The Greens are working on behalf of an equal, safe and fair future. We give a voice to those who would not otherwise be heard – nature, future generations, the vulnerable.
To build a better future, everyone is needed.
The Greens in Finland are a political party and social movement, uniting people from diverse backgrounds to change the world.
By joining the Greens, you take a stand on world affairs. With your membership fee, you support our work for a better world.
As a member, you can take part in changing the world: defending human rights, fighting the climate and environment crisis and giving a voice to vulnerable groups in our society.
Most of the work for the environment, equality, education and a sustainable future, is done between elections. We are not just a political party, we are a movement, and our members make the movement strong. You are welcome to join us in action!
MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS OF 2021
Under the Constitution, Finland is divided into municipalities whose administration is based on self-government. Municipalities make decisions on many issues that concern their residents. The highest decision-making body in a municipality is a council elected by the residents. The council members, or councillors, are elected for four years at a time in municipal elections. The next municipal elections will take place on Sunday, 13 June 2021. In municipal elections, Finnish citizens and, under certain conditions, citizens of other countries living in the municipality may vote and stand as candidates. Voting in Finland is voluntary.
Our bilingual candidates:
Eeva Honkanummi, Tuomarila
Social Psychologist, Brief Therapist
Mental health, resource wisdom and Nuuksio & nature – these are my main goals. Let’s make Espoo green together!
I am an entrepreneur and also work as a vocational teacher. I am a member in Executive Board in HUS, Helsinki University Hospital.
Pia Vaquer, Matinkylä
MA, Insight Consultant
Linguist and international business consultant focused on customer-centric services, sustainable design and the circular economy. Mother of two, invested in daycare and education. Proponent of multilingualism and effective integration, supporting equal possibilities for all. Engaged in the development of a resource-efficient, carbon-neutral city with well-functioning public transport, shared services and recycling of materials while preserving the unique nature around us.
Oscar Smith, Latokaski
I am an 18-year-old student running in the municipal elections as the youngest candidate in Espoo. My goal is to make Espoo a city which creates opportunities and wellbeing for everyone, regardless of background. My main focus is on issues faced by younger people, such as those of mental health and exclusion. It is of utmost importance that Espoo continues to provide extensive health services and top-tier education, while protecting the environment and mitigating climate change.
Eeva Simola-Erholtz, Suvisaaristo
Journalist, non-fiction writer
Locally active for 26 yrs. Board mbr in water co-op, founder of book club. I arrange events, go cayaking. I dig deep for facts for an overall picture. Also wish to listen to residents in various languages and pass on their msg. Possess international work and lobbying experience.
The City Strategy contains big words, I see no deeds. The City shoud 1) listen to all its residents never mind their origin; 2) become more environmental; 3) protect its vulnerabe archipelago; 4) procure responsibly.
Marika Paavilainen, Espoonlahti
Ministerial advisor, Legal affairs
I live with my family in Espoonlahti. The family includes my husband and two daughters, as well as my parents who live in a servicehome. I am an active in parents’ associatons and in the physical planning. Now I stand as a candidate in municipal elections to work for Espoo to be a more sustainable circular economy where raw materials are reused and recycled, where everyone has access to the services they need and where especially the protection of marine nature of Baltic Sea is improved.
Pia Aarrekivi, Kilo, Kuninkainen
BA, Grandmother, retired
A persistent and experienced defender of green values for 20 years. The well-being of children and young people, the promotion of physical activity on every level, valuable services for older people and the investment in mental health are important goals in my efforts to continue working towards a more humane future. Multicultural Espoo is here to stay and we need to value important input from all citizens.
Henna Partanen, Tapiola
Vice-chair of the City Board, Architect
I’m a 39-year-old architect from Espoo, currently serving my second term in the City Council. I want to continue working for a livelier city, a more diverse nature, climate action with an impact, and caring for those residents in the weakest position.
