An Empowering Economy

SugarhouseOur city must invest in people, drive innovation, attract better jobs, and create real opportunity for all. Luke’s economic strategy will level the field to ensure that our economy works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

Americans have a moral commitment to equality of opportunity, and this begins with quality public education that prepares all our students to succeed. Opportunity must also continue through city policies that keep the door open for innovators and local industry, maintains affordable rents and serves as a resource for local business, and attracts capital through an economic development strategy that invests in people.

When our economy is fair and just, working families have the chance to not only get by, but get ahead. By cutting red tape and ensuring government works with entrepreneurs, we can do more for local business, so it can do more for SLC.

These policy areas include:

•  Public Education
•  Economic Development
•  Economic Justice

Public Education

Glendale Middle School PictureA smart society educates its children in ways that prepare them to be strong individuals, citizens and workers. A good education provides our children with opportunities for economic improvement, and is vital to the economic future of our city.

Luke’s administration will expand educational opportunities for all students in SLC by:

•  Raising teacher pay and incentives
•  Improving after school, summer, and pre-K programs
•  Connecting teachers with parents and families
•  Intervening in the school-to-prison pipeline

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All students deserve equal opportunities to receive a good education. This education extends beyond the classroom to early childhood education and after school programs. The city can improve upon pre-K education through private/public partnerships and expanding access to parents, as Salt Lake County has done under Mayor Ben McAdams.

We can also improve educational opportunities by making sure that summer and after school programs progressively build skills and introducing children to various vocations and pathways to higher education. The city, non-profits, libraries and the school district will coordinate in ways that benefit SLC’s kids in new dimensions.

Luke understands that our schools must work harder to connect with families and communities, and will get teachers the help they need to improve student performance. Through education, we can create an empowering economy for all.

Economic Development

shopLuke’s economic development strategy focuses on investing in people, partnering with local business and entrepreneurs, and attracting investment. Under the Becker administration, the position of economic development director has sat vacant for years. The turnover in the economic development department and loss of so much investment to other areas of the Wasatch front evidences Becker’s gross negligence of economic development issues that a Garrott administration will correct. We need a mayor that is engaged. We need an economic development strategy. It needs to work for all.

A sustainable economic strategy that:

•  Values local business and entrepreneurs
•  Removes red tape
•  Fosters innovation and investment
•  Educates and trains its people

Education and skills training—investing in people—builds a workforce that attracts job-creating investment. Local business deserves a regulatory environment that treats them as partners, not rivals. We can get our process and systems right at city hall, coordinating and streamlining in ways that the Becker administration hasn’t bothered with in 8 years. Luke is the only true reformer in the race, and has the knowledge and will to get it done.

Economic Justice

roseparkWe have a long tradition, now in decline, of American workers receiving their due. A lot of what we would consider fair elements of a life of work—health coverage, a fair wage, retirement outside poverty—are eroding as unions lose ground and employers break promises to retirees. While it has historically been the federal government which has addressed these issues (ACA, FMLA, and Medicaid expansion are important examples), we in SLC cannot afford to pass the buck on issues of economic justice.

Cities can have immediate impact on issues like educational opportunity and the cost of transportation and housing. A Garrott administration will be committed to expanding pre-K, after school and summer programs, as well as outreach capacities for schools. Luke's innovative policies on expanding public transportation and affordable housing are addressing kitchen table issues faced by many working families across SLC.

In addition, we need to set the tone on ending the gender pay gap and the lack of a living wage in Utah. Salt Lake City will pay its employees based in principles of non-discrimination and fairness, and will continue to pressure the State of Utah to address issues of economic justice.

Luke will uphold progressive values on issues of:

•  A Living Wage
•  Worker Rights
•  Pay Equity for Women
•  Closing the Achievement Gap

More on Luke's vision for SLC:

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