Ann Schreck

Utah State House

53

Utah

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Ann Schreck

UAC 2022 Utah Legislative Candidate Survey Responses

Biography

Tell us about yourself: this could include biographical details, a list of hobbies, professional accomplishments, or anything you’d like to highlight. Please note that you will have an opportunity to discuss volunteer experiences, below.

I have lived in California, Minnesota and have made Utah my home. I went to college here and work here and serve my community here. I've worked in a variety of industries with interesting and complex assignments that taught me to work openly with those impacted by my work and seek cooperation for the best outcome. I believe in serving in your community from formal work like HOA leadership and food pantries and animal rescue to serving and loving my neighbors in ways unique to them.

Campaign Strategy

Describe your strategy for victory in your campaign; i.e., what is your messaging? How will it appeal to a majority of voters in your district? Are voters in your district already aligned with your views? If not, how do you plan to persuade them?

The newly redrawn district 53 represents Utah's growing tech sector and the fastest-growing residential part of the Wasatch Front. The "Old Lehi" or "Utah Way of Life" no longer applies to most of the people who now call Lehi home. People are looking for leaders interested in supporting growth with affordable housing, fewer car-dependent amenities, protecting the water and air quality, and providing essential services like education, good roads, safety, and places for families to gather.

The incumbent is a hard-line Trump supporter with the belief that he knows better than Lehi citizens what they need. He has produced one piece of legislation in his tenure and it directly (and positively) impacted his profession. He has run mostly unopposed in a decade and does not spent time talking to his constituents nor campaigning.

Why Run?

A decision to run for office can often be a difficult one: why did you decide to run for the Utah State Legislature, i.e. what are your guiding principles?

I believe that patriotism means participation. This could be spending time researching people and initiatives on a ballot to running for office. This country doesn't work unless we all work to keep it healthy and free.

Experience

What professional or volunteer experience do you have that’s pertinent to being a Utah State Legislator?

I've volunteered in local schools, HOAs, food pantries, diaper banks, and animal rescues. My work history has included incredibly complex projects with tight budgets and timelines. Over and over again, I've learned what can be accomplished when people are invited to the table to bring their best ideas and passion. It's exceptionally rare that everyone agrees on any topic, but if people feel represented and engaged they will roll up their sleeves and work towards a goal that they can see their fingerprints on.

Community

What community groups, nonprofit organizations, or professional organizations do you belong to or align with?

Community Animal Welfare Society, Kiva, Utah Diaper Bank, Equality Utah, Utah County Democrats, Women's Democratic Club of Utah

Endorsements

What local community members, professional associates, or elected officials have encouraged you to run for office or endorsed your campaign?

Women's Democratic Club of Utah, Equality Utah, Utah County Democratic Party

Book Recommendation

What book has most influenced your decision to run for public office?

Modernity and the Holocaust by Bauman - I read it in two different classes for my undergraduate degree. It's something I've reviewed countless times. It's important for society to remember its role in either injuring or uplifting its citizens. We always have work to do to keep ourselves from justifying the worst we could be.

Building Momentum

In our polarized political environment, it can be difficult to achieve the results you envision for your community. What are some strategies that might help you achieve your policy goals? Examples might include coalition-building with opposing-party caucuses, seeking support from established nonprofits, or cultivating public support from like-minded individuals and grassroots groups.

Utah labors under a supermajority and while that's unlikely to change quickly, Utahns want to see a broader legislative approach to solving important issues. As a Democrat, I can't do the work I hope to without the help and cooperation of Republicans. The important message is that we have been elected to serve; not to promote our own agendas. If we can focus on the people we serve and remember that we represent them, we can create opportunities to make THEIR lives better.
I know many Utahns want to be involved in the governing of this state but the financial and time expense is just too great. If we can create local groups of people to direct the time and money they have into efforts that make Utah a wonderful place to live, we can help more people participate in protecting and growing what they love.

Priorities

Please list or describe the areas of public policy you intend to focus on while in office—please describe YOUR areas of interest.

I intend to support the preservation of reproductive rights, gun responsibility, protect water and air, uplift and support marginalized communities, and build a world-class education standard. Utah has gift students and they are at the bottom of the budget priorities. I'd like to see radically improved mass transit options and create a more sustainable approach to residential and commercial growth.

Incumbent Successes

If you are an incumbent, were you the primary author of any bills that became law during your most recent term? Please share the one or two bills of which you are most proud.

N/A

Fiscal Philosophy

If you are elected and are able to have a bill passed into law, would you be willing to raise taxes to fund its enactment? If you would, instead, seek to cut funding from another program, what programs do you feel are funded to excess?

I believe that the purpose of government is to provide safety, security, and services to its citizens. It's everyone's responsibility to contribute to these services. Lawmakers must be MORE judicious with money entrusted to them than they are with their own, but that doesn't mean we cut services to cut taxes. We are responsible to create the safety nets and systems we all rely own. We must look holistically at what our population needs today and tomorrow and be willing to let go of what happened yesterday.

The Role of Government Role in Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed strain on our systems of governance, public health response, and health care capacity. What do you feel is the role of the Utah State Government in the response to the current pandemic? In future public health crises? What role is appropriate for municipal governments, local public health departments, and local school districts?

Under the advisement of medical and public health officials, lawmakers work to protect the population (especially vulnerable folks) in times of health threats. This may mean adjustments in services, approaches to gathering, and occasionally that means people will have to alter their behavior for the good of the many. The pandemic was treated as a dividing point between those who refused to alter their behavior for anyone and those who saw the need to act collectively to protect the whole.

