Karl Catarata (00:00):
Hi, this is Karl Catarata, and this is compassionate. Las Vegas, the podcast.
Will Rucker (00:27):
Welcome to compassionate Las Vegas, the podcast I'm your host Will Rucker. And I am so excited that
you are joining me for today's episode. This season has been so incredible so far, and I'm really excited
about today's guest and what this individual will bring to the conversation. We've been talking about
making this community, the Las Vegas valley, compassionate. We've talked about our resolution and
making that resolution a reality. So today we have the privilege of talking to a younger member of our
community, which is still weird for me to say, cuz I still think I'm his age, but we're talking to a younger
member of our community about all the amazing things that he's doing and his vision for the future of
our amazing community. Welcome to the podcast. Karl,
Karl Catarata (01:16):
Thank you so much. Will I'm excited to be here and excited to share messages of hope and compassion
and peace to folks in the Las Vegas valley.
Will Rucker (01:26):
Yeah, your story is so incredible. And every time I talk to you, you're doing something new and different.
I can't keep up just to be Frank. I cannot cuz you're doing so much, but everything that you do, number
one is compassionate. And of course I love that, but also a lot of what you're doing is really pushing the
envelope forward and creating true change within our community. And even the way that we just think
about the things we think about. So if you could give us just high points of what you're working on right
now and then we'll dive into it.
Karl Catarata (02:00):
Yeah, yeah. And thank you again. Well, for allowing me to be on the podcast, I'm very honored. I know
that this podcast brings together you know, like-minded like-minded and leaders, leaders in the Las
Vegas valley, when it comes to communicating the message on what we can do better to improve our
community. So I'm very grateful and I'm very blessed to join you on this Sunday more morning to just
talk about what we can do to continue improving the Las Vegas valley. Some items that I'm working on
currently in my, in my young stead as a 23 as a 23 year old is and is, and I'll go into the different projects
right now there right now we are still ex attempting to exit the coronavirus pandemic, right with the
Delta variant increased across the Las Vegas valley.
Karl Catarata (02:51):
You know, we are trying to get more young people vaccinated and ensuring that, you know, myths and
misinformation are not a thing when it comes to why young people should get a vaccination or making
sure that we get our communities safe. Number two what I'm currently working on is I had the
opportunity to be moved from a youth commissioner to the chairman of the Nevada commission on
mentoring and the Nevada commission on mentoring is Essent the statewide commission focused and
honed in when it comes to mentorship standards and mentorship across the state of Nevada. So
whenever you think about an internship program or mentorship based organization in Nevada I have the
opportunity to make sure that they get the resource and the and the resources and the best advocacy
available to them to making sure that their mission is successful in the silver state.
Karl Catarata (03:48):
And I guess the third thing that I'm working on is, you know, I'm a big believer in young people, right?
Nevada is a small community. I know that one of my mentors who is also a former Jameson fellow of,
and also was on the compassion Las Vegas podcast you know, mentions that, you know, there are only a
hundred, a couple of hundred of folks you can just put in the Palm of your hand in regards to their
names, right. And they essentially help influence decisions and they also help influence making good on
the promise to keep Southern Nevada keep Southern Nevada, right positive, right. Positive and making
sure that we continue to move forward in a direction that continues to assist the vulnerable
communities, working families and so many communities in in our state.
Karl Catarata (04:37):
So those are the three things that I'm working on. And I know that viewers are listening in again, my
name is Karl, or I I'll refer to myself as Karl with a K cuz it's with a K outta C . And you know, my
background is I was born and raised in east Las Vegas and Nevada to two immigrant parents, my dad
was in the military and he really worked his his way through getting through this community. And now
he works at the city. My mom is a teacher in the school district. And you know, she really honed in the
skills for me and my younger brother to ensure that we continue to fight for other people in our
community. So I'm very grateful to be here on the podcast and I hope I can my story helps inspire or
helps guide or helps share different skills to other young folks willing to you know, step up and put
change out on the table here in our state. So thank you.
Will Rucker (05:38):
Yeah, no, I feel like we could just cut the episode there, post it, and everyone would feel much more
enlightened and hopeful just based on, on those tidbits of what you're doing. Because a lot of times we
don't hear everything that's happening. We hear about the bad things. And we, we see that so much
that it's hard to understand. Like there are young people in our community that are really doing amazing
things and then to bring in the peace about the immigration, you know, how polarizing that can be. But
here's someone that is the child of immigrants that is working on our community as a whole to make it a
better place for all of us. So just those little pieces, I think we're, we're off to a fantastic start. So I, I
didn't really wanna dive into COVID cuz we spent a whole season on that, but because it's still here still
unbelievably here. I do wanna ask how are you experiencing just the impact of the shutdown and now
attempting to reopen safely, but all the misinformation, as you mentioned, and now it's even more
polarized than ever. How was that experience for you and also throwing how you're seeing other young
people deal with it? Yeah.
