Jackie Biskupski

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Jackie Biskupski
Jackie Biskupski 2015.jpg
35th Mayor of Salt Lake City
Assumed office
January 4, 2016
Preceded by Ralph Becker
Member of the Utah House of Representatives
from the 30th district
In office
January 1999 – June 2011
Preceded by Gene Davis
Succeeded by Brian Doughty
Personal details
Born (1966-01-11) January 11, 1966 (age 52)[1]
Hastings, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Betty Iverson
Children Archie and Jack
Residence Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Alma mater Arizona State University
Occupation Insurance Industry
Private Investigator

Jackie Biskupski (born January 11, 1966) is an American Democratic politician, and the Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah. Upon taking office, Biskupski became Salt Lake City's 35th mayor, the city's first openly gay mayor, and the second female mayor (after Deedee Corradini). She is a former member of the Utah House of Representatives, representing the 30th District in Salt Lake County from 1999 to 2011.

Early life[edit]

One of four siblings raised in Hastings, Minnesota, Biskupski, of Polish-American descent, says that her Catholic parents, Marvin and Arlene Biskupski, named her after former First Lady Jacqueline "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis. While learning about the civil rights movement in history class at St. Boniface School, she says she was immediately attracted to the idea of working one day to champion the rights of women and minorities.

Later in life her collegiate activities would earn her a B.Sc. in criminal justice from Arizona State University. Biskupski decided to stay in Utah shortly after visiting for a ski trip.

In 2010, Biskupski adopted a son named Archie. On August 14, 2016, she married longtime partner Betty Iverson, who also has a son (named Jack).[2] She currently lives in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City.


After graduating from college, Biskupski opened her own private-investigation firm, and later went to work for the auto-insurance industry. Biskupski decided to get involved in politics after a 1995 controversy erupted at East High School (Salt Lake City), when the Board of the Salt Lake City School District and the Utah State Legislature tried to eliminate a gay/straight student alliance club.[3]

When elected in 1998 to the Utah House of Representatives she became Utah’s first openly gay person elected[4] to a state office. She was re-elected 6 times after that, serving in the legislature for 13 years, before retiring in 2011. She then went to work as an administrator for the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office on January 31, 2015.[5]

Biskupski was elected to the office of Salt Lake City Mayor on November 17, 2015, defeating two-term incumbent Ralph Becker with 51.55% of the vote.[6] During her transition, she called for the resignation of most City department heads,[7] drawing criticism from former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and others.[8][9]

During her first year in office as mayor, Biskupski made local air quality and climate change issues central to her platform, calling for Salt Lake City to be completely run on alternative energy by 2032 and a reduction in carbon emissions by 80% by 2040.[10] Biskupski also focused on finding long-term treatment solutions to Salt Lake City's growing homeless population.[11][12] In December 2016, the Mayor announced the locations of four new homeless shelters in the capital city, generating substantial controversy concerning the decision on where to put the shelters and the cost of land acquisition.[13]

On January 30, 2017, Biskupski announced a draft policy on the release of police body camera footage, putting her at odds with Sim Gill, the Salt Lake County District Attorney.[14]


  1. ^ "Project Vote Smart - Representative Jackie Biskupski - Biography". Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  2. ^ "Salt Lake City Mayor Biskupski marries". Gephradt Daily. Gephradt Daily Staff. August 15, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016.
  3. ^ Free, Cathy (November 5, 2015). "Salt Lake City Voters Elect the City's First Openly Gay Mayor Jackie Biskupski". People Magazine. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  4. ^ Healy, Jack (November 1, 2015). "Gay Candidates Find Support, or at Least a Shrug, in Salt Lake City". New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  5. ^ Smart, Christopher (November 3, 2015). "Biskupski leads Becker in early vote count". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  6. ^ "Salt Lake City elects its first openly gay mayor". CBS News. Associated Press. November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  7. ^ McKeller, Katie (November 30, 2015). "Biskupski calls for resignations of nearly all Salt Lake City department heads". KSL News. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  8. ^ Smart, Christopher (November 30, 2015). "Ex-Mayor Anderson: Biskupski's call for resignations is 'arrogant'". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved December 1, 2015. You're putting people through tremendous anguish. It's so arrogant and unnecessary," said Anderson, who supported Biskupski during the campaign. "Longtime employees have been using words like 'appalled,' 'shocked,' 'angry' and 'unprecedented.' 
  9. ^ McKeller, Katie (November 30, 2015). "Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News, File Photo Biskupski calls for resignations of nearly all Salt Lake City department heads". KSL News. Retrieved December 1, 2015. I don't remember on a city level such a comprehensive call for department heads to submit their resignations prior to a new mayor taking office
  10. ^ Geisel, Hunter. "Mayor Biskupski announces transition to 100 percent clean energy in next 16 years". Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  11. ^ "Biskupski, McAdams address plans to tackle homelessness in Salt Lake City". fox13now.com. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  12. ^ Biskupski, Jackie (2016-06-10). "Jackie Biskupski: Homeless services public workshops". Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  13. ^ "Salt Lake City selects four new homeless shelter sites". fox13now.com. 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2017-01-31.
  14. ^ Tribune, Matthew Piper The Salt Lake. "SLC mayor, D.A. at odds over draft bodycam release policy for officer-involved shootings". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2017-01-31.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ralph Becker
Mayor of Salt Lake City