Saara Hyrkkö, Tapiola
Master of Science (Tech.), Member of Parliament
I am an analytical optimist and a resolute feminist working relentlessly for a better world. I hope to be re-elected to be able to continue my work on education, mental health, nature, equality a supporting families. The two most important questions in this election are these: How to make sure our city and all its residents recover after the pandemic? And do we work hard enough to fight climate change and to build a society that works within the limits of our environmental capacity?
Tiina Elo, Laajalahti
Member of Parliament, Municipal Councillor
I am a first-term MP, and have acted as Councillor at the Espoo City Council for 12 years. I work for a city that conserves nature and its biodiversity, strives for carbon neutrality and cares for each one of its inhabitants. Climate work creates new jobs, education is an investment for the future and open decision making processes invite residents to participate. With your vote I will continue this work. Together we can build a green Espoo!
Anja Markkanen, Espoon keskus
I am a Finnish-speaking language teacher (Swedish, German and English) in a comprehensive school in Helsinki. For me, high-quality education is very important. Decisions on education must be made on pedagogical grounds also in the future.
There are more than 1.2 million single people living in Finland. The well-being of singles should also be promoted in municipal decision-making.
Marjaana Siivola, Gumböle – Karhusuo
eLearning expert, Licentiate of Technology
I am a mother of three boys and a wife. I have lived in California & Colorado (USA) and in Plymouth (England). I am currently in the Technical Services board and I am a vice representative for the City Council and City Planning board. My main aim is to keep daily living good in Espoo. To have green spaces in all areas, try to get the housing costs down. To have human sized city planning and vivid life on the ground level. Quality education in all levels is also important.
Satu Ramsland, Olari
IT Security Professional, Master of Science (Technology)
I am a 38-year-old IT security professional and a mother of three. I want Espoo to be an inclusive city, where the different services provided are easily found and used. I want every child with special needs to get the support they need. We also need to have schools where both the staff and the children feel safe. Espoo should be a welcoming city to people from all backgrounds, free from any kind of discrimination. Espoo has beautiful nature that we must preserve and value.
Hanna Hukari, Leppävaara – Alberga
Social work professional and head of training
I have extensive experience in the social care field, employment management and holding trustee positions. I am an energetic mother of school-age children from Leppävaara and I understand the needs of different people.The issues of children and young people are very important and close to me, they are our future and we must not forget them, especially now in the midst of the corona crisis. Let’s make Espoo even greener together, where we respect and support each other.
Rosa Puhakainen-Mattila, Nupuri/Nupurböle
Human rights adviser, education officer
Mother of four, carer of my youngest, spouse of entrepreneur. Let’s make Espoo a city, where everyone can learn, find employment, and make a difference. A city, where it’s easy to move around, where the services are close by, the nature is clean and the decision-making is transparent.
Can I vote?
Entitled to vote in municipal elections are
1) citizens of Finland or another Member State of the European Union as well as of Iceland and Norway who have reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the election, and whose municipality of residence, as defined by law, is the municipality in question on 26 February 2021 (on the 51st day before election day),
2) other foreigners who have reached the age of 18 not later than on the day of the election, and whose municipality of residence, as defined by law, is the municipality in question on 26 February 2021 (on the 51st day before election day), and who at that time have had a municipality of residence in Finland for an uninterrupted period of two years and
3) those who are employed by the European Union or an international organisation based in Finland and who are habitually resident in the municipality in question on 26 February 2021 (on the 51st day before the election day), provided that their personal information has, at their request, been entered into the Population Information System and that they have submitted a written notification to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, no later than 25 February 2021 (on the 52nd day before the election day), stating that they wish to exercise their right to vote in the municipal elections.
Your municipality of residence is determined under the Municipality of Residence Act. Usually,
your municipality of residence is the municipality where you live.
More information about the elections from Ministry of Justice’s website:
English translation of the Espoo Greens’ Municipal Election Platform 2021.
WE WILL MAKE ESPOO GREEN!
Green Espoo is a cozy nature-loving city where everyone is taken care of. We ensure everyone in Espoo has access to high-quality education in healthy facilities, including early childhood education. Green Espoo is an inspiring, communal city that encourages everyone to try new ideas and where each person can pursue their dreams. When it comes to public services, we believe in a preventative approach, promoting the well-being of our residents.
