November, 2015

Dear Friends:
These past months at the legislature have been hectic! Our interim meetings have concluded for 2015 ( see Interim Highlights and Fiscal Highlights), although related meetings will still continue through December. Preparing legislation will be a priority, along with spending time with loved ones this holiday season.
I want to share my personal reflection on governance. On October 11, the Salt Lake Tribune included an article entitled "[T]ies to the medical field could be conflict of interest". Legislators were listed with their affiliations in medical and related fields. I was listed with having ties to Primary Children's Hospital and Voices for Utah Children. This article raised a concern that legislators may be beholden to doctors, hospitals and/or medical providers who "are working behind the scenes to scuttle" the latest proposal to expand coverage to low-income Utahns. (Again, I am a proponent of full Medicaid Expansion, but also support Governor Herbert's Healthy Utah Plan, sponsored by Senator Brian Shiozawa.)
I personally feel that bringing these possible conflicts of interest to light is very important. (See Conflict of Interest Forms for the Senate and the House.) It is also important to know who donates to candidates and elected officials. (See Financial Disclosures.) It doesn't mean that an elected official will vote a certain way, but transparency is important, as well as having the knowledge to ask questions of your elected official(s).

With regard to the possible implications of the article as it relates to my possible conflict of interest, I do my best to research each issue and study the facts prior to making any decision. Belonging, or having belonged to an organization, does not dictate how I will vote. Listening to constituents does impact how I will vote.
I am no longer a member of Voices for Utah Children but was so proud to be affiliated with this organization devoted to bettering the lives of all children. My membership with PCH has been an honor. They live up to their mission, "[T]he Child First and Always". This year marks the 25th anniversary of its Hold On To Dear Life public service campaign under the leadership of the wonderful Janet Brooks, by remembering the lives saved through child advocacy in seat belt safety, car seat safety, child abuse prevention, "Spot the Tot" back-over prevention, ATV safety, to name a few.

In October, I had the honor to speak on
a panel at the White House for the New American Leadership Project (NALP). I was asked to speak on my identity (as a minority, woman, democrat, etc.) and how it impacts campaigning and governance. It was such a great opportunity to learn from other legislators around the country about their challenges, opp ortunities and successes.
At left, with U.S. Surgeon General Vivek
Murthy and Chief of Staff Pagat Mehta
at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

On November 14, I hosted at the Capitol, a young leaders sum
mit for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). The future shines bright for these young and inspiring leaders, as well as for our state and country!
Although our job in the senate revolves around public policy and legislation, I am also contacted for other issues. Safety issues on road ways was a priority while on the Salt Lake County Council and they continue to be a priority in the senate. UDOT has been a great partner in supporting the communities in this district. I appreciate the advocacy of many of you. Your community is safer because of your passion and commitment. 
I want to end with a personal tribute to my dear colleague and friend Randy Horiuchi. Actually,   he was more than a friend. Randy was family to me. Randy loved people and he loved helping people. He was smart, effective, witty and caring. He introduced me to government service, as he did with countless others. Randy was always your biggest cheerleader and you could count on his positive encouragement and his roaring laugh. You will find that Randy Horiuchi's handprint is all over his beloved Salt Lake County and in this state. I will miss his grand expressions of "[N]owhere in the history of the Universe...." or his endearing goodbyes..."[Y]ou're the best!" There is no one in the entire Universe like you, Randy. You will never be forgotten.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving with those you love.

As always, I appreciate your input. Your voice is critical. If you would like to volunteer, PLEASE contact me, I can be reached at (legislative matters), (personal matters), by mail to 4760 S. Highland Drive, #427, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117, or by phone at (801)580-8414. Check out my website here, or you can interact with me on my Facebook!  
This Senate seat includes the following house districts: District 36 (Rep. Patrice Arent), District 37 (Rep. Carol Spackman Moss), District 40 (Rep. Lynn Hemingway- welcome back!), District 46 (Rep. Marie Poulson) and District 28 (Rep. Brian King). To see who your Representative is click here!
Jani Iwamoto
Senate District 4

To visit my website, click here. To visit my facebook page, click here.