Wrocław is my home

For the past 12 years I have had the honour to work for the people of this city – first as a director of the City Welfare Social Centre, then for seven years as a director of the Social Affairs Department of the City Council and now in my new role as the Mayor of Wrocław.

In 2002 I graduated with a degree in Sociology from the Faculty of Social Sciences of Wrocław University. It was an unusual time for us students of this faculty. When I was beginning my academic adventure I took part in an event which changed the face of Wrocław. The flood of 1997 caused our city as a human community to become a phenomenon in the international scale, when, in the face of danger, we proved our strength and unity.

My sociological studies prepared me as to be an official able to utilise professional methods to diagnose what “pains” my fellow citizens. Armed with answers to these questions I was in the position to understand what had to be focused on while planning and searching for solutions. However, as a sociologist I also know that nothing can replace personal contact. Each community must be based on relationships and dialogue. For this reason I have always met people and I am not going to avoid such meetings in the future.

Where I am today is also a consequence of my experiences from work in non-governmental organisations. After university, I was offered and accepted the role of Director of the Working Community of Associations of Social Organisations in Warsaw. The institution was an umbrella organisation for one thousand non-governmental organisations and created, for the first time in Poland, standards for work with the homeless, excluded, and addicted and the rules regulating associated issues. I still describe myself as the most non-governmental regional civil official, as NGOs are in my heart. They are what local government and the state will never be. However, without proper institutional support NGOs are unable to work effectively. So we need each other. And, being on the other side as an official, I have never forgotten this lesson.

I am also a normal guy who has just celebrated his 40th birthday. I play sport – tennis being my favourite, but I also enjoy jogging and cycling. I love spending time with family and friends. I respect other people’s privacy and expect this in return from others. In people I appreciate those with a sense of humour and those who keep their word. I also try to nurture these characteristics in myself.

Jacek Sutryk