I am Veronika Honkasalo – Member of Parliament, City Councillor, Youth Researcher and Doctor of Political Science. I live in Tapulikaupunki, Helsinki with my spouse and three primary school aged children and our Labrador Retriever Fiona.
At the heart of my politics is the unconditional defense of human rights, the climate and the welfare state.
I went into politics ten years ago, when racism became mainstream in Finnish politics. I couldn’t stay silent and just follow the development from the sides. I thought that this is enough!
I have been in the Helsinki Council since the municipal elections of 2012. I became a Member of Parliament in the 2019 elections. In the Parliament, I have continued the political work that is also important to me in municipal politics: promotion of human rights, education and equality in all areas of society. I am a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Education, as issues linked to children and young people are at the core of my expertise also due to my academic career.
For me, politics is about building a better everyday life and a fairer society for everyone–regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, age, or ethnicity. It is our common duty to take care of every human being and the environment, and to build an ecologically sustainable well-being also for future generations.
As a politician with a background in academic research, it is important for me that decision-making is based on scientific research. In the Council and in the Parliament, I have insisted that the impact of policies should be assessed in advance and after implementation. Our society is polarized due to the fact that strong public services are no longer available for everyone. Preventive services have been a target of budget cuts despite the fact that research shows that people’s well-being is a good investment.
With my work, I want to build a Finland that offers sufficient basic security and where everyone can afford a decent life.I want to build a Finland that does not discriminate and provides opportunities for people to strengthen their potential. We should pursue politics that builds prosperity with solidarity and takes the climate and environmental resilience into account. Well-being belongs to everyone, including the future generations.
My election themes for the Parliamentary elections 2023
Human rights do not progress by themselves, they require determined action and courageous defenders. All political issues must be seen from a human rights perspective. This means, among other things, ensuring that services for the elderly are implemented so that people are treated with dignity. A human rights-based policy on substance abuse and mental health means that adequate and quality care is provided for people who may never recover. The level of basic income must be raised, as everyone has the right to an adequate income. Social and health care resources must be put in order. The right to health must be a reality for everyone, regardless of background. My goal is a Finland that does not discriminate against anyone and is a model country for human rights globally. No compromise on human rights!
We must continue to pay tribute to education. Everyone has the right to education of high quality, regardless of background. Every student who is entitled to special support should receive it. Support for learning must be increased at all levels of education. Smaller class sizes, more adult professionals in schools. We need to improve the working conditions and raise salaries for early childhood education and care workers. Increase funding for higher education, research and science. Skills and education levels need to be raised, but with full compensation for entry places in higher education. Funding for education!
Tackling the climate and environmental crisis is the most important task of our time. We must act now. Without adequate action, we will pay a high price, in ecological, financial and human terms. We must stop the loss of nature and restore carbon sinks. Habitats must also be viable for future generations. The loss of nature, species and biodiversity as part of the ecocrisis is an existential threat. Restoration and repair of carbon sinks are vital for the recovery of Finnish nature. Eradicating poverty and combating inequality are also climate actions, as the poorest people in the world are the ones who suffer most from global warming. The climate crisis will not wait!
Photo: Sami Pertttilä