About Erin

The Right Experience for a Change.

I’m honored to represent District 5, with its Ballpark, Central 9th, Liberty Wells, East Liberty Park and Wasatch Hollow communities that I’ve had the privilege to work with for the last 6 years.

Photo of Erin Mendenhall holding her newborn baby in 2006Only once have I doubted that I wanted to live my life and raise my kids here in Salt Lake City. That moment came about 13 years ago, as I rocked my newborn son, Cash, in my arms. NPR played a story explaining that the air quality here in the Valley was so bad, a person loses two years of their life by living here. And as I listened, the hair rose on the back of my neck. My first thought was – I have to move. I have to choose between Salt Lake City and my son’s health.

I made the choice to stay in Salt Lake City. Instead of running from the problem, I took it on. I joined Utah Moms for Clean Air, the first step on the journey that brings me to this day, and I saw a need to move beyond shouting from the outside to put a voice at the table that would speak for clean air and would bring scientific understanding to the discussions in our legislature, our schools, and our community.

So, I co-founded Breathe Utah and made that vision a reality. I moved from activist to advocate to leader. I now chair the State Air Quality Board — and Breathe Utah has taught tens of thousands of Utah students across the state about the importance of air quality.

I saw that one person can make a change. As I worked with state lawmakers to craft better policies, I gained a new appreciation for the power city governments have to do tremendous good — not only in air quality, but quality of life, neighborhood safety and good-paying jobs. When the only woman on the city council stepped down, people started encouraging me to run.

It’s not something I had ever imagined for myself — but I listened. And once again, I stepped up. I put my ideas before the voters when I ran for city council in 2013 and earned the opportunity to put those ideas into action.

It’s been my honor to serve you the whole time.

On the City Council, I’ve championed our environmental initiatives. And I’ve shown I can get the job done.

  • I took a deep dive into the redevelopment agency budget to cobble together $21 million for affordable housing.
  • I brought the homeless shelter discussions to focus on the need to serve women, and in June, we will open the first women’s-only homeless resource center in our city.
  • For years, I’ve worked to advance better bus service for Salt Lakers, and those buses hit the roads this August.
  • I worked to fix our streets with an $87 million bond we approved last fall, and today, work crews are on the job. We’ve also raised revenue to double our maintenance crews, so we’re getting twice as many miles of road fixed each year.
  • And I’ve made it a priority to recruit other women to step forward into government, to imagine a better future, and to join in leading our community.

I’ve learned a lot about how to make the gears of city government work to benefit our community. But there is so much more to do…

That’s why I am running for Salt Lake City Mayor.

Photo of Erin at a road construction siteMy time on the City Council shows how I get results. I built relationships, and listened to your needs. I gathered input to make the tough calls. I even went for a Masters degree at the University of Utah, to hone my understanding of bringing science to better policy and better governance.

Together, all that experience makes me the best candidate, the right candidate for this moment. Our city needs a Mayor who knows how to deliver results in city government. Now more than ever.

As chair of the Council last year, I made a seat for our city at the table when there wasn’t one, when the State was ready to move ahead with the Inland Port without Salt Lake City.

I made a seat for our voices and negotiated to gain environmental protections that were not there before. We set aside more natural lands for protection and gained an ongoing 10% tax revenue committed to Salt Lake City for affordable housing.

For the Inland Port Authority, the state took ultimate land-use decisions and future tax revenues from about 18,000 acres of our city. That’s plain wrong for any city. As long as the Inland Port is moving ahead, the Salt Lake City Mayor needs to have a seat at that table so your voices will be heard. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.

From opportunities, like the Olympics, to challenges, like the Inland Port, I’m going to bring my passion for Salt Lake City to the table. I’m going to apply my experience in your service to get the most of what we need.

I know I can lead this city we love.

That’s why I’m running. That’s why I ask for your vote. And if you join me, if you step up to this moment with your voice, your vote, and your time or contribution – then together, we will win.