Global Statistics

All countries
240,188,856
Confirmed
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
215,765,598
Recovered
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
4,893,161
Deaths
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
Saturday, October 16, 2021

Global Statistics

All countries
240,188,856
Confirmed
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
215,765,598
Recovered
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
All countries
4,893,161
Deaths
Updated on October 14, 2021 1:43 pm
Molderizer and Safe Shield

Salt Lake City voter guide 2021

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Salt Lake City has no mayoral contest this year.

City Council candidates

District 1

Richard D.M. Barnes

Occupation: Geologist.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

I would look at the British bed-and-breakfast model, where the queen allows British citizens to rent out up to two rooms and have six guests per night and pocket the money for themselves, paying no taxes on it. This would be a start. Also, encourage places such as the New Zealand-style backpacker hotels or the youth hostels of Europe, where you have a common kitchen area and bathroom facilities and small bed spaces available at minimal cost, that could help reduce the housing shortage somewhat. Other than that, let the free market prevail. We shouldn’t have the government determine who gets to live and what housing facility it should be.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Crime prevention and protecting our water supply, particularly City Creek. I have a bachelor of science in geology, so I’m somewhat trained in science and could help with that.

Back the blue. We need to protect our police officers. Defunding the police was a severe mistake. Crime prevention, so that we can walk the streets at night safely. Even before the 2020 riots, there were insufficient officers. Here on the west side, if we made a call, oftentimes if it was not a violent crime, they wouldn’t even send an officer there because there were so many criminals that if they arrested one, they had to release another one from jail. So we need to make sure that people who commit crimes pay for those crimes. At the same time, have as few laws as possible and all of them easily understood by the general public. Basically, we will not lie, cheat, steal nor tolerate among us those who do.

Transportation is very important, including the airport, Amtrak system, other rail and highway options, all of these should be encouraged so that we can easily get from one place to another.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

As much as possible, give it back to the residents of our city who have been here since at least the end of 2020 on a per capita basis, with half rate for children under age 18.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I enjoy doing artwork. I also am able to write people’s names in the ancient Viking runes (alphabet).

Blake Perez

Occupation: Deputy director of the Central Wasatch Commission.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Utah is in a housing crisis. We are 50,000 units short. I’m excited to leverage federal dollars with funding from the state to aggressively build more units and more deeply affordable units. This effort must acknowledge that our affordability crisis is rooted in a lack of housing stock for all stages of life and income levels.

I believe communities and their members are the best developers of their neighborhoods. I support incremental development where residents have the opportunity to invest in their own neighborhoods and in that process, create value that benefits their community. The kind of neighborhoods we want to live in are built and maintained by people who really love them, the folks who live there. These neighborhoods are rooted in one’s ability to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and are in close proximity to public green spaces.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Air quality • I have three main strategies to improve our air quality. First, reducing our emissions by investing in more multimodal options like transit, biking and walking. Second, we need to aggressively pursue carbon sequestration by using city-owned land and public right of ways to plant more trees and vegetation. Carbon sequestration is pivotal in pulling our carbon legacy out of our atmosphere and improving our climate. Third, we must continue to invest in reliable particulate data as air quality dynamics change. Western wildfires, summer ozone and a shrinking Great Salt Lake are all adding different particulates to our airshed and we must make sure our communities have access to accurate information.

Growth • Our most recent census data showed the incredible growth of our state — and the youngest population in the country. While this is an incredible opportunity for expanding our tax base, we must keep our eye on how this growth impacts our local communities, natural resources and quality of life. It is critical that any updated zoning or land-use policy is matched with transportation policy and investments that aim to reduce emissions, make our public right of ways safer, and build long term resiliency and sustainability.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

I’d like to focus those funds on affordable housing, multimodal transportation, necessary environmental protections, and upgrading our public utilities. I’d like to invest in projects that improve our quality of life today and plan for the future of our city without significant impacts on future budgets.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I am a three time Italian American Civic League of Utah pasta eating champion. I’m not Italian.

Victoria Petro-Eschler

Occupation: Executive director at Salty Cricket; owner and consultant at bold IDEAs.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

My work as a commissioner on the Historic Landmark Commission demonstrates my commitment to preserving our community’s character while planning for the future. The unique features of our district — like the natural Jordan River or the historic 29th Ward — need to be preserved for future generations

We know that the communities who use an intentional strategy and rigorous decision-making are the ones that manage successful growth. We need a housing strategy that takes a comprehensive view of both our current and projected housing needs. For my community, I advocate for a strong mixed-income/mixed-use housing development strategy that allows for housing options at a variety of price points with predictable commerce infrastructure. Using data from other cities that have tried this before, we know that this kind of housing development supports equitable school landscapes; fosters entrepreneurial business opportunities; mitigates representational discrepancies; and supports a robust citizenry, capable of supporting our essential functions. We learned through the pandemic that our community needs to become a place to work, shop and live.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Homelessness • We need a three-year crisis management plan which focuses on organizing the current chaos. This would offer hope to the unsheltered and security to residents. What’s happened to date clearly is not working. I propose we implement a clearly defined needs-based assessment to gather accurate data and generate a comprehensive plan. As part of the plan, we must outline the city’s purview and capacity and explicitly outline the work the county and state will need to supplement. Once the crisis is stabilized and infrastructure built, there needs to be a sustainable action plan and specific memorandums of understanding between the county, state and city to ensure future management.

