Showing posts with label Upper East Side. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Upper East Side. Show all posts

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reshma Saujani: My People's Chief Guest

Over the weekend, ANTA - Association of Nepali Teraian in America - endorsed Reshma For Congress. Teraian is another word for Madhesi. We are the Indian origin people in Nepal. We don't have it as bad as Uganda or Sri Lanka, but it is half way there. Things should get better for us after we secure federalism, which is what we are working towards right now.

Madhesi Self Hate

Buddha was born a Madhesi. (Please Fund My Work For Iran Democracy: Email, Larry Ellison)

I am the person who launched ANTA in New York Metro, but I never became a member or office holder. I try to stay away from the gross inefficiencies of ANTA as an organization. I focus on the hard core political. ANTA also does the social, cultural stuff. I have put some major digital, political work for the global Madhesi cause. That's been my turf.

Dr. Binod Shah is president of ANTA. He is a family friend. We share the same hometown in Nepal. His elder brother and my uncle have known each other a long time. Dr. Shah is a medical doctor based out of Scarsdale like Al Wenger. (What Are You Doing Monday? Come Meet Al Wenger) Dr. Shah owns some real estate on the Upper East Side. That is his direct connection to District 14.

I stayed in Binodji's home for a few weeks after November 8, 2008 until I started missing New York City bad, and I moved.

ANTA had John Liu as the Chief Guest at its first ever Holi event back in February. (Happy Holi) ANTA has now invited Reshma Saujani as its Chief Guest for its first ever convention on September 25. It is an all day event, lunch, dinner included, but the Chief Guest is not expected to stay the entire time. Madhesis from as far as England and Texas are showing up.

Dr. Binod Shah has pledged to email and call a whole bunch of Indians in New Jersey and a whole bunch of Indian doctors in the Bronx for Reshma 2010.

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Assigned To The Astoria Office

Image representing Reshma Saujani as depicted ...Image via CrunchBase

I have been assigned by Reshma 2010 to work out of the Astoria office the final few days that I signed up to volunteer. I will be making phone calls and knocking on doors. And I will do whatever else I am asked to do. One thing would be boost the morale of the staff/interns/volunteers/gawkers in the office, and any passers by on the sidewalk.

I signed up for Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. But I have a feeling I might show up also tomorrow, Friday. The idea would be to show up after lunch and stay as late as possible.

I have emailed some key people on the staff saying we need a ton of cookies and vitamin water in the two offices. Every time I have sat down to make phone calls, it has felt like a sea voyage. I have labored over it. Phone calls don't come naturally to me. I do much better with small group small talk. Did I say I don't own a phone?

I showed up for the office opening party in Astoria. (Reshma 2010: Queens Office Opening Party: August 9) My first reaction that I shared with many people was, I actually like this office better than the Manhattan office. The Astoria office is democracy, the Manhattan office is capitalism. Voters are not elevator fodder. Voters are sidewalk people.

The Astoria office is on the ground floor. It is at street level. The entire office is see through. People on the sidewalk can see the entire office except the inside of the restroom, and that probably is by design.

I really like that proximity to the sidewalk. You can step out and suddenly you are a man of the people. You could be someone gawking in while passing by.

Before I started volunteering for Reshma 2010, it is like I had never been to Astoria proper. The neighborhoods are so great. They are so very inviting. I mean, I had been to the Beer Garden during Obama 08. Alexis, who was a key Obama person in Queens, was out of there. That Beer Garden place is really something. It has got to be the best beer place in the city, and I am not even much of a beer drinker. It is the setting I dig.

The last time I was at the Astoria office was right after the community conversation event in Queens 10 blocks away. I walked the 10 blocks to the office and picked two more Reshma 2010 red, white, and blue shirts, my uniform for this election season. Right before that 10 block walk, I got lost for a few blocks after I stepped outside the Holiday Inn where the event was. It is much easier to not get lost when you follow the train tracks.

Jon Gardiner in tow, I showed up. My first reaction, we need Reshma 2010 posters all over that thing at the top of the entrance. That is so much wasted free advertising space. That would work 24/7.

