Election Updates and New School Year

Posted on September 7, 2017

By Jacob Johnson, UServeUtah
In today’s buzz, I’ve got two topics for you: an update on elections and my start to a new school year.
First, an update on the special election in Utah’s third congressional district. As predicted, John Curtis won in the Republican primary. As this election has been dissected, the Republican Party’s nomination process has frequently been discussed.
At the Republican Party nomination, Chris Herrod was the surprise winner. He spent less than $5,000. He wasn’t a favorite; either of two state senators was thought likely to win. After five rounds of voting, Herrod earned more delegate votes to beat both state senators as well as Curtis. That should have been the end of the process, but Tanner Ainge and Curtis were able to continue to run by securing many, many signatures from registered voters in the district.
With Curtis’s decisive victory and Herrod’s loss, the Republican Party delegates in Utah have several questions to ask themselves. The first: Why are we out of touch with voters? And the second: What do we need to do get align ourselves with the voters?
This reflection will be critical to the future vitality of the Republican party in the Utah third district. As of now, Republicans outnumber Democrats 6-to-1 in the third district. Curtis is the clear favorite to win.
I think it’s telling that Curtis once ran as a Democrat, and was open with his decision not to vote for Trump. I believe
the Republican Party in the third district has become too extreme, and voters are sending a clear message to their delegates. Hopefully the Republican Party here will listen and align more closely with moderate voters.
Moving on from elections, I’m excited to be starting my final year as an undergraduate at BYU. This semester I am taking a class offered in the English department: Provo City Lab. The focus of this course is to help English envision how their skills might apply in a profession. This semester our class will focus on one of two projects: writing a 30 year neighborhood plan for one of Provo’s 34 neighborhoods or working with Utah Transit Authority and BYU to improve urban design, public transportation, and public involvement involving public transportation around campus. I’ve decide to work on the second project.
One the first challenges they want to address is raising awareness on campus of the convenience and utility of taking public or active transportation rather than driving a car. While most students like the idea, very few know about it. What are your thoughts? What’s the best way to raise awareness on campus about new developments in the community? Please tweet me your ideas!

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