This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Most of us supported Ralph Becker for Salt Lake City mayor in 2007 and 2011. At the time, some of us were elected officials serving with Ralph in the Utah State Legislature. We knew him as the Minority Leader in the Utah House and felt that he was passionate about making Salt Lake City a better place and would put Salt Lake City first. We also saw someone we thought we could collaborate with on issues like homelessness, improvement and development on the West Side, and downtown revitalization.
However, like many voters, we have become disenchanted and disappointed. We don't see the same passion, drive and focus on improving Salt Lake City we once saw. Too many times, our own efforts to collaborate with the mayor on behalf of our constituents have been rebuffed and turned away. Like many voters, we too, feel ignored by the current mayor.
Also, like voters, we know our disappointment in Mayor Becker is not reason enough to support his opponent, Jackie Biskupski. But we believe Salt Lake City residents deserve a mayor who will prioritize their well-being; a mayor who will work hard to lift up all Salt Lake City residents, including small business owners; Salt Lake City residents deserve a collaborative leader who will work with them to make this city better. Jackie Biskupski is that leader!
You see, many of us also served in the Utah State Legislature with Biskupski, and know without a doubt that Jackie is the type of leader that Salt Lake City needs and deserves. Biskupski was a very effective legislator. She was a champion of many causes; in particular, she always fought and won funding for services for the homeless and emergency food shelters. She advocated, successfully, for the interests of small business owners and the arts community. As the first openly gay legislator in Utah's history, she embraced her role as a trailblazer by breaking down barriers for future legislators from the LGTBQ community and other marginalized communities. She broke down barriers by forming professional relationships and changing hearts and minds; a change that will have an impact for generations to come.
Biskupski was a successful legislator, and has been a successful administrator in Salt Lake County government, because she is a collaborator and a leader that empowers the people around her. Biskupski mentored many of us as freshman legislators; she cherished the opportunity to help us succeed in our own efforts. At community events, she is always on the lookout for the next young leader to mentor. She loves to help other people succeed. It is no wonder to any of us that Jackie was a founding member of the Real Women Run initiative in Utah, an organization that encourages women to run for public office. It fits her profile as a leader and visionary.
As a successful legislator, Biskupski never sought the limelight. She never sought personal credit for the bills she passed, the funding she secured, or the causes for which she successfully advocated. As mayor of Salt Lake City, Biskupski will put residents and small businesses at the forefront of everything she and her administration does. She will work collaboratively with her constituents to make Salt Lake City a more livable place for all of us.
We are quite offended that some see Biskupski's collaborative leadership as being weak. She is a very strong advocate for what she believes in. We watched her fight hard in the Legislature for equality for the LGBTQ community, for fair and humane treatment of animals, and for a sustainable environment. Biskupski is a fighter, but she demonstrated time and again an ability to fight for her constituents' interests in a way that built bridges of understanding and respect with her opponents.
Salt Lake City deserves a mayor that will lead, collaborate, advocate, and lift up us all. Salt Lake City deserves Jackie Biskupski as mayor.
Sen. Gene Davis, Sen. Jim Dabakis, Sen. Luz Escamilla, Sen. Karen Mayne, former Sen. Scott McCoy, former Sen. Ross Romero, former Sen. Blaze Wharton, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Rep. Gage Froerer, Rep. Sandra Hollins, Rep. Mark Wheatley, former Rep. Brian Doughty, former Rep. Janice Fisher, former Rep. Lynn Hemingway, former Rep. Jen Seelig, former Rep. Larry Wiley.