Utah Democratic Leader Todd Taylor’s Memorial Details Announced

Dear Friends,

The out pouring of support for our late friend, Todd Taylor, has been incredible.  Phone calls from every corner of Utah, across the entire country, and even from Europe have made it to our office, to say nothing of the memorials on Twitter and Facebook.  Todd had an astonishing impact on all of us, and has left an irreplaceable void.  He will be missed.

A viewing will be held on Sunday, March 11, 2012, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary (260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah).

A memorial will be held in Todd’s honor at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center at 138 West Broadway (300 So.) in Salt Lake City on Monday, March 12th, 2012. The family will receive friends from 11:45-12:45 p.m. The service will begin at 1:00 and will be followed by an internment at the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park on 3401 South Highland Drive.

Following the service, an open house celebrating Todd’s life will be held for friends and family at the Utah Democratic Party Headquarters on 825 North 300 West in Salt Lake City, from 2:30-5:30 p.m.

Finally, Todd’s contributions to our world and politics can never be forgotten.  In lieu of flowers or cards, the Taylor Family has requested contributions to a “Todd Taylor Intern Scholarship Fund,” to be used to at any of Utah’s colleges or universities for students engaging and supporting Democratic politics.  Contributions can be sent to the below address or made online here:

Taylor Internship Fund
c/o Utah State Democratic Party
825 N 300 W, Ste C400
Salt Lake City, UT 84103



Jim Dabakis
Utah State Democratic Party


Both Houses of the Utah Legislature Honor the Great Todd Taylor

Utah House of Representatives observe a moment of silence in honor of the late Todd Taylor. Pic via Brian Grimmett (kuer)

Salt Lake City – Both houses of the Utah State Legislature honored the passing of Democratic Party sage Todd Taylor this afternoon. Watch the video below.

House Democratic Leader, Representative David Litvack took a moment to honor the memory of  Utah’s greatest Democrat, Todd Taylor.  Representative Litvack was immediately followed by Representative Patrice Arent (D), who asked the House for a moment of silence to honor Todd’s memory. The entire House body, as well as those in the gallery, rose in silence as a tribute to the man who gave us all so much.

The Utah State Senate also showed their respects, resolving into a Committee Of The Whole so that Utah State Democratic Party Chairman, Jim Dabakis, could speak of our recently departed friend.   Jim invited current and former party officers to join him on the floor while Senators and observers stood together for a moment of silence.

Watch the video of Jim’s speech below.

Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness

From the Salt Lake Tribune

Advocates for Alzheimer’s education rally at Utah Capitol

Senator Karen Morgan-D, Cottonwood Heights

Alzheimer’s disease and its crushing burdens on caregivers, families, the health care system, businesses, worker productivity and taxpayers’ wallets must be addressed, a crowd of about 200 agreed during a Capitol rally Wednesday.

Billed as an advocacy day for Alzheimer’s and other dementias and sponsored by the Utah chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the event was aimed at lawmakers who are considering a bill outlining a five-year state plan to address the 100,000 Utahns expected to have the incurable brain-wasting diseases by 2025. That would be a 127 percent increase since 2000, the highest growth rate in the nation.

For 13-year-old Boo Bustos, sitting in the front row, the rally was about his late grandparents, Cherie and Ed Hoerman, who lived with Boo’s family after their Alzheimer’s diagnoses. They both died, his grandfather in fall 2010, his grandmother last October.

Boo said he misses having them at home.

“After they had Alzheimer’s, they knew who I was,” Boo said. “But they couldn’t remember my name.”

Sen. Karen Morgan, D-Salt Lake City, and Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss, D-Salt Lake City, are cosponsors of SJR1, the Alzheimer’s State Plan Joint Resolution, now moving through the Legislature. A 20-member task force made recommendations that encourage state agencies, the private sector, the media and corporate and philanthropic organizations to make Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias a top priority. Morgan says she also is working on a bill that would put some of that plan into statute.

Key to the effort is eliminating the stigma that surrounds sufferers and their families by bringing the illness into the open.

Boo plays football with a recreation league team called the Royals. He asked team members to wear purple socks for a game — purple is the color for Alzheimer’s awareness — and posted his plan on a web site. Eight other rec teams wore purple socks, too. At Boo’s game, his parents hung a banner that said, “Royals knock the socks off Alzheimer’s.”

