Jennifer Seelig, PhD

Role: Director of Community Empowerment, Office of the Mayor, Salt Lake City

Contact Information: jenseelig@gmail.com (preferred); 801-558-9368

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenseelig/


Jennifer Seelig is an expert in public policy funding & advocacy, community capacity building, & the legislative process, and has a PhD in political science with a focus in public administration and political theory. Before working with the Office of the Mayor, she served in the Utah House of Representatives from 2006 to 2014. In 2012, her peers in the Utah House Democratic Caucus elected her into the Democratic Leader position, the first woman to serve in this role. She serves on the board of Women’s Action for New Directions, a non-profit organization that works with women legislators across the country on nuclear weapons-related legislation in their states.

Successes

  • In 2010, Jen led an effort to unanimously pass a resolution in the House supporting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This effort required a strong focus on relationship building, communication across party lines, and precise strategy, while acknowledging the deep and painful history of exposure to nuclear testing in Utah.
  • In 2019, Jen also worked with Utah Against Nuclear Weapons to make this state-level work relevant at the local level by passing a resolution in the Salt Lake City Council in support of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Current projects and Opportunities for Collaboration

One of the largest barriers to new people engaging on nuclear weapons issues is that they feel inaccessible and have no practical application to their daily lives. These issues feel massive and intangible, which causes people to feel overwhelmed and apathetic. In addition, both elected officials and community members are generally focused on issues that directly impact their day-to-day lives and pose immediate challenges. 

To counter this, Jen is interested in working to create a network of local (county, city, and town) elected officials who are interested in working on nuclear weapons issues and especially resolutions in local government. This work would focus on areas that have been directly impacted by nuclear weapons, through production, testing, or mining. This would allow communities to work on the issue in a way that is locally relevant, tangible, and personal. It also recognizes the harms of nuclear weapons on their environment, health, and loved ones that continue to impact their daily lives. Jen would be interested in finding other individuals and organizations that would like to collaborate on this kind of work.

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