Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at an open forum next to Utah Tech President Richard B. Williams, St. George, Utah, Oct. 6, 2022.Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News
st. George — Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox addressed water conservation, partisan animosity in America, ethical news sources, suicides in Utah, and the Utah Institute of Technology at an event in St. George on Thursday. We discussed a name change, affordable housing.
Addressed to Utah Tech students, staff and community members in an open forum moderated by Utah Tech President Richard B. Williams. Written questions were answered by Cox.
Cox said the purpose of the itinerant political tour is to “meet as many people and organizations as possible,” including high school students, college campuses, business organizations, medical professionals and chambers of commerce.
Cox’s comments on specific topics are outlined by topic in the sections below.
“Water is a big issue everywhere in Utah,” Cox said. “This is the question I get asked the most. Water is the foundation of our survival…we need to use less overall.
“I think the weather has cycles and the climate is changing…all I know is that we have to deal with what we have now.And now…great Salt Lake is drying up, there isn’t enough water in the Colorado River, or in Lake Powell for what you want to do here.
In terms of solutions, the governor talked about the Lake Powell pipeline and delegated most of the water management to the local level.
“I am very clear and I know this is controversial, but I am on record to support the late Lake Powell pipeline.
“The question is, if the pipeline is taking a long time or is lagging, what does it look like? If we can build it and we have all the resources, what does it look like It’s not up to us there are other decision makers who have to consider it.?
“We are hopeful that concrete[solutions]will come from Washington County,” Cox told the St. George News. “Our job is to support.
Cox reiterated his commitment to supporting Southern Utah.
“St. George is not an island in itself,” said Cox. “Even if it feels like you are hundreds of miles from Salt Lake City, you are part of Utah. increase.”
lower housing costs
Cox said Utah needs to increase its housing supply rate if Utahans want their housing costs to go down.
“If you can’t build a house, you can’t let people live here,” Cox said. “I’m going to tell you what’s going to happen now.
Voting fraud and public transportation
Cox has questioned the election, addressing concerns about voter fraud and saying he supports Utah’s elections and the integrity of the county clerk’s office with Senator Mike Lee (Utah Republican) Anyone invited to ask the county clerk for a tour and explanation. election process.
The governor also spoke about how he hopes to see more public transportation across the state.
“I know my biggest dream of my life is still a long way off. High-speed rail from Salt Lake to St. George.”
“Contempt” of the Partisans
Cox spent a good deal of time on the forums discussing what he described as animosity between political parties in the United States.
“We have to go back to the days when we were willing to see each other as Americans first and partisans second,” Cox said.
“For too many people, politics has become their religion. Today, fewer Americans attend church regularly than at any time in the history of this country. When politics has become our religion, anyone who disagrees with us is a heretic.
Cox said that social and charitable clubs like Rotary clubs used to be very active and full of members to improve their communities, but now these organizations attract community volunteers. is in short supply. According to Cox, social media will replace those groups, allowing individuals to collectively hate others without creating a healthy community.
“I’m not interested in ‘owning’ the library,” says Cox. “I am interested in trying to convince the library that there is another way, a better way. You get a chance to show them why you believe what they believe, and they’re more likely to hear and respect it. ”
Advice for Gen Z
Following a question from Williams about the next generation’s involvement in politics, Cox spoke directly to Generation Z in the room.
“I am very worried that our children are so cynical,” he said. “You are led to believe that this is the worst time in the history of the world and that we are all going to die because of war and climate change. I think, there has never been a better time in the history of the world to live in Utah.
“Don’t let anyone tell you that the world is worse today,” said Cox. “The world is in a great place. Jobs are available now.”
The governor has been outspoken about his thoughts on the mainstream news media.
“Cable media is evil,” said Cox. “CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, they’re all evil. They’re trying to brainwash you. It’s an addiction.
Cox spoke about how his close family members constantly consumed mainstream news and became decidedly negative about life, until a family member stopped “indulging in the rage that comes from cable news.” .
“After he left it, he began to see joy again, to love people again, to see how good there was in the world.
“The best decision I ever made was quitting cable news nine years ago. I’ve been sober for nine years.
Cox said that instead of listening to or watching mainstream news commentary, Utahans should draw their information from local news and hard factual news broadcasts from mainstream sources.
“What I recommend is looking at sources from different perspectives,” he said.
Cox explains that Americans’ trust in institutions is at an all-time low in this country, and he is most concerned about his family’s institutions.
“When you look at all the problems we face as a society — homelessness, drug addiction, mental health… our prison population — all of these social problems, the best place to get out of them is a strong family. It’s about being strong and being resilient. Family. That’s how I created the first Office of the Family.”
Cox expressed concern that Utah’s fertility rate has fallen to 1.9 per woman, below the state’s replacement rate.
“This is happening across the country because marriage rates are declining, and sometimes the government is making it worse.
“We want to make sure we have policies in place that support families that will lift them up and help them in difficult times because if we can do that, we will save billions of dollars of taxpayer money. Because we can and we can make people happier.
Cox explained how Utah didn’t offer maternity leave to mothers, but now the state offers three weeks of maternity leave.
“I would love to get more than that, but maternity leave is one area where we can help families. We need to be more thoughtful, especially to make sure we support single mothers, support families, and help them do what they want to do.
Utah Tech Name Change
Closing his remarks, Cox talked about the recent name change from Dixie State University to Utah Tech University.
“I actually fully understand and feel the enthusiasm of those who were against the name change,” he said. “My reason for being happy to support the name change is not that lace piece.
“When I travel around the country, every time Dixie comes up, I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, is it in Georgia? I get asked that all the time.
“I realized that there is a real limitation to this because names are important in branding…Now that I have seen and experienced it, it is amazing and we are having conversations that have never been before…It is I know you don’t satisfy people, and I don’t expect you to agree with that at all.”
suicide in utah
After the public forum, Cox spoke behind closed doors with the Utah Tech Institute of Political Science to answer their personal questions. One student asked Cox about Utah’s efforts to reduce suicide in the state.
“We have worked hard for the last six years to lower interest rates and get additional resources,” Cox said. , to support people struggling with suicide.”
He also mentioned the SafeUT app, which provides instant digital resources for suicide prevention. This app gives you instant access to mental health professionals for free.
“I think the numbers are really scary right now,” Cox said. “As a teenager, my parents got divorced, I was bullied, and I struggled a bit. I had suicidal thoughts for a few months. I thought the world might be better off without me. I promise you it will get better.”
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