At the Better Utah Institute, we aim to educate Utahns on issues of public concern and to increase civic engagement.
Civic engagement means we care about access to the polls, robust and accurate journalism and creating an active citizenry who participates in debates and issue-oriented discussions. Currently, Utah has some of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country – thirty years ago we were among the highest. While Utahns are actively engaged in their communities through volunteer opportunities, they are less apt to be engaged in the democratic process.
Good governance means that we help to hold elected leaders accountable for their actions by ensuring that Utah’s transparency laws remain fair and accessible to Utahns and by providing opportunities for leaders to express their viewpoints through debates and speaking opportunities. Currently, Utah’s elected leaders are more beholden to their political parties and their caucuses, even though they represent all Utahns. Initiatives in good governance improve the relationship between Utahns and their leaders.
Good governance and civic engagement are related. As Utahns become more active in civic affairs, our government will become more responsive and accountable. And, as our government improves, Utahns will be incentivized to engage more in the democratic process. We’ll see less apathy in Utah, and we’ll see more of what makes Utah such a great place.