NY1, NY1, NY1, NY1, NY1
Roosevelt Island: Community Conversation
Community Conversation: Upper East Side
Reshma's Lower East Side Community Conversation

NYConvergence: Custom Shirts, GPS Dating And Hyperlocal News At The NY Tech Meetup: The NY Tech Meetup celebrated Rosh Hashanah last night the traditional way: hosting 800 people for a full course of startup demos. Thrown into the mix were a presentation by Google and an appeal from Democratic Congressional candidate Reshma Saujani (running in New York's 14th district) to get involved, specifically by voting or volunteering for her. She has emphasized technological innovation and tax breaks for investment in her campaign.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

New York Observer Endorsement: Reshma 2010 Now Unstoppable

Reshma Saujani

Carolyn Maloney has represented Manhattan's old silk-stocking Congressional district—once the home of John Lindsay and Ed Koch since 1992. It seems fair to say that she hasn't had to break a sweat ever since. Token opponents have been swatted away without much discussion or debate. Every two years, voters in the 14th Congressional District on the Upper East Side and in Queens have marched to the polls and given Ms. Maloney virtually uncontested victories. Not this year.

A 34-year-old hedge-fund lawyer named Reshma Saujani has emerged as a refreshing, energetic alterative to Ms. Maloney. We support her bid to unseat the incumbent as the Democratic Party's nominee in the 14th District. Ms. Saujani is the sort of Democrat who understands that faux populism won't bring back jobs to New York. Ms. Maloney jumped on the bandwagon to "punish" Wall Street after the catastrophes of the last two years, supporting job-killing regulation and interference. Ms. Saujani, who has worked for three hedge funds, has a more sophisticated understanding of the relationship between Wall Street and government. She believes New York and the nation will prosper when politicians stop blaming bankers and financial institutions for the country's economic malaise.

Carolyn Maloney has been a capable if unspectacular member of Congress for nearly 20 years. It's time to bring new energy and fresh ideas to the House. Democrats should choose Reshma Saujani.
The New York Observer
The New York Observer’s Primary Choices
Last Word On Reshma/Maloney General Election
Gillibrand To Raise For Maloney

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Friday, September 03, 2010

I Have Become A Cloud Person

Sometimes I can talk like I were someone still looking for a career, as if I am still trying to figure out what to do with my life.

During Obama 08, Jordan Thomas, the founder of Brooklyn For Barack, once insinuated that I was not showing interest in running for public office myself because I did not have the option to run for president some day. Jeff Kurzon, the founder of Manhattan For Obama, at an Upper East Side rooftop party at the residence of a Harvard Law classmate and family friend of Barack, Terrence Yang, said the country should amend its constitution so I could run for president some day. Whereas I was posing as a guy who just so happens to be excited about Barack, and as soon as it is done and over with, I was going over to my startup. I did raise the 100K I said I would raise for my startup's round one. The company was in my name because all you need is a social security number to do that. But the money was in my partner's name ("Are you sure you want to trust me with all this money?") because I was out of status. I was going to regain my status down the line somehow and turn it into a joint account.

I was born into a political family on both sides. They made me House Captain in Class 5, and again in Class 10. A year and a half later they offered to make me School Captain for being the obvious candidate although they did not want to. After high school I became Vice General Secretary to a political party with two MPs. Someone who was a central committee member and hence junior to me is currently a cabinet member in Nepal.

I came to America. I came, I saw, I conquered. Within six months of landing I got myself elected student body president at the number one liberal arts school in the South: Bible Belt. They had to amend the constitution so I could run as a freshman. I shared that story with Jeff at the rooftop party.

I was a Deaniac in 2004. My enthusiasm for Obama is well documented right at this blog.

Why tech entrepreneurship? My backgrounds have played larger roles in my life than I would have liked. I relate to my family, to NYC, to my work. I have had to drop high school and college as institutions like stones into sea water. I was born in India, but did not grow up there. In Nepal you generate hostility when you look like me. Kentucky cured me of what my idea of America was.

Bill Clinton is a telephone guy. The internet is my telephone. Bill Clinton is the ultimate reunion guy. He likes to go to all sorts of reunions. He is constantly reconnecting socially. Me? I don't see me going to high school and college reunions. It is called being Madhesi in Nepal, being nonwhite.

Perhaps there are post-ISMs individuals.

To get myself elected student body president within six months of landing, I had to have been super social. I must have shaken many, many hands. But the person today, I have atrophied social muscles.

