Each year the Alliance for a Better UTAH awards five individuals or organizations its Better Beehive Award. Given to those individuals or organizations that have worked to make Utah a better, more progressive place to live, winners of the Better Beehive come from all walks of life, from all over the political spectrum and from all over the state. And though there is much work to be done in Utah to make it a better place to live, there are still many instances to celebrate. This award is a celebration of those accomplishments.
A winner will be announced daily December 17 through December 21. Updates can be found below as they are made available.
Monday, December 17 - Ross Romero. Retiring state senator Ross Romero has been awarded the Better Beehive for his recognition that good government serves the public interest in an open and transparent manner, and for his efforts to enact good governing processes in Utah. As a member of the state legislature’s records committee, Romero was the only member of the committee to vote to release Utah’s 2010 redistricting records for the public’s benefit — a position ultimately adopted by the legislature after a long and unnecessary series of battles over the question of the public’s interest in the records. More information available here.
Tuesday, December 18 – Harrisville and Springdale. The second winner of the Better Beehive goes to the cities of Springdale and Harrisville for enacting ordinances this year that bar employment and housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. More here.
Springdale is a small southwestern Utah community situated just outside the world-famous Zion National Park. In April of this year, the town council voted to extend equal protection rights to its LGBT citizens. It is the first municipality in Washington County to pass such a measure.
Harrisville, part of the Ogden-Clearfield metro area, passed its non-discrimination ordinance in January of this year. It joins Ogden as the second city in Weber County to pass the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.
Wednesday, December 19 – Salt Lake Tribune. For its decision to retract a poll that had originally erred in its prediction of the results for the Salt Lake County mayoral race between Ben McAdams and Mark Crockett. The poll also misread the 4th Congressional District race between Jim Matheson and Mia Love. The Tribune decided to retract its poll results after conflicting poll data by Deseret News pollster Dan Jones and internal polling by the Alliance for a Better UTAH was released. See the press release.
Thursday, December 20 – Sandy and Paul Krueger. For their efforts in starting a petition rallying against the legislature’s passage of a so-called “abstinence-only” bill in the 2012 legislative session that ultimately led to Governor Gary Herbert’s veto of the controversial law. The Kruegers started the petition after becoming increasingly frustrated with the state legislature’s unwillingness to listen to its constituents. The legislature had passed HB 363 in an attempt to remove sexual education from the curriculum of Utah schools by mandating an even stricter abstinence-only curriculum, as well as giving schools the option of dropping sexual education altogether. See more here.
Friday, December 21 – Healthy Environmental Alliance of Utah (HEAL). For successfully preventing an Energy Solutions executive from being appointed to the state board
that oversees nuclear waste regulation in Utah. HEAL was a key player in derailing Governor Gary Herbert’s appointment of Dan Shrum to the Radiation Control Board. Joined by the Alliance for a Better UTAH, HEAL called for Herbert to appoint someone else to the board that would fairly consider the interests of all Utahns. Shrum decided to remove himself from consideration for appointment to the state board after public outcries made his appointment untenable. Press release here.