The World and all its inhabitants are in desperate need of healing. We live in an unprecedented time of cultural and ecological crisis, where business as usual is wholly insufficient for the path ahead. Salt Lake County has a huge opportunity to become a global leader in the inevitable transition from an industrial growth society to a life-sustaining society… if we are ready to transform together, re-imagine the role of government, and embrace a new kind of leadership.
Michael Cundick, born and raised in Utah and currently living in Cottonwood Heights with his wife Maomi, is running for Salt Lake County Mayor as the Green Party candidate. He has dedicated his life, his campaign and his administration to being “In Service to Life”.
A talented musician & videographer, a “beyond organic” farmer, a small business finance expert & entrepreneur, a Permaculture Designer, a Student Loan liberator, a non-profit administrator, and an air quality and mental health activist — Michael is a passionate advocate of what he refers to as “the More bUtahful World our Hearts Know is Possible”.
Michael has spent the last 8 years “walking the talk” and cultivating what he believes to be the foundation for healthy, resilient communities — places with clean air, clean water, fertile soils, robust local food systems and inclusive community programs.
Green Infrastructure & Local Food Independence
Our valley is one of the fastest-growing geographical regions in the country. It is time to face the reality of rim-to-rim expansion, and put in the work to plan how this remaining growth will ensure livable, pleasurable communities that are in partnership with Nature. It is time to unlock the highest health and potential of our county’s residents.
Access to green spaces, expanded public transportation, and community resource centers within walking distance of every neighborhood are a must, as well as supporting community farms, infrastructure, and county initiatives such as a “County Conservation Corps,” that will foster local food independence, water conservation, eliminate unnecessary waste and help keep our air clean.
The vast majority of the societal problems we face are connected to how we relate to our environment. As aboriginal cultures have said, “when the land is sick, we are sick”. By coming together as communities in partnership with the county’s resources to repair our broken relationship to the land and fix our failing food systems, we will vastly improve our mental & physical health, bolster our economy, and have the clarity and resiliency we need to be a leader for a world in transition. Michael believes the county government will be instrumental in establishing the right for everyone to have access to healthy, locally produced, organic food and to live in a society that honors and respects all life.
By whatever measuring stick we care to use, our environment is suffering under the relentless dominance of human civilization. We need authentic young leadership with the clarity and charisma necessary to inspire the youth and engage people from all backgrounds to stand together in defense of our Living Earth, transition away from fossil fuels, pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers, and implement natural solutions to take part in the healing of our unique and beautiful valley.
The Great Salt Lake and its surrounding wetlands are at grave risk right now, and putting a stop to the development of the Utah Inland Port and protecting the lake and its ecology from future assaults is a major priority of Michael’s. He believes one day we can mimic what has happened for Lake Erie and other sites around the world, and create a Great Salt Lake Bill of Rights that will protect the lake indefinitely. Without these protective measures, we greatly endanger our water supply, our air quality, and the beauty and benefits of a thriving wetland ecosystem.
From the Ute, Paitue, Shoshone, and Goshute indigenous cultures — whose land we are on — to the Latter Day Saint Culture that has thrived in this valley, we have a deeply rooted history of prioritizing community sovereignty and responsible land stewardship. It’s time to reinvigorate those principles, and serve as a light of inspiration for the more beautiful world that is possible.
Social Justice & Healing
Michael believes we can not transition compassionately or effectively to a healthy world in partnership with Nature if we don’t address the injustices in our society and our cultures, and do whatever it takes to bring everyone’s gifts to the table in the pursuit of solutions and healing. All cultures strengthen each other, and Michael believes that the innovative ideas we need for our future generations already exist within our communities . Michael believes that we need to guarantee that we have the right channels for engagement to ensure that the voices and desires of our communities are heard and acted upon, as in the example of the Permaculture non-profit and farm he manages in Millcreek, and the financial planning he provides for his small business clients, ensuring diversity is a principle that makes every system stronger.
As a long time activist and co-founder of the SLC Air Protectors, an indigenous-led air quality activism non-profit, Michael has learned a lot about what it means to listen, put egos and assumptions aside, and use his privilege to support the voice and leadership of indigenous and marginalized and often ignored communities. There are no easy answers to reconciling the traumas that civilization has inflicted upon so many, but by prioritizing meaningful lines of dialogue with all communities, in their preferred channels and native languages, and taking concrete actions to improve the circumstance of those communities, Michael believes Salt Lake County can be actively anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist, and leave a legacy of non-discrimination that empowers all of us.
Healing in all forms needs to be prioritized to soothe the divisions between us and unlock the untapped potential of our communities. Instead of a bureaucratic government that primarily serves the interests of corporations and wealthy individuals, we need an engaging government that will dare to transform its outreach and services to ensure a participatory democracy that prioritizes quality of life and environmental health instead of profit alone.