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Klara Geywitz, stellvertretende Bundesvorsitzende der SPD (Quelle: dpa/Janine Schmitz)

Clara Kewitz of Brandenburg is the Union Minister of Construction

Third Potsdam woman in the cabinet

Clara Kewitz of Brandenburg is the Union Minister of Construction


dpa / Janine Schmitz

Audio: Inforadio | 06.12.2021 | Clara Kewitz | Image: dpa / Janine Schmitz

The SPD has put an end to speculation. At the last of the three traffic light parties, he presented his ministers. Clara Kewitz of Potsdam is the Union Minister for Building and Housing. By Thomas Bitner

He may have been one of the most famous strangers in the Scholes cabinet. Clara Kewitz has already played many roles as an SPD politician, but her name says something only to those interested in politics. He was a party supporter like Kevin Kühnert, who was the general secretary of Brandenburg’s SPD leader Voydke, standing next to Olaf Scholz as the party’s candidate, and was directly elected to the Brandenburg State Parliament. Nevertheless, it is seen as a blank slate in federal politics.

The child of a teacher in the suburbs of Podstam was 13 years old when the wall collapsed. As a young leftist, he immersed himself in New Freedom, split a lot, became involved in the squatter scene, and joined Jusos when he was 16 years old.

“Solution-oriented and reliable”

Its political inventor was Stephen Reich, Brandenburg’s first SPD state president, after the fall of the Wall. The political student worked in his state parliamentary office, where he later became an adviser to the Brandenburg SPD. Contact with Reich continued after the former education minister’s political career, and he now serves as a pastor again. Kiwits baptized Rich’s three children. He introduces himself as a “happy Christian” on Twitter.

He won the Order three times in a row in his hometown of Potsdam and was a member of the Brandenburg State Parliament from 2004 to 2019. During this time he also served as Brandenburg’s secretary general from 2013 to 2017.

He describes himself as “concrete, solution-oriented and highly reliable”. If someone denies her credibility, she may continue to deny it. In late 2017, SPD state president Dietmar Woidke stopped caring about the controversial district reform without further ado and decision-making process. The post of General Secretary was then made available.

Parallel to Merkel

Journalists do not play with her easily. It never seems big, does not participate in speculation or draws attention to certain developments. This is often interpreted as insensitive. Some say she does not have the ability to get close. She is very fragile and inactive. She has not only friends at the party.

When asked about influential people, she named him Angela Merkel. With men, how did she deal with being underestimated in the discussion about their wardrobe. This is true: of course there are parallels. But Merkel was never a model for the Botswana comrade. Geywitz thinks she is “overly emotional”. Also Height Simonis can be seen as “very good”.

Clear words

Anyone who knows Kiwits well describes her as quick-witted and witty. The message on the election posters was “Clear words – Clara Kewitz”. When she sees the time and opportunity for a topic, she can join hands too. He took up the proposal of the opposition Green Party for balanced legislation and campaigned across party boundaries that men and women should be equally represented in the Brandenburg state parliament in 2019.

The first law of its kind across the country did not then stand before the Constitutional Court. Failure is also part of Clara Kewitz’s biography. In the last state election, the direct mandate did not get exactly 145 votes. Ironically, a Green Party, the SPD in alliance with its party, forced Geywitz to leave the state parliament. He also surprisingly missed the post of SPD leader, along with Olaf Scholes.

Finance, women, family

It now offers the freedom to take a seat in the Union Cabinet. There is no order to give it up and no block to drop. He is a confidant of the president whom he met at 23 regional conferences and on several occasions during the party’s internal election campaign in 2019. The fact that the two live in Potsdam has made the collaboration even closer.

Geywitz has been trading for several posts over the past few weeks. Although sometimes the Minister of Education, this department is taken over by the FDP. Then Minister of Development or Minister of State for the new federal states. He has already proven his prowess in many fields. He is currently in charge of audits in the construction, housing and transportation departments at the State Audit Office. He is now going to be the minister for that area.

Geywitz sets his ministerial goals

Geywitz said in an initial statement that creating 400,000 apartments a year as planned is a major challenge. To achieve the German climate protection goals, apartments must be built in an energy-saving manner.

Another issue is security: Security is needed to ensure that tenants are not evicted from their apartments because of high rents. They also need to be convinced that there is no need to leave old age as they can no longer go to the fourth floor. “They also need security to live in a district that is designed so that they can continue to live where they have lived for decades. This is a big challenge and I look forward to it,” Geywitz said.

Lots of votes for a manageable federal state

In the state parliament he accumulated expertise in political administration: he was the financial expert of the parliamentary committee, he was chairman of the Interior Committee and also a member of the BER Special Committee. Women and families are an issue for a mother of three. It’s not just about the big picture. As general secretary, he ensures that coalition groups take place during the day and can see his children in the evening. Solution based and concrete.

The 45-year-old from Potsdam knows from his own experience what to do for the new federal states. She knew the gaps after reuniting with her own family. The father was in SED and the mother was very critical. Then came the unit. One sister lost her job and the other moved west.

Third Potsdam voice in the Geywitz cabinet, along with Olaf Scholz and Annalena Baerbock. Lots to the point of being manageable. It remains to be seen whether Brandenburg is really overweight in federal politics.

Broadcast: Antenne Brandenburg, December 6, 2021, 10:12 am

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