Rocky Anderson

American attorney and politician / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Ross Carl "Rocky" Anderson (born September 9, 1951), from the United States, is an attorney, writer, activist, civil and human rights advocate. He served two terms as the 33rd Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah from 2000 to 2008. He is currently running for a third term as Salt Lake City Mayor.[1]

Quick facts: Rocky Anderson, 33rd Mayor of Salt Lake City,...
Rocky Anderson
Anderson in 2023
33rd Mayor of Salt Lake City
In office
January 3, 2000  January 7, 2008
Preceded byDeedee Corradini
Succeeded byRalph Becker
Personal details
Ross Carl Anderson

(1951-09-09) September 9, 1951 (age 71)
Logan, Utah, U.S.
Political partyJustice Party (2011–present)
Other political
Democratic (1972–2011)
EducationUniversity of Utah (BA)
George Washington University (JD)

Prior to serving as Mayor, Anderson practiced law for 21 years in Salt Lake City, during which time he was listed in Best Lawyers in America, received the highest rating, A-V, by Martindale-Hubbell, served as chair of the Utah State Bar Litigation Section and was Editor-in-Chief of, and a contributor to, Voir Dire legal journal.[2] He was also the 1996 Democratic nominee for Congress in Utah’s Second Congressional District.[3]

Following his service as Salt Lake City Mayor, Anderson founded and served as the Executive Director of High Road for Human Rights (2008–2011),[4] a human rights education and advocacy organization, and was a founding member of the Justice Party, which nominated Anderson as its presidential nominee in 2012.[5] That election he was also nominated by the Natural Law Party[6]

After the 2012 presidential campaign, Anderson taught for two semesters as an adjunct instructor at the University of Utah, then practiced law again until February 2021, during which time, among many other things, he challenged the NSA’s and former President Bush’s illegal surveillance,[7] won an important First Amendment case against the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control,[8] successfully challenged the Utah Legislature’s scheme requiring that all medical cannabis be distributed by state or local health department officials instead of by the private sector,[9] and successfully resolved major civil rights cases involving a wrongful police shooting,[10] and the wrongful death of a pretrial detainee in the Salt Lake County Jail.[11] Anderson then served as a full-time volunteer Executive Director of the Justice Party (now Allied Justice ) until beginning his campaign in August 2022 for another term as Mayor of Salt Lake City.[12]

As mayor, Anderson was a major leader and advocate relating to several national and international causes, including climate protection, immigration reform, restorative criminal justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and an end to the "War on Drugs". Before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Anderson was a leading national opponent of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and a leading opponent of illegal surveillance and torture. [13]

Anderson was named by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as one of the top-twenty activists in the world regarding the climate crisis.[14] He was a member of the Newsweek Global Environmental Leadership Advisory Board[15] and was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the top ten straight advocates in the United States for LGBT equality.[16] He has received numerous awards for his work, including the EPA Climate Protection Award,[17] the Sierra Club Distinguished Service Award,[18] the Respect the Earth Planet Defender Award,[19] the Terra Firma Environmental Leadership Award,[20] the National Association of Hispanic Publications Presidential Award,[21] The Drug Policy Alliance Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award,[22] the Progressive Democrats of America Spine Award,[23] the League of United Latin American Citizens Profile in Courage Award,[24] the Bill of Rights Defense Committee Patriot Award,[25] the Code Pink (Salt Lake City) Pink Star honor, the Morehouse College Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award, the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award, the Freedom to Marry Voice for Equality Award,[26] the LGBTQ+ Community Center of Utah Champion’s Award,[27] the Utah Pride Political Action Award,[28] and the World Leadership Award (London) for environmental programs.[29]

Formerly a member of the Democratic Party who won several Best Utah Democrat Awards and several Best Utah Elected Official Awards,[30] Anderson expressed his disappointment with that party in 2011,[31]