Economic development • District 1 is home to the most innovative (and most delicious) entrepreneurs in the city. The tamales from the Smith’s parking lot alone deserve their own storefront. We need an economic development strategy that creates abundant opportunities for local business owners. We must require equitable opportunities, working with the Redevelopment Agency and Economic Development Department to INVEST in us — not try to fix us or save us. I see a future for our neighborhood with walkable eateries, coffee shops and boutiques that are locally owned and operated as central to the landscape.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

I will take the ideas I’m hearing on the doorstep to create and enact a comprehensive plan around homelessness. There are facilities to build and upgrade, transit lines to enhance, and professional services to engage. Beyond that, the sound barriers on highways and crumbling sidewalks need investment.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I speak German, Spanish and English; I am classically trained in piano, flute, voice and guitar.

District 2

Dennis Faris

Occupation: Business and community engagement liaison at Volunteers of America.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Salt Lake City is experiencing a housing crisis, and the city has a unique opportunity to provide solutions to this growing problem. All public employees of Salt Lake City deserve to have the option of affording to live in the city they serve. All people deserve the option of living in the neighborhood in which they work.

Preserving the existing character of our neighborhoods is also critical, and that requires embracing our diversity of cultures. By utilizing a variety of tools such as inclusionary zoning, infill, and missing-middle developments, we can create higher opportunity index zones for all of our residents to benefit. At the same time, we can preserve the diverse intersection of socioeconomic ranges, ages and ethnicities that makes Salt Lake City’s District 2 the wonderful place it is.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Public safety tops the list of concerns for many residents of District 2. Since being appointed in May, I have led efforts to ensure our public safety employees (police officers, firefighters and 911 dispatch) are the best paid at every level. I have also fought to create additional resources, in the form of an alternate response model that will soon be developed. This can help to relieve pressure from emergency responders to provide a more efficient deployment of resources to improve call response times and efficacy.

Salt Lake City’s green space is abundant but requires much more investment, especially on the west side. I fought hard to elevate the parks division to become a Cabinet-level department to enable it to improve green spaces, contributing to a higher quality of life and economic development for our community and its residents.

These topics can intertwine and benefit from public-private partnerships in cases like a program I am creating with SLC Parks, Advantage Services, and the VOA Homeless Outreach Program to use carts from the Glendale and Rose Park golf courses to travel the Jordan River Parkway Trail. These teams can work with encampments and clean up litter along the length of the trail.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

While CARES Act funding was originally utilized for short-term solutions to address the immediate needs created by the pandemic, rescue plan funds allow us to build upon what we have learned, leveraging additional resources, and investing in long-term solutions.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I’ve owned at least 50 bicycles.

Billy Palmer

Occupation: Public affairs journalist.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Our housing policy should be guided by equity and focused on mixed-income developments. Whether it’s young professionals looking for a starter home, working families looking to upgrade, or retirees looking to scale down, our housing stock is not serving our city or our west-side community. We should strive to provide affordable housing options at all income levels.

We must also resist concentrating large, low-income housing projects on the west side as it will further the cycle of inequity. Inclusionary housing policies will cultivate a consumer base that can attract established businesses, foster new local businesses, and demand better amenities for the west side. Citywide, inclusionary housing also offers everyone access to a neighborhood of choice.

The city has several entities that play a role in affordable housing, including the city’s Redevelopment Agency and the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City. We need to coordinate the city’s collective efforts, collaborate with the state and county, deepen partnerships with nonprofits in the field (such as NeighborWorks), and negotiate with developers to effectively address the issue of affordable housing. With all these resources in our toolbox, we can make the needed progress for all residents of our city.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Our two biggest challenges are homelessness and community policing.

Key to reducing homelessness is understanding the complexity of its many causes. As we look at the negative impacts and the many policies and programs, we must keep our focus on the human side of the issue and the equity of our solutions.

Homelessness is a citywide and statewide issue that requires collaboration to truly address the crisis. We must continue to make our resource centers more robust, increase the number of beds available, improve coordination among service providers, and develop further outreach and wraparound services to assist those individuals who refuse to enter shelters due to trauma.

