Key Issues

I’m excited to discuss these issues with you, but before we get into that…

It’s been a journey educating myself on these issues. I hope to be able to explain the important elements of each one. If you’re like me, though, there are times I just want to scan and find the information I’m looking for. I get it. But my main concern is not to show you how smart, or amazing I am… My concern is to show you how important and amazing you are. Variety in governing is what keeps our nation healthy and strong. If we all just got in line behind one person and let him or her do all the work, that’s not democracy. That’s not even a Republic. Each person must still be engaged and involved in the process and feel that their values and concerns are being properly considered.

So consider this… How do you want to be treated when expressing your political opinions? How can we treat each other better when listening to ideas that seem in direct opposition to our own? How can we see each other as valued contributors to society rather than rivals and enemies?

As you read my thoughts, I would love to hear yours.

The Issues

Education

The quality of education in any society has a huge impact on so many other things. Good education leads to a stronger economy. Educated people are able to support themselves and help within their communities.

But, that all hinges on a good education.

Utah’s educational system needs our support. Maybe that support comes in the form of dollars, maybe that support comes in getting more involved and helping. We have a beautifully diverse way of educating our children, including home school, charter schools, private schools, and public education. For a long time education has been a tool used to divide us and put us at odds with each other. It’s time to unite and work together to find the best path to a better education system.

Abortion

For a long time, this was the single most important issue that would guide my vote. This topic is extremely important to me. It’s important because if you value life, like I do, you have to value it from the very beginning. As soon as we stop valuing that life, we start to lose other equally important societal values too.

Because of how important this topic is, I dedicated some time to researching it in depth. The abortion numbers in the United States are astonishing but steadily falling. I can’t help but notice that the fall of the abortion rate is corresponding with the rise of women’s overall sense of dignity and power over their own bodies. The more we help women feel protected and supported, the more we empower them to make a choice well before they are faced with an unwanted pregnancy.

I now feel passionate about a pro-prevention initiative that focuses on empowering both men and women to make informed choices before there is any issue with a dear sweet unborn baby. This includes looking closer at sex education and rape culture. We need to stop shaming, judging, and any number of other things that have had a negative impact on our society.

Environment

Like it or not, our earth is filled with limited resources. Our world functions on balanced ecosystems and interdependent relationships. Economies thrive best when making informed decisions about the short and long-term impacts of growth. As wise stewards we must consider our responsibility to the earth carefully, giving ear to the range of impacts.

On a lighter note, I enjoy looking for ways to consume less and reduce my impact on the world. I love repairing and reusing the things I have. These basic principles are at the heart of many fellow voters in Utah, regardless of political viewpoint.

Second Amendment

We’re smart enough to figure out the puzzle of how to keep people safe while retaining our rights to bear arms. It’s up to us to work together to find legislation that will be the most effective. It’s going to take real conversations with people who understand this issue inside and out, as well as concerned citizens who know the status quo isn’t good enough. I believe that each of us has a part of the answer, a piece to this puzzle.

Taxes

Utah’s tax system is a mess. Last year and this year our legislature made a failed attempt to fix it. Looking at the proposed fixes, it feels that our legislature doesn’t really understand how to negotiate and come up with solutions that everyone can be happy with. It’s been eye-opening watching long-time legislators say things that clearly indicate it’s been a while since they’ve had to worry about reelection. They are far removed from the everyday voter.

Like anything, when we are faced with problems we need to find answers together. Most of us don’t like to have to pay more than necessary, especially when we feel we have very little say in how tax money is spent. But there are answers out there for finding the right balance and regaining trust. No one politician has the answer. It’s going to take all of us working together to figure this out.

Key Reforms

Campaign Finance

I am interested in being the best candidate money can’t buy. Keeping money out of politics keeps us free to make the best decisions and not influenced by those who want to steer things their way. I support United Utah Party’s call for limited the amount a public official can receive from a single entity. Currently, Utah does not have any limits on how much a person can contribute to a candidate.

Term Limits for Elected Officials

I’ve never understood why elected officials want to make it their career to be in political leadership. It is a public service, not a career. Representatives are meant to stay in touch with constituents and make adjustments according to their needs. Too often we see elected officials using “seniority” to feel important rather than make any real difference. When stacked up against peers, it is the person that makes the greatest difference, not how many years they have served. I support term limits.

More Grassroots Involvement

Legislators argue that voters can’t make good decisions without the hand-holding of legislators. They have designed legislation in such a way that grassroots initiatives are almost impossible to get on the ballot — not without significant money to jump all of the hurdles. Rather than try to make it harder, we should partner more often with legislators and lawmakers to come up with better solutions to our problems.

Independent Districting

For a long time I didn’t understand the term gerrymandering. I now understand just how powerful it is. Imagine wanting to make a difference and getting together with like-minded neighbors to unitedly elect officials who will represent your voice. Now imagine your community gets divided up so that you’re now grouped with people that simply don’t agree. Your voice gets drowned out. It doesn’t matter what you want because you’re in the minority and no one has to listen to you. That is the problem when districts are drawn without proper consideration for the people who live in those areas. The map of Utah’s districts has me scratching my head, wondering why there are so many odd chunks and squiggles that don’t make sense. I support independent districting that uses best practices and avoids the pitfalls of gerrymandering.

Let’s do this together.

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