Thursday, October 25, 2012

Standard Examiner Spotlight: Jeremy Peterson vs. Neil Hansen

The Standard Examiner published their candidate profiles today.  Both my opponent and I were featured.  Here is the story in its entirety:

OGDEN — State Rep. Jeremy Peterson believes his work sponsoring and passing legislation will help him win a second term to represent House District 9. But his opponent, Democrat Neil Hansen, said just because he did not sponsor numerous bills during his 12 years in the Legislature does not mean he was ineffective.     

This election is a rematch between the two, with Peterson defeating Hansen in 2010.   Hansen, 53, is the owner of Ready Made Water, a home water-storage system. He and his wife, Debby, are the parents of eight children.  Peterson, 35, is a real estate broker. He and his wife, Kimberly, have four daughters.  “I am the more effective candidate at sponsoring and passing legislation than my opponent,” Peterson said. “The average Democrat during the same time period (Hansen) was in office had between 50 percent to 70 percent of their sponsored legislation passed. (Hansen’s) pass rate was less than 10 percent.”    

Hansen said he has lived in Weber County all his life and knows the history and the needs of his constituents. Hansen said Peterson did not grow up in Utah and is unfamiliar with what the needs are.  And even though Hansen’s pass rate on legislative bills does not look good on paper, Hansen said he worked effectively behind the scenes for projects that benefited Weber County.    Those projects include Falcon Hill, a $1.5 billion public- private development venture of the state, Hill Air Force Base and Woodbury Corporation, George E. Wahlen Veterans Home, a reading initiative program and improvement to roads.    “(Peterson’s) argument is very lame,” Hansen said. “That’s not how you measure success. You’re not elected just for the 45 days (of the Legsilative session), but for the 365 days.”    “My opponent is touting that I’m a failure,” Hansen said. “To that, I say bull pucky.”    

Peterson was born in Idaho and grew up in Montana and Texas. He moved to Utah in 1996 to attend Utah State University. After serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Peterson came back to Utah, met his wife and transferred to Weber State University.    Peterson has lived in Roy and Ogden since 2000 and says he knows the area and the people.    

Hansen said his top priorities, if elected, would be economic development and education for Weber County.    “We need to entice job growth to Ogden,” Hansen said.    He also said legislators need to re-prioritize funding so more goes to education and less to roads.    Hansen said spending $1.2 billion for the Interstate 15 core project in Utah County is wrong while classrooms in the state need more funding.    “We’re spending too much on roads,” Hansen said. “That money needs to go into education.”    

Peterson said education is “by far the most important issue the state has.”    Peterson said a good education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty that many seem to be locked into.    “The children are beholden to the decisions their parents are making and they have no choice how they live, but if we can break that cycle they can make better decisions,” Peterson said.    

Peterson said he is also concerned with Utah’s alcohol policy. If lawmakers changed how liquor licenses are distributed, it could benefit the economy in Ogden and Weber County.    “I think it would allow the businesses that are here to operate more easily,” Peterson said.    Peterson is studying the issue to see if liquor law changes would have a negative impact on public safety.    

Peterson said he focused during the past two years on bills and appropriations that would help families and businesses.  One of those bills helps the state reduce fraudulent unemployment claims. Another one has the Department of Workforce Services analyzing its data to see who is on public assistance in an effort to reduce inter-generational poverty, Peterson said.  Peterson said because of his assignment on an appropriations subcommittee he was able to help St. Anne’s Center in Ogden receive $500,000 from lawmakers to get started building the Lantern House, a new facility for the homeless.  House District 9 boundaries have expanded west to include West Haven, a portion of north Roy and the core of Ogden. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ethnicity, Education, and Expectations

I was recently appointment by Governor Herbert to serve on the Multicultural Commission.  The commission serves as a sounding board and niche liaison between minority ethnic communities in Utah and our State Government.  The Commission is populated with very bright individuals from around the state who come together to discuss issues facing our many disparate minority communities.  Best practices are shared and suggestions made to help our minority communities integrate economically and culturally while lifting themselves to societal standards of excellence.

In order to help our minority communities reach their full potential, a great deal of eduction and assimilation is required.  Fortunately, as part of the commission I have been assigned to the subcommittee on education which held a meeting this week.

In our meeting we heard from Latinos In Action.  This group focuses on Hispanic youth and creates opportunities for them to serve as volunteers in the community.  These service experiences give the youth an opportunity to reflect on their direction in life and also makes them role models for their younger peers.  One of the missing components to the minority success story has been the lack of community role models.  Latinos In Action seeks to cure that problem.  The program also intends to act as a cultural bridge between the Hispanic and majority white populations as it's youth serve all members of the community. 

LIA has been successful in Salt Lake but they have not come to Ogden yet to start their program.  After our meeting yesterday, they will be coming to Ogden soon to start helping our local youth.      

Improving the academic and economic performance of our minority populations is a key component to Utah's success in the future.  Our changing demographics require that we give attention to this important issue.     

Monday, October 22, 2012

Santa Claus and Utah Bikers Support Jeremy Peterson

A member of A.B.A.T.E. Utah sent me this photo from a weekend charity Toy Run event.  I appreciate everyone's support, especially that jolly fellow in the middle with the white beard.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

VIDEO: Jeremy Peterson vs. Neil Hansen

Ten candidates, including myself, had an opportunity to introduce ourselves and answer questions in a panel format at the Women's Legislative Council's Meet and Greet yesterday evening.  Here is a video of my introduction:

And for balance, here is video of my opponent, Mr. Hansen:

Please forgive the video quality on Mr. Hansen's segment as my wife was stuggling to keep the kids quiet and lost focus on keeping the camera trained where it should be.  Nevertheless, this side by side comparison is an appropriate way to compare and contrast the candidates.  If applause is any indicator of audience favor, I gladly accept the accolades.
The rest of the evening was mostly civil with some barbs being exchanged between a few Democrats and Republican Majority Leader Brad Dee.

The hosts of the event asked questions that were proposed by members of the audience.  Most of the questions were for the Weber County Commission candidates.  However, things got interesting once they opened up discussion to questions asked to the Legislators.  Topics ranged from immigration, education, taxes, and the final question being dropped on us about same-sex marriage.

I thought the format was great and provided a lively discussion of ideas and viewpoints.  I hope that future speaking events are of a similar format. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Peterson Family: Fall 2012

Many of you have heard stories that I have shared on Facebook about my family.  I thought I would post this photo so you can see who the characters are in the narratives.  My wife and children are very near and dear to me. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Breaking the Poverty Cycle: Disturbing Data

Last session I sponsored a Senate Bill on the House Floor for Senator Reid of Ogden.  The bill asked the executive branch to mine its data and determine if any state practices were contributing to poverty and keeping people dependent on public assistance.  The bill called for a study with an emphasis on intergenerational poverty and the impact that living in poverty has on children.

The Deseret News recently reported on the study.  I was given a copy and the findings are quite alarming.  Here are some shocking highlights:

 For those of you interested in more details.  Here is the entire report:

Intergenerational Poverty Report