DIGNITY

Posted: January 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

​Reprinted from my friend Susan Marques Booth

Dear Utah Legislature, 

Being involved at the end of a person’s life is a unique part of the human experience. It’s highly emotionally charged, because watching someone you love so much suffer, is difficult. My father’s been dying for about a year now. We’ve had the roller coaster of emotions. One minute we’ve been hopeful and positive about my father’s future only to have those very hopes dashed as another tumor grows. 
My dad’s cancer, head and neck cancer, is horrific to see. It not only grows on the inside of your body, but also on the outside. It’s wild, because the thing that is killing him is so very alive and visible. It’s like rockets are shooting out of his neck and shoulder. The right side of his incredibly handsome face is bizarrely distorted, weirdly triangular with large tumors wanting to burst through, right under his eye. His beautiful smile is gone as all of his top teeth had to be taken out and tumors have begun their takeover of his mouth. Despite all of this, he somehow managed to make fun of me and shared my embarrassing experience of trying to use a large industrial buffer, losing control of it and breaking the handle, with everyone. In fact, the last words he shared with me before he drifted off in his drug induced sleep last night was, “Remember when you used the machine?” I wonder if that will be his final memory of me… It was pretty funny.
Hospice has us giving him pain medications every 45 minutes. Yes – EVERY 45 minutes. I wonder if they think that we’re fucking stupid. They have essentially told us, (without telling us), that it’s our job to make sure that he’s too tired to eat or drink. When you don’t eat or drink your kidneys shut down, you go into a coma and you die. They have put the responsibility into our hands which I think is truly unfair, especially for my mom, his main caretaker. My mom will always do what the doctors tell her to do. The dose will be the right amount and it will be delivered as per instructions. My question for the Utah Legislature is this: How is this better, or more “moral” or “ethical”, than allowing my father to choose which day to end his life? That fact of the matter is, although hospice creates an avenue to lessen pain and suffering while someone is dying, they ARE assisting in the progression of the process. Don’t give into cognitive dissonance here. We ARE helping my father to die. Why is that more acceptable than empowering an individual to choose to die on their own terms, when they want to, when there is zero chance of a recovery? The interference of religion in the legislative process needs to be removed. It’s pretty simple, if your faith believes that suicide is some sort of unforgivable sin, by all means, do not participate in it. That’s not our belief. If you want us to respect your beliefs, which we do, please respect ours. My dad deserved the ability to die on his own terms. Now, he’s dying on YOUR terms, but make no mistake – he’s going to die. You’ve prolonged his agony, misery, suffering and pain. You’ve prolonged ours as well. 
Susan Booth

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A Culture of Corruption

Posted: May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely… Recently, Republican legislative leaders wrote that Utah residents were second class citizens because the Federal Government refused to rel…

Source: A Culture of Corruption

A Culture of Corruption

Posted: May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely…

Recently, Republican legislative leaders wrote that Utah residents were second class citizens because the Federal Government refused to relinquish control of public lands. While I agree that many Utahns are treated as second class, I believe it is due to the one-party system that exists in this state and the inevitable culture of corruption that it has created.

Our last two Attorneys General are awaiting trial for corruption. Recently, our Governor held a fundraiser where lobbyists could talk with him…for a price. A state representative wants to have people who disagree with him investigated. A member of Congress said  those that disagree with him should “die”. During the legislative session, it seems that too often a story comes out about some lawmaker benefiting from a bill that they have proposed. The prison relocation process was seriously flawed, with the perception that the head of it may have profited from inside information. And we haven’t even started talking about the public lands mess, the incredible waste of taxpayer money on message legislation…that usually doesn’t withstand a court challenge, or money being given to build a port in California to ship coal…that California doesn’t even want!

Politics is perception…

It’s not just the profiteering or the cronyism that is troubling…it is the arrogance. Democrats are punished for disagreeing with the Speaker of the House. The LGBT community was punished for what one legislator said was excessively celebrating same-sex marriage. Voter fraud is practiced through gerrymandering. One person, one vote doesn’t exist in Utah. Add to that a Voter ID law that makes it difficult on some Utahns to exercise their rights.

