Residents in Salt Lake County enjoy a great quality of life, in part thanks to the outdoor recreation opportunities available through open space. I am a strong proponent of the benefits of recreation and open space to individuals, families, and the community as a whole.
I represent the county on the Jordan River Commission, and served as chair last year. I’ve been privileged to work with the people on the commission to preserve and enhance the open space around the river. Seeing this flourish as a resource for families, bikers, and all other outdoor enthusiasts has been a rewarding part of my public service. These amenities encourage physical, mental, and emotional health and well being for all.
In Utah, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused in some form by the time they turn 18. This, among many other statistics and anecdotes, was shared this week during a legislative committee hearing. The sobering facts were part of the discussion around H.B. 137, a bill which would have made child abuse prevention education opt-in instead of opt-out.
There will be a number of issues important to Salt Lake County residents that will arise during the upcoming legislative session, some of which the Salt Lake County Council will be actively involved with. As residents of Salt Lake County we enjoy some of the best elements of living, working, and raising a family in Utah—but we also see some of the greatest challenges facing our state.
Homelessness is one of the most important and challenging issues we face in Salt Lake County. Anyone who has taken a drive through downtown Salt Lake City—particularly near the homeless shelter operated by The Road Home—has seen firsthand the number of people without a home and in need of food and shelter.
With Utah’s legislative session starting in just a couple weeks, there will be many important issues debated that impact Utahns in profound ways. One issue I plan to be personally involved with is the effort to create a statewide crisis intervention line. I blogged about the need for this resource last year, explaining why such a tool would help more Utahns get help they need to prevent the tragedy of suicide.
As we begin a new year, I see great opportunity for Salt Lake County to work as a regional government, collaborating with state and local partners to help address complex issues.
There are a few issues I feel are particularly important, and I’ll be focusing on them in the coming year: intergenerational poverty, criminal justice reform, suicide prevention, and improved transparency over the county budget.
I've heard instances in our community where minority children are being bullied since the election results were announced on Tuesday. Other children have said things like, "Now you're going to get deported," or "Go back to your country." I am sick about this! All of us parents need to have conversations with our kids and make sure it's clear that it's not okay to do. School administrators need to make it very clear that bullying and discrimination will not be tolerated and make sure there are consequences to those who do so. Please... this is not okay. Stand up and let your voice be heard that discriminating against race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, political leanings, etc. is NOT acceptable in our communities!! We are better than this!
These posters have been popping up in neighborhoods in Salt Lake County.
On Thursday dozens of law enforcement officers swarmed the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City as part of a coordinated effort to disrupt the drug trade among the area’s homeless. “Operation Diversion” was a collaboration between Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City.
People caught dealing or using drugs were arrested, but instead of simply taken to a jail cell, they were taken to a temporary receiving center. The goal? Connect them with drug treatment to interrupt the cycle of incarceration and drug use that plagues this population.
No mother wants to hear her child speak the words “I want to die.” But for parents of children battling depression, that is a fear. And for me, it became a reality when one of my sons was struggling and needed help.
This week, the Salt Lake County Council did not throw support behind the current terms of the tax incentive to bring Facebook’s new data center to West Jordan. We voted unanimously to direct our representative to the “TEC Council” to vote no.
(The TEC Council is the 8 member board comprised of various taxing entities which ultimately decides whether to accept the deal to lure Facebook here through tax incentives)
How a little bug can do a lot of good in our broader Jordan River management plan.
As a Salt Lake County Council member I get to learn about many different, pressing issues for the county. Sometimes that entails learning a bit about weevils. Normally considered a nuisance, last Friday I learned the value these bugs/insects are bringing to our management of the Jordan River.