The Role of Expertise in Decision Making

Elected officials are chosen to represent our communities by their citizens but neither they nor their constituents are experts in the many fields that inform and even run the day-to-day work of government. How do you rank your information sources, i.e. who is most important to listen to? Committees, caucus leadership, constituent feedback, or professional experts?

Each year, I review the suspected bias of the most popular news sources. From that, I select my news sources from the most-neutral agencies. I believe in seeking out information and asking questions about what I don't know. I know a great deal about very few things and not a lot about a lot of things. I want to find groups and professionals who can supplement my understanding so I can make the wisest possible decisions in my life, profession and service. This list will change as the subject changes. I hope to continue this pattern all my life.

Creating Consensus

The power balance of Utah’s legislature—in both the House of Representatives and the Senate—is skewed in favor of a Republican super-majority. What is your approach to creating understanding and compromise when it appears neither is possible?

Most people want to believe they are heard and their most important ideas are at least respected. This is not happening with the GOP supermajority but I will find ways to engage and connect with those who operate from a different model than I do. I don't have a silver bullet for this but I do believe that the effort often goes rewarded - we must try to find a way to serve ALL Utahns.

The Environment

The Great Salt Lake is in jeopardy. Fossil fuel consumption is a direct cause of the changes we are seeing to communities and habitats across the state. How do you foresee balancing short-term economic pressures against the need to have difficult conversations and make difficult choices in order to preserve Utah for our children and grandchildren?

The fossil fuel problem has been "kicked down the road" so far that we're out of road. We can no longer wait and see what happens. We must be willing to make difficult choices and pay the price to ensure all next generations have clean air, water and protect our best natural resources. Just because a resource is there doesn't mean we must use it all now. Utah has an abundance of solar, wind, and geothermal renewable resources, need to shift to what can sustain our growing consumption of power. The natural resources we inherited MUST be preserved. It's not ours to have but to protect for the future.

Equal Rights

State legislatures are now where the personhood of women is decided. How will you engage with your colleagues on this issue—and will you vote to protect the right of women to full bodily autonomy?

I will fight all my life to protect the right of full bodily autonomy for women. I am devastated to see this under question again. Women must be allowed to pursue their own destiny without interference of those who believe otherwise. Even if we created the appropriate support: full paid medical for pregnancy, paid parental leave, post partem services, and free childcare (which is the minimum meaning of "pro life") I will maintain that no woman is equal under the law if her right to self-determination is not sacrosanct.

LGBTQIA+

Our communities seem more divided than ever over the topics of racial and LGBTQIA equity in our schools. In your view, what is the role of the Utah State Legislature in protecting or defining the rights of minority groups in our communities?

This is another high value issue for me. Until we can divorce ourselves of the idea that their is one pathway to identity, partnership, and racial superiority, we lose the every element of our humanity. The is no zero-sum game in race, identity or love. There's no threat by anyone who lives according to what they were born with in their bodies, hearts or minds. We must LEARN about the mistakes we've made in creating groups with fewer rights than those in power. This is not to burden the current generation with the mistakes of their ancestors but to help ensure no future generation falls into patterns of thinking that create a divide.

American History

Another ongoing stressor on our school system is the false notion that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is being taught in Utah’s K-12 schools. What would you say to someone who is opposed to teaching a full accounting of American History in our schools?

History should not be a series of stories to make us feel warm and smug about our rights and success. It's an accurate accounting of what happened in the past to help us learn and progress as a species. If history doesn't make you feel uncomfortable, you're reading fiction. History helps us learn and correct and progress and that only happens when we tell the truth and face the things that make us uncomfortable.

Mental Health in Schools

Many underlying issues are adjacent to the debates over equity in Utah schools. For instance, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions are prevalent among Utah’s youth. Do you believe Utah’s educational system has a role to play in supporting the social and emotional wellness of its students? If yes, how would you propose funding our educational system so it has the resources it would need to fill this role?

Education is about learning - how can students learn when they don't understand all the development their bodies and minds undergo? Teaching children about core learning plus understanding their minds and bodies and developmental stage goes hand-in-hand. We also need to expose children to important life skills like finance, consent, evaluating information to find truth, interpersonal relationships. Education must become more serious and more important.

Vouchers

Another ongoing debate concerns school choice through vouchers for private schools. Do you support the appropriation of taxpayer funds for families to send their children to schools that are exempt from meeting state and federal educational standards and from following Civil Liberties law?

I do not believe state and federal funding should be moved to schools that are not subject to the same standards and curriculum oversight. I want to see more funding and support going to public schools and not diverted to alternatives.

Education

Utah ranks 49/50 in per pupil spending, coming in at $8,366 spent per student (according to the 2020 Census). Utah schools are run by a complicated network of professionals including school bus drivers, kitchen staff, administrative assistance, reading specialists, social workers, psychologists, nurses, and administrators. To effectively support teachers and students, the entire school system must be adequately supported. What would you say to anyone suggesting that Utah's current budget surplus be used to pay for another round of tax cuts?

Utah cannot afford to not invest every extra dollar back into public education. It is the duty of the lawmakers to ensure the children of Utah are afforded the very best opportunities money can buy. Utah does not need tax cuts but appropriate spending of tax dollars.

Wild Card

Is there an unasked question you would love to answer? Please tell us about the issue you are passionate about that we have not touched upon.

Thank you for taking the time to read this candidate's responses to the UAC 2022 Utah Legislative Candidate Survey