Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at the opening of a new FrontRunner station in Vineyard on Aug. 12. Cox’s office is seeking input from Latino Utahns ahead of a Latino Town Hall set for Oct. 24.
(Ben B. Braun, Deseret News )
Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — If you could ask Gov. Spencer J. Cox one question, what would it be?
Latino and Hispanic Utahns have the opportunity to pose such questions through a statewide survey. The responses will be used to guide the governor’s Latino Town Hall on Oct. 24.
“The Latino community is the largest ethnically diverse community in the state,” reads the survey. “Help the Utah Governor’s Office and the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs better understand the needs and priorities of the Latino community.”
The survey asks how state government can better communicate with the Hispanic community and what could make Utah better for the Latino community. All responses are anonymous, but participants have the option to provide their age and county. Survey responses are due by Oct. 19 at 11:59 p.m. Click here to take the survey in English; or here to take it in Spanish. Registration is also required by Oct. 19.
Cox first held a Latino Town Hall while serving as lieutenant governor in 2019 along with Utah Senate President Stuart Adams and the Speaker of the House Rep. Brad Wilson. The event received criticism for not including Latino lawmakers. At the time, all three of the state’s Latina lawmakers were Democrats.
“It was a Republican-sponsored event, but the Facebook ads didn’t say that,” Rep. Angela Romero told the Salt Lake Tribune at the time. “I applaud Republicans for trying to reach out to Latinos, but the way they did it was misleading. To advertise it as a first Latino town hall and then not include your Latino elected officials, I think, is a disservice to the community.”
The Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs, which is organizing the town hall, said the event is open to leaders and community members alike to connect with state and local partners, learn about available resources and inform community priorities.
“We are unaware of any other Latino town halls prior to our current director, Nubia Peña, joining in 2019. This is the first time we are hosting this experience and we are fully aware of the significant civic leadership presence in the Latino community and will be making an intentional effort to invite leaders from different levels of government as special guests to the event,” said Claudia Loayza, the division’s planning policy and engagement coordinator.
“The governor is hoping to build better connections to the Latino community and celebrate its various strengths, not only in terms of economic contributions and pathways, but also in the way that Latinos have engaged and continue to engage our state to become a more thriving and inclusive place.”