Daniel Craig Friend
Name: Daniel Craig Friend
Race: State House District 64
Phone: (435) 557-0562
Education: Bachelor of Arts, BYU
What are the biggest issues facing Utah Valley and how do you plan to address them?
The three things we need most in Utah Valley are good schools, clean air, and affordable housing.
Utah has far more children than average, yet we are consistently dead-last in per-pupil spending. This puts our kids at a disadvantage when they graduate. To change this, we need to pay our teachers better. Too many of our educators are either leaving the profession or leaving the state because they can’t make ends meet, leaving us with huge class sizes and other problems. A teacher’s salary should be enough to support a family. My grandfather raised seven kids while working as a high school librarian in West Valley City. Today’s educators should be able to be the same.
Utah Valley’s air quality is far too often worse than Southern California’s. We can’t change our geography, but we can change what we put into the air. A full half of our valley’s air pollution comes from our vehicles (at least, when there’s not a fire going on). I want to bring down the cost of hybrid and electric vehicles so that families can afford them. I also support making our cities safer and friendlier for bicycles. In the long term, we must pivot away from burning fossil fuels and toward sustainable, renewable energy sources. Solar panels are not only clean and getting cheaper, but they can help families become more self-sufficient and communities become more resilient to disasters.
As Utah County’s population continues to grow, we must make sure that every family that wants to live here can find a home. Most of this growth comes from our own children growing up and starting their families close to home. Yet the price of housing is far too high–for both renters and homeowners. I saw my rent go up every year for the past six years, even though the service my landlord provided–our apartment–was exactly the same. We were able to buy a house this January, but if we were looking at buying the same house now, ten months later, it could well be out of our price range. Why are these stories so typical of Provo? Because housing supply has not kept up with demand. Our state must take steps to reverse this trend. We must build more housing, making sure affordable housing is built as well as luxury. Our geography is a challenge here, too: we only have a narrow strip of land between lake and mountains where we can build, and that land is some of Utah’s best cropland. The more efficiently we build our cities, the more of that farmland can be kept rural.
What sets you apart from other candidates?
I am the best choice to represent this district because of all the candidates, I am the most representative of it. Over 45 percent of this district’s residents are Millennials like me. I’m an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I speak Spanish. Unlike the other candidates, I have rented in Provo for the past eight years. I’ve seen firsthand how little recourse tenants have against a bad landlord. Most importantly, I have been listening to constituents. After all, how can anyone represent the people of a district if they haven’t met them? I have personally contacted over 2,300 voters this year, and I plan keep on doing so through Election Day, and if elected, throughout my term in office.
What relevant experience do you have for this position?
Last year, I worked as Communications Director for Dr. Kathie Allen’s campaign for U.S. Congress. From 2016 to 2018, I served as a County and State Delegate for the Utah Democratic Party. I also worked the 2012 election between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama as a Utah County Elections Clerk. I am an Eagle Scout and a former attendee of Boys’ State.
What previous elected positions have you held?
This is my first time running for elected office.
Is there anything else you want your readers to know about you?
I am running for this seat for the sake of my family and my neighbors. My wife and I are excited to be expecting our first child this February. Good schools, clean air, and an affordable home are the things I want for that baby, and for all my neighbors’ children too.