Congratulations to Senator Robles for your Influential Utahn Recognition for 2010

Senator Ross Romeroby Senator Ross Romero
Senator Minority Whip 

 Senator Luz Robles is ranked #5 among the most influential Utahns for 2010 in today’s Deseret News.    Senator Luz Robles“With immigration arguably being the most hot-button issue of 2010, Utah Senator Luz Robles became the voice for Utah Latinos when she introduced her own immigration legislation in response to the many other proposals by Utah legislators. The first immigrant state senator in Utah, Robles proved this year that she’s not just a face but a leader for the state’s fastest growing population.”

Senator Robles has worked diligently the past two years for Utah and especially for her constituents in District One, advocating for health care, business development, and immigration reform.  Congratulations, senator, for your outstanding effort.

Senator Robles–Recipient of 2010 Pathfinder Award

Senator Luz RoblesToday Senator Luz Robles received one of five 2010 Pathfinder Awards at the Salt Lake Chamber American Express Women & Business Conference.  The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually to a select number of worthy community leaders who have a history of support for women and women’s issues and who have worked to further the development and recognition of women.  An Athena Award is presented annually, as well.   Click here for complete information about the conference and awards.

Senator Robles is Vice President at Zions Bank for the Hispanic/Latino Market.  She also serves her community on various boards of nonprofit organizations and other entities.  Senator Robles was elected to the Utah State Senate in 2008.  She is currently the Senate Minority Caucus Manager.

Senator Robles has a BS degree in Business Marketing and a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.

In 2005 she was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman as the first director for the State Office of Ethnic Affairs–an office that focuses on institutional change when dealing with state agencies and the services they provide to the ethnic community of the state of Utah.  In this position, she oversaw the directors of the Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Pacific Islander Affairs.

CONGRATULATIONS TO SENATOR ROBLES….and thank you to the sponsors of the Salt Lake Chamber American Express Women & Business Conference for recognizing her noteworthy professional accomplishments.

Utah’s Legislature Addresses Gang Activity

by Senator Luz Robles
Senate Minority Caucus Manager
Senate District One

In a ceremony Monday, April 19, Governor Gary Herbert signed ceremonial copies of SJR 2, Joint Resolution on Combating and Reducing Gang Activity, and SB 59, At-risk Student Provisions, which I sponsored during the 2010 Legislative Session.

Senator Luz RoblesGangs are a problem affecting all Utahns.  We can no longer ignore their presence and actions against our communities, and more importantly, their actions against our children who have become prey for many of these groups.  Our children are the future of this state and our nation, and we cannot lose them to this type of activity.

For the past two years, I have been working with various partners and stakeholders in the community to bring solutions to this problem.  Prevention and intervention, not just suppression, are my priorities.

Senate Joint Resolution 2 is a resolution that urges state and local governments to take a comprehensive, collaborative, and communitywide approach to combat and reduce gang activity.  The resolution acknowledges sports, arts, academic, targeted counseling, and employment programs as vehicles to counter gang recruitment.  It is a call to action where all can be involved and ask for collaborative efforts amongst all levels and branches of government to stop gang activity.

Senate Bill 59 requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules that require a local school board or governing board of a charter school to enact gang prevention and intervention policies.

The effort to prevent, intervene, and eliminate gang-related activity in our community is a bipartisan effort.  I want to personally thank the House sponsors of these pieces of legislation, my colleagues from the majority party Representative Ryan Wilcox for SJR 2 and Representative Paul Ray for SB 59.  Without their leadership and commitment, these bills will not be law today.

It is going to require a more comprehensive and holistic effort to reduce the crime and the involvement of our youth in these activities and more awareness from all of us.  I am looking forward to continuing our work toward the ultimate goal of having a community free of gangs.

I want to thank the members of the state Gang Task Force for their work and support.

Recognizing the Work of UNICEF Red

Senator Luz Roblesby Senator Luz Robles
Minority Caucus Manager

This legislative session, I sponsored SJR7 “Joint Resolution on the United Nations Children Fund” in response to a request from a group of students from the University of Utah.  Unfortunately due to politics, the resolution was not assigned to a committee and was held in the Rules Committee through the entire session.

