Attorney General Sean Reyes released the following Martin Luther King Jr. Day statement:
“We in the Utah AGO are deeply appreciative to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as we join our nation in celebrating his life and work today. He was a great American, willing to turn us towards the better angels of our nature while he faced the demons of discrimination.
“Dr. King is probably best remembered by the casual observer for his soaring speeches that moved so many by the strength and majesty of his words. While that was an important element of his allure, it was what underlied those words that was truly remarkable: his courage, conviction, and commitment to lifting all people from oppression.
“He took his own pain and generations of suffering from his people and channeled it into an energy that transformed him into a supernova of change and progress. And our country is the better for it. It was true a half-century ago when he delivered his 'I have a dream' speech to the 250,000 people who had joined him for the March on Washington and it is equally true today as we strive to fulfill the hope and promise of his words.
"In many ways, the dream that Dr. King spoke of was the same one that brought the pilgrims to America, that drove the Founding Fathers to declare their independence, that prompted Abraham Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, and that continues to urge us forward today as we reach out the hand of fellowship to the afflicted and weary, the vulnerable and the weak. It was this dream--this hope--that brought my father to America to escape political persecution and that motivated my mother, a career educator, to fight for equal educational opportunity in at-risk and inner city environments.
"As a nation set on a hill, we have been blessed with great prosperity, and yet, there remains work to do. Whether it is providing shelter to the homeless, aid to refugees here and abroad, seeking to give relief to those in addiction's grasp, finding long-term solutions to intergenerational poverty, or continuing the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking, with each stride forward we seek to fulfill the dream of Dr. King.
"Dr. King once said that 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.' It is my hope, and my own dream, that Americans will always be willing to stand for what is right at all times. As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and seek to bring about a nation where children are judged not 'by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,' only continued remembrance of where we have come from, and where we are going, will bring us to that day when Dr. King's great dream is brought fully to life."
“We in the Utah Attorney General's Office applaud the designation of January as Law Enforcement Appreciation Month in Utah. It is time that our state joins the national tradition of recognizing with special celebrations and commemorations our men and women in law enforcement and their families every first month of the year.
“Our men and women in blue are some of the greatest public servants we have. They deserve the highest respect and appreciation we can impart. Sadly, many of them today are disrespected, reviled, and even targeted for harm by some of the people they protect. It is an honor for me and my team to work side-by-side with the law enforcement agents in the Utah Attorney General’s Office who bring tremendous expertise to handle some of the most complex investigations in Utah. It is equally a privilege for our office to work on task forces and in the field with federal, state, county, city, and tribal officers who all make up our law enforcement family.
“Like all other professions, law enforcement can find ways to improve and still has significant challenges to overcome in rebuilding trust with many communities. Like other professions, law enforcement will always have some bad actors who do not represent the vast majority of hard working, dedicated and honorable men and women within its ranks. However, unlike most professions, law enforcement professionals put their lives, their physical health, and their mental and emotional well-being on the line every day for our protection and safety.
“This month, as we celebrate together the contributions of the officers who make up the ‘thin blue line,’ our hope is that law enforcement and the communities they protect may come together to rebuild trust and strengthen ties. To that end, with the support of the legislature and executive branch, the Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety are proud to announce the completion of the first year of statewide law enforcement de-escalation and critical incident training.
“We have already trained hundreds of officers and scores of agencies to minimize or eliminate violent confrontations with citizens. The training curriculum includes live-action scenarios in a state-of-the-art virtual simulator combined with education on how to more effectively interface with individuals and groups from minority, refugee and non-English speaking communities and people with disabilities or mental health challenges. This training not only prepares officers to better protect themselves, it much more effectively equips them to protect those they encounter in high-stress situations. Our hope is that it will drastically lessen the chances of citizens or officers being lost to violent interactions.
“Far too many of our uniformed men and women have lost their lives in the service of their communities. For those of us who have stood at vigils in the nation's capital, at funeral services around the state or at services at the Fallen Law Officer's Memorial, you cannot witness such sacrifice without a profound appreciation for those fallen and their families. May God bless our officers with health, protection, honor, discernment, good judgment and humility. My prayers go with them and their families every day.”
