Luz Escamilla

Luz Escamilla
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What have you done that makes you qualified for Mayor of SLC

I have a proven record of improving the quality of life of all SLC residents in my professional career and my public service life. In 2008 I was elected to the Utah State Senate where I have been serving for the last 11 years. As a senator I have stood up for the west side against the disproportionate responsibility on this community with the number of facilities like the state prison, the 300 bed parolee center, halfway houses, and the inland port. I have sponsored and passed 50+ bills, including securing the funding for a sound wall in Glendale. I was able to secure funding for Neighborhood House to help working families on the west side. As mayor I will build consensus on important issues for all residents of SLC and I will continue to be a champion for you.  

What do you plan to accomplish during your first 100 days in office?

During my first 100 days in office I want to focus on these three areas:

  • Empowering SLC
    • A comprehensive assessment of SLC Corporation to ensure we have a satisfied workforce and efficiencies that improve services to all SLC residents
    • Programs available for SLC workers and residents that reflect the commitment to children and families
  • Sustainable SLC
    • Work with division and department heads to finish sustainable projects for the city and begin implementing my vision for a sustainable SLC that addresses transformational transit, affordable housing and improvement of air quality
  • Democracy SLC
    • Growing a sense of trust in the community by bringing city hall to the neighborhoods. Empowering communities to participate in government is a top priority

How will you help get west-side residents more engaged in city planning and decision-making?

Part of my vision for the city is to have all residents engaged in the decision-making process in city hall. I will strengthen and work with community councils and other organizations across the city that engage residents to accomplish this goal. I live on the west side; it is very important to me to continue hearing the voices of residents there. My priority will be to bring city hall to the neighborhoods using creative ways to increase participation like providing childcare and listening to residents in their communities. I am a bridge builder; I have partnered with the division of youth and family programs and the mayor’s office to educate the west side on energy and air quality through the Breathe Clean Festival. All residents in SLC deserve a working city that is accessible to them and a mayor that will listen as well as act.   

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?

The homelessness crisis in SLC requires ongoing intervention. There needs to be a sustainable solution through a public-private partnership between the city, the county, the state and the private and nonprofit sector. Homelessness is not only a SLC problem; it is a state problem. I have the relationships required to convene all stakeholders and collect accurate data that will result in better public policy. People are living along the Jordan River in tents; it is dangerous for them and community members who live or recreate nearby. Humane care and comprehensive wrap-around services are needed for those who may not accept shelter due to trauma. Funding for these extensive services, including affordable housing, needs to be shared by all stakeholders, not only by SLC tax payers. In the 2019 legislative session I sponsored a bill allowing homeless youth to access emergency shelter in order to protect one of our most vulnerable populations.

Would you continue the city’s lawsuit on the inland port? Why or why not?

I will continue the city’s lawsuit against the inland port authority. I believe that the lawsuit will bring closure and help define the relationship between the inland port authority, the state, and SLC. It is important that the new mayor is ready to stand strong in defending the best interests of the city. As a state senator, I am on record for voting against every bill regarding the inland port. I have stood for SLC and the west side on this critical issue from day one. I spoke against the process and the lack of transparency, and more importantly the aggressive takeover by the state. I established a baseline and the monitoring for air and water quality around the inland port and the airport. I am committed to negotiating the changes that need to happen for SLC interests to be addressed.