More than 25-years ago Jackie visited Utah on a ski trip and never left. Like so many people, Jackie fell in love with Salt Lake City’s natural beauty, proximity to the outdoors, the warmth of the people, and the overall quality of life. After that first trip, Jackie knew that Salt Lake City was where she wanted to build her life, raise a family and contribute to her community. Jackie and her wife Betty Iverson currently live with their two sons, Archie and Jack, in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City.
With a degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University, and a family history of entrepreneurialism, Jackie moved to Utah and began her career by forming her own private investigation firm. After four years in small business, she joined State Farm Insurance to manage their first and third party injury claims. Jackie learned, both as a small business owner and in corporate America, the value that strong and active businesses of all sizes can bring to a community. Business not only builds an economy, it brings diversity to a community and provides opportunity to residents. Salt Lake City needs to be an accommodating place for large businesses to locate and where entrepreneurs can incubate and thrive.
After making her home in Salt Lake City for more than ten years, Jackie was elected to a seat in the Utah House of Representatives in 1998, representing the Liberty Wells, Sugar House and Central City neighborhoods of Salt Lake City, and becoming the first openly gay elected official in Utah. Jackie represented the people of her district on Capitol Hill for 13-years.
Being the first, openly gay elected official in Utah—and fighting hard to get a seat at the table—instilled in Jackie a commitment to be a voice for change and diversity whenever she had the opportunity. For 13-years on Capitol Hill, Jackie fulfilled that promise by standing up for LGBT families on issues like adoption, the fight for anti-gay bullying legislation to protect students in Utah schools, the battle over Amendment 3, and by being a strong voice for minorities in every committee meeting she was in.
Whether the discussion was on sound stewardship of tax dollars, incentive programs to stimulate employment, improved efficiency by state agencies, or legislation governing low-income housing and services for the homeless, elderly, and people with special needs, Jackie was there advocating on our behalf. By earning the respect of her colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, Jackie demonstrated early and often, that though our elected representatives may come from very different backgrounds, they must find common ground and work together to make Utah a better place to live and work.
In 2007, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder asked Jackie to join his leadership team. Recognizing her ability to effectively work with diverse interests, Sheriff Winder made Jackie a senior policy advisor and manager of special projects for his office.
Over the course of her 15-year career, Jackie played an integral role in transforming the Sheriff’s office and Salt Lake County law enforcement. Jackie helped manage projects ranging from creating the Unified Police Department, streamlining 911 and other services, building programs to mentor youth cadets, and establishing community outreach projects like the revitalization of the Kearns Pony League Ball Park, and programs to assist and educate refugees.
Jackie was elected as Salt Lake City’s 35th mayor in 2015 and was sworn in on January 4th, 2016.