The next in this series of candidate profiles is one of my favorite people in the Utah political scene. She is an honors graduate of Westminster College with a degree in business and economics, and a Certificate in International Business. She is retired, having served a distinguished career with the Utah Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. She currently serves on a number of boards, including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People–Salt Lake Branch and the Utah Stonewall Democrats. She is none other than the incomparable Josie Valdez.
Josie is running for Utah Senate in District 8, the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Karen Morgan. In her words, “Utah must have a voice of balance and a voice of reason at the Capitol – I will be that voice. Utah must have diversity in thought and we must have diversity represented at the Capitol – I will be that representation. I will bring energy and vitality to the Democratic side of the aisle and speak loud and clear on issues affecting justice, equality, and fairness.”
I first met Josie when she was running for Lieutenant Governor on the ticket with Bob Springmeyer in 2008. She came to a meet-the-candidates event that I helped organize in Tooele. I was immediately impressed by her energy and her passion for the political process. She is a champion of equality for all people, and works tirelessly for the benefit of the people of Utah.
Josie’s first priority has always been, and will always be, the issues affecting Utah’s families. Josie believes that we must do everything we can to help strengthen and protect our families – traditional and non-traditional alike.
I asked Josie the same four questions I’ve asked all of the candidates whom I’ve met, and these are her answers.
First, with regard to statewide nondiscrimination ordinances for housing and employment: “I support the adoption of a statewide nondiscrimination law in both housing and employment.”
Second, with regard to shared insurance benefits: “Benefits should be extended to domestic partners, as should hospital visitation rights and funeral rights.”
Third: “There should be no distinction about adoption when it comes to LGBT adoptions.”
And finally, “I believe there should be recognition of civil unions for everyone in the state of Utah.”
Josie is a candidate that doesn’t mince words. She says what she feels and she means what she says. In my (less than humble) opinion, Josie Valdez is a voice that we need in the Utah Senate. She is a kind and compassionate woman, but she will never shy away from the fight that needs fought.
Josie is currently in a primary, which will be held June 26. If you live in Senate 8 (Murray, Midvale, Cottonwood Heights), it is imperative that you register and vote. This will be one of those elections in which every vote not only counts, but is crucial.
I encourage all of you to get involved in Josie’s campaign. She needs voters, she needs volunteers and she needs donations. You don’t need to live in Senate 8 to be a part of the campaign, and we all need Josie to win this election. Her voice will be your voice on the hill.