I have had to drop so many identities, so many social circles. I draw such sustenance from the net, that somewhere along the way I became a cloud person.

I have no desire to stop being a cloud person, but at some point down the line I want to actively reclaim my social self. For that NYC is my chosen place. If you love people, this is the city to be. Perhaps this city will let me reclaim my social self.

When you are rootless like I feel I am, NYC is the place to be.

Tech entrepreneurship is not an option right now. I don't have a green card. I could blog. I could do the Iran work. Those are some options. And those are good options. Iran intrigues me.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Roosevelt Island: Community Conversation

Roosevelt Island Red bus #2 sits at the Roosev...Image via Wikipedia Newcomer Using Obama Political Model For NYC Race: Nine-term New York City Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney may have a real fight on her hands.... 34-year-old newcomer Reshma Saujani (RAYSH'-mah SAW'-jah-nee) ..... Saujani's trying to build a multiethnic coalition of young and new voters, much as President Obama did in his 2008 campaign.

Yesterday was yet another beautiful summer afternoon on Roosevelt Island. I am glad I left fashionably early. I was dropping by a friend's place before the event, but the dude was asleep when I showed up, the wife said, I lingered for about 15 minutes in his living room, then I left. I decided I was going to pop up on Roosevelt Island early and stroll around for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, however long before the event. But the F train took forever to show up at 14th St, and I got to the event barely on time. On the platform I met an Indian guy from one of the tech events years ago. We had been sitting on the same bench a few seats from each other half an hour before we saw each other.

Community Conversation: Upper East Side
Reshma's Lower East Side Community Conversation

The community conversation was at Trellis Diner, 549 Main Street. Someone whose home is very close to my home in Nepal - only a few villages away - lives in a fancy apartment on Roosevelt Island. I believe he got it for half a million dollars in a down market. I am a Madhesi in Nepal. He is the first Madhesi to work at the United Nations.

I organized a Madhesi picnic on the island last year right before my sister moved to Boston from NYC.

The event was well attended. The room was overflowing. During the final 15 minutes I found myself standing in the back giving my seat away to one latecomer after another.

I think Reshma has been running a post social media campaign, something I might be missing out on. I have been emphasizing creating YouTube versions of Reshma's HuffPo articles, but I have been missing out on this important detail. There was the old media style. Then came along new media. The most important innovation of Obama 08 was not that it used social media but that it got people to meet each other in person. Reshma 2010 has taken that one step further. This has not been about Reshma supporters meeting each other in person. This has been about Reshma meeting all her supporters in person. She has had close to 250 house parties. She herself has talked to thousands of voters on the phone.

She is a fighter, she said in the spirit of a refugee immigrant. And she is. She wears the cheerfulness of a fighter.

The most touching moment of the evening for me was when this black guy in a wheelchair showed up late. He is the one who got me standing. Until then I had a chair. I mean, he did have his own chair, a fancy one too. But his chair took away the space that my chair had had. He talked of how Reshma had responded to her letter, and had emailed him back personally, and had called her up. I remember talking to you on the phone, Reshma said with misty eyes.

I am voting for you, he said.

Reshma has already been providing constituency services like she were already in Congress. There are people who are calling her office because they called Maloney's office four times, five times, and no one responded.

I met one blogger - Rick - of the Roosevelt Islander. I had only visited his blog for the first time a day or two ago, and there he was. He remembered me from a comment I had left at his blog. He is a lawyer by training, and an avid blogger on the side. Being a blogger is like being a lawyer or a software programmer, I said to him. More people in America make full time incomes as bloggers than they do as lawyers or as software programmers. That is according to a Wall Street Journal article from months ago. And there was this lady sitting right next to Reshma. She made a comment about Bill Green that made me think. Hmm, looks like she read that same comment that I read at the bottom of an article online yesterday. Ends up she was the one who had left that comment.

Reshma's style is to pack her day. When she shows up for an event, and she is the punctual type, there is a clear end. There is a cutoff time. She is done talking to everyone, and now she has to leave. I noticed that same thing at the April event when I met her in person for the first time. And I noticed it yesterday.

Me, I am the lingering type. For me one event is two events. After the formal event is over, the informal event begins. I have to hang around and squeeze that last ounce of talk from some of the last people who are still there. These are perhaps people who did not talk during the formal event, or someone who talked at length and I want to make them feel like I really listened to what they had to say. So I lingered.

