STATEMENTS OF CANDIDATES FOR THE DEMOCRATS ABROAD CANADA BOARD | 2017-2019

The Elections of new officers for the Democrats Abroad Canada Board of Directors will take place at the  Annual General Meeting on Sunday, April 2, 2017. Please click here for details on DA Canada AGM - New Dates.

Please click on the officer positions of the DACA Board to be elected for a two-year term to find candidates' statements: Country Committee Chair, Executive Vice-Chair, two (2) Vice-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, IT Manager, Counsel, and three (3) Members-at-Large.

The electronic ballots will be emailed to members on March 17, 2017.  Submit your completed ballot by 11:59PM EDT April 1, 2017. *Asterisks indicate officers who are incumbent and are eligible to run again.

Candidates for Country Committee Chair

David MIVASAIR

I aim for us to transform Democrats Abroad into a progressive organization that actively reaches out to U.S. citizens of all ages and backgrounds to mobilize effective, sustained political engagement during the next two years and beyond.

As a 65-year-old progressive activist, I have served in leadership with social- and political-change organizations for nearly fifty years in the U.S. and abroad.  For more than four decades, my career in non-profit and public service organizations, both governmental and private, has enabled me to develop insight and skills relevant to Democrats Abroad Canada at this critical time.  I was the executive director of the Washington Peace Center (DC) for four years, working with a volunteer board to accomplish strategic planning, effective programming, legislative objectives and ambitious fundraising goals.  I recently retired as the spiritual leader of religious congregations where I engaged, motivated and mobilized people from a wide variety of backgrounds to cooperatively fulfill shared values.  As a published journalist and frequent public speaker, I have highly developed communications skills both in writing and orally.  I am an early adopter of social media and adept at messaging wide audiences.

With Democrats Abroad specifically, I have a long history of active leadership.  In 1980, I was an organizer in the Japan chapter and was elected as an alternate Ted Kennedy delegate to the Democratic National Convention.  In 2008, when the Obama campaign began, I organized voter registration in Vancouver that added approximately 300 previously disengaged US citizens to voter rolls in their own states.  In 2015, as an early and active supporter of the Bernie Sanders campaign, I was invited onto the Vancouver chapter executive committee and initiated a successful campaign to register and mobilize several hundred voters.  Internationally, I am in frequent contact with members of the worldwide Dems Abroad leadership and have clarity about how Dems Abroad can contribute in the coming two years to revitalizing the Democratic Party.

I have lived in Vancouver, BC, since 1995 and vote in Pennsylvania.  I am not the incumbent.

As Chair, I will lead an active board to make Dems Abroad more open and participatory on both the country and international level.  We Americans living abroad have a unique opportunity to influence the Democratic Party to bring about meaningful, progressive changes that are needed at this time.

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Steve NARDI

Why I'm running

Following intense battles in the primary, bruises remain which need to be addressed for Democrats to become a cohesive effective opposition and a party united with the will of the people. Folks are energized to participate unlike any time in recent memory; over the next 2 years we must listen and harness the emotion within each of us collectively to push for the changes needed within DPCA & the DNC.

DA delivers - Rep Maloney(NY 12), Sen Franken(MN), Gov Cooper(NC) and Sen Hassan(NH) were close wins where the margin of victory was delivered by DA votes. Serving as a stronger resource of information for Democrats living in Canada, on laws related to tax filing, FATCA, FBAR, etc., we can motivate the hundreds of thousands of Americans residing here to become engaged.

Who I am

I've lived in Canada for 23 yrs residing in Mississauga, ON with my husband Kevin of 12 yrs, voting from MI. After years of working with and for DACA I'm proud to say I've maintained my lifelong practical commitment to the Democratic Party. I've enjoyed a successful career in the tech industry and am rewarded by 'paying it forward' as a board volunteer for a not-for-profit and my DACA involvement.

