What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC
I am the son of a Mexican immigrant farm worker. My brother, Mickey, and I spent nearly the first 14 years of our lives in the Utah foster care system. I started my first business at age 28. My business background spans highly successful careers in the hospitality, automotive, and the self-improvement industries. Through my foundation, I have assisted 89 students to obtain a college education. Because of the challenges I have faced, I have gained a passion for compassion, inclusion and fairness for all members of our community. I am a leader now, ready to serve SLC.
What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?
I will start by meeting every City employee and all leaders. I will share our vision for our city and ask questions and listen to suggestions on how we all can create a service culture within Salt Lake City. The first big issue we’ll tackle is our homeless crisis – no one should be allowed to sleep on the streets.
How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?
I will spend time with community leaders and residents from the west side of our city. Community councils are the closest representatives to the residents they serve, therefore I will visit them often. I will make sure that equal investment is given to the east side and the west side. Investments and projects in the city will be tracked online to make sure Salt Lake City residents can validate fairness and inclusion.
How will you address the city’s homelessness issues and the negative impacts on west-side neighborhoods, especially near North Temple and along the Jordan River?
As mayor, I will be an active and supportive partner of the Utah Homeless Coordinating Committee. Upon the opening of all three new resource centers, City Hall must quickly assess their effectiveness in reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness and sleeping on our streets. Should the resource centers not achieve our goals, I will have the political will and humane consciousness to act swiftly. I will make sure we provide safe, welcoming (and bedbug-free) shelter, warmth, nutrition, work-counseling, work-placement, mental health care, and medical care for homeless men, women and children.
I will effectively address the shelter-resistant population. It is inhumane to have people sleeping on our streets, and it is not good for communities to have people living on our streets. Reaching “functional zero” – where a community can provide housing for every person within 30 days of experiencing homelessness – can be achieved. I will have the compassion and will to address the shelter-resistant population.
Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?
The City’s lawsuit against the State and Port Authority must go forward to determine jurisdiction over the port. I oppose the development of the inland port unless it can be achieved with a zero-negative-impact on our environment. If the port is to be built, Salt Lake City must receive its fair share of all taxes generated by the inland port to offset its significant impact on the City’s already-overstretched infrastructure and to shore up our shrinking tax base.