I am Draper City Council Member Michele Weeks and I’m running to become your Utah State Representative for District 51. During my 50 years of life I have had a wide breadth of experiences that will help me to represent YOU at the state capital.
I have traveled to other countries, lived in different states, been involved both successful and unsuccessful business ventures and served my community in various capacities. Currently, I serve as a member of the Draper City Council as well as raising a family and dealing with the loss of a loved one. Through these experiences I have learned about the issues that our community faces and about how to best solve them.
My involvement in Draper politics began about 8 years ago when I became concerned with my children’s class size at school and uncontrolled growth and poor planning in Draper. I spoke officials and encouraged good people to run for office. However, as many of you have probably discovered, positive change does not come easily or without a fight. I finally decided that for our community to change that I would need to run for office and fight for a better Draper.
Since running for and being elected to a public office, my eyes have been opened to the lack of representation that citizens have on the local, state, and national level. Over the past three years I have sought to be a voice for the people. I have sought to represent my constituents and to hold true to my values and principles. This has not always been easy. I have been met with negative attention from other public officials because I do not change once elected to office. The principles, values, and issues I promote on the campaign trail are the same that I promote while in office. These issues include controlled growth, transparency, clean air, infrastructure, livable communities, fields for sports, and open space. I am a candidate who remembers why and who elected me in to office.
I have had many friends ask me why I choose to be involved in politics (and to be honest, it is a question I often ask myself). The answer to this simple question is always the same: I run for office because I believe in CHANGE. I believe that the voices I represent have a right to be heard. I believe our communities would thrive if our elected officials would place voters and their values above special interests and a politician’s own personal benefit. I believe that we can start to choose politicians who will fight for the voters. I believe that there are honorable men and women in elected office that seek to pass legislation that will benefit the people, but that they need help. I believe that today we can start to choose candidates who will represent the people, and I believe that I am just such a candidate.
It is time that we begin to hold our politicians accountable and demand legislation that will improve Utah and not just those in power. I have witnessed firsthand how poor legislation can have a negative impact. For example, as a mother with children in school, I have felt the effects of poor education policy as our Weight Pupil Unit and our education quality has declined. Our teachers and schools do an amazing job of working to make every dollar count, but our representatives must do more to improve education.
In addition to education, we must also try to make a positive change by improving our air quality. As a mother with an asthmatic child, clean air is always an issue. As an elected official, I have spoken out on this issue, but it has been an uphill battle. I have taken a hard stand against Geneva Rock and I will continue to be a strong voice against mining in residential areas and locations that will affect our air. Improved quality of life for Draper residents and all Utahns is a key component of my campaign. I also believe that actions speak louder than words. That is why it is time that Draper elects officials who will not only talk about clean air, but also push and vote for legislation that will accomplish it.
Since being elected to the Draper City Council, I have worked hard to improve transparency in our local government. With my Facebook page ‘What’s Draper Up To’, I have been able to inform citizen about zoning changes before and after they happen. I created a forum to be able to hear how residents feel about different issues. Following my lead, Draper City has now hired a social media expert to improve its communication with Draper residents. However, I feel more needs to be done. I have a website and Facebook page called What’s Utah Up To that will be ready to launch once I have been elected to represent district 51. During my time as a member of city council, I have learned that knowledge is power. Citizens must have knowledge in order to hold their elected officials accountable and to demand necessary change. I’m committed to working to making government more transparent and to helping citizens stay informed about the issue that will affect their lives.
I believe in an accountable and limited government. One way to accomplish this is to enact stricter campaign finance laws and to institute term limits for elected officials. These reforms will help to improve our systems of elections and representation. Stricter campaign finance laws will reduce the influence of special interest groups and wealthy individuals over an elected official as well as allow for those who break laws to be fully prosecuted. Term limits will also reduce the dependence of elected officials on special interest groups and will help to create a government that is answerable to the people.
These are just a few of the many reasons I am running for District 51. I encourage you to read more about who I am and where I stand on the issues. Please feel free to Donate to my campaign, volunteer or contact me.
Thank you for taking the time to become an informed Voter and please encourage others to vote in this very important election.