Green MP – running for parliament in the Uusimaa constituency
I am a Green MP, Master of Science (Tech.) from Aalto University, mother of a small boy, and a scout. A crisis-proof negotiator, curious bridge builder, and analytical optimist. Education and culture, equality and human rights, families and the youth, freedom and responsibility, and nature and climate are all things close to my heart.
It has been an honour to serve as a Member of Parliament for Uusimaa, and as the Vice President of the Greens’ parliamentary group. I’m running for second term, because I want to continue resiliently working for the following:
- Quality education, versatile culture, and freedom of science lay the foundations for future well-being and success. Read more.
- The climate crisis and loss of biodiversity can still be stopped. The next few years will determine whether we’ll succeed in protecting our shared planet. Read more.
- The welfare of youth and families are pivotal for the future of Finland as a whole. Read more.
- Equality isn’t here yet. Equality and human rights provide safety for small countries, and for vulnerable people. We have to defend them uncompromisingly. Read more.
There’s hope, and there’s courage. We’ll make change happen.
Election day is on Sunday 2 April, 2023. Advance voting will take place 22–28 March 2023. Not sure if you have the right to vote? Check here! My election number is 204 (Uusimaa constituency).
Read more about my thoughts in English in Yle’s Election Compass.
Below you can find more information on my election themes and objectives.
EDUCATION, CULTURE, AND SCIENCE
Quality education is a central pillar of both equality and employment – it forms the basis for Finland’s success and people’s welfare. Research, development, and innovation create new discoveries and solve the big questions of our time. Without culture, life would be but a pale version of itself – which Covid-19 pandemic and the following restrictions so deeply demonstrated. Culture has great meaning not only for individual people, but also for the resilience and vitality of our whole nation.
During my current term in office, I negotiated substantial investments into all levels of education, equal right to early childhood education and smaller group sizes, a trial for two-year pre-school, binding staff allocation for student welfare services, free secondary education, and solutions that will increase research and innovation funding. I defended the culture sector that had been battered by the Covid pandemic, pushed forward subsidies for freelancers, and led the renewal work for the Greens’ cultural policy.
In the coming term, we have to continue our resilient work for education, science, and culture. Let’s start with these:
- Let’s solve the staff shortages in early childhood education, and make two-year pre-school a standard.
- Let’s make sure that in comprehensive schools teachers have time to teach and be present, and that pupils get the support they need. Let’s make sure that every young person finds a suitable study path following comprehensive school.
- Let’s increase the available student places in higher education institutions, as well as their basic funding. Let’s hold on to free education. Let’s create opportunities for lifelong learning.
- Let’s defend the freedom of science and invest in quality research. Let’s allocate inefficient and counterproductive enterprise subsidies towards creative activities.
- Let’s recognise the meaning of culture for welfare, the economy, and employment. Let’s increase cultural budget to one percent of the state budget. Let’s aim for the creative industries to grow towards the European average.
- Let’s improve the accessibility of culture and make sure that everyone – from early childhood education to prisons, from youth centres to care homes – has the chance to experience culture.
- Let’s take care of the livelihoods of artists and cultural professionals. Let’s fix the porous social security system with universal basic income. Let’s build well-functioning channels and the necessary knowledge base to support cultural professionals against future crises.
NATURE, THE CLIMATE, AND ANIMALS
Finnish people love and appreciate nature and want credible climate policies from politicians. Yet biodiversity is dwindling in Finland as well, and every climate decision seems to be obtained only after arduous debate. We still have a ton to do to fit human lives within the boundaries set by nature. Climate crisis and biodiversity loss are crises threatening the future of humanity, and unfortunately they feed off of each other. On the bright side, the logic works both ways: fighting against the climate crisis slows down biodiversity loss, and warding off biodiversity loss decelerates global warming.
During my current term in office, we’ve taken leaps forward. We passed the Climate Change Act, through which Finland’s goal of being carbon-neutral by 2035 isn’t just an objective but a law. We passed the new Nature Conservation Act, which lays the groundwork for the actions that need to be taken to fight biodiversity loss. We invested in billions in the green transition and in decreasing emissions. We increased the funding for nature conservation to historic levels. We protected forests and wetlands. We founded new national parks and nature reserves.
The work for fighting against climate change and biodiversity loss isn’t finished yet. But there are solutions – we just have to implement them:
- Let’s save Finland’s carbon sinks. Let’s protect old state forests, and guide transition to a more sustainable form of forestry.
- Let’s do everything we can to stop biodiversity loss. Let’s pass a nature law that secures this work, and make natural capital a part of national accounts. Let’s renew the Finnish Water Act and Forest Act, and make the Mining Act stricter. Let’s double the funding for nature conservation. Let’s take better care of the Baltic Sea.
- Let’s hold on to our climate targets. Let’s decrease emissions in all sectors of society. Let’s hasten the production of zero emission energy, detach transportation from fossil fuels, and renew agricultural subsidies to be more environmentally sustainable. Let’s stop subsidies that are harmful to the environment.
- Climate policy is also to a large extent security policy – our dependence on the fossil economy makes us vulnerable. Climate-resilient energy self-sufficiency, sustainable agriculture, and decreasing transportation emissions are not only desirable for the climate, but also for security of supply and for security more generally. They also create safety in people’s everyday lives, when drastic fossil fuel price increases won’t be pulling at Finnish citizens’ purse strings.
