The West View

The West View

West View Media is committed to giving voters the opportunity to get to know candidates for public office so that we all have a chance to represent the West Side at the ballot box. The 2020 election will be held nationwide on November 3rd, 2020. While the presidential election garners significant interest, candidates for state and local officials will also be running for the opportunity to lead in the years to come. We invite you to join us for a casual conversation with candidates who are running to represent the West Side. 

Only candidates whose area of representation includes the neighborhoods of Glendale, Poplar Grove, Rose Park, Fair Park, Jordan Meadows, or Westpointe were invited to participate in a Candid Candidates event.

Follow our events page on Facebook for updates

Candid Candidates: Jennifer Fresques

08/29/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Jennifer Fresques, candidate for Salt Lake County Assessor. This conversation was hosted live on August 20, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Chris Peterson

08/29/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Chris Peterson, candidate for Governor. This conversation was hosted live on August 27, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Joél-Léhi Organista

09/21/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Joél-Léhi Organista, candidate for Salt Lake City School Board, Precinct 1. This conversation was hosted live on September 17, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Wayne Cushing

09/21/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with K. Wayne Cushing, candidate for Salt Lake County Treasurer. This conversation was hosted live on September 10, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Michael Cundick

09/21/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Michael Cundick, candidate for Salt Lake County Mayor. This conversation was hosted live on September 10, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Brett Garner

09/21/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Brett Garner, candidate for State School Board, District 3. This conversation was hosted live on September 17, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Dorothy Draper

09/21/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Dorothy Draper, candidate for Salt Lake City School Board, District 5. This conversation was hosted live on September 17, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Greg Skordas

09/24/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Greg Skordas, candidate for attorney general. This conversation was hosted live on September 23, 2020.
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Candid Candidates: Chris Stavros

09/24/20
Our Candid Candidates series brings candidates for elected office to you. This is a recording of our conversation with Chris Stavros, candidate for Salt Lake County Assessor. This conversation was hosted live on September 23, 2020.
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September 1, 2020

Our nation is engaged in one of the most important moments of national discourse in our history. Each of us must evaluate our role in creating a better future for our community. 

Since West View Media was established as a nonprofit organization in 2011, we have worked hard to root ourselves in the community we endeavor to serve. The West Side is our home and we know that we are accountable to the people who share it with us. 

In this moment of change and transformation, as we reflect on the role that each of us plays in building a community that is rooted in the founding ideals of this country, the leadership of West View Media elects to take action. As a volunteer-led organization, we recognize that we can do better to be more inclusive and to embrace our role as a news organization in dismantling systemic racism fueled by white supremacy that harms our community. It is in this spirit that we release this letter, intended to be one of many, that leads to the transformation of our organization. 

We are deeply committed to our beloved community and we will take concrete steps to rise to the moment. Beginning immediately, the leadership of West View Media is taking the following actions:  

Pledge 1 - Banning the Use of Mugshots: Among our core values as an organization is the belief that narratives matter. We seek to use our platform only in ways that celebrate and strengthen our community. Effective immediately, the leadership of West View Media is enacting policy, through our style guide, that will ban the use of mugshots (arrest photos) in relation to any of our stories. 

We believe that publication of images of people collected at the time of arrest often become a permanent record of the worst moment in a person’s life. In turn, these photos often cause damage to employment prospects1, educational outcomes2, and often begin a cycle of pain for the person that can last a life-time3. We do not believe that our platform should contribute to this cycle. 

In addition, we recognize the racialized nature of arrest records. Too often, Black and Brown faces are overrepresented in arrest photos. This flawed display contributes to stereotypes, toxic narratives, and systemic racism. 

Lastly, the use of arrest photos in journalism undermines the presumption of innocence4 that is central to our vision of the criminal justice system. 

These facts, taken together, means that our organization must act. 

Pledge 2 - Engaging Others: West View Media is a proud member of the family of organizations providing journalism to our community. We know that our role extends beyond our own figurative walls and we will not only take this pledge, we will actively work to engage other news organizations to take the same action. 

Soon, we'll call upon our colleagues in the journalism profession to end the use of arrest photos in Utah’s media ecosystem. We’ll work to call others into this shared work and do our part to dismantle the systemic racism that exists in the media. 

Pledge 3 - Continuing to Change: This letter is only the beginning of many and we commit ourselves, now and in the future, to the work of racial justice. 

We know that these actions alone won’t transform our organization in the ways necessary to rise to the moment. We are committed to evaluating and identifying the ways in which we can do our part. 

