Who is representing South Jordan? A sit down with Rep. Susan Pulsipher
Jan 06, 2020 11:03AM
● By Susan Palmer
By Susan Palmer | [email protected]
Susan Pulsipher is the South Jordan Representative for District 50 for Utah State House of Representatives. She agreed to an interview to share her thoughts after the Town Hall Meeting at the South Jordan Public Safety building on Nov. 9.
South Jordan Journal: What made you decide to enter politics as a government representative?
Susan Pulsipher: I was involved in schools with my children, and I lived in another state, in Las Vegas. I got involved in a lot of committees in the school district and was involved in the government as a volunteer. I served on many interesting committees. One was a committee that made recommendations to the school board, and one looked at how to plan school construction in our county. Then I was on a regional committee representing the public that offered accreditation to schools. Then, when we moved here to South Jordan 20 years ago, someone called me one day and said they were looking for people to run for the school board in Jordan School District, and I thought that would be interesting. That was my experience. I got elected to Jordan School Board, and I served with them for six years. That was my first introduction to being in government, and it was really an amazing experience. A couple of years ago, our representative in this area decided to run for the senate, so the seat was vacant, and he said, “You should run for office.” I had always thought I wouldn’t like doing this, but I thought it was the right thing to do. I thought with my experience in education, I could bring some valuable information to the seat. So, I went ahead signed up and was elected. It has just been one step at a time, and it was something that I never saw myself doing. I realized that just regular people can step up and make a difference and help to do good things.
SJJ: What do you think about women in politics, and do you think more women should consider running for political offices?
Pulsipher: I do. I think that women hesitate, maybe a little bit like I did in the sense that I never saw myself doing it. But I think more women should run for office because I think they bring a different kind of voice, and I think it is needed to have a good balance.
SJJ: What are the most important issues to you right now that are being proposed in the Utah State Legislature?
Pulsipher: This summer, I have been working on the vaping issue. That is very important to me to be able to help our students not go down the path of addiction, which will affect them the rest of their lives. I am working on education and education funding trying to get the right balance. I also have a strong passion for local control in the southwest part of the valley. It has been mentioned by many that there are people in other parts of the state and other parts of the valley that would like to tell us how we should fill up our land and how we should choose to do housing. I think that decision belongs to the residents, and I am a big advocate for local control. I am concerned about the transportation, and that is a big issue in our part of the valley. Looking at transportation and housing in our area is really important to me.
SJJ: What are you hearing from the people in South Jordan regarding issues that are concerning to them?
Pulsipher: Transportation is a really big one, and I do hear people who have concerns because of the population growth in this part of the valley. Interestingly, the population growth in Herriman impacts South Jordan because they drive down the roads to get to I-15. The roads are now getting more and more traffic and more congestion, and a lot of people are concerned about it. It is interesting that people are happy to have the land developed, but they just need to have the transportation worked out so it does not go down the same roads. I think finishing Mountain View Corridor or at least the frontage roads so that you can get to I-15 and finishing the interchanges on Bangerter Highway so it runs like the freeway are very important.
SJJ: There is the issue of the State Tax Restructure that is being discussed in the Utah State Legislate. What comments have people in South Jordan made to you?
Pulsipher: I have not heard as much about the tax issue as I expected to hear. But I think people are concerned about certain components of it. There are certain components that they like and certain components that they don’t like. Again, in South Jordan, in my area, I have heard a lot of people talk about the taxing of Social Security benefits for seniors. There many states that don’t have an income tax for Social Security, but Utah does. In fact, I was talking to a cousin who lives in Pennsylvania, and her husband is retiring soon, and she is thinking about where they want to live, and she asked me that very question, “Are they going to get rid of the senior Social Security income tax?” So, it is out there, and I hear about that a lot.
SJJ: Are you considering running for the next term?
Pulsipher: Yes, I am planning to run. I have been the legislature for three years now, and finishing this term will be four. I feel like I have been dealing with some very important issues, and I feel that I need to have four more years to make a big impact.
SJJ: You keep a lot of people informed by sending out information. Do you get a lot of feedback from what you send out?
Pulsipher: I get a lot of feedback, and that is the one thing that I put time into. I am probably not the best at social media; I do not put as many things on it. I try to get people to help me to do that, but I feel strongly the need to communicate with people. I love the Town Hall meetings, and I have thought about having my own Town Hall. I do feel that most people would rather go once rather than twice, so I love that Lincoln (Senator Fillmore) lets us be a part of his so we can get that information out and people do not have to come out two different weekends to talk to people. I do send out an email, and I try to be descriptive on the big issues and also on what I am specifically doing. Accountability is so important to people. I feel like people elect me to be their representative, so I want to know what they think, and I want them to know what I am working on.
The next South Jordan Town Hall Meeting will be held Jan. 18at 1 p.m. at the South Jordan City Library.