I am a Helsinki-based politician and I represent social democratic party. I am also an activist and a mother. I work as a Communications Manager in the SDP Parliamentary Group. I am a Master of Social Sciences and a I live with my family in Oulunkylä, Helsinki.
I'm Tiina Rytky. I was born and raised in North Ostrobothnia, a small town in Haapavesi. After one autumn at the Imatra School of Fine Arts, I received a study place at Haaga-Helia, the country's largest business university of applied sciences, from which I graduated in 2007. Moving to Helsinki was my dream throughout my youth, and the years of study here were the most joyful time of my life.
I have made a career in the communications in large Finnish companies. After the 2019 parliamentary election campaign, I started working full-time with politics as I joined Trade Union Pro as a senior advisor in public affairs.
In spring 2020, I graduated with a Master's degree from the University of Tampere. Studying alongside work and family life was not easy, but I am pleased that I finished the project. Journalism and political science education has taught a critical and analytical approach to politics. You can get to know my career here.
My first apartment in Helsinki was located in Pasila, right next to the police station. It was a shared flat with two other students. My next apartment was a studio apartment in Alppiharju – next to legendary Kallio, but not quite there. Life next to Kallio didn't last long, as I soon moved into my future husband's apartment in Herttoniemi. I became a stepmother at 24 and a mother three years later.
We lived for a long time in Puistola from Northeast Helsinki, from where we moved closer to the city centre in Oulunkylä a couple of years ago. We have a small backyard and playground within walking distance.
My family includes husband Ismo and two children and our two bunnies. In addition to children's hobbies, my free time is spent at meetings of different working groups and NGOs. When I have the time, I attend gym or for an evening run. There's a stack of countless books on my bedside table.
I've always wanted to make a difference. I belong to the group of people who are already drifting into student councils and class excursion committees at school. With the study policy, I found my own way to influence society: I have held various positions of trust for years, and eventually my hobby became a job. Workers' rights were a reason to join the social democratic party, but even more so I want to contribute to the biggest crisis of our time, the heating up of the climate.
My children are the reason I decided to get involved in politics. A few years ago, when I was working in the energy sector, I woke up to the seriousness of the climate crisis and the short time we have to act to curb change. I want to do what I can to leave a viable planet for my children and their children.
Cities play a key role in climate work, as the majority of the population lives in them. Helsinki must point the way for the rest of the country as well as for other European cities. We need to point the way in a change towards a carbon-neutral city, and the journey is well under way.
However, politics is much more than global crises. For most of us, it's local schools and kindergartens, decent roads and health care. It is an invisible bureaucracy and regulation in everyday life, designed to ensure a safe environment and equal treatment for all city dwellers. Politics requires strong sedentary muscles and tournament endurance. Important things very rarely progress in an instant or solo.
In my experience, the city's services are close to families with children. I spent my own parental leave in the sacred trinity of baby groups, maternity clinic visits and the library in playgrounds. The older the children grow, the wider the scale that the services will be used. Many working parents in occupational health care may not otherwise have contact with the health care provided by the city.
Helsinki is growing and international, and that is a good thing. I want the city to thrive among European cities: to be able to attract the best students and workers here, the most productive investments and startups. Helsinki must be the best place to live, study, work, own a business and visit.
However, not everyone's life is Slush or stardust. Helsinki has people in need for help people and many health centres have queues that are too long. There are a huge number of people who need mental health services than there is help available. Politics must ensure that everyone stays on board.
My Helsinki takes care of the weakest and gives each of them the freedom to live a life that looks like their own.