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Why I canvass ?

Local Canvassing Helps our Candidates

Written By Brita van Rossum

To say that I am not a natural canvasser is an understatement.  I would always rather spend my free time in my garden rearranging my plants or reading a book.   My nephews like to joke that my husband is Uncle Fred and I am AntiSocial !

When Trump was elected, I felt very dispirited and alienated.  Three of my elected representatives – Pat Toomey, Duane Milne, Ryan Costello – were Republicans who refused to criticize Trump no matter how many calls I made to them.    I desperately wanted to fight back but didn’t know how.

Then in 2017 an EWC Dems volunteer named Martin McElroy knocked on my door with news of the 4 women running for the Chester County row offices.   That short conversation made a world of difference to me.   It gave me a feeling of hope – that there was a plan – that people were out there organizing to defeat the awful policies coming out of the Trump white house.  I didn’t need to wait 4 years for the next presidential election.  I could start getting Democrats elected right away and start taking back my country now!

When 2018 rolled around I signed up to canvass for Chrissie Houlahan.   At the start of my first canvassing shift I felt pretty nervous.  But I reminded myself of how much that conversation with Martin had meant to me.  So I screwed up my courage and started knocking on doors – and it was great!  Far from being annoyed that I knocked on their door, most people were friendly and so many actually thanked me for canvassing.

I am never going to be a great canvasser – I mostly just aim to look friendly, remind people that an election is coming up, hand out candidate literature, and ask people to vote.  But that little bit of interaction seems to be surprisingly effective.  Many Chester County democrats still assume that they are a small minority surrounded by hard-core Trump supporters.  Letting them know we are actually in the majority really energizes them. 

So while I’d always rather garden than knock on doors, I don’t dread canvassing.   Instead, I enjoy knowing that I’m doing an important public service.

– Brita van Rossum

Back Together Picnic 2021

CCDC back together picnoc invite 2021
Chester county Dems 2021 picnic

Almost a dozen local and statewide candidates ventured to the picnic as everyone gears up for November’s all-important judicial and municipal elections.

Among the VIPs in attendance were Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan, Supreme Court candidate Maria McLaughlin, Superior Court Candidate Timika Lane and Commonwealth Court candidate Lori Dumas.  

Our zone was well represented at CCDC’s “Back Together Picnic” on June 25 with Great Valley school board candidate Andrea Rizzo (second from left) mingling with AZL Marsha Peltz, CCDC Vice Chair Jerry  Pyne and District Leader (and EW Supervisor) Sue Drummond.

picture from 2021 democratic Back togheter picnic in Chester county Pa
Back together picnic

June In Person Meeting Brings New Leaders to the EWCDems

Thats right we are back in person after more than a year just zooming around the June zone meeting was a welcome change as we met in person at the East Whiteland township building.

The new leadership was introduced with Bill Holmes elevated to Zone Leader and Marsha Peltz returning as Assistant Zone Leader.

Candidates Peter Fixler and Andrea Rizzo updated members with their summer plans as we pivot to the November General Election. More details will follow as we all work to get all our candidates elected and serving the resident of our communities.

Good Luck to our former leader Jerry Pyne as he moves on to even bigger things for the Chester County Democrats.

Here are some photos of the event

EWC dems new zone leaders

Looking forward to working with both Bill and Marsha as well as all the great people that make up our zone.

2020 Election Analysis

In 1787 as Benjamin Franklin was walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention, someone shouted out, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?” To which Franklin supposedly responded, with a rejoinder at once witty and ominous: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

As we witnessed the mob insurrection in Washington DC, we are reminded of just how fragile our democracy is. The work that we do demonstrates that we understand that we shape our government through ballots, not bullets. It is the electoral process, protected by our Constitution, that is the foundation of our democracy.

Because of our efforts, Democratic candidates did extraordinarily well in East Whiteland and Charlestown. Each candidate won every precinct in our zone. In addition, we continue to outperform the county results by 4-5% even though the county results have been trending up for Democrats.

