David Garbett

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

I spent 10 years as an attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, litigating against the State of Utah and federal government over public lands, climate change, and air quality. I am an expert in state and federal air regulations, and am ready to get to work to clean up our air in Salt Lake City.

As the executive director of the Pioneer Park Coalition, I’ve worked to create safe communities and ensure our most vulnerable populations have the resources they need.

Affordable housing is an issue the next mayor must address. I grew up working with Garbett Homes, a company that my father started and still operates today. Through their company, I’ve worked directly to help build affordable, green homes, including the first net-zero energy home in our climate region.

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

I have a lot of plans to start in my first 100 days, but my top priorities would be: 1) begin to negotiate with Rocky Mountain Power to ensure our city’s electricity supply will be powered by 100% clean energy by 2023, 2) open an emergency overflow shelter space for those experiencing homelessness, if necessary, 3) have a team in place to begin preparing a road map for achieving clean air in the Salt Lake Valley in six years, and 4) begin the process to negotiate with businesses to provide incentives to move the refinery and powerplant outside of the Salt Lake Valley.

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

In every part of the city, we need better engagement from our mayor and the city’s administration. This means taking more public comment and keeping city residents informed and up-to-date on important issues that will affect them. It’s critical that our mayor has face-to-face conversations with city residents about critical issues. Our mayor must be willing to stand up for what is best for the city while having real conversations with constituents, whether or not they agree on a particular issue.

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?

 SLC is the hub for homeless services in our region. Because of this, sometimes our resources are stretched. The mayor must work with the county, state, and federal government, as well as a mix of individuals and nonprofits.

First, we cannot leave people unsheltered during our homeless-system transition. If we do not have enough shelter bed space this winter, we will need to create an emergency overflow shelter. Second, I’d create an impact measurement team to ensure that we are helping, not hurting, those in need. And third, I would collaborate with the many service providers that exist in and around the city to reach our goals.

My goal will be to reduce the time people experience homelessness by 25 percent and to end unsheltered homelessness by the end of my first term.

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

 I oppose the Inland Port and would continue the lawsuit. My career has been built on litigating against the state on air quality issues; I’m not afraid to do it again.

Rather than tackling air quality, the Legislature is making it worse. The Inland Port is an effort to use public money to incentivize development that will produce harmful pollution. This is why I’ve proposed the Utah Clean Hub, which would be based on three principles:

First, the Utah Clean Hub should be designed to incentivize the creation, expansion, and relocation of companies interested in reducing air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, if companies want the incentives of the Clean Hub, they must agree to offset the pollution their operations will produce.

Third, we should incentivize research and development, and improve the skills of our workforce through new institutes at the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College.