United Way of Salt Lake Legislative Priorities


Last week, I attended the United Way of Salt Lake’s annual Legislative Preview Breakfast.  I always look forward to this event.  It is an event that showcases the work United Way does, creating a collective impact by working with the government, the private sector and the community.  During the breakfast, we heard from Legislative leaders from both parties, as well as the Lt. Governor, who spoke about working together to make our community better.

The United Way fights for policy that supports early Childhood Education, Student Success, vital human services, and healthcare.  This year the United Way is also supporting 2 ballot initiatives, Our Schools Now, and Utah Decides Healthcare.  To learn more about Our Schools now, visit www.ourschoolsnow.com and to learn more about Utah Decides Healthcare, visit www.utahdecides.org

During the 2018 Legislative Session, there are several key issues the legislature will take up, including high quality preschool, literacy, school counselors and effective instruction.  This year, you can help the United Way advocate for these important issues by visiting www.uw.org/advocate


Quiet Heros - Show Times announced!

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Award winning director Jenny Mackenzie along with Jared Ruga have produced an incredible film telling the story of Dr. Ries, and Dr. Snyder called Quiet Heros.  Quiet Heros debuts on Sun January 21 at the Sundance Film Festival.  

Sun. 1/21, 6:30 p.m., Wagner, SLC
Tue. 1/23, noon, Egyptian, PC
Fri. 1/26, 7:00 p.m., Holiday 4, PC

Advance tickets are already sold out, so click here to learn about the waiting list.  Tami and I are proud to support the preservation of the work done by Dr. Kristen Ries and Dr. Maggie Snyder and look forward to seeing this film.   For more information about the Sundance Film Festival, visit https://www.sundance.org


Peace and Possibility Project continues support for YWCA of Utah

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The YWCA of Utah has been a voice for women, a force for change and a place for hope since 1906.  In May 2013 YWCA Utah began the nonpartisan Utah Women’s Well-Being Initiative.  The purpose of the initiative is to strengthen the well-being of Utah women across important dimensions of their lives through research, education, collaboration, and public policy – so that women flourish, their families and communities thrive, and Utah prospers.

In 2015, YWCA hired its first Public Policy Advocacy and Outreach Director, and since then has made significant inroads for Utah women at the legislative level, beginning to lobby on behalf of the initiative and the YWCA.  They have also begun important research on the impact of women with Utah Valley University, as well as launched a policy newsletter to keep women more informed about public policy that affects Utah families.  

In 2018, the Peace and Possibility Project will continue to support the YWCA of Utah with a yearend grant.  For more information about the Women’s Well Being Initiative, please visit www.ywcautah.org




Quiet Heroes chosen as Sundance 2018 Official Selection


In the mid 1980s, Kristen Ries and Maggie Snyder’s work inspired me to offer legal services to patients with HIV/AIDS.   Tami and I are proud of the support we have given to the University of Utah’s Dr. Kristen Ries and Maggie Snyder Permanent Collection.  The story of Kristen Ries and Maggie Snyder is an important part of Utah’s history.  In the 1980s when HIV first came on the scene, patients who contracted the virus had a life expectancy of one year.  Kristen and Maggie often spent their weekends holding the hands of patients who were dying.   They were the only option for help for hundreds of patients; Snyder and Ries have kept their stories in scrapbooks and notebooks through the years. 

Award winning director Jenny Mackenzie along with Jared Ruga have produced an incredible film telling the story of Dr. Ries, and Dr. Snyder called Quiet Heros.  The film has been chosen as an official selection for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.  Check out the Official trailer below.


Gun Violence Must Stop.


American history teaches us that when government is shown a potential threat to Americans, it is the duty of our elected officials to help either fix the problem, eradicate the threat, or regulate the product or substance.  This has been true throughout history.  Depending on the social politics of the times, government has taken on alcoholic beverages, women’s health, marriage equality, adoption, (most recently) opioids, marijuana, automobile safety, and countless other activities, products and substances.  Congress has funded cancer research and the US has an entire department dedicated to the regulation of drugs, alcohol and firearms.  In the 1990s, we heard about the war on drugs, and now we are hearing about the opioid epidemic, but what about mass shooting epidemic? 

Last week, California Senator Diane Feinstein introduced an assault weapons ban for the third time.  She and 22 other Senators are introducing the legislation, “for one reason: so that after every mass shooting with a military-style assault weapon, the American people will know that a tool to reduce these massacres is sitting in the Senate, ready for debate and a vote.”

Along with this legislation, there are two other important pieces of gun legislation in front of congress NOW.  First a “concealed carry reciprocity,” that would force all 50 states to allow anyone to carry a hidden, loaded guns in public.  The second guts sun silencer safety requirements.  Both of these policies do nothing to help prevent gun violence.  Let’s all take a minute to call our Congressional Representatives and Senators and ask them to oppose these two pieces of legislation.  Click here to visit Everytown for Gun Safety’s action center, and get involved.