Thank you,

Turner C. Bitton
Executive Director   

Charlotte Fife-Jepperson
Managing Editor

 

 

Troy Mumm 
Board Chair  

Erik Lopez
Treasurer

Joseph B.V. Arrington
Secretary

Poonam Kumar
Board Member

Ayrel Clark-Proffit 
Board Member    

Collett Litchard
Board Member

Maru Quevedo
Board Member    

Heidi Steed
Board Member

 

 

____________________________________________________

 1Benjamin D. Geffen, The Collateral Consequences of Acquittal: Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Arrests Without Convictions, 20 U. Pa. J.L. & Soc. Change 81 (2017).  Available at: https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/jlasc/vol20/iss2/1

 2 Scott-Clayton, J. (2017, September 28). Thinking “beyond the box”: The use of criminal records in college admissions. Brookings Institution.
https://www.brookings.edu/research/thinking-beyond-the-box-the-use-of-criminal-records-in-college-admissions/

3 Blakinger, K. (2015, February 1). Me and My Mugshot. Keri Blakinger. https://keriblakinger.com/2015/02/01/me-and-my-mugshot/

4 Deffenbacher, Kenneth & Bornstein, Brian & Penrod, Steve. (2006). Mugshot Exposure Effects: Retroactive Interference, Mugshot Commitment, Source Confusion, and Unconscious Transference. Law and human behavior. 30. 287-307. 10.1007/s10979-006-9008-1. 

              

August 06, 2020

Transparency

West View Media is dedicated to transparency and accountability in our financial and organizational affairs. West View Media is an independent nonprofit organization in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In addition, West View Media is dedicated to being transparent and accountable with our financial documents. As a media organization we believe that journalism is a public service and as a result, our managing editor has full editorial control on all stories, columns and photographs published in The West View and on our other platforms.

We publish the information below in an effort to meet our own high standard for accountability and transparency.

We also welcome the opportunity to provide additional information when appropriate. If you would like additional information about the financial or policies of West View Media, please contact our executive director Turner C. Bitton at or (801) 564-3860.

Ownership and Funding Disclosures

West View Media is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. As such, we are governed by a board of directors made up of residents and professionals from the community. 

West View Media receives funding from a variety of public sources, outlined below. When evaluating whether or not to seek or accept contributions, advertisements, or gifts from any source, West View Media ensures that the funding aligns with our mission, vision, and values. We do not accept funding that seeks or expects control over our work. 

West View Media receives funding from the following sources:

  • Paid Advertisements
  • Individual Contributors
  • Grantmaking Organizations

Corporate Information 

Tax Identification Number: 45-2675853
State of Utah Entity Number: 8039095-0140
Utah Charitable Solicitations Permit Number: 9838320-CHAR

July 28, 2020

Policies

Ethics Policy

All of our editorial content follows journalism’s best practices, including the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics as follows:

  • We seek truth and report it in an accurate and fair manner. 
  • We minimize harm by treating sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
  • We act independently and serve the public by avoiding conflicts of interest and disclosing unavoidable conflicts.
  • We are accountable and transparent by acknowledging mistakes and correcting them promptly and prominently.
  • We will respect and practice civility with  all people we have contact with.
  • We will maintain professionalism with all sources, both in person and on social media.
  • When speaking with sources, we will state clearly who we are and what we do, and which parts of a conversation are on-the-record and off-the-record.
  • If a person or a company is being accused of something, or is being  portrayed in a strong negative light, they will be contacted to try and get their viewpoint before publication.
  • If we make a mistake, we will always be transparent and follow our Corrections Policy.
  • We will never falsify any part of our news and we will always provide attribution to others if they are the source of our information.

These policies were compiled with inspiration from a variety of sources including Axios, The Denver Post, Washington Post, and The Salt Lake Tribune. We’re grateful for fellow news organizations who demonstrate what ethical, values driven journalism can be. 

Conflicts of Interest - Personal Disclosure Required

All employees and contributors are expected to notify the editor(s) if they are working on a matter involving a personal connection. If it is deemed by the editor(s) to be a potential conflict of interest, the story should be reassigned, or the conflict must be fully disclosed at the time of publication. The same scenario applies to the editor(s) who may have an interest in, or personal connection to, the outcome of a story. 

Areas of conflict potentially include, but are not limited to, writing/editing stories about family or friends, organizations you belong to, schools you attend, a business from which you benefit, a church you attend, etc. If an employee or contributor refers to a legitimate news tip about something in which the employee or contributor has a stake, the nature of the conflict must be disclosed to the editor(s). 

