Best way to fight evil is to do something good

Originally published in the Deseret News.

I felt a certain sadness when I listened to Michelle Knight’s remarks at the sentencing hearing for Ariel Castro. Knight spent 11 years in hell under the repeated torture of Castro who had kidnapped her by saying he had a puppy for her son. In her riveting testimony, Knight told the courtroom she cried every night and the years turned into eternity. In the face of this human tragedy, we are left to wonder what we can do to make this world a better place.

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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.

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Don’t rely on Utah’s best run state accolades

Originally published in the Deseret News.

We are fortunate in Utah to have had great governors through the years. I’ve had the pleasure of working directly with three of them — Norm Bangerter, Mike Leavitt and Olene Walker — and advising two of them — Jon Huntsman Jr., and Gary Herbert. I grew up admiring the service of Govs. Cal Rampton and Scott Matheson. To a person, Utah’s governors protect the public trust and serve as remarkable stewards of our state.

This stands in sharp contrast to a major state like Illinois where four of the past seven governors have served prison time. Leadership matters, and Utah is well led.

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Buckle Up: Obamacare Will Be Here in Six Months

Originally published in Utah Business.

In less than six months, many of the most critical components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, will begin. Mandates for coverage, the end of pre-existing conditions, a community rating and richer subsidies take effect next year. As we move closer to 2014, many Utahns and Utah businesses sense the mighty change. I’m telling people to buckle up—one of the largest social policy changes in our lifetime is here.

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Boston bombings remind us not to judge unfairly

Originally published in the Deseret News.

The Boston marathon bombings remain on our minds even though it’s been nearly three weeks. We can’t seem to get it out of our heads that two misguided brothers cooked up pressure cooker bombs and hurt, maimed and killed innocent people. In our hearts we echo the words of the mother of bombing victim Krystle Marie Campbell, “It just doesn’t make any sense.”

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Utah falls short in dealing with at-risk students

Originally published in the Deseret News.

The start of spring signals transition. The foothills turn green, we wear brighter colors and the blue sky makes us all feel just a little bit better. Spring brings barbecues, baseball and backyard gardening and, with any luck, the NBA playoffs for the home team. It’s a time of renewal, and after a long, cold and snowy winter, we are ready for the change.

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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.”

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A Thank You To Legislators

Originally published in Utah Business.

The Utah Legislature—with all of its individuality and nuance—can now boast the nation’s second fastest-growing economy. That’s right. Utah leads every state but North Dakota in the rate of job growth, and the Utah economy gets stronger by the day. Years of economic leadership are paying off and Utah families are the winners. It’s time to take a pause and thank Utah legislators for their service.

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A Fresh Start: Let Your Feminine Values Shine in 2013

Originally published in Utah Business.

January is one of my favorite times of the year. I relish the chance to push the reset button and begin anew. I use it as a time to reflect about what worked in the prior year and what can be done in the coming year to make life better.

Looking back at 2012, two major public issues rattled my sense of rightness: the negative campaigning in the 2012 elections and the posturing about the fiscal cliff. Both issues call for an infusion of feminine values into the public square.

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Writings and Reflections