1. What is your vision for the Station Center neighborhood (200 South to 400 South; 450 West to 600 West)? What investments do you think the City should make in this area?

I fully support the Rio Grande Plan to revitalize the historic Rio Grande Depot. This community lead plan is amazing and would breathe life back into such a historic space while also creating the central transportation hub for all of Utah. This would put a “train box” underground to bury the lines and open up dozens of acres of development in this area, revitalizing this entire part of town. This would also help bring more vibrancy to The Gateway next door. It would be a substantial investment, but once completed would transform our city and be the transportation hub of our entire state, setting us up for expansion and high-speed rail into the future. 

2. What are the most important initiatives and investments you will lead to create a safe and welcoming downtown for residents, workers, employers and visitors?

The number one thing we can do to create a safe space for everyone and clean up the city at the same time is to implement sanctioned camping for all homeless people in the city. This is a win-win-win for all of Salt Lake. It gets our homeless friends and family off the streets and into a safe space protecting them from the elements as well as predatory cartels and gangs harming them, it unifies resources and community aid, it cleans up the sidewalks and parks to be used by everyone, and it helps the businesses that have been left to help the homeless on their own. It is the number one thing we can do right away that will be a night and day difference for the entire city. From there, we can continue to invest in our people and our communities. Building truly affordable housing (0-30% AMI), investing in arts, culture, and tourism, small local businesses, and quality of life. 

3. Salt Lake City’s Central Business District population will double in the next two years. How can the City enhance and expand green space and public spaces to support a healthy and vibrant downtown neighborhood? 

I’m world famous for fighting to save the Historic Utah Pantages Theater on Main Street, but many don’t know our plans to restore the theater involved building affordable housing above it as well as rooftop botanical gardens with a retractable roof that would be open year-round. On the same block as the Pantages, there is also a historic park that needs to be reopened: Dinwoody Park as well as more green space across the street from the Salt Palace that cold be revitalized and invested in. These spaces would create a great network, all on one city block, that can me mimicked and copied around the city. I also support more community gardens and its way past time we had a community garden downtown like other areas of the city do. There are so many easy investments for us to make to bring big results for little effort. I would also expand the Green Loop as well as connect it to open street promenades on Main Street and elsewhere. 

4. What is your plan for responding to the crisis of people living without shelter on the streets of Salt Lake City? Will you enforce no-camping ordinances? Please include your strategies for funding the initiatives that you propose.

I’m the only candidate running for any office in Utah who has personally been homeless and has real lived experience with it. My store at the Gateway is also right on Rio Grande at ground zero where the road home once was. I deal with the homeless every single day, but I am in a unique position where I understand it from all sides both as a formerly unsheltered person and as a business owner. I am running to end homelessness forever and house everyone as a human right. I released a homeless plan in February that would accomplish just that. I would instantly declare a state of emergency on homelessness, setup sanctioned camping in vacant RDA buildings around the city, unite community resources and groups, intake everyone, and quickly move them into permeant housing, bypassing the failures of the current shelter model. These methods have proved successfully all around the world, most recently in Denver, where the recently elected Mayor Mike Johnston declared a state of emergency on homelessness in July of this year and vowed to house everyone by the end of the year. Studies have shown that is it actually cheaper to house people than just shelter them over and over or use millions of dollars in public money for the police to abuse the homeless in unjust homeless abatements. I will not enforce no camping laws as they are unconstitutional and are already being struck down around the country as people have a constitutional right to exist in public spaces if they have nowhere else to go. Imagine how vibrant Salt Lake City will be when we become one of the first major cities in America to end homelessness and get everyone off the streets. Denver is already doing it. 

5. Please share your strategies for attracting and retaining employers and skilled workers to Salt Lake City.

As a business owner myself, it’s important to economic prosperity to reign income inequality under control. We must build Salt Lake City back into a place where everyone can have an amazing life, no matter their background, income, or status. Salt Lake City is getting too expensive, we are using public money to subsidize luxury apartments, creating more homelessness, displacing locals. We need to do the opposite and drive housing prices down by building at the lower end of the market. This will ensure that locals can remain downtown, have more disposable income, and put down deep roots and build families here, especially in downtown. This will further create more vibrancy in arts, culture, tourism, and entertainment further attracting people to live in Salt Lake, bring businesses, opportunities, workers, and consumers. Both workers and businesses want to invest and be in a city that is prosperous, compassionate, and forward thinking. We can lead the entire country across the board, finally bringing Salt Lake City into a major city and living up to our potential. Salt Lake has a golden opportunity in the coming decades to become the city of our wildest dreams. 

6. How can the City best support the Utah Jazz’s long-term residency in Downtown Salt Lake City?

This goes hand in hand with my responses to the other questions. Our sports teams flourish when our people are doing great, when they have disposable income to go to games and support the teams, when they can afford to live downtown and walk to games, when we invest in public transportation to bring more folks from out of the area all across Utah easily to games. When the people are successful the Jazz are successful and will remain here. 

7. What is one of your favorite dishes from a restaurant in the Central Business District?

Spitz is always a favorite. Their gyro wraps and summer cocktails are a favorite of mine. I am currently in the process of building a restaurant downtown though so might have a more biased answer in the near future haha. I am so excited for the future of Salt Lake’s beverage and culinary scene in the years and decades to come. 

8. What else would you like downtown property owners, merchants, employers and residents to know about your campaign for mayor?

I am running to truly serve the community above all else, to unite our city together, and to build the city of our wildest dreams. I am known as an activist for my working with the Pantages Theater, but I am much more than that. I am a business owner through my company Six Sailor Cider, soon to be one of the largest cideries in Utah. I am the Director of two non-profits. I am also a licensed real estate agent and have been in business and real estate over half my life, and I am a filmmaker and artist deeply committed to expanding arts, culture, and tourism in downtown beyond anything we’ve seen. I am committed to rebuilding the Pantages whether I win or lose the election and will bring justice to a corrupt deal that was done against the best interest of the city. I will rebuild the theater into a historic theater district with the Eccles and the Capitol Theater that will be unparalleled across the country. It will be an international destination bringing billions to our downtown over the coming decades, a gathering space we can long share with our children and grandchildren. We have the power to build our beautiful city into what every we dream and nothing is impossible when we unite together, but we must have a government that works for and serves the public above all else and have leaders who can actually build things, not tear them down. Salt Lake City must have real vision for the coming decades and I am the only one bringing that to the table, with the ability to create win-win-win solutions for the entire city.