Carolina Cosse was elected mayor of Montevideo in November 2020. She was previously Senator of the Republic since February 2020. Carolina Cosse was Minister of Industry Energy and Mining under the presidency of Tabaré Vazquez from 2015 to 2019. She promoted the diversification of the national energy grid and the development of the mining and telecommunication sectors with special emphasis on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. From 2010 to 2015 she was the president of ANTEL (the state-owned telecommunication company). Her first political position dates back to 2007 when she was appointed Director of the Information Technology Division of the Government of Montevideo. Prior to her political career, she worked in the private sector managing various engineering projects in Uruguay and in other Latin America countries. Carolina Cosse is an electrical engineer, she graduated from the Faculty of Engineering of the University of the Republic. She also has a Master’s degree in Mathematical engineering.
In response to job losses and a drop in real wages for public and private workers, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the municipality of Montevideo launched the ABC Plan to help the most vulnerable citizens with quick actions. The ABC Plan seeks to strengthen solidarity, improve the living conditions of the most affected, weave networks of solidarity, and give access to universal rights. To reduce inequality and poverty, the Plan is built on five axes: Health, Land work, Food, Equality and Employment.
To address deepened pre-existing inequalities in the labor market, that have disproportionately affected women due to their lower levels of employment, Montevideo has 3 labour programs. These are the ABC Job Opportunity Program hires people to clean streets and sidewalks, the I study and work Montevideo Plan offers work scholarships to students from low and middle-low sectors to promote a first work experience, and the ABC Solidarity Journal Plan that temporarily generated 4,000 jobs.
The ABC Plan also provides food, utensils and skills training at Community Kitchens. The objective of this temporary policy is to promote wellbeing through citizen participation and to make sure all Montevideans are able to eat.
This Plan also comprises a territorial approach to community healthcare with the First Level Care Network of the State Health Services Administration (ASSE) and the Health Service of the Social Security Bank (BPS). Although the approach to healthcare is developed from national programs, actions on health education and prevention are carried out in the municipal clinics.
Mayor Carolina Cosse has established a series of support tools for micro and small businesses. Among these, the Podés (You can) program is providing technical assistance to entrepreneurs, from feasibility analysis of their business ideas, to the growth and sales take-off stages. Some of the assistance provided by the program include: the creation of a business plan, identification of opportunities for improvement, an action plan regarding scalability of commercial units, and a work plan that includes assembly to the point of sale, adaptation in the forms of marketing and presentation on the product, and self-management of the productive and commercial units. The aim of these programs is to strengthen the socio-productive fabric of the local community and contribute to inclusive and socioeconomic development.
The city of Montevideo has implemented two major programs to tackle climate change. The Greener Montevideo program aims to transform the experience, culture and relationship of citizens with the environment from an individual to a collective responsibility. The program is built on five pillars: the improvement of the waste collection system, improved urban cleaning, better waste management, increased recovery of waste generated in the city, and further emphasis on social inclusion. Complementing these environmental actions, the Resilient Montevideo program was designed to build a future vision of the city, taking into account the current climate challenges, with short medium and long-term actions. The program started with the Preliminary Resilience Assessment, which summarised the most relevant chronic shocks and stresses, and identified emerging issues.