Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In the Daily Universe

Photo of Christian by Marvin Kimble
A wonderful feature story on Christian was in BYU's Daily Universe today. As Christian is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School, when the Daily Universe received notice earlier this month that he is the Democratic nominee, they were very excited to interview him. He spent a pleasant afternoon with Amy Brennan, the author of the article, while she asked him an impressive array of questions about his background, his family, and his reasons for seeking office.

Compliments go to Marvin Kimble, the photographer who took such a fine photo of Christian that afternoon.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Scandinavian Days

Ephraim, UT

conversingChristian, Marissa and their kids took part in Ephraim's Scandinavian Heritage Festival this weekend. As a former Snow College students, Christian and Marissa had a great time meeting and talking with the citizens of Sanpete County. They were very encouraging and supportive, and he appreciated being able to hear their concerns and desires.

ptbThe Sanpete Democrats invited Christian and his family to join them on their "float" they decorated for Saturday morning's parade: a patriotically outfitted pontoon boat belonging to Sanpete Demo members Boyd and Avrin Brotherson. Draped on either side of the boat was a banner inscripted with, along with Christian's name, the names of the group members who are running for office this year: Kim Christison, for Utah House 68; Vern Fisher, for Commissioner; and Kevin Holman, for Sheriff.

candyThough the 40 lbs. of saltwater taffy only lasted a couple of blocks, everyone had a great time. Christian's daughter, Celia, especially loved throwing candy to the crowd. She was most disappointed when it ran out.

Many thanks to the Sanpete Democrats for all of their help this weekend, and all of the effort they put in to making everything go smoothly.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Christian on Radio West

Last week, Christian called in to Doug Fabrizio's Radio West program while they were discussing politics in Utah, the convention aftermath, and what the political climate will be like this election year. You can listen to the program here, or read the following transcript.

Doug: Let's take a call from Christian in Salt Lake. Christian, welcome.

Christian: Hi, this is Christian Burridge. How're you doing, Doug?

Doug: Fine, thanks - how are you?

Christian: Good. I'm the Democratic nominee; I'm going to be running against either John Jacob or Chris Cannon in the fall. I'm going to be on the ticket--

Doug: Right--

Christian: Proud to be on the phone with you today.

Doug: Good!

Christian: I just wanted to talk to you - I've been traveling throughout the third district in the last month or so, and I'm finding a lot of people that are ready for some real change. I think people are seeing that the GOP is just going to stand up for the same national agenda; they rubberstamp whatever the national leaders do, and the people in the third district are ready for real change and are ready for a Democrat to be able to represent the interests of Utah, a lot like Jim Matheson does. And I'm proud to do that.

Doug: What makes you think that they're ready for change?

Christian: I can feel it in the air - when I talk to my neighbors, who are Republicans and independents and moderates. This district is primarily made up of moderate voters - people who aren't necessarily partisan, and they're ready for someone to advocate for their interests, not necessarily always the GOP interests. You know, Cannon's voting record - he voted 95% of the time with Tom DeLay, and I think that people are tired of that, and they're ready for a grassroots candidate who actually represents the voice of the people instead of all these self-funded millionaires that try and buy the office. We are tired of the "pay to play" politics. We need candidates that will represent our future, for our children, and really stand up for the taxes that people are paying, and stand up for good fiscal responsibility instead of just the national GOP agenda.

Doug: Well, if Saturday's convention was any indication, the voters of the third district - some of them anyway, certainly the party faithful are thinking - Republican party faithful are thinking - about immigration. How are you thinking about that issue and how you may appeal to the voters of the third district?

Christian: Well, it's a big issue. I'm an attorney; I actually have practiced immigration law in the past, and I've been down in the trenches on this issue. I think that Americans want real immigration reform - real comprehensive reform. I mean, Mr. Cannon's position is kindof a "wink wink nod nod" policy. it's pro-business so they can get cheap labor. What we really need is a sound, economic-based solution. I mean, this really comes down to supply and demand: you have a big demand for labor over here, and you have a supply of labor on the other side of the border but... You know, there was an article a couple of weeks ago in the Tribune that talked about how some of these businesses are sending down "coyotes" to bring the undocumented immigrants across the border. If we can regulate child labor in this country - which we've been able to do - then we can regulate our immigration laws. We've had these laws on the books for years, and now, all of the sudden, it's a hot topic issue. These Republicans are scurrying around, trying to get a solution, when they've had power for five years to do something about it - and they haven't. And the reason why is because they have a hard time from the business interests, the big agricultural companies and such, that want the cheap labor. We stand for comprehensive reform that going to be good for wages, for everybody, and it's going to be good to boost our economy and to be able to have a fair and just system when it comes to immigration policy.