Our zone delivered a 3,054 vote margin for President-elect Biden. We have improved upon the overall results for Democratic candidates compared to the 2016 and 2018 elections, especially for the candidates running for state offices.

Despite Covid-19, despite President Trump’s attempts to disrupt mail-in ballots, we persevered and made a difference. It is a confirmation of Margaret Mead’s belief in civic engagement when she stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Please consider getting involved as there are a number of ways to volunteer.

Polling Locations Update

For the November 3,2020 election two of our normal polling locations are not available. Immaculata East Whiteland 1 and People’s Pantry East Whiteland 3 will be voting on November 3,2020 at the Great Valley Middle School on Phoenixville Pike (east of Route 401).

Here is the list of polling location of our 7 Precincts.

Charlestown at Charlestown ElementaryEW 1 and EW 3 are voting at Great Valley Middle School.
EW 2 at Great Valley Administration Building
EW 4 and EW 5 at East Whiteland Township Building
EW 6 at People’s Light

Other Chester County polling location changes. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jp9EHqoS5lHiuba07NStAtYg0qQ_PuNv/view?usp=sharing

Or consider voting by mail! The deadline for applying for vote by mail is October 27 at 5 PM. Apply online using ewcdems.com/m of in person at Voter Services or one of the satellite voter service offices – see below. If you apply in person, Voter Services can print your ballot and envelopes and on that single trip, you can vote!

Voter Services Office

LocationHours of Operation
Chester County Government Services Center
601 Westtown Rd, West Chester
Mon 8:30AM-4:30PM
Tue  8:30AM-4:30PM
Wed 8:30AM-7:00PM
Thur 8:30AM-4:30PM
Fri    8:30AM-4:30PM
Sat   9:00AM-1:00PM

Satellite Offices

LocationHours of Operation
Henrietta Hankin Branch
215 Windgate Drive,
Chester Springs
610-344-4635 or
Mon 9:30AM-5:00PM
Tue  9:30AM-8:00PM
Wed 9:30AM-5:00PM
Thur 9:30AM-8:00PM
Fri    9:30AM-5:00PM
Sat   9:00AM-1:00PM
Oxford Public Library 
48 S Second Street, Oxford
610-344-4673 or 610-344-4682 
Mon 10:00AM-5:00PM
Tue    1:00PM-8:00PM
Wed 10:00AM-5:00PM
Thur  1:00PM-8:00PM
Fri    10:00AM-2:00PM
Sat    9:00AM-1:00PM

Endless Summer Zoom Picnic

Since the Mummers parade is canceled, it is unlikely we will be able to have the traditional East Whiteland/Charlestown Democrats picnic.  We have an alternate plan.   This plan will also replace the envelope stuffing parties and other routine get-togethers that we are sorely missing in these difficult times. 
Starting next Friday (July 24, 2020), we will have a Zoom happy hour every other Friday.   We have put it on the calendar as 7 PM but will move it to 6 PM based on feedback.   Our goal would be to replace a single event (that routinely is a schedule conflict causing us to miss some people) with a biweekly happy hour were gather around the Zoom device to see and hear each other every two weeks.   We will have opportunities to enjoy stories from our fellow Democrats, and the first theme will be conversion stories of Republican Friends.  The gatherings will be focused on fun and keeping in touch.   Please send me your ideas to make it a fun routine for everyone.
Please send an email if you want to present a story, but everyone should put it on their calendar.
Endless summer Zoom Picnic @ Fri, Jul 24, 2020 7:00pm – 8:00pm (GMT-04)

I’ll send a zoom meeting invite a few days before the event.  Make sure you get the zoom invite by mailing to eastwhitelanddemocrats@gmail.com and request that you be added to our email list. Please invite others and ask if we can add them to our email list.
In regards to the envelope stuffing to get sample ballots to our voters, we will be using a new design for the mailing and leverage the efficiencies of bulk mailing vendors.