Amy Morgan is the Democratic candidate challenging Republican Representative and House Majority Leader Brad Dee in House District 11. The two candidates are running to represent the areas of South Weber, Washington Terrace, and Hill Air Force Base in Weber and Davis Counties.
To learn more about Amy, you can email her at email@example.com.
Jump to questions:
Who are you and why are you running?
Of all the Democratic Caucuses you “like” on Facebook, you say you support education, why?
What Reforms would you like to see in education?
What is your plan for success?
You are one of the few women running for office, why do you think that is?
How do you respond to people saying you can’t be Mormon and a Democrat?
Any parting thoughts?
Utah Political Capitol: Who are you and why are you running?
Amy Morgan: I am a wife and mom of four kids; My oldest is 15 and my youngest is 6. I am a floral designer and run my own business, the Fancy Flower Girl, which I have been doing for about 4 years.
I decided to open my own business because I am a florist and it is what I love, and it is nice to run my own business.
I am running because I can. The more invovled answer is that the supermajority in the Legislature represent themselves, not the actual majority, and I feel that I can be a voice that isn’t driven by ego. I think we have lost sight of “for the people” government.
UPC: You have “liked” the Education Caucus within the Democratic Party on your Facebook Page. Why is that issue of interest to you?
AM: Well, the Education Caucus is probably closest to my heart. This year I will have children in high school, junior high, in higher elementary school, and lower elementary school, so it is a big deal for me. I am at their schools, I am in the PTA, and it is flabbergasted that lawyers, realtors, and public relations managers think that they know what is best for schools, but they don’t listen to the educators the plead with them and they are not being heard.
UPC: And what is not being heard?
AM: I feel like educators have been overrun with stipulations, rules, and paperwork. It seems like they have to take tests to prove that tests work.
Look at the single letter grade evaluations for schools. Education minded legislators, the UEA, and others said that it wasn’t a good plan, but it passed. That is one example of people who are not educators are attempting to educate.
UPC: But you are not an educator so, how would you be different?
AM: Well, I had planned to be, and I volunteer in every classroom.
As a candidate, I have received a lot of questionnaires and one of them was from the UEA. Because I wanted to answer that one well, I went to the local junior high and spoke to the principle there. At the end, the principle said “you know, I don’t think the local representative, Brad Dee, has been in once to talk to me.”
Since then I have reached out to administrators in the district and it appears that is the case across the board.
UPC: What reforms would you like to see in education then?
AM: There is the standard answer of funding. There is a lot of money that we are not tapping into, and when it is tapped into, it goes elsewhere.
You know, people are willing to spend $4 on a bag of Doritos each month, but when you say that $4 is a property tax increase, people shout “OH NO! We can’t afford that!” But if that $4 was strictly for education, it would be a lot of money.
With the recent increase in funding this year, by the time it reached the teachers and students, it really wasn’t that much.
Ultimatly, people are hesitant when you say “tax increase” because people don’t know where the money goes.
You know, my opponent says that he supports education, but his voting record says otherwise. I don’t think it is because he doesn’t care, but I do think it is because he is focused on being a politician.
UPC: Your opponent, Representative Brad Dee, is a formidable opponent. What is your plan for success in this election?
AM: I think talking to people and word of mouth is key. I have made a lot of friends going to schools and sporting events. Listing is important and I want people to know that I am here.
Representative Dee, at this point, is a professional politician. He has done a lot of good for a lot of groups, but I don’t know how the people in District 11 can feel represented when they haven’t even talked to him.
UPC: You are one of the few women running for office this year. Why do you think so few women participate and what needs to change to encourage more women to vote?
AM: The first thing is that it takes a lot of time and energy, and a lot of that energy is channeled into families and jobs, so it is understandable. There is also a lost voice that says “why try, no one will listen to me.”
I chose to run because of the idea of “if not me, who, if not now, when?” idea. I have to try so that I can say that I did.
UPC: What other issues to you feel are affecting us as a state?
AM: I am a Mormon, and I am very involved in my religion. However, I feel that forcing people to believe the ways I do by passing laws that veer things towards thinking the way I do. Now we need rules, but there is a tipping point that fits “my” beliefs is a scary thing – and I think we are going towards that trend and that is a scary thing. There are some loud voices with loud opinions that are overpowering the silent majority.
UPC: So, how do you respond to the belief that you can’t be a Mormon and a Democrat?
AM: I don’t know where that started! The way I am LDS and a Democrat is with integrity. I think and live this way, but I allow you to make up your mind. Quite frankly, if you are Christian and believe in Jesus, that isn’t the way he did it either. There is nothing in the Democratic Party platform that goes against that.
Now, do I believe in everything within the Democratic Party says? No. But, on the whole, I feel that being compassionate and helping people, instead of pushing them down, is not a way to govern.
This is one of the reasons, for example, I would firmly push for Medicaid expansion. There are people who genuinely need the help, so why are refusing the help and the funding? It is strictly political. Politicians are afraid to appear weak for taking the money.
Another issue is gay marriage. Quite frankly, I don’t think the state should be in the business of marriage – and I am in the business of marriage. That is a religious ceremony, a religious right, it always has been. So, in my opinion, I don’t think the state should be involved in that.
For tax purposes, living purposes, medical purposes, you should be able to be in a union. If you want to take that union and have it solemnized that way, then go for it. But I don’t think we should be denying civil rights for the sake of religion.
UPC: Any parting thoughts?
AM: It’s not about us, we should say “what should we do to help?” There seems to be a blanket disregard for “the good.”
If I find things that I feel very strongly about, I won’t back down. But you can do that kindly too. I do have my mom finger and my mom voice, but even with that in mind we can still move forward.
I also want to say that I am not running to say that “Dee is bad” or that all the people on the Hill are bad. But, we tend to shy away from change, and I feel it might be time for a change. I think a lot of the problems we are in are due to the fact that we are stuck in a rut and are unwilling to change.