ABOUT ME—Janalee Tobias
“You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.”
I’m a country girl raised in a small town in Idaho situated along the banks of the Snake River. The Snake River is the lifeblood for many fertile farms that drink from it, and a magnificent waterway that awes and inspires all those who encounter it. My youth was spent almost entirely outdoors enjoying the peace and serenity of country life and gaining a deep reverence for the mighty Snake River.
Consequently, when a massive development was proposed on the banks of the only river that runs through Salt Lake County, Utah, it was only natural for me to try to preserve the riparian environment along the Jordan River that included foxes, white-faced ibis, deer, great blue heron, eagles, and other wildlife.
As important as the preservation of natural resources is, even more important is the right to free speech as protected in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That’s why Judy Feld and I have been involved in a legal scuffle for nine years now to get a trial by a jury of our peers.
One of the hardest things for me to do is to ask for money or favors. This is difficult for me to ask for donations to help pay our attorneys. But I’ve exhausted my personal resources, including taking out a 2nd mortgage on my home and asking people to give money to my attorneys instead of giving me gifts for Christmas and other holidays. My rights mean more to me than material possessions. You can’t buy rights at the mall. And frivolous lawsuits are an attack on your rights, also. We believe a victory in this case will be a victory for everyone.
A little bit about me: I’m a community-oriented “Music Mom” who has volunteered thousands of hours to causes ranging from feeding the homeless, protecting the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, fighting tax increases, and even ending up in People Magazine for complaining that kids get too much homework! I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Communications. I worked for several companies until I traded in my briefcase for a diaper bag. I choose to stay home with my children and to volunteer my time. I’ve always had a pretty nice life and so I try hard to “pay back” to those who made sacrifices for my freedom.
It’s been extremely difficult for me to stay passionate about fighting for things I believe in when the plaintiffs have caused such financial and emotional hardship to come upon me and my family. Thanks for your help.
ABOUT ME—Judy Feld
I’ve had a rude awakening into citizen community involvement. Before I felt compelled to preserve a beautiful pristine wildlife area, I had never ever been to one political meeting. (I do, however, have a perfect voting record.) My dad told me I couldn’t fight city hall, but I was naively optimistic that my city leaders would listen to me and the thousands of people who wanted to preserve the precious Jordan Riverbottoms, the “crown jewel” of Salt Lake County.
Nine years later, I almost wished I would’ve taken my dad’s advice and just stay home and let others try to make a difference. Never did I imagine that people with power and money would use a lawsuit against me and my friend Janalee Tobias (and our neighbors that they threatened to add to the lawsuit)--to stifle a grassroots effort to preserve nature. Even more unthinkable is the choice my friend and I had to make—that we either give up our rights to speak in public about something we believe in—or face losing everything we own. If I had to do it all over again, would I have been as active in preserving nature and free speech? I think about the daily loss of American soldiers who volunteer their time and sometimes their life to fight for my freedoms. And then I think, “Yes, I would do it again, for my children, grandchildren, and generations to come.”
Allow me to introduce myself: I’m kind, loving, compassionate, honest, and trustworthy. I grew up in suburbia Utah and graduated from the University of Utah. I have an MED in Deaf Education with an endorsement in Early Childhood/Elementary teaching. My hobbies are camping, canning goods, sewing, crafts, and gardening.
I have volunteered countless hours helping special education kids and adults in the community as well as being very active in my church and scouting activities. I started a Deaf Ed program for Jordan District where I worked with children from birth to 12th grade. I also worked as a parent advisor for the state of Utah. I went into homes and worked with parents and families that had infants with hearing losses. I would teach them about hearing aids, speech, language and how to develop listening skills.
I’m a stay-at-home mom with 3 children. I married a farm boy from a small town in Idaho. For 21 years I had a commuting marriage. My husband would come home on Friday evening and return to Idaho to farm on Monday morning. Subsequently, I have functioned as a single mother raising three children (with my youngest being special needs). As a mother of a special needs child, I am extremely busy with therapies, family councils, and the physical demanding needs that a special needs child requires.
I’m most grateful for our wonderful attorneys and their entire law firm. I pray that sometime soon and somehow they will not only know the depth of my gratitude, but they will finish getting compensated for the thousands of hours of work they have done on my behalf. Please help me be able to pay them.
Asking for money and help is extremely difficult for me. I’ve exhausted all finances and means to pay them. But I still owe more than $200,000. Each donation will be truly appreciated. Thank you so much for your help. The plaintiffs have sued several other cities and many private individual citizens who have opposed their high-density projects. Lawsuits should not be used as a weapon to get what they want and to silence their opposition. Especially when the defendants are simply trying to make their community a better place to live. With the recent Utah Supreme Court ruling in our favor, we feel confident in facing a trial by a jury of our peers.