2018 in Poland is the year of local government elections. Polish citizens will elect mayors of communes (Polish: wójt), municipalities (Polish: burmistrz), and cities (Polish: prezydent) as well as members of province assemblies (Polish: sejmik wojewódzki), city and district councils (Polish: rada miejska i dzielnicowa). However, it is mayoral elections in Polish major cities, with Warsaw at the forefront, that stir emotions.
On June 3, 2017, the delegates of the Extraordinary Convention of .Nowoczesna have endorsed Paweł Rabiej as the person who would run for the office of the Warsaw mayor. Thus, .Nowoczesna has become the first party to officially present a candidate. Paweł Rabiej – the co-founder of .Nowoczesna, a member of its Executive Board and a Deputy Chairperson of the Warsaw Region – has been responsible for designing the party program and developing social dialog on behalf of the party.
Warsaw is a city he loves, understands, and the city he cares about. He has been involved with Warsaw in many ways for a number of years: he studied and has lived here and associates the best moments he has experienced in his life with the city. He is a graduate of the Warsaw University, he also completed postgraduate studies in Leadership Psychology at the Managment Department at the Warsaw Technical University as well as Excellence in Journalism at Columbia University in New York.
Rabiej has ample experience in leadership, management, and communication. Throughout his professional career he has held posts requiring skills and abilities in social communication. He used to work as a radio journalist, a publisher, an editor-in-chief, and the deputy editor-in-chief of magazines such as the Polish Airlines’ magazine Kaleidoscope as well as Businessman Magazine. He is also known for launching a renowned management magazine – Harvard Business Review – on the Polish market. His managerial skills placed him in a position of a manger of a consortium of companies responsible for the promotion of Poland in Europe prior to its EU membership. He co-authored the strategy of promoting the brands of Kraków and the Małopolska Region. On behalf of local authorities of Warsaw and other cities he was responsible for conducting social dialogue related to city brands’ promotion.
He is the co-author of several projects aimed at enhancing the quality of management in companies and public administration entities developed together with governemnt partners and NGOs. For many years he successfully co-managed THINK TANK – an independent analytical and social dialog centre. He gives lectures and organizes leadershhip and management conferences and training sessions. Moreover, he uses his expertise in facilitating social dialog processes developed for local governments and different stakeholders in public administration organizations – he has been a mentor, a volunteer, and a social advisor in many municipal, educational, and social projects.
Last week, he started his 2018 mayoral campaign as the first candidate for this post in Warsaw. “Serwus, Warszawa” (Hi, Warsaw) is the slogan that will accompany his meetings with the residents of Warsaw as well as his social media campaign. Rabiej and a group of volunteeres who have joined his campaign have a program for a sustainable development of the city. Nowoczesna’s candidate sees Warsaw as a city both affordable for its residents and tourist-friendly. He wants Warsaw to be honest, open, and to take greater care of the quality of its inhabitants’ lives. His intention is to unite two parts of Warsaw – the one that is active, happy, and successful with the one that feels harmed, disappointed, and mistreated. Therefore, in his campaign Rabiej is going to involve Warsaw residents and people who come to visit this city in a dialog. Its significant part is going to take place directly in Warsaw streets and parks – a blue bench will appear in different parts of the city as its symbol, a meeting point with people.
The mayoral candidate intends to visit all Warsaw districts in order to find out what are the needs and expectations of its residents. However, people will also have a chance to share their ideas in writing. ”A postcard to a candidate”, another holiday campaign project, is to encourage Warsaw inhabitants to share with Rabiej their ideas and solutions they have seen in other locations that they think would be worth emulating in Warsaw.
Rabiej has both a vision and a program that could allow Warsaw to become a city prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century. He offers to put his experience to work for and in close cooperation with the citizens of Warsaw. What Warsaw requires is “a reasonable head, a strong hand, and an open heart” – the traits that Rabiej undoubtedly exhibits.
Let us keep our fingers crossed for him.