Business, political, and campus leadership gathered in the Grande Ballroom to commence the Growth and Prosperity Summit to discuss the future economic success of Utah County.
“The summit will highlight critical aspects of economic growth, spark discussion, cause reflection,” a university statement read. “And inspire action in the areas of business, workforce development, transportation and infrastructure, water, housing, healthcare, natural resources, and education.”
The event saw high-profile speakers ranging from Governor Spencer Cox and Former Governor Gary Herbert, Representative Burgess Owens, UVU President Astrid Tuminez, and several local political and business leaders. All speakers had a tying theme that centered around civility in political discourse.
“Why do we have that kind of political rhetoric in our political discourse,” Herbert questions during his opening speech. “Why do we tolerate that as citizens, and what can we do about it?”
The Dignity Index, an index that rates political discourse on its “power to unite or divide” was introduced by Hebert by welcoming his education policy advisor Tami Pyfer, who introduced the index to the local leaders.
“We have a team of people that want to raise the level of political discourse and public discourse in the country,” Pyfer stated. “The problem that we see in our discourse isn’t just that we disagree on things, it’s the contempt [for one another].”
Pyfer would later show the audience the statistics gathered by The Dignity Index as a broader project to rate and spread awareness about the level of discourse we have within our society. One such statistic that Pyfer cited was that 1 in 4 Americans believe that they would have to take up arms sometime in the near future.
Rep. Owens would give brief remarks at the summit as well, praising Utah’s ability for economic opportunity. “This is what draws people to our great state.”