Karl Catarata (06:57):
Yeah. And so we don't have to go all in cause I know we, I know I listened to the podcast and the whole
season what I was specifically focused on. COVID right. So I, I guess I could share what I learned. Right.
What I really learned from the pandemic as a young person having the opportunity to be able to work at
the city of Las Vegas in local municipal government who was responsible during the pandemic to
ensuring that people not only got vaccinated, but businesses remained open. Right. And also our
communities were healthy, right? We are the center of, to, we are the center of tourism with Clark
county and the city of Las Vegas and we have a responsibility right. To, and to residents and locals and
guests and you name it. So I guess when it comes to the pandemic, I mean, how I was, how I was
impacted was you know, as a, as a young person, this, again, I think many people must remember, right.
Karl Catarata (07:55):
That gen zer is gen Z and the younger gen generation post-millennial as a gen zer myself. I'm the older
piece of gen Z have been dealing with different tragedies and different senses. Right. And not to
mention that other generations haven't, but for gen Z we're seeing that there's a Conti, there's a
continual adapt adaptation and the flexibility of trying to adapt to, to this. Right. you know, when we
were, and also for gen Z, we're also self we're cognizant right now. Right. We're cog. We had to adapt to
the different standards that not only government, but also where the country was moving and the time,
not only with the poll, the political divide, but also where communities were at. Right. I know that during
the last epidemic or pandemic we were, I mean, just to name it, we had better equipped resources
under former administration. I think what it was like Ebola , it was Ebola influenza. And though
when it came to, when it came to that, you know, gen years were still in school, right. We were still in
school. Now that we're in college, we're making adult decisions. Like we, you know, we have to we have
had to adapt and make adult
Will Rucker (09:10):
Decisions. Is, is that political divide that you mentioned is that present in your age group or is that
something that is really just the older generation dealing with?
Karl Catarata (09:20):
I think that it is the pandemic, the pandemic and the switching of the transition of one administration to
the other has definitely brought in sense of a sense of engagement when it comes to young folks. Right.
You ask any young person out on the street they're at least aware, they're at least aware of what
of where government is at. Right. you know, they are at least in tune, they're at least in tune.
We might not be, you know honed in on like the Fox news, the CNN, but you know, we see it on social
media. It just pops up on social media or it matriculates into conversations at you name it parties,
grocery stores, family at the, at the table where else, where young people are at getting sushi, Dutch
bros you know, in post-secondary work opportunities internships, trainings that type of feeling that type
of culture is prominent. Both if young people identify as Democrat or Republican, there is just that
feeling. There is that feeling. And of course the pandemic highlighted
Will Rucker (10:33):
That, that, I mean, that makes sense. And I, I like the way that you, you carefully crafted that. That was
amazing. So where I want to go around the vaccine effort is you are working with young people to get
them vaccinated. Recently a major pop star or hip hop star made a tweet around this subject, bringing a
vaccin and from a country that's not even using the same vaccine we use and it sparked some major
issues. And of course, even a call from the white house. Do you see that celebrities are influencing this in
a way we haven't seen in medical work before, or, or what are you really seeing as you're helping to get
young people vaccinated?
Karl Catarata (11:18):
I guess the main thing that I, what I advocated at at the, as we are continuing on with vaccinations is you
know, influence is a powerful thing like influencing, having the opportunity to influence is the powerful
thing. And you know, at the CI at the city, right at the city having the influence and I'll, I will just name it
right. When it came to what, during the pandemic, when it came to making sure businesses were either
open and they were abiding by certain criteria or regulation to keep their customers and
Southern Nevada healthy or they would be at risk of their business license being revoked that is
influence right. That's influence at the local level. There is also that influence at the national level we
saw at, for when it came to the white house, you know, bringing celebrities to have the opportunity to
spread messages of the vaccine per process.
Karl Catarata (12:12):
So, you know, seeing that, I had essentially had the opportunity to work with local elected officials, both
here in Clark county and the city of Las Vegas to create a young person vaccination based campaign.
Because I was seeing that, you know, young people are only going to listen if they are influenced, right.
It comes when it comes to, you know, young toddlers on iPads that we see now walking around or when
it comes to those in K through 12 or those in college right now influence is a powerful tool influence is a
powerful tool. And I think that, as you mentioned, there was a celebrity recently on the news that had
mentioned some myths and some misinformation about the vaccine, but it just only highlights the
importance of how influence is so powerful.
