I’m writing today because I wanted to keep you all up to date on my campaign for Congress.

But before I get into the update on the race in IL-03, I wanted to tell you about an extremely important deadline coming up. I’ll touch on it more below, but on Sept. 30, we submit our third-quarter campaign financing information to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). It’s crucial that we show strong numbers to convince those who haven’t signed on with our campaign to join us.

As many of you know, my opponent is out of step with the values of real Democrats. It is time for change and, if you agree with me, I hope you will contribute to my campaign.

Let me give you a short rundown of our recent successes. We are very busy, working night and day, seven days a week to spread the word about my candidacy, but we still need your help.

This past Saturday we welcomed guests to the Pera for Congress campaign headquarters in Countryside. Many volunteers, including members of Chicago’s Northside Democracy for America (DFA), spent several hours in the morning circulating nominating petitions throughout the district. Even more supporters came out later in the day for an afternoon barbecue.

My wife, Leslie, and I had a wonderful time meeting many of you who have communicated with us over the phone and online during the past few weeks. We are both looking forward to having many more events like this. Please keep checking with us for updates. Better yet, sign up for our newsletter.

On Thursday, we cracked the top five “Hot Candidates and Committees”
on ActBlue, joining John Edwards, Senate candidate Mark Warner and Sens. Tim Johnson, D-South Dakota, and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. We don’t have $3.9 million like John Edwards, but we have raised almost $23,000 from 200 different contributors. We hope there’s more on the way.

In just one week, our fundraising numbers on Act Blue jumped by more that $3,000. We topped out at the fourth spot on the list and still ranked in the top five on Saturday afternoon.

To those of you haven’t already contributed, I hope you help us get back to the top five  many more times. This race is as important as any race in the country in regard to the future of a U.S. House of Representatives guided by real Democratic values.

In 2008, when, after eight troubling years, we elect a Democratic President to the White House, we can’t afford to have a Democrat in the House who regular breaks from his party on serious issues like reproductive rights, stem cell research and the Iraq war and joins with Republicans.

To those of you who have contributed, thank you for your generosity. If you can, I hope you consider contributing again. As I mentioned earlier, we are approaching an important FEC deadline on Sept. 30. You can donate to Mark Pera for Congress at Act Blue.

Our Web site, www.PERA08.com itself generated some great news over the weekend.  The Web traffic numbers we received have given us the statistics to back up the anecdotal evidence we’ve noticed — hundreds of people are visiting the Web site every day to learn more about the campaign.

On Sept. 11, our Web site traffic more than tripled compared to previous days’ traffic.

There were so many more exciting posts last week across the Internet. Folks put forth a lot of thought and time and energy on behalf of my campaign. To see that was inspiring.

We have to especially thank DailyKos for a lot of the extra attention we received. The readers of DailyKos drove more traffic to our Web site than the mega-search engines Google and Yahoo combined. ArchPundit, CrooksAndLiars, FireDogLake, OpenLeft and PrairieStateBlue also directed a bunch of new viewers to our Web site.

If you’ve read any of these posts, you understand why. If you haven’t seen some of the great work people are doing on our behalf, please visit the news section of our Web site.

I can’t thank all the bloggers, contributors and readers out there enough for producing the terrific results we’re seeing. This race is already attracting national attention and, in order to win it, we are going to need not only local but also national support.

So I’m urging you all to keep at it. If you haven’t yet, I hope you visit www.PERA08.com to get involved in the campaign. I’ll check back and try to read as many of your posts as I can. Thank you, Mark Pera

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