To just say we need to elect more Democrats is just too simplistic. We do need to do that. We need to elect more women and more minorities. We need our elected officials to reflect the diversity that enriches our state. We need that in the judiciary as well. We also need to tighten up the existing ethics laws. We need to cap spending on elections to get rid of the perception that our elected officials are on the take. We also need a bipartisan redistricting commission to restore one person, one vote. Only then can we start to restore the public’s confidence in out elected officials.


5 Things I Learned at My First Tea Party Rally.


On Saturday, supporters of Sen. Mike Lee held a “Victory Rally”.  I attended as part of a small group, that was protesting his support of the Republicans in the House of Representatives not passing a “clean” continuing resolution to fund the government. Here are my five top takeaways from that.

1.     Facts are Irrelevant.  The fact that they were celebrating a “victory” was confusing. Because of the shutdown, the GOP is polling at an all-time low. The numbers for the Tea Party is even lower. There is a very real chance, that even with the gerrymandering currently in place, Democrats will take back control of the US House in 2014. This action was a crushing defeat for Republicans, and especially for the Tea Party. Sen. Lee in now polling 10 points less.

2.     They hate everyone, including themselves.  It would be easy to say that this group hates minorities. It would be easy to say that they hate women. It would be easy to say they hate the LGBT community. These are generalities.  They don’t hate all members of these groups. I’m sure that if you know what they perceive to be your place, these people would be ok. Well most would. There were some racial slurs and also anti-gay comments. But that is to be expected. The big surprise was how much they hate other Republicans. Sen. Orrin Hatch, and mostly Abby Huntsman, came under attack. In the case of Ms. Huntsman, there were almost as many negative comments about her as there was against the President. They also seem to hate “the establishment”. Forgetting of course that in Utah, they are close to the establishment.

3,      Sen. Lee is Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan all rolled in one. This was one of my favorites. A quick history lesson. Lincoln supported a strong federal government over states’ rights. He also believed in equality for all. Ronald Reagan was for amnesty for immigrants, for an assault weapons ban, and appointed pro choice judges to the Supreme Court. So I guess Sen. Lee is a big government, pro choice, pro equality Senator who wants to limit the sale of assault weapons and supports amnesty.

4.      The Tea Party supports the Constitution like they do the Bible, they take what supports their position. Obviously the First Amendment took a beating. There was no freedom of, or from religion. And free speech was certainly not allowed. The right to assembly, to peacefully protest was definitely not allowed in that private park. It reminded me of all the Old Testament things they say to discriminate against people. They conveniently forget the teachings of Christ and his ministry of tolerance and love.

5.      Ted Cruz and Mike Lee held hands and stopped Obamacare from becoming law. Yes…there were many in the crowd that thought that. Actually, they did talk for 21 hours, which wasn’t a filibuster because they weren’t preventing action on a bill. When their time was up, the Senate came back in session and passed the clean CR. There were almost as many people who believed the Obamacare is unconstitutional. Which is kind of sad because these people obviously haven’t got the word yet that the Supreme Court did rule on it.

Certainly a different experience going to this event. We even had one guy tell us to get jobs and say he was surprised that we were out of bed so early. Not to mention the usual gun crazies. Sadly, one female protester was attacked by a mob. Fortunately, she wasn’t hurt but did have her sign ripped from her hands and torn up.


I recently moved to West Valley City from Salt Lake City. I have been involved in politics out here for a very long time. When I moved, I looked to stay involved. By chance, I was able to meet Council Member Karen Lang, who represents the 3rd District in the city. She was running for West Valley City Mayor, and had just learned that she had passed the primary, and was getting ready to start her drive towards the general election. I was immediately impressed with her intelligence and grasp of the issues. West Valley City has some unique challenges. It is currently Utah’s second largest city. It also has one of the most diverse populations. They really need someone with the passion and compassion of Ms. Lang, to help support the many changes going on in it’s diverse community.

