Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Allyson Schwartz speak ahead of elections

Gillibrand spoke on the issues of Medicare, women's health and equal pay for women

· October 14, 2012, 9:57 pm

With only 23 days left until Election Day, red and blue don’t appear as harmonious as they do on Penn’s flag.

On Friday, about 100 to 150 Penn Democrats and students eagerly awaited the arrival of Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in Houston Hall for what promised to be an “opportunity to get up close and personal with one of the nation’s most prominent political stars.”

Schwartz jubilantly greeted an enthusiastic audience and emphasized the importance of Pennsylvania in November’s elections. She praised the students for their dedication and work on behalf of President Obama.

Gillibrand, the Penn Dems’ honored guest who is renowned among students for her two-time appearance on the “Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” assured the Penn Democrats of the value of their work and power of their voice.

Gillibrand addressed key voter issues such as Medicare, women’s health and equality of women’s pay. She suggested that if Romney defeats Obama in the November election, the consequences will be grave for America’s women.

Nonetheless, Gillibrand humorously remarked that today’s women are in need of a Rosie the Riveter. Her enthusiastic support of women’s rights and President Obama inspired the rowdy audience.

“Sen. Gillibrand practices what she preaches,” College freshman Jane Meyer said. “She talks about how we need to get more women elected so she does that.”

College freshman Emma Chessen noted that young people have the ability and responsibility to make a difference. She, among others, admires and supports Gillibrand’s hard work and ability to rally a crowd.

Penn Democrats, under the leadership of College junior Andrew Brown, organized and hosted the event.

“Penn Democrats works very closely with [the Obama campaign] throughout the year to make sure we are doing everything we can to support the president both on and off campus,” Brown said. “When [the campaign] wants to bring speakers to campus they bring them through Penn Dems because of our ability to attract students and throw successful events.”

However, there appeared to have been some miscommunication as to the event’s purpose. Schwartz said, “I was told that this was going to be a woman’s rally.”

College freshman Ben Behrend acknowledged Schwartz’ statement, but said he thought the two speakers “did a fine recovery.” He said the event was inspiring and a great opportunity to get insight into the November elections from active politicians.

“I hope that Penn is able to sponsor more events like this both before and after the election,” he said. “It was very informative.”

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