OneVoice: My Favorite State Representative

I haven’t always been politically involved, however over the last 8 years I have found myself increasingly immersed in the political scene. I credit this to my mother’s current position as an elected official for the Utah House of Representatives. Her name is Rebecca Chavez-Houck, she was signed into office on January 2nd 2008 as a representative of District 24 which included downtown Salt Lake City. She is an amazing woman who has spent long days and sleepless nights fighting to pass legislation to better the lives of not only those living in District 24, but for all the people of Utah.

Here are just a few reasons why I am exceptionally proud of my mother. Rebecca is the current Minority Whip and has supported progressive values since before I was even born. She has been involved as a volunteer for organizations like the Utah AIDS Foundation, the ACLU, the Sierra Club, and Planned Parenthood for more than two decades. In order to keep her current place in the house and continue advocating for these causes, she has to run for re-election every two years. This November is another tough election cycle for voters in Utah and my mom’s seat is once again up for vote. With every election season comes the campaign signs from storage, updated campaign brochures need to be ordered, along with Rebecca Chavez-Houck t-shirts, doggie bandannas and bumper stickers.

For the last few years she has won each election by a significant margin accompanied with a high approval rate. It may be surprising to some, but District 24 is a very liberal district, especially in comparison to the majority of Utah. Rebecca is unique in comparison to other Utah House Representatives; she is a democrat, a liberal, a woman and a Latina. I admire her for everything that she has accomplished. She is dedicated to working for her constitutes and has put them before herself on many occasions. Through hard work, Rebecca has earned respect amongst her peers not only in the House of Representatives but also among her elected colleagues

Last year my mother had the honor of meeting President Obama in Washington. I will admit, I was extremely jealous!

Recently, her position in the house has been challenged by a candidate from the Democratic party. Typically, my mom runs against Republican candidates, but this year is different from previous years in large part due to the upcoming presidential election. Passion amongst liberals nationwide is growing due in large part to an exciting primary race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. While this race (thankfully) doesn’t demonstrate the hate and venom the Republican candidates are showing, there are still some local consequences to be considered. Some state campaigns are running liberals against one another without always considering what incumbent voices may be displaced from our government. It’s frustrating to think that my mother’s hard work and years of experience could be taken from her, not only by another candidate but from a fellow Democrat. It’s important for us to stick together as liberals not only nationwide but in a state such as Utah where we have so little representation. I am hopeful that those who stand by her opinions and political values will support her by voting her back into office for another term.

— Erica Houck


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