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Situational Analysis - April 1, 2021

The first quarter of 2021 is in the books! Today is April Fool's Day, something that has been celebrated for hundreds of years. No mean tricks, please. They're really not funny. Also, today is National Burrito Day. Not kidding. Check out this list of places you can get some sweet burrito deals.

April is a month of many things. It's National Child Abuse Awareness MonthNational Autism Awareness Month, National Volunteer MonthSexual Assault Awareness Month and Stress Awareness Month, among other important topics. 

5 things you need to know

  1. Dixie State University is asking for community input on the name change. Go here to weigh in.
  2. The LDS Church updated their General Handbook and the section on vaccinations continues to emphasize their importance, something the church has emphasized since at least 1978.
  3. In spite of zero public support and some strong opposition, the two remaining Utah County commissioners voted to move the entire budget office out from under the clerk/auditor's office and put it under their control. 
  4. George Takei tweeted about Governor Cox's emotional statement during the session, saying "This is quite moving. Bravo, sir. We need more of this compassion in politics, particularly from Republicans."
  5. Goodbye empty middle seats. Delta is selling all seats again beginning May 1. It was one nice perk of pandemic travel.

Countdown

13 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
23 days until the United Utah Party Organizing Convention (04/24/2021)
29 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
30 days until the in-person Utah GOP Organizing Convention (05/01/2021)
163 days until half-way through the Cox/Henderson's administration's 500-day plan (09/11/2021)


Today At Utah Policy

images/Resized_Logos/Womens_history_month.jpegIt's been quite a month
By Holly Richardson
It's been an "interesting" Women's History Month. Check out this calender of news stories. Utah even makes the cut, appearing at Day 28. It's shocking and yet not shocking.
images/Resized_Logos/Tweet.pngTweets of the day
By Holly Richardson
Mike Lee not opposed to vaccine 'passports' required by private businesses, bees and honeycomb and um, "trying to determine" if a severe beating counts as bullying as well as Utah County's power play and Sarah Palin wants people to wear masks.
images/mugs-300/Marie_Poulson.jpgCommentary: Utah's low rankings in gender equality should make us reassess our attitudes and policies
By Marie Poulson
 I read with great interest LaVarr Webb's well-intentioned commentary "Gender 'equality' rankings often don't include key factors."  In this article, he laments studies by "liberal" groups such as Wallet Hub who consistently rank Utah dead last in the nation for "women's rights."  His wish was that these groups would acknowledge some key factors that might skew the results in Utah.  Included were the following: That Utah women choose to stay home with their families, that they choose lower paid jobs to give priority to family and that they choose to avoid the pressure of running for political office.  As a Utah woman who spent 18 years as a stay-at-home mom raising five children, 20 years in a career, and 12 years as a state legislator, I believe the answers are complicated.  I'd like to offer my thoughts.

Utah Headlines

Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune

Other

COVID Corner


National Headlines


Policy News

images/Resized_Logos/ABU_logo.pngBetter Utah publishes legislative progress report
Today, Alliance for a Better Utah published its annual Progress Report for the 2021 General Legislative Session. This year, lawmakers were graded for their votes on 66 important bills organized into four categories: Strong Communities, Equal Rights, Good Government, and Sustainable Future. All 104 legislators received overall grades, as well as grades in each of the four categories. 
Anthony's Fine Art Exhibition: Remembering the Salt Lake Temple
COME SEE AND EXPERIENCE:ORIGINAL ARTIFACTS, MEMORABILIA, PHOTOGRAPHS AND WORKS OF ART
images/Resized_Logos/USGLC_Logo.jpegUSGLC virtual town hall with Sen. Mitt Romney highlights importance of U.S. global leadership for countering China and supporting Utah's economy and national security
Today, Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Utah political, business, and community leaders convened in a virtual town hall, where they agreed on the importance of America's diplomacy and development programs to address critical national priorities - like competition with authoritarian governments like China's - that impact the well-being and safety of all Americans - in Utah and across the country.
images/Resized_Logos/Teddy_Roosevelt_Conservation_Partnership.pngNew report highlights even steeper long-term decline of greater sage grouse populations
Today, the U.S. Geological Survey released a report that raises serious questions about the future of the greater sage grouse and its ecosystem.Report findings showed an overall 80-percent decline in sage grouse populations in the western United States since 1965, with an average annual rate of loss estimated at 3 percent, a full percentage point higher than in previously available data prepared for the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
images/Resized_Logos/Burgess_Owens_logo.pngReps Owens, Tiffany announce bill to ensure equal protection in Agriculture Department programs and activities
Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) and Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI-07) today announced plans to introduce the Agriculture Civil Rights and Equality Act (ACRE Act), which would prohibit officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from discriminating or providing preferential treatment to any person based on race, color, national origin, or sex.

Business Headlines

  • Instagram officially launches Remix on Reels, a TikTok Duets-like feature (TechCrunch) - Instagram's new feature has been in public testing before today, so some Instagram users may have already gained access.
  • Google cancels April Fools (The Verge) - "In 2020, we made the decision to pause our longstanding Google tradition of celebrating April Fools' Day, out of respect for all those fighting COVID-19. With much of the world still grappling with serious challenges, we will again pause the jokes for April Fools' Day in 2021," reads a statement.
  • How to Get a Chronological News Feed in Facebook (LifeHacker) - Facebook is now kind-of, sort-of making it slightly easier to get a more customized News Feed within its iOS and Android apps.

On This Day In History

(From History.com)

  • 1507 - English guilds go under state control.
  • 1621 - The Pilgrim-Wampanoag peace treaty is signed.
  • 1700 - April Fool's pranks popularized. 
  • 1748 - Ruins of Pompeii discovered after being buried for 1700 years.
  • 1789 - The first US House of Representatives elects its first speaker, Pennsylvania Representative Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg.
  • 1919 - LDS April General Conference is delayed due to a pandemic. 
  • 1940 - Wangari Muta Maathai is born. Dr. Maathai became an internationally renowned Kenyan environmental political activist, founder of the Green Belt Movement and was the first black woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1946 - Alaskan earthquake triggers massive tsunami that killed 159 people in Hawaii.
  • 1970 - Nixon signs legislation banning cigarette ads on TV and radio.
  • 1976 - Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs start Apple Computer in Jobs' parents' garage.
  • 2014 - 8.2 earthquake hits Chile

Wise Words

"Human rights are not things that are put on the table for people to enjoy. These are things you fight for and then you protect."

~Wangari Maathai


Lighter Side

Lighter Side

What's the difference between Thanksgiving and April Fools' Day?

One day you're thankful and the other you're prankful.


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