Ro Khanna and constituents of the 17th district held a press conference and rally outside of Congressman Honda’s San Jose office, featuring powerful firsthand stories from Larry Sacks, Kathy Watanabe, and Julie Kring, all of whom have been negatively affected by the inaccessibility and false promises of Congressman Honda and his office.
Ro opened up the rally with comments about Congressman Honda's lack of transparency, dodging of debates, and refusal to hold any town halls during his five-week Congressional recess.
"We've been met with absolute silence. Voters in this district deserve an honest, open dialogue so they can make an open and informed decision," Ro said. "I hope Congressman Honda will listen to the people in this district."
Name/Team: Uma Mahto, Sunnyvale/Santa Clara Team (under Amanda Clarke the most amazing Regional Vote Director ever).
How you got involved: I saw one of Ro's yard signs the day after I moved back to the Bay Area (my family and I moved to Bangalore in 2008). It was a pretty cool looking sign, so I figured I should check out who Ro Khanna was and what he stood for. I found information about the campaign online, and really liked Ro’s policies and ideas.
Last night Ro held a town hall to answer residents’ questions. As a candidate hoping to represent constituents in the 17th District, he feels strongly that everyone should be able to have their questions answered before going to the polls.
The focus of the conversation was education, and there were a lot of questions that focused on the frustration many students, parents, and teachers feel with our current system. Ro talked about his ideas for education and how that ties into his Jobs Plan, and where he sees holes in our system. He also stepped back to let the experts -- Grace Mah and Jon Gundry of the Santa Clara County Office of Education -- talk about what problems they see in the system.
This evening, First Lady Michelle Obama got on stage with former First Lady Laura Bush at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit to talk about women's issues.
“Until we prioritize our girls and understand that they are as important and their education is as important as the education of our sons, then we will have lots of work to do,” Obama said.
The importance of fighting for policies that will help women and girls succeed in a changing economy cannot be understated -- and that means we must elect leaders who will prioritize making such policies law.
My name is Cheryl Cook-Kallio. I’m a teacher at Irvington High School in Fremont, and I’ve known Ro for almost 10 years. I advise We the People at Irvington, a civics competition for high school students that simulates congressional hearings. After I met Ro, he came to me and offered to volunteer. He explained that his drive to pursue public service came from the teachers he had who inspired him, and he wanted to mentor students. He’s very accessible to young people – he treats them with profound respect, looking them in the eye and answering them directly.
Over the past 10 years, Ro has volunteered as a guest judge, and he still gives up weekends and lunch hours to meet with students. In the We the People competition, students are asked questions like one would ask experts at a congressional hearing. It tests their knowledge of the Constitution and how our laws apply to current events. Ro always challenges students, but he also helps them to see both sides of any given issue. That is one of the principles he emphasizes – good government is what’s best for the people based on evidence and a thorough understanding of how complex each issue can be.
How you got involved: Ro came to my high school (Irvington) to talk to all the students. He explained his platform, but he mostly talked about voting and how important it is. He told us about how so many people in our district are registered to vote, but very few actually do. It impressed me that he was more concerned with convincing us to vote, and not convincing us to vote for him. At the end he told us he was passing around a clipboard where we could sign up to volunteer for the campaign, and I didn’t hesitate to sign up.
What you do for the campaign: I used to be more involved in field -- canvassing and making Amicus calls -- but I’ve recently started doing more data stuff. It’s actually a lot more fun than it sounds; I run trainings, make recruitment calls, and run bulk data uploads -- basically making sure we always have new people in the district to talk with.
The first in a series of Field Reports:
Ro and the team are out knocking on doors every weekend. Talking with voters is one of the most fun -- and most important -- parts of our grassroots campaign. Join us: www.rokhanna.com/volunteer
With Congress's five-week legislative recess beginning at the end of this week, I've heard a lot of pessimism -- on the news, and as I've talked to voters in this district. There's a sense that now, more than at any other time in our history, Congress is dysfunctional: on track to pass a record low number of bills, and with several pieces of key legislation left unresolved going into a five week break.
I understand the frustration with Congress. I believe our government can do a much better job serving its constituents -- that's why I decided to run for office in the first place.
But criticizing government without offering solutions gets us nowhere. That's a sentiment I feel strongly about. It has propelled me to put forth comprehensive platforms like my Jobs Plan and my Women in the Workplace Agenda. And it's a belief I've held for a long time, which I articulated in an op-ed I wrote in high school that was printed in my hometown paper, the Bucks County Courier Times.
Congress has a five-week recess starting in just a few days.
Most representatives spend it back in their districts, meeting with their constituents and learning how to best fight for them back in Washington.
Congressman Mike Honda, on the other hand, has ZERO public events scheduled for the recess -- which will make it impossible for him to hear what people like you care about.
So tell Ro instead: What would you talk to your representative about if you had the chance? How can Congress make Silicon Valley better for everyone?
Despite blistering heat throughout the 17th district, the Ro for Congress team marked 100 days from Election Day with a grassroots weekend of action. With a total of 170 summer fellows and many more volunteers working to create lasting change in the 17th district, the Khanna campaign knocked on over 13,100 doors this past weekend, bringing the total to over 190k doors canvassed.