With 13 years as a deputy mayor under outgoing gay mayor Bertrand Delanoë, Anne Hidalgo wants for Paris to stand out as a gay-friendly capital of the world. She wants to rely on existing gay associations who already make Paris LGBT life and support them with financial help. During the campaign, she referred to Tel Aviv as an example how being gay-friendly is a real value, synonymous of quality especially for businesses such as start-up and also in tourism.
“She is sweet, warm, charming and at the same time tenacious and very determined.” Former mayor Bertrand Delanoë about Anne Hidalgo.
“I am the first woman mayor of Paris. I am aware of the challenge.” Anne Hidalgo, who won Sunday’s election with 54% of the votes.
Kelly Conniff published a list of ‘5 Surprising Things About’ her for time.com.
1) She’s not from France. Hidalgo hails from the Spanish province of Cádiz, which is famous for being the only town that didn’tsurrender to the French during Napoleon’s attempted occupation in 1810. She moved with her family to Lyon as a toddler, eventually adopting the name of Anne at 14 after becoming a French citizen. Her humble — and more importantly, non native — origins were used by the opposition during a campaign that often focused on the differences in class between the two main candidates, according to the AFP.
2) She’s all about the environment. Hidalgo is closely connected to Vélib, the bike sharing program her predecessor launched in 2007. Her campaign promises included mentions of starting Scooterlib’, a free moped system and expanding Autolib’, a recently launched electric car sharing service. She’s also advocated for more pedestrian walkways and green spaces.
3) She’s really, really against Scientology. In 2005, Hidalgo served as the head of a committee that monitored what the government calls “cultlike groups” groups, including, in this case, the Church of Scientology. She even participated in a protest at the Paris’ offices of the organization.
4) Her wardrobe won’t be in the spotlight. In early March, Hidalgo talked to Vogue about Paris’ role in supporting the fashion industry and young designers. She spoke about her own relationship with style, including memories of her mother, who was a dressmaker. The stylish Parisian, who clearly understands how what a female politician wears affects their public perception, described her aesthetic to WWD: “I am an elected official, not a model. I like a subdued style, not bling-bling.” (She was perhaps hoping to contract with the former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy who was nicknamed by critics as president “bling bling” because of his showy lifestyle and ex-fashion model wife.)
5) She doesn’t have much company among mayors: Hidalgo joined the ranks of just a few women who serve as mayors of major cities, including Ana Botella of Madrid and Patricia de Lille of Cape Town, and Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz of Warsaw. (But as revolutionary as Hidalgo’s election is, it doesn’t put France is ahead of the game in terms of female politicians in general. In fact, the two leading French political parties often pay penalties rather than field an equal number of female candidates, according to The Guardian.)