Dustin Gettel: Salt Lake County deserves a serious, experienced council

I am running for the Salt Lake County Council at-large seat that retiring Councilmember Jim Bradley has held since 2000 — because we need more Jim Bradleys in our county government.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake County Government Center pictured on Monday, May 23, 2022.

Every four years, voters are told that the upcoming election will be the most consequential election of our lifetime. In Salt Lake County, nothing less than our right to be equal citizens before the government is at stake. Republican victories could place the county in the hands of unserious people whose policies would have serious consequences — women with less control of their bodies, families with fewer choices about what to read and your LGBTQ+ neighbors, like me, living in increasing fear for themselves and their loved ones.

I am running for the Salt Lake County Council at-large seat that retiring Councilmember Jim Bradley has held since 2000 — because we need more Jim Bradleys in our county government.

While some members of the county GOP have been laser-focused on which body parts are allowed into which locker rooms, county Democrats have taken action to actually improve our lives — like improving air quality, housing the unhoused, more affordable housing options and better access to public transportation.

County voters have spoken at the ballot box: They want effective, problem-solving elected officials and not divisive politicians who score cheap political victories at the expense of the LGBTQ+ community, men and women of color and our unhoused population. In my six years on the Midvale City Council, I have witnessed the power of serious elected officials tackling serious issues that impact our residents’ health, safety and well-being. We’ve extended paid parental leave to all city employees; created a down payment assistance program for residents, teachers, and public safety employees; and have continued to provide more affordable housing units throughout the city.

Because our mayor and city council have worked together, Midvale has enacted these positive changes without large tax increases or deep cuts to essential services. Midvale, like many other surrounding cities — and the county as a whole — certainly has issues that will require creative and thoughtful solutions, but hurtful, hyperbolic and unhinged rhetoric intentionally crafted to sow dissension among us moves us farther from that goal.

When the Republican-controlled county council recently attempted to restrict locker room access for transgender folks at county recreational facilities, Democrats Arlyn Bradshaw, Jim Bradley, Ann Granato and Suzanne Harrison stood strong and at least temporarily defeated the proposed ordinance. Make no mistake about it: If Republicans win one or two additional seats on the county council in 2024, the lives of women, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community will be severely threatened for at least the next decade.

As your next county council member, I will always speak out against any attempt to restrict our freedoms. Equally as important, I will also bring the municipal government experience and temperament needed to help lead a county government entrusted with nearly $2 billion of taxpayer money. Salt Lake County voters will have a choice this November: Elect a council of serious leaders with experience leading on the issues that matter the most, or elect fly-by-night politicians begging for Twitter likes and fringe media appearances.

I am confident Salt Lake County voters will make the right decision.

Dustin Gettel

Dustin Gettel is currently serving his second term on the Midvale City Council having been first elected in 2017 and re-elected in 2021. He is running to become the 2024 Democratic nominee for Salt Lake County Council At-Large C.

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