Food for Thought

That time Dwight Evans took a Fallser to lunch:  the former PA State Rep is pretty much a shoo-in for US Congress, as Democratic candidate for our 2nd Congressional District. As a constituent, Karen Melton was delighted to win a contest for the chance to break bread & get to know him better. 

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Karen Melton has lived in East Falls with her husband Jake since 1991 . She’s written for the Fallser and is a member of 350Philadelphia, a local group that fights for climate change solutions.

On a sunny day last month, she took advantage of a “huge opportunity” to speak with Dwight Evans, candidate for congress, at Trolley Car Cafe.  Melton, an activist and ardent follower of local politics, was thrilled to have won a Facebook contest for the lunch with Evans.

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“Think about it — there are 435 house members, 100 senators and a President — 536 people who determine the laws and policy of our country.  They represent us, but ultimately we have to trust their judgement in day to day decision making.  It is a lot easier to do that when you have sat across a table and talked.”

What did they talk about? “Mostly East Falls” she said. She was pleased to learn that Evans was quite familiar with the Falls, “having served in the PA house of Representatives from the nearby East Oak Lane neighborhood.”

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Better yet: what did they eat? “The food is always great at Trolley Car. I had the catfish and waffles, one of my favorites. Dwight had a club sandwich.”

No dessert, though. What’s up with that, Karen? Free lunch, and you skip a whole course? You had $200 bucks to blow! “We were talking,” she insisted. He’s apparently a very interesting guy.

She described Evans as a very attentive listener who asked lots of questions about our neighborhood and took great interest in the air quality improvement issues Melton champions as a member of 350Philadelphia.

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“Air quality in Philadelphia gets an F grade from the American Lung Association.  One result is an incredibly high rate of childhood asthma.  There is much we should be doing to fix this.”

He also spoke with “great conviction” about the need for policies focused on urban problems, such as poverty (“Philadelphia has the highest deep-poverty rate of the 10 largest U.S. cities.”) and the need to expand the number of grocery stores in underserved areas. (Evans helped establish PA’s “Fresh Food Financing Initiative” as a member of the PA House of Representatives, which brought grocery stores to poorer areas while creating thousands of jobs.)

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Conversation turned to Evans’ future challenges if elected to congress. He’d be going from “representing a district of just under 60,000 people, to a district of more than 646,000.  And it is a district that includes some of the poorest neighborhoods as well as some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Philadelphia,” said Melton.

Evans was confident his experience traveling to communities throughout the state during his tenure as Chairman of the PA House Appropriations Committee would help him in his new post. “It really helped him understand local needs and issues.”

“I enjoyed meeting Dwight and getting to better understand his goals and I encourage Fallsers to get to know him too – you can read his bio, policy statements and issue articles at www.dwightevans.com.”

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Trolley Car Cafe
Sublime breakfast & lunch specials, plus fabulous brunch. River-view outdoor patio by an organic herb garden. BYOB. 
3269 South Ferry Road
267-385-6703
http://trolleycarcafe.com/
Open Everyday 7am – 3pm

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