Healthcare, housing, human rights, and sustainability – elect an official who takes them as seriously as you do, Sophia Hawes-Tingey.
Sophia for West Valley City
Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: A Voice for All in West Valley City
I am a principal software engineer and US Navy Veteran who moved to Utah in 2010, hoping to work in a discrimination-free zone for a company that valued diversity. I have been an LGBT advocate, have been in charge of welcoming for two Unitarian Universalist churches and served as the President of the Board of Trustees for one. I have served on the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Utah, and the Executive Committee for the Women's State Legislative Council. My objective is to make Utah a welcoming place, with fairness and opportunity for all, celebration of diversity, access to healthcare, housing, clean air and water, and excellent education.
When it comes to healthcare, we need to listen to our healthcare providers and what they recommend. I trust that an epidemiologist will know the best approaches that will protect our community and the ones we love. The legislature should not be dictating what treatment that doctors are allowed to give or that patients can receive. Medical necessity is best established by the medical establishment and the patients and their families. Neither insurance companies, nor governmental bodies should be in the business of deciding what is medically necessary.
We need to address the housing crisis. Recently, we watched as the cost of housing and rents spiralled out of control with an already identified housing shortage. We need to work on policy measures that balance the rights of residents with the rights of investor landlords. There are several alternatives available to this issue. We need to identify and select which ones the state can effectively promote. Without balancing the needs of developers, owner-residents and renter-residents, we have the undesirable effect of creating even more homelessness. It's time to secure housing for the people who need a place to stay. We need to get people into homes, not force them into homelessness. That is why I advocated for cities having a well-defined housing plan when I served in leadership roles for Midvale Community Council, and make it a part of my campaign.
As a transgender woman, I am fierce advocate for human rights and civil liberties. I believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, while also having equal access and equal rights. No extra hurdles should be erected based on a person's real or perceived gender identity, sexual orientation, race, country of origin, religion, or any other attribute that does not pertain to being a contributing member of society. Everyone deserves a fair chance, and legislation should be carefully evaluated to make sure it does not add any other burdens or prevent equitable access to any traditionally marginalized people. I have lobbied legislators helping them understand the reality around the lives of transgender people and the existing support systems.
I have served with multiple organizations dedicated to equality and fairness, including Transgender Education Advocates of Utah, the Transgender Inclusion Project, the Stonewall Dems, and the ACLU of Utah. I also have had an active role for over half a decade with the Women's State Legislative Council of Utah. In my role as Board President at South Valley Unitarian Universalist Association, I have teamed with the minister and board to explore what it means to be anti-racist on a deep and spiritual level, and we are in the process of expanding that exploration to the congregation at large.
I am a firm believer in sustainability. Whether we admit it or not, we are all connected - to one another, the planet, and all life on it. Our ecosphere is becoming more fragile because of the growing population and growing energy use. The planet cannot afford for us to keep taking without giving back. We need to shift away from the usage of carbon-based fuel sources to renewable, sustainable sources. We need to restore our soil, restore our land, and increase the carbon-trapping energy of plant life. I am an advocate for affordable sustainability, including renewable infrstructure, solar panels, hybrid vehicles, and home compost bins. I know that not everyone can afford to install their own solar panels, so I look forward to ensuring energy suppliers, corporations, and governmental bodies will be held accountable for making the transition to a clean, reusable, sustainable future. These actions that I will take as your elected official will allow more residents to care for our homes and our families. Our children and grandchildren will inherit a future based on our decisions now.