Rocky Anderson

While down in the good state of Utah several weeks ago, I got to spend some time with Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, featured subject of a Dave Roberts Q&A published yesterday. The good mayor had just days before given his state of the city address, the final of his two-term run as mayor of a city better-known for Mormons than for the range of forward-thinking policies in place there.


In his address, the mayor praised the city’s progress in cutting energy use and advancing the use of alternative energy sources, which “promotes a better quality of life, saves taxpayers’ money and is central to long-term economic growth.”

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“Unless city residents have access to clean air and water and are protected from potential environmental catastrophes like global warming, our other efforts as a city count for little over the long term,” Anderson said.

Anderson has put that into practice all over the city, from cleaning up the parking police to prioritizing public transportation to replacing his own hot water tanks with a solar-powered on-demand system. Here are some photographic highlights of my morning with Mayor Rocky and his gang:

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Rocky Anderson with TideRocky with Tide

“You stop this rinse cycle, I’ll kill ya’.” The mayor shows off his cold water rinse, and no, Tide isn’t paying us to run this gem.


Rocky's hot water heater used to be here.

Mayor Rocky shows us … a photo of where his hot water heater once stood. He now uses an on-demand, solar-powered system.


Anderson's solar panels.

High above SLC, these solar panels heat the mayor’s bubble baths hot water.


Anderson puts compressed natural gas in his car.
Hey Rocky! Screw you, petroleum! The good mayor fills up with some compressed natural gas.

Clean cars get props in Utah.
Mayor Rocky shows off the license plate tags that give clean cars the go ahead in Salt Lake City.

Three-wheeled parking chariot.
These three-wheeled chariots of the parking gods get eight times better mileage than the old cruisers. Parking enforcer Neal Ketterer shows off his tricycle bad ass wheels.

Salt Lake City Intermodal hub.
Salt Lake City heads toward the light with their Intermodal Hub, which will soon connect bus, light rail, and train.

CFL bulbs in a chandelier.
A (free-range, organic) chicken in every pot, and a CFL bulb in every chandelier in Mayor Rocky’s SLC.