When I did that lingering at the Upper East Side event, the first person I talked to was this guy who had given a speech when it was his turn to ask a question. The impression he left was maybe he was that one hostile person for the day. When I met him up close instead I found a die hard Reshma fan. Someone who is overflowing with his enthusiasm for Reshma. He talked at length because he was trying to make sure Reshma was going to touch on all points in her race against Maloney.

The final community conversation is at 7:30 PM at Holiday Inn, 39-05 29th Street, N/W 39th Ave.

Subhash Chandra BoseImage via Wikipedia

The British finally said, okay, so you can have your independence, but you are going to have to give us Subhash Chandra Bose, dead or alive. Reshma gave Obama 08 its first scare, I gave Hillary 08 its last scare. Charlie Rangel, DL21C, Hillary 08 ganged up. But that was oh so long ago. We are all Obama people now. I am so looking forward to November. I want my president to defy history one more time.
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

We Intend To Swamp Maloney: The East Side Is Going Electric

I think we are doing 50-50 right now. I can feel it. I can smell it. It is in the air.

Some time around the radio debate on September 7, and possibly even earlier if the TV journalists in this town can prove they are entrepreneurial, the East Side is going electric. (Brian Lehrer's Message To TV Journalists In Town) The new women on the East Side are going to come out full force for The New Woman. And that is how we are going to swamp Maloney.

The techies and the brownies - my name for Indians - are going to pad the victory margin, but they are not going to be the reason Reshma wins on September 14.

The New Woman's victory is going to come from the new women on the East Side.

Mark my word, the East Side is going electric.

September 14 Will Birth The New Woman

Bloomberg Video: Saujani Sees Private Sector Jobs Crucial To Recovery

Friday, August 27, 2010


South façade of the White House, the executive...Image via WikipediaExtrapolations

At the first community conversation on the Lower East Side I thought Reshma was in a presidential mood. She talked of her campaign that she has been running full speed for over 10 months now. I have told staffers - not jokingly - that she has been running for Congress like she were running for president. And she did talk of a four year term, when a Congressperson has a two year term. That totally went up my alley. I struggle to get excited about the legislative branch. Legislative is like, meh. I need a little more action to my routine than that. Once I was reading a book about the Bush presidency while Bush was in office, and I was gripped, and I remember thinking, I don't seem to care who is president as long as someone is, and I get to read up on the details.

Extrapolations To Reshma 2016

But at the second community conversation on the Upper East Side, she was more of in a legislative mood. She hinted at going from the House to the Senate and off to retirement to go build "schools for young girls in Afghanistan." She mentioned Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer in the same sentence. I think that is a hint at a state with two female Senators. If I were Schumer I'd get worried or I'd convince her to look in the direction of the White House instead, if she needs any convincing that is.

Community Conversation: Upper East Side
Reshma's Lower East Side Community Conversation

Thank God Reshma has not hinted at the judiciary. That is even less action than the legislative. Judiciary is not action, it is deliberation. I like to leave that to the judges. I am glad they are there, but I am glad I am not one of them. Respect.

Two Routes

One is to win in 2010, become Obama's running mate in 2012, and run for the top job in 2016. Another is to lose in 2010, run again and win in 2012, and then run for the top job in 2016. The first route is a surer path to a 2016 win, the second route is a surer path perhaps to a two term presidency.

My preference is for the first path. I am looking at a 2010 victory. I think we stand at 50-50 right now. We got enough time to tilt this thing. I think about a week before the election, the East Side is going electric, and then we should be able to totally swamp Maloney.

The thing is this. 2016 is to be the year of the first woman president. And it is for Reshma to make sure she is that woman. I think she is the best positioned. I mean, when was the last time a New Yorker went to the White House? FDR was the last one. And Albany has been in a flunk since. The best way to "reform" Albany is to send a New Yorker to the White House. What Albany has is a self esteem problem.

Power Shoe
Dress Code
Reshma Is Bigger Than Hillary
How My Grandfather Became Mayor The First Time
An Empire State Of Mind: The Final Countdown

In The News

New York Magazine: Maloney: Saujani Is Using ‘Karl Rove’ Tactics:Saujani says that her fellow Upper East Side Democrat has "questionable ethics" when it comes to fund-raising, and that "Maloney ranks at the bottom of our New York delegation, and I’m saying that on the record. And I think Carolyn Maloney represents the problem. We have in Congress, I think, a lot of mediocre representatives.”

