Tuesday , July 10, 2018 - 5:15 AM1 comment
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a new location for the student panel.
SALT LAKE CITY — The “Road to Change” bus tour is stopping in Utah.
The tour was launched June 15 in Chicago by the Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors and March for Our Lives organizers, including Emma González, David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin and Cameron Kasky. They will join local activists from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 14 at the Megaplex Theatres in South Jordan.
The group initially announced a student panel would take place in the afternoon, Saturday, July 14, at Salt Lake Community College Redwood Campus Adler Amphitheater.
However, a Monday night Facebook post announced that “due to a tour scheduling outside of our control,” the event will not be held at SLCC and will happen in the evening.
The nationwide bus tour aims to register people to vote and talk to the community about the candidates supported by the National Rifle Association.
Elizabeth Love, an organizer with March for Our Lives SLC, said in a news release the group is advocating for common-sense gun reforms.
“We want our politicians to do the same,” Love said. “Unfortunately, for many of our current representatives, that means voting them out and replacing them with someone who will prioritize the voices of students over the influence of gun lobby.”
The group has identified U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, as a politician who has benefited from the NRA.
Han Johnson, a Northern Utah organizer with March for Our Lives SLC, said the location of the event was intentional, as it falls within the state’s Congressional District 4 represented by Love.
Love and the Utah Congressional Delegation were invited to a town hall in April in Salt Lake City but none of them attended.
“She says we have to listen to the students because they are the future, yet she has no interest in listening to the students,” Johnson said.
According to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan think tank, in the 2015-16 election cycle, Love received $61,900 from gun rights groups. She ranks 13 in the list of top 20 congress members who receive the most money from gun rights groups.
Richard Piatt, Love’s communication director, said in an email that Love’s office has been “actively working with someone from the group to find a date to meet.”
“Congresswoman Love is extremely concerned about violence in schools and in society in general. As a mother with three children in public schools, this especially hits home,” Piatt said. “She just wants to make sure we find solutions that make a real difference and that uphold our citizens’ Constitutional rights.”
Johnson said the student panel and the rally will focus on registering young people to vote.
“The biggest thing we’ll like to see is higher voter turnout among the youngest generation,” Johnson said. “A couple of my friends were casting their ballots along with me and it was so unifying.”
Johnson said those interested in attending the panel discussion are encouraged to register at marchforourlivesslc.com.
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