- Let’s stop overconsumption of natural resources. Let’s make environmentally sustainable decisions easy, cheap, and effortless. Let’s implement a green tax reform. Let’s make sure the transition is fair, so that everyone can keep up with the changes. Let’s implement the energy subsidy, so that the costs won’t be unreasonably accumulated to those with lower income.
- Let’s improve animal rights. Let’s ban fur farming. Let’s tighten animal welfare requirements in agriculture. Let’s increase the supply of plant-based food. Let’s decrease meat consumption, not only for animals and the environment, but also for public health.
CHILDREN, THE YOUTH, AND FAMILIES
Finland is the world’s best country to be born in and to give birth in. We have world class services for families with children. Nevertheless, Finnish parents are amongst the most tired in the world. Too many young people experience loneliness, feelings of inadequacy and pressures to perform exactly when there should be space for experimenting, adventure, learning, and to grow into your own – to be young. It’s clear that we need a new approach in supporting families and in strengthening the welfare of children, the youth, and parents.
During my current term in office, we’ve supported families with children in the midst of crises, and improved some aspects of student subsistence. I proposed teenage maternity clinics to support parents with children reaching puberty, and prepared solutions for developing prenatal services. I defended children’s and young people’s rights in the Covid-19 crisis in Finland, and in all kinds of crises around the world. I started conversations on the root causes for youth distress, and demanded space for young people to grow in peace in the midst of various pressures. I founded a network promoting the wellbeing of young people within the parliament (‘Nuorten puolella’) to ensure that young people’s voices are at the heart of decision-making.
The welfare of families and the youth are central questions for the future of Finland in its entirety. Let’s grab the bull by the horns and start with these:
- Let’s restore youth welfare at least to the level preceding the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s ensure the availability of school and student healthcare, as well as low-threshold mental health services. Let’s implement immediate access to therapy. Let’s tackle the root causes for malaise. Let’s comb through the policies of the last few decades and their impact on youth welfare – and if need be, intently criticise them.
- Let’s make sure that the professionals working with the youth have enough resources to be truly present in young people’s lives. Let’s increase the amount of youth work and make sure each young person has the chance to have a hobby they like. Let’s strengthen the cooperation between youth work, social work, schools, the police, and families.
- Let’s reform social security by turning it into universal basic income. Let’s increase student financial aid, and make sure young people genuinely have the chance to finish their studies.
- Let’s offer support to families early on. Let’s make it easier to get home care services. Let’s establish teenage maternity clinics to support parents and families dealing with the onset of puberty. Let’s develop prenatal care further to even better support families’ ability to cope. Let’s meet and treat fathers and children’s other guardians as equal parents. Let’s make grandparents a part of the family leave system. Let’s secure the resources of child welfare services.
- Let’s strengthen youth inclusion and children’s rights on all levels of decision-making.
EQUALITY, PEACE, AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Everyone has to have the freedom to be themselves without the fear of discrimination, harassment, or racism. I want everyone to genuinely have the chance to seek their own path, find their own thing, and move forward in life. Equality won’t advance by itself, and in fact, the rights of women and minorities are strongly challenged all over the world – even in Finland. We have to enhance security through nurturing equality, human rights, and peace.
During the current term, we reformed family leave to better support equality and the different situations families have. We took the new consent-based sexual offence legislation, the Parenthood Act improving the equality of families, amendments to the Abortion Act, and the trans law to the finish line. I have also worked for free contraception, sexual rights, and sexual education in Finland and around the world, proposed a reform for gender-neutral conscription, and defended the basic rights of drug users, prisoners, asylum seekers, and undocumented migrants.
Equality isn’t here yet. Equality and human rights need to be defended uncompromisingly in the coming years as well. Let’s start with these:
- Let’s strongly intervene against violence against women. Let’s increase the available places in women’s shelters to correspond to the requirements set by international treaties.
- Let’s increase openness about salaries and reduce unjustified pay gaps. Let’s create a program to increase salaries in low-paid industries that are dominated by women. Let’s decrease the genderisation of different sectors, for example, through high-quality student counselling.
- Let’s hasten labour and study-based immigration and make integration a Finnish success story. Let’s increase our refugee quota and solve the situation with undocumented migrants in a sustainable manner. Let’s take care of the due process of law for asylum seekers and improve their chances to be employed.
- Let’s fix human rights violations in our home land. Let’s renew military service to be gender neutral. Let’s implement drug policy that seeks to find solutions, not to punish people. Let’s reduce crime through improving the quality of prison care. Let’s strengthen the rights of the Sámi people and Karelians, as well as other linguistic and cultural minorities. Let’s make sure that the rights of elderly and people with disabilities are fulfilled in care and housing services.
- Let’s defend girls’ sexual and reproductive rights in Finland, as well as abroad. Let’s pursue foreign policy based on affirming equality and human rights. Let’s stabilise the world through diplomacy and impactful development cooperation.
- Let’s make contributions in line with our values towards peace and security in NATO, in addition to the EU and the UN. Let’s support Ukraine both in their fight for independence, as well as in rebuilding the country.