It's Good Friday and a holy weekend for many; Utah voters prefer DeSantis to Trump; Utah Jazz out of post-season play
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The Utah Policy newsletter is your one-stop source for political and policy-minded news. We scour the news so you don't have to! Send news tips or feedback to Holly Richardson at


Situational Analysis | April 7, 2023

Today is Good Friday, considered by many Christians as one of the holiest days of the year. This weekend marks a relatively rare occurrence when the world's major religions will observe Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. 

What You Need to Know

  • In what the AP is calling "an extraordinary act of political retaliation," Tennessee Republicans on Thursday expelled two Black Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson from the state Legislature for their role in a protest calling for more gun control in the aftermath of a deadly school shooting in Nashville. A third, white, Democrat, Rep. Gloria Johnson, was narrowly spared by a one-vote margin. During the "debate," one Republican lawmaker told Jones to play nice and focus less on race. “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to make a change for my community,” he replied.

Rapid Roundup


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Poll: Utah voters like DeSantis as ’24 GOP nominee (Deseret News)
  • Earl Fry: Finland’s arduous road to NATO membership (Deseret News)
  • Cox calls for Utahns to donate at least $3 to help alleviate homelessness (KSL)
  • Ogden Diversity Commission member says he faces ouster ‘for defending diversity’ (Standard-Examiner)
  • Logan to host former president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko (Herald Journal)
  • Gov. Cox to lawmakers: Stop rushing bills through with little public input (Deseret News)

General Utah news

  • Lauri Markkanen will reportedly fulfill military service requirement in Finland this summer (Deseret News)
  • Crews finish search says no skiers, guests caught in avalanche at Snowbird ski resort (KUTV)
  • CAPSA highlighting Sexual Assault Awareness month locally with new campaign (Cache Valley Daily)
  • Guns, pill bottles, holes in wall found in Spanish Fork house where couple was killed (KSL)
  • Former Utah State student club president charged with misusing $300K in COVID-19 relief funds (KSL)


  • Twitter tantrum? Elon Musk defends labeling NPR ‘state media’ outlet, targets NYT, embraces poop response to news inquiries (Deseret News)


  • BYU team wins ‘student Emmy’ for animated axolotl in short film ‘Cenote’ (ABC4)
  • Alpine School District recognized for clean energy efforts (Daily Herald)


  • What is the Ski and Snowboarding Caucus? A Utah Republican and New Hampshire Democrat explain (Deseret News)
  • Deer populations rebounding in Utah, but state seeks fewer hunting permits in 2023 (KSL)
  • Utah’s snow water equivalent peaks at 30 inches (ABC4)
  • Salt Lake City, County close to being removed from drought status (Fox13)
  • ‘Astrotourism’ preservation campaign shines light on Utah beyond Dark Sky Month (St. George News)
  • ‘It’s getting bad’: residents worried about Jordan River Trail erosion (KUER)


  • Is drinking safe for you? Conventional wisdom is being overturned. Now a new study showed no amount of alcohol benefits a person overall (Deseret News)
  • Social isolation can make you more tired, study finds (Deseret News)


  • Utah rent prices surge, experts weigh in on potential housing solutions (KSL Newsradio)
  • ‘We’re seeing evictions explode’ and other takeaways from a renters’ forum (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Have Utah home builders hit bottom? How the housing market is changing (KUTV)

National Headlines


  • US adds a healthy 236,000 jobs despite Fed’s rate hikes (AP)
  • US job growth strong in March; unemployment rate falls to 3.5% (Reuters)
  • A fatal mistake: The truth behind a Marine Corps lie and broken promises (NPR)
  • No, the IRS isn't calling you. It isn't texting or emailing you, either (NPR)
  • Lost graves reveal story of African American church in Williamsburg (Washington Post)
  • ‘I could see my eye with my other eye’: Jeremy Renner reveals new details of severe snowplow accident (Deseret News)