The police conversation should begin by acknowledging every west-sider deserves safe streets and dignity from our police department. Both will require that we invest in a community policing model that allows us to: Recruit and retain quality officers, provide them with improved training, and ensure equitable service across the city.

For community policing to work, we must work to build trust between the police and the community — and that’s a two-way street. We must work together so that our police officers come home safe after every shift and that our police department remains accountable.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Leftover CARES Act funds can continue to reinvest in Community Development Block Grant projects targeted toward communities most impacted by the pandemic and providing additional resources for culturally competent mental health care. Funds from the rescue plan should be used on infrastructure projects, housing stability and business revitalization.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I also had a career in the arts as a professional swing dance instructor, music promoter and filmmaker.

Alejandro “Ale” Puy

Occupation: Consultant and chief operating officer.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character, and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Salt Lake City is booming because people realized that living here is wonderful, I wouldn’t change it for anything. Our families are thriving, but all these changes have growing pains that we need to mitigate. Affordable housing and displacement are very concerning issues that we need to tackle and fast. Many residents can’t even afford to live in their own houses any longer. Much of the development isn’t well planned by our city or zoned correctly and becomes problematic to current families. We need to beef up the accessory dwelling unit ordinance and create a fund that helps families access down payment assistance to build them. We need to incentivize smart development that not only has access to public transit but also encourages its use (free transit passes, Greenbike passes, etc.). We also need to be careful to preserve character in residential areas, by allowing higher buildings in already denser areas with adequate parking structures. When thinking about housing and its affordability, we also should always think about what type of construction we are incentivizing in our city, is the type that looks forward, that is sustainable.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Homelessness and our city should regain their people-centric focus.

Homelessness isn’t an easy issue. We can’t snap our fingers and solve it, but we can act in a matter that is fair to those in the streets and our residents. We can’t be ping-ponging people across the city. We are pissing neighbors off, and we are retraumatizing people who have little to their name. We can do better than that. Salt Lake City needs a legal camping area(s). Many cities in the country tried this with a great deal of success, and I believe we can do it even better here. For those who are going to get mad at me for suggesting this, I remind you that those experiencing homelessness are already living in your park, trails, rivers, bridges, alleys and sidewalks.

Our city must regain its people centric-focus so we can actually start listening to what the neighbor’s frustrations are. Do we need to modify plans to accommodate traffic calming in residential areas? YES. Do we need to put stop signs where neighbors need one? YES. Do we need to add a streetlight where neighbors are requesting one? YES. We need to be a city that listens and acts.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

We have a very urgent crisis: homelessness. Create all types of housing (including a low bar) so unsheltered neighbors aren’t living in our parks, alleys, rivers and sidewalks. Those resources should be put to use where they would bring the greatest good to our society, which is solving this crisis.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

Last year, I learned how to create drought-resistant landscapes, learned how to weld, and sew.

Nigel Swaby

Occupation: Real estate agent, residential and commercial.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

There is no one, single fix to the problem. It’s going to take a lot of different steps to return to a normal market. At the heart of the issue is density and the “missing middle.” Entry-level homes are gone. Rents are through the roof. This is happening on a national level because the cause is national. We’re not building condominiums, the typical first-time homebuyer product. The reason we’re not is a holdover from the Great Recession a decade ago. When the market crumbled then, a number of class action lawsuits were filed for workmanship defects. The recent collapse of the condo tower in Miami is a great example. Both lenders and insurers raised rates on such projects and now they’re not being built. This is coming at a time when baby boomers are downsizing and millenials are reaching the home buying stage. Both want new homes, without yard maintenance. Except for a few town home projects here and there, that type of product is scarce. The current median price in Salt Lake County for all housing types is $455,000. The solution is “makes sense” density with an ownership component. The council has the ability through zoning and financing with the Redevelopment Agency.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

As I’m talking to residents, public safety and homelessness top the list of challenges to the city. I consider public safety to include crime, fires and auto/pedestrian safety. We have an officer shortage in the city and a county problem with both jail space and prosecutions. The first step is to rebuild our police force, but we have to do it smarter. Salt Lake City should lead when it comes to salaries and that should also help with recruiting experienced officers from other departments. We should support and expand the Ambassador program to get more uniforms on the streets where we need them the most. And we should hire private security to protect public property like parks and other real estate assets. The latter two steps will reduce calls to police, reduce fires and send a message to criminals that Salt Lake is no longer a good place to do business. Once this is in place, then we can address the criminal element in public camps better while we enforce existing laws and provide resources to the most shelter resistant homeless. We need to work on reducing systemic barriers to the homeless like identification requirements and requiring shelter stays to access other types of housing aid.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Housing is on top of the list. When we’re talking about deeply affordable housing or units for the most vulnerable, we need to look at hiring and training case managers. Our “housing first” model has failed us. We need a “case management” first model to provide the skills needed to become and remain independent.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I was the marketing and fundraising manager for the Jamaican bobsled team for the Nagano and Salt Lake Games.

