Newsletter - We Have a Dream Too
- Chair's Note - We Have a Dream Too
- Why Utah Needs a Reform Party
- Eliason and Weeks Recognized as Impressive Candidates
- Party Strategy Session
- Convention Plans
Chair's Note - We Have a Dream Too
This week, the nation celebrated the 90th birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King's story is the story of the American dream. He became the leader of a movement that sought to change American society. That movement involved hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens who marched, lobbied, donated, or simply registered and voted. The Civil Rights Movement was created to raise awareness of the pervasive racism in American society and its evil effects on all - black and white. It lobbied for legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that would end legal racial discrimination. It changed attitudes about race relations and altered centuries of bigotry that had characterized American society. Generations of Americans now live in a different society - one where the problems of race relations (and the effects of many years of discrimination) are still with us, but where black Americans are beginning to share the American dream.
What lessons can we learn from the Civil Rights Movement and the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Here are some:
- Improving our society is everyone's job - even ordinary citizens who may believe they cannot do much. Even a small contribution makes a big difference.
- Change is possible - in fact it is inevitable. The only question is what will that change be. Edmund Burke once said that the way that evil triumphs is for good men (and women) to do nothing. In recent years, we have seen a change in our politics that we dislike. If we do nothing, change will occur. But it won't be the change we want. We have to participate to bring about the change we want.
- A few leaders (pioneers) can embolden and empower others. It only takes a few leaders to achieve that. We can be those leaders.
Tell 5 people about the United Utah Party. Probably two or three of them will answer that they aren't interested or that it won't work. I am guessing Martin Luther King, Jr. heard that on many occasions. But even if one listens and joins the movement, you have helped change the world.
Why Utah Needs a Reform Party
People have asked why we do not simply join Unite America in their efforts to elect centrist, independent candidates, including their latest effort to call for a presidential "unity" ticket, instead of creating and attempting to build a new political party.
First, Unite America should be applauded for its efforts to bridge the partisan divide. National government is at a standstill due to that partisan gridlock we all need to break. And a presidential unity ticket would be a great way to heal the nation.
However, the way the two major parties operate today makes such a ticket impossible to achieve. Partisans who drive the nomination process (the activists who vote, the donors who give, and the volunteers who work) won't have it. They want a ticket guaranteed to further their partisan interests. And they will deny the party nomination to any candidate who doesn't cater to them.
That is why the founders of the United Utah Party chose a different path - a way out of the pressures within the two major parties. Our candidates can reach out and work with Republicans and Democrats because we don't have a partisan base that blocks it; to the contrary, they encourage it.
It is true that a new political party will take some time to build. The United Utah Party had some successes last time in running 18 candidates in 2018 (versus 1 in 2017), more than doubling the number of voters who cast votes for our Congressional candidates, and gaining 15 percent of the vote in the ten House districts where our candidates ran.
For a new third party on the scene, one that is outspent by the two major parties, that is a successful start. Imagine a brand new business getting 15 percent of the market share in targeted areas within 18 months. That performance would indicate great promise for the business. We are pleased that tens of thousands of Utah voters supported our candidates for the first time. It is not easy for them to buck the two party system. We believe they will do it again, and we can build from there.
People also wonder, should we form a national third party right now?
That is a good question. But here's why we haven't:
National third parties are expensive to build from the top down.
We want to build from the bottom up. We know it will take awhile to do that. But we believe we can avoid the "flash in the pan" outcome of so many national third parties if we build solid foundations at the state level first. And Utah can lead that way.
Help us change the future of our government - for us and for our children.
Eliason and Weeks Recognized as Impressive Candidates
Of course, we prefer that our candidates win elections. And that day is coming. But for now, it is nice to hear that an independent publication with national perspective is seeing great promise in the United Utah Party and its strong candidates.
Ballot Access News recognizes that two of our candidates had the best centrist minor party performances in the nation:
"For U.S. House, the best showing [in the nation among centrist minor parties] was United Utah Party’s nominee in the First District. Eric Eliason received 11.62% in a race with both a Democrat and a Republican.
"For state legislature, the best showing was also a United Utah nominee. Michelle Weeks, nominee for State Representative, 51st district, received 39.05% of the vote in a two-person race."
To read the full article, click here.
Party Strategy Session
Last Saturday, 30 of our party leaders - those who have devoted substantial time, energy, and funds - gathered at Mimi's Cafe in Murray to brainstorm and strategize over the direction the party should take in 2019 and into the 2020 elections. Many thoughtful ideas were expressed. We left feeling energized and optimistic about the growing need for, and the future of, the United Utah Party. Tribal dysfunction in Washington and unchecked hubris in our own capital city impel us to find a better way forward.
We noted that 2020 will be a big moment on the Utah political stage with the election of many in statewide office, including governor and lieutenant governor. If we want to have strong, viable candidates for these offices, we need to give them the tools to compete with the entrenched interests. That boils down to adequate funds and willing volunteers.
Our candidates need funds to advertise who they are and what the party stands for. They need to buy signs, pay for postage, and purchase advertising time and space. The best thing for all of us now is to start to donate to the party on a monthly basis or increase our monthly donation. If this cause is really important to us, we need to show it.
Hold a spot on your calendar for United Utah's big event - the state convention:
- When: Saturday, 4 May 2019 at 10:00
- Where: Mount Jordan Middle School, 9351 S. Mountaineer Lane, Sandy