  • Most oppose Social Security, Medicare cuts (AP)
  • Biden vetoes bill that sought to toss EPA water protections (AP)
  • Americans divided over criminal charges against Trump (Reuters)
  • Supreme Court refuses to reinstate West Virginia’s transgender athlete ban (Washington Post)
  • Former Michigan House speaker charged with accepting bribes for cannabis licenses (The Hill)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  •  Ukraine strikes Russian military base in occupied south as offensive looms (Wall Street Journal)
  • Ukraine war plans leak prompts Pentagon investigation. Classified documents detailing secret American and NATO plans have appeared on Twitter and Telegram. (New York Times)


  • Israel strikes Lebanon and Gaza after rockets fired; two killed in shooting attack (Washington Post)
  • Filipinos nailed to crosses despite church objection (AP)
  • To save her children, one woman tries — twice — to escape a Rohingya camp on a smuggler’s boat (Washington Post)

News Release

‘Spikes2Utah’ student-led campaign to return the Golden Spike to Utah

Utah is well-known for its historic role in the building of the transcontinental railroad; however many may be surprised to learn that the Golden Spike, the ceremonial final spike driven to join the rails of the transcontinental railroad, is not in Utah but instead housed at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University in California.

Neil Armstrong Academy fourth grade teacher Mr. Pendleton traveled to San Francisco with his family last summer and visited the Cantor Arts Center to see the Golden Spike. Mr. Pendleton was shocked to find that there was no special display for the Golden Spike. In fact, there was not even a name plate identifying it, nor any kind of explanation as to what it was or its historical significance. This inspired Mr. Pendleton to create a writing assignment for his fourth grade class to write persuasive letters to the museum to convince them that the Golden Spike deserves an honored place in Utah. This writing assignment has since blossomed into a full-fledged media campaign led by Armstrong Academy fourth grade students requesting the Cantor Arts Center loan the Golden Spike, Silver Spike, and Silver Maul to the Museum of Utah. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, Apr 7, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-04-07 at 7.46.45 AM



  • UVU Conference on Domestic Violence — April 14, 9:00 am-4:00 pm, Register here
  • Teen Girls Experiencing Increased Sadness and Violence with Utah Women and Leadership Project — April 25, 12:00-1:15 pm via Zoom, Register here
  • United Utah Party State Convention — April 29, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Lehi High School with keynote speakers Teri McCabe and Jay Mcfarland
  • Mount Liberty College Spring Youth Seminar on The Virginian — May 6, 9 am-7 pm, Register Here

On This Day In History 

  • 1805 - Lewis and Clark begin their journey to the Pacific Ocean, accompanied by Sacagawea and her two-month old baby, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau.
  • 1860 - First Pony Express comes to Utah.
  • 1890 - Marjory Stoneman Douglas is born. She was a writer, suffragist, women’s rights advocate, environmentalist and championed the culture of first Americans. She also created “Friends of the Everglades” with a million acres established in 1978 as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Wilderness Area. She lived to be 108.
  • 1891 - Martha Eliot is born. She became a pediatrician who researched and proved the beneficial effects of cod liver oil and sunbaths to prevent rickets. She wrote provisions for "dependent and crippled children" in the 1935 Social Security Act, and was the only woman to sign the constitution of the new World Health Organization in 1947.
  • 1940 - US Post Office issues the first postage stamp of Black educator, Booker T. Washington.
  • 1954 - President Eisenhower delivers his Cold War “domino theory” speech, when he suggested the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a “domino effect” in Southeast Asia. This theory dominated US thinking about Vietnam for at least the next decade.
  • 1987 - The National Museum of Women in the Arts opens in Washington, D.C. It is the first museum devoted to women artists. 
  • 2003 - US troops capture Baghdad.

Quote of the Day

"Working hard for something we don't care about is called stressed; working hard for something we love is called passion."

—Simon Sinek

On the Punny Side

Chocolate may be your favorite Easter candy, but all we are saying is give Peeps a chance.


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