Fact-checking Policy

Throughout the story-production process through our community newsrooms, writers and photographers are given training about fact gathering, the importance of using original sources whenever possible, and about the proper way to cite sources. Employees and contributors must verify the accuracy of information they gather, such as names, positions, factual statements and accounts. The editor(s) have the ultimate responsibility to double check the veracity of facts, stats, statements, and citations before they are published.

If an employee, contributor, or the editor(s) is concerned that ungrammatical or clumsily worded remarks may expose the person being quoted to embarrassment or ridicule, then they may agree to use another quote from that person conveying the same or a similar point, or they may agree to paraphrase the person’s comments.

Corrections Policy

We are committed to accuracy on all publishing platforms – print, website, email newsletters and social media. We will fix an error promptly and transparently, whether it is in print or online, by making a correction and announcing it as quickly as possible.

We strive to gather, update and correct information throughout the life of a news story.

We encourage our readers to email any errors they notice to the Managing Editor Charlotte Fife-Jepperson at .

Plagiarism and Copyright Policy

It is our policy that plagiarism is an act of stealing the work of others and claiming it as one’s own. Whether it is writing, reporting, photography, or other copyrighted content, it is unacceptable. We instruct our writers to avoid direct and mosaic plagiarism and to cite sources accurately. We require proper attribution of work that is quoted or paraphrased. The copyright of individual articles, photos, and syndicated content also needs to be established. 

Our writers are instructed to follow these guidelines:

  • Do not turn in someone else's work as your own i.e. direct plagiarism
  • Do not copy words or phrases from someone else without giving credit. (mosaic)
  • If you change words, but use someone else’s sentence structure, you need to cite the source.
  • Put quotations in quotation marks, even if you cite the source.
  • Be accurate with your citations of others’ work. 
  • Make sure most of the words and ideas in your story are your own.

Opinion Submission Policy

West View Media reserves the right to edit all opinion submissions – commentaries, letters to the editor, narratives, etc. – for libel, slander, clarity, general accuracy, and length.

Opinion pieces submitted to West View Media are subject to the policies of West View Media. This includes remaining factual, ethical, and rooted in the values of civility that define West View Media’s role in the community.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Policy

West View Media is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Diversity, inclusion, and equity are not only important to us as an organization overall, but West View Media aims to incorporate this into our content as much as possible. When researching topics, we will listen with an open mind to as many diverse voices as possible to report with fairness, and will extend opportunities, training, and support for employees and contributors of diverse backgrounds to submit stories and opinion pieces.

Donation and Gift Acceptance Policies

West View Media is dedicated to transparency and accountability in our financial practices. West View Media is an independent nonprofit organization in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In addition, West View Media is dedicated to being transparent and accountable with our financial documents. As a media organization we believe that journalism is a public service and as a result, our managing editor has full editorial control on all stories, columns, and photographs published in The West View and on our other platforms. 

We publish the information below in an effort to meet our own high standard for accountability and transparency. 

In furtherance of our goal to promote transparency and accountability in our financial practices, West View Media will:

  •  List all donors who give more than $5,000 to the organization. West View Media will not accept anonymous gifts over $1,000 unless the board of directors authorizes the gift. No more than 5% of annual revenue will be accepted from anonymous sources. 
  • Publish its annual IRS Form 990 and other public documents on its website and in other appropriate locations such as GuideStar.  

We also welcome the opportunity to provide additional information when appropriate. If you would like additional information about the financial or policies of West View Media, please contact our executive director Turner C. Bitton at or (801) 564-3860.  

Donor Bill of Rights

West View Media takes pride in our responsible fundraising practices and we adhere to the standards and policies provided by the industry-accepted Donor Bill of Rights. The Donor Bill of Rights was created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Nonprofits. 

The following policies and procedures are designed with the Donor Bill of Rights and are intended to promote donor-centered philanthropy at HEAL Utah. 

We encourage you to visit the Donor Bill of Rights for additional information. 

Donation Refund Policy

We are grateful for your donation and support of our organization. Donations are normally non-refundable after 30 days. If there has been an error in making your donation or you change your mind about contributing to our organization, please contact our executive director Turner C. Bitton at or (801) 564-3860. Refunds are returned using the original method of payment. If you made your donation by credit card, your refund will be credited to that same credit card.

