As the Founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air, many people have asked me who I support as Salt Lake City’s mayor — Erin Mendenhall or Luz Escamilla. We are lucky to have two strong women as the final candidates and but after much consideration, I decided Luz was the superior candidate.

Erin did get her start in public service with Utah Moms for Clean Air about 10 years ago. She did excellent work for us, and then with Breathe Utah when our organization split into two groups. I was also so impressed with her when she originally ran for City Council. When I first heard her publicly speak in this role, I said, “Wow, she has what it takes and will go far in politics.”

But sadly, it seems to me that her swift rise in Utah's political arena has resulted in her being more politician than citizen-advocate. I get the feeling that the excitement of playing with the monied power brokers in our state has compromised her values. I am deeply disappointed that she has used her power on City Council to fast-track the dirty inland port. You cannot be an advocate for cleaner air in Utah and support a port heavily dependent on dirty fossil fuels.

Luz, on the other hand, has a long public record and she has been consistent in adhering to her values and the values I hold dear. She has been elected by her district three times to the Utah Senate, and she has solid plans to address Utah’s air pollution problem, provide proper healthcare, and strengthen public education. She has championed after-school programs and passed measures to improve the lives of working families of Salt Lake City.

So, Luz Escamilla has my support and I hope she will be Salt Lake City’s next mayor.

Cherise Udell, Salt Lake City