Daniel Tuutau

Occupation: Nonprofit resource liaison for local businesses.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

With our housing issues, our two main options are either rezone areas for residential use or encourage alternative/high-density housing in our current areas. I am not a fan of overly dense housing options because of its impact on the character of our west-side community, but I do feel that thinking outside the box (such as accessory dwelling units) will provide more opportunities for that growth while keeping our neighborhoods from becoming wall-to-wall apartments. I think rezoning westward is another important option to consider in dealing with our city’s growth, and will support options to expand in a sustainable and healthy manner.

But I feel stimulating economic growth is the best way to facilitate an increased standard of living in our communities. The more options we have to keep our money within our communities, without sacrificing quality of goods and services, will only improve the quality of life of all our residents.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

The two biggest challenges in Salt Lake City are community participation and public safety. The west side has been neglected for so long that many of its residents feel that civic engagement is futile. Also, the problems of the day-to-day grind make it difficult for our citizens to feel like their participation is worthwhile. We need to create better ways to engage our community members. The more voices that are represented, the better the outcomes in our city’s developments. I think fostering a better sense of ownership will also increase involvement, and that will come as we continue to improve our westside and make it a place we are even more proud to call home.

Of course, public safety is the other big challenge facing our city today, and recent events show that crime is not limited to just the west side. Helping to support our police is very important, but it’s also important to fund other resources to deal with the issues that do not require police force. There isn’t a single answer to fix this problem, but I will work with law enforcement and other support programs to help make Salt Lake City a safer place for everyone.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Pandemic aid should be directed to the recovery and improvement of our small businesses and improving our workforce. A strong economy is the key to our city’s continued success in this recovery period.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

In addition to working with local businesses, I’m an opera singer and voice teacher with a doctorate in vocal performance.

District 3

David Berg

Occupation: Health care worker for populations experiencing homelessness.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

It falls to the root problem, how we allocate public resources and who these resources benefit. Salt Lake City’s goals should not be to grow uncontrollably but to expand in strategic ways that continue to make the city world-class while increasing the happiness of our community. People and communities should benefit from growth, not developers and large corporations. “Affordable” housing needs to actually be affordable, not tied to area median income. Preserving community character means historic preservation and investing in art and culture, starting with fully restoring and reopening our historic Utah Pantages Theater, as promised to city residents when we purchased the theater in 2009 with taxpayer dollars. We also need to restore Warm Springs and the Fisher Mansion, and support small local businesses like Ken Sanders Rare Books. These are vital elements that make our city unique and bring people here from around the world. Luxury apartments don’t increase tourism, and hurt locals priced out of living in their own neighborhoods. Changing how the Redevelopment Agency manages publicly owned land and properties can help us do all of this. Public resources must be used to better the public and our city, not pad the profits of developers looking to cash in.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Air quality/climate change and electoral reform. Our city’s air quality is often among the worst in the world and it will only continue to get worse if not made an absolute priority with aggressive goals and plans to reverse the damage climate change is doing. First, we need to stop the disaster that is the proposed polluting port, that will devastate our wetlands and endanger the health of west side and all city residents. We need to work to find long-term solutions to protect and support wetlands and the Great Salt Lake, create strong tax incentives to quickly embrace renewable energy, and encourage pedestrian and mass transit. There is much to be done and our health, quality of life and environment depend on it. Just like protecting our environment, we also need to protect our democracy and make sure it is healthy and robust. Money continues to influence politics and steers elected officials away from constituents they were elected to represent. Now that ranked-choice voting has come to town, we need publicly funded campaigns, to reinstate the gift ban, and bring transparency and accountability to elected officials who often go unchecked. Our democracy must remain vibrant.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Leftover federal funds should be used directly to help our community, starting with our most vulnerable residents and those impacted by COVID-19. Those who are out of work, unsheltered, struggling to heal, struggling to keep their homes, and those struggling to keep their local businesses.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I’m an avid scooterist and recently rode from Maine to California in 10 days as part of the Scooter Cannonball.

Casey O’Brien McDonough

Occupation: Architectural consultant, coffee business owner, National Guard member.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

We have a history of zoning, planning and historic districts that have protected the character of the city we love. With unprecedented growth, there is a feeling of putting developers first and neighborhoods second. We’re told that more housing density will solve our housing crisis, but it’s not a simple equation of supply and demand when the demand is endless. We need to have conversations about what we mean by affordable housing. The city and developers tell us that less than market-rate housing is affordable, but a single parent raising two kids working a full-time minimum wage job knows better. Less than market-rate housing is part of the answer, but less than market-rate housing is not the same as affordable housing.

