Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
- Born in 1965 in Marsberg, North Rhine-Westphalia
- Resident in Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt
- Married, two children
- Obtained Abitur (higher-education entrance qualification)
- completed civilian service in the field of child and youth psychiatry
- University studies in Law, passed first and second state examinations in law
- worked as a candidate notary
- 1998 – April 2006: secretary of Saxony-Anhalt Chamber of Notaries
- April 2006 – October 2009: State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice of Saxony-Anhalt
- Since October 2009: Member of the German Bundestag
- Member of the Committee on Internal Affairs
- Substitute Member of the Committee on Legal Affairs
- Member of the Parliamentary Control Panel
- Member of the Committee for the Scrutiny of Acoustic Surveillance of the Private Home
- Spokesman of the SPD-Parliamentary group on Internal Affairs
- Since 1989: Member of Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
- Since June 2004: Member of the City Council Magdeburg
- Since 2006: Member of the executive committee of the Saxony-Anhalt Land branch of the SPD
- Since 2011: Member of the executive committee of the SPD-Parliamentary group in the German Bundestag
- Since 2016: Chairman of the Saxony-Anhalt Land branch of the SPD
Childhood and Youth
I was born in the Sauerland on Feburary 1, 1965. My political career began in junior high school, when I was chosen as my class-speaker, a title I held for seven years. When I turned fourteen, I became the school-speaker. A year later I became a member of the District Student Council. During my high-school years, I was involved in the peace and environmental movement. At the age of nineteen, being a member of the Green Party at that time, I was elected to our regional council.
After graduation I started working for a paper mill. I sought to earn my first salary and was waiting for approval as a civilian servant. I completed my required civilian service in a children’s and adolescent psychiatry clinic. I continued working there during my university summer vacations as well.
Working at the clinic opened up my eyes, as I observed personally how many children grow up under unbelievably difficult family situations and conditions. This experience affected me deeply. I now try to promote educational opportunities and fair early childhood conditions for all children and young people.
University and Professional Experience
Life as a student was a bit stressful. After five years of law school, I started working as a clerk at the District Court of Paderborn and in a law firm. Once I passed my legal exams, many doors opened up for me. But I had to choose: serving as a labor judge could have been fun; perhaps a prosecutor? Ultimately I decided to become a notary, where I was tasked with avoiding disputes before they arose, combining different interests together, and formulating and implementing solutions – a job that greatly appealed to me. In 1998 I became the director of the Chamber of Notaries of Saxony-Anhalt.
From April 2006 to October 2009, I served as secretary of state in the Ministry of Justice of the state of Saxony-Anhalt. It was an exciting job: hundreds of conversations, meetings and files, where many decisions had to be made.
In the 17th parliamentary elections of the German Bundestag, I was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). I was reelected in the 18th parliamentary elections in 2013. Since 2014 I have served as party spokesman in the Committee on Internal Affairs of the Bundestag.
I joined the SPD in 1989 with many political goals: creating a united society. Solidarity. Bringing together innovation and social justice. A country that leaves no one behind. A policy that excludes no one, but also provides our children with a livable environment. A peaceful Germany. A country in which the political dialogue is the leading issue. This is what I wanted, and the Social Democrats as well. Therefore, the SPD has become my political home. In a roundabout way the SPD has changed. And I have changed as well.
Since June 2004 I have been a member in the Magdeburg city council. Local politics are not the bottom of the political barrel; rather, it is the center. Good child care, functioning schools and senior citizen clubs, sports facilities, cultural facilities and comprehensive social services – local politics decide upon all these various topics.
In autumn 2006, I was elected to the Executive Committee of the SPD in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. In 2008 I was nominated as the number two candidate of the seventieth electoral district on the list for the country’s parliamentary election.
An individual’s path is never so straight, as appears in hindsight. There are always doubts and obstacles. You grow and learn how to remove stones out of the way. And you take on new challenges..