Celeste Maloy: A message of hope, commitment and gratitude for 2024

I have gone right to work for Utah and am committed to transparency, close connections with our communities and “better days through better ways.”

(Stephanie Scarbrough | The Associated Press) Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., ceremonially swears in Celeste Maloy, R-Utah, to the House of Representatives to succeed former Rep. Chris Stewart, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

First, let me thank you for trusting me to represent you as your member of Congress in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. The tremendous responsibility and honor that accompanies this office has been impressed upon me every minute since I was sworn in a month ago.

Second, please allow me to wish you a very happy new year. I hope that together we share a 2024 that brings peace, prosperity and true happiness to you and your families.

Beginning a new year can be a very special, productive time; a time to reflect on the old year and set goals for the new year. This year, for me, that is a much bigger task than it has ever been. I am extremely grateful to the people of Utah’s 2nd Congressional District who put their faith in me. I’m grateful for our great state. I’m grateful to live in a country that was founded on the principle of liberty, and I’m grateful for the Constitution that protects that liberty. For those reasons, I am resolved to make this my best year yet.

As I look back at the old and ahead to the new year, I am reflecting on what hope I can offer Utahns. Perhaps there are some who are feeling tired or jaded, or who are losing faith in our institutions. I spent a lot of time on the campaign trail talking with Utahns who are frustrated with the current state of the government. It is easy to look at the out-of-control spending, the polarization, the scandals and the conflict in D.C. and feel like we are failing the generations who gave us this freedom. In this time of resolutions, I remain resolved to live up to the promises they handed down to us.

Four weeks ago, when I was sworn in to Congress, I was allowed one minute for my first speech. I quoted part of the FFA creed that says, “I believe … in the promise of better days through better ways.” My New Year’s resolution is to find better ways. One of the ways I am already trying to do that is to regularly report through local media what I am doing and how I am voting. I believe that local accounting will help remove the distance between the decisions made in Washington and the people of Utah.

I am building a great team of committed individuals who have gone right to work for Utah. We are opening two additional offices in the 2nd District — one in Richfield and one in Delta — to ensure that constituents have easy access to their representative. We hear how much you care about your communities, the state and the country. I am optimistic that being integrated with these communities will give us better opportunities to serve our neighbors.

It’s my desire to represent the people of Utah’s 2nd District with civility and grace, and I want to reiterate that here. With all of the elections coming up in 2024, it will be a great time for Utahns to model a better way of disagreeing about policies without personal rancor or ad hominem attacks. I am optimistic that we can show the country a better way to run for and hold office.

In a time where national headlines and media outlets dominate the political conversation, I am committed to focusing on local issues and local media. It is easy to get caught up in large, national conversations and ignore the smaller, local concerns like rural post offices, the routing of power lines through farmland or our local governments caught up in onerous federal permitting. I am optimistic that with focus and resolve, I can prove to my constituents that I care what is happening in their local areas.

During times of upheaval, we can change the status quo through better ways. I am hopeful that 2024 can be a year of positive changes in Congress and in politics. So many things can change in a year, and, though there are many challenges ahead, there is so much to be optimistic about. Thank you again for your trust, and happy new year!

Celeste Maloy is the U.S. representative for Utah’s 2nd Congressional district.

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