In this week’s ‘Ask the Authority,’ our Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox joined Emily Clark with updates on how Operation Rio Grande is coming along, and a look into a possible run for Governor.
This week, Operation Rio Grande took another step forward by issuing ID cards for the homeless population. When asked why this was necessary, Cox says they are helpful in many different ways. He says they want to help as many homeless persons as possible, and by knowing who they are and what services they are getting, officials can better coordinate services to help them get where they need to be. He continues to say one of the biggest problems that our friends experiencing homelessness are facing, is the fact that they don’t have an ID.
Many who are homeless are concerned that if they give out their information, and they have a warrant, they could be arrested. The Lieutenant Governor ensures that is not the purpose of the ID’s. They are not required to show ID’s to cops if they’re being questioned. It is just for services.
Cox says he feels optimistic about the progress being made in the Rio Grande area of Salt Lake City. He says the progress is slow, but sure. A lot still needs to be done, as it is a two-year project. Three new resource centers are going in across the valley and will be done in 2019. The homeless are currently getting treatment for addiction and help with getting back on their feet. Cox says jobs will be also available for them in the next couple of weeks.
The Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics put the Lieutenant Governor at the top of the list of potential winners of the Governor’s office in 2020. Cox says it’s something he is now considering after brushing it off nearly six months ago.
The Lieutenant Governor addressed the importance of living 200 miles away from his office. He says he and his family grew up in Fairview with a big family business on the farm. It was important for him to continue the seven-generation family business, so he left his job as an attorney in Salt Lake to go back and raise his family on the same farm. When Cox was asked to be Lieutenant Governor, he told the Governor if he had to move back to Salt Lake, it would be a deal-breaker. The Governor told him if he could make it work, he’d be willing to let Cox do it. Now he drives 200 miles round-trip every day, sometimes up to four hours. While it makes him tired, Cox says it’s all worth it.