Elections! And so much more…

October 30th, 2017|Action of the Week|0 Comments

Elections are just 8 days away!

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!

The deadline to mail in your voter registration form has passed, but you still have time to register online. But hurry! The deadline of October 31, 2017 is TOMORROW.

  • Register online to vote by clicking here. Remember to register by TOMORROW to qualify to vote in the November 7th municipal election.
  • Find your polling place, ballot information and when/how/where to vote by going to vote.utah.gov and entering your address. NOTE: If you get a response that says “No election available for your area” that likely means you live outside the boundaries of a municipality and are not qualified to participate in the municipal election. You can contact your local County Clerk for information specific to you.
  • Need more information about registration requirements or voting? Check out “How to register to vote” resource or our nonpartisan “Voter Guide” in our online Election Resources to find everything you need to know.
  • Already registered to vote? Make sure your friends and family are too by SHARING this with others!

If you are registered but haven’t had time to research the candidates running in your area, take a few minutes from your day to Google your local elections and read up!  You can view a sample ballot vote.utah.gov to find out who is running.  Community councils are also great resources for information on candidates.

Deadline to register to vote – Tuesday, October 31st (Tomorrow!)

It Starts With You Speaker Series: Community Conversations to Educate and Unite – Wed, November 1, Reception at 5:30, discussion at 7:00 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W 300 S, SLC. Discussion with NPR Education Correspondent Claudio Sanchez and community thought leaders will explore education and equality in the Latino community, as well as the complex, and often difficult to understand immigration system. Free to the public with RSVP to chloie@uw.org.

Civility in Politics and Public Life – Thurs, November 2, reception at 6:00p, discussion at 7:00p,  Vieve Gore Concert Hall, Westminster College, SLC. Discussion with Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, moderated by Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah and chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber.

Empowering Refugees in a Time of Crisis – Thurs, November 2nd, 7:00 pm, Moot Auditorium, University of Utah School of Law. Becca Heller and Yusif Al-Timimi will lead a discussion on their work with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).

Better Boundaries Volunteer Training – Sat, November 4th, 1:00p, Marmalade Branch Library, SLC. Learn how to help collect 113,000 signatures to get this initiative on the ballot in 2018.

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 Effective Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor (LTEs) – Wed, November 8th, 7:00-8:30p, Marmalade Branch Library, Salt Lake City. 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!

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 introduction to our state legislature. 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:!5p. 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.

State Issues

1. Get ready for Municipal Elections – NOVEMBER 7TH! Municipal elections are nonpartisan elections that happen every two years to select new municipal and special service district representatives such as city mayors, city council, parks & rec, sewer and water officials. This year there will also be a special election in Utah’s Congressional District 3.

  • Register to vote. The deadline to register to vote by mail has already passed. But unregistered voters may still register to vote online or at your local County Clerk’s office up to 7 days before the election. That means you must register by October 31st to be able to vote in this year’s election. Register to vote through online registration here.
  • Find out how/where/when to vote. Election procedures may vary county by county. Most (but not all) have mail in ballots. Preview your ballot and find out how, where and when to vote in your municipality by going to vote.utah.gov and entering your address. If you receive the response “No election available for your area” that 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.
  • Make a plan to vote. Mark your calendar for important election dates, such as mail-in ballot deadlines or in-person voting. Decide when and how you plan to vote, including how you will get to the polls or drop off your ballot.

2. Tell your Members of Congress to say no to private prisons in Utah! U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has expressed interest in building a private prison within 180 miles of Salt Lake City, and has begun the process of identifying possible sites.  Private prisons are notorious for abuses and appalling conditions, and cutting corners that jeopardize human lives.  The private prison industry donated millions of dollars to support President Trump’s campaign, and one company, GEO Group, recently moved its annual conference to Trump’s golf club in Miami.  But, you still have time to act – this prison will only built if congress allocates it as part of the $6 billion Trump has requested for increased detention and deportation.

  • Call or email Governor Herbert and ask him to reject private prisons in Utah.
  • Call on our senators and your US representative to oppose funding for private prisons in Utah, and ask them to oppose funding of Trump’s plans for increased detention and deportation.

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

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.

National Issues

1. Keep our kids healthy! According to a leaked memo last week, the Trump administration has discussed de-prioritizing childhood obesity and other chronic diseases as topics of focus for the CDC and other organizations under the Health and Human Services Department. Here is why we advocate for continued government focus on childhood obesity:

  1. Obesity and its related comorbidities are among the top ten most costly chronic diseases.
  2. Research shows that a person is significantly more likely to be obese as an adult than if they experienced obesity as a child.
  3. Newly released data from the CDC suggests that obesity rates in children are not leveling off, as has been suggested by the Trump administration, but are still on the rise. Some states see over 36% of their population experiencing obesity.

If our legislators are serious about reducing the cost of medical care in this country, they should be focusing on prevention, and obesity-reduction strategies are a crucial component. When you call your representatives, use the talking points above to let them know you want federal funding for the fight against childhood obesity. Keeping kids healthy will save on healthcare costs – something we can all agree on!

  • Call on your senators and your US representative and ask them to continue to fund the fight against childhood obesity.

2. Urge Congress to renew CHIP funding now! Did you know that the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers 19,000 children in Utah, and 9 million children nationwide? Federal funding for CHIP has expired, and Congress still has not renewed it. Utah’s officials will end the program if it is not renewed. CHIP has bipartisan support, and Senator Hatch has been a strong backer. Keep contacting your Senators and US representative and ask them to pass funding for CHIP now – Utah’s children deserve better! For more talking points, see this recent op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune.

  • Call on your senators and your US representative and urge them to renew CHIP funding now! Tell them Utah’s children cannot wait any longer!

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.

Voting gives you a voice!

Action Utah was founded to restore the voice of ordinary Utahns in the policies that affect their lives. And voting is one of the many ways you can have a voice. Voter participation is historically low in Utah across all elections, but particularly in municipal elections. LOW VOTER TURNOUT MEANS YOUR VOTE COUNTS MORE! If you are a qualified voter living within the boundaries of a municipality, be sure to vote on November 7th!

Andrea & Katie

Co-Founders, Action Utah

PS – New to Action Utah? Join us here. And be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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