Youth Council election 11 to 26 November
What is the Youth Council?
The Finnish Local Government Act ensures that young people have an opportunity to influence the matters of their home city by joining the Youth Council. In Helsinki, the Youth Council is appointed in an election every other year, and it consists of 30 young people. The Youth Council decides on what they want to promote in their council term and ensures that the voice of young people is heard in the City’s decision-making.
What do the Youth Council’s operations entail?
The Youth Council’s operations are diverse, and you can decide how much of your time they take up. Each member works at their own pace and when they are able. The minimum goal is to attend general meetings twice a month and look into the matters that are decided on at the meetings.
In addition to the general meetings, Council members meet with the City’s decision-makers, such as the mayor, the deputy mayors and various committee members, and participate in small group activities and projects. It is important that young people have discussions with decision-makers when decisions are made regarding matters related to young people’s lives, such as mental health services or places for leisure time activities.
The Youth Council decides what it wants to promote and how. During its last term, the Youth Council organised events such as the Nuorten hyvinvointi pääkaupunkiseudulla (‘Young People’s Well-being in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area’) discussion event and the Nuorten seksuaalikasvatus koulussa (‘Young People’s Sex Education at School’) panel discussion during Pride Week, worked towards the standardisation of meeting fees and inspired young people to get involved through virtual campaigns.
Why become a candidate?
In the Youth Council, you can influence the City’s operations and bring up young people’s perspectives on matters to be decided on. You do not need any prior experience, as you will learn everything you need by participating. The Youth Council is a community in which you will learn to co-operate, see how the City operates and have an opportunity to influence matters that are important to you.
The Youth Council serves as a link between municipal decision-makers and young people. A Youth Council representative of your area can promote matters important to your school or area directly with the City’s decision-makers. The Youth Council also influences the entire City’s matters concretely: the USB charging outlets on buses, metro trains and trams, graffiti walls and the Summer Job Voucher are examples of the Youth Council’s achievements during previous terms.
When will the new Youth Council start?
The Youth Council will be appointed for the 2022–2023 term in the autumn 2021 election. The new Youth Council configuration will be announced at the RuutiGaala event on 8 December, and the new Youth Council will start its term on 1 January 2022.