What is #10Questions
Q1: We’ll begin with the most important question: what inspired you to run for office?
#10Q #TuesdayThoughts #UT02
"I’m in this race because families across Utah and across this country need a representative who is ready to go to work to find solutions on accessible and affordable healthcare. In 2016, I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer. I am an only child, raised by a single mom. She was a teacher her whole life in a private school for many years and we didn’t have healthcare – she didn’t have the power of a teacher’s union to rely on. When she was diagnosed, we had to ask the questions lot of families need to ask: What would we have to do, what might we have to sell to get care? It was a short conversation because of Medicare. She was only 68, but it was there for us when we needed it.
Every family deserves the freedom and dignity that comes with access to affordable healthcare. The person I am working to unseat proudly voted against the ACA 40 times and is taking votes regularly to further reduce access to healthcare with no solutions for working families."
Q2: I’m so glad that Medicare was there for your mom when she became ill. What’s the first thing Congress should do to ensure that quality healthcare is affordable and accessible for all?
#10Q #TuesdayThoughts #UT02
"We can start to reduce the cost of healthcare now. For example, we allow the VA to negotiate drug prices at the federal level, the same is not true for Medicare and Medicaid. That means we, as tax payers, are already all paying more. We can change that. Access to preventative care is also a piece of the puzzle. Many conditions, even very serious ones, if caught early are much easier to manage and that helps to avoid costly catastrophes and huge medical bills down the road.
There needs be greater transparency in cost of services across the industry. There is a simple answer – we need to move to a universal healthcare system. It would help provide stability to families, help small business to grow, and would add jobs across our communities. Access to healthcare and affordability is simply just not the priority of this Congress – and it should be.
I spoke with a young mother in rural Utah this weekend. When she was 9, she had Leukemia. She works three jobs, has kids she is raising, and she does not have employer based healthcare. Our state rejected Medicaid expansion. So she is without the care she needs. This young woman has healthcare needs now. She lives in pain. She works hard and can not get the care. That’s not ok with me. She needs a person in Washington sitting with her story every time a vote on access or affordability comes up. We need leadership. We need solutions."
Q3: You were featured as one of Time Magazine’s “Avengers” – women running for office after 2016’s election. How have the people of #UT02 been misrepresented during Stewart’s term and what will you bring to Congress to right the ship? (I love this photo of you and your son!) #10Q
"I’m concerned that our Representative is out of touch with the every day challenges people are feeling in this district. I talk to people working very hard to get ahead, provide for their families, and they don’t feel like they have someone in their corner. Recently he’s taken two votes that will result in Utahns living with dirtier, more polluted air. Many of us living in Salt Lake and along the Wasatch front often experience some of the worst air quality in the nation. So those were the wrong votes for Utah families. Eight out of the 10 poorest counties in Utah are in this district. I called his office today to ask where he stood on supporting SNAP. They told me, “he’s still deciding.” Does that match the needs of families in this community? It does not.
Our district has a lot of unaffiliated voters, people who don’t claim one party or another. Given that, it is surprising to me that he votes 92% of the time with the GOP/Trump agenda. We are pragmatic, we think independently – I don’t see those values reflected. I don’t believe we arrive at our best and boldest vision for the future through one set of ideas or one political party. We have to be willing to work — for Utahns, for all people — and not simply for the agenda set by big dollar donors. I’m willing and ready to do that work."
Q4: Salt Lake County housing prices have increased 4.5% annually since 1991. Household incomes have only increased by 0.36% in the same period. What will you do to fight the income/housing disparity so workers can afford to live in Salt Lake City? #10Q #UT02
"Housing affordability is a concern in our urban and suburban places as much as it in our rural communities. We need leadership to enact comprehensive housing finance reform and we need to expand the low-income housing tax credit to both fix up and increase production of affordable housing units. We need bold ideas in our rural communities. Those communities should manage decisions that impact the look and feel of their towns but sometimes they need help. We should incentivize creative solutions for affordable and/or workforce housing.