What I can contribute

  • 4yrs of roll-up-the-sleeve activity at the national, international and local level - DPCA Voting Rep for past 2 yrs
  • Delivered webinar series addressing IRS tax filing requirements and cross-border estate planning for DACA members
  • Lead Toronto in developing greater community outreach
  • Speaking with DACA members I understand how many feel disconnected from what's happening "back home" and have a plan to engage them to vote
  • In my tech executive positions I've led with a cooperative business model, successfully utilizing my skills managing disparate personalities with competing interests across Canada & the US, to become a cohesive team delivering results
  • Extensive experience in multiple board roles in not-for-profit sector; currently board chair for a hospice serving Toronto

We must take steps to create a sense of community throughout DACA, deliver results in 2018 and lay the foundation for 2020. From my experiences with the not-for-profit and corporate sector I believe I would be best suited to coalesce people to prepare DACA for the challenges ahead while increasing the value to our members.

I thank you for your consideration and would be humbled by your support.

Follow me: www.facebook.com/dems4nardi Twitter: @dems4nardi

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Candidates for Executive Vice-Chair

Heidi BURCH

Dear DA Canada Members,

I am running for the position of Executive Vice-chair.  I have been active in DA Canada since 2012 and currently I am serving as Vice-chair of DA Canada (1 of 2) and the Director of Volunteers as well as a Member-at-Large for the DA Victoria (BC) Chapter.  In 2016, I was co-Chair of the DA International Get Out The Vote Campaign and I will continue to work on the International GOTV campaign for the 2017 Elections.

As a life-long fervent Democrat, I've focused my work with DA to Get Out The Vote! To that end, I have: 

1.  Recruited and directed volunteer efforts for over 200 phonebanking volunteers across Canada for phonebanking campaigns in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

2.  Worked with other DA Canada volunteers to implement Canada-wide calling of swing state voters.  Our first campaign in 2012 reached over 2,000 voters. Successful phonebanking campaigns followed for US Senate races in 2013 and 2014. 

3.  Helped implement and introduce the new CallHub phonebanking campaign tool, whereby over 150 DA Canada volunteers contacted 10,000 swing state voters across Canada, an 800% increase in calls over 2012.  The GOTV 2016 national campaign showed a 300% increase over the 2012 campaign with 20,000 Canadian members using votefromabroad.org to register and request an absentee ballot

4.  Worked closely with DA volunteers in Central and South America to implement phonebanking campaigns in their countries for the 2016 Election.  This was part of the DA International GOTV world-wide phonebanking effort that resulted in over 120,000 contacts to US voters living abroad.

5.  Provided direct support to US voters in Canada and around the world who were experiencing problems with registering to vote or receiving their ballots.

On the Chapter level, I've been involved in all aspects of running the DA Victoria Chapter, including organizing local Tax/FBAR/FATCA Seminars, the Super Saturday GOTV campaigns, Debate Watching Parties, Election Night Celebrations and an Inauguration Breakfast Event.

I've been keenly interested in politics - and a Democratic supporter - since my childhood in Washington DC.  I lived in California for 20 years, where I practiced law  before moving to Victoria BC 14 years ago and becoming a dual US/Canadian citizen.  I've been privileged to work with DA to help other US citizens living abroad exercise their right to vote.

Thank you, Heidi Burch

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Maureen HARWOOD

My Fellow Democrats,

 I am standing for Executive Vice-Chair of Democrats Abroad Canada. I have actively served the Party for nine years, both locally and internationally. I am a founding member of the Vancouver Board, and served as Chair for five years, covering two national election cycles. The Vancouver chapter is currently larger than most DA country committees. Internationally, I served four years on the FATCA Task Force, and submitted DPCA Resolutions that established new task forces for both Residence-Based Taxation and The Commission on Overseas Americans (which I chair). DPCA (International) has used my Position papers as a basis for Congressional petitions, bringing attention to the unique issues we face as Americans living overseas, such as double taxation.  We are effectively a Constituency of 8.7 million, which cause I am deeply committed to serving.

