She is wise, she is educated, she’s brave and she’s humble. My friend Amanda Pasanen and I share a lot of political values, which made it easy for me to support her all the way through her campaign. Sometimes we disagree on a few points, but both of us has an attitude towards always wanting to learn more which makes even those discussions really good. I’ve known her for 7 years, now she’s running in the local elections for the green party.
Voting in local city elections is extremely important. After I went to Dubai I have been even more interested in city planning, because that was in my mind an example of a complete disaster. Bicycling in Dubai was practically impossible. A well planned city is crucial because it makes it easier to live a sustainable lifestyle. And green areas! Who doesn’t like plants and trees? A nice park to hang out in with your friends? I think Helsinki could become even greener and more beautiful. Tourists could be attracted to come here if they knew they are able to get both city life and nature experiences in just one place. Helsinki has a lot to improve when it comes to energy production as well: coal power stations are bad anywhere but here they are placed in central areas that could instead be beautiful seaside restaurants and leisure areas. I get quite excited when thinking about how Helsinki could develop!
I give Amanda my full support. She knows environmental science really well and could do Helsinki a great favour in that aspect. But she knows more than that. She has studied economics, she know there aren’t endless resources but still she thinks the priority of a society should be to take care of each other. Making economically sense and wanting to take care of each other shouldn’t be seen as contradictions. I think Amanda has a healthy mix of realism and idealism. After all, you can have a city making economically sense and still put priority into taking care of the weak ones!
One of her particular priorities is young people – making sure they do not become marginalised. The “economical benefit” of a young person who escapes unemployment, substance abuse and poverty is very difficult to measure. By investing in the future, we can have benefits over the next decades.
She envisions a green Helsinki in the future, literally a green one where plants can flourish. Save the city forests and use land more wisely by building high buildings. Helsinki has a huge influx of new inhabitants. The majority of people moving here are young people. If the city incentivises building houses where flat-sharing is easily possible, where rooms are properly isolated to give privacy but bathrooms and kitchens can be shared, this would reduce the living cost for many young people.
Tomorrow’s the election, I think you can guess who gets my vote 😉