Redistricting, campaign finance, volunteerism and more

Redistricting is on the move in Utah.

Just last week a federal judge ruled that gerrymandering in San Juan County violates the rights of roughly half the county’s population and is therefore unconstitutional. The maps must be redrawn. But the question is, who should redraw them?

65% of Utah voters believe that politicians should not get to pick their voters, The same is true across the nation, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing in large numbers that independent voting commissions, not legislators, should be in charge of drawing district maps.

In Utah (and many other states), the drawing of legislative districts is done by those who benefit from how they are drawn. Voters should pick their elected representatives, politicians should not get to pick their voters. For the large majority of Utahns who agree, we have some great news: a bipartisan effort to establish an independent redistricting commission is underway! “Better Boundaries” filed a redistricting ballot initiative petition with the Lt. Governor’s office here in Utah on Thursday.

Read the application here. And Deseret News coverage here.

As always, Action Utah will keep you updated on ways that you can participate and ensure good governance and a fair process for all Utahns!

 

 

Thurs, July 27th, 4:30-6:30p – This Land is Our Land March for Public Lands, Salt Palace Convention Center to the State Capitol Building, Salt Lake City. Join this march and rally on Day 2 of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2017 in celebration of the backbone and foundation of the outdoor industry: our federal public lands. Hosted by Outdoor Alliance, Conservation Alliance and Outdoor Industry Assoc. Make posters with Save Our Canyons on Wed, July 26th.

 

Weekly Actions

State Issues

1. Volunteer to help with a political campaign. Last week Real Women Run hosted a great event for candidates of both parties to learn campaign skills and connect with community members. Some of these candidates have never run for office, many have limited resources, but all care deeply about the issues in your communities and are committed to working hard for Utahns at various levels of government. With August 15th primaries quickly approaching, candidates could use your help! Contact us to volunteer for any of the following campaigns.

Alisa Van Langeveld         North Salt Lake City Council
Trudy Knight                         Nibley Mayor
Rep. Sandra Hollins         Utah House District 23
Tawnee McCay                    Riverton City Council
Lisa Watts Baskin               North Salt Lake City Council
Kristi Bell                                Uintah Council
Marla Mott-Smith              Marla 4 Congress (Utah 4th District)

2. Ask Governor Herbert to step up Utah’s water conservation goals. Utah’s current water conservation goal is to reduce municipal water use just 1% per year until the year 2025 and to stop conserving water after that. But Utah can and must do better. Why? Utah is one of the driest states in the nation, and yet we have the highest municipal water use per capita. We are also one of the fastest growing states in the country, so we need to plan for more water demand in the future without costing taxpayers exorbitant amounts. Our high water usage costs billions of taxpayer dollars. Commonsense water conservation not only saves water, it save the state billions.

  • Call on Governor Herbert to commit to water conservation reduction of 40% by the year 2030 to save billions of taxpayer dollars and follow smart water planning for our growing state and the health of Utahns.
  • Sign this petition, listed on our Petitions, Petitions! page, which we update daily with the best petitions on issues that matter to a majority of Utahns.

Gov. Gary Herbert (801) 538-1000 or leave an online comment here

3. Speak up about campaign finance reform. Do you want to help strengthen campaign finance laws in Utah and your community? Take a survey to speak up about your views! City-specific surveys are available for Provo, Taylorsville, Park City and Ogden. But if you don’t live in any of those cities, you can still take the survey by selecting “All Other Utah Cities”. Your views matter to help shape campaign finance reform. Take a few minutes to fill out this survey before it closes on Monday, July 31.

  • Click here to take a survey to voice your opinion about strengthening campaign finance laws in Utah.

National Issues

1. Stand up for the health care that you and your fellow Americans deserve. The Senate is expected to hold a vote today to proceed on the motion to debate health care policy. However, as of last night it was still unclear exactly what version of health care policy they would proceed on. One possibility is ACA repeal without replacement (something 77% of Americans do NOT want to see as it would lose 32 million Americans their health care and throw insurance markets into chaos). Another option is the House’s terrible American Health Care Act (AHCA), a bill that only 8% of Americans believe should pass as is and only 21% of voters support. Although the Senate has suggested fixing the AHCA, they have failed to detail any proposals on how to address voter concerns about ending protections for pre-existing conditions, drastically cutting Medicaid and causing millions of Americans to lose health care. The final option is proceeding on the Senate’s lackluster Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which would remove protections for preexisting conditions and other essential benefits that at least 1/3 of Utahns depend on. Let’s remind our senators that Americans overwhelmingly prefer a bipartisan solution to fixing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

  • Contact our senators THIS MORNING to advocate for fixing the ACA instead of voting to proceed on alternative health care reforms.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)

2. Support election integrity. Advocate for the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act, which would fully restore and modernize the original Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to reflect today’s societal needs and challenges. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law in August of 1965, and it has been reauthorized four times since, most recently by President George W. Bush in 2006. The VRAA of 2017 would restore a core protection of the VRA, the preclearance system, which previously required states with a documented history of discrimination to allow the federal government to review changes to voting laws and practices before they were implemented.

  • Contact your House Representative to support the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendment Act to improve transparency in voting.

Rep. Rob Bishop (Congressional District 1): 202-225-0453 (DC) // 801-625-0107 (Ogden)
Rep. Chris Stewart (Congressional District 2): 202-225-9730 (DC) // 801-364-5550 (SLC) // 435-627-1500 (St. George)
Rep. Mia Love (Congressional District 4): (202) 225-3011 (DC) // 801-996-8729 (West Jordan)
Not sure who your U.S. Representative is? Check here.

3. Oppose funding for Trump’s wall. $1.6B in spending for Trump’s border wall has been approved by the House Appropriations Committee, despite the facts that a wall won’t solve the drug trade problem, violates sacred Native lands and puts 93 endangered species at risk. Plus, the $1.6B is only the first installment, with a total estimated cost of at least $21.6B for the wall still to come and no one to pay for it but taxpayers. This spending measure will now move to a full house member vote.

  • Call on your U.S. Representative to vote no on this needless and fruitless spending when so many programs that save lives, reduce taxpayer costs and make communities safer are on the line.

 

Every action matters!

Yes, it’s summer. But just because the kids are out of school doesn’t mean your calls, comments, attendance and other actions don’t matter. They do matter — very much. Each action you take builds upon an action by someone else, and collectively our actions speak volumes. So keep up the good work, Utah! Every day you are gaining more of a voice in the policies that impact your lives and your families!

Andrea & Katie,
Co-Founders, Action Utah

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