Public policies influence everything from the quality of the air that communities breathe to the ability of residents to afford the essentials for daily life.
I learned this at a very young age growing up in Venezuela. The scarcity of energy and food was always a hot topic in everyone’s conversations, as they made up a large part of our lives that changed almost every time the government signed an executive order. I found relief in journalism in this complex context. It was possible to find specific information that could hold influential institutions accountable, and there were solutions to problems that seemed perpetual.
Likewise, in the Salt Lake Tribune, government accountability journalism has shed light to the public on issues that represent real struggles for various communities in Utah. Awareness and reliable information bring about change and empower people to make informed decisions that are in their best interests.
That’s why I’m proud to be a part of this newsroom as a member of the Report for America body spanning 10 communities on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley, from Magna to Herriman, including the second largest city in the state, West Valley City. I hope that the representation of these communities in the coverage and dedicated media engagement helps them have more options in their daily lives to improve them.
I will listen to what these communities have to say about government and other fundamental institutions, housing and social dynamics. I am sure that journalism and reliable information are conducive to the rise of democracy, and this is what has driven my work since I started as a journalist.
I have covered economics, politics, energy, food and culture both in my home country and in various parts of the United States. At The Tribune, the reporting possibilities with a great, passionate and collaborative team is something I could only dream of once.
I want to know more about what public institutions are doing for the west side of the Salt Lake Valley, but more importantly, what makes their communities unique and what is essential to them, from their economies today to their nostalgia for their past.
I hope my reporting becomes an important resource and platform for the people who shaped the characters in these cities.
Alixel Cabrera is a Report for America body member and writes on the status of communities on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley for the Salt Lake Tribune. Your matching donation to our RFA grant helps her continue to write stories like this; please consider making a tax deductible donation of any amount today by clicking here.