Well, it has happened again, I have been sucked into the world of campaigns. Sure, I have been dabbling here and there by walking at this or that parade – but during this cycle, I have yet to truly dip my feet into the pool. Well That all changed Saturday when I went knocking door-to-door for Celina Milner.
Now, there are many fantastic candidates out there to support, and I do intend to help as many campaigns as possible between now and November, but why would I focus in on a state house district in Taylorsville? Because I see a spark in Milner that is rare among candidates. In speaking with her in person and via messages, it is clear that she is a smart, passionate, and tenacious citizen that would easily transition these skills to public service.
I will admit, I initially decided to walk for Milner out of a debt I felt was owed when I declined an invitation from her to be her campaign manager. During a brief exchange on Facebook, I wondered if she was just a wide-eyed candidate who did not know what she was getting into. Her statements were bold, her stances firm, and her desire to win all pointed to an individual who either was extremely naive or extremely honed. Having talked with her, I can easily and confidently say that it is the latter.
Milner could easily be a bright light this November as her district shows strong signs of switching from a red to a blue House District. Yes, thanks to this years redistricting process, it is possible that a Democrat can win on the West Side and begin a tide of change.
And this change couldn’t come soon enough.
Current Representative for the area, Johnny Anderson, has two major black eyes on his legislative record: 1) being a cosponsor of the ill-fated HB 477 – you know, the “kill GRAMA” bill that would have restricted public access to government records; a bill the legislature would later overturn after massive public outcry. and 2) continually pushing for bills that would directly increase profit for his private day care at the expense of government run, low income day cares (you know, so that mothers could be freed up to work in the first place). These pushes would require that government agencies and non-profits jump through additional hoops in order to provide child care; this, despite the fact that they already meet or exceed standards in providing child care by virtue of being recognized as a childcare agency.
Yes, Anderson wants to line his pockets by making it more difficult for working mothers to support their family’s - Compassionate Conservative indeed. The Salt Lake Tribune put Anderson’s actions nicely:
Anderson’s plan(s) to draft, introduce, argue for and vote on a bill that will, if passed, be of undeniable benefit to his personal financial situation.
It is also a bill that would undermine the current system in which schools and nonprofit organizations join to provide child care facilities for families who very much need them at prices that are within reach, doing harm not just to them, but to the entire community. Just so Anderson can make a buck.
Anderson is in politics, not to serve the people, but to serve his own interests. Milner wants to be a public servant to fight for stronger public education, improve our infrastructure (thereby improving unemployment and making Utah more competitive), and create stricter ethics standards so that the Johnny Anderson’s on the Hill are held accountable for their back room deals.
I encourage you all to donate time, money, or both to Celina Milner. When elected, she will hold the people of her district and of the state in the highest regard.