Tuesday, October 9, 2007

IV at Capitol Hill

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Aman at the DC Rally

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yesterday's rally pic 1


Attached is a photo I took during yesterday's D.C. rally.  I will send you more, but first wanted to make sure that this was the correct address to send them to.  Please email me back at AbsolutLeo814@aol.com and let me know that you have recieved this. 


Petra Ford

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DC rally- Huge success :)

Just landed in Atlanta.

It went very well. People started arriving as early as 8 am. Everyone
yes I mean everyone who showed up got IV tshirts that shows the
american flag. We ran out of it after sometime.

Some members took initiative and started standing on the sidewalk on
two roads ( imagine L shape intersection) carrying placards and that
got good response from people driving by. Soon we had lot of IV
members following that :) Jamie reported Senator Kerry who was driving
by waved at us but we missed taking photos.

We started passing flowers and small american flags to people walking
by. Some time later when it was time to rally, CNN IBN showed up and
interviewed several members and of course Aman. Every state chapter
got their big state flag and combined with big U
US flags it was a sea of flags

Aman addressed the crowd and we started marching towards capitol
building. We marched on the road. We were given our own lane and we
didn't have to wait in the intersection when the light is red. So the
traffic was stopped while we went through the intersection. Mind you
it took a while for the huge crowd to go through and they stopped
traffic for that time.

When we reached capitol a stage was set with the capitol building as
backdrop. Startted with Abhijeet and others guitar and song. Jay
addressed the crowd and went on offensive, expect to hear from Lou
dobbs soon.

Rep. Jim Mcdermot address was good but he made the mistake of clubbing
legal and illegal issues together. Dr vivek gupta gave a very eloquent
speech. Mark's speech was very funny but thought provking. Sheela
murthy talked about her support for immigrant community and pointed
out how lawmakers make a mistake of combining our issues with
illegals. Finally Aman's speech was as usual inspiring. We ended it
national anthem sung very well by a IV member
(Sorry forgot the name) and abhijeet finished with a short poem. We also had Robert from Legal immigration Association representing chinese community talking about the contribitions from immigrants from both countries.

what a great team DC has. Sivakand, arun and the other team members
did an amazing work. At no point I saw chaos or problems. Such was
their coordination.

And forgot to mention. No one taunted as from the public and the cops
were very cooperative.

I will leave the rest to comment on the rally. I took tons of photos and will update them later tonight.


NPR interviewing IV members

Attorney Sheela Murthy also addressed the gathering

Greg Siskind's blog

Live rally updates are also available at Greg Siskind's blog http://blogs.ilw.com/gregsiskind/

Mark Bartosik from UK presenting a skit on his ongoing greencard experience

Dr. Gupta speaking

Capitol hill

Capitol hill

Rep. Jim McDermot addressing IV rally at Capitol Hill

At Capitol Hill 3

At Capitol Hill 2

At Capitol Hill 1



Live photo






Photo 10

Photo 9

Photo 9



Photo 6


Live update from DC rally photo5

Live update from DC rally -photo3

Live update from DC rally photos

Live update of DC rally - photo 1

I'm late, for a very important date!

Quick update from the front lines.

People are gathering, registering and placard holding!

Formal proceedings will begin shortly when MC Franky Franklin arrives!

There is a press conference being held at a top secret location - I'm sure the media will soon be buzzing about us!

More later

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Live update from Washington Monument

It's a pleasant day here at the Washington Monument. Scores of IV
volunteers are now lining 14th street & Constitution Ave with banners.
There is a good mix of people including mothers with infants.
Immigration Voice rally has been featured as a full page color feature
in today's issue of "Roll Call", the most read newspaper on Capitol


Lobby Day Pictures

Monday, September 17, 2007

IV Reception

The Immigration Voice reception was held in the Rayburn House office building on Monday evening.

The reception was attended by the following lawmakers:
  • Congressman Allen Boyd
  • Congressman Joe Wilson
  • Congressman Keith Ellison
It was also attended by the following prominent immigration lawyers:
  • Sheela Murthy
  • Zhang Associates
  • Greg Siskind

The presence of these lawmakers and lawyers proved that IV has ably represented the interestes of the community of legal, skilled immigrants in the US. The US lawmakers made brief speeches at the reception and supported the goals of IV.
Kudos to Immigration Voice and all the volunteers and members who have kept the faith with IV.

All work and no fun?
If you thought that the lobby day was all work and no fun - you couldn't have been farther away from the truth. All the success of the day finally helped logiclife (our official drill sergeant) to loosen up a little. Rumor has it that he even smiled a little bit and that he did not ban any member all day long.
Anil, an active volunteer and a Chicagoean brought some of the windy city spirit (not spirits!) to the staid DC.
To cut a long story short, people enjoyed the evening, relieved their stress and got ready for another big day.
Stay tuned to IV forums and this blog for updates all day long tomorrow.

Lobby Day - A Big Success

So here it is - hot off the press, live update from the frontline. My sources tell me that the lobby day was a huge success. Hundreds of IV volunteers from different backgrounds and countries came together and met with their Congressman/Congresswoman/Senators/Senior Congressional staffers in over 110 meetings in a single day. This is a stupendous achievement for Immigration Voice as an organization and a testimonial to the dedication and invlovement of all the volunteers.

Immigration Voice was successful in bringing our issues to the attention of the movers and shakers in the nation's capital. We got a big support and boost for our efforts and goals from these meetings.

Although, this day was made successful by the efforts of everyone involved, a particular group, a group of amazing women, the IV superheroes deserve a special mention. Kanika, Meenal, Sumita and Vandana were the superheroes behind today's success. We have a picture of Meenal, Sumita and Vandana in the situation room here. Kanika is most likely setting up meetings on her laptop while taking care of her kids. Hats off to them and a big heartfelt thanks from the community of legal, skilled immigrants.