Together we are building an Espoo, where we are actively fighting climate change, promote sustainable development and safeguard local nature while building an increasingly urban dense city. In all decision-making, the Greens promote the achievement of goals of the UN Agenda 2030 already by 2025. We are turning Espoo into a city where it’s good to live and easy to move around. We manage the city’s economy responsibly, support increasing employment and prioritize services. We support equality and inclusion so that every Espoo resident can influence the future of their hometown.
The Greens are working for a forward-looking Espoo. In recent years, we have defended the quality of early childhood education and teaching overall, called for the correction of indoor air problems in schools, invested in good care for the elderly, protected local forests and beaches, defended efficient public transport, and built better bike paths and affordable housing. Together, we have enabled Espoo’s commitment to the ambitious goal of making our city carbon-neutral by 2030. We intend to continue working for a city that is close to nature, equal and sustainable.
1. Green Espoo ensures high-quality education, including early childhood education
High-quality education, including early childhood education, forms the foundation for the lives of children and young people. We want every child to be well and get the necessary support for their individual learning paths. Any violence or bullying in schools must be addressed without delay.
We want every child and young person in Espoo, regardless of where they live or what kind of background they have, to have an equal opportunity to learn in a safe and comfortable school, and with good teachers.
Indoor air problems in schools and kindergartens must be overcome. Indoor air problems need to be tackled quickly and prevented more effectively through timely repairs and careful maintenance of buildings. Symptoms must be addressed immediately and problems must be reported openly.
More and more young people are finding their own study path in vocational schools. It is important that the teaching provided in these schools is of high quality. The ever-changing labor market also increases the need for adult education. The well-being of young professionals is critical, so we need to invest in preventive student care.
- Ensuring small group sizes in schools and kindergartens. We should guarantee adequate resourcing for educational assistants, as well as enough resources for special support, enhanced support and student care, to meet the individual needs of children in need of support and to ensure the quality of teaching.
- Ensuring kindergartens and primary schools are as close as possible to students’ homes so that the daily lives of families can be run smoothly. Every school trip must be safe.
- Targeting more support for schools in need, to avoid inequality between schools and to ensure the well-being of students everywhere.
- Providing high-quality afternoon care for first and second graders and increasing school club activities.
- Ensuring a sufficient number of skilled staff in schools and kindergartens, as well as the staff’s well-being and resilience.
- Accelerating the renovation of schools and kindergartens and building sufficient teaching facilities for new Espoo residents.
- Improving the opportunities of children and young people to participate in decision-making, both in schools and at the city level.
- Effectively using digital teaching methods, while ensuring that every child and young person has the ability to stay on track. We should ensure both the schools and the children have adequate and up-to-date digital equipment. Teachers’ digital skills should be improved.
- Ensuring secondary education has the necessary resources. We promote free education for all.
2. Green Espoo promotes the health and well-being of its residents
In a Green Espoo, everyone gets the help and support they need without difficulty, quickly and humanely. Investments should be made in services that support well-being and offer early support. The services should be easily accessible to everyone, regardless of income level. High-quality digital services should be made available to more and more people, while ensuring that services are also available to those who do not have access to a computer.
The well-being of children and young people is not to be compromised. Poverty among families with children is to be reduced by all means necessary. Support for children, young people and families in different life situations is available with a low threshold in kindergartens, educational institutions, counseling centers and family centers. Youth mental health services are easily accessible.
Adequate resources should be allocated to home care for the elderly and each person should have a home-like place to live when staying at home is no longer an option. We should protect the rights of the elderly and the disabled, as well as ensure the adequacy of the support services they need and the provision of efficient transport services. Those taking care of their loved ones at home should be looked after. The quality of services should be actively and effectively monitored so that shortcomings are addressed without delay.
