Jackie responds to Becker’s about face on the open space bond

“Mayor Becker has been pushing the “Connecting You to Nature” bond for the last several months, touting it as the centerpiece of his reelection platform. Now that he’s the recipient of public outrage, he’s changing his position

“He’s scrambling to try and gain support for reelection and, as a result, is making poor leadership decisions that are negatively affecting the city and its residents. Rather than involving the public and key stakeholders, he forged ahead with his own plan and then flipped his position when it became detrimental to his bid for re-election.

“As mayor, I will seek first, the input of residents, taxpayers, and community leaders. Preservation and expansion of open spaces are a critical component to the future of our city and I support the creation of new recreational opportunities, but this growth must be fiscally responsible, it must be sustainable, and above all, it must have the support of the residents who will foot the bill.”

Jackie Biskupski reacts to Primary Election win

I am delighted by the outpouring of support I have received during the Primary Election and am very pleased with our final results. Running against an entrenched incumbent is a challenge but it is clear from the tally that Salt Lake City residents are ready for new leadership and support my vision for this great city.

Thank you to all the candidates for running a good race and for bringing up important issues that we will continue to address.

We are just 12 weeks out from the General Election, and our work is far from over. I’m committed to working tirelessly to share my message and vision, and solidify the confidence voters have shown me with today’s vote.

My campaign is more energized than ever and I look forward to winning the general election in November.

Jackie Biskupski responds to Prison Relocation Commission decision

Jackie Biskupski responds to the announcement by the Prison Relocation Commission’s selection of Salt Lake City as the new prison location:

“I am extremely disappointed in the selection of Salt Lake City as the location for the new prison, and the culpability of Mayor Becker in this process is especially disappointing.

“This is a decision that will shape this city's future for generations to come. Our west side has been ignored by this administration, so it should come as no surprise that Mayor Becker would sell them out in his negotiations for a sales tax in this city. 

“In addition to the lack of concern for residents of the west side, the environmental impacts and the shortage of water resources in this part of the valley should be more than reason for the commission to look elsewhere.

“As mayor, I will continue to oppose the prison relocation, and will pursue every option available to keep it from being built in the west side of Salt Lake City.”

Statement on "anonymous" online political comments from Mayor's office

News today of unethical and possibly illegal activity by a key member of the Mayor's senior staff is yet another example of the Mayor's failed leadership. Add to this the claims of sexual harassment in the police and fire departments and it is clear the Mayor has failed to set proper standards of behavior and systems of accountability within his administration. As the Mayor of Salt Lake City, I will convey a clear message to all staff about what is acceptable behavior and the ethical standards expected of all city employees.

Jackie's Air Quality Solutions

As a mom, I am deeply concerned that Salt Lake's air ranks among the 10 worst cities for short term particle pollution by the American Lung Association. We must act NOW to clean up our air and address the effects of climate change.

My commitments on climate change and sustainability:

  • Be a strong collaborative leader, bringing together Wasatch Front mayors and local business leaders to create a unified plan to resolve our air quality problems
  • Develop a broader public information campaign promoting the HIVE Pass and ensure ongoing funding
  • Focus strategic mixed-use economic development along public transit lines
  • Work with businesses, cyclists, and residents to standardize and expand bike lanes to improve cyclist, vehicle, and pedestrian safety while ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities
  • Connect neighborhoods via new and improved trails
  • Clean up and revitalize the Jordan River
  • Implement bus service to underserved areas with increased frequency and improved bus stops
  • Transition parks and golf courses to secondary water and water-saving technology
  • Incentivize developers to improve building efficiency and explore other market-based solutions to improve air quality and increase use of solar energy
  • Offer free public transportation on "red" pollution days
  • Expand the tree canopy and require landscaping with trees in industrial areas

MEDIA RELEASE: PAC purchase of billboards

Recently, a series of billboards have been erected in support of my candidacy. I was not aware of these billboards, until they appeared this week. Our campaign had no coordination with the PAC or involvement in any decision about their expenditures.

PACs are either federal or state and Mayor Becker’s PAC, County Mayor McAdam’s PAC, and the PAC that paid for these billboards, all fall under the jurisdiction of state law created by the Utah State Legislature and it is unclear whether municipalities have any authority or jurisdiction to impose their own rules.

If these billboards are causing people to pay attention to PACs and the rules that govern them, I think that is a good thing. Unlike municipal campaigns, neither the legislature nor state PACs have any donation limits. I believe it makes sense to limit contributions to candidates and PACs, unfortunately, that rests in the hands of the legislature and the majority has not shown an appetite for making that change.

It also appears that Mayor Becker has not adequately addressed any existing conflicts between city ordinances and state code governing PACs. As mayor I will clarify city ordinances and work with the legislature and Lt. Governor's office on campaign finance reform.

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Statement on Billboards

I am not an advocate for billboards. I am an advocate for sound policy decisions reached with the input of the public, affected businesses, and the community, and who will respect the decisions made by the citizen commissions that have been entrusted with this responsibility. Billboard companies, just as all companies that do business with the city, will find in me a mayor with an open door and a willingness to listen.

We have a process in place with our Planning and Zoning commission and city and state laws that govern billboards--these things are in place to strike a careful balance between the requests from businesses and the needs and input of the communities they affect.

We must be careful in our conversations about electronic billboards to be mindful that these billboards can serve a purpose such as providing lower cost advertising opportunities for small businesses and emergency response notifications such as Amber Alerts. We must ensure, however, that all steps are taken to mitigate the light pollution and minimize the impact on surrounding communities.