Karl Catarata (13:03):
Right. Because I would wonder how many folks saw that from that specific celebrity and said, okay, well,
this is a valid thought I I'm going to utilize this when I speak to family, friends, people in the community,
why I probably won't wear maybe people might say why I probably won't wear a mask going into a
business, right? So that type of information is just dangerous. It is dangerous, and it has a lot of
influence. And when we have, when we recognize, and we understand that that level of influence has
the power to be able to create actions and decisions, that's when we really need to you know, I, what I
say, you know, we just need to be practical and we also need to be compassionate when it comes to,
you know, having those tough conversations, having the tough conversations we saw out that the white
house gave the celebrity a phone call we saw the white house, gave the celebrity a phone call
and, and actually did decide to sit down and offer to sit down with medical medical and healthcare
professionals to communicate the research based evidence based facts when it came to it.
Karl Catarata (14:14):
And that's the same thing that we needed do when it comes to not only young folks, but our
communities in Southern Nevada, if we know that influence is a powerful tool, let us continue to utilize
that influence to better our communities.
Will Rucker (14:28):
Yeah, for sure. I think one of the big things that reminds me of what generation I'm actually a part of is
when I talk to people your age, who don't know what life is like without internet, and really, you know,
grew up with social media. Whereas Facebook for me was a college platform. And it's like, you had to
have a college ID to get in or a college email. And it just was used very, very differently. And so the way
that it's used to influence now is so different. And especially with now TikTok, which I didn't get when it
first launched, but now I'm like a talker. I love it. Just the creativity that comes out and how you have to
be so concise with your messaging. But what it allows is in a sense a democratization of influence where
an election is, is typically how you gain influence in a community.
Will Rucker (15:23):
Now, elected officials are, excuse the term, but like bowing down the celebrities in order to have them
really share the influence because that's who people, particularly young people are looking towards. I, I
know that with fundraising, the story of one is more powerful than the story of many when you're trying
to get people to give. And so I'm seeing this happening with people sharing those one off anecdotes that
may or may not be true with their circle. And it carries so much more weight than the millions and
millions and millions of people who have been vaccinated with no incident at all, or very, very mild side
effects. So it's just fascinating for me to watch just the world unfold and change and evolve with
technology at the center.
Karl Catarata (16:12):
Correct. Yeah. And I guess to, to piggyback on that and any anyone listening into the podcast is, is that
yeah, social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to influence. And I, I remember when I was and
I guess I'll tell a story. I remember when I was a freshman in high school and I was interning for Clark
county when, at the time our current governor, governor, Steve slack was the commission chair at the
county. And I remember when, you know, I was working there as a public communications intern and
you know, car county has a more older demo of workforce and I'm, you know, I identify as young as a
young person then when it comes to social media, we knew that we knew that, you know, Facebook and
communications were powerful tools, right.
Karl Catarata (17:06):
But this was still when Twitter was still new. Right. And now we have TikTok. Right. so you're completely
right, is that social media can be both of blessing a curse, right? If we use social media in a productive
manner, in a productive light to help influence good decision making, healthy decision making processes
and also good civic engagement, then we're able to build a more informed community a more informed
I would a civilization, right? I, I believe Congress Congress puts money into education for a reason, right.
A more well educated citizenry is best for the health, a healthy democracy, but we can also the ills of
social media. Right. We can see the ills of we can, we, I don't even wanna name all the, all the ills. I think
viewers know it best.
Karl Catarata (17:57):
Right. but when we utilize when we utilize social media in a good way, if we, when we utilize social
media in a good way, which is good civic engagement, good research based items and also good action
making sure folks take action from seeing just something on social media, then we can really get
somewhere. And I think that you had mentioned it, right. It, when it comes to the internet social media
is such a fast moving thing. Right. I see, we see the now and I make the comparison and I I'll I'll stop
here. We make the comparison, we, more of my older colleagues, they, they do have trouble when it
comes to, you know, saving a PDF or you know, trying to operate the computer, which is fine because
when they grew up and again, this is the compassionate thing, right.
Karl Catarata (18:47):
When they grew up, they did not have these, these pools were still in the process of being built, right.
Apple was releasing a iPhone by iPhone, by iPhone. When now we see babies literally on an iPad, able to
open the iPad, open the iPad and then just, you know, be able to interact with, with, and when,
I mean, babies, I mean toddlers or folks and K through 12, right. So we see this generational divide. How
can we I guess the question really is when it comes to issues and making sure our communities are
healthy and moving in a, in a productive and forward fashion how can we understand this divide to
better influence our actions or decisions here in the silver state?
