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Social Democrats: Tallinn and Tartu platforms

The Social Democrats' candidate for mayor of Tallinn, Rainer Vakra.
The Social Democrats' candidate for mayor of Tallinn, Rainer Vakra. Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

The Social Democrats have recently been under fire for their health policy, including an attempt to restrict the advertising of alcoholic drinks, and a law calling for a tax on sugary drinks. While pushing health and social welfare policies in the government, locally their platforms are geared towards the idea of state-of-the-art “smart” governance.

Their Tallinn platform covers the following main points:

  • Green Tallinn: protecting recreational areas, making sure every resident lives no more than 300 metres walking distance away from one of them; increasing the size of public parks and gardens; switching the city’s public buildings and street lighting system to sustainable energy by 2030; all new public construction to be for zero-energy buildings; triple expenses for keeping public space in order; supporting packaging-free shops; installing drinking water taps; only allowing zero-emission vehicles in the city center by 2030
  • Environmentally friendly transport: making free public transport comfortable and safe; run it on renewable energy only; modernize tram routes and develop new ones; service the main public transport routes at night to reduce interruptions; pedestrian-first approach in road construction; safe and high-quality cycle paths and parking lots for bikes; bringing road maintenance standards to a level that allows moving about on foot or by bike in winter as well
  • Modern kindergartens: renovate all kindergartens within four years; free healthy food and early foreign language classes; Estonian taught in every kindergarten; supporting staff in every kindergarten, with assistant teachers’ salaries to reach 75 percent of a teacher’s salary; safe pedestrian crossings outside every kindergarten
  • Athletic Tallinn: every child can participate in one recreational or sports activity for free; activity grants for sports to be increased to €300 and more; new sports grounds and outdoor gyms; schools’ outdoor sports grounds open to the public; indoor hall for extreme sports as well as the largest parkour park in Estonia; making Tallinn the European Sports Capital in 2022
  • Caring about the elderly: improve availability of medical assistance and shorten queues; increase city pensions premium by €100; develop home care services; providing holiday and support services to those who care for a family member at home; build a public nursing home and a Generations House in every district to provide recreational groups and activities for both the young and the elderly; offer child care services in these centers
  • Transparent city governance: put an end to corruption and the concealed financing of the governing party from the city budget; stop embezzlement of taxpayers’ money; tenders and vacancies to be announced and dealt with publicly; making city agreements with private companies public; ending city support of the Tallinn Co-operative Bank and shut down the Linnapood municipal shop; stopping public support of Tallinna TV; stop paying extra salaries to members of the city’s government for their work on the councils of city-owned enterprises and foundations; no city council members appointed to the boards and councils of city-owned businesses and foundations
  • Decision-making closer to home: give more decision-making power to the districts, communities, and citizens’ groups; involve independent experts, district communities, and citizens’ groups in the city planning process; establish a people’s budget and delegate the power to confirm the district mayor candidates to the district councils
  • Opening Tallinn to the sea and to culture: turning Linnahall into an international concert and conference venue; develop the city’s seaside territory into a modern area suitable for cultural events and leisure; build a cable car to Toompea Hill; make the city’s museums free of charge on the first Sunday of every month; ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone; no place in Tallinn for discrimination based on ethnicity, religion, age, skin color, sexual identity, or any other grounds
  • Smart Tallinn: support the registration of companies founded by e-residents; stay in touch with them and providing them with the information and services they need; make non-personalised data gathered by the city government accessible to everyone in a machine-processed format; four apps will be developed to communicate with citizens in real time: a budget app to show how the budget is used, a public improvement app to inform the public about solutions to issues, a public transport app that revises routes based on public input, and a campaign promises app that gives an overview of political promises and whether or not they’re met

Tartu platform

Like the platforms of the other parties, the Social Democrats' campaign promises for Estonia's second-largest city include extending and improving transport infrastructure along with making planning procedures more transparent. Social services are also a priority.

Tartu's status as the Baltic states' pre-eminent university town means that party platforms also include calls for more cooperation with local schools; the platform of the Social Democrats is no exception. Follow this link to read about the party's Tartu platform in detail.

Advance voting started on Oct. 5 and is continuing until Oct. 11.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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