What if there were a scandal and no one cared?
Alliance for a Better Utah is probably best known as the progressive non-profit that brought down Utah Attorney General John Swallow over illegal campaign finance activities. However, Better Utah’s ideals of balance, transparency and accountability took root much earlier when our Founder, Josh Kanter, came to the realization that there was a missing voice in Utah’s political landscape who could say whatever needed to be said, whenever it needed to be said, regardless of the consequences. And so an idea was born – the Alliance for a Better Utah. A group that would engage openly and honestly in the public square. Ensuring a balanced dialog about policy. Holding elected officials accountable to their constituents. Shining a light where there was a lack of transparency.
When Senate President Mike Waddoups called 100,000 Utahns lazy, Better Utah was there. When Utah wanted to follow Arizona down the immigration rabbit hole, Better Utah was there. When the Utah legislature wanted to run GRAMA over with a bus, Better Utah was there. When the Utah legislature gerrymandered the redistricting effort, Better Utah was there. When the Utah legislature wanted to eliminate sex-education for our children, Better Utah was there. When the American Legislative Exchange Council came to Utah, Better Utah was there. When Representative Mia Love backed the destruction of the very programs that got her to where she is today, Better Utah was there. When Senator Mike Lee received the equivalent of a $400,000 campaign contribution from a bank, Better Utah was there. When no one else was left standing for Medicaid expansion, Better Utah was there. When Judge Johansen needed to be shown the door, Better Utah was there. And yes, when Attorney General John Swallow broke the law, Better Utah was there.
Time and again, Better Utah has been and will be there – ensuring that there is balance, accountability and transparency in Utah politics, policy and government.
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Better Utah Highlights
September 1, 2010
An Idea is Born
UDOT pays $13 million — What if there were a scandal and no one cared?
February 1, 2011
Better Utah joins the immigration debate with our first billboard, joint venturing with Cuentame.
June 15, 2011
Better Utah leads a coalition group fighting for fair and open redistricting.
April 30, 2012
Denise Graham Gets Paid
Better Utah helped a wrongly terminated UDOT employee get justice.
July 25, 2012
ALEC Exposed Conference
Better Utah holds a public counter-conference during ALEC’s national conference.
November 4, 2012
Better Utah’s internal polling leads to first-ever Salt Lake Tribune election poll retraction.
January 23, 2013
Swallowgate: Better Utah Files Utah Bar Association Complaint
March 7, 2013
Swallowgate: Better Utah Files Election Law Violation with Lt. Governor’s Office
May 10, 2013
Swallowgate: Lt. Governor Calls for Special Investigation
Better Utah’s election law violation claim leads to a call for investigation by the Lt. Governor’s office.
November 6, 2013
What if there were a scandal and no one cared?
Better Utah holds its first annual breakfast fundraiser in what has now become a tradition for progressive Utahns.
November 13, 2013
Coalition for a Compassionate Utah is Formed
Better Utah spearheads the creation of the Coalition for a Compassionate Utah. Made up of over a dozen additional non-profit groups, the coalition was formed with the sole purpose of pressuring Governor Herbert to accept Medicaid expansion for the state’s 123,000 uninsured Utahns who would be covered by additional Medicaid dollars.
February 28, 2014
Better Utah Joins the Fight for Equality
Better Utah files and amicus brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of marriage equality. The brief takes the unique stance of examining Utah’s broken political process—arguing that a balanced and accountable process would have prevented Amendment 3 from ever making it out of the state house.
May 1, 2014
Karen Shepard Internship
Better Utah’s internship program is renamed the Karen Shepard Internship for Ethics and Good Government.
February 5, 2016
Better Utah Sues State Over School Funding
Better Utah files a lawsuit against the state of Utah based on the argument that state leaders have failed in their constitutional duty to adequately fund the public school system.
October 2, 2016
ABU Education Fund Launches Debate Series
Better Utah’s sister organization, ABU Education Fund, announces the start of its debate series, a collaboration with the University of Utah’s debate series.
January 21, 2017
Better Utah Co-Sponsors Women’s March in Park City
Better Utah co-sponsors the Women’s March in Park City, lead by celebrity comedian Chelsea Handler.
May 17, 2018
Better Utah Releases the First Legislative Progress Report
Better Utah released the first annual Legislative Progress Report following the 2018 general legislative session in an effort to increase clarity of the legislative process and hold representatives and senators accountable.