The Villager: Campaign Wedge Issue?: The reporter, it seems, was simply blown away by Saujani’s cool-looking black patent leather Kate Spades, with 3-inch wedge heels — which resulted in her writing 24 column inches all about them..... Community Media’s editorial board met with Saujani for an endorsement interview on Tuesday, and, of course, we naturally had to check if she was wearing the Kate Spade wedges. She wasn’t, and in fact, says she’s NEVER going to wear them again after the Times article. She said she was really disappointed by the Times story — especially after having spoken to the reporter at length on policy issues. “She spent four hours with me — and she wrote about my shoes!” Saujani said incredulously.... The 14th District includes Stuyvesant Town, runs down the middle of the East Village and includes a swath of the Lower East Side. Saujani lives in the East Village, where she is a huge fan of Native Bean cafe on Avenue A.

The Buzz Log: Power Shoes Turn Heads On The Web:Forget about the power suit. For a bunch of young politicos, it's all about the power shoe. When Reshma Saujani, a candidate running in the New York Democratic primary, admitted to wearing a Kate Spade wedge to pound the pavement, the news inspired a stampede of searches. The three-inch, round-toe, black-patent wedge called the "Halle," has become the "it" shoe for a circle of female political types, according to a story in the New York Times. Word of the must-have item caused a run on the shoes on Yahoo!: One-day lookups for "kate spade halle" spiked 625%. Shoe lovers voted with their feet with searches on "Kate spade wedges," "kate spade wedge shoes," and "kate spade halle wedge."

Roosevelt Islander: Newcomer Reshma Saujani Challenges Incumbent Carolyn Maloney For Roosevelt Island Congressional Seat - Meet Ms Saujani At Town Hall Sunday August 29:Roosevelt Island's longtime representative in Congress, Carolyn Maloney of the 14th Congressional District, is facing a strong challenge from relative newcomer Reshma Saujami, a lawyer.... Ms. Saujani will be visiting Roosevelt Island this Sunday.

Brief Wit: Carolyn, No.: It’s taken some two months of bickering (and felt like six) but Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has finally agreed to debate challenger Reshma Saujani a week before the September 14th primary for New York’s 14th District. Thanks to Celeste Katz at the Daily News for being beyond patient in continuing to cover this topic. This is terrific news, the East Side of Manhattan and Queens will have its first debate in eons. File into the auditorium, dim the lights, dab on some makeup, and let the cameras roll. I hope Gabe Pressman comes out of the woodwork for this one! Wait–what’s that you say? The debate’s not going to be on TV? Why not? Can I even go see it in person, Lincoln/Douglas style? No!? Then, where is it? And how will we know who is wearing the infamous Kate Spade wedge? It’s on the radio? What’s that, some doohickey that emits live podcasts? Sounds experimental..... Huh? It’s on in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday? But who can listen to it then? .... Oh, I think I cracked the code on that one, along with anyone else who spent a second considering it: she’s afraid she has a face made for radio.....Reshma, who has probably crossed the East River campaigning more times than the Roosevelt Island Tram...... Maybe Team Maloney is trying to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of the Nixon/Kennedy debates or something? ...... Being good in-person is important to being good in Congress. .... having to debate at all opens up the possbility of a Maloney gaffe ..... It’s hard to say where this race is right now with a lack of recent polling. Reshma probably has the momentum, but how far up the hill will it push her? I’ve seen more Reshma placards pasted around restaurants and bodegas in my neighborhood than I expected...... A smuggled-in cell phone camera wouldn’t hurt either.

Fair: NYT Piece On Candidate's Shoes Is Irrelevant, Trivial And Sexist--According To Its Author:This might be the first time that a reporter has attempted to justify covering a non-newsworthy topic on the grounds that it is not particularly newsworthy.

Capital Tonight: Here And Now
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finally A Debate? Is A Non Debate A Debate?

YouTubeImage via WikipediaThere are all sorts of news stories saying Carolyn Maloney has finally agreed to a debate with Reshma Saujani. I will believe it once I see it. Until then I have my fingers crossed. Maloney has danced this dance before. She will say yes to a debate, and then a few days later she will say she did not say it, never.

