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Mar Galcerán, first deputy with Down syndrome: "I'm used to being called your honor"


Highlights: Mar Galcerán, 45, is the first deputy in Spain with Down syndrome. He was sworn in on Wednesday and attended his first plenary session from his seat. "Everyone treats me very well. I am already beginning to get used to being called your Honor," he says. He would like to work on some parliamentary initiative related to inclusion, although it is still early. "There are always topics that we have to fight to eliminate, such as treating ourselves as children, as angels, as eternal children," he adds.

The emotion and adaptation mark the week of premiere in the parliamentary life of the new deputy of the PP, who will work for the inclusion of "people with different abilities"

He walks through the corridors greeting each other, without distinction, be they orderlies, deputies or journalists. Nor is it recreated in the attention it arouses since the PP list ran and it was learned that Mar Galcerán, 45, was going to be the first deputy in Spain with Down syndrome. He goes about his business, to learn the routines, to adapt to his new life in Les Corts Valencianes.

On Wednesday, he was sworn in and attended his first plenary session from his seat. How was it? "It has been good, although it has not ended, in the afternoon the hearings continue. Many interventions, many replicas. Obviously, the ones I liked the most were those from my party," he replied during the lunch break. On Tuesday he had already advanced with humor that he did not intend to "swear by the Earth", for example, or make any other "extravagant" oath, while catching up on practical issues, such as the operation of the computer or mobile.

Mar Galcerán, on the stairs of the building where his office is located. Monica Torres

From the IT department, the new deputy goes down to the archive and the library, where she looks at the front pages of some newspapers, comments surprised how her surname has been twisted in some article and invites to show her office in front of the historic building and the parliament, which will be her workplace for the next four years.

Along the way, she recalls that she was president of the Asindown entity for four years, although she expresses the convenience of talking about "people with different abilities". "I get the feeling that when you talk about disability you are denying abilities, I do not say that you do not say disability or Down syndrome, but I prefer to say it the other way," he says.

He would like to work on some parliamentary initiative related to inclusion, although it is still early. "I just arrived, I'm just starting. I want to go to all the committees to see how they work. I am already beginning to get used to being called your Honor. So I am also aware of the work I am going to do, of my occupation, "he explains, while smiling at a socialist deputy who approaches him in his path and embraces the parliamentary spokesman of the PP, Miguel Barrachina. "Everyone treats me very well. I already knew many politicians in my group from when I worked in the Presidency with Eduardo Zaplana," he says.

The deputy Mar Galcerán, in her office in Les Corts Valencianes.Mònica Torres

Galcerán is an assistant technician of Home and Kindergarten, studied FP and began working in the public service 26 years ago, in which she was an interim in the Presidency. After passing the oppositions, she has been a subordinate in several councils. From a very young age he was interested in politics. Last spring, the current president of the Generalitat, Carlos Mazón, incorporated it into the lists of the PP for Valencia.

His office is still as empty as those of his colleagues who have debuted seat this week. There she explains that as a child she hardly felt discriminated against, especially compared to adolescence. "There you do find out much more." What bothered him most were "certain performances, especially those that said some things and did different ones." "There are always topics that we have to fight to eliminate, such as treating ourselves as children, as angels, as eternal children. There are many prejudices and comments are made from ignorance. The truth is that many people say things and don't really know them," he says in a serene tone, without emphatic underlining.

"Society is changing, but there is still a lot of work to be done. True inclusion must begin with the school, at all stages, participating and counting on the person. As long as that does not happen there will be no inclusion and no true integration, "she adds on the subject in which she has always "been working" and that will predictably mark her career as a parliamentarian.

Mar Galcerán defines himself as a practical person, "sometimes a little squared". "I like many schedules, here it is different, because the deputies do not have a fixed schedule, outside the plenary sessions and commissions," he adds. She also considers herself a "flirtatious" person, a follower of "makeup" tutorials to learn "how to prepare". He likes cinema, theater, going for a run and improving his times, although the only career he aspires to win is that of overcoming. "I am always attracted to examples of overcoming," he says, although he could not point to "a fixed person as a reference."

With her fellow deputies, in her first session, last Wednesday. Monica Torres

Her mother, Pilar, remembers that Mar "has had to fight a lot from a very young age, but she has been very brave." "He has never given up and this was one of the objectives he had, and once again, as in everything that has been proposed there we will be his parents. And because she deserves it, she is a fighter and pursuer of her dreams based on effort and tenacity, "says the mother in some demonstrations about the swearing in as a deputy attended by the family. "We are very satisfied for it but also a little scared because it is an unknown terrain. She is happy that it is what we have always wanted, us and her brothers, "adds Pilar.

"My parents have encouraged me from a very young age," admits the deputy. "And my brothers, who are good people, have also helped me a lot. I don't argue with them, because I'm rather patient," she says, delighted to be stopped in her neighborhood of Valencia, El Cabanyal, to congratulate her.

His life has turned upside down, but he carries it with ease. Of this first week of parliamentary life, he assures that he has not been surprised by anything in space. He understands that the rifirrafes are characteristic of politics and insists that he is receiving excellent treatment, while recalling that he already knew many politicians before, "who do not stop being people, right?"

The deputy Mar Galcerán, with the Valencian president, after taking the oath of office last Wednesday. Monica Torres

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-09-24

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