We are dealing with uncertain and unprecedented times here in our district and across the state, country, and the world. With the lack of strong, cohesive leadership from the federal government, many people are looking to local and county officials for guidance. They are all saying the same thing - "Stay home, social distance, and take extra precautions if you must go out by wearing masks and gloves." These are important steps, but much like with the every other element of our lives, we do not live in a bubble and bills still need to be paid. This is especially important for my district, many of my neighbors and our community members work in the industries that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
So what do we do to help keep us all safe while making sure we are all able to make ends meet? This is a complicated answer without the presence of the pandemic, and one that has been vigorously debated at national and local levels of dialogue. Locally, there are some things that I think we can do to help our residents during this time, and I will fight hard for legislation in the Utah State House of Representatives:
1) Increased Access to Child Care - A majority of my constituents have concerns on both access and affordability of child care. This can be a major burden economically, what do single parents do with children who are too young to be left alone when a work shift is coming up?
2) Improved public transportation system - Recent studies show Americans spend 1 in every $5 in transportation, that's a lot of dollars spent! Expanding our public transportation is important in my district especially, we use public transportation more than twice the states average, but have less bus routes and time frames available. While social distancing measures must be maintained, working towards a more equitable public transportation system is an easy way for us to help bolster our local economy.
3) Support Local Businesses - This one seems like an obvious idea, but during this uncertain time it's critical we support our local businesses! If you are planning on getting food to go, order to go options from local restaurants who contribute to our local economy and culture. By supporting them now, we can make sure we have the places to go to when we are able to dine in - I already am dreaming about where I am going to go when it is safe to do so!
While these steps seem small, we use them as a starting point to help launch West Valley City into the economic and cultural hub it has the capacity to be. I am looking forward to collaborating with our business community to find solutions to the issues our community is facing during these dark times. Make sure you follow us on social media to stay informed of our policy and platform announcements!