Because I felt it was important to bring the message from this group and to recognize the work of this group, I decided to present a Senate Citation recognizing UNICEF Red.  UNICEF Red is a University of Utah official campus student group, which was recognized for its partnership with the United Nations Children Fund in its effort to save and improve the lives of children all over the world.  The two University of Utah students I worked with drafting the resolution and citation and who accepted the citation on the Senate floor today are:  Sayra Moran, Chair of Advocacy, and Matt Beckstead, Communications Officer, of the UNICEF Red student group.

UNICEF Red is a student-led organization on the campus of the University of Utah that partners with the U. S. Fund for UNICEF to educate, advocate, and fundraise for UNICEF’s lifesaving work.  UNICEF works in more than 150 countries to save children’s lives through immunizations, nutrition, heath care, emergency humanitarian assistance, and programs that confront the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The timing is perfect as hundreds and thousands of children are suffering due to the two horrendous earthquakes that we have seen this year in Haiti and Chile.

Sayra Moran and Matt Beckstead
Sayra Moran and Matt Beckstead of UNICEF Red

Senator McCoy, Thank you for your Service

Senator Luz Roblesby Senator Luz Robles
Senate Minority Caucus Manager
representing Senate District One
 

I want to say that the state of Utah is losing one of the most intelligent, articulate and knowledgeable parliamentarian legislators with Senator Scott McCoy’s resignation.  I feel honored to say that I had the opportunity to work side by side of Scott on issues impacting the quality of lives of the many citizens of this great state.  Whether it be working towards equality and justice for all to adequate liquor laws that allow for Utah to be a more welcoming place to our out-of-state visitors, Scott has always worked in finding viable solutions for a more effective form of government. 

 In this entry I also want to take the opportunity to share some thoughts about the great public service all of our 104 members of the State Legislature provide to the residents of our state.  I know I may agree to disagree with some of the policy positions that some of my colleagues at the Legislature have, but I have no question that their hearts are in the right place and that they work really hard to represent their constituents to the best of their abilities.  I don’t think everyone realizes the sacrifice all public servants and elected officials take on and provide to their constituents.   Some of the sacrifices include, among others, the loss of income, career sacrifices, privacy, and more importantly, time for themselves and their families.

Senator Scott McCoyI am grateful to be able to work with the men and women of our state legislative body, who truly care about their communities of this great state.  Thanks Scott for serving and making a difference in our state.  I know you will continue to serve in different capacities.  Good luck with your future endeavors. 

Senator Robles in the “Spotlight”

Senator Luz RoblesSenator Luz Robles is featured in the Spotlight in the September 2009 issue of Utah Business magazine.  If you have a copy, you can find the article on Page 36, “Luz Robles–Focusing on the Community” or click here to read the story.  Senator Robles discusses her dual role as a Utah State Senator and as the Executive Director of the Zions Bank Business Resource Center.  In both roles, Senator Robles focuses her efforts on helping families.  “It’s going to take a partnership of the private sector and the public sector to help families be more successful and have a better quality of life,” says Senator Robles.  At the Utah Legislature, Senator Robles drafts legislation she hopes will make a difference.  At Zions Bank Business Resource Center, she assists Utahns in becoming successful entrepreneurs and business owners.   

Senator Robles Soccer Camp

Senator Robles Congratulates Childrenby Senator Luz Robles
Minority Caucus Manager
Senate District One

On August 13th, 14th, and 15th, I had the opportunity to host an educational and soccer camp for children in my district.  This was the first year of Senator Robles Soccer Camp, and with the help of amazing volunteers and great sponsors, it was a great success.

The main focus of this event was to provide education for children between the ages of 6 and 10 years old in the areas of gang prevention, civic engagement, healthy habits, and oral health, integrating the great sport of soccer.  We opened the event with a beautiful reception for children and parents at the same location of the camp, which was the Sorenson Unity Center (thanks to all the staff of this facility who made the event a reality; special thanks to Angela).  During the reception, we had informational booths for the parents and children.  We had the visit of Leo the Lion and three players of Real Salt Lake, as well as elected officials of this area (Mayor Ralph Becker, Councilmember Van Turner, Rep. David Litvack and Rep. Jennifer Seelig). 

The rest of the time, the children got their uniform and gear and participated in classes and a soccer clinic provided by one of the most competitive soccer clubs in the state (La Roca FC).  Nutritional meals were provided for the children.  All the kids were very respectful and eager to learn new things, and more importantly, work in teams to stay healthy.

