Jenny Wilson, the mayor of Salt Lake County, said that the county is strong and “stronger together” when people work together to solve problems.
“The state of our county remains strong. I believe as a community, and with teamwork, we will continue to thrive. I look to 2023 as a chance to rebuild and rediscover our strengths,” Wilson said. “I challenge all of you to be a part of the county’s success. This is your county.”
On Monday night, Wilson spoke about the county’s state at the Viridian Library in West Jordan. She began by talking about how Salt Lake County “bounced back” from the tourism crisis and now has a low unemployment rate and many small businesses that do well.
“As we enter 2023, Salt Lake County remains one of the best counties in the nation to live, work and raise a family. The evidence is clear,” Wilson said.
Wilson said that she was happy. Salt Lake County can host events that bring people from all over the country, like the Outdoor Retailer Show, which is back this month, the Sundance Film Festival, which is still going on, and the NBA All-Star game, which is coming up in February.
Wilson said about All-Star Weekend, “I’m looking forward to all the sights, fun, and energy that will be in downtown Salt Lake.”
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During her speech, Wilson talked about how COVID-19 killed more than 1,800 family members, friends, and neighbors in Salt Lake County. She praised the health department’s “tireless” work and said she is proud of the people in the county for being strong and helping each other through that hard time.
Wilson said that investments in economic development, senior centers, recreation, the arts, parks, and libraries are “the foundation” of the county’s quality of life.
But Wilson still has problems he wants to solve in the coming year.
“Too many families and small businesses are still struggling to make ends meet. Too many children still wonder when their next meal will be served. Too many residents are still unable to afford a home of their own. And too many of our neighbors still feel unwelcome,” Wilson said. “Side by side with you, I will continue to work to assure that Salt Lake County becomes a better, more fair, more prosperous, and more inclusive community than ever before.”
The mayor talked about how the county is putting money into affordable housing, a network of biking and hiking trails, projects to save water, senior centers, programs to help people get jobs, and protecting nature.
“Our valley is lucky to have beautiful scenery and places to go for fun. Let’s keep these important places safe. “She said this about the Open Space Trust Fund investment.
Wilson said she is “very encouraged” by the progress the county has made, but she is looking forward to working with the community more to improve health outcomes, improve the criminal justice system, and deal with homelessness. She said that problems could be solved more easily when people from all over the community work together.
Wilson said that division is “the most poisonous thing we have to deal with” in politics and our neighborhoods. She told everyone to “pack your patience” and “put kindness to your neighbors first.”
The mayor told everyone in the county that she would start a book club to unite people. “Basketball: A Love Story” by Jackie MacMullan, Rafe Bartholomew, and Dan Klores is the first book in this project. It was written in time for the NBA All-Star Weekend, which is coming soon.
“Individually we are all important and we make our mark, but together we are always stronger. Salt Lake County can be our own ‘love story,’ I know it’s mine,” she said.
The mayor said there would be a discussion about the book during All-Star Weekend, and she hopes everyone will read and enjoy the book.
“Salt Lake County is and will continue to be, a shining example to the rest of the nation, and I will continue to do my very best to put plans in motion that unify, celebrate, and honor all that we are,” Wilson said.
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