Several Utah state legislators met with their constituents Thursday in the dining hall at the Utah State Capitol.
Approximately 40 Utah residents heard their representatives discuss issues they are focusing on for the upcoming session, while also networking with fellow young voters. The event was orchestrated by the Emerging Leaders Initiative of Utah.
Moderated by Cate Klundt, the panel discussion featured five legislators: Sen. Kathleen Riebe, Rep. Casey Snider, Rep. Angela Romero, Rep. Brian King, and Rep. Jon Hawkins.
King represents House District 28 in Salt Lake City. He has been a lawyer in Salt Lake for thirty years and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Rape Recovery Center.
King promoted his proposed bill, HB 170, which entails the prosecution of a bystander who chooses not to call 911 during an emergency.
If the bill becomes law, the failure to contact emergency services in the event of a crime or other emergency could become a misdemeanor offense.
“We should have a tool that prosecutors can use to reprimand when people do not act,” King says.
Romero is a democrat who represents House District 26 in Salt Lake City, which includes the greater Rose Park area, the most diverse district in Utah. She has worked in public service for almost two decades and currently chairs the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislator’s Education Task Force.
Romero spoke of HB 234, a bill she proposed that would raise the minimum age for marriage in Utah from fifteen to eighteen years of age.
When asked how young people can get involved in politics, Romero said, “Know the community you want to represent if you want to run for office. Know the people.”
Riebe is a democrat representing Senate District 8. She has been a teacher for Granite School District for fifteen years and works on the State School Board.
Riebe currently works at Robert Frost and Fox Hills elementaries as an educational technology specialist. She has proposed SB 115, a bill that would help get resources right into the classroom and that would help fund schools through grants to decrease classroom size.
Snider represents House District 5 and is the youngest member of the Utah Legislature.
When speaking on young people going into politics, he says, “If you end up with politicians who just want to be politicians, then it is a sad state.”