Providing a program like this with no cost for the families of these children was not easy.  I want to thank the sponsors that believe in supporting education and prevention with sports:  Workers Compensation Fund, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, Utah Consumer Lending Association, Gold Cross Ambulance, Rico, U.S. Census, Real Salt Lake, Creative Woodworks, Inc., and Zions Bank.
 
We had great support of presenters who worked really hard with the children:

Healthy habits – Terry (Salt Lake Valley Health Department)
Gang Prevention – Salt Lake City Gang Unity
Oral Health – Regence Caring Foundation
The History of the American Flag – Michael Clara (Leader for the Boys Scouts)
Public Safety – Sergeant David Moreno (Utah Highway Patrol)
Soccer Clinic – Adolfo Ovalle and staff (La Roca FC)

And, of course, thanks to the volunteers that donated countless hours of commitment to caring for all the needs and safety of the children:  Andy Gilbert, Grisett Contreras, Rene Leppe, Drew Martinez, and Jesse K.

My goal is to continue providing this program to more children in my district on an annual basis.  If you have any questions or you are interested in participating in next year’s program, please contact me at: lrobles@utahsenate.org

Senator Robles Addressing the Group

Teaching the Group

Participants

Senator Robles Poses with Participants

Learning about Flags

Learning is Fun

Resolution to Address Gang-related Activity

Senator Luz Roblesby Senator Luz Robles
Senate Minority Caucus Manager

I was very pleased with the positive response yesterday from the Judiciary, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee members with regards to my presentation on my proposed resolution for the State Legislature to act on an interagency coordination of Gang Activity.  Last year I introduced SJR 21, and due to the lack of time, there was no vote in the House of Representatives.  At today’s interim committee meeting, I asked for the Gang Task Force headed by CCJJ and Salt Lake District Attorney Lohra Miller as well as the co-chair of the Gang Reduction Project from Salt Lake City (Leticia Medina) to present on the efforts taking place at their respective groups.  It was refreshing to hear how when we all come together, we can be more proactive in finding aggressive solutions to serious problems. 

My resolution will urge state and local governments to work in collaboration with the federal government in combating and reducing gang activity, focusing on prevention, intervention and suppression.  Working together with law enforcement, community and religious-based organizations as well with the community in general will make this endeavor possible.

This is not an issue that only impacts a specific geographic area of our state, even though it’s true that some areas are seeing more violent crimes due to gang-related activity.  This type of violent and disruptive activity is being seen all over the state.

It is time the State Legislature takes a proactive approach and commits to work with all the other stakeholders in finding real and comprehensive solutions.  I was pleased to see a true bipartisan support for this idea and hope to get a recommendation for this resolution in the next interim committee meeting.

Please take a minute to read the story in the Salt Lake Tribune.
 

First Special Session – 2009

by Senator Luz Robles
Minority Caucus Manager
Senate District One

Senator Luz RoblesThe Utah State Legislature met today to change some technical pieces on laws we passed this last session.  More importantly, we were able to fix the Medicaid hospital provider reimbursement rates, making it the same as all other providers in the state.  Our health care system is seeing a dramatic increase in uninsured and Medicaid caseload growth.  This is when the state needs to take are of our providers to establish continued levels of health care.

I also had the opportunity to be part of the committee to notify Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., that the Legislature had gathered for the First Special Session, and I had the opportunity to personally congratulate the governor on his new position as Ambassador to China.  He was very gracious and seemed eager to serve his country at the national level.  My experience with Governor Huntsman as a former staff member of his administration, and as a Senator, has always been positive.  He will be greatly missed here in the halls of the State Capitol.

Governor Huntsman’s open-mindedness and willingness to listen to all ideas brought a different experience in Utah State government.  I wish him and his family the best of luck in China, and I look forward to working with Lt. Governor Herbert.

Legislative Wrap-up with Senator Robles

Senator Luz Robles

The office of Senator Luz Robles

Invites you to

A Legislative Wrap-up

A hands-on community forum for understanding
the issues facing the 2009 state legislature!

Sorenson Unity Center
1383 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Monday, March 23, 2009
6:30 pm-9:00 pm

In a continuing effort to keep citizens of the State of Utah informed about their government, we are planning a Legislative Wrap-up to discuss the current legislative session.  All are welcome to attend this event for free.

Democratic Leadership from both the House and the Senate have been invited, so please come with questions.  This is a unique opportunity to meet with all of the Democratic leadership in one place.  Come learn what the issues are, ask your questions, and enjoy some free food.  Bring friends, family, and anyone in your community who wants to learn more about their government.