We must stop rotten deals like the one giving away the Utah Pantages Theater for zero dollars to developers in return for a small number of less than market-rate units. This deal gives millions away at taxpayers’ expense, dollars that can be used for truly affordable housing. We must reform the Redevelopment Agency to address affordable housing more directly. We need to protect places we cannot afford to lose like the theater, the Fisher Mansion, Warm Springs and others. We need to downzone historic districts so the risk of development is low for the properties we are trying to protect. These are just some of the ways I think we can work to provide affordable housing and protect the character of our city.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

My first would be homelessness. We have spent decades attempting to solve homelessness, and it seems to have only gotten worse. We need to reevaluate the costs of what we are doing against the cost to simply provide housing. When I lived in Seattle, officials did that very comparison, and they found that the costs to build and house people who need it was far less than the cost of first responders, emergency room care, etc. We need to ensure that those suffering from homelessness have every opportunity for the basics of living. A place to clean their clothes, a place to use the restroom, a place to bathe, a place to sleep, food to eat, and opportunity to find housing and work. I don’t claim to know how to solve this problem, but I do know we have to solve it, and it must be a priority.

My second would be the environment. Air quality, water quality, and water consumption will be more and more challenging as booming growth brings the environmental costs of more people, more cars, more water consumption, and on and on. On top of that, we are being force-fed the inland port with all its environmental consequences. We must challenge the inland port and if the state won’t negotiate with us, we must be prepared to take them to court. We must encourage, incentivize, and collaborate with businesses from small to large to find ways to have less impact on the environment. Having clean air to breathe and clean water to drink can never be taken for granted and must always be a priority.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

We must use these funds to focus on supporting those who are suffering from the consequences of the still ongoing pandemic. We must also use these funds to support those who are suffering from homelessness.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I helped put the Walker Center on the National Historic Registry, make it a city landmark, and restore the weather sign tower.

Chris Wharton

Occupation: Attorney, small-business owner.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

During my tenure on the City Council, we have led the state in providing affordable housing units by maximizing federal, state and local dollars and forging public-private partnerships. That doesn’t happen automatically. That is the result of my colleagues and I valuing affordable housing and economic diversity throughout the city. I want to continue to build upon that momentum.

At the same time, I have crafted policies that preserve the oldest historic neighborhoods in Utah through careful planning and incorporating broad resident feedback. I’ve learned a lot from historic preservation projects, including Arctic Court, the Fourth Avenue Pump House, the Salt Lake City Cemetery, Fisher Mansion and the Union Pacific Station. I’ll use those lessons to lead the city’s preservation efforts moving forward.

As for improving quality of life, I believe we should use the concept of “neighborhood nodes” and the “15-minute city” concept as a blueprint to make communities more walkable, sustainable, and vibrant.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Sustainability should be a primary concern for every city on the planet. Salt Lake City has a long history of leading on sustainability initiatives that improve air quality, protect our watershed, and invest in green infrastructure. By having a sustainability component in every conversation happening at City Hall, we will continue to be a model for the state and the rest of the country. More specifically, I hope to reach the city’s Climate Positive 2040 goals ahead of schedule, invest more in renewable energy sources with our public utility providers, and support businesses that share Salt Lake City’s values and best practices.

Public safety is also critical to every city. Salt Lake City can improve public safety by recruiting, training, and keeping the most professional and qualified emergency responders in the state. I also believe that improving public safety in all communities — including those that have been traditionally marginalized or underserved — requires trust. We earn that through transparency and accountability with residents. I will continue to raise the bar for the safety in our capital city while also ensuring that emergency responders are compensated for the difficult and dangerous work we ask them to do every day.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Salt Lake City has used CARES money to backfill public safety resources, provide economic relief for small businesses, maintain housing for vulnerable individuals, and keep public spaces open. I hope our rescue plan investments will be more focused on catalytic projects and programs that will impact the city for future generations.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I’m a pie aficionado and I have an impressive collection of bow ties.

District 5

George Chapman

Occupation: Retired engineer, former naval officer, friendly local neighborhood activist.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

The solution to our affordable housing emergency is to rezone the tens of thousands of acres in Salt Lake City that are not allowed to have housing. Single-family home neighborhoods are just 12% of the land in this city, while this city refuses to allow housing on 80% of the land. Preserving community character is not building low-income housing with an insulting option of either a kitchen or a bathroom, next to single-family homes. Only 63 detached homes were approved last year along with around 1,500 apartments. Salt Lake City should support more homebuilding to discourage driving to other counties, which increases pollution. We should not become Apartmentville USA! Increasing density in single-family areas will destroy community character, decrease quality of life and encourage workers to drive (and pollute) to single-family homes farther away. The solution is not to increase density by encouraging developers to replace moderate rented houses with higher-density market-rate apartments. If this city would rezone just a portion of the 80% not allowed to have housing, the city could have housing for 100,000 more residents and increase the supply of affordable housing.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

The lack of police (down over 130 sworn officers) is leading to an epidemic of crime where the 10,000 911 callers a month are placed on hold (up to 50 at one time). It is so bad that we have to beg cops to accept voluntary overtime to assist in homeless camp cleanup and walk parks that have drug crime. That results in an increasing drug epidemic which negatively impacts the homeless first. The shelters, according to the last audit, are full of drugs and the city refuses to use the recommended drug dogs. So our efforts to decrease homeless populations are impeded by countering efforts resulting in more addiction.