Will Rucker (19:33):
Well, I think you nailed it with just the awareness that it exists and that the most productive response is
compassion. I have some older employees on my team who do struggle with technology and trying to
save signatures on PDFs because we went completely remote. So they didn't have access to like an
office scanner and copier where they were accustomed to physically signing and scanning to send
documents in. So that was a learning curve and all of us were learning something. And I think that
there's so much value in experience. And oftentimes I've always been a, a forward thinking individuals.
So, you know, cutting edge of everything. And I also was essentially raised by my great-grandmother. So,
I mean, I had both parents, but they worked. So she was my babysitter and I spent summers with her,
but you know, that 60 year or so age difference really taught me a great respect for again, life experie
and the wisdom that only comes with experience a college degree, can't give you life experience and not
to, you know, say that a college degree is not valuable.
Will Rucker (20:43):
Cause it absolutely is. It's a different type of information though. So with this whole circle, I think the
awareness that we are all in need of information, we don't have, we all don't know what we don't know,
and we can all learn from each other, I think is so critical for us. You are part of the 20, 20 Jameson
fellowship, which for those that don't know, compassionate Las Vegas offers a program to community
leaders to really learn how to engage in collective impact in building circles of trust. And so in 2020 you
were one of the, the members of that cohort and one of the younger members. So just tell me about
that experience and what did you take away and what are you using from that in bridging some of these
divides we're talking about?
Karl Catarata (21:31):
Yeah. And, and thank you. Thank you for bringing up the Jameson fellowship. It was act, it was a very,
very beneficial experience. And anyone listening to the podcast today, I hope that you can look into
signing up or applying for the Jameson fellowship or I'm pretty sure will, will also have my social media
handles. I will definitely you, I can definitely be a testimony to the Jameson fellowship and many elected
officials. I know that my colleagues Councilman Knutson went through the fellowship as well. Right. so I
think when it comes to when it comes to the fellowship, I know that I was one of the younger folks of
the cohort. I had the opportunity to be in a room with leaders nonprofit executives corporate executives
folks who are working in government folks who are working out in the community when it comes to
bettering the community. And there were so many issues in the room. There was so many good issue
based advocacy items in the room, like folks were advocating for good things like immigration foster
care. Well, that's what I mean by issues. Right? Well, there were issues
Will Rucker (22:44):
Too, so we won't skate past that, but keep going. Well there's also,
Karl Catarata (22:47):
And those issues were productive. Those issues were productive, right. Because, because I, it, it really
allowed folks to, to know that everyone's trying to do good, everyone, everyone ha everyone's trying to
do good. Everyone is, has an agenda. But that agenda, when it comes to the agenda, we just need to
make sure how we can collaborate on these agendas to better Southern Nevada. Right. I really think as a
young person, I really do think about the fact that everybody has their own thing that they want, right.
How, what can we do to make sure folks get a little piece of what they can accomplish so that we can
move the needle forward in creating the community that we would like, right. I know that folks in
healthcare talk about how they would like Southern Nevada to be more of like Seattle, right.
Karl Catarata (23:30):
Or like a medical thing, medical thing for the LGBTQ community folks would love love if like downtown
Vegas was more like west Hollywood, right? So we have these types of potential, these potential that we
would, you know, the community would like to see, but we're not able to get there until we, as, as I
mentioned, right. We learn about each other's issues and each other's differences. And I think during
the Jameson fellowship, I was able to really see that. And I was really able to see that compassion at the
end day. If you are compassionate in your work, you get so much more, you get, just get so much more
done. Right. I remember I was I was in the fellowship during my time when I was working as a district
representative for us Congresswoman ensu and at the time it, you know, it was a very divisive time.
Karl Catarata (24:24):
It was a very Divis under administration that did not value information did not value information. And
you know, what does that mean for young folks that are caught in the middle? What does that mean for
our, our communities in the middle? Right. during the fellowship, I was able to reconnect with leaders
that, you know their mission is to be compassionate and to give back to the community. And you had
mentioned that collective impact. For me, I was, I had the opportunity to have a journey, right. From
working in the federal government now, working at the city seeing that seeing the differences between
these two large entities, the federal government and local city municipality seeing, I, I think the, the
largest thing that I've learned the largest thing that I've learned is that you get more done.
