Since opening its doors in 1995, Sutherland has had great success in expanding freedom and improving the quality of life for Utahns, while increasing accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness among Utah’s elected officials. See our legislator scorecards from 2012 and 2013 as two examples.
Utah is an example, in many ways, of the good that can come from applying conservative principles to the problems that face any group of people trying to live peaceably in community.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Sutherland staff, donors, grassroots allies and dedicated public servants, we can count the below items as some of our more notable accomplishments:
- Defanged public employee unions by stopping political action contributions through direct deductions from state payrolls.
- Established a prudent approach to dealing with Utah’s undocumented population by helping craft the Utah Compact, defeating a proposal to enact an Arizona-style approach, and working successfully on a unique Utah solution.
- Protected the meaning of marriage in Utah by arguing for a constitutional amendment defining marriage to be between a man and a woman.
- Empowered parents to improve their child’s education by creating Utah Schools at a Glance, a website ranking public, charter, and private schools based on academic achievement and environmental factors.
- Thwarted the “gay-rights” agenda in Utah by successfully opposing the “Common Ground Initiative” and by publishing a book titled Preserving Sacred Ground, which lays out a pro-marriage approach to same-sex politics.
- Strengthened government transparency and accountability by helping to pass legislation that created the state’s financial transparency website, transparent.utah.gov.
- Improved public education by pursuing passage of a statewide program that allows children to personalize their education through online learning.
- Encouraged government efficiency and accountability through legislation requiring that new programs or services establish and achieve performance goals in order to maintain taxpayer funding.
- Protected public trust in government by informing legislative ethics reforms and opposing bad ethics reform policies.
- Won three-consecutive Best of State Awards for our Transcend Series, which helped civic leaders to become better informed, equipped and skilled to serve in their respective roles.
- Encouraged school choice by allowing charter school, private school, and home school students to participate in sports, music, and arts programs at local public high schools if such programs are not available at their school of choice.
- Protected private, community-based health care solutions by passing a resolution establishing authentic charity care as a part of the state’s public policy for caring for our neighbors in need.
- Worked with citizens and elected officials in local Utah cities and towns to prevent passage of poor public policy, such as significant property tax hikes and imprudent nondiscrimination ordinances.
- Redefined Utah’s political culture regarding reasonable, civil and constructive citizenship through aggressive defenses of conservative principles such as freedom and the importance of family.