Road changes should not result in pollution increases or force traffic onto adjacent, quiet streets. The plans to reduce travel lanes on 2100 South could create up to seven times more pollution nearby than the rest of the valley. The recent 500 East project removed bus stops to increase bus speeds but forces buses to stay behind bicyclists which have lane priority. Traffic moves to adjacent streets and speeds through out of frustration. Requiring slower speeds can also result in more emissions, according to vehicle manufacturers.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Rescue plan funding should be prioritized for rental assistance for renters and homeless along with social workers. The city should use some funding (around $45 million out of $86 million) for a safe camping and parking area for those who don’t want to endure the drug issues in our shelters.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I write a local news blog at georgechapman.net and attend most City Council and District 5 community councils.

Vance Hansen

Occupation: Security officer.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

There is no one perfect solution to any problem and/or tragedy no matter what anybody thinks or how bad we want it to be. So we all have to try our best.

There are many factors here but at the end of the day it boils down to what is the land really worth? How do we best use it? No matter what is decided somebody is going to be disappointed and/or unhappy. That is a given. Most new laws and/or codes need to be struck, thrown out or rewritten. A lot of the customs and/or laws from the past need to be brought back, implemented and followed. You can follow the intent of the law but without some flexibility if you enforce it too tight you end up with the result or a variant of the very same thing you were trying to contain and/or eliminate.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Preserving community character. Much the same as answer No. 1 just add or change a few words like respect, honesty, courage, commitment. Lead by example and not by force at least 99% of the time. Very rarely, IF AT ALL, will force work. It nearly always leads to the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

The government’s job is to help provide resources to the people and prevent outside sources from interfering. Not to force into compliance or make everybody the same. The quality of life is what the individual makes of it.

Amy J. Hawkins

Occupation: Instructor, University of Utah School of Medicine

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Salt Lake City must incentivize developers to take on the additional financial risk of developing affordable housing. Large, uniformly deeply affordable housing projects may seem like the fastest way to solve our affordable housing shortage, but if these are concentrated in certain areas of the city, this will create further problems for neighborhoods. Clustered deeply affordable housing will perpetuate intergenerational poverty. We need our affordable housing zoning to be inclusionary.

Salt Lake City’s District 5 has a disproportionate number of abandoned and boarded structures that shouldn’t be allowed to just rot for decades. We’re in a housing crisis and these structures are not helping the problem — they’re a blight upon our neighborhoods. Whenever there’s a property in the neighborhood that’s zoned for housing and is instead taken up by a dilapidated structure that people are breaking into, that’s a negative. We need to address our policies that allow those buildings to sit vacant. We must incentivize property owners to take action, by either repairing what’s there or demolishing abandoned structures and building homes people can occupy. Our city needs a more effective vacant and boarded building ordinance, a more efficient demolition process, and a housing loss mitigation ordinance that works.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Our city’s biggest challenges in the next four years will be to address increased crime with a reduced police force and to equitably distribute shelters and other resources for people experiencing homelessness.

I rallied community members to end the police department hiring freeze in January 2021, and I spoke in favor of the 30% salary increase for SLCPD officers that City Council voted for in June 2021. However, these measures have not been enough to retain a sufficient police force: as of August 2021, average 911 response times for Priority 1 calls—life-threatening emergencies—was 17 minutes and 35 seconds. As I suggested to the Racial Equity in Policing Commission in January 2021, the SLCPD should have hired an outside entity to examine why over one hundred officers left the department. It wasn’t a matter of salaries. Our public safety officials haven’t felt supported in a volatile political climate, and our city must take steps to repair these relationships.

After a third homeless shelter was announced for the Ballpark neighborhood in August 2021, I led a community response demanding that Salt Lake City initiate zoning changes: a moratorium on new shelters until an equitable distribution and placement process is developed.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the CARES Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Salt Lake City should work with the County to provide for a mental health receiving center similar to that which has been piloted and successful in Davis County. The center would function as a mental health emergency room with behavioral health and addiction treatment services.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

When I see a pug or French bulldog, I go berserk with joy. I adore their little smushed faces.