Karl Catarata (25:18):
You get more done with honey than vinegar, right? you get, you get more done by being
compassionate and you being kind with one another. And I think the, the city's motto is kind committed,
smart, right? Being kind to residents and being kind to each other, and our decision making process
committed making sure that, you know, times will get tough times will always get tough. We saw that
with 2008 recession, and now we're seeing this with with the pandemic. We are committed to our work
and we're smart, right? Smart, not only in our decision making skills, but smart about how we impact
each other. And I think that when it comes to the city's motto of kind committed, smart I also think
about the city's line of, you know, building community to make life better because we really do need to
build this community if, if we wish to move forward. And I think we have made, I think we have made
significant improvements and significant changes even when we were in a pandemic.
Will Rucker (26:18):
Yeah. And what you spark for me is my view of a good leader is one that I disagree with fairly off. And so
the reason I say that is for me, a good leader is considering all impacted persons. And so my perspective,
my viewpoint is based on my particular situation and position, and it's not my job as a citizen to think
about everybody else. It really is. We'll get to that in a bit, but you know, for, for, for me, I'm just
thinking like, through my little lens with the information I have and a good leader is considering my
situation, my neighbors situation person across the town and the businesses that are involved for, for us
tourists, how, how does this impact tourism and the international community? And so some decisions
will have to be made that are best for the collective that I don't necessarily think are best for me.
Will Rucker (27:17):
And that's just part of really growing and really learning how it is to function in a body. Sometimes you
have to do things for your lungs, for example, that will your mouth or nose. Doesn't really like, you
know, you have to take medicine that tastes bad, but it makes you better. And I, I think of that the same
way with, with a good leader, they're giving us all the medicine, it might taste bad, but it it's going to
make us better. It's gonna make us stronger to heal. Whatever's ailing us and candidly, I think that that's
hard. And I know in, in my capacity with, you know, the various organizations, I'm a part of people
disagree with me and I'm learning to be okay with that. I won't say that I'm okay with it yet, because my
goal is really to ensure everyone is heard and feels heard, which can be very different, but I do wanna
make decisions that are the best for all in involved and not just a small segment, which can be hard
when there's a small segment that is incredibly vocal. And that's what I want to get to now, what is your
perspective on how we can really learn to just listen? I think that you do a really, really good job of
listening and translating. And so how can we be better at that as a community?
Karl Catarata (28:35):
Yeah. People, people do say that I able to translate, translate even if sorry, dogs.
Will Rucker (28:43):
you love the dogs. That's a amazing
Karl Catarata (28:46):
I think so two, two things, two, I have two favorite quotes and my two favorite quotes that I I've lived
by. And I think I'm, it's gonna live with me until I'm, I'm lower down into my grave. is is number
one, common ground is common ground is the work is the unfinished work that free people face, right?
Making sure that we find common ground on issues is a difficult challenge. And I think that, you know,
whether that's in relationships, whether that's in friendships, whether that's in work, finding common
ground is unfinished work and it's a continued work that needs to be always always upkeep for, right.
It's like, you know, cleaning a house, you always have to keep clean. You have to always have to keep
cleaning. You always have to keep sanitizing. You have to, you know, put the stuff in the washer, you
know, wash the dishes.
Karl Catarata (29:36):
It's some it's upkeep you have, oh, you always have to keep on considering people, other people's inputs
either in the workplace with family with friends, because at the end of the day, as a free people, right, as
in living in a democracy, we have so many different ideas, so many different decisions, so many different
perspectives, so many different parts of walked life, right. That we need to, you consider that's the first
quote that I live by. And the second quote that I live by is even though that we can disagree, we can still
be kind to one another. And I think that that is the, those are those two quotes that I operate by is any
single time I walk into the room, any, any walk into the room, any single time that I might, you know, be
with somebody on you know, walking down the street or at the grocery store that I might disagree with.
Karl Catarata (30:28):
If somebody, if I'm wearing a mask and someone is not wearing a mask in the store having the courage
and having the compassion to be like, you know, Hey, where's your mask. like, may I ask where
your mask is? Like, you know, like it's clearly on the door, but also operating in that quote of, you know,
common ground is the challenge for your people face. So this is a challenge right now, what are we
gonna do to fix this? And oftentimes when I actually do talk to somebody in the store, which is a
completely random person, they, I have of had the opportunity to, you know, get them to wear, put the
mask, like put a mask on as stubborn as they could be. Right. you know, I, sometimes I, I, I actually, and
I, this is, this is very off track.
