Before anything else, I want to share my first campaign video with you. I believe that Utahns deserve better politics and that's why I'm running for U.S. Senate. Please watch and share this video with your friends and family!
Where Have We Been?
Summer is nearly over and our kids have gone back to school. Top of mind for so many right now is partisan gridlock, climate, and inclusion in our policymaking. I want you to know that I've listened closely as I’ve traveled all around the state. I’ve heard your stories and want to brainstorm solutions with you that could really make a difference. Here's what I've been up to:
Last week, we loaded up my yellow coach and visited Duchesne, Vernal, and surrounding communities.
I am impressed with the important work being done in the natural gas and oil industry that is helping build a robust and diversified energy portfolio. This is a result of innovation, technology, and long term planning and ensures both environmental wellbeing and economic security for the Uintah Basin and Utah.
At the Duchesne County Fair, I won third place in the “Fun Run/Walk” walking division, did a little shopping at the Bull Ring, and enjoyed the Duchesne County Rodeo where this year's theme was “Hometown Heroes”. Later, I met with Duchesne County GOP Chair Kyle Snow. We discussed the needs of the community, our shared love for rural Utah, education, and the Duchesne County Republican Party.
In Vernal, we visited with old and new friends at our Yellow Couch Tour event. I appreciated hearing the community's concerns about the future of energy development, attracting and growing a vibrant workforce, and the importance of having our state and federal governments recognize local needs and culture. That's a crucial need that will guide my service in the U.S. Senate.
We also visited the Utah State Uintah Basin campus where Dr. Seth Lyman gave me a tour of the Bingham Research Center. From this conversation, I learned a lot about air quality issues in the Uintah Basin. And finally, no trip to Uintah County is complete without a stop at Dinosaur National Monument in Jensen.
A few days later we brought our yellow couch to Tremonton and Howell, where I met with a group of local ranchers and farmers. The Art Douglas Farm in Howell was the perfect place to discuss BLM land management and the challenges facing the beef and agriculture industries in Utah.
Just last weekend, I took my Yellow Couch to Tooele and Grantsville. I visited with Sarah Patino with the USU Extension Create Better Health Program. They made a beautiful community garden with the Boys and Girls Club in Tooele. Nickole Brown and Robyn Handley spoke with me about Tooele's 4-H program, which helps over 500 young people learn about leadership, robotics, sewing, plant and animal sciences, and healthy living.
I sat down with a group of young adults who started school at Tooele High School this week. They were concerned about their education, future job prospects, and how they can make a difference in their community. I was really inspired by them!
Finally, I attended a Zoom discussion with Tooele Health Department Executive Director Jeff Coombs and Health Promotion Coordinator Amy Bate. They lead out in providing senior healthcare, opioid addiction, and COVID-related services to families in Tooele.
I was lucky enough to have a lot of my family join me in Grantsville for our Yellow Couch Tour stop. We started at the city offices where we found a statue of Hilda Anderson Erickson. Hilda emigrated to the U.S. from Sweden and crossed the plains as a Mormon pioneer with her family when she was just six years old. She lived to be 108 years old and was the oldest living pioneer when she passed in 1968.
I want to thank all of the wonderful residents of Grantsville who came out to chat about the future of our great state and their community in particular. The McGuires, who are both local educators, shared their perspectives with me about life in Tooele Valley and the challenges and opportunities students face today.
I had one last stop on my way back home from the Tooele Valley. Katie Newburn, who is the Education and Outreach Director for Friends of Great Salt Lake, gave me a tour of Antelope Island State Park. We've all seen the Great Salt Lake receding in recent years, and we had a discussion on how critical the lake is to Utah's economy, environment, and culture. I really appreciate the work Friends does to help preserve and protect the ecosystem here, in partnership with others who are also concerned with long-term water planning for the resources of the Great Salt Lake. Such an important work!
Finally, I had the privilege of meeting Chris Parker from Giv Group, an impact driven developer taking an innovative approach to tackle both affordable housing and sustainable building by creating net zero living and work spaces that connect people, build community, reduce emissions and treat low income residents with respect and dignity. I’m so impressed with Chris’ genuine compassion and willingness to defy norms to build a better model that improves people’s lives!
What’s On Our Minds?
Because I’ve engaged with so many Utahns this past week, I know there are some issues at the forefront of everyone’s mind. I’d like to talk about some of those and how we can address them:
I'm proud of the work I did in the Utah legislature to improve childcare, FMLA, and paid family leave and workplace protections. I hope to continue that work as your next senator.
I've been asked consistently about how I plan to get things done when Washington D.C. is so paralyzed by partisan gridlock. That's one of the main reasons I'm in this race. I believe it starts with collaboration. That means we need to expect our leaders to work together by negotiating, building coalitions, and getting the job done, while never compromising their values in the process. I worked to build bipartisan relationships in a bipartisan way during my tenure in the Utah House and I'll bring that same mindset to the U.S. Senate. If I'm elected, you can expect results.
With wildfires, drought, and severe weather all throughout the country, many are wondering what we can do to address our changing climate. While many Democrats will suggest big government programs, I support free-market and limited-government solutions that make a greater impact than more burdensome and costly regulations. Climate change poses both opportunities and challenges for our state, and we must implement bold solutions to mitigate extreme weather and protect our economy, health, and safety.
I was proud to sponsor HCR007 in the Utah House, the first of its kind in a red state, which acknowledged our changing climate. That's a good first step. We need to continue these conversations with renewed vigor and look to innovation for bold solutions.
I’m so excited to continue my Yellow Couch Tour as the summer winds down and we enter September. Please consider joining me at an upcoming tour stop or giving us a donation to help us continue to spread my message of better leadership, better politics, and better solutions for Utahns.
Thank you all for your support and I’ll see you on the campaign trail!