Forget the Gender Binary | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Hits & Misses

Forget the Gender Binary

GOP Wins and Public Transit Failures

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GOP Wins
Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon probably has a point, but since his party is but a pinprick in the state political quilt, it's unlikely anything will happen. The party filed a formal complaint with the lieutenant governor's office about the mail-in ballot process for statewide primaries, according to Utah Political Capitol. The thing is that many county clerks ask voters which party's ballot they want—before they get it. Yes, the Republican primary is closed, and given the supermajority status in the state, most voters would just automatically choose the GOP. That doesn't give them any chance to make a jump to someone they might otherwise consider. Corroon says many states have ballots with cross party affiliation, and how hard would it be to put all parties on one ballot and state the rules? While the legislature often usurps local control on issues, this is a case where they want counties to decide for themselves—so the GOP wins.

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Forget the Gender Binary
Crystal Young-Otterstrom, an Emerson Elementary mom, recently posted "some big news" on Facebook. The school dress code has been changed to be "ungendered and unsexualized, and no longer severely outdated." The School Community Council apparently was working from an outdated handbook, and girls like Young-Otterstrom's daughter were being embarrassed by being made to wear shirts under their blouses. School Board Member Heather Bennett says the district has been looking at all such gender issues, and is even giving schools a choice in graduation gown color. "We have not had any problems and we have transgendered students," she says. The policy allows schools to work with transgendered students depending on where they are in the process.

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Public Transit Failures
Transportation is, again, in the news—if for a lack of transparency or a lack of imagination. The Salt Lake Tribune has reported on UTA's decision to hold committee hearings behind closed doors, and then this week noted that bus fares are the least affordable among 20 major cities. No wonder they don't want public input. But the big transportation failure rests with the Utah Department of Transportation and its decision to move forward with the West Davis freeway. After two years of study, UDOT rejected a "shared" notion that would look at alternative methods of moving people. UDOT opted instead to prioritize automobile traffic because it's what they know and love best. Davis County should be looking at how they want their communities to grow, said Steve Erickson of the Utah Audubon Council.