Utah is beautiful. Many people buy second homes in communities near our National Parks and Monuments. This trend is pricing lots of people, some who have lived there for generations, out. Creative solutions are needed to balance growth. Here in Salt Lake City, there have been extensive efforts around a Housing First approach to addressing chronic homelessness. There is still many who need shelter, but this is a positive step that helps families and individuals. This is a complex issue. We must also work on wage stagnation and a living wage. Ensuring good, stable jobs across all our communities helps people take that step into stable housing. It has to be a priority."
Q5: Sexual violence & harassment is a non-partisan issue in the spotlight. Just last night, NY AG Eric Schneiderman resigned following abhorrent abuse allegations. How will you work with Congress to strengthen protections for all?
#MeToo #TimesUp #10Q #UT02
"I’m the board chair for an organization that serves those who have been victimized by sexual violence. I’ve seen, up close, the impact of federal dollars in supporting services for survivors. Resources that come to communities through the Violence Against Women Act must be protected and I would work to do so. In 2013 the Rep who holds this seat voted against the Violence Against Women Act. Victims of sexual violence and harassment need good policy and strong advocates everywhere – from our military, to our schools, to our prisons, to the halls of Congress and to the White House. My constituents could always count on me."
Q6: You are a passionate advocate for Utah’s public lands and strengthening environmental protections. Why is it so important for Utahns to fight for places like the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument and resist EPA deregulation efforts?
#10Q #TuesdayThoughts #UT02
"Our public lands are our shared heritage. Our National Parks, Monuments and the outdoor industry bring over 100,000 jobs and billions of dollars into our state. Communities along our public lands are seeing diversified economies. I don’t want those communities thrown back into dependency on extractive industries that put them in boom and bust cycles.
When public lands move out of public hands, we don’t have access to them in the way we once did. We must be good stewards of these most beautiful places and work to meet local needs while also looking to the future. Selling these lands off to the highest bidder is not smart. The EPA’s mission is to protect human and environmental health. It would be nice if they did that. Utah is already the third most toxic state in the nation. We need to prioritize healthy families and healthy communities by protecting our air, water and land – now."
Q7: It’s primary day in 4 states that have key “flippable” districts. #UT02 traditionally votes very conservatively. The incumbent benefits from strong lobbying and special interest funding. Why are you the candidate that can flip the district?
"This is a winnable race. A large part of Utah’s 2nd District was held by a Democrat until 2012. This is a district that voted for Trump by 14 points. Across the country we’ve seen swings in districts that are much more conservative than UT02. We typically have low voter turn out in Utah. I am working my guts out to build the team I need to knock on thousands of doors. It hasn’t been done here in a while and already I’m doing it because we need a voice working for every day families and freedoms.
Utahns are fired up. People are getting registered for the first time and individuals are writing to me from all over the district wanting to get involved. We have hundreds of people who are donating, contributing for the first time, because they want change."
Q8: You wrote an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune about your own experience as the daughter of an Iranian immigrant, describing the real-life pain of communities torn apart by ending DACA. How can you “pay it forward”? #10Q
"When I speak with Dreamers or individuals in the Latinx community, they tell me they feel under siege. Families are living in fear and uncertainty. They need answers. Leaving these families in fear does not reflect the values of this community. Just this week, AG Sessions said parents and children entering the US illegally will be separated – adding, "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border.” This response is morally bankrupt.
We need a clean Dream Act now. We need comprehensive immigration reform. I know we can do it in a way that is humane, just, and reflects our values – we just need Representatives willing to come to the table. I would be working for answers."
Thank you SO much for answering @BlueWaveCS's #10Q's! Last two!
Q9: What is one issue we haven’t covered today that is an important one affecting your district, and
Q10: Where can people learn more about your campaign and how to support it?
"Thank you so much for having me. I so appreciate the work you are doing, the community you are building, and the platform you have created here.
Q9: I am deeply committed to investing in Education. This is an issue that unifies many Utahns. We want good schools where all children can find success. I would fight for funding and support – from early childhood to education after high school. I benefited from Pell Grants and Perkins loans. Low interest loans and addressing student loan debt is also something I am passionate about.
Q10: You can support this campaign by sharing our message and donating. I am very proud that we have over 800 individual donors. You can join our team of supporters at http://bit.ly/TeamShireen and get connected at http://shireenforcongress.com and https://secure.actblue.com/donate/shireen-ghorbani-1
Thank you! 🇺🇸🦅🙌🏽"