Darin Mano

Occupation: Architect and small-business owner.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Housing costs have skyrocketed in recent years and housing construction has not kept pace with demand. Salt Lake City has historically invested in housing at all levels of affordability, including moderately and deeply affordable housing. I’m interested in exploring inclusionary zoning or significant affordable housing bonuses to get moderately affordable housing out on the market without using city taxpayer money. This is the kind of housing a teacher or firefighter or a police officer could afford. This would allow us to focus our housing funds to be used only for deeply affordable and permanent supportive housing.

Furthermore, zoning laws need to be examined as these are often an unnecessary barrier to housing creation. The addition of accessory dwelling units to neighborhoods has shown that added density does not destroy neighborhood character. Currently our city is dominated only by single-family neighborhoods or high-density housing districts. We need to pass new zoning ordinances which will allow the missing-middle housing (town houses and small apartment buildings) to be built in more places throughout the city. My expertise with land use and urban design policy makes me the ideal candidate to lead the council in these efforts.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

We have many important issues facing our city including pandemic recovery, public safety, homelessness, air quality and many others. However, there are two important goals that I plan to champion during my first full term in office.

My first goal is to move forward our work in diversity, equity and inclusion. Salt Lake City isn’t excluded from the problems of systemic and entrenched inequity seen throughout our nation. We must continue the work our Racial Equity in Policing Commission has been doing and move forward with a similar deep dive into other departments.

My second goal is to move forward a neighborhood-wide planning and zoning effort in the Ballpark neighborhood. This neighborhood is full of potential, and developers are beginning to invest. However, the city’s zoning ordinances are outdated and allow many uses such as storage or manufacturing which are not conducive to the type of walkable, mixed-use and transit connected neighborhood that Ballpark has the potential to become. If we don’t plan for these changes now, we will end up with a disconnected and undesirable result.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

This funding is an opportunity to make lasting generational improvements. First and foremost, aid should be used for its intended purpose of getting the city and our residents through the pandemic. Beyond that, the No. 1 goal is to add deeply affordable and permanent supportive housing to help people exit homelessness.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I know how to twist balloon animals, make homemade potstickers, and I’m really good at assembling Ikea furniture.

Sarah Reale

Occupation: Director of digital marketing and adjunct professor, Salt Lake Community College.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

We are facing a housing shortage, but we must plan with purpose. We need to be cognizant of how new developments will impact neighborhoods and property owners. We should focus on incentive-based zoning, where developers are asked to support the neighborhood in which they build so we can preserve these communities. This could be asking developers to invest in new sidewalks, lighting or additional green space. So, as we grow and provide housing, we are also contributing back to the community.

We also need to look for creative solutions to housing. This could include making it easier and more affordable for property owners to add accessory dwelling units, and updating the unused Fix the Bricks program, which helps older housing units make updates more affordably, but only applicable for designated historic houses. Adding grants or tax breaks for current property owners to update their older homes helps with preservation of the city.

We also need to be realistic about our natural resources as we face a climate crisis. Asking developers and new buildings to be green, LEED-certified is essential and will ensure that as we build, we’re planning for the additional use of resources in our struggling climate.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Climate Change • We are facing a dire situation regarding our rapidly changing climate. We need to act now. As a city we must commit to moving to complete clean energy, and there is a path to get us there. HB411, Utah Renewable Energy Act, and a partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, will help us make strides to stop climate change. The city should commit to this goal and be the leader in changing the way we create and use energy. Moving to renewable energy isn’t only possible, it is economically feasible.

Unsheltered population • This is an unfortunate public health issue impacting our city. There is no way for us to find solutions without resources — this should be a funding priority for the city for the foreseeable future. There are obvious service gaps that will only get wider without support from the city. We should look to public health experts, better comprehensive data collection and case management, and develop a unified agenda and vision within the region. Most importantly, these issues are systemic — we need to change as a community to address the lack of support in mental health, addiction recovery, and provide more opportunities for individuals to succeed in society.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Create guidelines that require aid be focused on those (individuals or small businesses) most impacted by the pandemic. Aid can come in a variety of ways: educational support for families who had children struggle during online learning, or for small businesses to use for facility updates or marketing.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

My dogs are named Franklin Delano Reale (FDR) and Evita “Eva” Marie.

District 7

Amy Fowler

Occupation: Lawyer.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Affordable housing is a top priority of mine. While I was the chair of the Redevelopment Agency, we invested over $50 million in affordable housing. I continue to push for ordinances and policies that advance the idea of affordable housing, while maintaining the character of the community through different design standards. I think that we have an opportunity to continue creating more walkable and accessible communities, through traffic calming, more public transportation, and supporting our small businesses.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Equitable access to resources • We are going to continue to see an increase in resources and if we are not creating policies now, we will continue to see inequitable access to those resources. Funding programs to decrease the digital divide, working with the Utah Transit Authority to increase public transportation throughout the city, supporting small businesses in all areas of our city.