Changes in Automated Recurring Donations

Ongoing support is important to enabling projects to continue their work, so we encourage donors to continue to contribute to projects over time. If your credit card information changes, or if you must cancel your recurring donation, please notify us immediately. 

Gift Acceptance

The board of directors and staff solicit current and deferred gifts from individuals, corporations, foundations, and others for purposes that will further and fulfill West View Media’s mission.

The provisions of this policy shall apply to all gifts received by West View Media. Notwithstanding the foregoing, West View Media reserves the right to revise or revoke this policy at any time, and to make exceptions to the policy in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures. The policy is such that: 

West View Media will not accept unrestricted anonymous gifts of cash over $1,000 without prior review by the Board of Directors. For donations of $5,000 or more, the identity of the donor must be vetted with respect for the mission and values of West View Media. 

All gifts (or those gifts in excess of an appropriate, board-approved threshold), other than unrestricted gifts of cash, must be reviewed by the Board of Directors prior to acceptance, unless the Board of Directors authorizes certain gifts or categories of gifts to be accepted without its review. 

The Organization may not accept gifts that:

    1. Violate the terms of West View Media’s organizational policies;
    2. Would jeopardize West View Media’s status as an exempt organization under federal or state law;
    3. Are too difficult or expensive to administer;
    4. Are for purposes that do not further West View Media’s objectives;
    5. Are inconsistent with the mission and goals of West View Media; or
    6. Threaten the editorial independence of West View Media. 

All final decisions on the acceptance or refusal of a gift shall be made by the Board of Directors.

In addition, the following provisions apply: 

Gift Agreements. Where appropriate, West View Media shall enter into a written gift agreement with the donor, specifying the terms of any restricted gift, which may include provisions regarding donor recognition and use of earnings derived from the gift. 

Pledge Agreements. Acceptance by West View Media of pledges by donors of future support of (including by way of matching gift commitments) shall be contingent upon the execution and fulfillment of a written charitable pledge agreement specifying the terms of the pledge, which may include provisions regarding donor recognition.

Fees. West View Media will not accept a gift unless the donor is responsible for the fees of independent legal counsel retained by donor for completing the gift; appraisal fees; environmental audits and title binders (in the case of real property); and all other third-party fees associated with the transfer of the gift to West View Media.

Valuation of Gifts. The Organization shall record gifts received at their valuation on the date of gift, except that, when a gift is irrevocable, but is not due until a future date, the gift may be recorded at the time the gift becomes irrevocable in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP). 

IRS Filings upon Sale of Gifts. To the extent applicable, West View Media shall file the appropriate IRS form upon the sale or disposition of any charitable deduction property sold within one year of receipt. 

Written Acknowledgement. West View Media shall provide acknowledgement of all gifts received and comply with the current IRS requirements in acknowledgement of the gifts.

Changes to or Deviations from the Policy. This policy has been reviewed and accepted by the Board of Directors, which has the sole power to change this policy. In addition, the Board of Directors must approve any deviations from this policy.

The West View invited commentary from community members of color regarding the current protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s killing on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis.

We need real accountability!

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If unjust laws and policy allow an EMT worker to be shot in her own home, a jogger to be chased down by armed gunmen, or an officer to press his knee onto your neck until you can't breathe, then those laws and policies have got to be changed. We need some real accountability from our leaders and lawmakers, and actual reform that takes into account this country’s long history of treating black, brown, and poor people, as disposable.

– Ebay J. Hamilton, Glendale resident and D.J. at KRCL, 90.9 FM Community Radio

It Ain’t Over!

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Hernandez_2.jpgOur current era bombards us with information that can feel daunting to try and process, and the systems we live in do not encourage mindfulness. So, we have to be rigorous in our engagement with the information we may have access to. Some of the consequences of not being thoughtful is self-centered thinking and responses such as “what about us,” “what about this,” or “what if,” instead of being mindful of the actuality of “what is” and “what has been.”

What we hope is that we can better understand the importance and context of this moment. Our Black relatives are continuously hurting, and despite this, have enhanced all of our public lives and civil rights in their ongoing fight for justice, life, and liberation.

We feel it is important to learn and remember what has already been said and continues to be said by our Afro relatives in their work and legacy. We invite our friends, relatives, and other relations to STOP. LISTEN. THINK CRITICALLY. PROCESS. REFLECT. LEARN. CONNECT with what Black leaders, scholars, artists and community have been expressing, doing, and teaching for years.

