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Minha Sampa: The Project That Is Changing São Paulo’s Politics

Minha Sampa is a movement that involves São Paulo’s citizens in the metropolis’s politics decisions, and its main goal is to create a more democratic, inclusive and sustainable city.

In 2011, the NGO Nossas created a project named Meu Rio (My Rio), an activism action that mobilizes people to participate in politics decisions. It inspects Rio de Janeiro’s city councilors, deputies and government secretaries in their decisions involving the city, and fights for its residents to be heard and to be involved in the process of deciding what is best for Rio de Janeiro.

 After 3 successful years in Rio de Janeiro, the NGO Nossas decided to replicate Meu Rio’s model exporting its technology and methodology to São Paulo, giving birth to Minha Sampa’s (My “Sampa”, nickname for São Paulo) project.

Minha Sampa was founded in 2014, and it is an independent and nonpartisan organization, which does not accept donations from governments, political parties and private and public companies. The project is financed by donations from people who believe and support their actions to create a better São Paulo for everyone.

The project creates campaigns to encourage São Paulo’s citizens to participate and get involved with the issues concerning the city, creating a much more democratic experience and environment.

To get to know more about the project, we have talked to Karolina Bergamo, Cásper Líbero alumna who decided to work at Minha Sampa as a mobilization coordinator to contribute with politics decisions and improve democracy in the city.

She states proudly that the first and biggest achievement of the project was #PaulistaAberta, a campaign to open the Paulista Avenue on Sundays and holidays for pedestrians, willing to provide the population a space for recreation and interaction. Alongside, Minha Sampa holds another projects as well, such as Bike Anjo, Cidade Ativa, Mobilize and a few others.

Image Source: Facebook Minha Sampa

The campaign expanded and inspired the Prefecture of São Paulo to create the program Ruas Abertas (Open Streets), which has now 32 open streets. The former mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad, stated that “It is a policy that makes people closer to each other. I think we have to cultivate tolerance more than ever in our city with possibilities for meetings, understandings and communion, which are things that should mark life in a city as diverse as São Paulo”.

In only 3 years of existence, the project mobilized more than 200.000 of São Paulo’s citizens to be involved with the city’s government most important decisions.

Karolina Bergamo told us more about other amazing Minha Sampa’s achievements, like:

Delegacia da Mulher (Women Police Station)

Image Source: Ju Simões (Personal archive)

Minha Sampa created the campaign Delegacia da Mulher, its main goal is for the prefecture of São Paulo to create 24 hours police stations for women. In 2016, the first of its kind was inaugurated in São Paulo because of the mobilization made by Minha Sampa. The campaign is still going and people can help at the website – www.delegaciadamulher.minhasampa.org.br. The goal now is for the prefecture to open many more 24 hours police stations for women in São Paulo.

Não Tire Meu Cobertor (Do Not Take Away My Blanket)

“We did it! The civil guard can not collect anymore blankets from people who live on the streets of São Paulo.” – In the picture taken by Thiago Fogolin, we see Mr. Almir.

The campaign’s goal was to reverse the decree made by the current mayor, João Doria, stating that the Metropolitan Civil Guard could take personal belongings from homeless people. Minha Sampa mobilized many of São Paulo’s citizens and created a video that reached about 3 million people, and in 5 months the goal was achieved.

To collaborate with Minha Sampa and create a better and more democratic São Paulo, you can access the website – www.minhasampa.org.br – and register to know more about the project’s campaigns and actions. You can also donate, so that Minha Sampa can keep doing its great job. Make sure to check out the website, and get involved!

Carolina Grassmann is an Editorial Intern at HerCampus.com, and the Editor-In-Chief and Events Director of Her Campus Cásper Líbero. She's majoring in journalism, and has been involved with HC since her first year of college, as a writer and reporter. When she's not writing, she's most likely listening to Taylor Swift's songs over and over again.
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