A dozen cranes are visible across the “Silicon Slopes,” located just to the south of Salt Lake City, erecting glass office buildings to boost the state’s tech industry. Both the state and businesses are keen for this to continue. However, some industry experts claim that the image of Utah needs to be improved in order to improve its appeal to.
Tech lobbyists such as Sunny Washington push for more inclusive legislation at the state Capitol. Washington is also a part of Silicon Slopes, the industry’s advocacy group.
Washington states “Although businesses may attempt to engage in outreach, it’s possible to reverse that effort when there are laws that do not reflect the values of the state.”
Along with other lobbyists she was a part of a coalition fighting the bill which would have banned transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports teams. They backed legislation that would change the name of Dixie State University that is closely linked to the Confederacy.
Washington declares that there is still much to be done to help people feel welcomed and part of Utah.
Kimmy Paluch, 39 years old along with her husband, together with their two children relocated from Oakland, Calif. to Utah in the year 2018. Their consulting firm was designed to assist other companies and technology companies launch new products.
Paluch says that “we were very disappointed with the Silicon Valley bubble.” “One was the idea that was being funded but only serving just 1%. The other — the lack of capital flow to founders who are not represented.
Paluch believes that Utah could become a better place due to the fact that it’s a young technology market. It was also personal to her. Paluch is both an Black woman, and an immigrants.
Paluch told the AP that she needed to face her fears regarding the reputation of Utah when she made a decision whether or not to relocate. “I recall telling my Bay Area friends we were moving to Utah, and they would ask”Why?” “
She claims that she was happy to be in a different political climate however, the cultural differences caused her and her husband pause.
“Will it help me feel as if I am part of this particular state?” Paluch stated that she needed to consider this question. “I was not really worried about my own security. … I was a little worried about my children. I was concerned about how they would be treated when they arrived. It has never been a problem, and thankfully.
Brad Wilson, Utah House Speaker, as well as other prominent Republicans in the state say they are proud of making Utah an open and business-friendly state. Wilson acknowledges that this isn’t always in line in trying to stop businesses from moving to his state.
He states that Utah is unique and extremely unique. “We must safeguard Utah’s uniqueness and not be ashamed or frightened by the aspects that make Utah distinctive.”
Paluch is of the opinion that the opportunities for economic growth Wilson and the other legislators have worked to develop only have value if they’re accessible to everyone. Paluch argues that it’s not the case that people who aren’t part of the typical Utah model aren’t allowed to relocate to Utah.