The queues affecting health centers and other services that increased during the Covid-19 crisis should be eliminated. At the same time, we should ensure that support for mental health, housing, livelihood and social problems is available at a low threshold.
Promoting well-being and health is one of the most important tasks of municipalities even after the healthcare and social welfare (“sote”) reform. We want to secure diverse and high-quality social and health services in Espoo and throughout western Uusimaa.
Various recreational opportunities should be available to everyone. Community colleges offer diverse opportunities for everyone to develop themselves. Hobby and sports facilities can be found across the city and reachable via public transport.
- Ensuring smooth and high-quality health services for all Espoo residents.
- Ensuring quality of care for the elderly in all situations. Securing adequate resources for home care for the elderly and enough care places for those in need. Ensuring the well-being and adequate remuneration of home care staff.
- Every carer must be guaranteed the care allowance to which they are entitled to.
- The food provided by the city’s catering services should be healthy and sustainably produced.
- Ensuring that people with mental health, substance abuse and addiction problems have access to treatment in a timely manner and that the threshold for access to treatment is low.
- Supporting mental well-being in people’s everyday life and strengthening the mental health skills of professionals in various fields.
- Combating family poverty and inequality. Supporting vulnerable families with adequate preventive services.
- Using services such as outreach youth work and Vamos Espoo to prevent exclusion of the youth and the elderly. Addressing the causes of dropping out of school early and strengthening interprofessional cooperation.
- Free contraception offered to anyone under the age of 25.
- Combating homelessness and poverty. Ensure the operating conditions of organizations supporting vulnerable people and the distribution of food aid to those in need. Ensuring support in various life situations, including debt counseling and crisis assistance, is available at a low threshold.
- Ensuring that every child and young person finds a hobby they like, regardless of income level. Supporting and coordinating hobbies in many ways.
3. Green Espoo fights climate change and protects local forests
Espoo residents are known to appreciate their hometown’s proximity to nature. We have been protecting local forests and we want every Espoo resident to continue to have easy access to nature nearby their home. The local forests of schools and kindergartens are important places for learning and recreation. The shoreline, the archipelago and numerous lakes and rivers are the pearls of Espoo. We will ensure the waters remain clean and the aquatic environment rich for future generations.
We want to preserve diverse nature as part of the city and secure functional green connections from the archipelago to the wilderness of Nuuksio. We are defending Espoo’s central park, the importance of which will be further emphasized as the city grows.
Large cities have an important role to play in reducing climate emissions. The long-term work of the Greens is bearing fruit as Espoo has finally taken important steps to promote sustainable development. Espoo is committed to being carbon neutral by 2030. We demand comprehensive and effective action to achieve this goal. A Green city supports a variety of circular economy solutions and creates opportunities for actors who want to develop new ways to use energy and materials sustainably.
- Ensuring that biodiversity is protected in Espoo. Maintaining green areas and functioning connections between them is important to residents. We want to increase the number of meadows in the city. We should manage the city’s own forest plots by improving their nature value.
- Expanding Espoo Central Park, securing all of its currently forested areas and expanding the protection of valuable nature sites
- Increasing the recreational opportunities of the Espoo archipelago and the coastal track, safeguarding nature values.
- Ensuring that Espoo achieves its goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.
- Supporting energy-efficient construction, reducing emissions from transportation by supporting public transport and other low-emission forms of transport.
- Building energy efficiently and increasing the use of low-emission energy in the city’s own buildings.
- All city procurement must be low-emission and material-saving.
- Encouraging and supporting residents, housing associations and Espoo’s private companies in energy saving, sustainable consumption and waste reduction. Making recycling easy and increasing energy advisory services.
4. Green Espoo is versatile a city of culture where it’s good to live and easy to move about
Thousands of new residents move to Espoo every year and they need accomodation, jobs and services. We will build a dense and comfortable city along the tracks, where moving about is smooth, urban culture flourishes and services and jobs can be found nearby. In a cozy city, buildings from different eras are visible and the surroundings encourage walking, cycling and using public transportation.
