Jun 23, 2020 • 10M

Utah House Rep Talks Intergenerational Poverty & Racial Bias - #plugintodevin

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Devin Thorpe
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#plugintodevin Show - Devin Thorpe for Congress Guest: Elizabeth Weight Office Held: State Representative Office Sought: State Representative Issue: Fair, safe, and sustaining employment. I have had the opportunities for education and employment that provided income to support a household and also health and retirement benefits. What my security has done is give me a basis for comparison and realization of the precarious nature of jobs, not to mention benefits, for so many people in my House district as well as across the state. Also, as a woman and single household wage earner, I have experienced the impact of gender bias in employment as well as the seemingly chosen ignorance of policy makers about the economic as well as household impacts that working women must navigate. A common point of view is that people choose their employment paths by acquiring education and working toward career goals. My own parents succeeded with hard work and integrity. However, somewhat from my experience, but also from my observations of my students' family situations, there are numerous traditions and presumptions that simply avoid realities of inter-generational poverty, limited access to healthcare, and, as we have been reminded recently, racial biases. I regularly hear people use the phrase "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" but I know too many situations where there are no boots. We can see from the course of economics in my lifetime that Capitalism does not create even its own best support system. When public policy assures more equity for education, healthcare, and employment, it builds fundamental elements for strong economy. Bio: Elizabeth Weight is a sixth generation Utahn with family roots in Sanpete County. As her parents moved from ranching to other business careers, she and her three sisters attended public schools in Fairview, Brigham City, and Bountiful. She holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in English Language Arts Education and taught for thirty-two years in Davis and Granite School Districts. Along with her teaching, she served as a department chair, state and local test item-writer and curriculum designer, as a member of her school community council, and in other teacher-representative positions. While in the classroom, she was a member and leader in the American Federation of Teachers Utah, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, where she gained formal training in political action, organizing, and leadership. An AFT member still, she currently serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Central Utah Federation of Labor and a member of the union-sponsored Labor Day Picnic organizing committee. After moving to West Valley City, Elizabeth volunteered regularly with the Salt Lake County Democratic Party and worked on election campaigns, including that of former Representative Larry Wiley. She followed his suggestion that she consider running for office, and, in 2016 was the only Utah Democrat to flip a House seat. Elizabeth is definitely interested in education issues, especially from perspectives of the teachers, students, and families affected by the policies created in government. She recognizes and defines the strong connection between learning and all that students bring to school from their families’ experiences with safe and sustaining employment, healthcare, housing and food security, and the various effects of environmental conditions. She is excited for the opportunities as a Utah Representative to develop relationships and provide perspective among her colleagues and government staff. She is also proud to serve with the amazing guides in the Capitol Tour team … which allows her to continue in a teaching role with thousands of students and visiting tourists each year. Website: Liz4Utah.com Twitter: @RepEWeight Facebook: facebook.com/elizabeth.weight.1 Instagram: @repeweight #plugintodevin #UtahValues #BoldSolutions #UTpol