June 11, 2018
Dear Constituents and Friends,
I’ve spent nearly my entire adult life working toward the opportunity you have afforded me to represent District 24 in the Utah State House of Representatives. My early involvement with Utah Young Democrats as vice chair and work on myriad political campaigns during the 1980s & 90s, service as a party elected officer in the 1990s and 2000s, decades of nonprofit governance on some pretty incredible boards, advocacy on the Hill prior to my election – all this situated me to step into this role.
In my eleven General Sessions and many interim months of work, I’ve tried my best to be an effective and tireless representative, not only for the constituents of my district, but for many others in our state who often feel that their representatives do not reflect their point of view. I’ve not been perfect by any means, but I have done my level best. I have loved this work; but, it is time for me to move on. I think most folks know that I have decided not to run for re-election this year but I did want to confirm that decision.
I also want to note that my impending absence as ranking member in the policy areas of health and human services is something you should strongly consider when reviewing the portfolios of the Democratic primary candidates who are running to represent House District 24 in the June primary election. As such, I am endorsing Jen Dailey-Provost as the candidate I believe is most well-equipped to fill this gap I will be leaving as I retire. It would also, quite honestly, pain me to not see a woman representing me as a constituent of HD24 given the serious gender imbalance in the Utah State Legislature. The voters of HD24 have the opportunity to continue to carry the vanguard of having qualified women representing them and should not take that call lightly.
I thank those who mentored me as I developed my interest areas in health and elections policy, as well as legislative leaders (past and present, on both sides of the aisle) who appointed me to various boards, commissions and task forces. I’ve had some amazing opportunities to guide policy development in these areas because of others who saw what I had to offer and gave me a chance to prove myself accordingly.
I will continue to serve until December 31, 2018, so there’s still much to do through the interim. I will be facilitating transitions in my committee and commission appointments over the next few months.
I am ready to move into a new space of activism. So, I leave elected representation in our legislative districts to a new team. It’s time to pass the baton. I ask you to be as kind, informative, gracious and supportive of your new representative – regardless of who he or she may be – as you have been to me.
People have asked me what comes next. I still want to advocate on two or three issue areas: changing our electoral systems, supporting the full scope of patient choice for terminally ill patients, and environmental justice. I just want to work towards these policy changes (and maybe others) in a different venue and using different tactics. You will see me around; of that, I have no doubt.
I’d love to return to doing nonprofit management and public affairs, perhaps for a regional or national organization. Martin and I are looking forward to spending even more time on the road in our RV with Kihei, our pup, as well as exploring the world internationally. We want to be supportive and totally present as our children move into new phases of their adult lives.
So, I thank you for your calls, emails, texts, and posts. And, I thank you for the privilege and joy of being your representative.