UDB Board & Staff congratulate newly elected San Juan County leadership
For Immediate Release: November 9, 2018
Contact – Alastair Lee Bitsóí: (917) 202-8308
BEARS EARS NATIONAL MONUMENT, UT – The Board and staff of Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB) offer heartfelt congratulations to all the San Juan County public officials who won their seats on Tuesday. UDB salutes the new Native American-majority San Juan County Commission, which will include Willie Grayeyes (District #2) and Kenneth Maryboy (District #3). Grayeyes’ victory was confirmed on the evening of November 8th.
“Congratulations to the San Juan County Commission, which now accurately represents a Native American-majority voice,” said Mark Maryboy, a founding Board member of UDB. Maryboy encouraged the new Commission to focus on providing social services to all citizens in an equitable fashion. He emphasized that San Juan County has historically neglected the needs of local Ute, Diné, and Paiute communities, approximately 40% of whom lack running water and electricity in their homes.
Commissioner-elect Willie Grayeyes is excited to address those issues now that the local majority Native American population will be fully represented and no longer erased through gerrymandering. Grayeyes added that he will work to heal the divide in San Juan County. “You have to be positive to achieve consensus,” Grayeyes said.“We will create conversations to hopefully change local attitudes toward Native Americans and our priorities. You have to be positive in order to get results.”
UDB also congratulates newly elected Navajo Nation officials, as well as congressional and state leaders in Utah. On Tuesday, current San Juan Commissioner Phil Lyman was elected to represent District #73 in the Utah State House of Representatives. “I would like to congratulate Representative-elect Lyman on winning his House seat, where he will now represent more than 8,000 underserved Native American Utahns,” UDB Executive Director Gavin Noyes said. “We look forward to working with him on infrastructure, economic development, and healing cultural divides—all of which require more attention from Utah’s highest leadership.”
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