Letter: Rep. Owens’ to-do list highlights disconnect between constituents and politicians

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Burgess Owens at the Capitol building in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.

“It’s no secret: the Utah Legislature and the U.S. Congress frequently don’t reflect the wishes of their constituents.” Thus begins an Aug. 23 article by Andy Larsen. It notes that according to polling mainly by the nonpartisan Hinckley Institute of Politics, these are the biggest issues agreed upon by a large majority of Utah residents: Gun law reform (90%); equal sentencing laws (73%); full-day kindergarten (72%); free bus service in SLC (72%); Equal Rights Amendment (71%); and sex ed beyond abstinence (68%).

In contrast, an email I received today from one of our four congressional representatives (Burgess Owens) listed these as “top issues that Congress should focus on”: “Securing our elections”; “Securing the southern border”; “Ending inflation and runaway spending”; “Protecting 2A rights”; “Ending human trafficking”; and “Protecting religious freedom.” He provides no source or percentages for any of these issues.

Of course, one can expect a certain disconnect between state and national issues. Still, the degree of disconnect here is striking. One list is nonpartisan, the other just the opposite. At a time of almost open warfare between the two parties in Congress, I can’t help but think we need some Andy Larsens there!

Tom Huckin, Salt Lake City

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