– ‘Inoke Hafoka and Daniel Hernandez

Hafoka, Glendale native and son of Tongan immigrants, is a PhD candidate at UCLA in Education with a focus on race and ethnic studies. Hernandez, Rose Park native and urban diasporic Mayan (Wīnak) with several ancestries, currently lives in Tāmaki Makaurau (Aotearoa). He recently completed his PhD studies in Anthropology and is a lecturer at the University of Auckland.

Use your vote and your voice to bring about change!

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I am very saddened by the death of Mr. Floyd and the many others who have needlessly lost their lives under a regime of systemic racism. I understand the frustration and anger now simmering in our nation and state. I encourage people to use their voices in a way that is productive to bring about change. I want everyone, of all ages, to get involved in changing the pathway ahead for our state and our country. Please register to vote. Voting will make a difference.

I, along with my other colleagues of color, look forward to working towards policy change to address the important issues we face with race and equality. We want to be that listening ear for our constituents and the catalyst for change our state urgently needs.

– Rep. Sandra Hollins, a Fairpark resident, representing District 23 in the Utah State Legislature

Why We March

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Racism has been a plague affecting our nation for centuries, but sadly, we’re so accustomed to it that it has become our way of life. With the help of technology and social media, recent events have opened our eyes to a plague that is so deep, it will take centuries to overcome. However, we need to start and we need to start now.

This is the time for all Americans – Black, White, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and everyone – to stand up for justice.

This is why I co-organized a march and vigil from the U of U Institute of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to our State Capitol. While the gathering was meant to pray and remember those who have been so unjustly killed, it is also a time to act. As Latter-Day Saints, we believe that we are all children of God and right now our Heavenly Father’s Black children are being killed, marginalized, and silenced.

WE SAY NO TO THIS INJUSTICE!

– Madelaine Lamah, 25-year-old Salt Lake City resident, former Presidential Ambassador/intern under U of U President Ruth Watkins, and outgoing president of the African Student Association at the University of Utah.

I Hear Your Cry

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I find myself in tears throughout the day, grieving over the injustice, grieving over the hatred displayed against men and women of color. Watching the video of George Floyd’s murder and hearing him cry out for his Mama did something to my soul. I saw my son under that knee, struggling to have a basic human right, the ability to breathe. I couldn’t stay silent.

I went and protested with my children on May 30 in downtown SLC. I wanted to stand with them, kneel with them, raise my fist in solidarity with them, all the while knowing I have a liberty they may never see; watching my children cry as they shouted “Black lives Matter,” knowing in my heart that they don’t – not to some people. All my children want is equality, justice, and to not fear for their lives – especially not from the men and women who swore an oath to protect them.
As I cried out, “These are my children, their lives matter,” the officer in front of us began to cry. He could hear my voice, he could see our tears, and he could feel our pain. At that moment I knew he didn’t want to be seen as a threat, no more than my children want to be seen as one. At that one moment in time, he could identify with my 17-year-old daughter, who held a poster that read, “Does the color of my skin threaten you? Because your badge threatens me.”

I truly believe he understood what it felt like to be feared. He could see her little face with tears streaming down her cheeks. He could sense her anxiety as she watched more and more officers come out of the capitol. He saw her expression changing to panic as the crowd shouted “they are going to tear gas us,” and quickly changing as her cousin who stood beside her reassured her that they weren’t. He empathized with her in that moment as he did with me and when he could no longer separate humanity from duty he turned his head. Refusing to look at us any longer. I understood he had a job to do, and so did I.

My job is to use my voice, to speak up against injustice. To sign petitions that demand the arrest of all the officers involved. To get out and vote, so we can remove people in offices who don’t use their platform to create peace and unity or use their authority to punish those who dishonor the oath they took to serve and protect.

You may think I am speaking out of anger and hate. I tell you this. I speak from a place of love. There is no greater love on this earth than the love a mother has for her children. George cried out, “Mama, Mama”! When he did that, he cried out to every mother of a black son. I heard your cry, George. I hear you over and over again. I hear you in the voices of those who march, in the voices of those who chant, and in the voices of those who take a knee. All of them wanting the same thing. The ability to breathe freely.

– Laura Lucero, 48-year-old mother of Mexican/Italian heritage, is native of Glendale who raised her four bi-racial children there.

