Suzanne on the Issues
A track record of prioritizing progress, not politics
The Salt Lake County Council is a nine-member body, with three council members elected at large and six elected by the district. Their work impacts our community’s early childhood education opportunities, environmental health, housing, economic development, taxes, fire and rescue, policing, social care, parks and recreation, community safety, and arts and culture. Although these are all essential services that the Salt Lake County Council oversees, the county also plays a critical role in regional government. I am dedicated to being a team player and look forward to collaborating with cities and the state to find solutions around some of our biggest challenges.
Lowering the Cost of Living in Salt Lake County
Even before inflation began rising nationwide last year, the cost of living here in Salt Lake County was too high. Skyrocketing housing costs and rental rates are a major component of the cost of living, and while county government has a limited impact on them, there are other ways the County Council can help lower costs and keep them low. We deserve lawmakers who will actively look for ways to help County residents, instead of voting against every bill that could make a difference.
In the Legislature, I voted for more than $70 million in funding for affordable housing, and I voted against increasing the state's food tax. After it was signed into law, I helped lead the campaign that repealed it. Even on the County Council, I will not stop until we have repealed the food tax altogether, saving Salt Lake's working families money every time they shop.
Improving Our Air Quality and Protecting Our Water
Utahns deserve clean air and water. Conservation and environmental stewardship are Utah values, and I am dedicated to a sustainable future. Two years ago, I launched Tier3Gas.org to help Utahns find cleaner-burning gasoline to reduce air pollution, and I have co-chaired the Utah Legislature’s bipartisan Clean Air Caucus for the past four years. I will continue to prioritize policies and solutions that focus on cleaning up our air and conserving our water so that our kids can continue to live happy and healthy lives here in Salt Lake County.
Keeping a Close Eye on Taxpayer Dollars
While others talk about fiscal responsibility, I have a proven track record of looking out for taxpayers. When the Legislature raised the sales tax on food, I spoke out against the bill, voted no on the bill, and collected signatures in a successful effort to repeal it. I shined a light on the state's no-bid contracts at the start of the pandemic and pressed for answers about how taxpayer dollars were being spent. I have voted for more than $300 million dollars in tax cuts for Utah families and businesses in the Legislature, co-sponsored legislation to cut taxes on Social Security benefits, and have voted for tax cuts for seniors and veterans. I am a fiscal watchdog and value keeping taxes low, and I’ll bring that same fiscal responsibility to the Salt Lake County Council.
Opposing Parley's Canyon and the Gondola, and Fighting for Local Control
I oppose the Parley's Canyon mine. I voted 'no' and fought against legislation that created a loophole to allow mining companies to expand mining operations while subverting local control and ignoring resident voices. The same state has created the current situation with Geneva Rock in Draper. The city’s land use authority should be honored and the voice of local residents must be heard and taken seriously. Geneva Rock should follow the long-established process of a public and transparent process to apply for a zoning change with Draper City. They should not be allowed to undermine Draper City’s land use authority. I will continue to advocate for local control, resident voices, and cleaner air.
I have also opposed the Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola project since Day One. If taxpayers are going to pay for transportation projects, they should benefit all of us, not just the ski resorts. I’m running for County Council to support common-sense solutions and this gondola isn’t one of them.
Expanding Access to Affordable Healthcare and Mental Health Services
We must find ways to reduce healthcare costs and expand access to mental health services in our state. As a medical doctor, I will bring an important perspective to the Salt Lake County Council because I see firsthand how our broken healthcare system can harm Utahns and their families. In the Legislature, I passed HB80 and created the Diabetes Prevention Program to provide quality preventative care for diabetes to those on Medicaid. I also co-sponsored HB23, First Responder Mental Health Services — legislation to provide first responders and their families with access to mental health resources. Let’s continue to work together to ensure that we can take care of our families’ physical and mental well-being by creating access to affordable healthcare.
Building More Trails and Preserving Open Space
My family chooses to live here because we value the quality of life our outdoor-recreation opportunities afford. Every county resident deserves to enjoy those opportunities, so I will work to preserve what makes Salt Lake County great by prioritizing our trails, open spaces, and parks. We should expand our trail systems so more County residents can access them, and protect the paths that so many of our residents use to walk and bike to school and work.
Managing Our Growth
Salt Lake County is among the fastest-growing communities in the country and to manage that growth, we must be responsible with it. I will continue to work to find common sense solutions that help Utah families. I have a track record in the legislature of listening to constituents and bringing people together. I will bring that same collaborative, community focused, work ethic to the County Council. The county plays a vital role in regional planning, and I am committed to working with cities and the state to ensure that we support families and protect quality of life as our community grows.
Ensuring Government is Transparent and Accountable
At every level the purpose of government is to serve you, the constituent. One of the best ways to ensure that the government is properly focused is through transparency. Constituents deserve to see what information went into the decision making process so that they see how decisions are made and what is influencing those decisions. I have been an advocate for transparency and open meetings throughout my public service and will continue to do so.
Respecting a Voluntary Term Limit
If re-elected, my opponent would hold his seat on the County Council for 18 years. If I’m elected, I pledge to serve only two terms on the Council before making way for a new voice with new ideas and renewed energy to serve the people of Salt Lake County.