Derek Kitchen announces bid for Salt Lake City Council

The namesake for Kitchen v. Herbert announced his candidacy for the Salt Lake City Council District 4 today at Caputo’s Market in downtown Salt Lake City.

Saying he was raised in South Jordan, Utah, Kitchen has lived in downtown Salt Lake since 2006. He and his partner, Moudi Sbeity, started Laziz Foods at the Downtown Farmers Market in 2012, selling Middle Eastern spreads. In 2013, the couple signed on as plaintiffs with Restore Our Humanity in federal court to challenge Utah’s Amendment 3 and other laws that barred same-sex marriage.

“Being both a resident and a business owner in District 4, I have a unique and valuable understanding of our neighborhood,” Kitchen said at a press conference announcing his candidacy. “My involvement in this landmark [Kitchen v. Herbert] litigation allowed me to become an advocate for equality and fairness in our city and state, for which I am very grateful.”

“As a progressive business leader in District 4, I have focused on creating an environmentally and financially sustainable business,” Kitchen continued. “Laziz operates out of a solar-powered production kitchen and has been recognized as a Zero Waste business by the Utah Recycling Alliance for diverting more than 90% of our waste from the landfill.”

“As a resident of Downtown, I know firsthand the important issues facing our neighborhood, whether it’s helping our homeless neighbors, working to eliminate drug trafficking or focusing on community and economic development in our growing city. Our population is expected to nearly double in the next 35 years. District 4 needs a progressive and creative decision maker to advocate for smart planning to handle increased density, air quality, transportation and education for our residents. Choices that are made today will determine the quality and character of our city for years to come,” he said.

“As a city councilman, I will work to be a bridge-builder for city government with developers, business leaders and community members. I will also be a strong voice for increasing livability and downtown vibrancy through bringing new residents and businesses, while promoting affordable housing and an improved public transportation network throughout the city. I will be an active and energetic voice for District 4 to help Salt Lake become a lean, green, and vibrant city,” he concluded.

Kitchen was introduced by Caputo’s Market CEO Matt Caputo and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who said Kitchen was his first political endorsement in his career.

So far, Kitchen will be up against one other candidate — Salt Lake County Hispanic Democratic Caucus Chair Nate Salazar. District 4 roughly covers from South Temple to Ninth South, I-15 to 13th East. MAP

Michael Aaron

Michael Aaron is the editor and publisher of QSaltLake. He has been active in Utah's gay and lesbian community since the early 80s and published two publications then and in the 90s.

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  1. So proud of Derek! He's going to make a great council member… our little city just keeps getting better!

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