Paweł Adamowicz Honorary Citizen of Warsaw

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Paweł Adamowicz

Paweł Adamowicz was born in Gdańsk on 2 November 1965. After the war, his parents were resettled in Gdansk from the Vilnius Region. He grew up in the Old Town and the Main Town, passed his matura exam at the First General Education High School, and studied law at the University of Gdańsk (1984-89).

During the UG student solidarity strike of 1988, he was the chairman of the Student Strike Committee. Since 1989, for nine years he was employed at the University of Gdańsk as an assistant in the Department of History and Polish Law, from 1990 to 1993 he was the Vice-Rector of the University of Gdańsk, and became a legal adviser in 1996. Since the very beginning he participated in the birth of self-government and in the process of Poland's political transformation, he was active in the "Solidarność" Citizens' Committees, and was a co-founder of the Liberal-Democratic Congress.
In 1994, for the first time, he became a councillor of the City of Gdańsk elected from the list of the "Solidarność" Citizens' Committee and, at the same time, a delegate of the City of Gdańsk to the Sejmik of the Gdańsk Voivodship of that time. During his second term he was a member of the City Council as a councillor on the Unia Wolności (Freedom Union) list, when in 1998 his council colleagues elected him Mayor of Gdańsk - he was 33 years old.
In 2002 he co-founded Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform) and in the same year, in the first direct elections for the post of Mayor of Gdańsk, he received 72% of the residents' votes (second round of elections).
He entered his final sixth presidential term (November 2018) with nearly 65% of votes in the second round. Conducting this election campaign, the most intense of all the ones in which I was given the opportunity to participate, meeting residents on the streets, visiting them in their homes - I have once again become convinced that democracy constitutes a bond between people.

The most important achievements of Mayor Paweł Adamowicz: the new football stadium in Letnica, the expansion of the Gdańsk Airport with a new terminal, the construction of the Sucharski and Słowacki Routes. However, Paweł Adamowicz's Gdańsk stands not only for investments such as the John Paul II cable-stayed bridge and the Independence drawbridge in Sobieszewo, the tunnel under the Dead Vistula, the Ołowianka footbridge, or tram routes to Łostowice and Piecki Migowo. It also constitutes 600 km of bicycle paths, new schools, kindergartens and swimming pools, as well as the Shakespeare Theatre, the European Solidarity Centre, the Hevelianum on Góra Gradowa, as well as the renovated Wisłoujście Fortress and Oruński Park. It was during his time that family orphanages were established in Gdansk and the city became home to more than 50 repatriate families. The first civic panels in Poland were carried out, nearly 80 meetings were held between neighbourhood residents and the mayor, and a civic budget as well as free public transport for schoolchildren was introduced.
It was also in Gdansk that a nationally pioneering Immigrant Integration Model was developed and a Council of Immigrants and Immigrant Women was established. The Model for Equal Treatment is also due to come into force soon, and is designed as a weapon against any manifestation of discrimination in Gdansk. He believed in Gdansk's special mission as a city of freedom and solidarity. These two concepts capture the spirit of our city well. Gdańsk has confirmed the significance of freedom and democracy many times, in 1970, 1980, 1989 and also today. That is why from the very beginning I have been building and supporting processes aimed at developing the civil society in our part of Europe, and especially in the countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) - he wrote on his website.
He participated in the work of several international bodies whose aim is to develop democracy in non-EU Europe, including: EU Committee of the Regions, Eurocities International Forum of Cities, and European Association for Local Democracy. Gdansk has repeatedly hosted study visits by representatives of Ukrainian and Russian cities.
He was also involved in the development of Polish cities and saw a future for Gdansk as the capital of a thriving metropolis. In 2007 the presidents of Poland's largest cities elected him the chairman of the board of the Union of Polish Metropolises, a position he held until 2015.
In 2011 he introduced an initiative to establish the Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot Metropolitan Area Association. Until the end of his life, he was the chairman of the Association's board.
He was a politician who was easy to meet on the streets of Gdańsk, e.g. at charity events. For years, he has been volunteering at the cemeteries of Gdańsk collecting money for a hospice as well as the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.
On Sunday, 13 January 2019, he was attacked by a man armed with a knife during the GOCC finale in Gdansk. He was taken to the University Clinical Centre Hospital, where doctors fought for his life for many hours. He died on Monday, 14 January 2019. He was just under 54 years old, starting his 21st year as Mayor of the City of Gdansk. He orphaned two daughters and left his wife Magdalena.
Honorary Citizen of the Capital City of Warsaw as of 17 January 2019.
Title awarded by a resolution of the City Council of the Capital City of Warsaw No. V/60/2019

photo: Karol Stańczak/Gdansk City Hall