Despite a high of 92 degrees, the Collegeville and Upper Providence Democrats defied the heat to support their U.S., state, county, and local Democratic representatives and candidates. The Sunday, June 6 event was their second joint municipal fundraiser.
About 85 people were in attendance. Organizers provided eleven pop-up tents to serve as portable shade and, thankfully, mother nature provided a much-needed cooling breeze.
The fundraiser was held in the large backyard of Rajan and Rupika Bansal. The Bansals, who own an Indian restaurant in Collegeville Borough and live in Upper Providence Township, provided a buffet of classic Indian and Italian fare. This year, Rajan, who recently became a U.S. citizen, is running for election for Upper Providence Township Supervisor.
Collegeville and Upper Providence Municipal Chairs Andrea Baptiste and Joe Haney moderated the event and introduced the events speakers, including featured speaker, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is running for Pat Toomey’s U.S. Senate Seat in 2022. Fetterman arrived shortly after 4 p.m. following initial checks by his advance security team.
Fetterman has served as Lt. Governor since 2018. Before that, he spent more than a decade as the legendary mayor of Braddock, PA, just east of Pittsburgh, where he burnished his reputation as a no-nonsense, gruff progressive political champion. At the event, he and his wife Gisele were friendly, down-to-earth, and on a first-name basis with everyone they met.
When asked what he thought was the most important issue for ordinary Americans across the country, Fetterman replied, “That’s easy—a living wage, and it should have regular increases tied to the cost of living. It should not be connected with politics at all.”
Other notable speakers at the event also delivered important facts and insights and were greatly appreciated by the crowd. They included:
- Bob Dean, speaking for his sister, Representative Madeleine Dean
- Katie Muth, PA Senator District 44
- Joe Webster, PA House 150th District
- Nicole Phillips, candidate for Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas
- Joanne Olszewski, Montgomery County Jury Commissioner
- Sean Kilkenny, Montgomery County Sheriff
- Royersford Mayor Jenna Antonowitz
- Collegeville Mayor Aidsand Wright-Riggins, who spoke for the Collegeville Borough Council candidates, Cathy Kernen, Gary Hoffmann, Marion McKinney, and Dean Miller
- Upper Providence Democratic Supervisor candidates Rajan Bansal and Helene Calci
- Edward (EJ) McGuire representing “PV Persevere,” the Perkiomen Valley School Board Democratic Candidates; and
- Karen Weingarten representing the Spring-Ford School Board Democratic Candidates.