Coffee Party Organizer Kelli Lundgren 

click to enlarge Kelli Lundberg - JOSH LOFTIN
Kelli Lundgren is an organizer for the Utah chapter of the Coffee Party, which has weekly meetings in downtown Salt Lake City, Sugar House and Sandy. The party hopes to limit groups to eight people to give members a chance to speak. Smal groups can organize their own meetings through CoffeePartyUSA.com. The Utah chapter held a May 22 rally in Salt Lake City that was its biggest local event yet.

What was the May 22 Coffee Party rally about?
Being peaceful, positive and social. We’re not out there to create a fight. That’s never been the purpose to the Coffee Party. One of the things that stirred up the party nationally and locally is all the divisiveness and hate that is propagating nationally and locally. We want to stand up and say not everyone wants that. We want peace and civility in our political discourse.

What’s the biggest issue for Utah Coffee Party members?
We want people to be well-informed and use pragmatic decision-making. We really think that our government needs to hear the people, especially the people in the middle, not those who are yelling the loudest.

Are you looking to have the same kind of influence over liberal Utahns that the tea-party movement has had with conservative Utahns?
Not at all. We don’t want the Coffee Party to be exclusive with liberals. Our platform is civility in government, and we believe the government is created by the will of the people. We believe in informed decision-making. Whoever in America agrees with that—it doesn’t matter their political affiliation—is who we want.

What financial reforms were you rallying for?
We support the Democrat’s financial-reform bill, but we also believe that both parties need to compromise. Our biggest issue on that bill is that we want to represent the average American, because on the other side fighting the bill are Wall Street and the financial institutions, who are spending one million dollars a day fighting this regulation.

What are issues that face the Utah Coffee Party as compared to the national party?
We’re concerned that the ethics reform didn’t take hold. We’re concerned about gerrymandering. Instead of just complaining, we approach an issue thinking about how we can deal with it and improve it.

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