Newsletter - Make the Difference
In this edition
- Chair's Note - Make the Difference
- Timely Wisdom for Today
- Video Training Call for Prospective City Council Candidates
- Announcing Administrative Assistant Opening
- County Conventions Coming Soon
- The Sweetness of Ranked Choice Voting
- Forward this Newsletter
Chair's Note - Make the Difference
Recently, my wife and I visited Yosemite Park for the first time. We were amazed at the giant redwood trees in the park. These trees are hundreds of years old. They have grown taller and taller as the world experienced dramatic historical events - world wars, revolutions, inventions, and social change.
Our lives are much shorter than those of the redwood trees. Compared to them, we are not given much time on this earth. We have a relatively brief period to serve, to accomplish, to relish, to live.
That is why I have sought not to delay doing things I believe should be done. Yes, I admit I will put off mowing the lawn or changing snow tires.
However, the things like attempting to make a positive difference in the world around me should not be put off. This is our opportunity.
Timing in our lives matters. But for many people, perhaps the time right now is the time to make a difference.
Next Friday is the deadline for running for local municipal elections in Utah this year. These include mayors and city council members in cities large and small throughout Utah. There are few mayoral races this year, but there are many city council races.
The city council is where the rubber meets the road with public service. City council members are responsible for urban planning, local roads and bridges, sewer and water systems (less so for small towns), recreation centers, signage ordinances, and so on. They determine the development of the city or town.
If you are not ready to jump into a city council race, consider volunteering to serve on a city commission - planning, library, recreation, arts, historical preservation, etc. Or volunteer to be a neighborhood chair if your city has a neighborhood program. If it doesn't, perhaps propose one.
Either way, get involved in your community.
You can help your community by being a thoughtful, responsive city council member who hears all sides and wants the community to progress towards a more livable environment for all community members.
You also help the United Utah Party because you communicate to others that the UUP is not an extremist group. Rather, we are the epitome of good government - moderate, reasonable, non-ideological, and cognizant of the needs of all sectors of the community and not just one or a few.
To learn more about city council or commission service, contact Larry Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, if you are ready to file, go to your town or city hall and talk to the city or town clerk. The filing period is next week - June 3-7.
Make the difference we all need!
- Richard Davis, Chair
Timely Wisdom for Today
"The possibility of coherent community action is diminished today by the deep mutual suspicions and antagonisms among various groups in our national life. As these antagonisms become more intense, the pathology is much the same. . . . The ingredients are, first, a deep conviction on the part of the group as to its own limitless virtue or the overriding sanctity of its cause; second, grave doubts concerning the moral integrity of all others; third, a chronically aggrieved feeling that power has fallen into the hands of the unworthy (that is, the hands of others)....
"Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: An excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.... Blind belief in one's cause and a low view of the morality of other Americans--these seem mild failings. But they are the soil in which ranker weeds take root ... terrorism, and the deep, destructive cleavages that paralyze a society."
John W. Gardner, No Easy Victories, 1969, p. 8.
John Gardner was Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the Johnson administration and founder of Common Cause.
Video Training Call for Prospective City Council Candidates
A ZOOM video training call took place this last week for Uniters interested in running for city council.
The session offered tips on what it takes to run for a city council seat in terms of a proposed timeline, preparation, campaign logistics, and how to get the word out in your community. Experienced people who have won city council seats offered their perspectives and answered questions.
If you didn't make the session but still want to learn, please email your name, phone number, and email address to Larry Brown at the email below. He’ll contact you for a follow-up session.
Announcing Administrative Assistant Opening
The United Utah Party is seeking to fill an immediate opening for a paid entry-level administrative assistant. This is an opportunity for an individual to help the party in tangible ways, to gain political experience, and to build relationships within the party.
The ideal candidate would be a strong party supporter who wants to assist in helping the party grow and helping candidates win elections.
Duties include assisting the Executive Director in various areas, such as logistics, event planning, fundraising and finance, research, media and communications, volunteer recruitment, building the party's organization, and committee coordination.
This position would require, on average, 10 hours per week with a flexible schedule.
If interested, please email email@example.com or call (385)325-1620 by June 3, 2019.
County Conventions Coming Soon
United Utah will be holding county conventions this fall.
Here is a partial list of those already scheduled. More will be announced in coming weeks. Locations will be announced as well.
Mark your calendars now.
Davis County -- Saturday, 14 September
Washington County -- Saturday, 21 September
Weber County -- Saturday, 12 October
Utah County -- Saturday, 26 October
The Sweetness of Ranked Choice Voting
Ranked choice voting is something you will be hearing more about. The new "it." It is sometimes referred to as "instant runoff" because all of the information for a runoff is found in the one voting round. No need for a separate runoff.
A few places in Utah will use it soon in citywide elections to see how it works.
It reduces the costs of runoff elections . . . because there are no separate runoffs.
It tends to encourage office seekers to attract a broad spectrum of voters, even if just to be a second choice. Why would that be?
Take this sweet example from a recent event co-sponsored by United Utah.
Suppose we wanted to elect our most cherished dessert. Will it be (a) Cookie, (b) Brownie, (c) Cupcake, or (d) Dessert Bar? On the ballot, you can give each a place in your heart -- from 1st to 4th.
Mouth watering yet?
And now suppose we have 40 voters who must suffer a sugar rush by trying (at least one bite of) each of the four. They would then fill in the ovals on the ballot to rank each sweet from 1st to 4th choice.
After our voting, the tabulator would first look at the first-place votes, which (we could imagine) would be something like this:
First Place Votes
Cookie - 9
Brownie - 11
Cupcake - 13
Dessert Bar - 7
With no majority winner, we say good-bye to tasty Dessert Bar, who had the fewest votes.
For the second round, we look at the second-choice votes of those seven voters who initially favored Dessert Bar. It seems Cookie had broad, second-choice, munchy appeal, picking up five of the seven second-choice votes. Cupcake and Brownie each garnered one second-choice vote.
Second Round Voting (with no runoff)
Cookie - 9 + 5 = 14
Brownie - 11 + 1 = 12
Cupcake - 13 + 1 = 14
Dessert Bar - eliminated
Again, no majority winner. Again, out goes the lowest, Brownie this time. We love you Brownie, but you didn't try to reach out beyond your chocolate base. So now we are down to two.
For those who voted in this round for Brownie, we need to look to their next lowest choice, mostly second-choice votes. Of these 12, seven of the next lowest choice go to Cookie, with five going to Cupcake. We still count the vote of all 40 voters.
Third Round Voting (again with no runoff)
Cookie - 14 + 7 = 21
Brownie - eliminated
Cupcake - 14 + 5 = 19
Dessert Bar - eliminated
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner with a majority vote of 21 - Cookie!
For Cookie, the chips were down. She was in third place after the first round. But her broad appeal across the dessert spectrum allowed her to prevail. Congratulations!
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The United Utah Party is dedicated to providing and supporting moderate alternatives to the political extremes.
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