Monday, July 03, 2006

Getting Lost, Revisiting Acquaintances, & Shaking Hands

Today, I had the pleasure of attending a barbeque for Republican Gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann. The event was a break from my usual routine of working in the office all morning. Although the weather was in the nineties, I enjoyed being outdoors.

On the way to my friend Chris' house (which hosted the event), I got lost and had to call him for directions several times. He handed the phone over to his father who luckily got me back on track (later, he also gave me a helpful shortcut). I was grateful for his dad’s help.

The barbeque itself was wonderful, Chris' house is gorgeous, and the food was excellent. Besides getting to shake hands with Lynn Swann, I ran into several acquaintances who I had not seen for some time, including my former boss from Senator Santorum's office. In spite of my short stay (I had to go to a veteran’s press conference with Raj), the barbeque was delightful and I'm delighted I had the opportunity to attend.

Alice P.

Warm Welcomes, People At Home, & Making An Impression

Kicking the week off in great fashion, Prashant, Tsvetana, and I gathered our street lists and clip boards and headed into a nearby neighborhood. Tsvetana headed in one direction, while Prashant and I received a warm welcome by the residents of a quaint street.

While we were surprised by the amount of people home on a Monday morning, we took advantage of the opportunity nonetheless. We covered two main streets on our lists in about an hour and a half, walking away with about thirty favorable voters.

We also met a couple people who were unfamiliar with Raj. However, each seemed anxious to visit the website and learn more about him. From my perspective, today was a more effective door to door endeavor than I had previously experienced. I felt confident that we had definitely made an impression on the residents.

Stef S.

Losing Ten Pounds, Ice Cold Water, & Traveling Beyond Reception

I must have lost at least ten pounds walking around the Burholme section of Northeast Philly. Erik, Alice, Tsvet, Ryan, Marielle (Ryan's special ladyfriend), and I began walking as the temperature struck 95 degrees.

Starting at Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of Oxford and Rhawn St., we each set off in different directions. Some preferred to work in pairs (e.g.- Ryan and Marielle, Alice and myself) and some, like Tsvet and Erik, chose to go solo.

Perspiring profusely after an hour, we were having little success on the preliminary streets. We surmised that most people were either at the shore or enjoying (as we wish we were) a neighbor's holiday bar-b-que. Needless to say, we were elated to receive a call from Joe that Raj would be joining us to meet the people himself. Excitedly, we traipsed back to the lovely air-conditioned Dunkin Donuts to meet him.

Moments later, the candidate Bob, Joe, and Mike arrived sporting two-dozen bottles of cold water. After securing a bottle for the road, we vectored away from the intersection, and this time, we hit the neighborhood hard.

First, Raj teamed up with Alice and was greeted as a welcome sight at many of the homes. Mike and I veered off in the opposite direction and gathered signatures for our petition. We found out the hard way that Burholme Ave. is really an artery street with many smaller streets branching off of it. Fortunately, there was a good amount of people at home.

Mike and I traveled so far from the others that even our cells phones didn't get reception. By the time we were done, everyone had already ventured home… with one more successful door-to-door day under their belts.

Prashant R.

Hitting the Pavement, Speaking Their Language, & Positive Feedback

Saturday, Prashant, Elizabeth, and myself hit the pavement. Amidst the sweltering temperatures, we headed to an apartment complex.

We thought that the apartment complex would offer the opportunity to meet more people in less time. However, after knocking on two doors, Elizabeth and I realized that most of the residents were Russian.

We quickly decided that the best use of our time would be to join Prashant in a nearby neighborhood instead of trying to overcome the language barrier. We also knew that Tsvetana, who is fluent in Russian, would be able to campaign there much more effectively.

So, Prashant, Elizabeth, and I met up with Ryan and Tsvetana. We then paired off on different streets surrounding a nearby High School. Ryan and I received a lot of good responses from residents.

At the end of the day, everyone was both scorched and exhausted. However, we were pleased with the positive feedback.

Stef S.

Let's Hear It For These Boys

A quick thank you to the volunteers who have been coming into the office for the last ten days. Ayush, Akil, Kevin, and Rahul have been incredible.

These four middle and high school students are spending their summer vacation assisting me, each day contributing enormously to our progress.

Talk about work ethic!

Prashant R.

Schwartz Responds to Flooding by Fundraising

On the very day that hundreds of Pennsylvanians were overwhelmed with flooding and much of the area labeled a disaster area, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz responded to the natural disaster to her district by sending out an email alert.

Oh, the email had nothing to do with the flooding. It was a fundraising email sent from Schwartz’s Washington D.C. office dated Wednesday June 28th ironically titled “Help me fight for our rights!”

“This is evidence of a serious disconnect between residents of the district and their congresswoman,” said Raj Peter Bhakta, Congressional Candidate. “Allyson Schwartz sent a fundraising email to hundreds of suffering Pennsylvanians.”

Rail lines were flooded in Hatboro, forcing stoppage of SEPTA trains between Willow Grove and Warminster. The Fort Washington entrance to the turnpike was entirely flooded. Some Upper Moreland residents were evacuated early Wednesday. Many basements throughout the district were flooded and parking lots were filled with floodwater. Floodwaters hit many businesses.

Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick and Jim Gerlach came back to their districts from Washington the day of the flooding. Raj toured much of the damaged area without fanfare and without seeking media exposure.

“Allyson Schwartz showed once again she doesn’t care about the residents of her district,” said Raj. “When the people of this district needed a leader Allyson Schwartz sent them a fundraising email. This is why we need a change in leadership.”