Justin Anthony graduated from the University of Oregon in 2016 with a degree in Political Science. The day after graduating, he packed his car and moved home to Utah. Shortly thereafter he met Senator Mike Lee’s then campaign manager and was offered a job on the campaign for Senator Lee’s reelection. An election night introduction to Robert Axson, Senator Lee’s State Director, put him in a position to secure a job working for the senator full time. He started as a Constituent Liaison for Senator Lee on February 1, 2017. Just over two years ago he was promoted to Business Outreach Director which is where he serves now.
How long have you been with Senator Lee's office and what can you tell us about working in that office?
I have had the honor and privilege of working for, and advising, Senator Lee for four years now based out of Salt Lake City.
Our office is made up of two teams, a team who focuses on writing and reviewing legislation and a team who develops relationships with individuals across the state to ensure the needs of the state are being represented.
Collectively, our team is made up of experts in everything from business, to health care to immigration and everything in between!
What happened in your duties following the Covid19 outbreak?
When COVID-19 hit, our office wanted to be sure that we were still engaging with communities across the state. Fortunately, our office has spent years developing relationships with individuals across the state who really helped us pivot our meetings from in-person to virtual.
For my role specifically, I continued to rely on the economic development departments and the local chambers of commerce to assist me in communicating with local businesses.
From your observations of San Juan County, what opportunities for building a business exist here?
Through my experiences, I think San Juan County’s biggest assets are their workforce and the beauty that exists in the county. Any business who is looking for hard working employees that will get to experience a good work/life balance would be wise to look to San Juan County.
What legislation have you worked on in the Senator's office you feel is important to rural communities such as those in San Juan County?
There are two pieces of legislation that I want to highlight.
One, Undoing NEPA’s Substantial Harm by Advancing Concepts that Kickstart the Liberation of the Economy or the UNSHACKLE Act. The UNSHACKLE Act is comprehensive NEPA legislation that combines five previously introduced NEPA reform acts into one bill. The four issues addressed in this bill are:
We feel that by reforming the NEPA process in these ways, it will allow rural communities to create additional opportunities for economic development while still ensuring the necessary processes are followed. For additional details on this bill, please visit: https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=0E99678B-6CB7-4099-80E3-93DEEE7DC7A9.
Two, the Protect Utah’s Rural Economy (PURE) Act, which would reform the Antiquities Act to require a President to get approval from Congress and the state legislature before designating a national monument. By empowering the states and communities to have a stronger role in deciding what becomes a national monument, we can ensure that counties have more control over what they do with their land.
For more details on this bill, please visit: https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2018/7/sen-lee-introduces-the-protecting-utah-s-rural-economy-pure-act.
What political aspirations do you have or do you wish to remain behind the scenes?
People often ask why I got into this profession and the two-word answer is: to serve. Whether I ever run for office or continue to serve behind the scenes, serving Utah will always be my priority.
Business Outreach Director
US Senator Mike Lee