December 2, 2003

Our civic duty

This evening Pete and I attended an open house held by our Congresswoman, Jane Harman. We decided that it was time.

The get-together was held in the nearby town of Wilmington. We expected that it would be a formal meeting with a question and answer period. Like us, there were many people who had never before attended one of these events. We noticed that a table was being set up with food. We didnít realize that we were going to be fed.

The Congresswoman arrived, over an hour late, from a previous meeting that must have run long. The small room was full. Ms Harman walked in with her aides and shook some hands. Then, she gave a short speech and spoke briefly about the safety of our port and airport.

She also spoke of safety in the streets and of the importance of good educational policies. Apparently, a large local elememtary school of more that twelve hundred students, is setting new ground and doing fabulous things.

I remember that she reminded everyone to remember that most Muslims are peace loving people. I'm sure there was more, but mostly she was reassuring those in attendance that she is aware of the issues important to us. Did you know that she was being considered as a Vice Presidential nominee? I wasn't blown away.

There was no formal question and answer session. I was disappointed that it was not more of a town meeting, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. However, she remained available to speak to people individually. Pete handed her some paperwork about something he had intended to bring up. She asked for his card and said that her staff would look into it.

When she turned to me, I just introduced myself as a constituent, and said something of my concern about the new Medicare legislation. She had voted against this terrible bill and said that she regretted that they had been unable to push though much better legislation.

We were invited us all to eat the food that had been donated by a small local Mexican Restaurant, Camino de Guanajuato. The congresswoman then left with her aides to attend another meeting in El Segundo.

We met a few of the other attendees. People like us who had just decided to check it out. Some teachers with their students. Neighbors we had never met, one of which attended Narbonne High School with our boys. A few local business men were there just to network. A good mix of people, representative of the LA population. A polyglot, so to speak.

We ate dinner, and spoke with one or two more fellow citizens. People had come from all over the district. Kidn of cool. We got home just after six. The meeting was to begin at 4:00 PM

When I googled Jane Harman, I came across this neat site called I protest. When you link to his site, be sure to hit the candle. Very neat way to show links.

I am copying the quote he highlights. Here it is:

"When in despair I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won; there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall."
ó Mohandas K. Gandhi

Posted by Judi at December 2, 2003 7:31 PM | TrackBack

Thanks for the link and nice words. I had really wanted to make it to the meeting myself; she had one yesterday at her El Segundo office as well. Unfortunately work and personal commitments interfered in a big way and I managed to get sick on top of that, so it just wasn't in the cards.

It would have been nice to hand-deliver that letter, though. Oh, well, maybe next time.

Posted by: Frank at December 3, 2003 7:45 AM

Maybe we will meet at some future Harman event. But, this one was more glad handing than discussing hard issues. These kind of speeches are pretty generic, and one doesn't learn much new.

Posted by: Mom at December 3, 2003 7:55 PM
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