Come to DC. It's not too late!

Mottos, slogans, talking points... My head spins...

We are half way through our lobby crusade. I must say, the "political wing of IV" is much more pleasant after some sleep and a shower. I'm not just talking about me! (No offense guys)

I have an easy day today - just 4 meetings and 1 speakers role to deal with... 2 down and 3 to go. It certainly is lovely to see DC during the day and I haven't seen so many suits since... Since I last left California, really. I'd even kept the tags on mine so I could return it. Unfortunately I've just spilled coffee on it, so that is out of the question now. I'll even have to figure out the dry cleaning thing when I return, but I did work out how to use an iron. How's that for Highly Skilled?! I'm not THAT slobby and CAL! (Despite yesterdays comments about "no torn jeans when you go to Congress...")

This brings me to the mottos... The Boy Scouts are doing me proud with their "Be Prepared"... That and my female coworkers saying "you have to go shopping for a back up suit, and you crazy? You might spill coffee on the one you have"

How's that for women's intuition!

No offense to the hard workers in the "nerve center", but it is great to see all the new faces arriving. It's lovely to see what fresh, relaxed people look like! But in all seriousness, the nerve center brains are directing our new arrival limbs to the right place, at the right time, with the right message. It's one huge, well oiled machine organism thing. How's that for some crazy mixed metaphor!

All today's efforts peak this evening, at the Congressional Reception. I can't wait, mainly because I'll be able to have that quick drink I've been waiting to have! Shmoozing! I wonder if I have time to go but something cute?!

Now, I'm off to other meetings, and prepare that speech... I think there is something going on tomorrow too, but I need to get past today.

Come to DC. It's not too late!

Oh, and we have internet access now! To reveal my inner geek "WOOT"!

(Sent by Tamsen via her BlackBerry from T-Mobile)

The night is young...

The night is young...

If it says 00:35 on my watch, it seems like the night is still young, anyway.

Yes, folks, your brave heroes are burning the midnight oil to make sure tomorrow's very important day goes as smoothly as possible.

"Drill Sargent Logiclife" has well and truly made sure we have been completely... Ummm... Drilled

We are now a crack team of lobbying commandoes with the lofty, nay, historic goal to meet with 1/2 of the Congress members.

"Our Mightly Leader Waldenpond" has been both mighty and Leader like.

I'm off to press the suit and read my notes. An early start in the morning requires at least a little sleep. Tomorrow will be big, Tuesday will be HUGE!!!

Come and enjoy the fun while it lasts!

For now, your intrepid reporter is signing out.


Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Working hard to ensure our success

After a full day of prep, Tamsen is maxed out in this pic...but she saved enough energy to send us some wonderful pictures that capture the energy and the sense of purpose in the situation room.

Situation Room #2

Sunday, September 16, 2007

DC update no 2

"DC update no 2" or "report number 2 from the front line"

I thought things were frantic before, and suddenly, its dark outside... This seems to have caused butterflies to start racing in my stomach as the pace has been kicked up to another notch. My hands are literally shaking as I type this! Sleep? Nerves? I think I just need a little nip of something. Maybe gin...

Its a good job email is free to send, as they have been flying fast today.

Printers are on overload preparing for lawmakers meetings tomorrow.

Huge shout outs to everyone

Including, the lawmaker meeting coordinators (frantically burning those cell phone minutes confirming everything). The speech writers, preparing what I can only describe as the most entertaining take on our plight that I have ever heard. It will be noticed in a big way - very memorable. Rally coordinators prepping final banners and placards, business card printers, fact finders... And of course all the core team who dare not sit down for fear of their eyelids closing!

I apologize to all those I've missed. All those I've met when they see my name tag and say, "Oooooh,

Franklin..." And back away slowly when they see a slightly crazed look in my eye. To all of you - guys... I'm not always like that, I promise.

More photos soon, when our internet connection is fixed. Oh yeah, I didn't mention that? I think that might have been why I was shaking!

Anyway - back to the madness for me!

So, guys... "What was I doing again?"

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who is out there this weekend in the situation room. You folks are an inspiration to the entire immigrant community in the US.

I hope that people, specially people in the tri-state area, people within driving distance of Washington DC will see these pictures, read these updates and realize how much work has gone into this rally, that what a committed group of people have been working day and nigh to make this rally a success.

I hope people will realize that they are not being asked for charity, or to work for a social cause or for someone else's benefit. This rally, and Immigration Voice is you and me, this organization is working for you and me and it shouldn't take a lot of convincing or cajoling from anyone to make you get in that car or bus and get to DC. However, for what it's worth, just take a look at these pictures and thank their effort by being present for the rally.

This is specially for the people who were able to file their 485s due to the USCIS reversal. I can assure you - that reversal would have never happened without IV.

Some more pics from the situation room

IV Situation room

DC update

I have no comment whatsoever about Saturday night's strategic "planning session". I don't really remember too much about it, but I am fairly certain that it had something to do with a rally - I am blaming the lack of sleep...

It's another beautiful day in DC, but what day is it?!

We have about 40 volunteers buzzing around the nerve centre of immigration voice political branch, but we need more!

All kinds off people are arriving a lot of bleary eyed red eye folks (props to the Cal peeps!)

I now have to run and start work on speeches and the like. I might turn my hand to "slogan chanting ditties" for the masses to sing out proud!

That's all for now.

Aka Tamsen

Pictures from the situation room

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Let the fun begin

This is it folks - the big day is just around the corner!