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Unions Endorse Jackie Biskupski for Salt Lake City Mayor

Whittney Evans
Jeffrey Vaughn of the Salt Lake City Firefighters Association announces the organizations support for Jackie Biskupski.

Local labor union leaders came out in support of Jackie Biskupski for Salt Lake City Mayor this morning. Many complained of not getting enough face time with current Mayor Ralph Becker.

Leaders from about 12 union organizations, including Utah AFL-CIO, Salt Lake Police Association and Salt Lake City Firefighters, Local 81, came out in support of Biskupski at a Monday morning press conference.

Dale Cox is president of the Utah AFL-CIO. The organization has about 45,000 members statewide, with about 4500 members who vote in Salt Lake City. Cox says Biskupski has worked closely with labor unions in the past as a state lawmaker and believes she’ll do the same as Mayor of Salt Lake City.

“You can’t be an absentee mayor,” Cox says. “And that’s kind of the reason people have started looking at Jackie because they need a mayor that’s going to be here, that’s going to work well with everybody at the table.”

Jeff Vaughn is the officer director for Local 81. He says he fought to keep Fire Station 9 open last year when Mayor Becker proposed closing it because it was underutilized.

“We know that Jackie will be a partner in our fight to maintain these stations because we believe that every neighborhood and every area in Salt Lake City deserves the same level of protection,” Vaughn says.

Matt Lyon is Becker’s campaign manager. He pointed to the mayor’s 2015 budget plan as an example of the mayor’s dedication to city employees. Part-time, seasonal and full-time employees all got raises. 

“He’s made sure that they have a seat at the table and that they’re part of the conversation and he’s tried to find solutions for them and made sure that he’s found ways to both make Salt Lake City attractive and a competitive workforce,” Lyon says. “And make sure that city employees are protected.”

Becker kicked off his re-election campaign last week, announcing support from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Former Republican Governor Mike Leavitt and others. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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