In a sustainable city, different people live in all residential areas and everyone can find a home. We must ensure the availability of affordable housing, especially along good public transportation services. The city is being built for people and therefore, especially in urban centers, fewer parking spaces for apartment buildings can be built.
We should make the suburbs more comfortable. We will promote renovational activities in existing housing companies, as well as promote the construction of supplementary housing facilities in existing suburbs in cooperation with local residents, while ensuring the comfortability of neighborhoods. This is the best way to ensure that services at nearby malls and brick and mortar stores are maintained.
In a green city, public transportation is efficient and inexpensive, and exchanges between different modes of transport run smoothly. Good connections are necessary between urban centers. The connecting traffic to the metro must be made operational as soon as the metro traffic begins. Overall, public transportation connections need to be improved, especially in areas where satisfaction towards public transportation has fallen significantly, such as in the Suur-Espoonlahti region as well as in Northern Espoo. When completed, the Jokeri Light Rail will increase the efficiency of transverse public transportation. The extension of the city rail line from Leppävaara to Kauklahti makes smooth train traveling available to more and more people. Next we want to build a quick tram track from Matinkylä via Suurpelto to Leppävaara. In the future, the accessibility of higher education institutions would be increased by a science tram rail from Otaniemi via Pasila to Myllypuro.
Culture is important for people’s well-being and creativity, as well as for the vitality of the city. The threshold for entering a theater, concert, library, museum or gallery must be low. When cultural events are regionally accessible to all, they create a vibrant city and build community.
- Ensuring that we build a dense city in a sustainable and comfortable way, where shops and services are placed wherever people are. Preference is given to brick and mortar shops and local market places, which enliven the street space and are easily accessible.
- Building more local parks and playgrounds. City centers should be made green and comfortable with, for example, street trees, plantations and green roofs.
- Building more affordable rental housing. The number of mandatory and expensive parking spaces, especially at public transport hubs, should be decreased.
- Ensuring an adequate number of student housing, especially in the vicinity of higher education institutions and with good public transportation connections to and from educational institutions.
- Combating homelessness with supported housing.
- Improving the level of public transportation services, ensuring accessibility and keeping ticket prices reasonable. We want an increasing number of people to be able to choose public transportation.
- Ensuring efficient access to the metro, the coastal rail line and the Jokeri Light Rail and ensuring this is done with as little emissions as possible.
- Streamlining travelling through intelligent transportation solutions and making the use of electric cars easier by increasing the number of charging points.
- Facilitating cycling further by, among other things, building more bicycle paths and bicycle parks and improving the winter maintenance of cycling routes. Introduce city bikes to all city centers and allow them to be used all year round.
- Increase the use of wood in construction of public buildings and residential buildings.
- Adding art in new public buildings and in street spaces more generally.
- Promoting a vibrant urban culture in all city centers in Espoo. Facilitating the organization of events and provid affordable hobby and performance facilities for cultural operators.
- Ensuring funding and operating conditions for institutions providing basic art education as well as for Espoo’s cultural institutions such as the Espoo City Theater, the Tapiola Sinfonietta and EMMA.
- Ensuring the preservation of old, valuable buildings. The Träskända manor will be renovated for use by the residents.
- Urban space and buildings are made easily accessible for everyone.
5. Green Espoo is good for employment and for managing the economy
Espoo is in strong growth and we need to build new schools, kindergartens, housing and to improve streets and public transport for the new residents. This has required significant investments, which has resulted in an increasing amount of debt. In Green Espoo, lending is being responsibly curbed so that services which are important to residents can be secured. Raising the municipal tax can also be one way to balance the economy. The key, however, is to find ways to increase the city’s tax revenue through increasing employment and the vitality of the economy.
The vitality of Green Espoo arises from its vibrant and diverse business life, and close cooperation with universities. Through its procurement, the city can promote clean technology and circular economy solutions, which are important references for Espoo’s companies around the world.
Cooperation between culture and business makes Espoo an attractive home for international professionals. A vibrant urban culture creates opportunities for service industries such as restaurants and cafes.
