Utah Forward Party


This year's Priorities vote occurred at the Utah Forward Party Statewide Convention on April 27th, 2024. Review the full results here. Be sure you've subscribed to our mailing list for updates on how we're working to identify common ground solutions to the stated Priorities throughout the year.

Top Priorities

Top Priorities are defined as those that received the most votes at convention.

Representative Voting Methods
Current plurality voting methods lead to fear that votes for preferred candidates will be “wasted” if they’re not from the traditional parties, forcing voters to choose “the lesser of two evils.” Forward Party candidates should propose policies to institute more representative voting methods.

Representative Voting Districts
The practice of gerrymandering leads to an overrepresentation of the party currently in power and minimizes the importance of general elections. Forward Party candidates should propose solutions that give voters throughout the state a fair and equal opportunity to select elected officials that represent their views.

Polarization in Primaries
Many current elements of candidate selection in Utah, including closed primaries and the caucus system, exclude unaffiliated and independent voters. This has been shown to result in more polarizing nominees to the General Election. Forward Party candidates should propose solutions to democratize the primary process and thereby promote political engagement.



Priorities received at least 50% of the vote at the convention.

Rapid growth and climate change in Utah have led to significant challenges related to the availability of potable water, climate change, air quality, and public access to the canyons. Forward Party candidates should propose forward-thinking and holistic solutions to balance growth with sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake is a vital and iconic feature in our state. Loss of water levels in the Great Salt Lake has already resulted in increased pollution and other health hazards and threatens much of the tourism that supports Utah's economy. Forward Party Candidates should propose solutions to secure the long term health of the Great Salt Lake.

Housing Availability
Housing prices have risen in Utah to unsustainable levels. Forward Party Candidates should propose solutions to increase the availability of affordable housing for families of all sizes.

The rate of homelessness is growing in Utah, and those who find themselves unhoused are deserving of compassion and assistance. Forward Party candidates should propose solutions to assist those who find themselves unhoused.


How Utah Forward Priorities Work

What is a Priority, and how is it different from a traditional policy?

A priority is an important matter that should be addressed by our elected officials. This is different from a policy, which is a proposed solution for a priority. Party policies are often enshrined in a party’s platform document.

The Forward Party is not just a new political party. It's a new definition of what a party is supposed to be. Instead of assuming the best approach is through a top-down platform document, Utah Forwardists identify their priorities for themselves. The Party organizes open discussion around possible solutions, and candidates present their plans to address those priorities.

This approach accomplishes two important things:

  1. It opens up the field to a range of propositions which encourages open debate and data-driven solutions.
  2. It forces candidates to articulate a clear plan to address each priority. Voters can then compare competing candidates using our priorities as a measuring stick.

Priorities are also different from values (read about ours here). Values are abstract, common-sense tenets we try to adhere to, whereas priorities are more specific to the issues.

How Priorities are identified

Members of the community submit priorities. The priorities with the most votes at our Convention are designated as “top priorities.” On an ongoing basis, the Forward Party will dedicate its efforts to identifying common ground solutions to the top priorities. This is a new process which we expect to improve over time.

Here are the the steps:

  1. Utah Forwardists submit their priorities via a form once the submission window opens (before the annual Convention).
  2. The Priorities Committee compiles the priorities into a comprehensive list. This will include merging similar suggestions and standardizing language. The Committee will exclude incendiary submissions that are deemed not to be in line with Forward's value of Grace and Tolerance.
  3. Participants at the state convention will use Approval Voting to vote for all of the proposed priorities they believe should be priorities for the coming year.
    1. Any priority approved by at least 50% will be included on the published list of Utah Priorities.
    2. The priorities that receive the most votes will be identified as our top priorities.