A record number of young people in Espoo voted for a new Youth Council
A new Youth Council was elected in Espoo for term 2022–2023. There was a record number of candidates – 104 young people between the ages of 13 and 18. Also a record number of young people voted – 7,861 eligible voters between the ages of 13 and 18 went to the polls. The City Board confirmed the election result at its meeting on 29 November 2021.
A new Youth Council was elected in Espoo, consisting of 40 young people who received the most votes in the elections. The number of young people standing for election was 104, which is a record in the history of the Youth Council. The elected members of the Youth Council will take up their duties on 1 January 2022.
Young people in Espoo were interested in the elections and a record number of young people voted – 7,861 eligible voters between the ages of 13 and 18. Nomination of candidates for the Youth Council elections began on 13 September 2021. The candidate selection engine opened on 25 October and voting took place using an electronic voting platform on 8–15 November 2021. Of the elected candidates, 12 are continuing from the 2020–2021 term, which means that the Youth Council will receive 28 new members.
“The elections of the Youth Council were brought to the attention of young people in many ways and young people were encouraged to vote. The record numbers and participation of young people were partly influenced by the close cooperation between the operators working closely with the city’s young people in organising the elections,” says Paula Vihiniemi, Project Coordinator for Youth Services. “The candidates’ responses to the questions in the candidate selection engine highlighted well-being, health and mental health services. In addition to these, nature, climate change and sustainable development were also important themes.”
The Youth Council is an effective channel for influencing young people’s issues in the city’s decision-making
The Youth Council promotes young people’s issues, brings forward young people’s requests and expresses young people’s opinion on current issues. It takes a stand on issues, takes initiatives and expresses opinions, developing the hometown from the perspective of young people. All young Espoo residents between 13 and 18 years of age can stand as candidates and vote in the elections.
In addition to their own municipalities, youth councils also seek to play an active role in themes affecting young people in the entire Helsinki Metropolitan Area, such as studies, hobbies and well-being. Close cooperation across municipal boundaries, formed during the youth council term coming to its end, will continue also in the upcoming term.
The City of Espoo Youth Services also offers young people many other channels of influence, from which young people can choose the one that suits them best. For example, young people can have their say through their own electronic feedback channel(extrernal link) by giving feedback and ideas or by submitting an initiative.
“The city offers young people diverse leisure activities, such as youth facilities, where the participation of young people is the starting point for all activities, planning and implementation. In addition to doing fun things, young people have the opportunity to have an influence on their own community and environment by doing small things, but taking a bigger role is also possible. Young people can influence matters on their own or together with friends. Support and help for participation and making a difference are provided by adults working with young people, such as youth instructors,” says Mira Honkaniemi, Youth Work Coordinator, Participation Activities and Sustainable Youth Work.
The names of the members of the Espoo Youth Council for the 2022–2023 term were announced on 7 December 2021.
Espoo Youth Council 2022–2023
- Youth Services
- Growth and Learning
- Basic Education
- General Upper Secondary Education
- City Board