In answer to a question I get asked a lot, “What do you do in the legislative off-season?,” I thought I’d share a list, with a few pictures, of what I’ve been up to since the legislative session ended almost seven weeks ago.
Safe Harbor Board meeting – I sit on the Board of the domestic violence shelter in Davis County, Safe Harbor. We have monthly meetings, which I missed during the legislative session, and I am glad to get back in the swing of things with this and other boards I sit on.
YWCA Lunch – with women community leaders, celebrating International Women’s Month. An incredibly dynamic group of women, all impacting women and families with their great work.
Education Forum with Pasi Sahlberg – Participating in a discussion with this Finnish educator, and Harvard Professor, about the changes Finland implemented in their education system to catapult their student success. Impressive efforts and I learned so much.
KUED Advisory Board – Another group I work with as a board member. The community impact, both for young children and as the premier storyteller in Utah, make serving on this board a privilege.
Women in the Economy – I serve as Co-Chair of the legislative Women in the Economy Commission, along with Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck. We are focusing our efforts on how we can enable women to choose how they want to participate in their economic independence by reducing barriers in education, occupations, and wage gaps. Families succeed when women succeed and that is our focus.
Envision Utah – As a member of the Housing and Cost of Living Action Team with Envision Utah’s “Your Utah Your Future” program, we got to see the official roll out of the large scale polling Envision Utah is undertaking. Their goal is to get 50,000 Utahns to share their thoughts and priorities about how Utah should grow. Go on their website at envisionutah.org and make your voice heard!
Together 4 Utah – I had a chance to participate in an interview with Thomas Wright and Senator Jim Dabakis for their TV show. Lively and interesting. In five minutes we hit state school board, state liquor laws, air quality, and more!
Stericycle – Senator Todd Weiler and I met with the folks at Stericycle in NSL to talk about their progress and plan to move to their new location in Tooele County. Permits have been filed and the lengthy process is in the works.
Katharine Hayhoe Faith and Climate breakfast – met with some constituents and community leaders to listen to scientist and author Katherine Hayhoe of Texas.
Intergovernmental Roundtable — I am the current chair of the Intergovernmental Roundtable, a group consisting of folks from different agencies and departments across state, local, and city government. We discuss issues and the different perspectives are helpful in achieving a deeper understanding. This month we heard from Jonathan Ball, Office of theLegislative Fiscal Analyst, as to the budget just passed in the 2015 session.
DATC Meeting about ASL program with constituents to discuss the potential closure of the ASL program – Some impassioned parents and constituents invited me to participate in a presentation to the DATC board, asking for them to reconsider their decision to close the ASL interpreting program.
BYU Management Society – I was one of 4 presenters on a panel of professionals who spoke to the BYU Management Society about career paths. Bright and interesting individuals in the audience. Great questions. Also, my first time in the Goldman Sachs offices, which were beautiful.
Inaugural Intergenerational Poverty Research Meeting – A group of scholars, researchers, providers, and agencies, all discussing ways to collect good data that can inform policy making. This is a huge interest of mine and made for an awesome day.
Real Women Run Spring Training – I was a presenter on a panel discussing using data in campaigning. The group of women attending were all considering running for office and it was a great opportunity to provide information and support for them in this process.
Clean Air Strategy Meeting – Legislators and community folks involved in air quality got together to discuss what went well this session and where we need to move forward in advance of the 2016 session.
Davis County Republican Women Luncheon – A chance to share some thoughts about the legislative session with this group of women republicans in Davis County. Their involvement and passion for the issues really earns my respect.
West Bountiful Elementary School – I spoke with my sister, Cecilee Price-Huish, to a class of 4th graders about ways to get involved, make your voice heard, and change things in your community. These kids knew their stuff as they had spent several months following specific bills during the session, including my HB 226, Air Quality Revisions.
Communities That Care Board – This is a group I’ve worked with for a few years and are working to bring efforts in the community together to strengthen youth. Good things coming on this front!