Equality and justice for all

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We have all been impacted emotionally by the tragic murder of George Floyd. In 2020 Mr. Floyd died because he was black. Salt Lake City is no exception from racial injustice. People of color here still experience systemic racism.
My heritage is Native American of the Akimel O'odham on my mother’s side and German on my father’s side. My children are mixed Native American, Mexican American, and African American. We’ve dealt with and witnessed systemic racism at school, work, and in the community. We have been racially profiled and harassed, particularly my oldest son who has the darkest skin color in our family.
I wholeheartedly believe there is a need for protests in our community and worldwide to give voice for the vulnerable and people of color in our communities. I do not condone destruction of property and violent acts of any kind in the name of justice.
I believe as a community we want equality. This will happen with transparency, addressing and recognizing individual biases, training to overcome the bias, and more. Systemic racism is complex, yet solutions are simple, if willing. I have hope our community will do what it takes to earn the trust of our vulnerable people and people of color for equality and justice for all.

– Juanita Washington, Poplar Grove resident, mother of six and grandmother of four

April 15 marked Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s 100th day in office. The West View was given the opportunity to submit 10 questions to her. We solicited questions from our readers throughout the West Side and Salt Lake City. Below are the questions you submitted and Mayor Mendenhall’s responses from April 27.

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Before we start the formal questions, let's start with something more personal. Kathryn  would like to know: What have you learned during your first 100 days as Mayor? Have there been any adjustments or changes that were more difficult than you expected?

If I were answering this question on March 1, the answer to your second question wouldn’t have been what it is today in terms of what we’re dealing with around the earthquakes and the pandemic, but my answer to your first question would be the same: Every day I am so impressed by how creative, resilient and caring this city is. When I ran for mayor, I signed up to take whatever comes and do everything I can to make the best of it, for our people. The circumstances we’re in are definitely difficult, but the character of our city is strong.

Question 1: Many residents of the West Side expressed confusion about the status of the Utah Inland Port development. Jaime asks: Can you share a status update on the port and explain the actions your administration has taken related to the port during your first 100 days?

One of the biggest issues with the inland port is the threat to our public and environmental health. We already know our west-side neighborhoods are disproportionately affected by poor air quality. Until this year’s legislative session, there was a gaping loophole that would have allowed almost any type of land use to be approved by a Utah Inland Port (UIP) appeals board. Fortunately, we were able to negotiate the closure of this threatening loophole with the passage of Rep. Francis Gibson’s HB 347. HB 347 also gave the City a portion of the tax increment so that current residents aren’t shouldering the entire burden of providing essential services to the IP area. And, of course, we are grateful for Sen. Luz Escamilla’s work on SB 112, which authorizes the UIP to establish a community enhancement program to address the impacts of development and inland port uses on adjacent communities and to use authority funds to support that program.

The City still plans to appeal the Utah Third District Court’s decision over the constitutionality of the Utah Inland Port Authority’s powers. We submitted an appeal to the Utah Supreme Court not only because Salt Lake City will be directly impacted by the decision, but because it sets a precedent that could impact every city and town in Utah, and it is our responsibility to get clarity from a higher court.

These are big strides forward, but there are still environmental assurances we need to address as development begins. The potential for future legislative sessions to undo assurances we have today is a driving force behind our work for something more certain that state statute. Our work to protect our city’s residents today, and for generations to come, will continue through legal and legislative approaches.

Question 2: The Jordan River is a defining feature of the West Side. Paul asks: Can you share how your administration plans to support this vital resource and how you are engaging with organizations like the Jordan River Commission?

I’m a new member of the Jordan River Commission and looking forward to those opportunities to collaborate. I love the Get in the River event and am looking forward to the completion of the Three Creeks Confluence project, with all of its amenities. The more we can connect residents from across the City with this incredible natural asset, the better. It’s such a gem, and West-East trail connections are a vital way to link the river with residents citywide. I am also interested in The Fisher Mansion, with its proximity to the river, as another great asset that has yet to be activated.

Question 3: The rail lines that bisect Salt Lake City result in significant delays for West Side residents. Devin asks: As your administration looks to future development patterns, is consideration being given to this issue?

There are a lot of challenges we face from the rail lines that bisect our city. Not only are pedestrians and commuters stalled at the crossings, our transit buses are as well. Solutions generally have to be funded entirely by the City. We’re definitely looking at federal grants and other funding for bridges to better connect our neighborhoods.  All of these efforts will be informed by the new citywide Transportation Master Plan that we will begin in the coming year.

There are also three remaining quiet zones that are a real quality of life issue for west-side residents. It’s important to me that we do all we can to prevent trains blaring their horns around the clock as they go by and through these residential neighborhoods. The improvements necessary to ‘quiet’ those crossings add up to more than $7 million. I will be looking for all funding opportunities, including bonding opportunities, to make these long-awaited improvements possible.

