I am thrilled that the citizens have an amazing opportunity with a remarkable new leader. I am sure that Ralph Becker will be a formidable mayor, building on the legacy of his predecessor, Rocky Anderson, and forging a new relationship with the Legislature, healing divisions and creating alliances.
That stated, I must state that from afar in my new home in New York, I am saddened to read recent reports of Rocky's progress vis-a-vis the Bridging the Religious Divide issue.
Rocky Anderson is one of the most admired men in my life and they are definitely few, particularly in Utah. He is one of the most visible, tenacious, polarizing and yet misunderstood men I know. He is a man of great conviction, intelligence, candor, passion and has no time for mediocrity. He had the guts to challenge the establishment in Salt Lake and bring about an amazing series of candid discussions about this beast that is decaying on the neat and tidy living room floors in the Salt Lake Valley even as polite Utahns swat the flies away and pretend that the beast is not there, Rocky had the guts to bring Jews, Christians, Pagans, Wiccans, Catholics, Mormons and Protestants to the table and talk about how we treat each other in our daily lives based on religion. Indeed, there is a nation in Africa who that has used Rocky's model to bring about peace talks in their its war-torn region. The model received an acclaimed award for its progress.
Let us not forget that the Main Street debacle was solved by his wisdom and intellect, countless meetings and sleepless nights hateful letters and phone calls questioning his honor and integrity I hope that Salt Lake City residents will give thanks and grace to this fearless leader. His legacy is great, and I for one am proud to have been among his staff for five years.God bless Rocky Anderson and God bless the great state of Utah.