When the Equality of Opportunity Project ranked Salt Lake City fifth in upward mobility, "Salt Lake City officials heralded the study as yet another piece of evidence for the region's high quality of life, alongside its low unemployment rate," according to a recent article by Nancy Cook. "But for another group of locals—social workers, educators, and community advocates—the study was also a cautionary tale."
Salt Lake City is quickly diversifying, changing the dynamics that contributed to its high ranking on the report.
"Any visitor can tell this just by driving along Interstate 15, the highway that cuts the city into two halves," writes Cook. "The eastern portion has a demographic makeup similar to Vermont—white, well-off, home to the university campus, Statehouse, and downtown district of offices and restaurants. To the west of I-15 sits low-income neighborhoods that house the most recent influx of immigrants or refugees or low-income families. In one district on the West Side, as many as 90 percent of school kids qualify for free or reduced priced lunches."
In response, the city's leaders have launched a number of strategies to maintain the city quality of life and opportunities for upward mobility. Here's a few examples: