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Murray Journal

Meet new City Councilwoman-Elect Rosalba Dominguez

Dec 01, 2019 01:28PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Rosalba Dominguez files for her candidacy with Murray City Recorder Jennifer Kennedy. (Photo courtesy of Rosalba Dominguez)

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

For Murray and Rosalba Dominguez, it will be a series of firsts with her election to Murray City Council: First Hispanic American on the council, member of the first female-majority city council, and first to be engaged-to-be-married while elected for city office. Dominguez defeated another first-time candidate, Adam Thompson, in the Nov. 5 election.

Dominguez currently teaches art classes at the Clever Octopus, a local art advocacy organization based in Murray. She is also a freelance graphic designer assisting clients with various branding and marketing campaigns.  

Although she grew up as a third-generation Murrayite, she attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, where she met her future fiancé, Matt Parks. After graduation, she attended Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, where she received a bachelor’s degree in film and photography. 

“When I returned home, I worked at Univision Television station as a producer, but after the market crash in 2008, I was at a loss and tried to find my way as a young adult,” Dominguez said. “I was always involved in my community, like volunteering to sit on boards along with the Hispanic Advisory Council under Governor Huntsman. Currently, I am the vice-chair of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus.”

These connections that she made early on influenced her decision to run for public office. She looked up to now-retired Utah House Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck as a role model, and many of her friends in the community groups she’s active with helped canvas neighborhoods during the campaign.

“I knew at a young age I wanted to run for office and make a difference in my community,” Dominguez said. “I had a conversation with my fiancé, Matt, and he asked, ‘Why don’t you run for office?’ I replied, ‘I would love to, but I’m not sure it’s my time.’ It took me a while to really decide, and my friend, who was involved in local politics, directly asked me. After everything, I am happy I decided to run because it was something I had always wanted to do.”

She will hit the ground running as a city councilor, with her district being ground zero for the Murray City Center District (MCCD) redevelopment projects. Some projects have already begun, such as the new fire station, while others like the new city hall are going through the bonding process. Citizens near the MCCD have raised concerns regarding high-rise development and loss of historical buildings.

Changes to the MCCD Master Plan concern Dominguez, “Eliminating the Design Review Committee and eliminating the historical list raises major concerns for existing buildings. I would also like some clarity on the height increase for this area. If these changes pass through the council, do we end up with a design plan of a 15-story hotel? In walking my district, citizens did not want another hotel, and I know personally that the hotels nearby don’t fill up as they would like. I don’t believe these changes in code from the Master Plan should be considered in one vote, they should be individually voted on, and we should re-evaluate.”

During the election, Dominguez’s opponent, Thompson, took issue with her campaign fundraising. Thompson posted on this Facebook page, “Know who your candidates are beholden to and from where their money is coming.”

According to Dominguez, “All the money we raised came from friends, family, citizens of Murray, and a network that I have been a part of for years. I am proud of everyone who helped support this campaign, and the notion that I will somehow be beholden to one or several of our donors is disingenuous. Murray is my hometown. I was born and raised here, and it will always come first. I have built relationships with community leaders across the state, and I am proud of these connections. Murray has relationships with many state and county agencies, nonprofits, businesses, and labor unions that work here in Murray as well. Having these relationships in place that I have built over the years will make working and collaborating with the many different groups that directly affect us here in Murray that much easier. This is what I will bring to the council, and I believe this will open many opportunities to improve the quality of life for residents.”

In the end, Dominguez is upbeat about her future on the city council. “We are more diverse than we give ourselves credit for, and we should embrace it. Murray has always been progressive, and I am proud to be able to carry that tradition that has made our city the vibrant community it is.”