The Divide Democrats club hosted what they described as a well-attended town hall meeting featuring 4th Congressional District candidate Jack Uppal Aug. 22 at the Marshall Grange in Garden Valley.
Some 50 club members and other residents of the Georgetown Divide listened to and questioned Uppal for two hours about his vision for America and why he is running against incumbent Republican Tom McClintock.
Club President Pam Greer said the new club's meeting was the biggest ever due to the interest in Uppal's campaign.
"Attendees were quite impressed with Jack, and many signed up to volunteer in his campaign. He has real answers and ideas for us, and his knowledge base is amazing. What a well prepared and informed citizen," Greer said. "People were excited."
Uppal, 57, told the crowd that he was born in India and came to America at age 7. He worked hard to achieve the American Dream by earning a PhD in Chemistry from MIT. Uppal was employed for 28 years for high tech companies like Intel, where he was responsible for purchasing a billion dollars of manufacturing equipment every year. He is now retired and lives in Lincoln with his wife.
Uppal told attendees that the many problems facing California and the nation are tied to our current economic problems. He asserted that economic recovery is only possible with a confident middle class. Uppal said that tax breaks for the rich and a budget proposal by Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan will "decimate the middle class."
Instead, Uppal said, "Stimulate the middle class and everything else follows. Business owners are motivated to hire and expand not by tax breaks, but by increased demand from a middle class that has good jobs and is not worried about their uncovered pre-existing condition or their underwater mortgage."
Greer said that club members responded with applause frequently. She characterized Uppal's economic policy as, "a mix of relief for a beleaguered middle class, which Jack sees as the main driver to a healthy economy, and investments in strategic industries that stimulate growth."
Jack Uppal criticized Congressman McClintock for failing to work with both Republicans and Democrats in Congress and for not being available to residents of the 4th District. "Moderate is not a dirty word," Uppal asserted.
Uppal said McClintock is ineffective because he doesn't even work cooperatively with other Republicans in Congress.
The Hill, a Washington-based Capitol Hill daily, recently named McClintock as one of the "dirty dozen" thorns in Republican House Speaker John Boehner's side.
Uppal said, "He doesn't seem to work well with the Republican leadership in the House and certainly doesn't work well with the Democrats."
The Divide Democrats club has grown to 70 members who live in northwest El Dorado County in the communities of Coloma, Cool, Garden Valley, Greenwood, Georgetown, Kelsey, Lotus, Mosquito, Pilot Hill, Quintette, and Spanish Flat.
The club will meet next on 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12t at the Holiday Market Community Room in Cool.