Photo Credit: Utah House Democrats
In December, Grow the Flow helped support a student-led Town Hall in Holladay City. A group of high schoolers from Skyline and the Youth Coalition for GSL asked compelling, pointed questions to panelists that included: Rep. Carol Spackman-Moss, Rep. Dough Owens, Rep. Gay Lynn Bennion, Rep. Brett Garner, Sen. Stephanie Pitcher, and Grow the Flow’s Dr. Ben Abbott. More than seventy community members showed up to support this youth-led initiative and learn about the Great Salt Lake.
Thank you to our elected officials for taking the time to participate in this event and to the community members who learned along the way!
Fast forward to the session and many of the topics discussed at the Town Hall are now getting voted on by the legislature. Representative Owens has introduced several water savings bills targeted at reducing municipal water consumption by limiting non-functional turf and prohibiting watering in GSL Basin from October-April. Representative Bennion recently introduced a bill to implement riparian management plans at the local governance level. These bills now need your support, so we urge you to reach out to your representative and senator and ask them to vote in favor of Owen’s HB0011 and HB0401 as well as Bennion’s HB0243.
While the Town Hall was some time ago, the student’s involvement with Grow the Flow and the movement to save our Great Salt Lake has not slowed down. The Youth Coalition for GSL has actively participated in legislative outreach, planning several “Send It” campaigns designed to make legislative communication a fun, community-oriented event. Izzy Kachatryan—a leader of the Youth Coalition—spoke at the recent Rally to Save Our Great Salt Lake, leaving the crowd with a simple, poignant message: “We must protect our future now!” Youth Coalition members, Liam Mountain La Malfa and Monica Cinibis, published an impactful Letter to the Editor in the Salt Lake Tribune. The two students and members of Utah’s future painted a powerful picture of what Great Salt Lake means to our youth: “Many applaud young people for taking notice of the issues affecting us; the bitter reality is that we don’t have a choice. The new generation faces the unique struggle of having to fight for our future or risk losing it.”
With so much at stake surrounding Great Salt Lake, members of our collective future demands more be done to protect their future. Now, the past generations must ask themselves: What can we do to ensure future Utahns are afforded the same privileges we have become accustomed to in the state we all call home?