Many people in Lithuania feel that their voice is not heard, and they’re concerned about their own and their children’s future. People are unable to making a living from the income they earn; they don’t feel safe at work or in their home environment; and they’re concerned about the quality and availability of education, health, and social services. Most importantly, however, people no longer believe that something can change and, therefore, a significant number of Lithuanian citizens are leaving the country to seek a better life abroad. Once there, they work very hard creating prosperity, not only for themselves and their children, but also for their new country of residence.
I believe, however, that we can create a better life in here, in Lithuania. It depends entirely on to change our surroundings and overcome difficulties by helping each other. I grew up very different families: with my biological parents, then in a foster home and with a foster family. The experience I gained in my childhood has shaped my attitude that every decent person must help others. So, after graduation, I decided to link my future to helping people, especially those who, for one reason or another, face social exclusion, disrespect, and humiliation. I am currently working as an expert on human rights and am advising members of the Lithuanian Parliament and the non-governmental sector. Previously, I worked as a project manager and organizer of educational and social events, helping people to learn about cultural diversity and taking steps to reduce social exclusion. I also provided advice on legal issues.
In practice, I call this “cooperation policy”. By organizing various campaigns, I invite people to unite and make their voices heard, because fundamental change can only be achieved by working together. I seek to unite people from all walks of life, from urban and rural areas, people who still believe that by working together we can truly create a better life here, in Lithuania.
If I am elected to the Lithuanian Seimas, I will work with my colleagues to secure more rights and opportunities for every person, and I will continue my current work with non-governmental organizations, schools, and communities promoting initiatives that will bring change to Lithuania. It is my hope such change will make a difference not only in the lives of those who live here, but will also encourage the return of those who still wish to contribute to their country’s growth and prosperity.
My initial goals, if I am elected:
- Education, Science and Culture:
- Seek to increase funding for education, science and culture. Teachers, professors, cultural and social workers should not only be highly qualified, their work should be properly compensated. A good education must be accessible to everyone regardless of social status, ethnicity, or disability. Pursue higher education reform – universities should focus on the quality of students, not the quantity. Universities should welcome only motivated students, and educational programs must develop the critical thinking skills and openness of students and develop their abilities to adapt gained skills and knowledge in a knowledge-based economy.
- Equal opportunities and equal rights for all citizens:
- Seek to increase the availability of pre-school education not only in Vilnius and the major cities but in the country’s regions as well. Families should not be divided into “correct” and “incorrect” families, people cannot be directed how to live, but it is necessary to provide the best possible conditions for children to grow and develop and for parents to combine work, education, leisure, and family. To expand equal opportunities for women and men through initiatives to equalize wages and occupational distribution between the sexes. To improve migration laws that are currently not sufficiently supportive to migrants or refugees and do not encourage their integration. In addition, gender-neutral partnership validation should be achieved.
- Article 43 of the Lithuanian Constitution states that there shall be no state religion in Lithuania. Legislation should be expanded that would help maintain strict adherence to this principle.
- To supplement the Equal Opportunity Act with the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of marital status and appearance. In addition, to seek that non-discrimination law on the grounds of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, religion, beliefs or opinions, appearance, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, religion, or marital status would be effectively implemented by government agencies and not only formally included into law.
- I stand for a professional and volunteer national defense service. Citizens must be willing to defend the country, since compulsory military service is not effective.
- Electronic voting, dual citizenship:
- As far as I am aware, electronic voting is supported by a majority of Lithuanian citizens, especially young people and people living abroad or in remote corners of the country. So, it is time to stop more than a decade of ongoing debate and start implementing it.
- Another critical issue is the ability to have dual citizenship for Lithuanian emigrants. They must be able to build their future in Lithuania and in the country they are currently residing.
- Green economy and the public sector:
- Improve the legal framework seeking to promote a green economy and the establishment of new jobs within it. To expand public services and provide equal opportunities to use them. To ensure that civil service salaries are indexed to the pace of economic growth, because the country’s economic growth should be not only a duty, but also should motivate.
My proposals match – or, in some cases are even more progressive than – the platform adopted by the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party.: PROGRAMME .
People are the Core Value of a Democratic Society
All human beings are born free, equal in dignity, sharing the same rights. A life lived in dignity depends on how much we can ensure freedom and equality for every person – within his or her family, community, or country. While the state is one of the guarantors of these rights and freedoms, general welfare does not come automatically. All people should contribute to the common good as much as they are able, taking steps to destroy deep-rooted stereotypes, recognize the diversity that surrounds us, and ensure the identity and solidarity of all of Lithuania’s citizens.