You have to hand it to Rocky Anderson. He doesn’t give up, even when the odds are against him. Endless energy and a penchant for controversy characterize the former Salt Lake City mayor, who ran a failed campaign for Congress, founded High Road for Human Rights, formed the fledgling Justice Party and ran as one of the darkest horses in the previous presidential race (though he did gain ballot access in a number of states). Now he’s trying to grow another grassroots movement, promoting a progressive agenda around the country, starting with a handful of devotees in Utah. For now, it’s about the corrupting influence of money in politics and the media. Anderson is a believer. What starts as an unpopular idea can evolve into acceptance, he says. There are those who still blame him for the acceptance of the gay and lesbian community in Utah. Watch to see if he can evolve this latest group.
KSL recently went “underground” to film panhandlers buying drugs with their hard-earned begs. Utah saint Pamela Atkinson says that panhandlers are predominantly, oh, 70 percent after drugs—like she’s taken a poll. And now the Legislature has sent a bill to the governor banning panhandling on state highways. This is a complicated issue. While panhandlers may make people or businesses uncomfortable, it’s pretty draconian to just push the poor out of the way. New York is working on the problem there, but its subways are different from Utah’s highways.
It’s always interesting to note the hypocrisy of Utah’s Legislature. Take the
animosity toward the federal government meddling in state affairs, and then take a look at how legislators meddle in local issues. Seems like every time local governments get into a fight, lawmakers think they need to step in and referee. This time, it’s Mayor Ben McAdams’ plan to create a patchwork city with the county at the helm. Millcreek residents are divided on whether to incorporate or go with the county, although incorporation has been voted down before. Never mind that; now there could be a year-long moratorium, or cool-off period. It’s really a time for lobbying, and little will change. Salt Lake City’s Yalecrest area dealt with a legislative moratorium on historic districts, allowing tear-downs in the meantime. It didn’t stop the momentum or the deep divisions.