Education is a key factor to building a strong community, a thriving economy, and is essential to equalizing the future of our children. I want to restore the intention of Utah’s constitution in regards to K-12 education funds. Our legislature is funding higher education with taxes which were originally intended to fund K-12 education. It’s no wonder that we are dead last in K-12 per-pupil funding, or that it’s difficult for Utahns to receive a post-high school education. Additionally, I will address the student-to-teacher ratio and encourage innovative educational programs that use pedagogical research rather than testing as the measure for excellence in education.
My father was an elementary school teacher. He experienced little support for his innovative teaching style even though the students in his classroom were more prepared than the other students in his school district. We must support our teachers and encourage collaboration with students’ parents. As your Representative, I will work to increase school funding for K-12, find innovative solutions for college preparedness, and close the achievement gap for marginalized students and students with different learning styles.
I am running for office in District 60 (Orem) because I want voters to have a choice.
So many incumbent Republicans are unopposed in Utah County. I hope to bring the revolution to local politics and end the apathy of progressive voters in my District. I see many lawmakers in Utah looking out for themselves and their industries: Real estate, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and banks. As your Representative, I will be a voice for all my constituents not special interests. I want people to feel empowered and engage in the legislative process. I am open to public discussion, I actively push for campaign finance reform, and I represent people over politics.
There’s no question that Utah has some of the worst air quality in the nation. This affects all Utahns regarding our quality of life, our health, our ability to attract new businesses to our state. There are multiple factors contributing to Utah’s poor air quality. As your Representative I will fight to make public transportation more accessible, vote for sustainable solutions to promote clean fuels, and support the recommendations from the Division of Air Quality.
I can no longer stand by and watch as Utahns are denied access to healthcare. My family, my parents, my siblings, and extended family worry over medical bills and access to the care they need. I will work hard to find solutions to healthcare issues and as your Representative, I will fight for full Medicaid expansion, health education programs, and more preventative care programs.
Jobs and the Economy
Residents of Utah deserve decent jobs that pay a living wage. We deserve jobs that are sustainable, offer good benefits, and enable working families to improve their quality of life. We need to grow our economy in a way that supports families and attracts companies that treat their employees as assets, and not as expendable. As your Representative, I will research the businesses that want to relocate in Utah to ensure that we are not making decisions based solely on special interests and profit margins. The strength of our economy should be measured by the quality of life for individuals and families, not by the unemployment rate.
Taxes and Government Spending
Utah’s Constitution requires a balanced budget; however the state government cuts much needed programs for our children, choosing instead to spend money on fruitless lawsuits and other things. Legislators must be held accountable for neglecting both social issues and infrastructure. While the government serves special interests and property owners, many programs are underfunded such as education, mental healthcare, victim support, and substance abuse programs. All of these programs, if funded correctly, would prevent the social problems of homelessness, poverty, and domestic violence. A state government that represents the people will certainly build a better Utah and ensure the safety of our most vulnerable populations.
Women’s health issues are often minimized through education and preventative care. I fully support a woman’s constitutional right to make her own healthcare decisions. The government should not be telling anyone what type of medical care a woman needsー that is up to the person’s doctor. We must empower parents by making programs available to educate children and teenagers about their bodies so they can make informed decisions regarding sexuality. Education and affordable access to vital healthcare services decreases the number of unintended pregnancies.
Women in the Workplace
Utah has the second worst wage gap in the nation. Women make 67 cents for every dollar paid to men for the identical job. This gap is higher for women of color. As your Representative, I will work to ensure that public and private employers in Utah are complying with state and federal equal pay laws. The gender roles placed on parents are changing. My husband is a stay-at-home dad because I am the one with the college degree. (He’s also much better at cleaning than I am.) Our children are young, but because I have a good job with a supportive boss, I am able to balance work and family. Every working family in Utah deserves the opportunity to achieve this balance. Additionally, we need to make it easier for men and women to remain in the workforce through programs like paid family leave. Finally, it’s time to break the gender stereotypes concerning STEM careers.
Lawmakers have ignored Utah’s water usage problem for too long. We can see evidence of this neglect all around us. This summer, Utah Lake presented a real health threat to our wildlife and Utahns. Utah is the second driest state in the nation, and yet we are also ranked the second highest for water usage percapita. We must create and enforce strong regulations and preventative measures if we want to maintain our natural water supply. These regulations should include rewards for Utahns who conserve water through xeriscaping their yards, installing water meters, and using rainwater.
Utah is thought to be a relatively safe place. However, we are not doing enough when it comes to affinity fraud, prescription drug abuse, domestic violence, rape, and heroin abuse. Utah has higher rates of rape and sexual assault than the national average. We are overcrowding our prisons with minor, non-violent offenders, which cost our taxpayers too much to support the families of these people. We need to focus on preventing jail time and taking the pressure off of our courts. As your Representative, I will fight for prison reform, work for a better hate-crimes law, find innovative ways to prevent at-risk populations from entering the prison system, and advocate for people struggling with addiction or mental illness. I will also fight for more funding for indigent defense (public defenders).
While Republicans often scream out for state control, the state legislature is not showing accountability for high rates in sexual assault, domestic abuse, and child abuse. The state of Utah does not assign a budget for victim support and leaves the federal government with the bill. I will work to raise awareness regarding this serious problem and ensure that there is state funding for victims. We must require every single rape kit to be tested and the results entered into a database. We also need comprehensive sex education, including affirmative consent and a violence prevention program so that rates of sexual assault decrease, especially on college campuses.
Treating Mental Health and Addiction
Our jails, prisons, and streets remind us every day of the mental health and addiction problems in our state. Part of the purpose of social programs is to help people in desperate situations, and to protect the children at risk due to the health of their parents. We need to increase funding for mental health coverage in order to combat the rising rates of crime, homelessness, and addiction in Utah. Our law enforcement agencies also need more training regarding mental illness and trauma victim interviews. As your Representative, I will take a comprehensive and research-based approach to working on the underlying issues that contribute to these problems in Utah.
The income disparity in Utah makes it difficult for college graduates to earn a living wage. There are too many families in Utah who live paycheck to paycheck and have to worry about the cost of living in Utah. Our economy is far from perfect. The people at the top of the economic chain may be fairing well, but the middle class is shrinking. As your Representative, I will fight to make sure that every working family has a roof over their head and food on the table. If we can reduce poverty in Utah, we can in turn reduce crime, substance abuse, and save taxpayer money because we will be focussing our efforts on the underlying causes of social problems.
Utah’s wilderness and parks must be protected against special interests! We cannot trust private interests when our air, water and wildlife are at risk. Our national parks are great source of pride, as well and state revenue. Utah lawmakers must work with the federal government instead of filing unwinnable lawsuits that cost taxpayers millions.