General Candidate Statement: David Ibarra is a community leader and successful business owner. David was raised in the Utah foster care system and needed to blaze his own trail to success. At 28 years old he started his first business, and now owns seven thriving businesses, including coaching hundreds on executive management skills. David is a seasoned leader and clearly a driven person, but because his was the path less traveled, David’s approach to leading others is also open and compassionate.
David has informally been serving our communities for years. He was an advisor to Mayors Rocky Anderson and Ralph Becker. He’s served as a board of director for Salt Lake International Airport, Utah Private Industry Council, Utah Department of Workforce Services, Latino Leaders Network, Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and many more. David was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors.
As with many self-made people, giving back came hand in hand with success. For more than 30 years David has offered free weekly mentoring sessions to business owners. Fifteen years ago, David started the Ibarra foundation. His foundation has provided full college scholarships to 89 Utah students. David is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the Salt Lake Community College.
The Mayor’s office is not a stepping stone for David, with his unique combination of municipal experience and executive leadership skills, David is ready to serve this city full time. SLC has all the ingredients to be extraordinary but has lacked the leadership to bring these components together. Our biggest challenges are connected – the key will be electing an executive with the background to take a holistic point of view.
We have tough issues to solve involving local control, air quality, growth, quality of life, inclusion, and infrastructure. We need a leader who can make good calls now, who is not afraid to widen the leadership group in city hall, while also preparing this great City for the next generation. “To achieve success, I learned to work hard and never give up. I will do what it takes to make you proud to call me your Mayor.” This is David Ibarra.
Mayoral Candidate Questions:
Salt Lake City has not had an update to the Transportation Master Plan since 1996. What is your vision for transportation in Salt Lake City, and what would you do to get a new transportation master plan in place?
How we move about the city is central to our story. While many people talk about transportation in terms of convenience, efficiency, or even as a driver for economic development, mobility is about more than that; it’s about choices, connections, and community.
Since 1996 much has change – bike lines, introduction of scooters, walkability challenges, and planning for the utilization of autonomous ride sharing electric vehicles (people movers). Updating the master plan will be a major priority for my administration. I will seek the input from all our transportation and mobility specialized knowledge partners to create and updated a new transportation and mobility master plan utilizing modern transportation and mobility options.
What is your vision for cycling (both road and mountain biking, commuting and recreation) in Salt Lake City? What would you do to make that vision happen (planning, budget, infrastructure, education, safety, economy, etc.)?
As Mayor it would be my vision to establish Salt Lake City as a top twenty city in the ratings by “People for Bikes” in their “Places for Bikes” program. To achieve this goal, we will establish our improvement goals, then create solid plans to improve our “Places for Bikes” ratings in Ridership, Safety, Network, Reach and Acceleration.
By focusing on improving our rating in the “Places for Bikes” program the results will create better mountain biking and recreation along with the improvement in our trails.
As Mayor I will focus on education and investing in motorist awareness and cyclists understanding of the rules of the road.
Climate change is endangering the planet. Car and Truck Transportation is responsible for approximately 23% of the US CO2 output according to the EPA. And, transportation accounts for approximately 50% of PM2.5 emissions according to UCAIR. Salt Lake City is moving towards carbon free electricity generation. What will you do to move towards a carbon free transportation system in Salt Lake City and consequently obtain better air quality? How do biking and walking fit in your plan?
Salt Lake City has some of the worst air quality in America. Our pollution is resulting in an increased level of asthma, brain and heart damage and much more – loss of life. Serious action is required. I will adopt far-reaching, even radical, measures to clean up our valley’s air. I will set concrete goals – then achieve them, unlike many politicians who only know how to talk.
- Getting things accomplished requires two steps not one. First, we must create the goal then we must have the concrete plan to achieve these goals.
- I will outline specific long-term and short-term goals, that will hold elected officials accountable, for substantially reducing both greenhouse gas emissions and air polluting chemicals.
- My administration will create a concrete plan for achieving our long-term and short-term goals. Beginning with 100% renewable and clean energy by 2030.
- Work with the Legislature to restore major incentives for electric cars and solar panels.
- Build affordable housing so people can live close to where they work, go to school, and recreate – reducing mobile emissions.
- Move the city’s fleet to 100% zero or low emission.
- Create greater incentives for zero-emission vehicles – reduced or reserved parking.
- Enact more aggressive green building standards.
- Incentivize green renovations for older buildings.
- End any parking lot requirements for selected new construction.
- Aggressively continue energy off sets of City buildings by using solar power. Including installation of solar panels on most city-owned buildings.
- Support incentives for solar-powered homes and commercial buildings.
- Ban, or disincentives for, incandescent light bulbs
- Develop city-wide autonomous car system, moving people from city grid to city grid to chosen location.
