I am Henna Partanen, a 41-year-old architect, an experienced municipal decision-maker, and a member of the Western Uusimaa County Council. Read more about me.
I think Finland needs the courage to make far-sighted decisions that will ensure a sustainable future in terms of well-being, nature, and the economy. As a decision-maker, I am fair and determined, and not afraid to take responsibility for my decisions.
Much like houses, our society must be built on a sustainable foundation. The building blocks we need are:
1. HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Thriving citizens are the bedrock of our welfare state. Lack of availability at our health centres and emergency care strains our trust in the society we’ve built. The wellbeing counties must be given adequate funding to ensure that we can guarantee functioning, high-quality social and health services for all who need them.
A society built on equality and respect for human rights, where no one is left behind, has the resilience and strength to better withstand even unexcepted crisis situations.
2. EMPLOYMENT AND VITALITY
A high level of expertise as well as research and development work are the keys to secure the funding of our welfare state also in the future. Working life must encourage all efforts and allow for a more flexible approach to different ways of working, such as combining part-time employment with entrepreneurship. Introducing basic income would smooth out many of the pitfalls of working life.
The labour shortage requires swift solutions. Labour market testing as a part of the residence permit process must be given up, and other barriers faced by immigrants seeking employment must be taken down. Investments should be made to support retraining and upgrading of previous qualifications.
3. STRONG AND FUNCTIONAL CITIES
Our cities form the backbone of Finland’s vitality, generating most of the economic growth of the country. Uusimaa relies not only on the capital area, but also includes many other vibrant urban areas. Growing cities must be guaranteed the opportunity to invest for example in new child care and school vacancies as well as in functional public transport.
The housing stock in cities must be adequate, affordable, and allow for a wide range of different life situations. The number of one-person households in the cities is larger than in the rest of the country. It is high time for political decision-making to take one-person households into account.
The rate of malaise among the youth – our future – is alarming. Adequate funding for cities and municipalities will ensure the youth opportunities for various hobbies as well as adequate support for learning all the way from early childhood education to upper secondary school or vocational training.
Cultural events and activities are a life source for our cities, and their value should be increasingly recognized in decision-making.
4. NATURE AND CLIMATE ACTION
A society does not function sustainably if it does not take into account the carrying capacity of nature and climate. Active measures will continue to be needed in the next parliamentary term to meet Finland’s ambitious climate goals. Halting biodiversity loss must guide the entire society from business operations to land use planning and the forest industry.
A civilized society will not forget that humans are a part of the nature and, in the end, just another species among so many others. The right to a good life belongs to all species.
Come join me in building a sustainable future!