As bills don’t pay themselves an income is required, some obtain it by working for a wage, others by starting up their own business and some are so talented that they can make an income out of their hobby. In the Weekly column My way to make money we interview a student or a university employee about their job or business and ask them questions about how they experience their work.
For this week’s column we approached Marieke Nass, a 21-year-old masters student, who consented to stand at the local municipal elections for the CDA party in the Municipality of Gulpen-Wittem (in the South of Limburg). She was elected as a party chair for the CDA, making her a very young Councillor, not something that many 21-year-olds have done.
I like my job because..
As both young and older people have given their trust in me by voting for me at the municipal elections on 19 March 2014, I take my responsibility very seriously and I will try to be a councillor as good as I can. My goal is to put in 100% of my effort and my full commitment to this function. I like the fact that as a councillor I am young, energetic, trustworthy and transparent towards the people that elected me. I want to show people that my voice is one that counts within the council.
What makes being a Councillor hard
Being a councillor isn’t an easy job. For instance, I always have to take into account the ratio between the coalition and opposition parties as well as bringing attention to different interests that we represent.
How I became a Councillor
To be a Councillor you need to be elected. After campaigning for several months, the elections took place on 19 March 2014. I was in 4th place on the candidate list of my party, CDA Gulpen-Wittem. After the vote count, it became clear that my party had gotten 5 seats. I got 430 personal votes, even more than the number 1 of our party list! This meant that I had conquered a seat in the municipal council. Young and old had put their trust in me to be a good councillor. That’s how I became part of the municipal politics.
The main reason for choosing this job is..
I’ve always been interested in politics, that’s why, from a young age I was already active in the Young CDA and the CDA itself. Before I became councillor, I was a citizen fraction member for a year on behalf of the CDA in the municipality of Gulpen-Wittem. During this period I learned a lot.
How much time it takes
Next to studying, I spend around 20 hours per week doing work as a councillor.
A regular day
I’ve learned that in politics there’s no such thing as a ‘regular day’. Every time we meet in the council, there are many different topics to be discussed; there are new problems and new possibilities and opportunities. For instance, there are fraction meetings, coalition meetings, council meetings, council conferences and committee meetings. It’s a very versatile and interesting job!
Aspirations for later in life
I’m currently studying Dutch Law, with Private law as a specialization at Maastricht University. After my studies I would like to be work as a lawyer. Next to working in advocacy, I aspire to have a political career.
I love my job because..
I really want to contribute and commit to the municipal politics. I think it’s very positive that I, as a younger candidate, was given the chance to take part in the municipal politics.
I think it’s important that people raise their voices, and that they are listened to when they believe in something. Then people know that politics can be very meaningful!