A radio debate in the middle of a work day? I say even TV is not good enough. What we need is a YouTube debate. People will have the option to watch whenever they want, and they will have the option to comment. I say a YouTube debate sponsored by a few TV stations. So it's on TV at night, and it's on YouTube as well.

FDR was a while ago. Granted Maloney is from a different era, but trust me, YouTube is just like being on TV. It is not like you have to put on extra makeup or anything.

NY Daily News: Reshma Saujani Vs. Carolyn Maloney On Debating... Again: As you can see here in this clip by Melissa Russo of NBC, when (twice) asked if she'd debate her NY-14 Democratic primary challenger, Reshma Saujani, Rep. Carolyn Maloney first dodged, and then said their staffs were talking and she would "consider it." .... Of course, we've blogged about this issue about a million times -- Saujani trying to invite, push, cajole, whatever you want to call it -- Maloney into debating.... The same arguments stand now as stood then -- Saujani would want to get Maloney into a forum where she could a) show her stuff against the congresswoman, b) get more public attention, and c) expose Maloney to a possible gaffe... which, from a strategic standpoint are all the reasons why the incumbent might not want to do it.
Reshma Saujani On Radio Debate: Apparently, That's Not Good Enough: Remember yesterday, when I wondered if maybe my days (weeks, months?) of blogging about the debate-scheduling squabbles between Reshma Saujani and incumbent Rep. Carolyn Maloney were over? ..... WWRL debate is scheduled to occur in the middle of a weekday on a radio station with no television cameras, at a time when most New Yorkers are at work
Capital Tonight: Maloney Agrees To Debate Saujani: woman-to-woman face-off on Sept. 7
OurTownNY: Maloney Agrees To Debate: The debate will also be on a Tuesday on a radio show most Upper East Side voters probably don’t tune in to regularly. (Perhaps WNYC’s Brian Lehrer would have been more suitable for this race.) .... Previously, Baruch College on the East Side sent out a letter asking the two to debate on its campus Aug. 26, but Maloney would not agree..... The decision to debate came after an interview with NBCNewYork, in which Maloney told a reporter, “My campaign staff is talking to her campaign staff and I’m sure that the issues and the records will be put forward.” .... Saujani’s campaign manager, Kevin Lawler, released a statement saying, “We must have missed those calls and emails—because that’s news to us,” adding, “There has been no effort from her staff to even contact our campaign to discuss the issue.” .... James Allen, Saujani’s spokesperson, said that the campaign has not accepted the Errol Louis debate and wants to hash out mutually agreeable terms
The Lo-Down NY: Maloney/Saujani Schedule Debate, Bike Lane Wars, Pies ‘n’ Thighs for Breakfast
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Carolyn Maloney's Work On The Second Avenue Subway Line

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney: "Ten years ago, when we first started talking about the possibility of building a Second Avenue Subway, people scoffed. I have been championing the project in Congress...."
Maloney has been taking credit for a non existent Second Avenue subway line on the campaign trail. Maloney lacks integrity at a fundamental level.

  1. In 1920 Maloney first came up with the idea. 
  2. The Great Depression disrupted her work. Shame on the Great Depression.
  3. World War II disrupted her work. Shame on World War II.
  4. She got back to work after World War II was finally over. 
  5. Every time Maloney tried to get down to work, the estimated cost went up, and so Maloney was perturbed. But she kept looking for fresh starts every few years for decades. 
  6. 1972. Maloney was part of a groundbreaking, one of many it seems. 
  7. In the 1990s Maloney got down to it again. Her enthusiasm was still at a high level after decades of false starts. 
  8. Many steps, small and big, were taken all through the 1990s and the 2000s. Maloney would like to take credit for them all. 
And now you know how the Second Avenue subway line came to be. Go take a ride. Enjoy. And sign the online petition that wants the Second Avenue subway line renamed in Carolyn Maloney's name.

