Meet West Jordan’s newest councilmember: Pamela BloomJan 04, 2022 08:59AM ● By Travis Barton
West Jordan will have a new face in 2022.
Pamela Bloom earned one of three at-large seats for the West Jordan City Council this year, along with incumbents Kayleen Whitelock and Kelvin Green.
Because of the tight vote—she finished 37 votes behind Green and 326 ahead of incumbent Chad Lamb to win the third and final spot—it wasn’t until a week after the election that Bloom could pop the champagne.
“I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders,” she said.
The newest councilmember has lived just about everywhere in her life with a dad in the Air Force. Born in Turkey, she spent most of her childhood in Alaska also spending some time in Utah. She graduated high school in Omaha, Nebraska, before going to college at Iowa Western and the University of Utah.
Since officially returning to Utah (originally as a radio host), she’s lived in Logan, Taylorsville and now calls West Jordan home.
Bloom should be recognizable on the city scene, having served on the city’s planning commission and several other committees including events, open land and parks, and design and review.
“I’ve always liked being involved and volunteering—that's something I’ve done my entire life,” she said.
From there it “kind of organically snowballed” into running for city council as she witnessed the changing demographics of the city “seeing West Jordan evolve.”
“I felt that I would be a good fit and a good mindset for the direction that West Jordan was going,” she said. “I thought, ‘Why not give it a shot; we only live once.’ I really feel like giving back, so why not see if this city agrees with me and letting me have that opportunity. I genuinely enjoy giving back and helping make where I live a better place. Sometimes it sounds cheesy when I say it out loud, but it’s genuinely how I feel and if it’s cheesy then so be it.”
In 2019, she ran for the District 4 seat but fell to David Pack 53-47.
It was a unique experience for Bloom, who had a miscarriage during the campaign, forcing her to step back “to focus on healing.” Even with the terrible setback, Bloom was encouraged at how close the race was despite taking a break from the campaign.
Losing the election also led to her joining the planning commission in 2020 where she could learn even more about the city, its processes and get to know city staff.
“I'm not sad I lost at all,” Bloom said. “I'm glad things worked out how they did because it allowed me to grow within the city in a really good way. I think it's prepared me a lot more for actually now being on the city council.”
That unique 2019 race perhaps prepared her for the difficulties she faced in 2021.
They say things come in threes. For Bloom, she had three more major challenges occur during the 2021 campaign.
First, along with her family, she had to move to a new house in West Jordan.
“I would never recommend that to anybody,” she said of moving during a campaign.
Second, she stepped away from a 20-year career to start a new job.
Bloom cut her teeth in the film and photography world for two decades working a variety of jobs from account and product management to teaching. But with the pandemic came a heavy hit to the industry, combine that with a job where she constantly traveled, she decided on a “major shift in life.”
“One of the most important things I learned is that I need to be home a little more,” said Bloom, who now works for University of Utah Healthcare. “The pandemic changed some of the priorities, and I wanted to be home for the next few years while my kids get through school.”
Third, to cap off what she described as an “interesting” campaign, she lost hearing in her left ear.
“Despite all the challenges, I had a good thing going; it just made everything more special,” she said.
Both mentally and physically, Bloom said the challenges made for a difficult election campaign, but she “had a gut feeling that was good and positive about this race.”
“Everything I went through, all the challenges—it almost lit a fire under me to make sure that I am going in with everything I have for this to make a difference,” she said.
Bloom only plans to serve four years, pledging in her campaign to be a one-term council member. She said she never wants a reelection campaign to possibly determine how she votes.
“I never want to be influenced by that, and I see it so much in every level of politics,” she said.
She also wants more voices participating in city government, noting the city needs more women and people of color. Her being a one-term councilmember gives more people a chance to serve on the council.
“We need more people to step up,” Bloom said. “If I can do this, despite everything, so can my neighbor. I love this city, and it'll make it better if we can get more people involved in every way on every level of our city including planning commission, city council and all the committees. I want to make that happen.”
Big picture, Bloom spoke of the need to strengthen the city’s vision, making it clearer for residents and staff alike.
She also said every councilmember is committed to making West Jordan more business friendly.
“One of the No. 1 priorities is to make having a business, building a business and moving a business to West Jordan a much simpler and cost-efficient process unlike it is now,” Bloom said, noting when that brings in a stronger tax base, it helps with property taxes and for a strong and healthy budget.
“It is a priority for pretty much every council member to make that happen,” she said.