Interview with Mayor of Cuidad Real

We are students of Maestre de Calatrava High School, and participate in a project called “YOUNG JOURNALISTS OF TODAY, RESPONSIBLE DIGITAL CITIZENS OF TOMORROW”, an Erasmus+ project for Secondary Education students, which involves several European countries: Romania, Croatia, Serbia, North Macedonia and Spain. We would like to give her a T-shirt and a folder with the project logo so she can keep memory on us.

Q – We are participating in the High School Journal, in the Interviews section. We are proceeding with some questions. The first one is: can you tell us about your educational background?

A – I have a Degree in Law in Castilla-La Mancha University, I did participate in the first promotion of this university.

Q – Were you a good student?

A – Well, there are two kind of students: those who are really intelligent and can get the degree with a minimal effort, and those who, like me, were average in intelligence, but hard-workers. I scored very good marks because of my hard work. Yes, I used to be good student, always with high marks.

Q – Do you like reading?

A – I do love reading, it is one of the hobbies I am more passionate about. And I feel proud of seeing how my children like reading too, both the eldest and the youngest read very much. It is true, though, I have less time now for reading but I try to read two books a month. By then, I did not read in cars as I got dizzy, but I am used now and I also read during travels.

Q – Do you follow any youtuber or influencer?

A – Not myself, but my two children tell me a lot about them, and I watch videos with them whenever I can. I can’t tell names as I get lost, but I am up to date!

Q – Do you have social networks? Do you participate in any of them?

A – I’ve got Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and I participate in them all; I have actually reached 5000 friends in Facebook, so I had to open a page since I could not accept more friend requests. I have 2000 Twitter followers. I am less into Instagram, but I am realizing it is working better nowadays. I use social networks with a personal interest, not only with a political goal as a mayor; I like everyone can see my daily life. I am an ordinary person, I like to see when I go to the movie theatre, when I go jogging, when I do any normal activity, so people can see the mayor is not distant, but just a Ciudad Real citizen who happens to bear that responsibility.

Q – What good and bad points do have, from your point of view, social networks for youngsters?

A – Social networks generate problems when you can’t control them, when you need to socialize in a more personal way, and it is eventually WhatsApp, making it always through social networks. I think it is a problem, because it is very good to liaise personally, but you need to make it compatible with your training, I mean, when using social networks prevents you from developing professionally, or at work.. then it turns a problem. All is fine when moderated, because when you use it with responsibility, you are just learning out of there. It is sad to see how you, youngsters, instead of actually meeting, you chat over the group and don’t actually meet.

Q – Why did you like getting into politics?

A – I studied Law at the University, I always wanted to be a lawyer. I had a Law Office for 13 years. Although I come from a poor family and there was no Law Degree here, it was a politician who decided to bring the university to Ciudad Real, and that allowed me to study this. I could then realize politics really works by sorting out real problems. Sometimes we feel far from politics, we think it does not affect our lives, but it really does! Then I thought you can change the world through politics, first your town, then many more things. And I got to the Municipality thanks to my job as a lawyer.

Q – How does your job as a mayor affect your daily life?

A – You need to be capable to organize yourself. Your life is not the same, and you are not anonymous anymore. But I love people, in fact, one of the things I am more proud of is to be stopped in the street by people to discuss about topics, even though that diminishes my family time. I like to go home every day to talk to my children, to visit my father who is ill, so making both lives compatible is very demanding.

Q – What do you want to do or change in town during your government period?

A – I’d especially like to attract companies, as one of the top problems here in Ciudad Real is unemployment. When I took over there were 8,000 jobless. Now there are 6,430, mostly women, and that is my main problem, joblessness. My major goal is to attract companies with the capability to create quality jobs, when settling in the city’s industrial areas. Let entrepreneurs see this is a place for investment, let them see we are a well connected town, with plenty of options.

Q – What is the advice you would give to young people?

A – I always say you are not the future, you are the present. Hence, you have to participate in all decision-making processes we have, you need to raise your requests and struggle for them. I encourage you to fight for two causes I feel deep inside. Firstly, gender-based violence: I declare feminist with no shame at all. It seems that being feminist is weird. Men are also feminist because they fight for equality, and I encourage you to perceive what gender-based violence is, what harassment is. When we carry out dissemination activities in high schools, we find youngsters who are convinced their experience is not harassment, but it is! That’s why, you girls must not allow any surveillance in your mobile and must not accept any kind of constraint in your hairdo or way of dressing when going out with friends. I am also mindful about environment: you must control the consumption of plastic and polluting stuff… it is important to carry on in this fight to preserve our planet. These are the two topics I would encourage you to struggle for, as well as in the municipality politics, in the decision-making processes. You youngsters, you are the present, you have to fight now.

Q – Thank you very much for devoting your time. We are glad to have met you.

A – Oh, I have loved this. Whenever you want, my door is open and I can tell you this has been great – I appreciate you have thought of interviewing me. Thank you girls very much.

Authors: Miriam Gómez, Laura García, Natalia Díaz, Adriana Calero, and Carla Calero

Acknowledgements:

  • Luisa Barchino, Spanish Language teacher
  • Juan Antonio Córdoba, Administration Cycle teacher
  • Chelo Ruiz, Erasmus+ Project coordinator

Original article is available in the online digital newspaper Calatrava Times and can be found on the following  link Entrevistas

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