"Seventy-five years ago, a great American generation was faced with an unprovoked attack on our nation. As bombers decimated the U.S. Fleet at Pearl Harbor—killing over 2,400, America's brave--both men and women, military and civilian—came together to fight back and defend our nation. They paid the ultimate price. Their cause was just and their efforts sanctified with their lives.
“I've stood many times at the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii. I've been moved to tears by the sacrifice of those on that day, throughout WWII and our history to protect liberty. As we honor their heroism, I hope we are grateful they did not shrink in the face of tremendous adversity.
"While there are increasingly fewer left of that greatest of generations, let us honor them today and recall their willingness to stand against tyranny. And let us live to emulate their courageous acts in our own times."
SALT LAKE CITY—Over the weekend, the Greater Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts of America awarded Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes received the national Vale La Pena Award for outstanding service to the community, with an emphasis on his volunteer service in the Hispanic community.
Attorney General Reyes expressed his appreciation to the Council at the Silver Anniversary Holiday Gala on Saturday night November 19.
“It is such an honor to receive this recognition from Boy Scouts of America, an organization that has enriched my life and my family far more than I could ever repay,” said Attorney General Reyes. "Scouting teaches lifelong principles of service, community, and adventure. The Boy Scout slogan to 'do a good turn daily' guides me as I serve each day, and I am grateful that BSA has taught my own sons to follow the same path."
"Attorney General Reyes is the epitome of what Scouting is all about,” said Scout Executive Mark Griffin. “Sean’s service to youth in the Latino/Hispanic community through Scouting and many other venues is noteworthy. We are proud to recognize him with this national award."
Attorney General Reyes is an Eagle Scout who has been active in leadership roles in Scouting throughout his life. He achieved the rank of Eagle at age 15, has been a Scout leader at various levels of Scouting, chaired a Scout unit and organized and presented at various Scouting events. His two older sons are Eagle Scouts and he has three younger sons who are working toward that goal. AG Reyes's father was active in Scouting as a boy in his home country of the Philippines, remained an active Scouter in his adopted country of America and instilled in his sons, both Eagle Scouts, a love of Scouting and its principles of service.
Even prior to his current position as AG, Reyes was recognized locally and nationally with numerous awards and distinctions for his years of commitment to service and lifting communities throughout Utah and the United States.
Reyes co-Founded the Somos Foundation providing millions of dollars in student aid and scholarships to Utah Latino high school and college students. He provided internships to many Latino students and led an English language learning program that lifted tens of thousands of immigrants by giving them tools for better jobs and opportunities. In working to fight against teen drinking and driving, human trafficking, child sexual abuse and teen suicide, Reyes has protected all teens and also done special media promotions and interviews for the Hispanic community. Reyes served on the Presidential and Congressional Commission to create a National Museum of the American Latino on the National Mall.
Reyes also volunteered at colleges, high schools, elementary schools and juvenile detention facilities as well as homeless shelters, elder care facilities, churches, and veterans homes. He raised money for scholarships for students from underserved and refugee communities, offered free legal services to veterans, seniors, and others in need, raised money for families of fallen law enforcement officers and provided resources to fight child Pornography. He was a pioneer in creating opportunities for Hispanic and Asian small businesses. He founded and helped lead numerous non-profits creating a host of service initiatives.
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Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who is of mixed-Japanese descent, today expressed concern about comments reported in national media last week that justify the creation of a national Muslim registry, citing the Japanese internment during World War II as legal precedent. An Aspen-Rodel Fellow, Reyes learned of the comments upon return from the three-day Aspen Institute seminar on values-based public policy and civility.
“When President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act in 1988, apologizing for the Japanese internment during World War II, it was a significant acknowledgment of the humiliation, degradation, and pain suffered by thousands in the Japanese-American community, including some of my own friends and family. These were loyal American citizens stripped of their rights, freedom, and hard-earned property based solely on heritage.
