Davis meets winning ticket holders to President Obama’s inauguration
The atmosphere was one of palpable excitement, much like a scene from a modern day version of the classic Jimmy Stewart film, “Mister Smith Goes To Washington”, at La Mesa’s Cosmos Coffee Cafe, on 8278 La Mesa Blvd. Saturday morning Dec. 12, as constituents of Congresswoman Susan Davis’ 53rd district celebrated winning tickets to President Obama’s inauguration.
Congresswoman Davis hosted the meet-and-greet for the lucky winners that were chosen via random lottery to participate in the historical event, which will take place on Jan. 21st, 2013 in Washington D.C.
Out of 140 ticket winners, 25 were present at the event. Ticket winner Chloe Schornick, introduced me to her wife, Kristen Kavanaugh. Schornick stated, “We were going to go to the inaugural and stand in the crowds anyway, but we got the great news via e-mail that I had won the tickets on Wednesday of last week. We are very excited.”
When asked what would they ask President Obama, if given the chance, among their concerns were marriage equality, Schornick said, “We were married in Del Mar on Oct. 27th, but it is not official. We are hopeful that in June of next year, due to Obama’s re-election, California will pass marriage equality laws.”
Winner Bob Rothery was also encouraged about marriage equality and gay rights, and expressed his view of Obama, “He’s really eloquent and I’m happy that he was re-elected. Now he can accomplish what he previously set out to do in this upcoming term.”
Maggie Friend and her partner, Paul Coogan of San Diego, were also excited to be going to Washington. “We both helped with Obama’s campaign, making phone calls”, Friend explained, adding, “Paul saw that Rep. Davis’ office had raffles to win tickets,” she added. “We are now really happy to see the fruits of our labor,” Coogan explained. “I’ve never been to Washington D.C. to experience its historical importance, but what better time to be partaking of the history of our country than on this momentous and historical occasion,” he added.
Asked about Obama’s 2nd term, Coogan stated, “Our President will have the chance to go on and finish a lot of work in progress. I read on AOL that turn-around for a company or corporation is usually 6 years, so imagine this applying to our country and it’s on such a much bigger scale.” Asked about their personal story, Friend explained that it was a result of their political volunteering. “We met 4 years ago and came together over his passion for President Obama.” On election day she was nervous, but relieved that our nation reelected our president.
La Mesa residents re-elected Steve O’Leary and his wife, Michelle Hottel, architects on the City Of La Mesa’s Planning Commission, explained that they read about the chance to enter the lottery online through Patch.com. Hottel said, “I never thought I would actually win.” Asked about her main concerns, she replied, “I am concerned about generating more work, especially for architects and small businesses in this economy.”
Friends and ticket winners Jessica Rogers and Lenise Andrade both are involved with the group ‘Women Give San Diego’, of which Rep. Davis is also a member. The group funds non-profit organizations in San Diego County that offer underserved women and girls the opportunity to enhance their participation in our regional economy and become fully engaged in the prosperity of their local communities. As an active member, Rogers stated that she is very thankful for President Obama’s and the First Lady’s continued support of women’s issues.
Before Rep. Davis began her congratulatory speech to the winners of the highly coveted tickets, she asked for a minute of silence to be held in memory of the victims of the school shooting that took place in Connecticut the previous day.
The congresswoman, who is the only democratic incumbent in San Diego County to hold her seat, expressed her excitement for all the winners of her re-drawn 53rd Congressional District, stating that this will be an experience they will all long remember. “We did this 4 years ago. People responded in the hundreds, so we are happy to repeat this lottery by popular demand. Winners got to go to Washington, D.C. Crowds were so huge and it’s still first-come-first-served, standing room only. You are part of a small group that gets to go”, she said.
Upon meeting her, her first concerns were, once again, for the victims of the mass shooting in Connecticut. “We’re all down about the tragedy that took place yesterday, and our hearts go out to the parents and all that were affected”, she stated, adding, “The President also wrote to me, yesterday, about it,” she added.
When asked about what she wishes to accomplish during her next term in office, the congresswoman answered, ”There are so many important things that are on the forefront, such as the advancement of small business, growing our economy, creating jobs, innovation, health care and so much that will impact our country and our community. I am so proud of San Diego and even more proud to be this district’s representative.”
As the excited winners mingled and interacted with their gracious congresswoman, who made this historical experience possible for them, it seemed clear why this lottery was repeated by popular demand.