SALT LAKE CITY — A diverse group of city and state government officials, as well as Salt Lake City Council District 5 residents, came to show their support for Darin Mano at his campaign kickoff event in front of the Japan Sage Market on Saturday.
Mano was selected by the city council in January of 2020 to serve the remainder of Mayor Erin Mendenhall's term. If he wins this year's race, Mano will be the first Asian American elected to the council.
His supporters said his background in architecture and urban planning, as well as his prior experience on the council, make him the best person to tackle some of the biggest issues facing the city, particularly affordable housing.
"I have a lot of experience with land use and zoning, and that's a lot of what the council does is decide on the future of how our land in the city is going to be used," Mano said. "That's the expertise that I bring to the council, and I hope to continue using that experience to make sure that Salt Lake City becomes the best city in the world."
Mano said the city's current policy of subsidizing low-income and affordable housing should continue, but he added that he feels he can help alleviate the taxpayers' burden.
"I also want to use my experience with zoning to figure out how to incentivize the private developers to also bring affordable housing online without us having to spend even a dime for that," he said.
Taylor Anderson, a supporter of Mano, lives in the Liberty Wells section of District 5, whose borders run from I-15 to 1300 East and from 2100 South to 900 South.
"I pay a lot of attention to the growth," Anderson said. "The city is, has been, and will continue to be number one on the housing growth, population growth. That means a lot of new buildings and a lot of density."
Anderson added that the growth is bound to create friction in both the district and the city as a whole. He agrees that Mano's background in architecture and urban planning make him the best candidate for the position.
"He could actually look at a piece of paper and say, 'Here's what's good or bad, what should change,'" Anderson said. "He's asking questions about that project, so I trust that he's going to be asking the right questions guiding each individual project and also new ordinances, new proposals, new city policies toward a better place that's better for the city."
Mano added that he wants to implement city-wide reforms to ensure Salt Lake City is an equitable and welcoming place for all who call it home. You can learn more about his campaign platform at darinmano.com.
SLC municipal elections, which include the city council and mayor, are held on odd-numbered years. Terms are four years long.
Council Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 are up for election this November.
The race for Mayor, Council Districts 2, 4 and 6 will be in 2023.
However, the District 2 council seat is also up for grabs this year. It was vacated by Andrew Johnston after he was appointed by Mendenhall as the city's new Director of Homelessness Policy and Outreach.
Dennis Faris was chosen by the council to fill Johnston's seat through Jan. 3, 2022.
Whoever wins District 2 this November will serve the remainder of the from 2022-2024.