In my role as a Human Resources and Talent Acquisition Consultant to corporate clients, a profession I’ve been in for 24 years, it’s my job to find information that people may not want found. Since Pennsauken Township Committee candidates Jessica Rafeh and Marco DiBattista have refused to share much with us publicly other than a few selfies and limited bios on their Facebook page (no platform, no information on how they will make our town and lives better – nothing) I decided to do some digging. Unfortunately I didn’t find much.
Jessica is married to Hussam Rafeh who is the owner of H&R Exporter (better known as H&R Appliance). She lists the title “Manager” at H&R Exporter on her Facebook profile. We also know that she graduated from Rowan in 2017 and is an ESL Professor at the school. Her Facebook profile says she lives in Pennsauken and is from Cherry Hill. According to her bio on she and DiBattista’s campaign Facebook page she emigrated from Venezuela and lived in Philadelphia until her sophomore year in college. We also learn from her bio that she enjoys singing and dancing. The only prior service to our Pennsauken community she mentions is participating in a Tippins Pond cleanup.
How did Rafeh become a candidate for Pennsauken Township Committee and why the big secret? While she doesn’t fit the mold of the typical handpicked and groomed successor to the Pennsauken Township Committee throne she’s told us nothing that would earn our support and vote. The campaign of Rafeh and DiBattista and the local Democrats have released very limited controlled content. They appear to believe they will get Rafeh elected simply because she’s running as a Democrat and for over 30-years Pennsauken has voted for Democrats. We know virtually nothing about Rafeh and I’ve seen nothing from Rafeh or DiBattista telling us what they would do as members of Pennsauken Township Committee to make our town and our lives better. While their supporters have challenged the opposition to answer tough questions about their positions on a variety of issues I’ve not seen Rafeh or DiBattista answer the same questions. I don’t consider selfies on a Facebook page earning the support of Pennsauken residents.
Voters should not have to spend time doing exhaustive research to figure out who a candidate who claims to want to represent us is. Rafeh and DiBattista should be providing us information on their platform and positions on issues important to Pennsauken residents. They should be engaging with residents and earning our votes. I see none of that.
After doing my research I’m left with the same question I started with. Who is Jessica Jarbouh Rafeh?