The city needs to invest in procurement and competitive know-how so that responsible procurement can boost the city’s vitality and improve employment. Tendering processes must be conducted openly and fairly, demanding responsibility also from the subcontractors. We should also improve the role of small companies in public procurement.
Employment services need to invest in personal support, based on the needs of the resident, in order to find the most effective ways to improve the employment opportunities of Espoo residents. We should also support entrepreneurship and better utilize the skills of immigrants.
- Facilitating licensing practices so that unnecessary bureaucracy does not prevent starting a new business. Supporting business incubators and accelerators.
- Supporting the operating conditions of Espoo-based companies, cultural operators and sports clubs, especially during the corona pandemic.
- Strengthening the city’s procurement expertise and promoting innovative and responsible public procurement.
- Promoting an experimental culture in Espoo
- Offering more summer jobs and summer vouchers to young people.
- Using an employment condition in the city’s larger service and contract procurements, obliging the chosen company to employ those in a weak labor market position.
- Promoting the circular economy in cooperation with industry.
- Ensuring equal recruitment by utilizing anonymous recruitment.
- Taking care of the development and maintenance of the management skills of supervisors.
- Developing multi-professional cooperation to assist the long-term unemployed and unemployed young people in finding their way into the working life.
- Improving access to education and employment for people with an immigrant background.
- Producing the city’s services more intelligently, effectively and economically by utilizing digitalization and intelligent solutions. When implemented well, the change will be seen as more accessible services to residents.
- Espoo’s investment strategy must be based on the principles of sustainable development.
6. Green Espoo increases resident’s opportunities to influence policy and defends human rights
Espoo exists for its residents. We should together develop different ways for our residents to influence policy in a versatile way. We should get everyone involved in planning and making Espoo a cozy city.
More and more cities today are run by a mayor and deputy mayors elected by the residents. Mayors have the opportunity to get to know and influence matters already in the preparatory phase and to listen to the residents even better. In order to make decision-making even more transparent, Espoo must also move to the mayoral model.
Preparation of matters to be decided on must be open and transparent. Decision-making should be based on research, data and other facts. The city must be able to produce well-argumented alternatives for decision-making, and enable residents to bring their own ideas forward. Residents’ knowledge of their own residential area is valuable and should be used effectively. Only in this way can we strengthen the confidence of local residents in the city’s operations. Sufficient resources must be set aside for communication and empowerment of residents.
Green Espoo is an increasingly international city. It is important that every immigrant living in Espoo can feel at home. A green city offers people from different backgrounds natural ways to influence their environment and services. Racism is not swept under the rug, but it is tackled with determination. Multilingualism and the diversity of people must be reflected in services and their design.
Libraries are residents’ living rooms. They allow events to be organized, services to be provided, culture to be explored, information sought after, and enable residents to immerse themselves in the joy of reading. In green Espoo, new concepts for library operations are being developed without prejudice so that both local libraries and the libraries in city centers can flourish.
The services provided by the city must be easily accessible to all, regardless of income level. Electronic services need to be developed and expanded, bearing in mind that not everyone has access to a computer.
- The mayor model should be introduced in Espoo.
- The city should invest in timely and open communication that is plain language and, where possible, takes into account those whose mother tongue differs from the official Finnish languages. The information must be easily accessible to residents and shop stewards.
- The city needs to be able to produce well-argumented alternatives for decision-making for the residents.
- Involving residents and various communities in the decision-making process and allow them to influence the development of the city, for example through inclusive budgeting.
- Reserving sufficient resources for libraries. In addition to regional libraries, the operation of nearby libraries will be secured.
- Promote the voluntary activity of residents and organizations by providing facilities and facilitating permit issues.
- Ensuring that equality and non-discrimination are the basis for all city activities. We should also ensure that city employees have the necessary skills to identify human rights violations and also to face people belonging to different minorities. We should the accessibility of all services.
- Providing adequate language training for immigrants and supporting greater cooperation between those involved in integration work.
- Identifying and combating racism, worker abuse and human trafficking.