Social justice advocate seeks Democratic nomination for Utah House

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Angela Romero, a lifelong Democrat, has been working within the party for years, and is now launching her bid for the Utah House of Representatives. In a bid for House District 26, against fellow Democrat Brian Doughty, Romero said she hopes to bring years of experience working with Sen. Pete Suazo, Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Rep. David Litvack and others to the Utah House. She spoke with QSaltLake about her history advocating for social justice and her support for queer-rights issues. 

When did you decide to run and why?

I’m running for House District 26 because I care about my community and want to ensure our voices are heard in the state legislature. District 26 is largely the west end of Salt Lake City. The Glendale neighborhood is the heart of District 26, but it also branches out into West Valley City, Central City and Downtown Salt Lake City. I have lived, worked and volunteered on the west side of Salt Lake for over 20 years, primarily advocating for social justice. I have the experience as a community organizer in the area and know the issues and needs of the community. As for when I decided to run, I have considered running for elected office for a number of years, but when Rep. David Litvack announced he was resigning from the Legislature, I decided that now was the right time for me to step up.  

What are some of the issues that are most important to you?

The issues that are most important to me are education, health care, and social justice and human rights.

Supporting public education is important to me.  The majority of elementary-aged students live on the west side of Salt Lake City. Our public schools need support to improve graduation rates and the achievement gap that disadvantages students of color and other marginalized groups.

Access to quality health care is important to me. District 26 has many residents that cannot afford or have difficulty with access to health care. I’m interested in identifying ways to manage cost and provide affordable health care for all Utahns.

I have been and always will be a strong advocate for issues of social justice and human rights.  As a Democrat that will represent one of the most diverse districts in Utah, I will fight for our communities of color, our LGBT community and our working families.

What bills/issues would you champion next session?

At this point, I don’t know what bills I will champion.  I will support and fight for issues and legislation that grants equal rights to all Utahns. I will support legislation that protects and supports our public schools. I also will support legislation that identifies ways to manage cost and provide affordable health care for all Utahns.

Would you support a statewide nondiscrimination bill protecting against bias in the workplace and housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity? Why or why not?

Absolutely. As a person of color and an advocate for social justice and human rights, I believe that all people should be treated equally regardless of their race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. I do not tolerate discrimination or prejudice in any form. I would not only support a statewide nondiscrimination bill, I would be an advocate fighting for its passage. 

Would you support a statewide second-parent adoption bill to allow unmarried couples, including gay couples, to adopt? Why or why not?

Being a parent and raising a child has been the most important and rewarding experience I have ever done. As I mentioned above, I believe everyone should be treated equally and deciding to start or becoming a family is part of that equality. I feel that anyone that is in a position to adopt and provide a loving household for a child should have the opportunity to do so. I would strongly support a second-parent adoption bill.

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