The election is over and, for better or for worse, we have a new president who will lead our nation. Exit polls show that the American public overwhelmingly wanted change in our government, and that is what we received last night.
However, we would all do well to remember that “real change does not happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up.” We need to continue working today, tomorrow, next week, over the legislative session, and the next four years for the progress we know is possible here in Utah.
There is so much progress that can be made:
- Utah is still dead last in education funding, which is causing crisis after crisis – from teacher retention to below average test scores, as well as compromising federally mandated programs for special needs students;
- Tens of thousands of Utah citizens, including children, continue to live without access to healthcare;
- Our LGBT community still fights for equality and the right to use the appropriate and safest restroom at school and in public;
- Air quality continues to plague our beautiful state, further adding to the negative consequences of the healthcare crisis among Utah residents and threatening the future of our strong recreation economy;
- Women are still fighting for control over their own bodies and for their families’ wellbeing as the battle for equal wages falls on deaf ears;
- Our great state has a criminal justice system that favors some and discriminates against others;
- Marginalized communities struggle for any representation on Capitol Hill;
- Young adults are leaving college and joining the growing population of the unemployed or underemployed making it almost impossible for them to pay off their unbreachable student debt;
- Our government officials still operate in a culture of making decisions behind closed doors.
We are just scratching the surface of challenges we face in this state, but here’s the deal – we can do this.
As Barack Obama put it: “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” We hope that you will continue to press on with us in bringing balance, transparency, and accountability to Utah policy and politics.
Together we can and we will make a Better Utah.