Question 4: The future of the West Side is likely denser than it is now. Erika asks: Many residents we asked expressed support for development that brings new amenities and neighbors. As our city grows, how do you envision maintaining the “Small Lake City” charm of our community and neighborhoods? 

Community-engaged development is the only way forward if we want to be certain that our collective growth is inclusive and equitable. We need a plan to protect our neighborhoods and businesses from problematic growth and change that doesn’t serve them. This plan and effort is now underway, with the Council recently approving funding for my gentrification mitigation plan.

Our residents and neighborhoods will be heavily involved in those efforts to identify, support and increase opportunities for historically underserved areas and communities, moving forward in lockstep with community members to strengthen existing investments of people in the area.

Question 5: Several residents asked about the future of the neighborhood cleanup program. Ryan asks: During your campaign, you pledged to restore the neighborhood cleanup program to its original state. Does your administration still intend to follow through with that?

Yes. I pledged to restore neighborhood cleanup in a way that does not contaminate our stormwater runoff, which was an unfortunate byproduct of our previous neighborhood cleanup approach. Moving forward, we plan to move to a format where people can leave bulky items curbside, but the City won’t accept any hazardous materials. We need residents to be very careful about not putting things like paint or chemicals at the curb, as those quickly wash down gutters and pollute wastewater.

I will be receiving some options from our departments on how to bring back a cleanup that responsibly guards against environmental harm. After working with our departments, we will bring a proposal to the City Council for their consideration and funding approval. Please stay tuned and participate when the public process happens!

Question 6: Residents expressed support and concern about the future of homeless services in the city. Heather asks: Can you share the actions your administration has taken during your first 100 days and where you expect to take action moving forward?

We’ve just gone through a big transition, opening three Homeless Resource Centers in the last year and shifting our model toward them with the state’s closure and demolition of the downtown shelter. The new HRCs are better helping to meet the acute needs of one of our city's vulnerable populations. We also work closely with the host neighborhoods to make sure they stay safe and that the neighbors have a chance to positively interact with the HRC operators and guests through the formation of neighborhood advisory councils.

In my first month in office we implemented some short-term strategies, including opening the Sugar House Temporary Shelter on January 23. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, our City staff who coordinate homeless services have been working even more closely with our County and service-provider partners. Providing temporary restrooms and sanitation locations, a two-year pilot program with Volunteers of America for enhanced street outreach and moving ahead with the City Council on expansion of Shared Housing zoning (formerly known as ‘SRO’ single room occupant) are some of our recent efforts. In the long term, we need to be strategic about homelessness prevention, increasing our capabilities to help people maintain their housing, divert people out of shelter into safe housing, and supporting the chronically homeless with the support and solutions they need — perhaps managed tiny-home communities.

In the next year we will work with stakeholders and partners on short-, medium-, and long-term plans for addressing the funding, governance, and accessibility of homelessness services throughout the region.

Question 7: Many families on the West Side of Salt Lake City have been harmed by the federal administration’s targeting of immigrant communities. Maria asks: Can you explain how your administration is supporting our immigrant neighbors?

Broadly, we're continuing one incredibly important policy in my administration, which is that the Salt Lake City Police Department will not enforce federal immigration policy or ask people about their immigration status.

But in the face of the pandemic we are going through, one of the key elements of my work is communicating with and working to support our vulnerable communities from the spread of this highly contagious disease. Data shows that not only is our city the hardest hit in the state, but that West Side areas within our city are being more heavily impacted than others. So for me, regular communication and a variety in communication mediums are key to ensuring that people have access to the information and resources they need to stay healthy and safe in this challenging time. I’m grateful to the many community partners who have been helping us know what’s working and what isn’t, then working with us to evolve better approaches to listen, share information, and support so many resilient communities.

Two very exciting recent developments are the funding of our gentrification mitigation plan and our citywide equity plan.

The gentrification mitigation plan will come from our work to study gentrification and use the findings to create policy that addresses the known risks of gentrification for different neighborhoods and identify best practices for addressing gentrification and displacement.

The equity plan will be our North Star for improving system inequities and ensuring that when we are making policy, programmatic, and financial decisions, we are taking into account how those decisions impact all people in our city.

Question 8: East-West transportation in the city has long been a concern for residents. Marty asks: Can you share your vision for the future of transportation in the city? Specifically, what plans does your administration have to implement the Complete Streets policy and make the city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly?