Karen Lang has been a small business owner for many years. She understands what it’s like to be a working wife, mom, grandmother, and neighbor. Her husband Brian, as well as her children, were all educated in WVC. She served for 10 years on the Planning Commission, before being elected to the City Council. She is the owner of Oakbridge Greenhouse in the city. And, she may be the best prepared, most non-partisan person, I have ever had the privilege to know. in this race, in this city, that is very important.

I don’t agree with her on all the issues, but I agree with her on the most important ones. I can give my wholehearted support to Karen Lang for WVC Mayor. I urge all my friends, and more importantly, my fellow Democrats, to give their support to the best candidate, Karen Lang.


craigtrujillo

For the Super Bowl…I have to repost

My first memory of football was being a Green Bay Packer fan. I was influenced by the book “Instant Replay” by Jerry Kramer. It helped that my town’s colors were Green and Gold. I was born and raised in the era of Packer dominance in the NFL. So I suppose I was kind of a front-runner. When I was 14 that was changed and I was shattered when my Dad was transferred to Denver. I was devastated. This was right before 9th grade, which I had been looking forward to. I even had four close friends come to the airport to see me off.

I think my Dad knew how I felt. Let me give you some background. I have 3 sisters. All four of us were born within five years of each other. Subsequently, my parents had to work a lot…

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I’m very good at tying knots…at least tying myself in knots. I recently was revisited by my old friend chest pains. This time it was a bit more serious. I had been hiding a lot of stress and not having anything that could release it. My exercise was near zero, my meditation habits were poor,  I even had stopped listening to and enjoying music! Even those closest to me had noticed how stiff and rigid I had become.

Needless to say, my doctor was less then thrilled with me. Once again, I was reminded sternly that I was “a walking heart attack and if I don’t change I will be dead in six months!” I think that scared me more then the physical things.

I am now reminded that I need to take things less seriously. It was such an interesting 2012, with so many highs and lows, that I had forgotten what in between felt like. It seems like I have been living my life for the high and low moments. I need to find that proper balance and also do better about letting my stress go. Shouting if I need to, exercising more regularly, writing more often. Sometimes, it’s ok to be angry, it’s ok to be sad, it’s ok to be happy.

I wise friend and mentor used to tell me all the time, “Craig, don’t take things so fucking seriously”. This was usually said in times of great stress.  I need to return to that advice.

2012 in review

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


It’s funny where life will lead us some times. At this time last year, I was really trying to get my bearings on life. I was really unsure of who I was and what I wanted. I have always felt that opportunity is always there…you just have to be ready and willing to take it. I spent six months of this year trying to rediscover who I was and what I wanted in life.

After a little over three years, it was time to leave Premier Mentoring. I will always be grateful for what they did for me and all the wonderful people who I met. I still keep in touch with a few of my clients that came into the program and really appreciate the learning that I did there.

So after a few months of running through my savings and doing a few consulting jobs, my dream opportunity presented itself…campaign manager for Liz Muniz in House District 33. It really was the situation that I had been waiting for, and wanting for several years. I was seriously involved with the Democratic Party many years ago, but left to raise my family and then never went back to it. I am so grateful for the many wonderful people I have met and have been so supportive. I plan on making the most of my new opportunity, and to help grow the Democratic Party in Utah.

I have under gone a complete makeover. New haircut, new clothes, and really a new attitude. Thank you Jennifer Imes for that and so much more. Also to Auretha Callison for help and advice.

On the really bad side, my dear friend Nan Chatwin lost her battle with cancer at the beginning of the month. She was truly my best friend. I feel lost at times without being able to talk to her. But, I am so happy that she is free of pain. She suffered so much, and as much as I miss her, I am glad that she is free. I have so many wonderful things and memories of her, so she will always have a special place in my heart.

So many people have made a positive influence on my life this year. It would take me forever to name them all. A special thanks to all at the Utah State Democratic Headquarters, you all were so kind. And also to all of those I met on the campaign trail…a big thank you.

To the Gonzales family…all of you…you are the family I haven’t had in a very long time and I will never forget how much you have done for me. You have my undying affection, respect, and loyalty.

I am very optimistic about the new year. I feel like everything that I have worked for will be mine.