Karl Catarata (31:13):
So whoever's listening to this podcast. Good luck. good luck. But you know, I work with Boni
Boni it, for years, they live for years, they live longer than human life. And Boni you know, is, is a
stubborn type of plant. You all, you have to literally utilize wire to move it in a specific direction. It will
free and flow. And that is something that I think a about when it comes to those two quotes is that you
know, we do have ills as humans. We all have qualities as humans, sometimes stubbornness, sometimes
unwillingness and sometimes lived characteristics that are different than each other. So how do we
really hone in on how we can influence each other to making good and healthy decisions? And with
those two quotes as I had mentioned, and to answer your question, right, as we're, as we're moving
forward past this pandemic, what can we do to better influence each other and better make sure that
we are still kind to one another, even if we genuinely disagree.
Karl Catarata (32:23):
And I honestly really think that, you know, when it comes to arguments that I have with family, friends,
or in the workplace you know, I always operate with compassion and I op always operate with kindness
and fairness. I think the other day, somebody called me very principle. And I, I, it made me feel a little bit
it made me feel very like like, I, I need a like I need to go to a bookstore or something like, cause
I'm like, I need, I need to go. I need to go to law school immediately. Yeah, is a, is a, is right.
Principal being principal does a skill and being kind and compassionate are skills that I would much
rather be known for than being principled or being fair. But at the end, how do you define
Will Rucker (33:12):
Karl Catarata (33:13):
Yeah, I would, I would define compassion as look, if, if we're gonna disagree, if we're gonna disagree.
And if, if I might, I not understand your perspective, I'm not going to, I'm not going to invalidate it. Right.
I under, I see where you're coming from and I see that this is something that you're putting into the
space of time, right? That you're putting this into the space of time. We're only on this earth for a
hundred years as human beings, right? So whatever you're telling me or whatever you're acting or
behaving, you know, it, it is, it's valid. It's, it's how, it's how you are. It's how you are operating in the
space. And by that, I either, number one, I need to respect it. And number two, how am I going to
operate with you and how am I going to respectfully disagree? Or how am I going to work with you to
get to a specific point.
Karl Catarata (33:57):
Right. And I think that that is something very in our current politics, very void. And I think as a young
person, I think it can be very void because of the fact that, you know, everyone has their own agenda.
Everyone has their own issue and to be very practical, right. Everyone wants their own thing. Right. But
if we start or I, I, I wouldn't rather say start, if we continue on, if we continue on with making sure that
we are compassionate to one another understanding and being empathetic to each other's struggles,
each other's backgrounds each other, each other's challenges, right? We can, we can better ourselves to
not only influence one another while, but also move towards one another. Well, I think that one of the
things that I have the opportunity to serve on is the it's the no labels caucus. It is no labels is a
organization across this across the United States that brings together young people when it comes to BI
partisan agenda. And one of the things that is operating in that in that agenda is, you know, listening
and being compassionate.
Will Rucker (35:11):
You see, when I say, I can't keep up with you, this is why you've given me yet. Another thing that you are
doing that is super cool, super important. And I just really love the fact that you are saying that
compassion is believing that every person and their experience is valid and showing kindness and
respect because of that, like, that's fantastic. So this no labels group, what, what do you focus on or
where is that based? Tell me more
Karl Catarata (35:37):
About it. Yeah, no labels no labels. It's so folks know that there's the problem solvers caucus for
Congress which is a bipartisan group of legislators in Congress that come together when it comes to
issues of like infrastructure, agriculture immigration, so on and so forth. When it can, comes to issues
that impact everyday Americans and no labels as like the nonprofit piece to it. I have the opportunity to
be just a youth leader a part of it while we don't meet like a lot, we only meet like once a month. It is,
we still operate with compassion. And I think that more of my older colleagues in politics can
understand is that again, you get more done with honey than vinegar. Sometimes vinegar is a, you
know, vinegar is a thing it's there, right.
Karl Catarata (36:25):
But we can get more done with honey. And I think that I have not met somebody that I that I have
disagreed with when it comes to operating from a, a form of compassion, because at the end of the day
what fills your cup, right. I, I think that what I've learned from the hundreds of constituent phone calls
that I've had working in Congress, the hundred constituent phone calls I've had at the city of Las Vegas,
is that when you are faced with, and I think folks in customers risk can also know this, right. Or they
already know this too, right. Is when you're faced with an angry constituent asking you to pass the bill
on immigration, or you're faced with an angry constituent asks to seal up the cracks on their street in
the city or in the county responding and understanding where they're coming from, you know, it's their
neighbor, it's their community.
Karl Catarata (37:20):
It's their issue, it's their family knowing that responding with compassion first of all and just to be
practical gets them off with the phone easily, gets them off so that you can continue on with
your, your job. And number two is you're able get that you know, you're able to get that problem fixed.
