Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As we approach the 20th anniversary of September 11th, I hope that each of you find some time to appreciate family, loved ones and our great country. In big ways or small, we have all been affected by that day, but I am humbled and proud to be a part of a country that faces disaster with such powerful resilience.
The Major Brent Taylor Foundation is hosting a commemorative event where you can honor the pain, heroism and sacrifices of that day. The event will be at the Weber County Fairgrounds and is open to all. See the schedule of events here.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau is essential for redistricting and was delayed due to COVID-19. On August 12, the data was released, and the Legislative Redistricting Committee recently received the state’s first analysis of Utah’s population shifts over the last decade.
While Utah is the fastest-growing state in the nation, increasing by 18.4 percent since 2010, the analysis shows not all areas of the state grew evenly. To meet constitutional requirements, officeholders must be elected from districts that have an approximately equal population, which means districts will need to be redrawn to account for our state’s growth.
For example, Utah County and Washington County grew faster than the state average, resulting in their share of the state’s population increasing over the last ten years. These areas will need to gain representation to achieve a constitutional balance. Meanwhile, Salt Lake County and Weber County decreased as a percentage of the state population and these areas will need to increase in geographical size. Read more about the state's growth here.
Starting in September, the Legislative Redistricting Committee will begin an extensive statewide tour to discuss the data with Utahns and receive feedback on how districts should be redrawn. In addition, the committee will provide an online tool where citizens can draw and submit their own redistricting maps. For more information, visit redistricting.utah.gov.
September interim is around the corner. Interim meetings provide the public with opportunities to engage in the legislative process. The Legislature will hold interim meetings through November and meet again in January 2022 for the general session.
To access the interim meeting schedule, visit le.utah.gov and click "Calendar" at the bottom of the legislative page. Once you access the interim schedule, you can listen to past meetings or live meetings when the event box is green. Instructions for virtual public comment can be found here.
During wildfire season, it’s important to understand that safety is a shared responsibility between Utahns, local, state and federal governments.
Actions we can take to lower risks and prevent wildfires include:
Securing trailer chains to make sure they don’t drag and spark a fire.
Avoiding parking a hot car or RV on dry grass.
Ensuring tractors and off-road vehicles have spark arrestors.
Keeping trailers and RVs well maintained, including tire pressure.
It’s estimated that paying more attention to the above actions could prevent 24 percent of Utah’s human-caused wildfires.
Additional fire safety guidelines include:
Making sure all campfires are out before leaving. (Feel it with the back of your hand to see if it’s cool.)
Never leaving a fire unattended.
Obeying local fire restrictions, including the use of approved fire pits.
Never start a fire on a windy day and having water or a fire extinguisher close at hand.
Controlling and properly extinguishing fires could prevent 28 percent of Utah’s human-caused wildfires. Learn more here.
Senator Ron Winterton
Utah Senate District 26