Santeri Kärki, Tampere
County elections 2022 candidate, @Vihreät (The Greens).
Social Benefits handler, sports book writer, expert, member of board of auditors, Tampere
My name is Santeri Kärki and I’m running for first County elections in Finland on January 2021. My party is Vihreät aka The Greens. I am 29-years-old former university student, current worker at Kela and A Bachelor of Arts in History, as well as content creator, TV person and a soccer book Author.
County elections Campaign promises:
- I promise to improve mental health services at Pirkanmaa. Everybody should get therapy within a week from initial contact.
- I promise to consider all the environmental and climate effects on every political decision we make in Tampere. We can improve our health services and emergency services and do it ecologically.
- I promise that I won’t be making any budget cuts to mental health services, health services or to social services. We have to improve all these services to make our region happier and to get everyone involved in the society. Especially child protection services should be improved and we should hire more staff.
- I promise to give a raise to nurses’ salaries. The amount they are making at the moment is ridiculous and inhumane compared to the amount of work they have done during covid-19 pandemic.
My main goal is to make Pirkanmaa a better place for us all to live, no matter the gender or your former background or current workplace. Together we can make our region a place for anyone to live happily. We need strong support network from the city and thus we must have a good health care and mental health care for everyone. The lines especially for mental health care are way too long and getting help might take so long that people end up excluded from social and work life. Everyone deserve to get help as soon as possible, even if one can’t afford private health care. Mental health services have terrible queue at the moment and the city must invest extra money to make the lines faster – first therapy session should be held within a week after first contact.
In order to arrange operations effectively and to allow the county council do their job, we need to have some sort of a foreseeable taxation structure or some other methods of funding.
Healthcare near You, for You!
It is also vital for people in Pirkanmaa to get healthcare services near them. Some parties from the right (mainly Kokoomus) are ready to make major budget cuts and thus they are willing to end some healthcare centers. It is also a risk that these parties will raise the fees for visiting a doctor and that can not happen. I will try my best to make sure everyone can get treatment quickly, no matter how much income you have and you can get it near you.
To provide services near people, we will have to start giving a proper respect for the people doing the actual work. We need to put more money to the table and make sure nurses will stay in healthcare and they feel fine. We need to start treating people before their problems are too deep to easily treat. To do that we have to provide easily accessible services near people and maybe in the future we can offer some digital services, too, to get treatment in your native language as quickly as possible.
Social and immigration services need more funding
Social services are also in danger of getting through budget cuts. Currently services for integration and immigration are at their limits, as well as services for child protection and adult social work. We truly need more work power. For instance, in Tampere Kokoomus has been implementing major cuts for these services and all the regular people have been suffering a lot for a while. This has to end.
The best way to reduce costs in the future is to actually care about people who are customers for social services and the people who are working there. We need more funding and staff urgently, as currently there is simply way too many people per a worker. We need more preventive services and we have to be able to offer services in people’s own language as well. It is hard to integrate when you can’t help with the same language.
Child protection services should be improved a lot to provide our children a bright, safe future. We must put money to preventative services, as well.
Why should you vote in the upcoming county elections?
By voting in the county elections, you can have a say on who will decide on important matters that concern everyone’s daily life. The councillors to be elected in the county elections will decide on the organisation of local services in the wellbeing services counties as of the beginning of 2023. And I know that if people are not voting, Kokoomus will make our lives a lot harder by cutting budget from all the vital services that currently makes Finland the happiest place to be.
Voting is universal civil right in Finland and everyone living in any city or town can cast their vote. It is vital to vote, because the decisions made in the council are the ones that most effect your everyday-life. If you vote for somebody, the vote will be cast to the party itself – that’s why it is important to vote for someone whose party represents the ideas that suit you best. In The Greens we support values which will take into account every people no matter your income and we want to make decisions that will help your everyday-life and make every service less costly. Healthcare, mental healthcare, public transportation and family services should be in my opinion free-of-charge!
In politics one of my most important themes is also to make public transport as fluent as possible while allowing anyone to use transportation no matter where they live or how much they make per month. We need to keep the costs low for customers to courage people to use public transport a lot more, thus reducing emissions from private transportation.
Education is also important. We have to make sure that everybody gets enough help in the class. This is why I’d like to make class sizes a bit smaller and also add some additional staff to schools.
Also, keeping the city center clean and green is one of my most important priorities. Areas like Hämeenpuisto, Eteläpuisto or Pyynikki won’t need anymore gray buildings. As Covid-19 has shown us, having a possibility to go out and enjoy nature is vital for one’s mental health. We need to assure that everybody has a possibility for this, no matter where we live. We can build, but we need to select the areas responsibly and avoid destroying beautiful places that allow us to take a breath from the everyday-life.
