Republican Legislators Lack Christian Compassion
The overwhelming majority of the Utah Legislature is Republican, and most are also members of the LDS Church.
Thus, it would seem to reflect poorly on Mormons that, once again, the Utah State House failed to pass an expansion of Medicaid.
Secret meetings that were held behind closed doors—not even allowing duly-elected Democrats to be present—reminded me of secret temple ceremonies.
How sad for the 125,000 Utahns who will continue to suffer and die because of legislators' indifference to the poor!
Many Mormons bristle when fundamentalists claim the LDS Church is not truly a Christian church. If Christianity is about the teachings of Jesus as told in the New Testament, the actions of the GOP/LDS Church lend credence to such claims.
The LDS Church has a well-deserved reputation for taking care of its own. But, based on the actions of LDS legislators, this compassion does not extend to others.
We Need a More Respectful Mayor
Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker once called me a liar.
Becker frequently touts his role in leading the way to Salt Lake City's current economic prosperity. The economic development successes of this city are due to many players, from the governor to members of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah and Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, as well as the Downtown Alliance and employees of the University of Utah. To give most, if not all, the credit to Becker disrespects the efforts of many others involved in Salt Lake City's economic success.
Despite claims in Becker's campaign ads that he inherited a city on the verge of economic bankruptcy, former Mayor Rocky Anderson left the city in amazing shape with the best financial reserves—17 percent—ever. The budget during the recession did decline, but only roughly 10 percent. It was not the catastrophe that Becker now claims.
I have had a lot of interactions with this administration over the past few years as a regular citizen who wants to encourage more public participation in local government. I have found many employees who are professional and try to be helpful. But my personal experience with Becker is the exact opposite.
Several years ago, when Becker wanted the Sugar House Streetcar to go up 1100 East, almost all area businesses expressed concern. There didn't seem to be any public engagement in this very important project. I created a flier to encourage public feedback, but before I handed it out, I asked the Salt Lake City Council and the mayor's office if they would like anything changed.
The mayor's office did not like a paragraph about rezoning single-family homes and higher taxes, and asked me to change it to read that studies had been conducted but there were no present plans to rezone residential areas or raise taxes.
Out of respect, I changed the flier to reflect exactly what Becker asked. Imagine my surprise when Becker sent out a letter essentially calling me a liar. In a May 22, 2013, Salt Lake Tribune story, "Sugar House Streetcar vote continues to echo in City Hall," Becker's administration characterized my flier as "Mr. Chapman's misrepresentations, inaccuracies and false statements"—even though the flier's language was exactly what Becker asked for!
So when people claim that Becker has a gracious demeanor and doesn't tear others down to build himself up, but rather treats everyone with respect, I just remember that, in an effort to tear me down, Becker said my flier was full of untruths, and I laugh.
We need a new, better and more respectful mayor.
Salt Lake City
Note: Mr. Chapman's letter was updated Oct. 22, 2015.