Senator Robles Honored by Utah Minority Bar Association

This evening, Senator Luz Robles will be honored by the Utah Minority Bar Association (UMBA) at its scholarship and awards dinner.  She will receive the Pete Suazo Community Service Award for her passionate advocacy on behalf of Utah’s minority population.

Congratulations, Senator Robles!

Seventeen scholarships will be awarded to Brigham Young University and University of Utah law students who have provided service and leadership to Utah’s minority community.  In addition, UMBA will launch its new Diversity Pipeline Initiative, a mentoring program which will pair scholarship winners with attorneys from the law firm of Holland & Hart, LLP.

Founded in 1991, UMBA is an organization of Utah lawyers committed to promoting diversity and addressing issues that impact racial and ethnic minorities, especially within the legal community.


2012 Children’s Champion Award for Senator Karen Morgan

Yesterday at the annual Children’s Champions Luncheon sponsored by Voices for Utah Children, Senator Karen Morgan was honored as a Legislative Champion for her efforts to improve education.  She received the 2012 Children’s Champion Award.  This event brings together Utah’s most influential community and business leaders to support Voices for Utah Children and to focus on important children’s issues.

“Voices for Utah Children is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to improve the lives of children and families by advocating for effective programs and policies. Voices for Utah Children believes that all children should be healthy and safe, ready for school and live in families that can meet their needs and invest in their future.”

Congratulations, Senator Morgan, on this well-deserved recognition.


Senator Karen Morgan Honored by Canyons Board of Education

Tonight Senator Karen Morgan received the Apex Legacy Award from the Canyons School District Board of Education, the highest honor bestowed by the Board.  The Board of Education’s Apex Awards are designed to express gratitude to community leaders and educators who have served as champions of public education and who exemplify the Board’s four tenets of fostering student achievement, community engagement, innovation, and customer service.

Below is information on the Canyons School District website about Senator Morgan:

“The imprint of Karen Morgan’s guiding hand can be seen throughout Canyons School District, from its kindergarten classrooms to its high school graduation ceremonies. Widely known for her efforts to improve education, the Utah State Senator and Democrat from Cottonwood Heights carried the bill that led to the creation of Utah’s first new school district in a century. The former high school teacher’s efforts since have opened doors to innovation, improved student achievement, and unprecedented community engagement in public schools. Sen. Morgan’s vision for improving education for schoolchildren extends beyond Canyons’ borders.  She worked tirelessly to reduce class size and improve reading education for Utah’s youngest students.  She founded the University of Utah Reading Clinic, and has served on the Utah Governor’s Literacy Commission, the 3Rs Advisory Board, and as Vice President of the Utah Children’s Reading Foundation. Sen. Morgan never wavered in her advocacy to improve public education for all children, not in her five terms of service in the Utah House of Representatives, nor in her term of service in the Utah Senate, from which she is retiring this year. For her advocacy on behalf of communities and children, and vision to improve public education, the Canyons Board of Education offers to Karen Morgan its highest honor, the Apex Legacy Award.”






Tonauac Award for Senator Romero

Last night, Senate Minority Leader Ross Romero received one of the 2012 Tonauac Awards from Federacion de Mexicanos Unidos en Utah (FMUU).  “The name Tonauac comes from the Nahuatl Language.  It means Bearer of Light.  The FMUU has named the award in honor of light bearers who strive to make our community better by their service.”

Congratulations, Senator Romero, on your distinguished honor as one of the recipients of the 2012 Tonauac Awards.

Adopt a Girl Scout Troop

by Senator Karen Mayne
Senate District 5

With vision for the future of our young women, I adopted Girl Scout Troop #177.  I recall so vividly my summers at Camp Cloud Rim.  I learned to swim in the lake and hike in the mountains.  The skills I learned as a Girl Scout have served me well as an adult, such as citizenship, leadership, and community service.  Selling cookies developed my marketing skills and taught me to count change.  Who knows….I probably use these skills in my work at the Utah State Senate.

If you want to be a part of a young person’s life, adopt a Girl Scout troop.  Call Girl Scouts of Utah for more information at (801) 265-8472.

Karen Morgan named Legislative Children’s Champion

Senator Karen Morgan will be honored at the 2012 Children’s Champions Luncheon as a Legislative Children’s Champion.  Senator Morgan is being recognized for her legacy on capitol hill of working to  improve education outcomes for Utah’s kids.

The luncheon will take place on Thursday, September 1 from noon to 1:30 pm at Little America.  For more information,  call 801-364-1182.

National CPR Awareness Week

Did you know that this week is National CPR Awareness Week?

Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. It can happen to anyone at any time. Many victims appear healthy with no known risk factors.

Surviving sudden cardiac arrest depends on a public trained in CPR.   That’s why I support policies that would train every high school student in our state in CPR.

Less than one-third of sudden cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR. CPR can double, or even triple, a victim’s chance of survival.

Hands-on CPR training would prepare high school students to act in a medical emergency — at school, at home, or in the community. CPR can be taught in less than 30 minutes at little to no cost to school districts.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Best regards,

Senator Ross Romero
Minority Leader – Utah Senate Democrats

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


Thank You

After a long 45 days, another legislative session comes to a close.  This year’s end is bittersweet for me – as I move on to new adventures, I think back over the past 8 years with gratitude for the many wonderful experiences I have had while serving in the Utah Legislature.

I must first extend a heart felt thank you to my family for their support.  I also must thank the many individuals here at the legislature who spend countless hours researching legislation, writing bills, preparing the budget, and making sure everything goes smoothly.  I am especially grateful to Janeen Halverson, our Minority Executive Assistant, and Emily Hollingshead, our Caucus Communications Director, who go above and beyond  the call of duty to make sure that our caucus is well taken care of.

Every year we are given the opportunity to work with incredibly bright interns who put their heart and soul into the work we do.  I want to especially thank the Senate Democratic Interns:  Nicholas Dunn, Candace Gibson, Samantha West, Marissa Moon, Joey Pitt, Adam Sachs, and Hannah Hansen.  Their energy and commitment is contagious.

I am proud to have served with legendary Democrats like Karen Morgan, Pat Jones, Ben McAdams, Karen Mayne, Luz Robles, and Gene Davis.  Your commitment to your constituents, Democratic values, and all Utah families inspires me and makes me proud to be a Utah Democrat.

I’d also like to thank our Republican colleagues for the collaborative way that the Utah Senate works.  I respect and appreciate President Waddoups and his leadership team for always making sure that the process was fair and inclusive.  I’d also like to wish President Waddoups well as he moves into retirement.  He has served Utah for more than 25 years.   I am honored to have known him, and thank him for his dedication, commitment, and service to the people in his district.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you – the many people who become engaged in government.   Your desire to make Utah an even better place is why we serve.   Thank you for your emails, letters, and visits to the Capitol.  Your civic involvement is by far the most important part of the process.

And so, the session comes to a close.  As I complete my final term in the Utah Senate, I am proud to have been a part of this work.   I hope we will all continue to do our part.  By participating in caucus meetings, volunteering for a political campaign, contacting your legislators or by joining us for interim days on the hill, your voice will be heard.  Though I am leaving the Utah Senate, my years of service are not over.  No matter what happens in the months ahead, I will always find a way to be involved in the work.

Thank you, again, for your support.

Yours in service,


Senator Ross Romero
Democratic Leader in the Utah Senate

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.