Naomi Tsur 370.
(photo credit: DANIEL K. EISENBUD)
Deputy Mayor Naomi Tsur announced Sunday morning at a downtown Jerusalem press conference that she will lead a historic, primarily female party called Ometz Lev (“braveness of heart”) in the October 22 City Council elections.
“The formation of Ometz Lev marks the first time that representatives from all over Jerusalem have joined forces to better deal with the challenges facing the city,” said Tsur, who currently holds the Strategic Planning, Conservation, Environment and Healthy City Portfolios.
“The list focuses on promoting the role of women in the decision-making process, as well as working toward a more equitable, healthier, cleaner and more accessible city,” she continued.
According to Tsur, Ometz Lev has already succeeded in attracting a prominent cross-section of female leaders from Jerusalem, including from the Ethiopian community, immigrants from Europe, North and South America and leading business figures.
“I’m excited and happy for the opportunity to be the first in Israel to establish a municipal list predominantly made up of women,” said Tsur.
“Women constitute at least half of the population and deserve at least equal representation in the city’s decision-making process.”
Despite Tsur’s assertion that she is “making history” with a primarily female list, she has only revealed the names of four women to be included on the ticket of roughly 20 candidates – 18 of whom she claims will be female. Tsur said the women presently on the list include City Council member Edna Friedman, Jerusalem businesswoman Debbie Ben-Ami, Ethiopian leader Yaffa Sahalo, and the first haredi woman to ever run for city council, Masada Porat.
As deputy mayor, Tsur’s achievements include opening municipal committee meetings to the public, creating over 50 community gardens, reducing pollution in the Old City, creating the Railway Park, aiding in the conservation and development of the Gazelle Valley, and initiating a global network to promote sustainable and responsible tourism to pilgrim cities, including Jerusalem.
In terms of her party’s priorities, Tsur said atrisk youth, the elderly and people with special needs will be placed with “pride and confidence at the top of our agenda.”
According to Tsur’s spokesperson, the remaining names will be released in the coming days.