As you are probably aware, I have created a website that hosts my blog entries, my calendar of upcoming events, and is also an ideal place to get involved should you desire to volunteer, donate, or spread the word.
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Even though I was Out in Convention this year on my first bid, I am planning another run for the Utah legislature in 2016. Two years may seem like a long time, but it will be here before you know it.
Before I ran, despite being an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, I didn't have a lot of the right connections. That is changing, and rapidly. Because I ran, I have drawn support and guidance from the following organizations and people:
- Sanitation Uniting Mankind
- Utah Stonewall Democrats
- Simon Bolivar Caucus
- Utah Democratic Hispanic Caucus
- Utah Progressive Caucus
- African American Caucus
- Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown
- Utah Senator James Dabakis, former Utah State Democratic Party Chair
- Utah Legislative Candidate Sandra Hollins
- Utah Attorney General Candidate Charles Stormont
- The Victory Fund
- And more behind the scenes
Both Sanitation Uniting Mankind and the Utah Stonewall Democrats have asked me to join their Board of Directors. I am maintaining contact with Revolution United, a pro-progressive organization and the Utah Prisoner Advocacy Network. My next steps are seeking to build coalitions with existing legislators on clean air initiatives, and forming an alliance with HEAL Utah and the Human Resource Campaign of Utah.
My values remain the same. Utah has lost its way in being a welcoming community. We have allowed corporations and profit to displace people and empathy. While a healthy economy is vital, one of the roles of government is to put a check on companies so that they do not create an unhealthy environment.
Besides fundamental fairness in housing, employment, education, and healthcare, we need to be mindful of our environment. What goes out into the environment comes back into our bodies. On good days, Utah is beautiful, and inspiring. On bad days, it is a toxic waste dump. To that extent, we need to clean our air by moving from black energy to green energy. We also need to protect the land from environmental destruction.
Teaching public schools is seen as a temporary occupation that pays less than a job at McDonald's. How can we expect the most from our students, when we don't expect and provide the best for the people who teach them? While technology is a great leveler at the extremes of ability, we need to invest in our teachers, and provide a true career path.
Corporate slavery is a reality in this state, with companies paying at rates that no one can survive on and medical insurance companies free to determine what is medically necessary and what is not. The right to work actually means a right to fire and prevents workers from organizing against unfair employment practices.
And then we have law enforcement officers shooting family pets, our furry children, simply because the officer was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was scared. City and community councils need to make sure that the law enforcement officers have adequate sensitivity training, including how to know the difference between aggressive and protective animals, and the state legislature needs to make sure that funds are available.
I don't know what district I will be running from, as our lease is expiring and we plan to move into a larger home. But we will know by next month as I need to have a place by mid-August. The Millcreek area looks hopeful, but in today's housing market, houses for lease don't usually stay on the market long.
I am looking forward to involvement in the community councils when I move; and who knows, you may see me running for a council seat in 2015.