Saying thanks matters. Here’s how.

Be thankful.

 Take a deep breath. Congress is not in session this week. Neither are our state legislators. This is a week to take a break and practice some self-care. It is also a time to give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. At Action Utah, we are grateful to live in a country that values the ideals of people’s voice in government — a Democracy, which thrives on active participation by elected officials and community members alike.

We also feel fortunate to live in a state where our local elected officials are incredibly accessible. You can pick up the phone and call your state representative or senator any time. Furthermore, it doesn’t take thousands of people speaking up to make your voice heard in Utah. That’s why we like to remind people that every action counts. Ordinary people like you and me CAN make a meaningful impact on policy decisions in our state! Hooray!

Let’s also not forget that despite polarization and fear mongering across the nation, there are still many positive policies being proposed and passed by our representatives that serve the best interests of people in Utah.

 

Thanksgiving! Enjoy some time off to rest, take care of yourself and think about all the things you are grateful for.

 

 

The Point of the Mountain Development Commission Public Visioning Workshops – Envision Utah will hold two public visioning workshops to get community and stakeholder feedback into planning for development, sustainability, recreation and growth in the powerhouse region known as Point of the Mountain. Help make this area a model for the future of other communities in Utah by weighing in at one of these meetings.

 

 

Can’t resist taking action this week? Then please take a few minutes to tell your elected representatives that you appreciate something they have done. Why? Because thanking our reps doesn’t happen frequently enough, even when  they are busy supporting and proposing plenty of great policies we are thankful for. And also because it helps you build a stronger relationship with your reps so that the next time you contact them they may be more likely to want to hear from you. Here are a few suggestions:

National:

  1. Thank Senator Hatch for his bipartisan S.B. 548, the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act of 2017​. This proposed bill builds on the successful 1986 Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) signed into law by President Reagan to give low income tax credit benefits for U.S. families and simultaneously boost the economy from 1986 to 2015. And thank Rep. Love for co-sponsoring the House version, H.R. 1661. BONUS #1: ​Ask Senator Hatch to push for changes to the Senate tax reform bill that improve affordable housing instead of harming it​. ​BONUS #2: Ask Reps. Stewart, Bishop and Curtis to co-sponsor H.R. 1661 as well! More info here​.
  2. Thank Senator Hatch and Rep. Chris Stewart for their bipartisan bill to improve the national suicide prevention hotline​ by creating a simplified three digit dial-in number to increase suicide prevention success rates.
  3. Thank Rep. Stewart for introducing bipartisan legislation that would allow for school trust land exchanges within Bears Ears and elsewhere that increase revenues for Utah Schools​ from SITLA lands. BONUS: Call on your U.S. rep to co-sponsor H.R. 4257 (The ACE Act). More information here​.
  4. Thank Senator Hatch for co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation to fix the background check system​, a policy stance that 81% of Utahns​ support.

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. John Curtis (Congressional District 3): (202) 225-7751 (DC) // (801) 851-2500 (Provo)
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.

State:

  1. Thank Sen. Allen Christiansen (Morgan/Summit/Weber-R) for having the wisdom and humility to reverse his opinion and support good health care policy last week at Interim Session when he voted to end the sunset on an autism insurance pilot program to continue offering life-changing resources to autistic children (catch the audio of the meeting here​). Email: achristensen@le.utah.gov​​
  2. Thank Sen. Luz Escamilla (Salt Lake-D) for bravely confronting the gender wage gap in Utah​ once again in the state legislature with her presentation of  her Strategic Plan for Equal Compensation at Interim Session last week (catch the audio here​). Email: lescamilla@le.utah.gov​​
  3. Thank Rep. Patrice Arent (Millcreek-D) for heading up the Clean Air Caucus and once again introducing legislation like her Emissions Testing Amendments​ to clean up the air and improve health outcomes for Utahns and their families. BONUS: Do you live in UT County and care about clean air? Be sure to contact your state legislators and ask them to pass Rep. Arent’s Emission Testing Amendments in 2018! Email: parent@le.utah.gov​​
  4. Thank Rep. Tim Quinn (Heber-R) for proposing to eliminate the regressive food tax​ to alleviate a burden on Utah’s neediest individuals and families because it is a moral imperative to do so. BONUS: Do you care about reducing poverty? Email your state representative and ask them to support the elimination of the food tax! Email: tquinn@le.utah.gov​​
  5. Thank Rep. Ray Ward (Bountiful-R) for his Family Planning Services Amendments Bill, which would utilize a Medicaid waiver to provide long term birth control to low-income Utah families in order to reduce unwanted pregnancies, improve the lives and outcomes of the families and save taxpayers loads of money. BONUS: Write a letter to the editor to support this bill. Find out more here​. Email: rayward@le.utah.gov​​

Is your legislator doing something you like that isn’t listed here? Be sure to thank them for it! Find out who your state legislators are and how to contact them here​.

​Rest up — there’ll be plenty to do soon!

Don’t forget, the State Legislative Session is coming up in January, and Action Utah will be bringing you plenty of community lobbying opportunities​ to make a big difference on the issues you care about in state policy decisions. Take this time to get yourself ready with self-care now. Soon we’ll be bringing you more tools to learn how to advocate for state policy, no matter your experience level. Get yourself ready to take meaningful actions that matter!

Andrea & Katie
Co-Founders, Action Utah

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