I've been getting emails daily from citizens engaged in the voting process and trying to learn where candidates lie on certain issues. I want to address some of the most brought up topics even though as Mayor I may not have any kind of ability to change some of these things, people want to know where I stand.
1. Covid: I don't believe covid is fake. I got it in December and thankfully recovered quickly. It is a strange disease. Some people it takes ahold of and others just blows a little kiss on the way by. I don't get it but I understand that people will approach prevention in different ways. My stance is and has been that people should do what they feel they need to in order to be safe. And at the same time allow others to do the same. For some that may mean getting the vaccine, quarantine, shopping at lower traffic hours, physical distancing, or wearing a mask. Great! For others, they may not want the vaccine for one reason or another, they don't want to wear a mask, and will live their life similar to what it was like before Covid-19. Fine! There is room enough in this world for both extremes to coexist. It doesn't have to make sense to you to respect another's space and decisions.
2. Mandates: I am opposed to mask mandates for the reason above. People can act in a way that is best for them. I don't think the government needs to be involved. If businesses want to require masks or not, that is up to them. People need to respect that decision and can shop elsewhere if it goes against their ideals.
3. 2nd Amendment: I once owned some guns but lost them all in a tragic boating accident. I believe in the people's right to keep and bear arms, and that it shall not be infringed. I preach responsibility and proficiency along side that right. We need to respect the power and danger they pose. I wish our federal government and agencies did a better job of maintaining, updating, and sharing their database and information with the agencies that need it so they can run effective background checks. The laws around SBRs are kinda dumb, what is a pistol and what is a rifle seems arbitrary. I have a Conceal Carry Permit. If all my guns weren't at the bottom of a deep lake I would probably do that.
4. Abortion: I am pro-life. It's fairly easy these days to not get pregnant. There are plenty of affordable, protective options. While I think it is a tragedy that not every baby will be born I also don't feel it is my place to decide who can and cannot have an abortion. I don't have the right to take away that decision. So I wouldn't support overturning Roe v Wade. My one caveat is that I don't think tax money should be used to perform abortions. So I'm kinda pro-choice as well.
5. LGBTQIA+: Who you want to have sex with isn't my business as long as it is legal and consensual. Who you love doesn't determine your worth as a human being or what kind of person you are. It is not my place to condemn someone's lifestyle because it isn't in line with my beliefs. I've said the word RESPECT a lot in this post, I think it is vital in having a city that is welcoming and can feel like home, a haven. People should be able to come to Provo and feel safe and loved and accepted regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, sexual identity, political belief, level of education, or age. One of my roommates of 4 years is black, gay, and not LDS!!! And he is an awesome person and I'm glad he lives with me.
6. Trump: He is a decisive man. I didn't vote for him either time, I voted 3rd party. I didn't find him to be a bad president in the administrative sense as much as he was just a bad person. I thought he did a lot to help the country. The economy boomed, he didn't start any wars, he forged peace treaties in the middle east, the vaccine was made in record time, we were an energy exporter for the first time ever, gas prices stayed low. But he was also a self-serving, ego driven, pig headed, a-hole. And he chose to be those things. He was mean just to be mean. He alienated too many people and it lost him the election.
7. Political Affiliation: I'm registered as unaffiliated. I call myself an Independent Centrist. I don't like the 2 party system and it is only getting worse and more devisive. There is so much space in the middle. It feels great! I did register as a republican so I could vote in last year's gubernatorial primary election.