Municipal elections are held every four years. The next official election day will be on Sunday 13 June 2021. The important role of municipalities in our everyday lives cannot be emphasized enough. The Municipalities make decisions about things such as the future development of health care, basic education, social services as well as road maintenance, services related to sports, physical activity and culture. The elected councilors have multiple opportunities to advance the well-being of intercultural and bilingual families.
you have a voice, use it!
WHY SHOULD I VOTE?
The Municipalities create the base for the lives of their citizens. Your vote in the municipal elections has more of an influence on your life and living environment than in any other type of election. The elected councilors make important decisions concerning, for example, the environment in which we live in and the services and the service quality provided to us. Your council members have the ability to ensure that a child’s language and cultural background is taken into consideration in his/her education and early care.
WHEN AND WHERE CAN I VOTE?
The advance voting period in Finland is 26.5-8.6 and abroad 2.-5.6. You can cast your vote at any of the advance voting stations in Finland and abroad.
The next official election day will be on Sunday, 13th of June 2021. On the election day, the voting stations are open from 9 am to 8 pm, and you can only cast your vote at the polling station indicated in the polling card that was mailed to your home address in advance. A passport or some other official ID must be presented at the polling station. The notice of right to vote (polling card) may be displayed but voting is possible also without presenting it.
WHO CAN VOTE?
The citizens of Finland or another Member State of the European Union as well as of Iceland and Norway , and other foreigners who at that time have had a municipality of residence in Finland for an uninterrupted period of two years (on the 51st day before election day). Remember that you don’t need a Finnish passport, foreign citizens also have the right to vote!
LEARN ABOUT THE CANDIDATES!
Voting is the only way to have influence on the issues that are important to you. Learn about your candidates, contact them and use your vote! What is important to you and your family? Does your municipality have election candidates who have experience of day to day life with a multicultural family or background? Which issues the candidates see as important and will pursue to improve?
multicultural municipalities – Familia's goals
Now, there are more than 80,000 intercultural couples and families in Finland, half of which are families with children, and the number is constantly growing. The Municipalities should take these families and their needs into consideration in their political decision-making, especially in social politics and services. Advocating knowledge about multicultural families is necessary to create equal and diverse Finnish societal structures. The Municipalities need to be mindful of diversity to improve the well-being of their citizens and to create a safe environment for identity formation.
1. SUPPORTING CULTURAL IDENTITIES
A positive identity experience is essential for a person’s well-being. Healthy and vibrant environments support diversity and create tools and resources for identity formation and development. Especially important is to aid the identity formation of children and youth.
Identity is a colorful ensemble vast enough to house multiple languages. We want multilingual Finns to be officially acknowledged and their language skills appreciated. Our goal is a future where multilingual workers, creators, and decision-makers can see themselves as an asset starting from childhood.
2. EMPLOYMENT AND NONDISCRIMINATORY MUNICIPALITIES
Personal characteristics can not be an obstacle to a person’s chances in the job market.
3. CUSTOMIZED SERVICES
Services must meet the needs of multicultural families and couples for the whole duration and steps of human life. Both parents need to be considered, not just the Finland-born parent. Possible language barriers need to be acknowledged and actively worked on.
Services need to be arranged so everyone in Finland can use them equally. Everyone needs public services and has a right to them despite their language skills or other characteristics. Municipalities should grant paramount importance to services used by families with children.
Services targeted for children should consider their rights, the prohibition of discrimination, prioritizing what is best for the child, the child’s right to develop and get both heard and respected. Making sure to implement these rights is imperative for the development of a child’s identity and personality.
4. MULTICULTURAL FAMILIES AS A PART OF THE MUNICIPALITIES
The Municipalities will invest in active civil society by supporting volunteer work and the work of NGOs. This will create a participatory and proactive atmosphere where all citizens are involved in the decision-making affecting their daily lives.