Sanna-Maria Ahl: Municipal elections – matters concerning you

Municipal elections, the lesser-known cousin of parliamentary elections. You've probably heard about them? Have you voted in them? Or haven’t you voted because you already went to the polls in those “real” elections?

Municipal elections and voting in them can be much more important than you think. These elections are especially about your municipality, and the people elected in the municipal elections make most decisions on matters concerning you.

Decisions on just those things that affect your daily life.

Did your municipality raise public swimming pool fees last season? Or does the small municipal gym stand empty because it can only be reserved for groups and private persons can’t buy access? Did your municipality outline the importance of physical activity in its strategy? Did they repair the cycling network and walking paths?

More important decisions than you think

Municipal decisions can be small at the level of national politics, but you’ll probably notice how important they are in your daily life. These decisions are sometimes discreet or favour only certain groups. However, these decisions were made with the vote you cast in the municipal elections! The old saying “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain” is annoying, but especially true when talking about the municipal elections.

The municipal elections matter, especially when it comes to sports. The general outlines mentioned above come from the State, and these guidelines give the municipality instructions on how to take measures. However, the State’s guidelines take shape and become meaningful when they are implemented and applied to the needs of different municipalities.

We stress to future municipal decision-makers that no cuts should be made in preventive services, such as sports!

The corona pandemic will affect the municipal economy for several years to come, and money will be tight in all activities. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of prevention, both in terms of hygiene and health. Previous studies have shown that prevention is more important and cost-effective than solving future problems. Municipalities should also remember this when they plan for the future.

Students’ objectives for the municipal elections 2021

During spring, we worked out OLL:s objectives for municipal elections based on what our members wished for.

In these objectives, OLL offers municipalities solutions to prevent incapacity for work caused by both physical and mental health reasons and its costs. Our ability to work already begins to deteriorate before we enter working life. We know that balancing work and study puts a strain on students’ mental health and coping. Higher education students sit almost 11 hours a day and often indoors, which means that everyday exercise and the positive effects of physical activity outdoors on balancing their workload are scarce.

If you are a student, municipal candidate, councillor or otherwise active – take on the challenge!

Do your bit and break the cycle of growing incapacity for work.

Tax payers of the future are needed to pay for your pensions, your father's sheltered accommodation and the education of your children. Please take care of us!

Sanna-Maria Ahl
OLL Vice President 2020

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