We’re already into August and the end of summer is right around the corner. I’ve enjoyed spending the season traveling all around the state and meeting so many new people. I’ve listened to their stories, heard about their families, and brainstormed solutions with them that could really make a difference. I want to tell you what I’ve learned from these conversations:
Last week, we loaded up my yellow coach and visited Hurricane, St. George, Lehi, Centerville, and Bountiful, with some fun stops between destinations.
In Washington County, we explored the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Utah’s public lands are one of our most precious resources. It’s so important that we protect them and use our best judgment to come up with real policy solutions that will maintain access and protection while maximizing the usefulness of the land.
In St. George, we were able to visit with old and new friends at our Yellow Couch Tour event. I answered their questions about why I’m running, what my stances are, and how I’ll bring better leadership to the U.S. Senate.
A few days later we brought our yellow couch to Lehi where we spent the day meeting with local government and community leaders, including Councilwoman Paige Albrecht and Mayor Mark Johnson. We stopped by Silicon Slopes and met with a crowd of community members for a Q&A on a range of topics.
Just last weekend, we kept our yellow couch a little closer to home in Davis County. I’ve been a resident of North Salt Lake for 22 years, but it’s fun to explore the neighboring communities with new eyes as a candidate for federal office. I visited Centerpoint Theater and the Bountiful Davis Art Center, then ended with a community member Q&A at my home. I’m always thankful for the time I get to spend in the area that’s so near and dear to me.
On Saturday I attended the Salt Lake County GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Luau. It was a great opportunity to visit with many Republican friends from the Salt Lake area, and it also made my husband John and me a little homesick for our mission in Samoa!
I’m happy so many of you volunteered to have campaign yard signs on your front lawn. I spent a day with one of our superstar volunteers, Kyle Manwaring, delivering more than 400-yard signs to engaged Utahns who are ready for better leadership. Everyone was so kind and ready to get to work. Thank you to everyone we met that day. I hope each of you will have a yard sign on your lawn! You can request one on my website.
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:
First, with many schools already starting, parents are worried about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our state. Some counties have hit over 1,000 cases and hospital ICU units are filling up. Earlier this year the Utah legislature blocked school districts from implementing mask mandates in their classrooms. That was an overreach. I’m a classic conservative and that means I believe in federalism. Those closest to the issue are in the best position to solve it. State leaders taking that control away from local level school districts was the wrong move.
For now, the best thing we can do to ensure kids have a safe and normal school year is for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated ASAP. Please check out coronavirus.utah.gov for more information on where you can get your vaccine. Vaccines are plentiful and available. Please get vaccinated if you can so we can put this pandemic behind us.
Water is another issue causing anxiety. We are in one of the worst droughts of our generation. While we have guidelines in place to conserve water right now, we need to start taking steps to ensure we have water in future years. We must build sustainable water policies to provide water to Utah communities and farmers for years to come. Finding more efficient and fiscally conservative water systems is a step in the right direction, and must be a priority. That’s important to Utahns; it’s important to me.
During several recent tour stops, Utahns asked me about mental health access in our state. They wanted to know what we could do to expand access and help people in the state who need treatment for mental illness, no matter where they live or what their circumstances are. We have much work to do in this area as a state. During my time in the state legislature, we made significant strides in getting care to the people who needed it most. I helped pass a pilot telehealth program, which expanded coverage, connected individuals with the help they needed and no doubt saved lives.
Lastly, interfaith relationships have been on my mind lately. Utahns have expressed their desire for more unity and less vitriol than we’ve seen in the recent past. I believe discussions that lead to understanding between faith groups are a good place to start in bringing people together. In St. George, we met with Rabbi Mendy Cohen of the Chabad Jewish Center. He shared with us a Hebrew phrase from the Torah, which translates to “The blessings of our Father only come when we are united as one.” That’s why I’m running to be your next senator. Because I believe in unity and that when we are united, we can accomplish great things.
It’s been a busy week! I’m so excited to continue my Yellow Couch Tour and continue meeting with more and more Utahns. I know together we can find better solutions to the problems we face.
Thank you all for your continued support and I’ll see you on the campaign trail!