former state minister and CDU member Christoph Palmer is a grand nephew of Helmut and a grand cousin of Boris Palmer.

Palmer graduated from high school (Abitur) at the Steiner School in Winterbach-Engelberg in 1992. From 1993, Palmer studied history and mathematics at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and in Sydney. In 1996 he joined the Green Party.

After graduating from Tübingen in 1999 he worked as a scientific assistant for the fraction of the Green Party in the Bundestag, the German Federal parliament, in Berlin.

In 2001 he won a seat in the Landtag of Baden-Württemberg and was appointed party spokesman for environmental and transportation issues.

In 2004 he ran for the office of mayor of Stuttgart, finishing in third place in the first round ballot at 21.5% of votes,[5] a better result than all previous Green candidates for mayor of Stuttgart. He withdrew his candidacy before the second round ballot with an indirect recommendation that his followers should vote for the incumbent mayor Wolfgang Schuster on condition that Schuster would hold a referendum on the controversial project Stuttgart 21, which Palmer is opposed to, if costs would increase significantly. Even though that has been the case, Schuster hasn't kept that promise.

After being re-elected to the Landtag in early 2006, in July Palmer decided to run as mayor of Tübingen and won the election on 22 October with 50.4% of the vote. He subsequently resigned from his Landtag mandate after taking office in January 2007.

His eight-year term as mayor ends in 2014.

Climate protection initiative[edit]

To help fight climate change, he has introduced a local campaign with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in Tübingen by 70% until 2020 (Tübingen macht blau, literally meaning Tübingen goes blue, and figuratively Tübingen skips work). He encourages saving energy, switching from traditional to alternative sources of energy and lessening pollution, e.g. by introducing solar panels to the roofs of the town's schools, by subsidizing people who exchange their old heating systems with modern, more efficient ones, by subsidizing public transport and introducing more frequent public transport connections and by free transportation on public buses on Saturdays. In the longer term, he wants to create more space for bicycles and pedestrians in relation to cars. He also doesn't have an official car, instead he travels everywhere within the city by bicycle or by public transport.On this first as a Mayor of Tübingen he met the group of 22 South African students.

Felicia Langer controversy[edit]

In July 2009, Palmer was criticised [6] for recommending Tübingen resident Felicia Langer for the Federal Cross of Merit.

For more details on the controversy, see Felicia Langer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michael Ohnewald: Helmut Palmer. Lebensweg eines Rebellen (Biography of a Rebel). Hohenheim-Verlag, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-89850-114-0
  2. ^ Helmut Palmer Der Leitfaden für Streuobst- und Nat-UR-Obstbau. Die totale Kehrtwende vom Krüppel-, Kunstdünger-, Gift- und Chaotenobstbau zum Naturobstbau. (Manual for Fruit Trees, how to abolish crippling, poisoning, chaos, fertilizer and succeed in natural fruit agriculture) Hauser, Metzingen 1988
  3. ^ Helmut Palmer Mein Kampf und Widerstand. (My Fight and resistance) Späth-Lese. Edition Marva, Genf 1979
  4. ^ Günter Wallraff: Wiederaufnahme einer Verfolgung (Repeated Persecution). In: Wallraff.: 13 unerwünschte Reportagen. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch 2002, ISBN 3-462-03174-0 (first edition 1969), S. 138-148.
  5. ^ OB-Wahl in Stuttgart: CDU-Amtsinhaber vorn, aber ohne absolute Mehrheit [Mayoral elections in Stuttgart: CDU incumbent front-runner but without an absolute majority] (German language) Spiegel online 10 October 2004, accessed 1 August 2009
  6. ^ "Langer-Ehrung: Attacken gegen Palmer" [Langer decoration: Attacks against Palmer]. Schwäbisches Tagblatt (in German) (Tübingen). 23 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009. [dead link]