I am a software engineer by training and trade. One of the major reasons I decided to run is because I believe technology vendors have too much influence on our legislative process. The legislature needs someone who can push back when vendors over hype their products. I am seeking office so I can provide my expertise and be an influence in the public interest. I am a career software engineer, not a a career politician. I'll continue to practice my trade as a software engineer while serving you in the Utah House of Representatives.
Less gimmicks, gadgets, and tests.
The number one issue for the state is education. It's where most of our tax money goes, it drives our economy, it determines our life styles. I support funding education.
When it comes to education I believe in empowering the local school boards, not one size fits all solutions from the state legislature.
Legislation requiring school boards to purchase expensive technical solutions should be eliminated. Not that technology should be avoided, but the decisions about when to use it should be made by educators not politicians.
As any experienced software engineer can tell you when deploying a new system you need to ensure that all the stake holders have effective paths to provide feedback. There have been those involved in implement the common core standards who have felt that their have been no effective ways to provide feedback to those who control the standard. I will work to make sure that parents and educators have a method for making their voices heard. I will also work to minimize the amount of mandatory testing.
Most of Utah is still owned by the federal government. Next year the state of Utah will file a law suit against the the federal government in an attempt to force the transfer of most of that land. Constitutional lawyers working for the state legislature stated that the lawsuit was likely to fail. I do believe many of those lands could benefit from more local control, but frivolous lawsuits will do nothing to increase local control. We need to develop a plan for those lands, and then explain that plan to the current owners, the people of the United States.
Our unique geography creates a problematic pollution scenario, one that often affects our state's air quality in worse ways than in other larger urban areas. Because vehicle emissions are responsible for more than half of Utah's air pollution, we need to look seriously at policy solutions that will reduce those emissions, such as stricter emissions standards (higher fuel-efficiency standards), incentives for purchasing/driving fuel efficient vehicles, anti-idling ordinances, lower speed limits, limited freeway construction, and effective mass transit and bicycling alternatives. We also need policy measures that encourage less driving, such as free public transit days, carpooling incentives, and development of walkable communities.
I also support efforts to increase public awareness about the causes and effects of air pollution and I endorse funding of campaigns to educate people on measures they can take as individuals to improve our air quality.
The current prison needs to be either updated or replaced. We can spend millions of dollars in tax payer money upgrading it or we can build a new one funded from the sale of the current property. The sale of the current property will allow Draper to develop a larger business district and tax base. There are serious concerns about moving the prison away from a metropolitan area where there may be limited access to professional help. I support moving the prison if we can keep cost below the value of the current land, and maintain easy access for professionals and visitors.
Due too family, health, and other issues many people are unable to participate in full time employment. This allows their employer to avoid subsidizing their health care costs, leaving many of them with out affordable health care. This is especially harmful to those who are unable to work full time due health issues. They find everything they make and more being spent on medical care. For this reason I support adopting The Health Utah Plan.
There are many residents of our state who find themselves unable to provide for themselves and their families. I believe people should do what they are able for their own support. I will support programs that focus on training and job placements for those who are unable to support themselves. Especially for the disabled, who often need specialized training.
Let us teach them to work, to realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that to love to work is success. --David O. McKay(1909)
I have opposed state involvement in UTOPIA in the past and continue to oppose state involvement. UTOPIA is a telecommunications initiative undertaken by several cities with in the state of Utah. The responsibility and fate of UTOPIA should remain in the hands of the cities that undertook the initiative. The State of Utah should remain a neutral observer whose only responsibility is to ensure transparency and accountability in the governments that are involved.
Growing up in Utah I spent a lot of time around guns. Plenty of scouting, church and family activities centered around shooting guns. A few years ago I took the concealed weapons class alongside most of my siblings and their spouses. I will not support increased restrictions on gun ownership for law abidings, mentally healthy citizens. I will support education initiatives for gun owners. I will support the rights of property owners to determine policies for their own properties.
Recently a woman was schedule to speak at my Alma Mater, USU, about a culture of violence towards women that exists among some video gamers. Unfortunately a culture of hostility extends beyond gamers through much of the tech culture. Many women are unable to attend technology conferences because of the hostile culture that they are exposed to. This prevents many women from advancing their careers. I support a greater awareness of this cause, and am saddened that her attempts to raise awareness about hostility towards women has been over shadowed by our gun laws. Universities need to be places that foster academic freedom, USU's inability to provide this speaker the accommodations she requested(a singe gun free room) has denied students that opportunity to hear more about this important issue. I would allowing Higher Education facilities the right to create small gun free zones to accommodate speakers who request it. This means those who wish to carry a gun on that at all times will not be able to hear the speaker, but the far larger majority of students who do not feel this way will be able to. I think it is a reasonable compromise.
The most effective method for reducing abortion on a state level is education. I support better sex education curriculum. I believe we can have a broader sex education curriculum that teaches about both contraception and our values about intimacy. The Draper library has a book called "Talk To Me First", that explains how this is done in other states. These sort of programs have been proven to delay sexual activity among students. Reducing early and unwanted pregnancies.
Studies have shown that 98% of women will use some sort of birth control in their life times. Birth control medication is often prescribed by doctors with little explanations of side effects, such as depression. Educating students about different forms of birth control will help them make the choice that is best for them if and when they decide they are ready for physical intimacy.
Religious freedom is one of our fundamental rights mentioned in the constitution. Individuals need to be free to practice their religion according to the dictates of their own conscience. This does not however give individuals the right to harass or intimidate others who do not share their beliefs. Nor does it give government employees the right to ignore the law.