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Citizen Summit Urges Political Unity

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This Saturday the Utah Citizen Summit will take place in downtown Salt Lake City. The event brings together Utah leaders from across the political spectrum to address the divisiveness of this election season. 

This year’s presidential election was ugly, even by the measures of most political campaigns. Ben McAdams, the newly re-elected Salt Lake County Mayor, saw it.

"I think we are all concerned about what was validated with the presidential election. I certainly am concerned with that and it’s prompted some really tough and difficult conversations with my kids as well," McAdams said. 

McAdams, a Democrat, is one of the co-chairs of Saturday’s summit. Alongside him will be Republican Lieutenant Governor, Spencer Cox.

The broad theme of the event is “Utahns coming together.” The goal is a little vague but McAdams says beginning to have conversations about residents’ concerns and ways Utahns have come together in the past is an important step to diffuse the tensions that started in politics but have moved into everyday life.

"We see it continuing in the classrooms and in the society today, and there are people that are legitimately afraid today because of the discrimination that has been playing out on our front pages and on the evening news," McAdams said. 

According to McAdams, Salt Lake City has a good track record of collaboration across politics on issues of homelessness, transportation, and the economy. The summit is an effort to return to that sense of civility.

McAdams is clear that there won’t be any easy, immediate answers. But he said, "I know that sitting down and talking with others who are concerned about the divisive state of politics today. That’s where the conversation has to start."

The Utah Citizen Summit is free and open to everyone. More information can be found here

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