Air quality among topics in Utah Citizens’ Counsel report on human rights

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SALT LAKE CITY -- A politically minded group made up mostly of senior citizens hopes to use their experience to shape Utah’s future.

The Utah Citizens' Counsel--which advocates for senior citizens, is made up of volunteers and is non-partisan--released their annual report earlier this week.

“We aim to sharpen citizens' sensitivities about the importance of human rights in Utah,” said Aileen Clyve, Utah Citizen’s Counsel. “...The purpose of the counsel is to  bring together seniors who've had a great deal of experience in life and in Utah and who wanted to work together, to help support progress in Utah."

For the past 10 years, members and associates have tackled topics from the environment to public safety.

Nancy Haanstead, a former professor of political science at Weber State University who is now with the counsel, spoke about the issue of gun violence.

“More American women were killed by guns in domestic violence situations than the total number of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan killed in action in the years 2001 to 2012,” she said.

The group’s report addressed  Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s clean air report

“They have a suggestion of a modest increase in sales tax to fund expansion of public transportation,” said David Carrier, who is on the environmental committee. “We think that’s a very important recommendation.”

But it's not all support.

“We believe the report uses overly optimistic numbers to assess the impact the tier three is going to have for the state of Utah,” Carrier said.

The counsel creates the annual report in hopes of using their past experience to shape the future.

“We feel that we can do much more together than we can do individually,” Clyve said.

The group meets regularly at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, and their full report is available by clicking here.