That means not resting, but working harder than ever before. Utah Democrats will come out swinging on redistricting in 2021, we will have more municipal candidates than ever on November’s ballot, and we will begin shoring up our voters now, so we can win back the 4th District and make a serious play at the 2nd District and Senate.
Redistricting is the single most important thing that will develop for Democrats in 2021. Ten years ago, Republicans decimated Utah House and Senate districts. I believe gerrymandering is voter suppression. Today, Democrats represent only 22 percent of the legislature, but people vote for Democrats in much larger numbers than that. It is time for a fair system, but we have to hold the Legislature responsible for the work done by the Independent Redistricting Commission. We are already planning ways to hold our legislators accountable, and I hope you will join me in our work.
For years, the Utah Democratic Party has worked hard during state and federal elections, but then taken the “off years” off. I don’t believe in off years. Now is a time to build, but it is also a time to win. We talk a lot about “building the bench,” that happens by getting people elected to local office. For some, this is a stepping stone to larger office, but just like we saw with the pandemic, it is city councils, county electeds, and other local officials that can make the most difference in a crisis. We need good people to run our cities, and we need them now. The Utah Democratic Party is recruiting, and we will help get these candidates volunteers, resources, and votes.
Talking about winning is easy, winning is hard. Most state Democratic parties lost seats in 2020--Utah was not one of them. 2022 can lead to bigger wins, but only if we continue to focus. We talk a lot about demographic changes in Utah, but that does not lead to Democratic changes. We need to work with our diverse communities to ensure they are represented in the party and in government. We need to continue to invest in data. And we need to renew our effort to continue building a professional party staff.
“Jeffrey Merchant has a high standard of decency and morality that he holds himself to. He values human relationships and has an ability to see diverse cultures and people with appreciation and a willingness to learn from those different from himself. He is a determined individual. If Jeffrey says he is going to do something, you can count on the fact that he will follow through. Both he and his wife are that way, they do not commit to something unless they know they can carry it out.
Also when Jeffrey decides to do something, he will do it 100%. When he applies himself to task, he does it the best he can. He deals with crisis with a calm presence. He knows that with any undertaking there will be many setbacks and difficulties. He anticipates these difficulties and so overcomes them without much distress. He is hardworking, honest and fair in his dealings with other people. ”
“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Jeff through Beehive Homes and in his work with the Wasatch Family Foundation. Jeff actively strives to improve the lives of the oldest and youngest citizens in our community through his business and personal endeavors. As a business owner, he is honest, generous and genuinely cares about the people he employs, and the people who live in his homes.”
“Jeff has been nothing short of kind, generous and giving as well as patient and understanding. One of my favorite things is that he will take the time to listen and consider all sides of a conversation before making a decision. I have never had an issue that I couldn’t bring to him that we could not work out and could not be happier working along side him.”