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.
In a country, state, and community as blessed as ours, we have a moral duty to help connect all Utahns to resources they can use to climb out of the hole of poverty, homelessness, and whatever limitations hold them back from full self-sufficiency. This session, there will be an effort to secure an additional batch of funding for the collective impact effort on homelessness, as well as much needed resources to create more affordable housing in the area.
Where appropriate, the County will join in discussions along with leaders from Salt Lake City and the criminal justice community to support good initiatives to tackle this complicated problem.
Criminal justice reform is an issue I have personally been very passionate about since I was elected to the County Council. Last fall, city and county officials teamed up for “Operation Diversion,” which was a massive effort to clean up the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City, while connecting non-violent offenders with alternatives to incarceration that will more effectively help them forsake drug abuse.
To continue the operation, it will need financial support moving forward. This will help alleviate the problems of crime and drug abuse that plague the Rio Grande area, and relate to homelessness as well.
These are just a few of the high profile issues affecting Salt Lake County residents that will come up this session. There are always unforeseen bills that generate attention, and we’ll keep a careful eye on anything that affects our residents.
It is deeply important to me that I represent the interests of my constituents on the Salt Lake County Council, and that commitment extends to ensuring county residents have a voice on Capitol Hill during each legislative session.
I’m excited to see progress on important issues like homelessness, criminal justice, and many more.