Tampere City Council Elections 2021

Hello everyone! I am Olli Ruotsalainen, a 39 years old embedded systems software engineer and running for a seat at the Tampere city council. In addition to long career in the industry, I have also pursued further studies in economic and social sciences and in addition to my engineering masters’ have also achieved a B.Sc. in both economics and software science. Thus I have many viewpoints to the issues that our city administration faces, and am used to out of the box and lateral thinking.

My main themes are increasing local participation in decision making, comfortable, safe and secure public spaces and services, as well efficient use of public funds. Local participation means increasing the impact of local resident hearings eg. in city and traffic planning, as well as more areas of participatory budgeting. The city should also lobby for more local control on the national level. The safety and security of public spaces and services are basic tasks of the city administration. As the the duties of the city have increased over time, it is important to remember the importance of basics and also allocate funds to them and not just fancy new projects. The services and spaces provided by the city should not be just functional, but also comfortable to use, enabling residents to get more use of them. Especially schools have been lately identified as a trouble sports, with increasing unrest and even violence and new threats such as teenager gang formation. Public spending and programs should be more closely followed. It should always be clear what benefits residents get from spending and how much they get for each EUR spent, while the progress to achieve these clear goals must be continuously and publicly tracked.

Tampere is a traditional industrial city and has shouldered the switch from heavy industry to modern software and IT services admirably. A major threat to our continued prosperity is the lack of professional employees, some areas of industry are already greatly hampered by recruitment problems and the lack of a trained workforce will only get worse in the future. At the same time, many immigrants with professional backgrounds and even degrees find it extremely difficult to land jobs, more difficult than in other Nordic countries. Getting these professionals into the professional jobs will not only help them and the city, but also make it easier for other immigrants to follow in their wake into the workforce. The city has some discretion in how it spends immigration funds. Spending should be concentrated on programs that directly increase employment and enrolment in degree education instead of just handing out money or generic integration training. These are also goals that can easily be tracked.

Most parties have themes that are important to me, thus it was difficult to make a choice on which one to run with. On labour and economic matters I usually favour policies that are traditionally considered more rightist and which endorse freedom, while on social issues and city services I tend to lean on solutions from the leftist side. PS as a party enables me to endorse both views. They as a party have also performed an effectively in their current role in the opposition at the national level, which indicates that they get things done and thus are a good platform for influencing the issues that I hold important.

If you find these themes interesting it would be great to receive your vote in the election. I am also available for discussing these issues, the election or society in general. I think that is an important job of local politicians to have these kinds of discussions with residents. I also gladly take any support for my campaign efforts, both moral and financial.

Election date: 13.6.2021
Advance voting: 26.5. – 8.6.2021
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