From the Desk of Mayor Cherie Wood
South Salt Lake is perhaps the most diverse city in our State – nearly half of our residents come from other countries and represent a variety of cultures, races, incomes, and experiences. As Mayor, I have worked hard to create a community of inclusion and opportunity for all residents. We have made a practice of putting people first with our Equity Council and Promise South Salt Lake. Our city’s Police Department has made building relationships based on trust and respect a priority through programs like Bowl with a Cop, Police Athletic/Activities League (P.A.L.), and Business and Neighborhood Watch.
Still, there is much work to be done. I first said 10 years ago – and I repeat it now – that what I want for my family is what I want for every resident of South Salt Lake. This week has brought to the forefront the heartbreak and suffering that too many of our friends and neighbors experience. It is a cry for help, for empathy, for respect. I am today putting out a call to action for all city leaders, employees, and residents to listen deeply, and to change.
I will be meeting with our Police Chief Jack Carruth, Council Chair Sharla Bynum, and Council Member Natalie Pinkney next week. We plan to discuss our current practices, including the strong anti-bias and de-escalation training programs in our police department. We have excellent protocols in place and I am proud to lead a public safety team that honors diversity. We are often commended as one of the best police departments in the state of Utah. I want to make sure our reputation for sensitivity and respect for all our residents is earned, not taken for granted.
We need to do more – but what? I am supportive of South Salt Lake creating a Citizen Review Board to assist in this effort, similar to other communities in the area. My goal is to ensure that every South Salt Lake policy is reviewed through a community-based lens of diversity and inclusion. We will implement necessary changes to community action surrounding systemic issues of racial, gender, and other inequality and bias.
We have no tolerance for racial or any other injustice in South Salt Lake. Everyone deserves to feel safe no matter the color of your skin, your gender or identity. Our work will not be finished until we all feel safe.
This is another step toward public safety that puts people first. I know that discrimination and intolerance are found in many other aspects of daily life, even embedded in our government and other institutions. This sets people up for failure and puts them at risk for the very harm public safety tries to prevent. I will continue to fight for every community member and I need your help to do so.
I have put people first in our city policies, budgets, and programs. We have built up entire new programs based on this principle, but we are only as good as our understanding of the issues. The first step is to listen with an open mind and without judgment. To do this, I ask South Salt Lake residents to speak up, honestly and from the heart, about what you experience and witness. Until we have a deep understanding, we cannot begin to address concerns.
I am here to serve you. Please help us become the community we want to be and a place you can safely call home. Please call me or anyone you are familiar with in our city to speak up and start the conversation. I would be honored to listen.
Mayor Cherie Wood
Welcome to South Salt Lake!
Investing in Our Future
As South Salt Lake’s Mayor, I am committed to investing in the future of our small city with big opportunities. Many developers, businesses and investors are currently looking for opportunities in our new downtown and neighborhoods, and they know we are the place to be! Still, as our population increases, we need to invest in our public works and infrastructure to meet the demand, and to become a modern hub for business and development.
We are also investing in our community’s youth — who represent the future of our City. Through Promise South Salt Lake and our network of community centers, our youngest residents can meet lifelong friends, advance their education and explore valuable career paths.
And above all, we are investing in our own community and lives. As we expand and improve our public parks and trails, add bike lanes to our streets, and plant trees throughout our yards and green spaces, we are building an inviting and safe home for both longtime residents and new additions to our community.
Thank you for being a part of our City on the Move!