This is who I am:
My name is Arseniy Lobanovskiy and I am a 29 year-old immigrant and democratic socialist. I live in Tampere and am currently working on my dissertation in political science at the University of Turku. I also act as the recently elected spokesperson for Finlands Svenska Unga Socialdemokrater, district board member for Finlands Svenska Socialdemokrater in 2022-23, as well as the Astra magazine’s treasurer and board member.
Finland is a country that I hold close to my heart. I value our democracy, strong public services and social safety net, thanks to which we have one of the lowest levels of inequality in the world. We must never forget that this achievement is a result of many decades of struggle waged collectively by the people of Finland. Still, I can say from my personal experience that injustices and inequalities are far from being completely eliminated from our society.
Having struggled with depression for a long time, I realised just how much our lives depend on sheer luck: had I not been so lucky to have a workplace and access to workplace health care, I could have lost everything. No one’s health and well-being should depend on luck, which is why we must ensure that a safety net of high-quality public social and health services exists for everyone to rely on.
I believe that the world can be changed. For as long as we keep the hope alive, stay bold and engage in democratic processes, a change for the better will take place. In this election, this means that the working people and the middle class must vote in favor of strong public social and health services to defend their own interest. The main reason why I am running for the Pirkanmaa regional council in the regional elections 2022 is to defend this interest.
Don’t let the rich few make all decisions when it comes to your health, the health of your loved ones and that of your community! Vote 669 in advance (12-18.1) or on the polling day (23.1.2022)!
Regional elections 2022
Strengthening the self-sufficiency and security of supply of the public sector and reducing the influence of large private companies in the production of social and health care services. If our objective is to build people-centered social and health care services, we must ensure that public money is spent on improving resources available to the public sector, hiring more staff and raising the employees’ pay, and that is not wasted on private sector profits and funding the luxury lifestyles of wealthy shareholders and CEOs. The outsourcing and privatization of services as well as the expanded use of service vouchers are therefore out of the question.
Raising the salaries of care workers and improving their well-being. The shamefully low level of pay for care workers and the inhumane working conditions jeopardize the future of the care services in the entire region, which is why the role and demands of trade unions with regard to maintaining and improving wages and working conditions must always be respected.
Building free primary health care services without queues that are accessible regardless of one’s place of residence, including mental health and dental care. Being able to visit your doctor, psychiatrist and dentist right when you need it ensures that the serious mental and physical illnesses are diagnosed in time, which in turn reduces the burden placed on specialist care services, strengthens the health of the public as a whole and reduces health inequalities.
Taking into account the needs of the language minorities in Pirkanmaa. Almost 5 out of 100 residents of our region do not speak Finnish as their native language, and their service needs are as important as those of the Finnish-speaking majority. The region must have a language strategy and encourage its doctors and nurses to develop minority language skills by using financial incentives and without compromising their ability to use Finnish in their work. The region should require satisfactory knowledge of minority languages spoken in Pirkanmaa when hiring some of its new employees.
Promoting carbon neutrality in public procurements and in the public sector's own service production. We cannot afford to linger on the brink of a climate catastrophe, which is why immediate climate action must be taken in Pirkanmaa. For instance, local and low-emission products should be favored in the procurement of food, recyclable materials used by the region’s employees should be prioritized, and the use of low-emission materials in the construction of the region’s properties should be supported.
Maintaining an adequate level of funding in the third sector. Non-profit organizations have a crucial role to play in the health and social care services in Pirkanmaa, especially in terms of reaching the most vulnerable people when public services are unable to do so. This is why the region must ensure that the public funding available to such organizations is sufficient.
I have considered myself to be a social democrat since my early years, which is why the decision to join the Social Democratic Party at the beginning of 2020 was easy for me to make. I’ve always held strong social democratic values: justice, equality, the importance of solidarity, as well as democracy and international cooperation.
It is obvious to me that without the welfare state promoted by the SDP and industrial relations based around a strong trade union movement Finland would never have become one of the happiest and most successful countries in the world. The achievements of Finnish social democracy include universal and equal suffrage, an 8-hour working day, paid annual leave, the social security system, the universal national health care system, the equality act, primary school and, thanks to Sanna Marin’s government, free secondary education and the goal to make Finland carbon neutral by 2035. The strong position of the social democrats in the municipalities is a guarantee that the foundation of our welfare state will continue to be strengthened and that Finland will have a sustainable future.
Under the leadership of the social democrats, the publicly owned and operated social and health care services will receive the resources they need to achieve adequate staffing levels and reward care work with good pay. SDP’s broad representation on the council of the Pirkanmaa welfare region also ensures that carbon neutrality is targeted in public procurements and in the region’s own service production. SDP stands with the ordinary people, which is why working and middle class service users should vote for social democratic candidates in the regional elections.