Vote! And other top ways to make your voice heard

Elections are TOMORROW!

Every other year Utah holds nonpartisan municipal elections. This is our chance to have our say in who will become our city council members, mayors, school board and also special service district positions like water, sewer and parks & rec, who make local policy decisions on our behalf. Several municipalities have hotly contested elections for these elected positions. In addition, congressional district 3 is holding a special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Voting in municipal elections is great way for you to make your voice heard on issues that directly impact your quality of life. Be sure to vote on November 7th!

Want another way to get your voice heard in policy decisions?

Use your voice during the State Legislative Session — the 45-day period starting on January 22, 2018 when our state representatives and senators gather at the Capitol to make and amend our state laws and balance our budget. January may seem like a long way away, but with the holidays in between, the State Legislative Session will be here before you know it! Start learning how to impact policymaking at the Capitol now by joining us for two upcoming events:

See our calendar events below for details!

 

 

Election Day! – Tues, November 7th. Find your polling place, ballot information and when/how/where to vote by going to vote.utah.gov and entering your address.

Workshop: How To Write An Effective Letter to the Editor (LTE) – Wed, November 8th, 7:00-8:30p, Salt Lake City Library, Conference Room B. Join us in person or via FB Live! Get practical tips on how to write and submit LTEs to your local papers to draw attention to the issues you care about, plus talking points on 2-3 current issues that need community member support. Participants will draft LTEs on site, receive critique and walk away with a letter that’s ready to submit. This event will also stream on Facebook Live @ActionUtah so you can join us from anywhere in the state!

 

 

Final Interim Session Tour of the Capitol – Wed. November 15th, 7:45-8:15am. Action Utah leaders will walk small groups of interested community members on a tour of the Capitol Campus and introduce you to how our state legislature works. We highly recommend that you stay to sit in on Interim Committee meetings, which are open to the public. Meetings run from 8:30a-4:15p. Meet in the cafeteria on the ground floor of the Senate Building (on the east side of campus, next to the parking lot). NOTE: This is the last Interim Session of the year! The next time our legislators meet will be for the State Legislative Session in January. Click here to RSVP or email us.

 

State Issues

1. VOTE in your municipal elections TOMORROW! Utah has historically low voter turnout, and for municipal elections the turnout is even lower than other elections. The good news is that low voter turnout means YOUR VOTE COUNTS MORE! Some counties have mail-ballots, some have early voting, but if you haven’t taken advantage of either, be sure to get to the polls tomorrow and cast your ballot.

  • Find out where to VOTE on November 7th! Election procedures vary county by county. To find out how, where and when to vote in your municipality go to vote.utah.gov and enter your address. If you receive the response “No election available for your area” that probably means you live outside the boundaries of a municipality and are not qualified to participate in the municipal election. You can also contact your local County Clerk for information specific to you.
  • Click here to learn about the special election in Utah’s Congressional District 3.
  • Check out our nonpartisan “Voter Guide” in our online Election Resources to answer any other questions you may have.
  • Spread the word to remind others to vote! This is a democracy – the more voters the merrier! Encourage your friends and family to get out and vote if they haven’t already.

2. Learn how to write a letter to the editor. One of the best ways to get attention for the issues that matter to you is to write about them in your local paper. At Action Utah we always encourage people to speak their mind about the issues that matter to them most — particularly if you can do so in a way that people on both sides of the aisle can hear. With the State Legislative Session coming right up and so many issues on the table at the federal, state and local level, it’s a good idea to learn how to write a letter to the editor that has a chance of getting published and making an impact. So we created a workshop this week just for you. BONUS: We’ll be introducing two of the terrific bills we are supporting this legislative session!

3. Join us for the last Interim Session of the year. Every month our state legislators get together to learn about and debate issues facing Utah. November is the Interim Session before our annual State Legislative Session begins in January. Join Action Utah leaders and members to for a brief tour and training on how our legislative branch works and how to impact it at the Capitol. We invite you to stay and sit in on a public meeting about issues that matter to you. Witnessing our legislature in action is the best way to learn how to be an effective community advocate. Let Action Utah show you how!

  • Sign up to join us on Wed. November 15th for our Final Interim Session Tour of the State Capitol. Click here to RSVP or email us.
  • Can’t be there in person? Check out the State Legislative Calendar to see what committees are meeting when. Click on that committee to see their agenda for the day (meeting agendas post at least 24 hours in advance). If a particular topic interests you, listen to the audio recording of that part of the meeting, available in the meeting “Summary”, which gets posted shortly after the meeting adjourns. Listening in will give you a great view not only into the issues, but also into how our legislators learn about the issues, what words they use and what messages are impactful to them.

National Issues

1. Spread the word about the ACA enrollment window through December 15th. Enrollment has also begun for healthcare under the ACA, but the enrollment period will last just 45 days and ends on December 15th. The Trump administration has cut funding for advertising, and it is expected that enrollment will drop by over one million people. The drop in enrollment could mean that even fewer young healthy people will be included in the exchanges, causing higher premiums in order for insurance companies to stay afloat.

  • Find out how to enroll for healthcare and SPREAD THE NEWS. For information on enrollment, please visit https://www.healthcare.gov/. And please share information about the enrollment period via social networks so more people will have access to health care.

2.  Tell the Department of Homeland Services to extend TPS for immigrants. Temporary Protective Status (TPS) is a humanitarian program that provides work and residence authorization to immigrants fleeing armed conflict or natural disasters. The Department of Homeland Security will decide this week whether or not to reauthorize the status of more than 325,000 people. 90% of TPS holders are from the countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti, which experienced deadly earthquakes and hurricanes. Many of these individuals have lived in the United States for decades, and the majority have US citizen children. All TPS holders are rigorously vetted, and a large majority contribute to the workforce. The cost of deporting all these people – estimated to contribute more than 150 billion dollars annually to the US economy – would exceed 3 billion dollars. The National Immigration Forum notes that the loss of work authorization is “expected to seriously impact several key industries in Texas and South Florida, further devastating local economies recovering from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.”

  • Call your Senators and your US representative TODAY to urge DHS to extend Temporary Protective Status designation for El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. These people do not pose a threat to our country, but rather contribute significantly to our economy, and removing them would be a costly and wasteful expense.

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)
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. Learn what YOU can do to boost civility in politics. Whatever the reason, our partisan divide exists not only among politicians but among our community members, who some say fuel political divides and discourage compromise among our leaders. Yet partisan politics is a top concern amongst Utahns. Today let’s take time to consider how we contribute to the loss of civility and what we can do to restore this central tool in our democracy.

Take advantage of opportunities to use your voice!

We are fortunate to live in a state where politics and politicians are accessible to ordinary people like you and me. Elections are a great opportunity to exercise your voice. So is our annual State Legislative Session, coming up in January. Action Utah will bring you plenty of opportunities to make a difference in state policymaking on many issues at the 2018 Session. Be sure to tune in this Wednesday at our Letter to the Editor Workshop for an introduction to two of the terrific bills we will be supporting.

Andrea & Katie
Co-Founders, Action Utah

PS – New to Action Utah? Join us here. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for Daily and Urgent Actions during the week.

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