Meeting Communities Where They Are
Prioritizing the people on the west side of Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City should represent all its citizens. However, the city is ignoring the voices and interests of civilians on the west side, neglecting District 2’s economic development. Now is the time for a city council member who listens to all his constituents and fights for everyone living in District 2.
- District 2 needs the city to address underdeveloped roads and unwanted infrastructure.
- We need zoning that helps everyone in our communities.
- We must reduce unnecessary civilian–police interactions that has allowed for profiling.
- And we should encourage and support community land trusts and farming.
Empowering Salt Lake City’s marginalized communities
District 2 is a culturally diverse, vibrant area with different racial, ethnic, national, and religious backgrounds. The city does not adequately incorporate input from communities when drafting, debating, and implementing policies. A thriving democracy needs economic and social equality and requires the views of marginalized people in all stages of the political process.
- Our city must listen to Indigenous, Black, and Brown voices from District 2, pushing for infrastructure projects that they support.
- We should have a local government that reflects the myriad identities and interests of our city.
- We cannot continue criminalizing poor, Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.
- And we deserve a city council member who always engages people from all backgrounds.
Assisting and supporting people experiencing homelessness
Many people in Salt Lake City have experienced or are experiencing homelessness, trapping them in poverty, violence, addiction, and stigma. Operation Rio Grande unfairly criminalized homelessness. Treating homelessness as a personal failure only worsens the situation. Instead, Salt Lake City should prioritize empathy and understand how homelessness interconnects with related crises in mental health, universal housing, and wealth inequality.
- Those experiencing homelessness deserve access to proper services: healthcare, housing, and economic.
- We must ensure that our homeless resource centers are optimally providing wrap-around services and meeting veterans’ needs, as well as push for a new family center.
- We need to identify discrimination and oppression of LGBTQIA2+ people, communities of color, Indigenous peoples, and working-class families as causes of homelessness.
- And we cannot allow corporate interests to influence our city’s response to homelessness; solving homelessness is about improving society as a whole.
Fighting the Utah Inland Port
The Utah Inland Port is a lousy deal for Salt Lake City. While the inland port may be a boon for polluting industries, there are community members, experts, and activists opposing it. The inland port will mean a more extensive customs and ICE police presence in District 2, threatening vulnerable families, friends, and neighbors. Furthermore, the inland port can inflict unfathomable environmental damage. If we do not stop the inland port, it will be a step backward for confronting global warming and improving Salt Lake Valley’s poor air quality.
- We must unequivocally support the lawsuit against the Utah Inland Port Authority.
- We have to oppose the impact the inland port will have on both human trafficking and the policing of undocumented and other marginalized peoples.
- And we cannot let the inland port undermine other initiatives to improve our environment, which includes advocating for a more equitable public transit.
Advocating for economic rights in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City’s growing economy is not equally benefiting its citizens. Not only are many civilians financially struggling, but they often face harassment from landlords and cannot easily access healthy food. Corporatized solutions risk leaving poor and working-class constituents behind, exposing them to economic precarity and exploitation. Along with taking intermediary steps, it is necessary that Salt Lake City confronts the Utah state legislature to implement and fully realize the following economic rights:
- Civilians’ right to housing.
- Renters’ right to counsel.
- Communities’ right to healthy food and produce.
- And workers’ right to a living wage.
Solving our city’s affordable-living crisis
As rent and home prices skyrocket, the city has been busy developing new housing. However, the evidence suggests that the city can do more. As we continue to construct more homes, the city council must push for universal housing in Salt Lake City.
- Securing universal, affordable living necessitates that the city council represents us at the state legislature, calling for a living wage and a more equitable public transit system that everyone can utilize and afford.
- We can expand first-time home buyer grants for people looking for a new house.
- We should realize how tenants’ unions and rent control are potent tools for affordable living and empowering communities.
Making Salt Lake City accessible for disabilities
Our Disabled friends and family members deserve to enjoy everything our city has to offer, without any barriers. Many buildings here continue to be inaccessible for several Disabled people. Our city council has the power to improve accessibility for everyone.
- Our Disabled brothers and sisters must no longer be an afterthought.
- As we address affordable living, we must continue to expand the number of ADA-accessible homes.
- We can incentivize businesses to increase accessibility.
Improving physical and mental healthcare
District 2 faces several health-related challenges, especially when we compare our area to the rest of Salt Lake City. Research suggests that the people of District 2 face several unique challenges: food deserts; disconcerting rates of mental illness, addictive habits, and diabetes; and low access to health insurance, primary care, and prenatal care. The city must make the necessary reforms that can improve our district’s health regardless of class, race, national origin, or gender.
- The city must advocate for Medicaid expansion to the Utah legislature.
- We must increase public funding to assist anyone facing drug addiction, mental illness, and other health concerns.
- We can increase funding for free clinics around the city to raising vaccination rates and improving other health indicators.
- And we have the ability to both support existing programs and create new ones around preventing sexual assault and domestic violence, including abuse against Disabled people.