Stephen Peck for House District 39
Complacency is not an option
Who is Stephen?
I am a born and raised Utah native. I have been married for two years to my wonderful husband, Walter. Together, we raise a beautiful 15 year old, Kyrra. She is a freshman at Cottonwood High. We have two fur babies named Rufus and Liddy.
I have over 10 years experience in mortgage servicing, which included managing the team who worked directly with the Obama Administration's Treasury department on their HAMP/HAFA initiatives; which offered individuals facing foreclosure with assistance and other options which helped recover the economy from the looming recession. During that time, I was able to see firsthand what can happen when the government puts forth effort in hopes of making people's lives better. More recently, I stepped into the world of Healthcare. I currently work as a client developer for CHG Healthcare. It's amazing work. My company ensures that people all over the World have access to healthcare, making certain under-served areas have options in front of them for securing healthcare services.
Why am I running?
It's time to make a difference. I find that our current legislative efforts have been, and continue to be, ineffective and complacent. For too long, we have seen inaction on the very issues we as Utahns find most important. These issues also matter deeply to me. Please take some time to see my stance on these matters below. I also want to hear from each and every one of you to learn more about the issues that directly affect, and matter, to you. Thank you much for the opportunity to serve you.
I stand with our students and teachers in their efforts to push for real change in legislative efforts to stop the slaughtering of our innocent children. Reform is not coming from a Federal level, so we must implement change on the state level. These tragedies have been happening for over two decades with zero meaningful legislative measure to stop them from happening here at home. We are behind in these efforts, and need to work quickly for change to prevent these horrible events from continuing to occur. The regulations outlined below, partnered with an assault rifle buyback program, will be our first steps in creating the safest possible atmosphere for our students to learn and thrive in. Our children shouldn't have to wake up every morning with a fear that their school could be the next target.
14 day waiting period for all gun sales
No sales by private owners
No sales at gun shows
10 rounds magazine limit
No bump stocks
Licenses for all arms
Child lock requirements
Minimum age of purchase at 21
Assault rifle ban
Universal background check
Domestic violence ban
Studies specific to Utah have found particulate pollution contributes to a whole host of various medical conditions. This issue is not new, yet it continues to go unanswered. Given the dire conditions we face, being one of the worst in the nation, we must lead the way in carbon emission reduction. To do this, we must implement several solutions. Better transit options, tax incentives for businesses who allow workers to work from home, and a more aggressive carbon emissions platform is what is needed to address this issue. Utah’s current climate action plan calls to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2040. This goal is not aggressive enough. The technology already exists to adopt clean energy now. We can reduce carbon emissions 100% by the year 2050. Putting our health and livelihood above the needs of big oil and gas, which is imperative to our safety and health.
Climate change is real. We must research and plan accordingly so we can adopt proactive measures that will ensure our state does not experience water shortages, which are now just beginning to affect other states like California. The negative implications of global warming are one of the most important issues our society will be faced with over the next several decades. We must prepare and plan now, to ensure future generations are not left with a planet that cannot accommodate the people who reside here.
More than 60% of Utahns support Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement. Medicaid expansion translates to billions of federal dollars for hospitals and medical service providers. We cannot be one of the last states to accept the expansion, holding out leaves many Utahans without coverage. People are dying due to lack of coverage and options. The inaction from the Utah State legislators is nothing short of criminal.
Suicide is now the leading cause of death for Utah kids ages 11 to 17. In addition, gay Christian children are 7% more likely to commit suicide. These numbers are nothing short of devastating. We can solve this problem with common sense solutions and resources. We must partner with local churches and schools to gain a better understanding of the many issues our youth face, so that we can provide options and assistance so that our youth do not continue to take their own lives.
Gerrymandering and Political Fairness
We must end partisan gerrymandering – I will support redistricting by a third party in Utah to promote fairness. Salt Lake County deserves an independent voice as issues and concerns differ compared to rural Utah. The current districts are drawn in such a way that each voice is not fairly heard. This may be one of the reasons why Utah has some of the lowest voter turnout. By implementing fairer district maps, we should see more willingness to participate in the democratic process.
Utah’s intent of seizing public land and selling it off to the highest bidder goes against the will of the people, and our rights to maintain the outdoor activities and beauty enjoyed by Utahns, and visitors alike. It is no coincidence that we have heard reports that it is coal & oil operatives who have driven the efforts of shrinking Bears Ears & Grand Staircase Escalante. These efforts have been carefully planned to increase Oil and Coal operations in Utah, at a time that we should be looking to reduce Oil and Coal. We need to focus on clean, renewable energy so that future generations can enjoy the beauty that is Utah. Our lands are not up for Sale!
Utah is barely passing when it comes to education, earning an overall grade of C-, according to Education Week’s annual Quality Counts report. We cannot be a state which touts children as being the most important asset we have, while we continue to struggle with a proper education budget. We must get serious about education. Educators must be certified and be paid livable wages with proper benefits. This, along with the proper allocation of funding, will create an environment where Utah children are thriving in school.
Wealth Distrubution/Income Inequality
Utah’s economic developments have been nothing short of spectacular over these past few decades. Low corporate taxes and living expenses have made us an attractive place to conduct business. As our corporate sector thrives, our people suffer. We must find a balance between maintaining a pro-business economy, while also ensuring our people have a fair economic chance. Living costs continue to rise while income is stagnant. Businesses are thriving while our middle class is shrinking. Since 1978, and adjusted for inflation, American workers have seen an 11.2 % increase in compensation. During that same period, CEO’s have seen a 937 % increase in earnings. Utah is one of the highest states for income inequality, with women earning 70 cents on the dollar compared to men. No efforts are being made to combat this gap. We can and will do better. If companies are not willing to pay their female employees the same wages as their male counterparts, laws will be put in place to mandate such measures.
We need more subsidized housing for our Veterans, elderly, disabled, and low-income neighbors who are struggling with increasing housing costs. More and more people are having to work two, and sometimes even three jobs, just to support themselves. This is not the American dream, and we can do better. We must allocate more funding for subsidized housing and other programs to help struggling families pay their mortgages or rent. We cannot move forward as a society while leaving behind our most vulnerable.
Complacency is not an option
Together we can make significant change and improve the quality of life for the people of Utah. I am committed to helping the people of this great state, preserving our land for future generations, improving air quality, making education and healthcare a top priority, and listening to the many concerns you are faced with. Thank you for your consideration, I am excited for the opportunity to serve you.