SALT LAKE CITY – Hundreds of Utah citizens held a rally at the Utah State Capitol on Wednesday to demand Governor Gary Herbert and other leaders do something about Utah’s poor air quality.
Cherise Udell, founder of Utah Moms For Clean Air, said those in attendance were there to deliver a petition directly to Gov. Gary Herbert.
“We’re calling on our government to show leadership, so they can help people make the right decisions to clean our air,” she said.
Marjorie McCloy said this rally began with a petition she started about a week ago, which has nearly 8,000 signatures.
“The petition is to ask Governor Herbert to not ignore the air that we have in our valley,” she said.
McCloy claimed they had an appointment to hand-deliver the petition to the Governor’s Environmental Adviser, Alan Matheson, since the Governor was in Washington D.C. The petition was not accepted by Matheson personally, but was instead passed along by an aide. This was not the reception the protesters were hoping to receive.
One protester said, “We've come to the state capitol to speak, to turn over our petition, and the people are in a public health emergency, and this Governor doesn’t have the respect for human life to have somebody pick up the petition from us. I’m floored.”
The crowd waited for more than an hour, hoping to speak with a government official, but without success.
The Governor’s Office said there were not any appointments set up between government officials and anyone associated with the rally. They also said they welcome people to come to the capitol and express their opinions, but said without an appointment they can’t just spring into action—especially during the busy legislative session.
The group plans to present their petition to the Governor sometime in the next week.