2021 Candidates Endorsement Application

Candidates requesting endorsement of the Utah State Progressive Caucus must complete our policy questionnaire to be granted the opportunity to make your case to caucus members.

Jeff Merchant – Utah State Democratic Party Chair

Email: jeff@jeffmerchant.com

Campaign Phone Number: 8018213141

Campaign Website URL: Jeffmerchant.com

Please provide a summary of your campaign platform.

As a candidate for state party chair, my campaign platform focuses on increasing the number of Democrats elected at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.

That starts with ensuring a fair redistricting process. The districts drawn this year will impact our ability to win offices for the next ten years. We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to advocate for fair maps that give Utahns a voice in the electoral process. We won’t continue to make legislative gains or send a Democrat back to D.C. next year if we’re voting in gerrymandered districts. As chair, I have hired nationally recognized experts in redistricting and intend to invest heavily in protecting Democrats across the state.

The days of calling odd years “off years” are over. Building our party continues by working to help municipal candidates win across the state this year. We must support Democrats running in these non-partisan races. They fight for Democratic values in their communities, build our bench of qualified candidates, and train future campaign staff and volunteers. That’s why we have a goal to contest every race we possibly can in every city in Utah.

We have to continue to work hard to support our candidates for the state legislature. We’ve picked up seats in the legislature for three consecutive cycles. To maintain that momentum, our candidates need good data, talented staff, trained volunteers, and money. I promise to focus on making sure our candidates have the resources they need to be competitive and win.

Ultimately, my entire purpose for running is to continue working towards a Democrat to a statewide office by 2028. Every single action we take has to be building towards this goal.

Does your campaign include any goals that support our progressive views? Yes

If “Yes”, please describe.

I am often asked how the state party chair can advocate for specific policy objectives or democratic values. This is a far more difficult question for the chair than for any other kind of elected official since the chair doesn’t directly influence or vote on any public policy. The primary objective of any state party chair must be to get more Democrats into office. I would argue that having more Democratic elected officials is a progressive goal in that as long as we remain a super-minority party we will struggle to enact our ideal reforms and we are forced to compromise with the GOP. My hope is that we are able to win enough offices across the state to be able to tackle policy issues like affordable healthcare, LGBTQIA+ rights, systemic racism, or sustainable energy without having to negotiate with bad-faith actors from the other party. That can only happen by breaking our super-minority status in the legislature.

At the same time, I think that our many campaigns give us an opportunity to lead by example when it comes to our progressive values. For instance, one of the biggest issues we face as a party is the lack of qualified staff for all of our fantastic candidates. This shortage is due to both low pay and a lack of benefits for campaign staff, meaning that our best and brightest often move to other states where they can make a living in this industry. A major goal of my campaign is to continue to work on creative solutions to both of these issues so that every single campaign staffer can earn a fair wage without having to worry about what will happen if they get sick. That means ensuring all candidates provide campaign staff a fair wage and healthcare. I’ve been actively working on a benefits scheme that would allow campaigns to add their staff to the state party’s health insurance policy. The state party can and should help with this, especially since we already have so much of the infrastructure in place.

While fair wages and benefits are an excellent example of my progressive goals, this is just one example. I am ready and eager to continue this work for the next two years, and I hope I’ll have your caucus’ support and endorsement.

Do you consider yourself a “Progressive” candidate? Yes

Daniel Hicken – Utah State Democratic Party Chair

Email: daniel@chartingournewcourse.com

Campaign Phone Number: 8013608368

Campaign Website URL: http://chartingournewcourse.com

Please provide a summary of your campaign platform.

Expand our foundations to grow the party with grassroots efforts, foster the talent in our party every year, not just even years, build up future leaders and their county parties and caucuses, increase our votes in the legislature by winning seats so we can incrementally push for increasingly progressive legislation despite the Republican stranglehold on this state.

Does your campaign include any goals that support our progressive views? Yes

If “Yes”, please describe.

Build robust grassroots throughout the state to engage young and minority voters to grow the county parties and better facilitate calls to action throughout the state. Increasing involvement in groups most captivated by the strong progressive messages in our current politics will help to sway the culture of both our party and our state.

Do you consider yourself a “Progressive” candidate? Yes

Diane Lewis – Utah State Democratic Party Vice-Chair

Email: votedianelewis@gmail.com

Campaign Phone Number: 8019631784

Campaign Website URL: https://www.dianelewiscampaign.com/

Please provide a summary of your campaign platform.

The three main focuses of my campaign for State Vice-Chair are helping to grow county party’s throughout the state, having continuous candidate recruitment and training for all levels of government, and working with labor unions.

Here is the 90-second version of my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqBjsQbfpN4

Here is the full version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yy_Gw8W1NSc

Does your campaign include any goals that support our progressive views? Yes

If “Yes”, please describe.

In order to achieve the goals outlined in the Utah Democratic Progressive Platform, such as the $15 minimum wage, quality education, ensuring the rights of disabled people, our party needs to have a strong presence in every part of the state, from municipal positions to Congress. My focus on growing our county parties will help to get Democrats recruited, trained, and elected throughout the state.

Do you consider yourself a “Progressive” candidate? Yes

Nadia Mahallati – Utah State Democratic Part Vice-Chair

Email: nadia.mahallati@gmail.com

Campaign Phone Number: 9165216199

Campaign Website URL: https://www.facebook.com/NadiaMahallatiUDPViceChair

Please provide a summary of your campaign platform.

I am running on a message of speaking honest truths, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. The Utah Democratic Party has a long way to go to actually live our values and it’s time to stop pretending we don’t have sexism, racism, ableism, homo/transphobia, etc. I’m also campaigning on the importance of professionalism, the need for leaders who accept constructive criticism, and putting aside egos and working together as a team. We need to move beyond saying nice things to start doing the hard–but correct–things.

Does your campaign include any goals that support our progressive views? Yes

If “Yes”, please describe.

Party leadership doesn’t make policy, and many are hesitant to speak on complicated policy issues for fear of backlash; we are the big tent after all. But to me, there are certain core values we shouldn’t abandon for the sake of unity, and those are often socially progressive issues. Democrats can disagree on the best (effective, realistic, et.) way to fix healthcare, for example, but we can not disagree on the value of diversity, the need to dismantle systemic oppression and the fight for justice. Too often, those values are pushed aside when they need to be at the forefront of everything we do.

Do you consider yourself a “Progressive” candidate? Yes

Angel Vice – Millcreek City Council: District 2

Email: hello@millcreekangel.com

Campaign Phone Number: 8016996773

Campaign Website URL: https://www.MillcreekAngel.com

Please provide a summary of your campaign platform.

Creating a sustainable community in a world that works for everyone. I know that climate change is a real and credible concern and there are many things we can do on a city level to help fight the climate extremes we are moving toward. All politics are local and while I may not have the opportunity to vote for Health Care I will nonetheless fight for every human’s right to free and effective healthcare.

Does your campaign include any goals that support our progressive views? Yes

If “Yes”, please describe.

I believe as a country we need to “Create a Medicare for All, single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.
No networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no copays, no surprise bills.
Medicare coverage will be expanded and improved to include: include dental, hearing, vision, and home- and community-based long-term care, in-patient, and out-patient services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, reproductive and maternity care, prescription drugs, and more.
Stop the pharmaceutical industry from ripping off the American people by making sure that no one in America pays over $200 a year for the medicine they need by capping what Americans pay for prescription drugs under Medicare for All.”

Do you consider yourself a “Progressive” candidate? Yes