So just being a good listener and being able to be compassionate, sorry, compassionate are just different
tools and skills that we can, we can utilize as we continue moving forward to better our state and
everyone, and all the other neighborhoods, neighbor neighboring states across, yeah, we're
Will Rucker (38:01):
All connected. I mean, look at our water supply, right? We, we are really learning how connected we are
even outside of the state. One thing that I really appreciate about you is you really are a mentor for me.
And I think anyone over 30 needs an under 30 mentor. And so every time I talk, whether it's at the
coffee shop or, you know, whatever we're doing, I learn something new and I am able to see a different
perspective because of what you share, how are you bringing that same skillset to Nevada at large
through your mentoring work?
Karl Catarata (38:34):
Yeah, so re it's Sunday last week we actually had a the commission on mentoring. I had the opportunity
to partner up with the Gwen center and Nevada 95, which is a youth network of other young PE other
young leaders. Again, I, while I am a young person, I know that I cannot do this work by myself. So I need
other young people in this work with me. So that is the reason why we partnered up with
Nevada 95, which is a youth network who are high school students beginning in high school and also
leaving high school as well. And we had the opportunity to speak with state treasurers at co nine when it
came to am where American rescue plan funds should go to. And it also kind of brought in a little bit of
where the leg, the upcoming legislature should also focus on when it comes to youth priorities.
Karl Catarata (39:23):
We had the opportunity to speak with the Gwen center and the state treasurer on what things are
actually possible. Right. Because I also know, I also know that there sometimes youth voices can be, you
know criticize and diminish sometimes. So it's important to really put you know, put the issue on the
table and say, look like, you know, young people are a part of our community. You know, as we can see
with our education system, right, what specific topics do they need and what can we actually invest in?
So when it came to that discussion we had the opportunity to talk about like post-secondary training
mental health for folks transitioning from high school to college internship and job opportunities food
insecurity and also housing when it comes to when it comes to young folks.
Karl Catarata (40:16):
Cause we know that we all, we know that things are getting expensive. Right. so when it comes to the
mentorship piece I know that you had mentioned that I, I serve as a good mentor to you and I hope I can
serve as a good mentor to other folks. Right. and through the mentoring commission we continue on
with making sure that organizations in Southern Nevada get the resources and the talent that they need
to better improve our community. Along with the mentorship landscape I agree, right, everybody needs
a good mentor. Everybody needs a good mentor or have the opportunity to touch the live of, to the life
of a mentee and be able to share their story, right, share their story, share their lived experience and
share what skills what skills they've learned because at the end of the day, and maybe, I don't know if
this is my third quote that I always utilize when I get a little wise or I get on my little soapbox is that, you
know, we're only here for, for a limited time.
Karl Catarata (41:19):
Like we're only here for a limited amount of time. You know, we only live for a hundred years. We're in
our positions in a, in a good democracy. We're only here in our positions for a limited amount of time.
So that means that we have work to do, but we have people to see, we have things to accomplish. We
have things to do, and we have things to improve, right. Life is only so short. So I think that when it
comes to mentorship and compassion I, I hope that I can continue to be a good mentor to you and also
be a good mentor to the other young folks in our continued work for making sure that everyone is
connected to a good mentorship in the state.
Will Rucker (42:00):
Yeah. Well, you keep getting involved and you keep staying involved, which I love one of the things that
we we're working on with our fellowship, the Jameson fellowship is ensuring every fellow stays a fellow.
I want your fellow, you're a fellow for life. And we also want you to be active and involved in helping to,
again, mentor others through the program. So you are doing that. And I just wanna say, thank you for
that. One other thing I want to just highlight in this moment is as much as I value experience, I also value
inexperience because young people haven't been told no, as much yet they haven't failed as much yet.
They haven't learned the rules necessarily yet. And so for a younger individual, more things seem
possible than for someone that has been jaded by life or just, you know, life experience. So I love being
able has tap into that energy and saying, no, what do you think we can actually do?
Will Rucker (42:58):
Tell me what you think, because I'll worry about the details, give me your ideas. And I wanna see it
through your eyes because they're fresh and there's an innocence of youth, of course, but there's also
an imagination of youth. And so I love, love, love that, and appreciate you bringing that to the
conversation into our city. My last set of questions, a little more fun, right? I want to hear what's on
your playlist. Like what songs are you listening to keep you up and to inspire you? And if you had to pick
one that kind of summarizes your vision for Las Vegas, what would that be?
