Letters, March 23-25: Courts should strike down Utah’s gerrymandered congressional maps
Lawsuit is warranted
I have high praise for the lawsuit charging the Utah Legislature with partisan gerrymandering in our U.S. congressional maps. The lawsuit would block implementation of the congressional maps for the 2024 election, and future elections. It would also reinstate the original language of Proposition 4.
Not only did the Legislature divide Summit County into four state legislative House districts, diluting our representation, they “sliced and diced” Utah’s U.S. congressional districts. The dicing was achieved by dividing Salt Lake County into four different congressional districts. This effectively splits voters with minority viewpoints, as well as obliterating any chance of a Democrat winning a congressional seat in Utah.
Kudos to the League of Women Voters of Utah and Mormon Women for Ethical Government plus the seven individuals for filing the lawsuit. I trust the courts will recognize the Legislature’s blatant, partisan gerrymandering and block implementation of these U.S. congressional maps.
Coach will be missed
Last week, coach Deborah Modrovsky officially retired from Park City Hockey. She represents the best of Park City and will be missed. A little over a year ago, my then-8-year-old son had signed up for the Park City Ice Miners hockey team but was scared to start. He was afraid of being made fun of because he couldn’t skate well.
Coach Deb took him aside and said, “Just go and do it, you’ll be fine.” She gave him a look that told him that she knew what she was talking about. She then introduced him to one of the coaches to make him more comfortable.
Fast-forward a year later and he loves hockey. It’s what he wants to do.
This weekend, we went to coach Deb’s retirement party. We of course thanked her for everything she has done. Her reply to my son was, “Put a line of tape in the garage and jump over it. If you do that, you’re going to learn to skate really fast.”
Even in her retirement, she is still teaching. That seems to be who she is. Thanks, Coach Deb, for everything you have done. We will miss you.
Bold climate action is needed
As time goes by, more and more Republican politicians are on board with legislation to limit climate damage by reducing carbon emissions. To support climate legislation, do our conservative and liberal leaders need to agree on all issues related to a warming climate? No. They have diverse, yet complimentary ideas about how to preserve our common home and its warming climate.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina suggests carbon pricing in the form of “a border adjusted carbon tax” to limit pollution from coming across our nation’s border. Sen. Kevin Cramer brought up taxing carbon from China and Russia as a way of strengthening America’s foreign policy. Rep. John Curtis started the Conservative Climate Caucus to educate House Republicans on climate policies and legislation consistent with conservative values. And finally, Sen. Mitt Romney openly said that “If you are serious about (a healthy) climate, put a price on carbon” … making the fossil fuel industries pay for their pollution. The point being that all these politicians came at this issue from different angles but with a single purpose of cutting carbon emissions.
All of these ideas can be part of a well-designed price on carbon. First, imposing a steadily increasing carbon price would speed the transition to cleaner energy options throughout the entire economy, from the biggest industries down to individual consumer choices. Second, the revenue from the carbon price can be allocated to Americans as a regular dividend or “carbon cashback,” protecting Americans from higher costs and fighting against inflation. Third, a border carbon adjustment, placing a surcharge on carbon intensive products from another country would impose international pressure to transition to cleaner energy.
Bold climate policies are needed. We should not let disagreements on climate issues stand in the way of problem-solving legislation.
It is time for our elected officials to come on board with a renewed commitment to climate policy discussions. We should not wait any longer. We need to transition to clean energy. And we have broad agreement on policies that can get us there. Let’s ask Sens. Romney and Lee and Reps. Curtis, Moore, Owens and Stewart to act swiftly on federal legislation that preserves the climate of our communities.
South Salt Lake
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