Erin Mendenhall is the 36th mayor of Salt Lake City, a battle-tested leader moving our city forward by bringing people together. She has guided our resilient, dynamic city through crisis after crisis while improving our air quality, expanding our housing inventory, taking dangerous criminals off our streets, and ensuring every resident can benefit from our historic growth. Mayor Mendenhall has rebuilt the burned bridges of our past and forged partnerships that have made Salt Lake City stronger than ever.
No Salt Lake City mayor has faced the challenges Erin did after being elected — earthquakes, the inland hurricane, months of protests, the coronavirus pandemic, the state’s homelessness crisis, and the nationwide surge in crime.
Mayor Mendenhall is a proven leader, managing the city with resilience and grace, putting ego aside and bringing people together to do the hard work of moving our city forward. She has shown herself willing to make the tough calls, always putting the best interests of our city first.
Erin knows that working together is the best way to get results.
Mendenhall has rebuilt the burned bridges of our past and built partnerships that have made Salt Lake City stronger than ever.
The needlessly combative style of some previous Salt Lake City mayors led to a general disinterest in working with our city’s government to address challenges and explore opportunities. Mayor Mendenhall’s gift for bringing people together is why:
- Salt Lake City will finally get renewable energy by 2030;
- A tiny-home village is being built for our city’s unsheltered residents;
- The state is finally shouldering more of the responsibility in the state’s homelessness crisis;
- 300 dangerous, repeat-offender criminals have been taken off our streets because of a joint task force with federal law enforcement agencies;
- Utahns were able to ride UTA fare-free last February;
- Salt Lake City will get its tax revenue back from the state’s Inland Port;
- Outdoor Retailer is back in Salt Lake; and
- More Salt Lakers are benefitting from the city’s growth than ever.
Each and every day, Mayor Mendenhall shows there is a better way to lead Salt Lake City than going it alone and throwing partisan grenades at the Legislature. Erin’s deeply-held personal values of compassion, hard work, and authenticity have helped her to build strong working relationships with key leaders in our state. She also doesn’t let toxic partisanship prevent her from getting results for Salt Lake City, and will never let anger cause her to abandon her responsibility to city residents.
Unlike some of her predecessors, Mayor Mendenhall understands that picking every fight isn’t usually in Salt Lake City’s best interest. Salt Lake City deserves a leader who will put residents’ interests ahead of their own political ambitions and ego.
Erin has led the charge for cleaner air.
Erin entered public service more than 15 years ago when she learned that the air quality in Salt Lake City was so bad that it could take two years off the life of her newborn son. Instead of walking away, Erin decided to get to work.
She joined Utah Moms for Clean Air and started as an activist, soon recognizing the potential in moving from activism to having a seat at the table where decisions were made. Erin was determined to bring scientific understanding to air-quality discussions in the state legislature, our schools, and our community.
Erin co-founded a new non-profit organization, Breathe Utah, in 2010 and shifted from advocate to leader. Breathe Utah has created long-term change by teaching tens of thousands of Utah students about the importance of air quality, and how they can play an active role in improving it. After being appointed to the state’s Air Quality Board in 2014, Erin was elected and re-elected as its chair.
Mayor Mendenhall came to office with the kind of multi-faceted long-term strategy you’d expect from an air-quality advocate, and is delivering the kind of bold progress we expected in electing a clean-air advocate as mayor.
- Mayor Mendenhall created the wildly successful Free Fare February program with UTA to help more drivers take public transit and leave their cars at home;
- Because of Mayor Mendenhall, Salt Lake City is finally on track to receive clean electricity citywide by 2030;
- She is also building a solar farm in Tooele County to power city government buildings;
- Mayor Mendenhall is fighting back against our poor air quality by planting thousands of oxygen-producing, pollution-removing trees on the West side;
- She quadrupled the number of residents to swap their polluting gas-powered lawn mowers for clean electric mowers; and
- The Mendenhall Administration has expanded the city’s public transit options to help more residents get around the city without polluting automobiles.
Air quality is the lens through which Erin views every issue. No one will work harder in City Hall to clean our air, and no one is better qualified to deliver actual results for our city.
Erin earned results on the City Council.
Erin represented District 5 on the City Council from 2013 to until being sworn in as mayor in early 2020, serving the Ballpark, Central 9th, Liberty Wells, East Liberty Park and Wasatch Hollow neighborhoods.
She worked hard and earned a reputation as a policy wonk, ready and eager to get into the weeds of an issue, roll up her sleeves, and get to work. Her creative work on the council resulted in a fundamental shift in the city’s approach to affordable housing, leveraging city dollars in public-private partnerships that dramatically increased the amount of affordable housing units constructed in the city.
Erin’s work on the Council helped double the number of road crews fixing our badly neglected streets, and her work led to the creation of the city’s first women-only homeless resource center.
As chair of the City Council in 2018, Erin stood up to state leaders who took the city’s tax revenue and land-use authority to build an Inland Port in the city’s Northwest Quadrant. She reopened negotiations with state leaders and won valuable concessions to protect the city’s health and long-term interests.
Erin is deeply committed to a brighter future for Salt Lake City.
Erin came to Salt Lake with her family when she was 7 years old, and after losing her father to cancer at age 13, Erin graduated from Alta High School and enrolled at the University of Utah. It was there that her interest in the intersection of science and public policy took shape, leading to a career focused on improving Utah’s air quality and protecting our environment.
She earned a master’s degree in science and technology from the University of Utah and is mom to Cash, Everett, Milå, and their dog, Jack. Erin and her husband, Kyle LaMalfa, a data scientist at Vive Financial, live in the East Liberty Park neighborhood. She loves to cook, hike in the foothills, and ride her e-bike around the city.