Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Emily Bingham Hollingshead Speech

Since announcing my candidacy last month, I have had several friends and acquaintances ask me what prompted me to run for office. I want to respond with “Well, I think I fell out of bed and hit my head on something REALLY hard!” …because it seems like an un-winnable uphill battle to run for office as a Democrat in a Republican District 28.

This year, I watched our state legislature like a hawk. I was very interested in all of the legislation, and was concerned about the outcome and implications for Utah families. I read with interest a poll that indicated that 84 percent of Utahns reject nuclear waste storage in Utah’s western deserts. Imagine my surprise when the Utah legislature passed legislation that would make it easier to store nuclear waste in Utah’s western deserts. It then became clear to me: Somebody isn’t listening. When was the last time that YOUR state senator asked YOUR opinion on nuclear waste storage? When was the last time that YOUR state senator asked for your input on evolution, or education, or health care, or children and family issues? Isn’t it about time that the citizens of Utah Senate District 28 had a voice?

Yes, running as a Democrat in a Republican stronghold seems like an uphill battle. And as a Democrat in the state legislature, I will have to work harder. As a Democrat representing District 28, I will have to listen better. I will have to ask for YOUR opinion on issues important to you, and then work hard to make sure that your ideas are represented.

So, in short: I am running for State Senate District 28 because of people like you: Hard-working Utahns who make a difference in our lives and communities. I am inspired by what you do, I am energized by what you have to say, and am looking forward to what we can do together for Utah.

I was born in Ogden Utah in 1967, which means that this summer I will be celebrating the first of MANY 39th birthdays. As a 5th generation Utahn and as someone raising a family, running a small business, and as a volunteer for children and families, I understand the challenges our neighbors and communities face. I am an advocate for small business owners, because I am a small business owner. I will fight for the rights of children because I have two of them, and I will always work so that they can have the best of everything we have to offer. And I will work hard for Utah citizens because I am a Utah citizen.

Utah likes to talk a lot about “Family Values” – Utah’s strong commitment to family and children is a major reason that we returned to Utah and why we live in Cedar City, because it is a great place to raise kids. But what surprises me is that Utah is at the bottom of the barrel for education funding. Now, I need to say that my children have had the best teachers and the most positive experiences in Utah’s schools. But, I think we can do better. Utah should be setting the standard for the rest of the nation to follow. As a state that values its children, we should be at the top of the list, not at the bottom. Utah’s lawmakers must stop looking at Education as a program that needs to be reigned in, but instead as an investment in our future.

Now, I admit that I am a selfish mother. I want my kids to be educated here, and then I want them to stay here. I would love to have them get jobs, get married, and raise families right here in good ole Utah. Being at the top of the educational scale and being the best place to raise a family, not only because of community values, but also because we can afford to live here are two things that are very important to me as a parent and as a Utah citizen. Affordable housing must also be a priority for Utah, especially in our rapidly growing areas. We cannot afford to drive away our very best workers simply because they cannot afford a place to live. In Utah, we can, and we should do better.

State employees deserve *decent* pay increases and have not received them. I believe that fair wages should be applicable to everyone, both in the state and the private sectors and that government wages should be competitive with the current market wages.

Senate district 28 is blessed with some of the most beautiful spots in the nation. Utah’s citizens know this, and they love their wide open spaces. And they want those areas protected. We also know that our resources are limited, and that conservation is the key. The rapid growth we are facing coupled with the shortage of water is troubling to me, and we must find common sense solutions that will fix the water shortage problem for the long haul. However, in the interim, we should stress conservation. We could start by giving incentives to families who practice conservation – I would fully support tax credits to homeowners who use xeriscaping in their landscaping.

Those are just a few of my ideas. More importantly, I am interested in what you have to say. What are the issues that concern you the most? If you could change anything what would it be and how would you do it? If I gave you the power to improve your own world, what would you do with it? The people who live in Senate District 28 have a community spirit that is second to none. Our area is brimming with good people like you who believe in a vision for Utah, and people like you who believe they can make, and are making, a difference.

I am fortunate to be a small business owner. My job is an interesting one – people come to me to help them look good. I am a web site designer and marketing specialist, which means I take people’s ideas and then turn around and make them look really great. I plan to take the same approach as a State Senator. Come to me, tell me your ideas. And then I will work hard to make your ideas heard, and to make your dreams for Utah come true.

I believe in YOU. As your Senator, I will work hard to represent the values and issues that are most important to you. I do not subscribe to "Petty Partisan Politics" nor do I believe that decisions affecting Southern Utah and our rural communities should be dictated by Wasatch Front politicians. As your Senator, I will listen to your ideas and fight hard to make sure that your voice is heard.

My name is Emily Bingham Hollingshead, I am the Voice of Your Values and I am running for Utah State Senate District 28.


Paul Hanson said...

Great Speech!

Anonymous said...

Filled with errors but who's counting?

SB 70 had nothing to do with nuclear waste Emily. Check your facts.

Jennie said...

Sounds like you are. Good thing I never take a comment seriously unless I know the source.

Spurs said...

SB 70 had everything to do with nuclear waste, it was an Envirocare bill that would allow bigger dumping in Utah's west deseret. The bill's title was "SB 70 Process for Approval of Waste Disposal Amendments" for crying out loud. I think anonymous should check their facts.

Emily For Utah Senate 28 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Emily For Utah Senate 28 said...

Anonymous -

Perhaps you would like to elaborate on what my errors were. Dan Jones poll said that 84% of those polled rejected anything stored in Utah's western deserts. SB70 would have allowed for storage of "hotter waste" and would have axed a requirement that new or expanding commercial radioactive and other waste sites have approval of the governor. . I'm not sure what about this bill is *not* about nuclear waste.

The only other "fact" in the speech is in regards to Education funding in Utah. Everybody knows that Utah's schools are underfunded. The rest of the speech is simply comments about myself... and I know those facts to be true because I am my own source!