He wants other kids to understand what is happening with their older relatives when they have dementia. “It’s not a good disease,” he said. “If your grandparents get it, try to spend more time with them.”


Senator Karen Mayne’s Bill Would Save Lives



For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com

Senator Karen Mayne working to save women’s lives

SALT LAKE CITY – Senator Karen Mayne-D, West Valley City, is sponsoring a bill that will aid in the fight against breast cancer.  Senate Bill 31 would require doctors to notify a woman if she has dense breast tissue if it has been discovered in a mammogram.   When a woman has dense breast tissue it may be difficult to detect if breast cancer is present.   The bill would simply require that the patient be notified that she has dense breast tissue, along with a recommendation  to consult with her doctor for more information.

“This bill will save lives,” she says. “It’s about arming women with knowledge. Knowledge is power.”

The bill will be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee today, January 25,  at 2:00pm  in Room 250 of the Utah State Capitol.

For more information or media requests, please contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.com or 435-590-9961


Senator Robles Working for Utah’s veterans



For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961

Senator Luz RoblesSenator Luz Robles presents bills supporting the men and women of the military

SALT LAKE CITY, January 24, 2012 – Senator Luz Robles, D—Salt Lake City (District 1) will present two pieces of legislation that will affect Utah’s military personnel.   The bills will be presented to the Senate Revenue & Taxation Committee today, and will expand a property tax exemption to military members who have performed military service in a combat zone.


“Utah’s men and women who serve in the military make a tremendous sacrifice on behalf of our country,” said Senator Robles.  “I think it’s important that we do whatever we can to help them here at home.  Extending certain property tax exceptions to qualified military personnel is one way we can do that.”


Robles’ two bills will be heard at the 4:00 pm committee in Room 250 at the State Capitol


SJR008 Joint Resolution on Property Tax Exemption for Military Personnel


SB0116 Armed Forces Property Tax Exemption

Who: Senator Luz Robles

What: Presentation of SJR008 and SB0116

Where: State Capitol, Room 250

When: 4:00pm




Senator Karen Mayne: Bill would ban local governments from meeting during caucuses

From the Salt Lake Tribune
by Pamela Manson

Two state legislators say they plan to introduce a bill that would ban local government groups — from city and county councils to school boards — from meeting when major political parties are holding their neighborhood caucuses.

The goal is to reduce scheduling conflicts and increase attendance at the caucus meetings, where attendees vote for county and state delegates. The delegates then attend state and county conventions, where they choose their party’s candidates for every office that is up for election in November.

The sponsors of the measure, Rep. Kraig Powell, R-Heber City, and Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, said the legislation would be the first to amend the state Open and Public Meetings Act to specify when public bodies would not be allowed to meet.

The candidates chosen by the caucus-convention process win the November election in Utah “in virtually all cases,” according to a statement from Powell and Mayne.

“Whether you are Democrat, Republican, unaffiliated or anything else, I believe it is your patriotic duty in this state to at least be at your neighborhood caucus for one night every two years,” Mayne said.

Powell told The Salt Lake Tribune that caucuses are for everyone, not just party activists. He said “unaffiliated” is the most popular choice when voters register and that those Utahns are not attending the meetings.

“They can and should still participate in the neighborhood caucus,” Powell said. “I believe Utah’s caucus day is the real election day.”

The bill, titled Utah’s Real-Election-Day Education for Neighborhood Caucuses Act, also would require the lieutenant governor to publicize the date and time of the neighborhood caucuses. This year, the Democrats are holding their caucus meetings on March 13 and the Republicans on March 15.

Other parties will announce their caucus dates individually.

In West Valley City, Mayor Mike Winder has proposed that the City Council pass a resolution saying West Valley will not hold council, committee or other meetings on the nights that political parties hold their caucuses.

The resolution also would call on other governments, religious organizations, businesses and community groups to adjust their schedules to avoid conflicting with the caucuses.

The proposed West Valley resolution is scheduled for a vote at the council regular meeting on Tuesday. The proposed bill is slated to be introduced at the opening of next week’s legislative session.



