Rainbow clouds in Utah; thousands of bags of frozen French fries spilled across I-15 yesterday; and Gov. Cox signed special election bill
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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 editor@utahpolicy.com.


Situational Analysis | June 19, 2023

It's Monday. Happy Juneteenth! 

What You Need to Know

  • Today is Juneteenth, which has only been a federal holiday for three years (state holiday for two). The date commemorates the fall of slavery in Galveston, Texas, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863. Two and a half years long years where slaves were technically free but slave owners in Texas refused to release their slaves or let them know about the Proclamation. It took federal troops marching to Galveston to announce the freedom of a quarter of a million people still enslaved. Juneteenth celebrates "the transition from slavery to freedom. Juneteenth is still getting known as a holiday and its an important one. We started observing Juneteenth in our home three years ago. As Maya Angelou notes, "When you know better, do better." Now we know. 

Rapid Relevance

  • Rainbow clouds display streak of colors over Utah sky; pass the fry sauce! Thousands of bags of frozen French fries spilled across I-15 yesterday; and Gov. Cox signed bill setting the dates for this year's special congressional election and the state's municipal elections.

Utah’s Open Space is Shrinking – What You Can Do

Population growth impacts recreation opportunities and open space in Utah. Leaders welcome input on how to protect them. Take the survey and be heard.



  • Black-owned businesses highlighted during Juneteenth celebration (Fox13)
  • Juneteenth celebrations continue all across Utah (KSL TV)
  • Juneteenth in Utah: From overshadowed to state holiday (KSL Newsradio)
  • A beginner’s guide to Juneteenth: How can all Americans celebrate?(AP)
  • The story behind Juneteenth and what this federal holiday means for race in America (Deseret News)
  • The story behind Juneteenth and how it became a federal holiday (AP)
  • Andre’ M. Boyd: Fort Africa’s battle at Island Mound and the foundation of Juneteenth (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • The meaning of Juneteenth. The history of the holiday is part of America’s pain. But Juneteenth is also part of America’s victory (Deseret News)
  • Betty Sawyer on planning the ‘big family reunion’ that is Juneteenth (Deseret News)
  • Utah celebrates second official Juneteenth (KSL Newsradio)
  • U of U professor explains racial struggle of prominent Black pioneer, Jane Manning James (KUTV)
  • Black Catholics celebrate Juneteenth, reckon with church’s history of slavery (Washington Post)
  • Americans mark Juneteenth with parties, events and quiet reflection on the end of slavery (AP)
  • Juneteenth, the newest federal holiday, is gaining awareness (NPR)
  • Juneteenth is growing. Some Texans worry it’s losing meaning. (Washington Post)

Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Are you a Romney or a Trump Republican? (Deseret News)
  • To send a neutral political message, LDS apostles should register as independents, says Dem Ben McAdams (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Mitt Romney: ‘I’m angry’ that Donald Trump is putting the country through ‘angst and tumult’ over documents case. Sen. Mike Lee is fundraising off of his criticisms of Trump’s indictment, saying the charges are politically motivated. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Take 2 Podcast: CD2 race, Utah Special Session Committee on book bans, abortion law (KUTV)
  • Why the sponsor of the sensitive materials bill says the Bible should be in schools (ABC4)

Election news

  • Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signs bill changing municipal election dates (KSL TV)
  • Previewing the Utah GOP convention for the special election (ABC4)

General Utah news

  • Dramatic tale surfaces after sunken boat retrieved from Lake Powell 30 years later (KSL)
  • Clinton mom says man brandished gun at 13-year-old's snow cone stand (KSL)
  • From hand-drawn stickers to full murals, this artist is proving vulnerability is rewarding if you just let go (St. George News)
  • The show must go on: Judge sides with organizers in lawsuit, orders city to allow drag show in St. George (Fox13)


  • UPS workers authorize the right to strike: What could this look like in a world more reliant on deliveries than ever? (Deseret News)
  • Outdoor Retailer show returning to Salt Lake City for second time in 2023 (KUTV)
  • America’s largest Asian supermarket chain is coming to Utah (ABC4)
  • New grads have no idea how to behave in the office. Help is on the way (Wall Street Journal)


  • Can food be holy? What different religions believe about food and fasting (Deseret News)


  • Former BYU cornerback Corby Eason living the dream as a junior high principal in Layton (Deseret News)
  • Noelle Cockett’s name now is on USU Life Sciences Building (Cache Valley Daily)
  • BYU collaborates with Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial (Daily Universe)