“Reference to the Japanese internment as a legal prerogative for any policy is offensive and counter to the highest ideals to which we aspire as a nation. I join in President Reagan’s past recognition of the injustice of the Japanese internment, as well as in President-elect Donald Trump's rejection of the formulation of a registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion."
“Like many Americans, I too am gravely concerned about national security and the threat of radical groups that would do us harm. And, collectively, we will continue to grapple with difficult decisions balancing the safety of our country and the liberties to which we are all entitled. The justification for whatever policies we adopt cannot be rooted in the Japanese internment or any of the other darkest mistakes in our nation's history, from slavery and segregation to sterilization and extermination. These are not the ideals of a free people.”
My wife Saysha and I and our family would like to thank each of you who supported my campaign for Attorney General and many other Republicans in the State of Utah in 2016. Your contributions of time, money, hard work and prayers really made a difference. I feel a tremendous responsibility to continue living up to the high standards you deserve and I will keep working my hardest to maintain honor, integrity, success and leadership in my office.
Thank you to all who participated in the Presidential election and helped our party win the White House, Senate and House majorities and the opportunity to shape the federal judiciary and U.S. Supreme Court for generations to come. In the coming months, healing and unity should be a priority for all Republicans as we have work that is too important and too urgent to be impeded by division and dissent.
In response to a recent media inquiry about how I felt regarding the Republican majority, I expressed the following. I hope you agree.
"I'm pleased that Republicans have control of the White House and Congress. I am particularly pleased that a Republican administration will have a chance to appoint at least one new Supreme Court Justice and likely more over the coming years, as well as federal circuit and district court judges. That was always my biggest concern in this election. Our party has a tremendous opportunity to lead and get meaningful work accomplished in DC with the majority and mandate we won. But, there is a great responsibility that comes with that opportunity—to not waste time, to be bold but wise, strong and caring, to be respectful and listen to differing views and not abuse the opportunity we earned. We will need to work hard to heal America and find areas of collaboration we can all agree on even though there will always be issues upon which we may disagree.
"I'm excited and looking forward to continuing serving as Utah AG while I also continue to work with and advise a Trump/Pence team on issues like Supreme Court nominees. It's been fulfilling to represent Utah's interests on several national advisory committees for Trump/Pence such as the Supreme Court, Asian Pacific Island and Hispanic Committees.
"I look forward to helping President-elect Trump and his administration live up to the commitments he made during the campaign for a better and stronger America. I want to also steer them to offer significant support for issues such as fighting human trafficking, fighting cyber and white collar crimes, intervention to prevent teen and veteran suicide, addressing opioid addiction, criminal justice reform, better training for law enforcement on de-escalation and trust with the communities they police as well as better nutrition for food deserts among other issues of priority to me."
To read the recent Salt Lake Tribune article with an excerpt from the above quote, click here.
God bless you, the great State of Utah and these United States!
With respect and gratitude,
Sean D. Reyes
Utah Attorney General
“On this Veterans Day, my team and I at the AG's Office are reminded of the great debt owed to the men and women who defend our nation and the freedoms we enjoy. This year, we are particularly aware of our veterans' sacrifices, both at home and abroad, as each selflessly places their lives and safety on the altar of freedom to protect the liberties and rights promised by our Constitution to all Americans, of every color, creed, and culture.
“On a personal level, I am forever grateful to those who have fought and continue to fight for the land and people that welcomed my own father as he fled an oppressive regime in the Philippines in response to the call of Lady Liberty. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free[...] Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’
“My family has lived by the light of this lamp, as do millions of other citizens who call America home, no matter their color, religion, or culture. I have great hope in our future and gratitude for our diversity because I sincerely believe that America is centered in respect and understanding of the beauties of freedom where diverse backgrounds and cultures coexist in harmony and peace. In every war that Americans have fought, it is the promise of freedom and opportunity for all that has inspired our soldiers.
