Legislative Preview — United Way Salt Lake
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Thank you for attending the 2022 Legislative Preview!


Thank you for taking time to learn about our legislative priorities during the 2022 Legislative Session. If you missed the event, or want to watch one of the other panels, see the videos below.

Sign up for action alerts to stay informed on our public policy efforts this session.


#UtahKidsFirst • #UTpol • #UTleg • @UnitedWayNU • @UWSL • @UnitedWayUC

Opening Remarks

The welcome session began with remarks from Bill Crim, President and CEO of United Way of Salt Lake; presenting sponsor, Chevron; and Governor Spencer Cox.

Panel Discussions

We will be hosting three panels with experts, legislators, and community members that will explore topics that will be debated during the 2022 session. Attendees will sign up for one session of their choice. Sessions will be recorded, if you wish to watch the others after the event.

Belonging and Inclusion in Utah Schools

Creating Safe and Inclusive Schools



All students in Utah have the right to receive an education in a safe and inclusive environment, one that’s free from harassment and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and physical and mental abilities. This environment is not a reality for many students across the state. Learn about the current issues related to inclusion and belonging in schools, consider the ways discrimination acts as a barrier to success, and discuss how Utah can ensure all kids and families have opportunities to thrive.


• Esai Castaneda, Grassroots Leadership Organizer, United Way of Salt Lake
• Representative Sandra Hollins, Utah State House of Representatives
• Steve Swensen, Co-Founder, Support our Students
• Senator Todd Weiler, Utah State Senate
• Brian Yazzie, Diversity & Equity Coordinator, Provo City School District


Optional Full-Day Kindergarten

Expanding Access to All Utah Children



At a national level, 82% of kindergarteners participate in full-day kindergarten (FDK). In Utah, less than one-third (30%) of kindergarteners participate; that number reflects the availability of FDK programs. Utah’s optional enhanced kindergarten program is grant funded and aimed at children who need extra support in education. Research shows that all students benefit from full-day kindergarten in a variety of ways: Utah kids in full-day kindergarten regularly perform 2 to 4 times better than their half-day kindergarten peers with regards to basic kindergarten proficiencies. Learn about the effort to make sure all Utah children have the option to participate in a full-day kindergarten program.


• Senator Luz Escamilla, Minority Whip, Utah State Senate
• Amy Mitchell, Executive Elementary and Title I Director, Washington County School District
• Kristina Pexton, Parent and Family Life Commissioner for Utah PTA
• Representative Steve Waldrip, Utah State House of Representatives

Early Literacy

Equipping Educators, Parents, and Communities to Help All Students Read on Grade Level



53% of Utah 3rd graders do not read at grade level, and there is a 15-percentage point gap in early literacy for low-income students and a 20-percentage point gap for students of color. These gaps persist through high school and have a significant negative impact on health and economic mobility into adulthood. This panel dives into how changes to teaching support, pre-service educator preparation, and parent and community engagement can better support early literacy and how it will be addressed during the 2022 Legislative Session.


• President Stuart Adams, Utah State Senate
• Flor Cuevas, Grassroots Leadership Organizer, United Way of Salt Lake
• Representative Carol Spackman Moss, Utah House of Representatives
• Dr Rich Nye, Superintendent, Granite School District

Get Involved in Our Advocacy Work

Engaging in public policy advocacy is a powerful way to make a difference in people's lives. Learn more about the issues that United Way of Salt Lake is passionate about and learn how you can get involved in our work. Visit our advocacy page and sign up for action alerts:

Legislative Preview