  • Editorial Board: Parleys Canyon is not the place for a quarry (Deseret News)
  • Building renewable energy projects a better way with community buy-in (Deseret News)
  • The future of conservative environmentalism is bright, Utah congressmen say to young conferencegoers. (Deseret News)
  • Speaking at conference, Utah delegation hopeful for GOP climate policies (Daily Herald)
  • New rule would allow for conservation leases on public land, but some western politicians, including Cox, are skeptical (Deseret News)
  • Timpanogos Cave opens after winter damage cleared (Fox13)
  • Utah’s big spring runoff is creating swanky spawning grounds for the June sucker (KUER)
  • In some fights over solar, it's environmentalist vs. environmentalist (NPR)


  • Derwin Gray: How fatherhood transformed me (Deseret News)
  • Father's Day for the dad of a mega-family. What is it like to be the father of 25 children from 8 different countries, of different races, ethnicities and abilities? (Deseret News)
  • Andy Reid calls his wedding ring ‘my Super Bowl ring’ (Deseret News)
  • The woman who founded Father's Day was a renegade, great-granddaughter says (KSL)
  • 8 life lessons we can learn from our dads (NPR)


  •  Huntington's spreads like 'fire in the brain.' Scientists say they've found the spark (NPR)


  • Eviction in Utah ‘moves quickly and is confusing,’ and its numbers are skyrocketing (Salt Lake Tribune)

National Headlines


  • Airfare prices to Europe are at 5-year high from the US, but Americans are going anyway (Deseret News)
  • ‘It was hell’: Hostage freed after years in Africa recounts ordeal and frustrations with US response (AP)
  • Famed Alaskan bush pilot and ex-reality show star dies in plane crash (Washington Post)


  • Blinken and Xi pledge to stabilize the deteriorating ties between the US and China (AP)
  • Trump and other Republicans conjure a familiar enemy in attacking Democrats as ‘communists’ (AP)
  • Trump’s attacks on FBI, DOJ create Senate GOP fault line (The Hill)
  • GOP House Intel chair says Trump classified documents case ‘of grave concern’ (The Hill)
  • Former Trump Defense secretary brands him a security threat (Politico)
  • Republican reaction to Trump indictment is ‘absurd,’ former GOP governor says (Politico)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Rescuers are braving snipers as they rush to ferry Ukrainians from Russia-occupied flood zones (AP)
  • Both sides suffer heavy casualties as Ukraine strikes back against Russia, UK assessment says (AP)
  • Ukraine says eight villages retaken from Russian forces in two weeks (Reuters)
  • Ukraine hits Russian ammunition depot deep in occupied territory (Wall Street Journal)
  • A battle to save Ukraine's cultural heritage (New York Times)
  • Ukraine clamps down on corruption as Western supporters cast watchful eye (Washington Post)
  • UN: Russia won’t permit aid workers in flooded areas after Ukraine dam collapse (The Hill)


  • Nearly 100 die as India struggles with a sweltering heat wave in 2 most populous states (AP)
  • Americans describe harsh life in Russian labor camp (Wall Street Journal)

News Releases

Gov. Cox signs bill setting 2023 election dates

Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox signed HB 2001, Election Amendments on Saturday. This bill, which passed in a special session of the Legislature on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, enacts provisions related to a special election in the 2nd Congressional District, and the municipal elections that will be held in 2023. (Read More)

Legislators introduce Great Salt Lake Stewardship Act

Last week, Representative John Curtis (UT-03) alongside Reps. Stewart (UT-02), Moore (UT-01), and Owens (UT-04) introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to use unexpended funds from the Central Utah Project Completion Act to conduct water conservation measures in the Great Salt Lake basin. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, June 19, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-06-19 at 7.54.49 AM



  • GOP special election convention — June 24, Delta High School
  • United Utah special election convention — June 27, 7:00 pm, Hunter Library
  • Democratic special election convention — June 28
  • Municipal election filing period for cities using ranked choice voting — August 8-15
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept 5
  • General election — Nov 21

On This Day In History

  • 1846 - The first modern baseball game is played between the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine. Using an established set of rules to define the game, the Nine defeated the Knickerbockers 23-1.
  • 1865 - The first “Juneteenth” as the abolition of slavery is announced in Texas as Union soldiers arrive in Galveston with the news that the Civil War is over and slavery is abolished, even though the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued 2 ½ years earlier. 
  • 1888 - Hilda Worthington Smith is born. A labor educator and social worker, she was the first Director of the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry.
  • 1898 - A fire turns Park City into a “fiery furnace,” burning 119 buildings and almost completely destroying the city.
  • 1953 - Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are executed for treason.
  • 1964 - The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes 73-27.

Quote of the Day

"The 21⁄2 years of seditious, deceptive and inhumane actions by enslavers is part of America’s story. Juneteenth, which represents the freedom from slavery, is part of America’s victory."

—Rev. Theresa A. Dear

On the Punny Side

Wife: Do you want dinner?

Husband: Sure, what are my choices?

Wife: Yes and no.


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