“On a final note, our veteran community is one of the most vulnerable to succumb to suicide as these heroes battle post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, job displacement, and reintegration hurdles, among other mental, emotional, and economic challenges. Some reports indicate that we have lost more veterans of Middle East conflicts to suicide than to combat. While we never leave them behind in battle, we unknowingly abandon them when they return home. Let's assure we provide the best healthcare, resources, and support for our veteran men and women who are too often fighting a different and internal war at home."
Utah AG Reyes endorsed by Utah police association for increased outreach and improved relations between local law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect.
As part of the endorsement letter, Dave Edwards, vice chairman of the Utah Fraternal Order of Police, acknowledged Attorney General Reyes for his work to diligently familiarize himself and the Attorney General’s office with Utah police training and the role Utah police serve as a unique group of public servants. “As you know, this is a difficult time for law enforcement given the challenges with public perception that continue to plague our profession in the wake of some of the tragedies that have developed nationwide,” Edwards noted in the letter.
Since Reyes took leadership, the Utah Attorney General’s office has become a leader in community outreach and de-escalation training for all agencies in the state, making all Utah AG office and agency personnel more sensitive and better equipped to deal with people of all languages, religions and cultures, along with those from the mental health, minority communities, homeless and the disability communities.
“I pray every night for the agents of my office to come home safely to their families. But too many men and women in uniform across the country never make it home,” said Reyes. “I am a proud supporter of these dedicated servants who put themselves in harm’s way each day to protect us. They deserve our respect and appreciation. I am honored and proud that the Utah Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed me in the Attorney General’s race.”
For more information on Attorney General Sean Reyes, please visit seanreyes.com.
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Transcript of UT FOP 30-Second Radio Ad that starting airing on Oct. 17:
This is Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. Everyday special agents from my office and other brave men and women in uniform leave their homes not knowing what the day will bring.
I am a proud supporter of law enforcement who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. I am also proud that the AG’s office has helped Utah become a leader in de-escalation training and dialogues to strengthen trust and safety between cops the communities they police.
These are just a few of the reasons the Utah Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed me as Attorney General.
Paid for by Friends of Sean Reyes
To listen, click here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SALT LAKE CITY—October 11, 2016—Based on his support of and commitment to the Second Amendment, Attorney General Sean Reyes has earned an “A+” rating and endorsement for reelection from the NRA-PVF in the 2016 general election. An “A+” rating is reserved for a solidly pro-Second Amendment elected official who has consistently supported the NRA’s position on votes of importance to gun owners and sportsmen.
Reyes rejects the Clinton-Obama gun control agenda, which includes restrictions on transferring firearms between life-long friends and family members and a deceptive emphasis on closing gun shop and online loopholes which are already addressed by federally mandated background checks of gun dealers including at gun shows. Reyes also respects and supports hunting as a valuable tool for wildlife management and conservation.
Responding to this recent national endorsement, Reyes stated, “I appreciate the endorsement by the NRA, and look forward to continuing to work with them in support of our Second Amendment rights."
According to NRA-PVF Chairman Chris W. Cox in a recent endorsement letter, Attorney General Reyes’ extensive work on the legal front to protect the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has been much appreciated. “Our members will interpret you’re A+ rating and endorsement as indicating that you are a solid pro-gun/pro-hunting candidate. I look forward to a future partnership with you to advance the interests of Utah’s law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen,” he added.
For more information on Attorney General Sean Reyes, please visit seanreyes.com.
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As we transition into fall and the election cycle heats up, it is especially important as a nation and as Utahns that we never forget the thousands of brave civilians, law enforcement, and first responders who died in a terrorist attack on our nation just fifteen years ago on September 11, 2001.
This Sunday, on September 11, we honor the lives of those who died so tragically and far too soon. It’s also a day to show the world and those who disdain our way of life, our freedoms and the U.S. Constitution that we will never forget the horrific events that occurred on 9/11 and that we will never stop fighting for those freedoms.
Strategic national security and foreign policy with America's best interests in mind have never been as important as they are today. With that in mind, I ask that you please take a moment this weekend to say a prayer and/or conduct a moment of silence for those who lost their lives on 9/11 — and please never forget.
God bless you, your family and those who work each day to secure our inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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