In less than two years, the deputy of the Yekaterinburg City Council, Alexei Vikharev, set a new standard for the openness of parliamentarians.
Alexey Vikharev. Photo: the deputy’s personal page on Facebook
The deputy of the 7th convocation of the city council of Yekaterinburg Alexey Vikharev almost from the very moment he was elected in the fall 2018 of the year became a real find for the media. In a matter of months, he became the most popular politician in the media, and great hopes began to be placed on him, both by direct voters and by citizens who had nothing to do with the Alexei Vikharev constituency - the Ordzhonikidze district of Yekaterinburg. A year after the election, Alexey Vikharev entered the top three politicians of the year in the region according to the publication “URA.RU”. The deputy, whose political experience was exactly one year at that time, took third place, losing to Vice Governor Sergei Bidonko and Mayor of Yekaterinburg Alexander Vysokinsky. political agenda of the region. But, if you look at the situation objectively, without conspiracy theories and speculations, then the basis of Alexey Vikharev’s attractiveness is obvious - deputy Vikharev shows exceptional openness, is not afraid of the media, and the notorious gap between the government and society in his personal case is absent in principle.
Unlike many - we will be honest, from the majority of residents of municipalities and even subjects of Russia - those whose interests are represented by deputy Aleksey Vikharev have no problem finding out exactly what their chosen one does and what results this leads to. Long before the representatives of state power were instructed to organize feedback channels with the public using various accounts on social networks, Alexey Vikharev established this communication on his own initiative. The politician has “live” accounts in all popular social networks, he has his own website - and the site is dynamic, the relevance of the information on it is high.
Deputy Alexei Vikharev actively conducts receptions of citizens, not limited to the norms laid down in the legislation for this activity . According to the results of 2019 of the year, Vikharev’s reception was addressed by 3650 residents of the district - on average 14 - 16 people a day.
Deputy receptions Alexei Vikharev did not stop during the period of self-isolation. Again, even before this became common practice, communication channels were organized with the public through social networks, instant messengers, video conferencing applications, etc. Which once again added sympathy to Vikharev, who, without waiting for recommendations, on his own, ensured the exercise of the rights of citizens to appeal to their deputy.
As Vikharev himself notes, order 90% the appeals received to him are not related to the powers of a deputy of the city duma. Where, according to the federal norm, deputies influence general issues, such as approving the budget or coordinating inter-budget transfers, but have few tools to solve specific problems of the courtyard or entrance. Aleksey Vikharev decided to go beyond the limits, and began to solve the problems of people to whom neither physically nor administratively had anything to do. And, I must say, he decided not unsuccessfully.
One of the most striking stories in the career of the young deputy was the “garbage problem” in his district, which was solved in the summer and autumn 2020 of the year. Aleksei Vikharev himself praised it as an ideal illustration of “how do conflicts arise between people and the authorities?”
The land plot on which the garbage area of apartment buildings stood was again in demand after the owner dismantled the garbage cans . In the absence of an alternative, a local civil conflict arose - and spontaneous landfills in various places. The executive branch did not want to go beyond formal procedures, requiring general meetings, meetings with the Criminal Code - which did not affect the rapidly growing mountain of garbage that violated all sanitation and common sense norms.
In fact, Alexei Vikharev had to take the function of a "translator" from the language of local authorities to the common civilian language and vice versa. In the most confusing places, Alexei Vikharev had to pay for a number of procedures from his own pocket - a large number of negotiating parties turned any financial issue into a practically unsolvable dilemma. Vikharev collected the signatures of the residents, which could start legal procedures.
As a result, after three months of personal efforts, Vikharev did solve the problem - a new site, new garbage containers, the conflict was settled.
A no less resonant story of Deputy Vikharev’s activity “beyond the scope of officialdom” was the supervision of the investigation into the arsons of old houses in the Uralmash region in the spring 2020 of the year, which led to human casualties. Alexei Vikharev, not only as a professional lawyer, carried out all the necessary work to initiate an investigation into what happened, but also ensured the creation of a video surveillance system in the “problem” places of the district, and also initiated the process of allocating additional funds for the resettlement of dilapidated and emergency housing.
Few may be surprised that the deputy is making certain efforts in the hot phases of the electoral cycle. However, Alexey Vikharev breaks all stereotypes, because his work goes on without interruptions, and it does not work out to be associated with any election motivators. And, as they said, the deputy is constantly “in touch” with the population, moreover, he is actively expanding this connection.
As the deputy himself emphasized in the media, “I consider it normal if the deputy has been working for all 5 years. I intend to act in this way. I myself wonder how much will be enough for me. ”
Perhaps in this case we are dealing with a rare set of personal qualities of Alexey Vikharev that form his unexpectedly pleasant portrait of a deputy: responsibility, ability to go beyond formal obligations, hard work and willingness to work with people. However, I would like to believe that such a type of politician will be relevant in the coming years, and the “traditional” style of a purely declarative representative function of municipal and other levels of parliamentarians will become a thing of the past as an ineffective anachronism.
A deputy is not an executive function. A deputy must represent the interests of his constituents, and formally, all the deputies are doing just that. However, these priorities can be represented in different ways.
The path of Alexei Vikharev is both extremely easy to understand and very difficult in practice. If a deputy has to pay for the current needs of his voters from his own funds - let's say frankly, this is wrong. Because in this case, the state machine does not work with sufficient efficiency, and one citizen and even a deputy should not try to compensate for the shortcomings of a system that has far superior resources.
However, a new wave of politicians, whose bright representative is Alexey Vikharev , tries to help the population by any legal means, moderating conflicts, proposing solutions to the problem, while trying to eliminate their root cause. It is hardly possible to doubt that it is precisely such deputies that will help minimize the notorious gap between the government and society, strengthening social stability in general.