Karl Catarata (43:33):
Oh, geez. I'm gonna have to open up my my Spotify. opened up my Spotify. So folks know and I,
maybe this is because I always tweet about it and post about it. I'm a big fan of Mac Miller Mac Miller,
unfortunately passed away from us a couple years ago. I'm a big fan of Mac Miller. I'm a big fan of 21
pilots. I'm a big fan of Bastille and many, maybe it's because of the fact that many of the songs that they
have talk about God, they actually talk, they actually talk about God in existence. Many people don't
know that even if they, they rap and it's about pop and hip hop or Indy, right. I guess the song that I
would do I guess, and maybe it's just in honored because of the fact that it, it has been three years since
Mac Miller has passed away.
Karl Catarata (44:28):
He's an amazing rapper. My favorite song is Cinderella is Cinderella. It is very inappropriate for
. It is very inappropriate, but the song is Cinderella. And one of the reasons why it is Cinderella is
because of the fact that there's a line at the end of the song, which talks about love, it talks about love,
and it talks about how love is still possible. And I think we all need to experience a good good brush of
love in our life and to feel love and to be loved and to be seen by love. And I think that Mac Miller's
Cinderella does accomplish all of those in the three different verses that it does. And I, I listen to
Cinderella at least once a week, once a week, I actually yell it in my car. So if you see me, you see me in
the city if in the city of vicinity yelling in my car, it is probably because of yelling to the, that song. And I
guess to my older colleagues listening to this podcast, it is very inappropriate. So please, around
children, it does not save for work. So got
Will Rucker (45:45):
You. Well then I won't put that as the background music for the show. We'll keep it, keep it to our, our
iPods you're fairy, God person greets you and says, here's your wish? What are you wishing for? And
particularly around maybe roadblocks or problems you've encountered in the city that you would like to
Karl Catarata (46:06):
Ooh, you got deep right there. so you got deep right there. So my mentor was the late great
supplement, Ty Thompson, and I missed him every day. Because I remember every single, well, he, of
course he was busy with the legislature. He was a busy man. He was, he was, he was God's man. Right.
He was doing the work. And I remember when I first started off politics, he would always bring me out
to makers and finders makers, and finders, a local coffee shop in downtown Vegas. We would also meet
sometimes at Besta Besta coffee, which is also another coffee business in downtown Vegas, which two
of the businesses, my favorite small businesses in Vegas. And if my fair godparent which I think is
Tyrone, because he really did impart many of the political wisdoms that I have today. I wish I really do
wish that I was able to have like him as a mentor, I was just able to have him as a mentor if he was able
to give me something. I just wish that he was just still here with us just because of the fact that he, he
was, so he was so wise, he was way beyond his years as, as an older mentor to me I think that was, that
would be one thing that I would wish.
Will Rucker (47:28):
Yeah, there's a song way before your time, but Abraham, Martin and John, and I often think of adding
Abraham, Martin, John, and Tyrone, because he really, he really was a giant in, in that respect, but
there's a line in that song that says the good die young. And in his case, you know, he, it lead way, way
too soon, but his legacy certainly lives on through you and through the work that he was able to move
forward in our city. And even just who he inspired, we don't even know yet the, the full extent of his
impact. So I miss him too. And thank you for that, that fond memory of an incredible human being. Well,
Karl, thank you for your time. I, I feel like this is just scratching the surface. There's, there's just so much
to, to cover and to get into, but I hope that people follow you on your, is it Twitter? Is that right?
Karl Catarata (48:24):
Twitter, social media. It's Karl K a R L and last name, K kata, C a T a R a T a for those listening please don't
text and drive. I make the, I make the joke that that sometimes I do text and drive. So but please try to
be safe if you're listening to this on the road or on a road trip. Thank you again, will for having me and
feel free to follow the current work that I, I like to communicate the work that we're doing for the
mentoring commission and also for getting more young people vaccinated, hopefully past the pandemic.
We, I do not have to tweet about how many more young people got vaccinated, but, but I'll be, I'll be,
you know, tweet. I always tweet about things that Vegas needs to continually and improve in a very, you
know, civil and respectful way and thoughtful way. Right. so please feel free to follow me there. And I, I
really do again, appreciate the time here today to communicate the message of compassion and how
we can utilize compassion in the spaces of work in Southern Nevada.
Will Rucker (49:29):
Absolutely. Well, thanks again, Karl, and thank you, our listening and viewing audience for your
continued support and engagement with compassionate Las Vegas, the podcast, we have so much more
in store for you and this, our third season, I cannot believe we're in season three already, but this, our
third season, just, just keep on keeping on. And as I always mind you, you are not just a drop in the
ocean. No, you are the entire ocean in a drop and what you do matters so lively. I'll see you
Speaker 3 (50:02):
Next time. I.