House and Senate Dems to hold Media Availability immediately following Governor’s State of the State Address




For more information, contact:
Emily Bingham Hollingshead
Communications Director, Utah Senate Democrats
Ph: 435.590.9961
E:    emily.hollingshead@gmail.com


Utah House and Senate Democrats to hold Media Availability immediately following Governor’s State of the State Address, January 25, 2012


Who:          Utah House and Senate Democrats

What:         Media Availability in Response Governor Herbert’s State of the State Response

Where:      House of Representatives Lounge

When:        Wednesday, January 25, 2012 immediately following the Governor’s speech


Utah House and Senate Democrats, led by Democratic Leaders Ross Romero and David Litvack, will be available immediately following the Governor’s State of the State response to discuss the Governor’s proposals.


Members of the media are requested to meet with the Democratic legislators in the House Lounge of the Utah House of Representatives as soon as the Governor finishes his remarks and leaves the chamber.


In addition to the media availability, a pre-recorded response will also be available to all media outlets on Wednesday morning.  To receive a copy, call Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats, or visit us online at www.utahsenatedemocrats.org.


For more information, contact Emily Hollingshead, Communications Director for the Utah Senate Democrats:  emily.hollingshead@gmail.com or 435-590-9961


Senator, teachers ask for parent involvement in education

From KSL
by Molly Farmer

SALT LAKE CITY — When Liz Holloran asks one boy in her classroom why he does so well on tests, or why he’s so responsible at studying and homework, she always gets the same answer: “My Mom.”


Holloran, a fifth grade honors teacher at Westland Elementary, sees first-hand how important parental involvement is in producing successful children — a topic one Utah senator is planning to take on during the 2012 Legislative session.


Parents and communities — not just schools and teachers — have a responsibility to educate children, according to Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay. The assistant minority whip is drafting a resolution that would encourage parental engagement in hopes of highlighting her belief that it takes a community to truly educate a child.


“One of the common things that I hear (from teachers) is parents really are not taking the responsibility that they should be taking,” Jones said. “We need to engage parents and the community in getting them involved.”

That includes adequately preparing students for kindergarten, helping them with homework, reading aloud to them, volunteering in the classroom and more. She said her resolution is based in part on studies that show schools with active Parent Teacher Associations have higher student achievement than those who don’t.


Margaret Wahlstrom, spokeswoman for the Utah PTA, said her organization definitely supports the message of the resolution, but has not taken a formal position since it isn’t completed and filed.


“If the whole family is committed to the education of the children, there are beacoup studies that show students are more successful,” Wahlstrom said. “It’s just a win for everybody. … It is a no-brainer.”


Holloran said parents, regardless of their work schedule, would benefit from knowing the positive impact they have by following through with their children at home.


“I get to teach those kids,” she said. “When they are inspired and when they are motivated … I’m a teacher now, I’m not a disciplinarian.”


Jones said it troubles her that so often schools and teachers are maligned when students fail, when parents shirk their responsibility at home while “letting the schools pick up the pieces.”


Jones said she understands the challenges parents face, especially since many work long hours, or have long commutes, leaving little time to spend with their children. In those situations, Jones said community members need to step in to help.


“(It’s about) extending their arms to other kids that might not have that parental support,” she said.


Teachers have to fulfill tertiary roles as stand-in school nurses or counselors in addition to providing instruction and need all the support they can get, she said.


Kory Holdaway, government affairs director at the Utah Education Association, said Jones’ effort is something teachers will get behind.


“When we have the number of students that are being put into classrooms as we do… it just stands to reason that the more support that we can offer in the classroom the better services we can provide,” Holdaway said.


Beyond being attentive at home, Holdaway said parent volunteers who help out in the classroom regularly mean a lot to teachers, who have taken on more responsibilities in the last 20 years. He said he’d like to see the number of parents who volunteer in secondary schools match the number who spend time in earlier years.


“There’s a good part of that that goes on in elementary schools but it begins to diminish when we get into junior high and high school,” he said. “I think we need to figure out a way to keep those parents engaged.”


Holloran said she’s seen how successful children can be when parents and teachers work together.


“You do need that parent piece,” she said. “It’s very difficult to legislate parenthood, though. People have to know for themselves.”