Category Archives: Blog

Going to Pot

Originally published in Utah Business.

I read with interest New York Times writer David Brooks’ recent column on the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado. In typical Brooks fashion, he “smoked” the issue by pointing out that legalizing weed makes it “a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be.”

I agree, and it got me thinking about the economic development advantage Utah will now have over Colorado because of its recent actions. The legalization of marijuana will make it harder for the Centennial State to be the kind of state it wants to be.

Continue reading

Both Sides of the Aisle

Once a week I spend time in the KCPW radio studio debating the issues with State Senator Jim Dabakis and State Representative Greg Hughes. It’s a lot of fun and I always learn something when I interact with these two great guys. I represent the political center and fend off the extreme positions of my two colleagues. Give it a listen and see what you think:

Episode 18: February 13th

A consensus on moving the prison, the Pre-K bill, and a blockade formed by LGBT protesters.

Time to raise Utah’s motor fuel tax

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree.

This quip, made by Louisiana Sen. Russell Long, captures Utah’s approach to the motor fuel tax. We’ve been kicking the can down the road for 17 years. It’s time for a serious and informed discussion about raising Utah’s motor fuel tax to make up for lost purchasing power and improved fuel efficiency.

Continue reading

Fast and Furious: Utah’s economy is ready to rock in 2014

Originally published in Utah Business.

I love the start of a new year. It’s a time to begin anew and take a fresh look at life. I find it’s also agood time to take a pause, learn from the past and build a better tomorrow.

The Utah Legislature understands the value of this type of introspection and long-term thinking. Last month they took time out of their busy schedules to attend a Legislative Policy Summit hosted by the David Eccles School of Business. It was my job to brief them on Utah’s current economic positioning. Here’s what I told them: Continue reading

Starting 2014 out right

2014 is here and I love it. It’s a chance to begin anew, start fresh and adopt new found optimism. One of the new things I’m going to do is post my writings and reflections on this website. Each month I write a column for the Deseret News and Utah Business magazine. I also participate in a weekly radio program on Salt Lake City’s KCPW radio station. For those who are interested I will post links from this website. You can also follow me on Twitter at @gochnour. Thanks for your interest.

Utah needs more women in decision making roles

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Next week, Utahns will be summoned to the election booth to vote in municipal elections. Those who do will find far too few women on the ballot. And it’s not just at the ballot box: it’s in boardrooms and businesses. It’s even in our faith institutions. Women, for all of their native talents, are completely underrepresented in leadership positions. Our community is the lesser for it.

Continue reading

Utahns need to be more accepting of others

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Yesterday we celebrated our nation’s birthday. In less than three weeks we will celebrate what in Utah is an even bigger holiday — Pioneer Day. July is the month for patriotic revelry and pioneer celebration. As we think about our past and what others did for us, we should also think about our future and what we can do for others. Narrowing the cultural divide in Utah is a great place to start.

Continue reading

From Vision to Action

Originally published in Utah Business.

I recently interviewed with Joel Kotkin, the famed demographer, author and columnist who is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Daily Beast. Kotkin was doing a media tour and had spent the prior two days meeting with community leaders to get a pulse on Utah. As we finished the interview he said, “Salt Lake is very self aware and it serves you well.”

Continue reading