I believe that everyone should have the ability to live, thrive, and be included in the american dream equally and equitably. I believe in creating legislation that increases economic security and social mobility while working to eliminate social barriers and close socioeconomic gaps.
Utah’s economy is changing rapidly. To maintain a low unemployment rate and a thriving economy, we need to ensure our workers are receiving the workforce training necessary to increase their skills for higher paying jobs. We need to support every member of Utah’s economy in finishing high school, completing college or finding the vocational training and skills that will better support them and their families.
Utah has made attempts to create pathways for better job training through programs like Utah Futures, but it has yet to adopted a statewide longitudinal database. Doing so will help us understand where our workers are falling through the cracks and how we can best help them move from unemployment or underemployment to higher paying jobs.
Why is this important to me?
I grew up watching many of my friends excel in the job market and many struggle to find their way. Those that struggle have no less drive or desire to find work or positively contribute to our economy. We need to properly diagnose the symptoms of where our economy is failing our workers, in order to create appropriate solutions that will support a thriving workforce.
- Employ a statewide database to determine the most effective workforce pathways in order to be able to better promote the pathways most successful in reducing the rate of un- and underemployed Utahns and connecting workers to higher-paying jobs.
Increase the minimum wage
It is clear that our current minimum wage is not meeting the needs of Utahns. Efforts have been made to increase the state’s minimum wage, and as your Representative, I would work with my colleagues in the House to build on existing efforts to pass legislation increasing the living wage that compliment my Workforce and Housing policies to create prosperous communities and a thriving economy.
Access to housing is a basic need to ensure that our community and neighbors have better life outcomes, better health, and lower poverty rates. By increasing housing affordability, we can better take care of our families, protect and strengthen households, bolster childhood development, and add more jobs to our economy. We need to support affordable housing developments in order to balance the rise in housing costs and the growth of the state’s population, particularly in Salt Lake City.
Why is this important to me? I grew up in a home with a single mother and two older sisters, and finding affordable housing wasn’t easy for us growing up. But in today’s housing market, almost half of all renters are spending more than one-third of their income on housing. This cost burden means many in Salt Lake City have to hold multiple jobs just to afford a simple roof over their heads – or are unable to. Alleviating housing insecurity will lead to better community outcomes while simultaneously creating new jobs, ensuring our workforce is able to live near their jobs, and maintaining socioeconomic diversity in the state.
- Incentivize the development of more affordable housing through a statewide investment fund and modifications to Utah’s low-income housing tax credit
Our communities are made up of individuals who have been marginalized and excluded for far too long. Focusing on our neighbors who feel unwelcome and unsafe will improve the lives of all of us by supporting the dynamism and diversity that make communities thrive. We need to work together with marginalized communities to enact real changes that elevate voices that have too often been sidelined. By creating an ethic of true inclusion across our communities and institutions, we strengthen the social fabric of our society.
Why is this important to me? As a first generation American and son of an Egyptian immigrant, I know how challenging it can be to feel you voice is not being heard or that your community does not have a seat at the decision-making table. We must make sure that all Utahns feel protected and represented in order to support a healthy democracy.
- Amendments to HB 144: To make in-state tuition more accessible for DACA recipients
- Make changes to Utah’s hate crimes laws to make them enforceable
- Initiatives to reduce LGBTQ+ youth suicide rates and homelessness
- Accountability in Equal Pay for Equal Work