George: Our not-so-secret secret weapon

George Bahamondes is one of more than 30 canvassers going out into the 32nd District every day to talk to voters. Check out a few of his stories about talking to voters in the field:

Emanuel beats the heat at East LA house meeting


Defying the morning heat today, Emanuel joined 18 residents at El Sereno for an informal house meeting, hosted by supporter Ana Arroyo. As residents snacked on donuts and sipped agua de jamaica, they heard more about Emanuel’s personal story about growing up in the neighborhood and beating the odds to graduate with honors from Wilson High School.

After Emanuel’s introduction, the conversation turned to topics close the hearts of guests, like access to education. There was much discussion about the problems with living in the unincorporated part of East Los Angeles, including lack of access to resources and transportation issues.

One guest implored Emanuel to live up to the promise that he represents today and not to turn his back on the values of his home community. Emanuel has no choice but to fulfill the promise because his constituents will expect nothing less.

House meetings are one of the best ways for voters to meet Emanuel, learn more about his campaign and hear about changes he’ll bring to the 32nd Congressional District. Many of our supporters have already opened their homes to their friends and neighbors so they can get familiar with the historic Pleitez campaign. If you’re interested in hosting a house meeting in your home, contact Field Director Diana at

Volunteer Story: Marjorie

img_4762Meet Marjorie, who postponed college graduation to get a different kind of education as a campaign Field Director.

A few years ago I was looking for a job, and I found myself on a tight deadline to turn in my resume to a potential employer – but I didn’t have time to get feedback from the career services office at school. So I contacted Emanuel, whom I had met while we were both students at Stanford. He was working over 100 hours a week at the time, but he still took time out of his schedule to help me out. He was extremely gracious about it and gave me great constructive feedback.

When I learned Emanuel was running for Congress, I knew right away that I wanted to work with him, so I came in to volunteer during Spring Break. I was so inspired by Emanuel’s commitment to the district and the people here that one week of phone banking turned into a full-time job through the end of the campaign. I had so much fun working with the staff that I decided to take the rest of the quarter off and accept a position as one of two Field Directors.

I’ve always felt that I identified with Emanuel because he and I share very similar backgrounds: We’re both children of single mothers, lived in people’s garages growing up, and had to struggle to access educational and social support systems. When I heard he was running for Congress, I knew right away why he was doing it. He doesn’t want other kids to have to go through what we went through, and he also wants to make sure they have easy access to opportunities like tutoring and financial aid.

As a Field Director, I help all our canvassers get out into neighborhoods to talk to voters and organize all our volunteers to make phone calls to spread the word about Emanuel. Talking to voters is the most important part of our campaign, and it’s exciting for me to help make it all happen.

Volunteer Story: J.C.

J.C. wins the award for traveling the farthest for the campaign – all the way from Santiago, Chile!

I had been living in Santiago, Chile, for nine months when I learned about Emanuel’s campaign for Congress. I was working as a receptionist at the Marriott Hotel, learning about Chilean people and culture while perfecting my Spanish. I would occasionally make visits to an Internet cafe to catch up on the news, and one day I came across a website that would change my life.

J.C. is reaching out to voters in West Covina.

J.C. is reaching out to voters in West Covina.

I stumbled upon the popular Democratic contribution website, Act Blue. The top fundraiser that moment was a candidate for Congress from East LA with an interesting last name and an amazing resume. After discovering there was an upcoming fundraiser at a trendy Hollywood club, I dispatched my dad to scope out this intriguing campaign.

I’ll never really know what happened that night at the HWood club fundraiser, but my dad became a true believer of the Pleitez gospel. He called me up the next dad, and said, “Get back here as soon as you can! This campaign and your candidate are legit!”

I guess you can say I never had a choice in the matter, because when my dad picked me up at the airport, he took me directly to Emanuel’s campaign office. When I finally met Emanuel in person, I was truly inspired and decided then and there to drop everything and volunteer full-time. I was immediately confident that Emanuel was the best candidate in this the race because of his deep desire to serve his community and because he’s not a politician but a public servant.

Now, I’m canvassing West Covina, telling them all about Emanuel, asking them to volunteer for the campaign, and making sure they come out and vote in the special election on May 19. I am also the point person on outreach to and volunteer recruitment for community colleges in the district.

The Filing Deadline

It is just past 10pm on March 31st, and we are less than two hours away from the financial filing deadline for this race. Your donation is needed now more than ever.

If you have been meaning to make a contribution to our campaign, but haven’t gotten around to it, you can go to our ActBlue page right now and send it in. Contributions of $100, $50, or even $25 will put us on the path to bring new leadership to East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

Click Here to Make a Contribution!

With your help, we will show just how strong our grassroots support is!

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