10/2/2013: “Clean Air Forum: SLC council candidates debate air quality.”

bad airThis special, live broadcast aired on KCPW-FM 88.3 and 105.3 Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7 PM.

Candidates for Salt Lake City Council seats in Districts 3, 5 and 7 will answer voter questions on how they as Council members would address Salt Lake Cityʼs air quality issues. At a Clean Air Forum, to be held in the SLC Main Library Auditorium, 210 East 400 South, on Wednesday, October 2 from 6-8:45 PM, the League of Women Voters (LWV) will collect and screen written questions by audience members for moderator Maryann Martindale to direct to candidates, who will be given equal time to answer. All candidates for the SLC Council District elections, set for November 5, were invited to the Clean Air Forum soon after the primary elections. Five agreed to take part: from District 3, Stan Penfold and Sherman Clow; from District 5, Erin Mendenhall and Bill Davis; from District 7, Lisa Ramsey Adams. Three candidates cited schedule conflicts, but will be asked to submit statements.

The Clean Air Forum has brought together a diverse group of non-profit organizations
focusing on many different issues, but all gravely concerned about the air we all
breathe, including Alliance for a Better Utah; AARP Utah; CleanAirNow!; First Unitarian
Church–Environmental Ministry; LWV; Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance;
Utah Interfaith Power and Light; Utah Moms for Clean Air; and Utah Physicians for a
Healthy Environment. The Forum has been organized to assure that SLC residents
have an opportunity to explore ʻcleaner airʼ with SLC Council candidates before the
election and in a focused, fair and open forum.

Why a forum on clean air? “The American Lung Association gave Salt Lake County an
ʻFʼ in air quality in 2013 yet again for both ozone and particulate pollution,” explains
Forum organizer Joan Gregory, “We all breathe and experience the pain (some quite
literally) of this pollution. Many people are at greater risk because of their age or
because they have asthma or other chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease or
diabetes. Clean air is a critical issue for Salt Lake City.”

Martindale expects more than a theoretical discussion of air quality without any real
resolution. She will press candidates to discuss “the tangibles, i.e. public transportation, master transportation plans for the city, idling ordinances, school bus conversions to cleaner fuel, renewable energy opportunities for the City, etc,” because “the reality is that the Council has a narrow ability to act but they do have specific areas where they
can influence policy.”

LaMalfa, SLC Council Chair, calls the Forum “a great idea,” and urges candidates to
explain how they will “build consensus and work with peers and the mayor” on cleaning
the air.

Voter registration forms will be provided by volunteers from LWV and Utah Votes for
Utahns eligible to vote who want to update their voter registration.

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