Happy New Year everyone! Here’s a brief overview of my year 2017 in politics.
In January I started my first-ever municipal elections campaign with the theme “A city where it is easy to breathe”. The hard campaigning paid off: in April the Greens celebrated a big win and I made it to the city council with more than 700 votes. A huge thanks for my supporters!
In May, I got the best possible positions in the city: membership in the City Board and the chairmanship of the Business Oulu Board. In the beginning of the term, we got training for our up-coming tasks.
In June, the City Board discussed the Oulu procurement principles. I proposed that societal responsibility and sustainable development would always be assessed in the city’s public purchases. However, the principles were accepted more loosely.
In August, I made a council proposal to establish guidelines for communications in English in Oulu. Currently, the city rarely communicates in English though there are more than 6 000 foreign citizens living in Oulu. Later, I got a positive response from the city communications office!
In September, I wrote in Kaleva about the importance of employment services and argued that extra investments into employment could make a big difference. In October, I also shared my views about unemployment benefits, stating that we have bigger problems than “free-riding”.
I have gotten well acquainted with affairs related to business in Oulu as the chair of the Business Oulu Board. For example, the Board has accepted several important projects on promoting employment and entrepreneurship. An important development has been that the employment and entrepreneurship services in Oulu merged, offering many synergy benefits.
In fall, I was accepted to join the Economy and employment working group of the Greens in Finland. We have, for example, given our comments for updating the political action plan of the Greens. Also, I began leading the “Green employment and entrepreneurship in Oulu” working group. Further, I had the honor to start a course by the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. The course brings together a small group of influential Finns to discuss society and work from the point of view of entrepreneurs.
In 2017, I was especially happy that a group of people from different political parties began working on a proposal to invest in employment services in Oulu. Thanks to our collaboration, the council accepted a 0.5 million euro extra funding to tackle long-term unemployment in 2018!
During the fall term, I have had the chance to participate in preparing the Oulu 2026 strategy. I have especially liked hearing the opinions of the youth. Therefore, it was a pleasure to participate in the “Oulu 2026” panel hosted by the student unions of the Oulu universities. The work continues next year!
The most debated topic of the end of the year was the budget for 2018. We accepted, for example, investments into public transportation and infrastructure, such as schools and harbor. However, despite our efforts, the city did not invest enough into culture and education, especially early childhood education.
I would like to thank people who have contacted me and helped with decision making! Also thank you for all Greens for our collaboration and sharing thoughts. It has also been rewarding and eye-opening to discuss with people from different political backgrounds. In 2018, I will continue promoting vitality, competence and joy in Oulu!