A Utah non-profit striving for political honesty and open communication between voters and politicians.

Harbor Communication

Ourwrites.org strives to connect voters with their elected officials and candidates. You ask the questions and Ourwrites.org gets them answered through interviews with willing candidates and politicians.

Check It Out

Fact Checking and Oversight

Ourwrites.org is all about political transparency. We strive to ensure that politicians keep to their word, identifying and alerting users when they haven’t. We research claims and check up on candidates after their election to see if they’re following through on their promises.

Open Conversation

This website also serves as an open forum for its users. Users are free to discuss politicians and candidates, the current political climate, and have the ability to submit questions for us to research on your behalf.

Our mission is to put the power back in the voter’s hands.


  • You, as an Ourwrites.org user, have the ability to submit questions for your candidates and elected officials.
  • We then take your most popular questions (or issues) and take them to the candidates.
  • Ourwrites.org returns with interviews and research, straight to this website.


Candidates are rarely called out when they don’t fulfill their campaign promises.  Far too often, issues are swept under the rug once an official is elected. Establishing an open line of communication with elected officials is difficult and sometimes impossible.


That stops now.









The White House has let the Jones Act Waiver Expire


The White House refuses to continue to waive the Jones Act, which would greatly benefit the people of Puerto Rico. If you’re unfamiliar with the Jones Act, it bars foreign-flagged vessels from entering two US ports consecutively. So, for example, a ship registered in Liberia can dock in San Juan, or in Miami, but not Miami and then San Juan.


Importantly, they also can’t deliver aid to multiple ports within Puerto Rico, nor deliver aid to Puerto Rico after having completed an unrelated docking elsewhere in the US. So, for example, if a ship from Asia docks in the Port of Houston to deliver cars or clothes or something manufactured abroad, they might well be passing right by Puerto Rico on their way back around the Horn of Africa, and they might well be mostly empty just dead-heading back to Asia. Sounds like a great chance to load it up with supplies and drop off in PR before carrying on, right? Not under the Jones Act. Or if a foreign ship is headed to Miami to drop off unrelated goods and also wants to carry relief/aid supplies to Puerto Rico on the same trip, no dice. Only one or the other is allowed.


Foreign vessels can provide aid, but the Jones Act makes it more difficult to do so.


The president has shown his cards, so-to-speak, on this issue, revealing that it is pressure from importers that benefit from the Jones act that has caused the U.S. not to provide the same waiver it did for Florida.


This is amidst a growing need for supplies in Puerto Rico after the wake of recent hurricanes. A video posted on twitter of some kind-hearted veterans who are attempting to help in Puerto Rico paints a pretty grim picture:


Utah Homeless

Homelessness has been a serious and growing issue in the Salt Lake Valley for many years. Up until the last few years, though, their population was primarily subjugated to a few blocks downtown. Now, as their population increases and police disperse their concentration from the Rio Grande area in SLC, they are being seen everywhere across this valley in greater numbers than ever before. Most residents aren’t fans of this development, but proposed solutions are equally despised.


The county has been seeking sites for proposed homeless shelters across the valley for quite some time, but has faced serious opposition from constituent voters in the available cities. Recently, Mayor Troy Walker was forced to rescind his offer of placing a homeless shelter in Draper, when voters began yelling and threatening impeachment at him during a recent public gathering in Draper. Walker is quoted as saying “I get it now,” minutes before leaving the gathering.


This is similar opposition to what has been seen across the board at each proposed site for new homeless shelters, that are evidently badly needed in the valley.


Walking downtown used to be an entirely different experience. Sure, the Rio Grande area was always rife with homeless laying on the lawns and parks, or crowded around the one shelter there, but the rest of the city remained relatively untouched, save for some panhandlers here and there. Rio Grande could get surprisingly sketchy at night, for UT standards, with people constantly offering you drugs of all kinds as you walked by. Since the police have started dispersing the homeless concentration there, the affected people have been filtered throughout the streets of downtown, and like a ripple in a pond, the homeless population has spread across the valley in greater numbers.


Before, you would primarily see homeless panhandling at freeway on/off-ramps outside of downtown. Recently, you now see them on many street corners, as far as 700 east, and as far South as Sandy. Residents are aware of the growing issue, which some have thought was largely responsible for The Gateway Mall’s steady spiral into oblivion, but very few Utah residents seem keen to have a homeless shelter or facilities placed in their own city.


Recently, four homeless facilities were announced:

  • 653 E. Simpson Ave (near 2300 South)
  • 275 W. High Ave (approximately 1400 South)
  • 131 E. 700 South
  • 648 W. 100 South

Each is supposed to “house” rather than “shelter” 150 people. Supposedly, queueing will not be allowed outside, and meals will only be served to people staying at the facilities. One of facilities will be woman-only, and one will be directed at young, at-risk youth. Although residents in the effected neighborhoods are very concerned, especially business owners (perhaps rightly so), the plans for these facilities seem well laid so far, making good use of available infrastructure, such as public transit.


The fact of the matter is that these facilities are extremely important for assisting the homeless in getting back on their feet, and more importantly, staying alive, especially with the approaching winter. It seems like many people overlook the fact that the homeless population is not entirely comprised of vagrants and drug addicts, in fact, a large population of homeless people are closer to being “in between” homes, through bad luck or poor planning. Without shelters and the resources they provide, many of them would be unable to get back on their feet and back into housing, and many more start a downward spiral, ceasing to be productive members of society.


Ouwrites.org is currently seeking commentary on the homelessness issue in the Salt Lake Valley from elected officials.

Utah State Democratic Party Organizing Convention

This Saturday, June 17, the Utah State Democratic Party held their annual organizing convention. At the convention an election was held for the party’s Executive Committee. The results are as follows:


Chair: Daisy Thomas
Vice Chair: Marcus Stevenson
Secretary: Cristobal Villegas
Treasurer: Crystal Young-Otterstrom


The Democratic Caucuses also held meetings at the convention.


The role of Chair decides the direction of Utah State Democrats in policy and action, so this was an important election. Daisy Thomas ran on a platform of uniting the somewhat divided party, hoping to bring the disenfranchised Bernie supporters back into the fold. Daisy spoke a lot about cooperation, the lack-there-of in recent times and the need for it in the coming months. There were 9 candidates running for Chair, so this was a much more competitive election for the party than usual.


Daisy Thomas also praised a group of people who were silently protesting the party’s decision not to release the results of the probe into allegations against Rob Miller. Miller had been accused of unwanted kissing, groping, and making inappropriate comments to women. Miller claims that the allegations were part of a conspiracy to ensure a woman would be elected to the position. The protesters stood with their backs to certain speakers who would have been involved with the probe, gagging themselves with tape over their mouths.


There were also disparaging emails that essentially boiled down to finger pointing that were passed around to Utah Delegates, ranging from accusing candidates of Marijuana use to bringing up unpaid traffic violations. The accused responded to the email chains defending themselves, though at that point the damage is done and you have to ask yourself whether a response is dignified. These events seem to be a good example of the disorganization and divided nature of the Utah Democrats. Slinging dirt at each other on and off the stage and generally muddying the political process for blue voters across the state.


Hopefully Daisy Thomas is up to the task of uniting the party and returning organization to the party.

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