in English

A municipal candidate in Helsinki - Binar Mustafa (309)

My name is Binar Mustafa, I am a 33-year-old entrepreneur, and I am running for a place on the Helsinki City Council for the second time. I have spent two thirds of my life in Helsinki, mainly in Kumpula. In addition to my entrepreneurship, I have experience in working for NGOs and in university libraries. I am a board member of the Helsinki Workers’ Institute as well as several associations. In addition to my work, I invest my time in my university studies, volunteer work and blogging, and recreational sports. My main focus however, continues to be my endeavors to change the world for the better.

Since the previous municipal elections, many things have remained the same, or changed for the worse. Society is heading at an increasingly alarming rate towards a class system with two opposing groups: a privileged minority whose fortune continues to grow, and a substantial group of underprivileged inhabitants who find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. It is becoming clearer by each day that financial gains are being placed ahead of inhabitants needs – the public health care continues to face enormous challenges; the means available for inhabitants to engage in social development continue to be limited, private car ownership is favored over public transport, and living expenses are unreasonably high.

These issues are still in need of change, but moreover, these elections are held in a time where the financial crisis and right-wing politics have led to an ever-increasing rift within society. The Right presents austerity measures and the privatization of public services as the only solution, after having succeeded in lowering inhabitants’ expectations to the degree that right-wing representatives now feel comfortable enough to openly discuss breaking down the welfare state, even in the midst of an election. The rights for which the working class has had to fight are now under threat of being discarded or privatized. This must be stopped!

My aim in running for city council is to serve as an alternative to right-wing politics and as a fighter for equality. Instead of focusing on individual issues, I will fight for the bigger picture, for the wellbeing of all inhabitants, and for ensuring equal services for all. In all initiatives and decisions, I will support the policies which benefit the underprivileged, which support public services, investments in public transport and the environment. I will strive to increase inhabitants influence in social development, and decrease income differences. Whenever private financial gain stands in the way of public services, I will do everything in my power to secure the latter.

I strive for an equal city, a Helsinki which focuses on equality, public service and public transport, and where differences in income are minimal. If this is something you wish to accomplish as well, join me, and support my work. Together we are stronger!

My Bio from 2015

In recent years, we have seen unfortunate examples of how current politics undermine basic human rights: - In Jakomäki, the unemployment rate is 15%, and the average income of an employee is 16,000€ per year (NYT 11/2014) - Nearly 40,000 young people were unemployed at the end of year 2013 (YLE 12/12/2013) - An unemployed person with three undergraduate degrees cannot find a job (HS 08.19.2014) - An unemployed young person was left with no social benefits (HU 06/26/2014) - Unemployed people have a higher-than-average illness rate and die at a younger age (Tesso 10/09/2014) - A homeless person sleeping in a paper recycling bin ended up in the garbage truck, with fatal consequences (HS 03.04.2014) - Studio rent prices in Helsinki have become unaffordable for students and employees (Taloussanomat 08/01/2014) Unfortunately, the list could go on, as these are not isolated cases but the end result of a system that puts private capital interests before the well-being of its citizens. In modern political rhetoric, inequality is constantly justified and legitimised in order to cut down on basic services and to disassemble the progress of the social responsibility principle. Treating people based on their identity rather than the principles of universal human dignity has led to the rise of reactionary and inhumane movements that have changed the social climate. Religious and ethnic movements may have strengthened as a reaction against populism and racism, for example, among immigrants. This can be seen in particular with extreme Islam and ISIS. We need a strong left-wing alternative to stop the right-wing forces and populists. We need a system that reverses the current political priorities and restores equality amongst people. Human well-being must be the defining principle in society. I am a candidate in the parliamentary elections so that I can be part of building this left-wing alternative. During my campaign, I look forward to collaborating with anyone who yearns for change and a more equal society. Together we are stronger!