Notes from the Campaign Trail


There are three powerful images from my door to door campaigning today in South Philly with my brother, Paul, that I doubt will ever leave my memory. Here is the first. Paul and I were on opposite sides of a narrow street and a women hesitant to sign his petition called me over to talk. She invited me inside her home, had me sit down and conducted a friendly job interview. She told me about her African, European and Native American ancestry and how the rise of our President has created a new perspective of what her heritage meant to her. She said she feared for our nation as she had never before. I told her I shared her concern but the wonderful diversity of my students at George Washington High School gives me hope for our future because they get along and have a common abhorrence for racism. She told me she was a fashion designer with a master's from Drexel which gave me the opportunity to brag about my daughter, Shelby, and her small business. She asked me what made me decide to run for Congress. I told her about losing our son, Brendan, to a heroine overdose three months ago, forming a group to lobby for solutions, and the lip service I felt the opioid crisis receives from our leaders. She said she wanted to give my wife, Heather, a gift she had made. She went upstairs and came down with a beautiful silk scarf, lined with velvet. I said she was going to make me cry and she told me to go ahead. Here was a women who would gift her own artistic creation to a stranger because she wanted to sooth her pain. Every time I see Heather wearing that scarf, I will think of that wonderful women in South Philly. Oh, and yes, she signed my petition. Thanks Yvonne! You made my day!