Sema Hadithi African American Heritage and Culture Foundation
Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama, Journalism and Political Science
New England Institute of Technology, Warwick, Rhode Island, Architectural Drafiting
Yes, I favor limits.
Wealthy individuals and wealthy corporations have a dominating influence on decisions in politics at all levels of government. These dominant positions can and do leverage lawmakers to favor rules that negatively affect the low income and middle class. There ought to be reasonable limits to contributions that do not impose on individual rights, but at the same time, does not allow undue influence. There should be stricter disclosure rules that do not allow individuals and corporations to hide their political power behind a cloak of anonymity. Most importantly, make public financing a part of elections funding. Available funding can help build a floor that can level disparities, especially for those who may have limited resources for no other reason than the communities they represent.
The legislature's role is to advance affordable housing as fervently as it supports high priced new development. Advancement in affordable housing might include government or creative corporate subsidies, or both. It has to be backed by policies that seek creative rezoning and coding updates. That kind of thinking can produce new opportunities for the housing market. Much of the unmet housing is because of the lack of vision in recognizing that we have to be smart in serving larger, high-priced neighborhoods. Close-in affordable housing for workers makes that possible. New ways of providing affordable housing might include zoning that allows more mixed-income communities and updated codes that rehabilitate or convert old buildings. A new policy can create new funding models. There should be a focus on small-scale development of affordable housing where large-scale development might be more expensive to finance and subsidize.
The legislature has to create a budget with funding for education. Poor budgeting has led to the constant shuffling of state funds. This shuffling and reshuffling of resources create uncertainty for all aspects of state responsibilities. Until there is precise and predictable funding, planning for any long-term education need is impossible.
Of course, it should. Inequity is inequity, no matter who is affected. Utah can demonstrate to the entire country it believes equity is vital in all forms by being one of the states to ratify and help the ERA become the law of the land. But, we have to do more than support the creation of law. We have to practice balance, civility, fairness, and equality now, in everything we say and do.
Economic Development Director, Millcreek City Hall
Honors BA History, University of Utah
Master of Business Administration, University of Utah
Executive Leadership Certificate, Harvard University
I am in favor of full disclosure and transparency of all campaign funds, including tighter disclosure laws on campaign expenditures. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.
This is a significant STATEWIDE issue, and as such, the legislature has a significant role to play. We need to ensure that we are adequately funding the non-profits and public private partnerships that do great work to help those currently experiencing homelessness.
As chair of the House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee, I have been a champion of additional resources for affordable housing. When there is a dearth of housing, it leads to a shortage, which drives up housing prices and harms the working poor the most (supply and demand). Affordable housing credits are important, but the ultimate solution is increasing the housing supply. We need to look for ways to incentivize an increase in housing supply--everything from encouraging municipalities to welcome more multifamily development, to tweaking state codes to make Accessory Dwelling Units.
I have worked with Sen. Lincoln Fillmore on efforts to gradually increase funding equalization for districts. We can't just raid the funds of Park City School District, for example, but we can put in place formulas to more equitably distribute new funds.
YES! I am one of the few Republican legislators that is openly in favor of Utah ratifying the ERA. I have sworn to uphold the Utah Constitution, and the ERA simply adds near identical language to the U.S. Constitution. Time for Utah to be on the right side of history!