All about solutions

All about solutions: Tim Cosgrove joins the Mayor’s Community Empowerment Team

Screen Shot 2017-05-18 at 11.26.03 AMTim Cosgrove, a former state legislator and longtime children’s advocate, has joined the Mayor’s Office Community Relations and Empowerment team as a community liaison.

It’s a role he seems born to – having spent 19 years at Primary Children’s Medical Center as a Child Advocacy Specialist and a decade as a Democratic member of the Utah House of Representatives – where he stood out as a champion of child protection, veterans’ benefits, public education, and ethics in government.

Tim’s career experience also includes labor organizing and outreach, fundraising and development, and many years of community and volunteer service.

“Community work is empowering. I like the creativity involved, the strategic thinking, and the interaction with people,” Tim said.  “When there is a problem or a challenge to deal with, people want to be part of the solution.”

As a community liaison, Tim will work directly with constituents of City Council Districts 4 and 6. He will share Mayor Biskupski’s mission and communicate with residents through Community Council meetings and by direct outreach. The job involves troubleshooting when residents have complaints – from neighborhood crime, graffiti removal, zoning issues, traffic concerns, and everything in between.

Tim joins Community Liaisons Moana Uluave-Hafoka and Nate Salazar in rounding out the Community Empowerment Team, which is supervised by Community Relations Director Jennifer Seelig.

Jennifer worked with Tim when both served in the Legislature and in leadership positions from 2013 through 2014 – she as House Minority Leader; he as House Minority Whip.

“Tim has the heart and commitment for community empowerment work, and he is an outstanding addition to our team,” Jennifer said. “He’s willing to take on big issues and work toward positive solutions while working respectfully and inclusively with people from all walks of life.”

Tim was born and raised in Brigham City, where his father served as City Manager for many years. He grew up as a city kid, but spent his summers working on nearby farms – hauling hay and gathering hay bales, fixing irrigation pipe, and other chores that kept him occupied from dawn to dusk. In exchange for his labor, Tim’s dad was paid at the end of the season with a steer for the family freezer.

“It’s just what was done. It was expected. I learned how to work,” Tim said.

As a legislator from 2004 through 2014, Tim represented Midvale, Murray and Sandy residents. He brought his advocacy background to many child welfare bills, including more stringent controls on having children restrained in car seats.

“Up through 1998, kids only had to be in a car seat to age one,” he said. “A few years later, the law went to age two. But I saw the statistics on fatalities and serious injuries to children who were unrestrained and could bring that to the discussion.”

One of his proudest moments was working with other advocates in passage of legislation that requires children to be in a car booster seat to the age of eight.

“Seat belts are not a safe option for young children. When a crash happens, they can slide out of the seat belt. Their chests can be crushed. They get decapitated,” he said. “When the booster seat law went into effect, we saw a 51 percent drop in death and injury from collisions in one year.”

Tim also championed the cause of veterans returning to Utah from overseas deployments and struggling to find a job or dealing with mental health challenges. He sponsored the bill that created the state Veterans and Military Commission, to offer more support to veterans shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Over the years he sponsored or co-sponsored legislation for job training and counseling assistance for vets and their families.

Tim earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in political science from Weber State University and a Master of Arts degree in political management with an emphasis in public policy from George Washington University. In his spare time, the father of four enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and in-line skating.

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