2nd Ave. Subway History
Wikipedia: Second Avenue Subway
NYMag: The Long, Tortured History of the Second Avenue Subway
New York Times: Further Delays Possible for Second Avenue Subway
Reshma Saujani Goes on the Attack Against Carolyn Maloney in Upper East Side Congressional Race
May 21, 2010 ..... Maloney ripped off her ideas on immigration and entrepreneurial innovation. ...... Maloney introduced the bill, which calls for granting two-year visas to immigrants who begin start-ups with qualified investors, on the House floor on April 29, eight days after a Saujani Op-Ed piece proposing a similar idea
Carolyn Maloney Recycles Hillary Clinton "Endorsement" On Campaign Website
The Upper East Side congresswoman's website shows an apparent endorsement from the former senator..... Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has proposed a spate of immigration and economic development bills that challenger Reshma Saujani said borrow from her own ideas. ........ AsSecretary of StateHillary Clinton can't endorse political candidates. But that hasn't stopped Carolyn Maloney from recycling an old quote and using an image of Clinton to make it look like the former senator is backing the Upper East Side congresswoman's reelection bid.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Clean Tech Experience

I showed up for the Clean Tech event with an open, blank mind: Reshma 2010 Clean Tech Event July 27 Tuesday. Blank because I did not know much about clean tech at all. I had a few ideas, I could say a few buzz words, I could draw a few outlines. There is a slope: tech as in internet tech, then clean tech, then bio tech, I know the least about nano tech. If the next Reshma 2010 event is going to be on bio tech, I am going to spend a good few hours doing some serious reading online. I am going to do some homework.

It was that feeling that led me to ask the question I asked.

"I showed up for this event not knowing much about clean tech at all and so this has been a wonderful experience. It is so obvious Clean Tech is going to be a major source of much needed jobs for this city, this country, this world. But those jobs will not get created if certain political decisions are not made and those decisions will not get made if the politicians don't feel the pressure and the politicians will not feel the pressure if the voters, the citizens are not actively involved in the conversation, the discussion, and debate around clean tech, and a great way to do that would be to have Reshma Saujani and Carolyn Maloney do a debate on TV exclusively about clean tech, but I don't see that happening. Why are Reshma Saujani and Carolyn Maloney not debating clean tech on TV?"

The moderator looks at me and he gives me a perplexed look for about two seconds. This guy looks Indian, but he is all hostile to Reshma. He does not seem to realize Reshma is not the reason the debate is not taking place. Someone needs to point out he is knocking on the wrong door. And so he says, "You need to take that question to Carol!"

The moderator started out saying he was Australian and that "American politics is baffling to me." If American politics is baffling to him, he should take a crack at Indian politics. JFK's ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith, well esteemed in the intellectual circles of this country, went on record about "the imponderables of Indian politics."

The panel was a huge one. It could barely fit. It was an impressive panel. The flyer had details on each company and participating organization. I wish I had an electronic version so I could publish it at this blog. I might still type it out and publish the introductory paragraphs on the various companies and organizations that participated.

Off the bat the company that most fascinated me was Bodega Algae. It is "a developer of scalable algae photobioreactors. The closed continuous-flow reactors produce high-energy algal biomass for use in the production of biofuel."

I briefly got to talk to the Bodega representative, a MIT PhD, after the formal program was over. I told her how her company stood out for me of all companies on the list. And she shared some more info. One thing she shared alarmed me. The thinking in the energy industry seems to be that big oil names like Exxon will do biofuel as well because they have the distribution infrastructure. That was alarming to me. That would be like saying Google should have happened under Microsoft and Facebook should have happened under Google. That would totally stifle innovation. The thing to do is to make Exxon share their distribution infrastructure by law.

The political highlight of the event for me though happened before the formal program began. A Sara (not real name) walked over to me while I was talking to another Reshma 2010 intern that I had met once before. She introduced me as a "huge fan of your blog." She said she was a Reshma 2010 intern.

Sara is going to be a senior at high school soon. She said she lived on "the north side of town." I hope that means Upper East Side and not Westchester. The way she presented herself made me think she alone could deliver 50 votes. When I am talking about Reshma Saujani as The New Woman (Reshma Saujani: Top 10 Women To Watch In America), I am thinking about women like Sara.

She asked me if I would do a blog post on her. I hereby pledge to do a blog post on every Reshma 2010 intern and staffer who might express interest. All you have to do is schedule to sit down with me for an hour long interview at the Reshma 2010 headquarters, and let me take a few pictures of you with the others in the room. I like to take a few different pictures and then put them together as collages. That's my style.