Doug: Well, Christian, let me ask you this, finally - I wonder how you're thinking about.. you mentioned your neighbors - moderates and independents, and even your Republican neighbors - as you've said, you kindof feel something different in the air. And I'm wondering, what makes them change their mind? What is making them rethink now the Democratic party in such a conservative district as the third?

Christian: It's Republican fatigue. They're seeing that they've sent Republicans back to Washington and they do not represent the interests of our children, of our families. They just rubberstamp the national agenda. I'm standing up for our families. Each member of my family owes 30 thousand dollars as part of the national debt. These Republicans are spending our kids' futures, they're mortgaging their futures. They're getting rid of student loans. We need somebody who's going to stand up for our children and our future, and I'm proud to do that.

Doug: Christian, we're glad you called.

Christian: Thanks, Doug, I appreciate your time.

Doug: Thanks so much. Again the number to call in is...

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Reasons for Running

When Marissa and I had our first meeting with the leaders of the Utah State Democratic Party, Wayne Holland, Jr., the State Party Chairman, asked me why I wanted to run for Congress. I told him that I just couldn't sit around anymore. I had to do something.

Given all the things that have gone wrong with our leadership in Washington, D.C., I did not want to have to explain to my girls in 15 years that I didn't do anything when our government was not taking us in the right direction. I wanted to stand up for their future. I wanted them to have a chance to live the American dream like their parents were living.

Though my own children were an initial motivator for me to run for Congress, I am ready to stand up for all of our children. I want them to receive a quality free public education. I want them to have clean air and water. I want them to be safe from nuclear waste and from the effects of military testing of weapons. I want them to be free from an irrational national debt mortgaged by special interests. I want them to have a better future than my generation. If we don't change our course my kids and your kids are not going to have the same opportunities that make America great. For this reason this campaign is a tribute to Alma and Celia, and all the kids of Utah.

Lone Peak High School


Christian's wife Marissa Burridge was born and raised in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Marissa's high school debate coach, Mrs. Claudia Stillman invited Christian to speak to her Government and Civics class at Lone Peak High school.
Christian, a consumer rights lawyer, taught the students about personal financial responsibility. Christian shared some stories about how he has witnessed many of his clients run into finacial ruin and eventually having to file for bankruptcy. He later discussed how to avoid bankruptcy and how to maintain a healthy credit score. He said, "This fall many credit card companies will be trying to get you to sign up for credit cards at college. It is okay to use credit, but be wise in their use. Later on you will need your credit to buy a car and a house when you get married."

Christian later discussed the importance of voting and being part of the political process. He said that this generation needs to stand up and vote so student loans and pell grants will be protected. He pledged to stand up for students in Congress.

"This Congress has gotten rid of pell grants and subsidized student loans. With the raising cost of tuition this next generation of students needs to stand up for their interests when it comes to whom they vote for."

We provided the students the link to this blog.

To the students: If any of you are reading, educate yourselves on the issues at stake this year, on the candidates and their platforms. Decide for yourselves who will be the best representative of the ideals that you hold. The ability to politically participate is a gift from our forbears that is too precious to disregard.

If anyone is interested in volunteering, send an email to me with relevant information (name, phone number, email, how many hours/week available, activity preferences) provided therein.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Christian Burridge receives Democratic Party's Nomination
for U.S. Congress in Utah's 3rd District

Salt Palace Convention Center
Salt Lake City, Utah

On May 13, 2006 Christian Burridge, a consumer rights attorney from South Jordan, Utah received the nomination from the Democratic Party to run for Congress to represent Utah's 3rd Congressional District. The 3rd district is comprised of most of west Salt Lake County, a large protion of Utah County, the east side of Juab County and all of Sanpete, Sevier, Millard and Beaver counties. See map. Burridge, a fifth generation Utah native from Riverton and graduate of Bingham High School and BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School, was enthused by the electricity in the croud at the convention. In his remarks Burridge said "America is rising up for change and the tide is turning . . . . We are a part . . . of a new generation of Democrats and we will feed the fuel that allows the light of democracy to burn brighter than ever." The following is a transcript of his convention speech:

The Lights That Will Guide Us Home
Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Democrats, my family, friends and neighbors, indeed the tide is turning! It is with great honor I accept your nomination to be the next congressman from Utah’s Third District. Today, I find myself standing here at the crossroads of the west of our beautiful country and at the crossroads of a new century. I am proud to be a Democrat. I am proud to be a member of a party with a strong heritage from our forbearers who fought for rule by the people, civil rights and equality. They prevailed because they fought against injustice and tyranny and we will do the same today.