- Create safe, interesting, welcoming pedestrian experiences, with alternative lanes for bicycles, scooters.
- Support revenue-neutral carbon tax.
It is important to continue to point out how intertwined good policy should be. My plan achieves success for the City in the following three areas – Affordable housing, mobile emissions and air quality and walk/bike riding increasing sound health.
Complete Streets are streets for people of all ages using all types of mobility. Salt Lake City has a Complete Streets Ordinance that was passed into law in 2011. Yet the ordinance is often ignored, or circumvented (for example on 100 S, 700 S, and 2100 S). Salt Lake City recently passed the Funding Our Future Bond and implemented a city and county sales tax that will go to fund transportation. What would you do to ensure that the ordinance is strengthened and followed, especially in regard to those streets reconstructed with the bond?
The “Streets are street for all people”, including people with disabilities, ordinance must be executed as written. This ordinance accommodates cars, pedestrians, bicyclers, and scooters. The benefits are enormous to our environment and the overall health of our community.
The past investment by the Becker administration to make the “Streets are street for all people” a reality is a key component to achieving a Beautiful, Prosperous and Livable City. Past city leadership, along with stake holders, identified the root causes to our transportation, environment and sound health problems. This ordinance was part of the solution to those root causes and now that solution must be executed. Failure to execute this solution constitutes leadership incompetency and a lack of will.
As mayor, I would ensure that all city related departments (transportation, street engineers…) and all other stake holders are involved in the design and fulfillment of our city vision to modernize our transportation and mobility systems.
UDOT Roads are important corridors for bikes as well as cars. What would you do to work with UDOT to ensure that UDOT and SLC implement bike facilities on these roads such as State Street (see Life on State)?
As mayor, I will fully support transforming State Street back to the “Signature Street” of its historical past. I would work enthusiastically with UDOT, which has supported this vision in the past. The “Life on State Street” is a very exciting initiative that shows a high degree of imagination. My administration will carry this initiative forward with a great deal of enthusiasm. “Life on State Street” supports my goal to create Salt Lake City as a Beautiful, Prosperous, and Livable City.
The 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan guides bicycle and pedestrian facilities in Salt Lake City. What will you do to ensure its rapid implementation? Are there improvements that you would like to make to the plan?
The 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan along with the “Street are streets for all people” support the attainment of a my Beautiful, Prosperous and Livable City vision. And each initiative supports the other. All our related department leaders will create the rapid implementation of the 2015 Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan into their department’s Vision/Purpose statement. Their Vision/Purpose Statement will be supported by action plans. As Mayor, I will ensure there is accountability to execute these actions to achieve our desired end results – the obtainment of the purpose statement goals.
As Mayor, I would add to the Master Plan – plans for an addition of utilization of autonomous ride sharing electric vehicles (people movers) system.
Salt Lake City currently does not have a formal Vision Zero program. What will you do to work towards Vision Zero (zero fatalities) for cyclists and pedestrians in Salt Lake City? Would you commit to establishing a formal Vision Zero program? What would you like to see in regard to speed limits in Salt Lake City?
My administration will join the many cities across the nation committed to Vision Zero. Saving lives should be an easy commitment to make and we will make that commitment. SLC will meet the minimum criteria to become a Vision Zero City.
- Create a clear goal of elimination traffic fatalities and severe injuries.
- As Mayor I will publicly, commit to Vision Zero.
- As Mayor I will commit to develop a Vision Zero strategy within my first year.
- As Mayor I will engage police, transportation, public health and other key city departments to the commitment of the attainment of Vision Zero.
After gathering unshakable facts, we will set the proper city speed limit to achieve our Vision Zero goals.
What do you think of the new shared electric scooters in Salt Lake City?
The electric scooters are a nature fit for a mobility options to move people around the city. We must improve the ride process to include the safety rider and pedestrian. The pick-up and drop-off process must be improved remove the overall cluttered appearance of a poorly designed system and improve the safety issue related to trips and falls.
What is the biggest issue for cyclists currently in Salt Lake City and what will you do to address it?
Creating a vision for all our resident to understand our goal to modernize SLC’s transportation and mobility plans and what impact they have to the future of our city.
Safety! Rules of conduct for the cyclist and automobile reviewed, updated, installed through education and then enforce.
Do you ride a bicycle? Tell us more about how and where you ride.
I prefer to walk, jog or run. I walk our city 45 minutes every night to wind down and maintain sound health. I have a vehicle usage rule – If I am within 30 walking minutes distant – I try to never use a personal car, cab, or Uber. I enjoy the outdoors by walking, jogging and running. I run one marathon every other year. I have completed seven. I will switch to bicycling once my running day have past. Until then I will continue to share the trails with cyclist as I jog and run those same trails.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
[Editor's note: no answer]