I am also mindful of the state legislature's ability to override municipal ordinances. The current administration’s mandated position on outdoor advertising has put the city at odds with the state. Recent legislative sessions have seen bills threatening to take away the ability of a municipality to make its own rules. I will work to ensure that the city’s position on billboards does not negatively impact our ability for local control.

My Vision for the West Side

We are a divided city. The economic growth and educational opportunities on the west side of the city are not equal to those in the rest of the city. The current mayor has promised to help the west side but has done little.

I am committed to unifying our city and devoting city resources to growing the economy and improving educational opportunities in all neighborhoods.

It's time for equality between the east and west sides of our city. As Mayor I will work for ALL people of every background and neighborhood.

MY VISION FOR THE WEST SIDE

Protecting Neighborhoods
No homeless shelter or prison moved to the west side
Expand open space and make Glendale and Rose Park golf courses financially sustainable and water-wise
Work with west side residents to create development strategies for our neighborhoods

Education
Build public/private partnerships for quality and affordable Pre-K education for every child
Restore funding for after-school arts education

Economic Development and Job Growth
No sales tax increase
Economic growth that builds on cultural, ethnic diversity and history of west side
Deliver redevelopment agency resources

Transportation
Increase bus services and improve bus stops
Add a park n' ride to the North Temple TRAX line
Repair roads and add street lights
Expand bike share program west of I-15

Statement on respect for city employees and treatment of former Chief Burbank

It is the job of every mayor to treat city employees fairly and with dignity. I am committed to managing Salt Lake City government in a way that respects employees, protects their rights and benefits, and rewards their service. Those values will apply to every employee from the most junior to the most senior.
 
It is troubling to me that Mayor Becker has chosen to deny our former police chief the full value of benefits he earned during his service. While I cannot endorse the way the former Chief managed findings of sexual harassment within the Police Department, that does not diminish the many ways the Chief served our City admirably during his tenure. He was a positive force in our community and worked tirelessly on our behalf. I am committed to restoring Salt Lake City's reputation as a well-managed, fair, and positive place to live and work. I hope the current Mayor will reconsider his actions and do the right thing by Chief Burbank.

Marriage Equality

Today the Supreme Court has confirmed in law what many of us have felt for so long in our hearts, that the promised equality of the Constitution is to each person above any regard for race, creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation. With this ruling the Court has clearly stated that our LGBT community is equal to any other.

Our hearts are also filled with tremendous gratitude to the many thousands of people who have suffered, sacrificed and worked for so long to bring us to this day; that suffering and sacrifice will not be forgotten.

While so many of us celebrate this momentous step toward full equality, we are mindful that there is still much work to do. We are also mindful of our neighbors who disagree with us and for whom this ruling will be challenging. Let us move forward to heal divisions, even for those who do not yet join in our celebration today. As this day clearly shows, with time hearts do change.

Statement of Jackie Biskupski on Salt Lake City Parking Meters

The cost to park downtown rose dramatically under Mayor Becker. First, the hourly fee doubled from $1 to $2 per hour. Second, the hours of enforcement extended from 6 to 8 pm. Finally, the Mayor's new budget, adopted by the City Council yesterday, increases from $15 to $25 the fine for an expired meter and adds a $50 fine for failing to pay at a parking meter. Considering how frequently the parking meters fail to function properly a $50 fine is excessive. 

The malfunctioning of the City's parking meters, the increased cost to park, and the extended enforcement hours all serve to deter people from spending time downtown in the evenings. I support returning to 6 pm as the end of parking enforcement at the parking meters. I support slowing the increase in parking fees. And I support implementing a quality-control program to monitor the performance of the parking meters. If the meters aren’t working then the city shouldn’t be issuing parking tickets. It simply is not ethical to penalize drivers for the technical failure of the parking meters and that practice will not continue under my leadership.

Parking meter fines going up for downtown Salt Lake City, Good4Utah, 06/17/15

SLC Council approves spending jump for new cars, cops and trees, Salt Lake Tribune, 06/16/15

Statement of Jackie Biskupski, Candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor, regarding Salt Lake City Police Department Sexual Harassment and Firing of Chief Burbank

Chief Burbank's firing is unfortunate but necessary. In many ways he has been a solid leader for the Salt Lake City Police Department. However, it has become clear that there was a pattern of misconduct on the part of his immediate subordinates that was mismanaged by him and is absolutely unacceptable. While I support the action, it is concerning to me that the Mayor has taken over a year to become fully aware of the situation.

Statement by Jackie Biskupski on New Funding for Expansion of the S-Line

Today the City Council is voting on whether to approve additional funding for expansion of the S-Line. I urge the Council members to vote against additional funding until, first, we have a short-term solution to the immediate traffic problems in Sugar House and, second, we have a long-term transportation plan that takes into account the interests and feedback of the community. 

Statement by Jackie Biskupski on the SLC Police Dept and Sexual Harassment

The allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment within the Salt Lake City Police Department made by three former and current female police officers are one more example of this Mayor’s disengaged approach to managing Salt Lake City. Such allegations, especially those made toward high-ranking officials within the police department, must be addressed directly and swiftly and the Mayor must take the lead, but he hasn't.

Salt Lake City Republican Convention

Today my campaign for Salt Lake City Mayor attended the Salt Lake County Republican Convention. As you know, the SLC Mayor’s race is non-partisan and I am a registered Democrat with progressive values and ideals but as Mayor of Salt Lake I will represent all citizens, regardless of registered political party. The mayor can’t just be mayor to people who look, talk, and act like she does, she must represent everyone.