Governor Herbert signs HB 30 – Governor Herbert conducts a ceremonial bill signing on my HB 30, Math Education, along with 4 other education bills. Several dozen students from the Joel P. Jensen Middle School Math, Engineering and Science Club stood around him at the signing.
United Womens Forum – I spoke to this group about student testing and a bill I supported that allows parents to opt their children out of some student assessments.
State Workforce Investment Board – This is a state-wide group of individuals representing education, employment, government, workforce, and service providers, all working to enhance job growth and employment opportunities for Utahns. I gave a presentation on the 2015 legislative session and bills that impact the mission of this group.
BYU Student project judging – Along with 3 other judges, we observed and gave feedback to student presentations that were the culmination of a semesters work on a “Safe Routes to Schools” project as part of a public health campaign. Very impressive students. It was fun to be back on campus.
Days of ’47 Board – Since 2001 I have served on the Days of ’47 board, first as the Chair of the Youth Parade for 8 years, and recently in a fund raising capacity. I love the mission of this group, which is to bring the spirit of the pioneers to life for those who are first generation Utah pioneers themselves, or are descendants of the original pioneers. Fortitude, courage, and vision apply to both groups.
Bountiful City Council – With colleagues Rep. Ray Ward and Sen. Todd Weiler as we provided a legislative wrap up in the work session of the Bountiful City Council. I am continually reminded of how lucky we are in this area to have a good working relationship with our city and county officials
Scout tour – One of my favorite things to do is share the “People’s House” with youth groups. This group was a scout troop from North Salt Lake. Several had been on Capitol tours before and gave me some tips about tidbits I missed in my tour, ha.
Davis Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee– Another opportunity to present a re-cap of the legislative session. As legislators we meet once a week with our Davis Chamber representatives during the session and it helps bring understanding and unity on issues.
Interim Committee Co-Chairs meet with Legislative Leadership – A discussion of potential study items, prioritization by the Co-Chairs, Senator Aaron Osmond in my case, and additional items the leadership would like to assign to committees. We now have a framework for our interim work.
Goldman Sachs Women’s Network Panel – I served as a panelist with Sen. Deidre Henderson and Sen. Ann Millner, as we discussed women in politics, and ways women can become involved and make their voices heard. This is an interesting group of men and women who have potential for so much positive community impact and it was a treat to spend the evening with them.
Homeless Services Commission and SLC Mayor Becker – A robust discussion with legislators, Mayor Becker, and the Commission on what has been done so far with homelessness reduction, and how the state can support the next steps to continue the efforts.
Utah Sports Commission State of Sport Awards Evening – An awesome evening where athletes at every level were honored for their inspiring performances. It turns out I had connections to several of the award winners and am proud of how they serve as great ambassadors for our state.
ABCD Training – I attended a training on Asset Based Community Development hosted by the Utah Developmental Disabilities Council. I have worked extensively with parents, advocates, agencies and providers in this community and always learn something from those interactions.
Davis Chamber of Commerce Business to Business – A topic specific presentation to the business community in Davis County. My topic: air quality.
Utah Coalition for Citizens Democracy – Along with 3 other legislators, Rep. Sophia DiCaro, Rep. Sandra Hollins, and Sen. Jani Iwamoto, we hosted a group of elected officials from Bangladesh. After our discussion, as we were touring in the Senate gallery we ran into another international group of visitors, this time from India. The issue that got the most discussion from our guests from Bangladesh? The lack of women represented in our legislature. Bangladesh has a quota that 33% of elected officials be women. They were awfully puzzled as to why Utah doesn’t enact quotas for women legislators.
ABC TV Interview – Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Co-Chair of the Women in the Economy Commission, and I were interviewed about the work of the commission and our efforts to understand and decrease the gender wage gap in our state.
Davis Education Foundation Gala – A fun opportunity to celebrate and support the efforts of educators in the Davis School District. Some of the very best educators in our state are right here in our schools and I’m so proud of the great work they do for our students.