Great cities have great transportation networks with a focus on moving people, not just cars. As I mentioned, above, I’ve directed our Transportation Division to begin the work of a new Transportation Master Plan. It’s been over 20 years since our last master plan, and we’re due for a major update. There are new modes of transportation that were never contemplated a decade ago: e-bikes and scooters, ride-share like Lyft and Uber, even pedicabs that serve our downtown. The way we plan for and design our transportation network needs to be a multimodal network that gives us all safe options beyond single-occupant vehicles, from public transportation to walking to GreenBike. 

Complete Streets policy is in effect, and I intend for it to be reflected in the projects we build. We are working on better coordination between our departments to resolve competing policies, such as utility easements that impact placement of street trees. It is an ongoing process.

Question 9: West Side residents note the disparity in the maintenance of and quality of amenities at parks in our neighborhoods. Jessica asks: Can you share how your administration will promote the quality of parks and recreational facilities on the West Side?

The West Side is long overdue for a regional park amenity. There are more children per capita on Salt Lake City’s West Side than anywhere else in the City and it’s time for the open space offerings to reflect that. It’s important to me that we explore ways to not only build but maintain a high-caliber regional park. To this end, Salt Lake City is seeking opportunities to work with nonprofit organizations that would help us design, pass and implement legislation and ballot measures that reflect our community priorities and could create new public funds for parks and restoration. In the meantime, Salt Lake City has multiple projects in the works that will make significant improvements to the City’s Westside parks. Many of these capital projects will free up maintenance hours previously spent making repairs to aging infrastructures, allowing more focus to be spent on park beautification.

Additional information regarding many of these projects-in-process can be found on our web page at https://www.slc.gov/parks/public-lands-projects/.

Two new capital projects on the West Side — Jordan Park Event Grounds and Westside Trail Connections — will link contiguous park spaces along the Jordan River and add infrastructure for community events to create regional level amenities and attractions.

Jordan Park Event Grounds 1060 S 900 West This project includes design and construction for power pedestals to create an event space, improve pathways and enhance circulation in the park. This new infrastructure will create a large, self-contained event site for community events and programming, creating a more inviting and comfortable environment for all park visitors.  The new event grounds are at the center of five contiguous public spaces and will offer greater usability and highlight this unique area of SLC.  Design will begin in summer 2020 with construction in winter of 2020/21.

Westside Trail Connections and Amenities - SLC Public Lands, in coordination with the Glendale and Poplar Grove Community Councils, is designing trail improvements that will establish new connections between public parks and open spaces along the Jordan River between 1300 South and 800 South. This trail will connect seven parks and two trail corridors in the project area. The project area includes Jordan Park, 900 South River Park, International Peace Gardens, the Fife Wetland Preserve, Three Creeks Confluence Park, Modesto Park, Bend-in-the-River Park, Jordan River Parkway Trail and the 9Line Trail.

Question 10: Many long-term residents expressed guarded optimism about a future Olympic bid. Junior asks: With Salt Lake City bidding for a future Olympic Games, can you share whether your administration is taking steps to ensure that equity is at the core of future Olympic plans?

Last year I signed a Community Benefits Agreement in conjunction with Crossroads Urban Center, committing to doing whatever I can to ensure that housing produced for a future Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City will be repurposed for affordable housing post Games. A step like this would help us shape the changes that come to any Olympic host city, and to use those changes to benefit the housing needs of our population.

Another effort to help put equity front and center for the games were the two appointments I made to the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games Executive Committee. I asked Pastor France A. Davis and Westminster College President, Beth Dobkin, to represent our city's diverse needs and interests. I'm grateful they accepted and hope they are able to continue serving, should our efforts transition to an official bid and beyond!

Lastly, should our efforts be successful, and we get another Games in Salt Lake City, I have already begun advocating for the creation of an equity committee. I am dedicated to this early and consistent work to build equity as a shared priority of the committee.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration of these questions. Before we end, is there anything that you would like residents to know about your first 100 days?

Yes! We're still going to plant 1,000 trees throughout neighborhoods in our city's West Side this year. We’ve already put the first 500 in the ground, and our City's Urban Forestry Division is confident that we will hit our goal.

I'll also add that I want to hear from you. The Westside community is caring, innovative and invested in the future of our city. Those are the qualities we need to ensure Salt Lake City continues to thrive. We have a big challenge on our hands right now, and it is my goal as we get through this to find ways that our city cannot just go back to where it was, but be a better, more equitable space for all. I relish insights and ideas from the public. Please reach out if you have the time and interest.