I asked her about college applications and where she might want to go. She said she had visited Stanford.

"Me too. It is such a pretty campus," I said.

Sara told me she looked at both the Maloney and the Reshma campaigns before deciding on the Reshma campaign as the one she wanted to intern for. That is a good sign.

Also if high school students are reading my blog, I think I need to be more careful in terms of what I put out. I did not realize. 

I have come to realize Sunday afternoons are perhaps not the best time to be making phone calls to voters. I asked Paul last Sunday and he suggested the best time might be weekdays from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

My current professional status is that I am a pro blogger. Every day is like every other day to me. I could show up on a Sunday, or a Wednesday.

I got to meet a whole bunch of people, one of them was an Ashish. He said he was a friend of Reshma. You look familiar, I said. I think I might have seen him at the last Reshma 2010 tech event. I asked about his background.


"Where in India?"


"They broke up Bihar against my wishes, but that makes you the sixth Bihari I have met in America."

"I am a Punjabi."

"I once got an email from a Punjabi who thought I was one. Paramendra can sound like Parmendar." (Bhangra, Cricket: Exotic To Me)

And Bhagat can sound like Bhagat Singh. 

"I came to America when I was nine months old."

That was one remarkable nine month old, I thought.

I aimlessly walked out after the event was over. After whiling away in Union Square I decided to walk over towards Times Square. Up on Ninth Avenue I decide to go over to Central Park. It is amazing to me how well lit all parts of Central Park can be at night. That is a Third World perspective for you. I decided to go in for a walk. I stayed by the big road. That is another Third World perspective for you. Deep inside I came across two Chinese looking guys who asked which way to Fifth Avenue.

"I have no idea where I am at right now, or I could tell you," I said. Then I spotted the two two dimensional buildings of Columbus Circle and told them which way.

Deep in thought, I missed the 14th Street stop for change of train two times. 

By the time I got home it was past midnight. My Harvard Law School graduate roomie had already called it a day. The dude shares a few other traits with Barack: he is black.

"See you soon" was Reshma's greeting to me towards the end of the event.

You bet. That might be as early as Wednesday evening.  

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Reshma's Momentum: Line Graph Or Curve Graph

Reshma's momentum from mid May to mid July has been that she has moved her numbers from a 10:1 ratio to a 3:1, possibly a 2:1 ratio. (Reshma's Momentum: 70% Vs. 7%, 24,000 Vs. 8,000 Signatures, $2 Vs. $1.2 Million) That is tremendous momentum, and it has not been acquired by outspending Maloney or any such trick in the hat. Reshma 2010 has been bootstrapping, if anything. To be able to push the needle like that when Carolyn Maloney has the name recognition she has is remarkable, but then I have always felt Reshma is a remarkable candidate.

The question you have to ask now is this, does this momentum look like a line graph or a curve graph? If it looks like a line graph Reshma is still leading by September 14, if it is a curve graph, she is leading by a healthy margin.

This has not been a line graph. This has been a curve graph. Carolyn Maloney can not do any better in the name recognition department than she was doing two or four or six years ago. But Reshma Saujani's name recognition has no way to go but up.

Maloney is in a no win situation right now. If she refuses to engage in twice a month debates with Reshma, that is going to drive the local and the national - same thing if you are in New York - media curious about Reshma. They are going to talk about her more and more, which is the result we expect if we do debates. If Maloney does do debates, we are going to see a deer in the headlights in Maloney. Maloney is going to not only lose the debates, she is going to be forced to share the limelights with Reshma.

All that literature you mail, all those phone calls you make, all the doors you knock on, they take time to sink in. I am seeing a curve graph ahead for Reshma 2010. What about you?

And noone is even talking about all those voters Reshma is bonding with one on one on a daily basis while Carolyn is busy "creating jobs" in Washington DC. This video below is a graphic illustration of Carolyn "creating jobs" in DC. Unemployment is still around 10%. The unemployment number is going up by one on September 14, because Carolyn is losing her job that day. If sitting on an obscure congressional committee could create jobs, why do we even bother with the entrepreneurs of the world?

And did Obama really kiss Carolyn like she never tires of claiming? I can't imagine that. She voted for the Iraq War. When I was volunteering for Obama, that was a big no no. You don't kiss people who voted for the Iraq War. Obama needs to stay true to his roots.
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