Population growth • We are estimated to double our city’s population by 2040. We need to be sure to maintain the city’s character and all of the reasons we love it as we see this growth.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

We need to be strategic in using these federal dollars. We only have so much and it won’t last forever, so I think we need to create funding sources that can capitalize on each other and then be a source for continued funding for residents and small business owners.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I lived in Guatemala for five years.

Rainer Huck

Occupation: Retired.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

The Salt Lake City Council is badly lacking in diversity of thought and thus does not represent the interests of many constituents. On July 20, Mayor Erin Mendenhall and the entire council declared “racism” to be a “public health crisis.” I know it’s become quite fashionable these days to blame everything on racism, but for a government to make such a declaration indicates they might have a bit of a tenuous connection with reality and invites future disaster.

When I ran for mayor in 2019, I had the solution for the homeless — a homeless campus where all the needs of these unfortunate people could be met. The tiny-home plan currently under consideration will be a failure, as have been the current shelters.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

I believe that further investments in mass transit will be a waste of money. We are no more than five years away from the time where a majority of commuter traffic will be autonomous electric cars. They won’t need any parking as they will be immediately off to find a new rider. This will also solve our air pollution problem.

We badly need reform of our police department. For far too long, they have been the agents of the state rather than the agents of the people. They must return to the mission for which they were founded, which was to protect people and their property from violent criminals. There must be transparency and accountability, both of which are sadly lacking at this time. We need fewer police but higher-quality police. We also need to eliminate SWAT cops and undercover (secret) police which have no place in a democratic society. We need to stop arresting and imprisoning so many people for nonviolent and made-up crimes. The U.S. has only 5% of the world’s population but has 25% of its prison population. The ordinance proposed by the city’s Civilian Police Accountability Council will go a long way toward solving this problem.

I will bring some fresh perspectives to the council that will enable our city to more effectively deal with these and other pressing issues.

Ben Raskin

Occupation: Communications writer.

As the Salt Lake Valley continues its booming growth, what are your solutions for affordable housing, preserving community character and creating a high quality of life for city residents?

Sugar House is the soul of Salt Lake and maintaining its quirky charm and historic character is my top priority. Folks are drawn to our neighborhood for the parks, shops and bars. It’s a walkable neighborhood because there’s something worth exploring. I’ll work to increase public art, fund murals and install a proper monument to Joe Hill. Our greatest assets in Sugar House are our parks and trail systems. Preserving our open spaces is crucial for future generations. Let’s be a model for other historic neighborhoods in Salt Lake to follow.

We need to accelerate the inventory of affordable housing. Quite simply, we’re not building enough units, and prices are skyrocketing due to demand. The solution is to build up since we can’t expand into the mountains or the lake. I support rezoning efforts for higher-density units, accelerated building license application reviews and lower impact fees. In return, developers need to maintain a lower rent for a larger portion of their properties. We want Salt Lake to be a vibrant city, but we’re failing folks if they can’t afford to live and recreate where they work.

Besides affordable housing, what are the two biggest challenges facing the city in the next four years, and what are some specific programs or policy changes you will introduce to solve them?

Public safety • Salt Lake City does not have enough police officers to effectively patrol our community. I’ll work to increase the number of uniformed officers, triple the number of social workers, and increase foot and bike patrol. We need to recruit and retain talented, veteran officers and modernize technology for quicker response time and better outcomes. More cops does not mean less oversight. I’ll make sure District 7′s Police Civilian Review Board seats are filled and mandate implicit-bias training. In addition, I’ll hold police leadership to the highest standards. The safety of our residents demands we have the best officers and commanders in the state.

Water • Whiskey is for drinking, but water is for fighting. And the way things have progressed in the Salt Lake, our battle over water has just begun. Climate change has irrevocably altered rain and snowfall in the valley, reservoirs are at historic lows, and we’ve resorted to prayer to solve water needs for our state.

I’ll work directly with the city’s Public Utilities Department to implement the Water Conservation Plan 2020. Rain barrels would be available for discounted purchase. New construction would have sustainable, indigenous landscaping mandates, and I’d encourage residents to pivot toward xeriscaping.

What are your ideas for investing federal pandemic aid in the city, including funds left over from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act as well as funds from the American Rescue Plan Act?

Women’s fundamental rights and safety are constantly under attack. We need to support organizations that provide reliable health care and services to women and their families I’d use remaining funds to support organizations focused on women: Planned Parenthood, the Rape Recovery Center, Geraldine E. King Women’s Resource Center and others.

What is a fun or unique fact about you?

I’m a former bartender who once made Robin Williams smile.



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