Four Generations

My Bubby’s Rugelach

One of the unexpected benefits of entering the campaign to be Colorado’s Attorney General is the opportunity to reflect on my own journey and what inspires me to serve. At the core of my inspiration to serve is my grandparents’ journey and their story of survival, faith, and renewal.

In April, 1945, as World War II was coming to a close, my grandmother gave birth to my mom in a concentration camp in Leipzig, Germany. In July, 1944, my grandparents had a moment together before my grandfather was shipped off to a different concentration camp (Terenzin). In the winter of 1945, my grandmother sent a note to my grandfather, telling him, “You have what to live for.”

The miracle of my grandmother surviving in a concentration camp while pregnant, and my mom being born healthy is matched by the miracle of their renewed dedication to their faith and their future. After the War, my grandparents looked to their future—and my mom’s future—and decided that they wanted to live in the United States of America, where they treasured our commitment to freedom and opportunity.

In 1951, my grandparents came to the U.S., not speaking the language and without a high school education. My grandfather got a job in a factory that made coats and my grandmother, or my Bubby, as I called her, was a seamstress. In making a life for themselves in the U.S., they were committed to providing an opportunity for my mom, who was the first in her family to get a college education. My dad was also the first in his family to go to college and, like my mom, lived at home, went to a local college, and received scholarship aid.

I always had a special relationship with my grandparents, respecting their fight for survival, their appreciation for our country, and their love for my brother and me. When I could, I would join them for Friday night dinner, where my Bubby’s meals always came with special desserts. When I could not be there in person, including after I moved to Colorado, I called them every Friday. I fondly remember how my Bubby got such pleasure feeding me. My favorite food was always her rugelach. When I got married, she made a special point of teaching my wife Heidi and me her recipe.

My Bubby provides an inspiring example of the power of faith. She always had faith in her future and took joy in watching me build my future—graduating college and law school, moving to Colorado, serving as a law clerk for Justices Byron White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and working for President Barack Obama in White House. During my personal and professional journey, I adopted her positive attitude and approached life as an adventure, knowing I could weather any challenges I faced, learn from experience, and never take for granted the opportunities our country offered me.

Like my grandparents, many Coloradans are immigrants, are facing challenging times, and are holding onto their faith that they can build a better future. As I take on this campaign to be Colorado’s Attorney General, I am inspired by my grandparents’ example and my faith. In scripture, it teaches that “our job is not to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not permitted to desist from it.” For me, that means fighting for our freedoms and for opportunity for all Coloradans and leading the Attorney General’s office so that it serves as an engine for progress and represents all Coloradans effectively.

To serve our great State, I need your help on this journey. I am most appreciative of those who have invested their time and money in this campaign. Please join us. And as a token of my appreciation, I have shared my Bubby’s rugelach recipe. Please enjoy it in good health and share it with the ones you love.

My Bubby’s Rugelach Recipe

Ingredients

Zest of 1 lemon

2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk

1 cup sugar, plus extra for filling

½-pound Crisco or margarine

½ cup vinegar

¼ cup water

3 and 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and raspberry jam for filling

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a baking sheet with butter, oil, or cooking spray.

Cut Crisco or margarine into flour, then add lemon zest and wet ingredients (including eggs). Stir or beat until the dough reaches a smooth consistency. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick. Cut into squares (large or small depending on your preference). Sprinkle one teaspoon of sugar and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon onto each square. Top each square with chopped walnuts and a dab of raspberry jam. Roll up squares and place onto baking sheet one inch apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.*

*Bubby never set a timer for her rugelach. She watched the rugelach until they were perfectly browned each time.


Phil Weiser - 4th of July Parade

Holding Onto Our Traditions in a Changing World

Last week, we celebrated July 4th, the anniversary of one of the world’s great experiments in democracy. The Declaration of Independence famously announced “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The American experiment, in other words, established a commitment to protect our freedoms and enable opportunity for all.

Defending Our Constitutional Freedoms

The Constitution was adopted to enforce and advance the vision set out in the Declaration of Independence. Under our Constitution, we have established a set of core freedoms—the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, equal protection for all, and the due process of law (which means people must be treated fairly by their government and legal system). These freedoms, however, are not self-enforcing and require institutions, citizens, and leaders to enforce and advance them.

Today, we face a challenging environment that is testing our constitutional and democratic institutions. As one conservative commentator has put it, President Trump is an “institutional arsonist,” threatening to do grave damage to our democracy and legal system. What will enable our democracy and constitutional system to endure? Active citizens and leaders stepping up to protect our constitutional freedoms and traditions. For me, this imperative is a central reason I am running to be Colorado’s next Attorney General.

Fighting for the American Dream

Another powerful reason I’m running to be Colorado’s next Attorney General is my belief in the American Dream. The American Dream is the promise that each generation should be able to look forward to building on the progress of their parents and building a better life for themselves—the pursuit of happiness, in other words. I experienced this promise firsthand because my parents, who came to this country as immigrants (my mom after surviving the Holocaust), were the first in their families to go to college and climb the ladder of opportunity. And I, in turn, benefited from the opportunities they had.

Today, many Coloradans experience a world where their lives are getting harder, and they are not being treated fairly as citizens, workers, and consumers. When I talk about fighting for opportunities for all Coloradans, I mean that we must develop strategies and institutions to change this equation—whether it is protecting Coloradans from voter suppression efforts, fighting wage theft from workers, or standing up to pharmaceutical companies engaging in price fixing that leads to higher drug prices for consumers. And we will need to do more than that to adapt to today’s changing economy, including enabling all Coloradans to have broadband Internet access, developing skills training opportunities for those not going to college, and supporting an environment where businesses can be started around our State. Thankfully, Coloradans are not afraid of change, are adaptable, and willing to experiment.

Safeguarding Our Land, Air, and Water

Finally, to thrive in the 21st century, we must protect our land, air, and water so that our children can live healthy lives in an era where climate change will transform our world. We can manage and address climate change by, for example, developing strategies for overseeing oil and gas development that restrict methane emissions. Colorado proudly developed the template for managing methane emissions—through collaborative and innovative leadership from our Governor—that the EPA later adopted. Unfortunately, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt initially challenged those rules as the Oklahoma Attorney General and has led an effort for the EPA to abandon them. Our Governor John Hickenlooper and others successfully challenged this effort by EPA Administrator Pruitt, but our AG stayed on the sidelines in this battle, forcing the Governor to hire private counsel.

Joining This Mission

In 2018, we can elect an Attorney General who is committed to protecting our freedoms, fighting for opportunity for all Coloradans, and safeguarding our land, air, and water. This is going to require engaged citizens and a campaign inspired by and true to our nation’s ideals. I look forward to running such a campaign and welcome you to join me however you are able to support our mission.