Joel and his wife Christine have lived in the district for over 30 years. He is proud to represent his neighbors in the Utah House, where he is a tireless advocate for education, a clean environment, open government, and social justice.
As an English and civics teacher for more than two decades, Joel taught his students the value and responsibilities of citizenship. And as a community leader and legislator, Joel has a 15-year track record of public service in the district: founding the Douglas Neighborhood Association, serving as chair of the East Central Community Council, and building consensus as president of the Salt Lake City school board.
In 1998 Joel ran for a seat on the Salt Lake City Board of Education in part because he believed that the district’s decision to ban gay clubs in the schools was a mistake. The school district reversed the existing ban on gay clubs during the four years Joel served on the board, including his two-year term as president. In 2007 and 2008 Joel served as chair of the East Central Community Council, where he stopped the proposal by Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal to build high voltage electrical transmission through residential neighborhoods.
Joel attended the University of Utah, and graduated with an English major, History minor, and a teaching degree in 1982. He taught English, U.S. History, and Civics in secondary schools for 26 years, including two decades at Bountiful High School, where he also served as an adviser to the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance Club.Joel’s wife Christine teaches science classes at the Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah. Their three adult children live in Utah and Chicago.