SALT LAKE CITY — Jackie Biskupski announced Saturday that she wants to be the next mayor of Salt Lake City.
The former state legislator formally kicked off her campaign during a rally at the Salt Lake City-County Building.
Biskupski said after asking questions and not being content with the answers, she decided she would declare her candidacy. She said it is time for change, and one of her hopes as mayor would be to ensure that all children in the city have equal educational opportunities.
"We must stop allowing zip codes to determine a child's future success," Biskupski said. "As mayor, I will not stand idly by as another generation of Salt Lake City school children lose out on educational opportunities simply because of where they live."
Biskupski, who became Utah's first openly lesbian lawmaker, also promised to continue to advocate for equality.
"Because Salt Lake City has taken significant strides toward equality for the LGBT community, it is easy for some to become complacent and believe the struggle for equality is over," she said. "We are still far short of victory."
She said women and racial minorities do not earn equal pay for equal work, and women and minorities who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender still face discrimination.
"It is time for this city to have a mayor who can speak to these issues in the first person," she said in her speech.
Biskupski said as mayor she will make sure that local businesses know Salt Lake City will be an advocate and partner in their success. She also said attracting larger employers to the city must be a part of what the city government does every day.
Biskupski also has plans to improve the city's air quality.
"I will work to bring Salt Lake City affordable housing and increased employment opportunities along those transit lines, cutting down on commuting by making it attractive for our young families to live and work in our city," she said.
After asking why residents did not get to vote on the decision to fund the new Performing Arts Center when residents were allowed to vote on the Public Safety Building and the library, she promised to seek the citizens' votes and opinions about future projects.
"As mayor, I will never push for such major, costly decisions to be made with a vote of the people," she said. "And if we ever need to completely revamp the street where you live or work, I will talk to you about it first."
Biskupski was a member of the Utah's House of Representatives, serving the constituents from District 30, from 1999 to 2011.
She is the mother of her son, Archie, and currently serves as a project manager for Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder.