Reclaiming our Political Power
Last Tuesday evening, the backers of Utah's 2019 Tax Referendum announced that they had gathered 152,000 signatures. Of course, those signatures need to be verified by county clerks, and even if the referendum makes it onto the ballot, the ultimate outcome won't be decided until November. Regardless, some very good things have already come from the referendum organizers' efforts.
First, everyday people across the state have chosen to set aside partisanship to work on this effort.
The United Utah Party supported the referendum from very early on, and I have been personally involved since before the paperwork was filed to start gathering signatures. It has been interesting to see the evolution in people's minds. At first there was some bickering and partisan name-calling, but cooler heads prevailed. The practical need of achieving a common goal meant that liberals ended up sitting next to conservatives while gathering signatures. For many, this tolerance even grew into genuine good will.
Second, everyday voters across the state have become acutely aware that they are not being represented by their legislators.
The discontent with both the Utah legislature and Governor Herbert over this tax bill is deep and broad. Countless people thanked those of us who were gathering signatures, even offering to buy us treats or drinks. Some voters drove to several different stores, trying to find a table where they could sign. Disabled individuals requested home visits or waited in their cars at store parking lots while we brought the petition packets out to them. This kind of political engagement is something we’ve sorely lacked in Utah for a very long time.
Whether or not the referendum succeeds in November, however, it is a one-time event that will not outlast 2020. The unity and political engagement it sparked are not guaranteed to continue.
That is why we need the United Utah Party. We formed out of a desire to bring Utahns together. As a deliberate choice by party members, the goodwill among Uniters transcends our political differences. We don’t agree 100% on everything, but unlike the other major parties, we don’t have to. Instead, we seek to advance those solutions that we can agree on. After all, far more unites us than divides us.
This referendum has made clear that voters aren’t lazy and they aren’t oblivious. Many are discouraged that their voices have been ignored by legislators who don’t face political competition and that their votes have been deliberately thwarted by gerrymandering. They are frustrated that well-heeled special interests buy the attention and loyalty of their elected representatives.
Utah voters want to be involved, and as illustrated by this referendum, they rise up with enthusiasm when given the opportunity. The United Utah Party also provides that opportunity.
We run candidates who can provide viable political competition, we support an independent redistricting commission, and we want to impose campaign finance limits and other reforms designed to strengthen the voice and votes of the electorate.
It is time for Utahns to rise up and reclaim their political power in 2020 and beyond.
–Hillary Stirling, Vice-Chair
Save the Date
We've got some important events coming up in a few months, so make sure to mark these dates on your calendars!
|March 24, 2020||State-wide Party Caucuses|
|April 18, 2020||UUP State Convention|
We'll look forward to seeing you there!
Interview with a UUP Candidate
Jonia Broderick for Congress
The United Utah Party Newsletter editor went behind the scenes with Jonia Broderick, UUP 2020 Congressional candidate, to get newsletter readers an exclusive glimpse into the who, the why, and the what of Ms. Broderick's campaign. UUP Newsletter questions and comments are in bold, answers in regular type. The interview follows.
Tell me a bit about your background. What role did politics play in your household growing up and as an adult prior to deciding to run?
My family was always very interested in politics. In fact, my parents took me campaigning door-to-door while I was still in my baby buggy! When I was in middle school I became personally fascinated by political debate and did an extensive research project on the Republican Primaries of 1976. I began watching nightly news during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
In 1980 I actively campaigned for Ronald Reagan, as well as a slew of other candidates. I subsequently worked on every Republican campaign, federal and state, in California until 1992. I was a campaign manager for Charles House, who ran for the state legislature in 1990 and then served as his campaign fundraising program chair in 1992.
After my marriage in 1992, my husband and I continued to work on various campaigns, but were less hands-on. We did phone banks and simple things like that. In 2004 we held neighborhood campaign events for G.W. Bush. In 2012 I was a precinct chair for the Mitt Romney campaign.
But outside of politics proper I was involved in the community as well. For two years I put on Fourth of July flag raising programs in Hacienda Heights, California, featuring our U.S. Congressman and other local leaders. I have also been involved in homeless advocacy endeavors, family value coalitions, refugee support groups, and other civic organizations.
In the last two years I have been involved in Stand Up Republic—Evan McMullin and Mindy Finn’s organization—and more recently Heath Mayo’s Principles First group.
Why are you running for congress? What made you decide it was worth it?
The political environment in our nation is toxic and dangerous to our republic. The polarization and extremist positions are making it virtually impossible to get things accomplished in Washington for the sake of the citizens. Most people I talk to are disgusted by the unwillingness of either side to compromise and work across the aisle. I believe that now is the time for third-party and independent candidates to step forward and show their willingness to serve the people, not the party leaders.
I am tired of the name calling and caricaturing of political opponents that is so prevalent today. I decided that it is time to work for a more civil union—one that finds common ground and works together. One that refuses to demonize political rivals at every turn and stonewall for the sake of a team win.
I am aware that I am fighting an uphill battle, but I grew up on Edmund Burke’s statement that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” and so I feel that I must be willing to stand up for what I believe. If I don’t, then I can’t complain about politics as usual. I anticipate a difficult time, but I do believe that ultimately the cause is worth fighting for.
What messages would you like to communicate as a candidate? What are your main priorities if you do get elected?
I want to provide an alternative to the voters who are tired of the unwieldy and inflexible two-party system. I believe that extremism is the wrong way to govern and will destroy this nation. I want voters to understand that I will listen to them and listen to both allies and opponents to help pass legislation that isn’t so extreme that it alienates half of the country.
I have strong opinions on most issues, but I am always willing to listen to those who disagree with me. I don’t believe I automatically always have the best answers. I believe in working with others to accomplish big things.
I am not a negative person and I will not run a negative campaign. I am running against a system more than against individuals. The current two parties are destroying us in their unquenchable fight for power.
When in office I will work across aisles to solve the major issues. I will fight to restore proper Constitutional authority to the Congress and to the states. We have allowed governance to get out of balance and that needs to be remedied.
We need a workable healthcare system that helps people instead of preventing them from getting care, and so I will be involved in a non-partisan approach to healthcare reform. I will also work to help solve immigration and refugee issues. Also, a major priority will be working to balance our budget in a responsible and compassionate way while helping to eliminate our massive national debt.
My focus on these issues does not preclude my concern about other issues such as climate change, the student debt crisis, election security, etc. I will work hard to help reform the government so that it works for the citizens of this state and nation instead of working predominately for the special interest groups with deep pockets.
Thank you, Jonia, for agreeing to this interview, for sharing your passion for a more united Utah and for working to put the United back in United States. We in the United Utah Party are excited to follow and support your campaign!
Recap of the Moving UUP Summit
The UUP had its annual Moving UUP Summit last Saturday, January 18, in Lehi. At the meeting, Hillary Stirling (vice-chair) gave a report on what had occurred in 2019, including county conventions, the state convention, a party picnic, a Young Uniters picnic, and the Golden Spike lunch. She noted that it was quite a bit of activity for an off-year. Richard Davis (chair) talked about goals for the party in 2020. Laura Wills-Mitchell (executive director) went over upcoming events for 2020.
Then, there was a general discussion about how the party can accomplish its goals. Good ideas were generated to help the party leadership and membership move forward in 2020. Thanks to all those who participated. Thanks as well to those who helped put the event on—particularly, Allyson Riding, events committee chair.
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The United Utah Party is dedicated to providing and supporting moderate alternatives to the political extremes.