It seems like very politician gives lip service to education. Yet somehow, Utah still ranks last in the country in education spending. Our schools have been chronically underfunded to the point where we can no longer attract new people into the profession at the rate our experienced educators are leaving. The teacher shortage has an amplified impact on low income schools, who already struggle with high turnover rates. We are at risk of a whole generation of children getting a sub par education.
It is time to get serious about improving compensation and classroom conditions for our teachers. Our failures will have expensive, negative long term impacts in every part of our state, including our economy, homelessness, healthcare, and the democratic process.
Without a statewide intervention, individual districts will again be pitted against each in a bidding war for qualified teachers, and we will see our local property taxes skyrocket.
Every candidate will say they prioritize education. It is time for a representative who means it.
Utah deserves a representative who can put politics aside and take an honest look at issues. As the state is given more control back from the federal government, we need to be sure that our public officials are held to the highest ethical standards. To often, politicians and special interest groups have been protected from any consequences for political reasons. I will hold myself to the highest standards. As a legislator, I will not be afraid to hold people accountable for their misdeeds.
More people than ever are renting homes in Utah. in fact, nearly a third of Utah’s population are renters. As this becomes more commonplace, we need stronger laws both to protect our neighborhoods from bad landlords and to protect the rights to tenants. Currently, when a landlord fails to comply with health, safety, and zoning laws, we punish the tenant harshly and property owners get a slap on the wrist. We need stronger policy incentives to discourage bad-faith landlords from taking advantage of our current housing shortage, which can lead to families being evicted with no place to go. I will be an advocate for those who rent and work to ensure our housing laws are fair and equitable for all.
The Utah Safe Schools Commission unanimously recommended steps we can take immediately to make our schools safe for teachers and students. These actions we need to take immediately are:
- Gun Violence Restraining Orders (Red Flag Laws)
- Well trained mental health teams available for high risk students
- Closing loopholes allowing mentally ill people to purchase guns
- Provide funding for School Based Behavioral Health for all Utah schools
- Implementing an emergency alert app for all schools
- Promoting safer storage of firearms in homes
Here are a few more issues I feel like I can make a difference fighting for:
- Keeping taxes low through responsible spending
- Investments in transportation infrastructure
- Election Reforms allow better ballot access and reduce gerrymandering
- Responsible environmental stewardship
- Improving air quality
- Continued engagement with constituents
These issues all have broad bipartisan support from the public, and advocates among current Republicans legislators. I would work with people from all parties to craft common sense legislation addressing these issues. I think it is important to reject the political extremism that is plaguing the civil discourse that our current representatives are eager participants in. By working together with members of all parties, I will work towards finding data-driven solutions to Utah’s challenges.