My being a Democrat is not a recent conversion. It runs deep in my blood back at least a century. Two of my eight Utah pioneer great-grandfathers ran as democrats a hundred years ago, and were elected to local office. In fact, my great grandfather Parley Pratt Christison was the sheriff of Juab County—one of the counties I seek to represent today. They served faithfully and I am proud of their heritage.

This tradition was passed down to my parents and to me. I am the youngest of six children in a working class family. My late father was a Utah Highway Patrolman and retired a Command Sergeant Major after 40 years of service in the Utah Army National Guard. My mother was a public school teacher. They taught me that I lived in a country where anything was possible. I believe that through the years we all share a common thread of hope. A hope that everyone has a chance—a hope for a better tomorrow. Their hope and work made this country a better place. I stand today for that same hope. A century later, I believe my democratic ancestors look down proudly on their son who has the opportunity to become a member of the United States Congress.
However, we live in a time where conventional wisdom rails against those of us who call ourselves Utah Democrats. Yes, we have taken our bumps and bruises in the past, but those days are behind us and today we rise up to take back our future. We are here today to do the same as our founders once wrote in the preamble of the Constitution: “To secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.” When securing these blessings, our founders built a lighthouse for themselves and for us. This lighthouse shines bright the principles of democracy. It stands for the democracy that we strive to achieve in an ideal society. This is the light that has made America a beacon on a hill.
Unfortunately, these lights have not always burned bright, and lately under Republican leadership they have flickered. Through Republican policies the tide has taken America out to a sea of rough waters. But if we stand-up for democratic principles, America’s beacon will burn bright and we can navigate our way home. The Republicans want to create dark and illusory divisions at every turn—whether it is by using race, religion or gender they espouse the tactic of divide and conquer. But what they don’t understand is that their methods are flawed—because after all, we are all in the same boat. They don’t understand that America is rising up for change and the tide is turning.
Today, we are a part of a new generation—a new generation of Democrats—and we will feed the fuel that allows the light of democracy to burn brighter than ever.

When we strive for democracy we can live in a world where we can express ourselves and adhere to our values without fear of government control. Like you, I am a Democrat with values. The Republicans are famous for making waves under the guise of advocating family values. But we Democrats that stand for the light of democratic principles show that we actually value our families. We see education as an investment—not just another line item expense. We believe that all children should have health coverage. We stand up so that our children will have clean air and water in the distant future. We fight to end discrimination so all of our families—however they are made up—have a decent chance.
We want a bright light shining in the activities of government. We don’t want to muddy the waters with secret back-door meetings with Enron and oil companies. We Democrats stand for honest leadership and open government. We stand against warrantless wiretapping of Americans, and we will not put up with anymore lies when it comes to sending our troops into war!
When we espouse the lights of democracy we stand for Real Security. This means we protect our people from all threats foreign and domestic. The way this administration dealt with Katrina will mark their stewardship of America for years to come. We Democrats can do better and we will do better.

When the beacon of democracy shines bright we see pensions as sacred and they must be protected. If the Congress can make it so you can’t bankrupt out of student loans then big corporations should not be able to bankrupt out of pensions.
We believe in a rising tide that raises all the boats in the water. That’s why we need a tax policy that makes sense. The bulk of tax incentives belong to the middle class and small businesses and not the wealthiest one percent of Americans. We believe that where much is given much is required. Republicans believe where much is given little if any is required. If you don’t believe me just ask Dick Cheney what he is doing with his $1.9 million tax refund.
Our founders built us a lighthouse that shows us the way to good government. Under Republican leadership the tide has taken us out to sea, our lights have grown dim and we are at risk of running into the dark rocks of tyranny and oppression. But the tide is turning and today we have a choice. We can choose to again secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. We can fight to find our way back to the safe Harbor of America—the safe harbor of opportunity and prosperity. If we espouse the founding principles—the lights of a democratic society—we will not lose our way. We will find our way. We can follow these lights. These are the lights that will guide our way home.
May we roll in with the tides—and roll with the changes—to a better and brighter tomorrow! Now let’s fire the Cannon!