Most important Themes summarized
- Everybody deserves a chance to get medical attention, whether physical or mental. Your wealth can’t determine how fast you get the help you need. Therapy services should start one month after initial contact.
- Keeping the city center green and having a working, low-priced public transportation
- Schools should give more help for youngsters and group-sizes should be smaller
- Everybody deserves services no matter what is your income, gender or religion. I want Tampere to be equal for us all!
Election dates 2022
The advance voting period is from 12 to 18 January 2022 in Finland and from 12 to 15 January 2022 abroad.
Election day is 23 January 2022.
Where to vote? And how to vote in county elections in Finland?
On election day the polling stations are open between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. There is at least one polling station in every municipality, and the total number is approximately 2000. Voters may cast their votes at the polling station stated in the voting register and on the card sent to them before the elections.
If you live in Pirkanmaa, you can find voting places from this link: https://tulospalvelu.vaalit.fi/AV-2022/en/kupaik_837.html. Just remember to choose your town right!
Also, see my blog In Finnish or check out my short posts below!
Short Blog posts about topics on Pirkanmaa region as well as city of Tampere
Integration and assimilation over segregation
In Tampere we have already plenty of people from non-Finnish background and the number is rising rapidly. At the same time, we still have a long way to go to make everyone involved to our society and to get everyone a job that fits their skillset.
Tampere should start by providing a 2-year-long language school for everyone migrating to Finland for free, if they choose to attend. This way it is easier to communicate with locals and at the same time people will get educated more about Finnish culture and it’s odd ways.
Also, we should provide education at our elementary schools and school system in general to everyone with their own native language, too, so anyone can learn better about subjects. Of course we should also include people in classes taught in Finnish.
Housing and living in Tampere should be more mixed. Everyone should have a chance to live where they want, no matter your income or background. It is not good for anyone if certain people live in certain areas and people with low income can’t afford to live e.g near the center or in bigger apartments. That’s why city of Tampere has to provide affordable housing in every part of Tampere!
Providing therapy for everyone is vital for people’s health and city’s finance
Currently city of Tampere is having a mental health disaster – to see a therapist you have to wait approximately 6 months, with all the phases before the actual possibility to meet a professional. Kela’s financial support is not guaranteed at any point and the lines are off the charts. Especially students have it hard – YTHS queues to a psychologist might be up to 1,5 yrs (!!!) long.
As a city we are responsible to provide everyone a quick access to mental health services. Your wealth shouldn’t be an obstacle and everyone deserves to get treated as soon as possible. Therapy sessions should start in a month after the initial contact, but preferably these should start in a week. At the moment people are getting more and more tired emotionally and a wait of six months can make your life even harder. Preventive care is essential and we should address way bore budget to these services, including short therapy and reception without booking a time.
Mental health problems cost Finland approximately 11 billion euros per year, due to amount of people getting sickleave, getting unemployed and because people are pushed out of the society. The change needs to happen now and I’m prepared to make it happen at the city council!
Santeri Kärki, 27th May 2021.
Immigration is an asset and we should improve the way we treat foreign people
Immigration means both the people who are refugees and people who come to work or study here. Most of the immigrants come here to work or study. I believe that Tampere needs immigration. We need experts, we need students and we need refugees. Our Tampere is a wide mix of people from different backgrounds and everyone has a place here to fill.
City of Tampere should offer more services than the law demands. For instance, we should offer at least two years of free language education. By integrating and assimilating refugees to our society with bigger investments we can increase the amount of people who get employed and the amount of people that feel confident being a part of Finnish society.
In addition, Tampere should make sure that anyone can live anywhere they want. It is important that we don’t get any segregation in Tampere. Every area should have different size houses with variety of price, thus making any part of the town affordable for any citizen. We should also ensure that every school is able to provide an opportunity for people to study with their native language.
Santeri Kärki, May 26th 2021.
Environment and economy should not collide
24th May 2021
We can’t give up on environmental or nature values on any circumstances. Every new project should take these values in consideration. Also, by making our buildings, roads, heating and energy consuming more environmental friendly, we can generate a lot of working places and even new areas of work. Battle against climate change and more jobs for people won’t have to collide.
We should provide free contraception to everyone under 25yrs old in Tampere
20th May 2021
By offering free contraception to everyone under 25 we can reduce the amount of unnecessary abortions and also significantly reduce amount of STDs. That should be free of charge as the young people are our future and their well-being is a huge priority for myself. This might actually cost a lot less than testing constantly for STD’s and making abortions.
-Santeri Kärki, Tampere
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them at social media or santeri(a)santerikarki.fi!