Since the November election, our focus and priorities have shifted profoundly. Democrats Abroad has a clear and crucial role to play in the Resistance against right-wing extremism and authoritarian despotism. As the world's largest organization of overseas Americans, DA is positioned to bring in the votes that will turn the tide in 2018 and 2020. To do this, we must exponentially expand our database by reaching out to all Americans in Canada. It is that simple - and it will take much collective hard work. To accomplish this goal, I envision a five-pillar team effort to:

• Make effective use of data mining and social/traditional media outreach strategies;
• Provide important opportunities for activist engagement;
• Establish a student board to liaise with campuses nation-wide;
• Maintain our growing database with sound Information Management expertise;
• Develop expert fundraising strategies to support these efforts.

This is an ambitious, long-term undertaking which will depend on many people with strong dedication and a variety of expertise stepping forward. The Democratic Party must now be united behind a common goal.  Clearly the collective will to act decisively is evident. I receive daily emails from Americans wanting to stand in solidarity with Democrats Abroad as we take back our country. We can do this.  As President Obama has said: THE TIME IS NOW.  

I look forward to working with you all.

Respectfully submitted,
Maureen Harwood - Vancouver, BC (Chicago voter)
https://www.facebook.com/Maureen-Harwood-DA-Canada-2017-19-480238405699092/

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Candidates for Vice-Chair

Gena BRUMITT

I'm honored to be nominated for Vice Chair (not incumbent). I'm originally from Olney, MD. My voting district is Great Falls, VA (Fairfax County). A permanent resident, I married a Canadian and immigrated to Canada in 1991. My 22-y.o., dual-citizen daughter has voted in TWO Presidential elections/Democratic Primaries.

I live in London, Ontario, and have been DACA London & Area Chapter Chair for 10 years. My former Co-Chair, Ed Goehring, has given a statement of support that you can read on my Candidacy BIO, link below!

I'm self-employed (Brumitt Management & PR Group), and I primarily manage leased federal and provincial office buildings: OPP detachments, courthouses, jails, psychiatric hospitals, and ministry offices.

A former freelance writer/editor, I've written press releases/done media outreach, substantially increasing London chapter numbers and promoting DACA in Windsor. I've hosted successful Primary voting centers/debate-watch events since 2007, and help Democrats VOTE.
http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/05/04/19718131.html

I engage with every American I meet, especially millennials, and Canadians who may know Americans, to maximize VOTING. ALL citizens should be involved in these vital decisions. As a Canadian resident, I'm an active community leader.

A public speaker, I am a Founding Member/Past VP of international non-profit DEBRA International. In 2005-2006, I led an email/letter/phone lobbying campaign to pass legislation (SRES180/HRES335) in the US. I've met Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill, and spoken before Congress.

I participated in the Women's March on Washington, and the Day of Action & Solidarity in Toronto. http://www.thelondoner.ca/2017/01/23/london-woman-joins-womens-march-in-washington

Democrats Abroad is a VERY high priority for me. Today, I am more deeply concerned for America than ever. I am actively engaged in work to create a better world for Americans and Canadians. My experiences and skills, and my commitment, are what makes me a great candidate!

DA and DNC are at a critical juncture. We must be a unifying, intersectional leader to transform America into a country where human rights are THE highest priority.

Please visit my Candidacy BIO link for more information about me, and why I'm running for DACA EVC or VC in 2017!  Thank you so much for your vote!

Candidacy BIO:
https://www.facebook.com/GenaforDACA/
Twitter: @genabrumitt

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Bodil GEYER

I am thrilled to submit my nomination for Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad Canada (DACA). I affirm I have the unique combination of business and non-profit leadership expertise, as well as community and political volunteer qualifications, to succeed in this dynamic role. I have a lifelong commitment to progressive values and have been politically active since youth. In 2016, as Acting Events Manager for the large and diverse DA Vancouver chapter, I led the organization of many successful events including voter registration, membership drives and debate and election-watch evenings—the latter breaking all prior attendance records with a turnout of 1,600+ people and full press and TV coverage.  I then went on to organize the Women’s March in Vancouver garnering nearly 20,000 participants. Today, I am one of five women serving on the National Board for future Women’s Marches and will be coordinating with DA to engage members nationwide for the April Scientists’ March and other events.

As validation of my leadership capabilities, professionally, I am the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Swim Recruiting, a highly profitable firm that has grown to employ 25 full-time staff since 2007. In addition, during my tenure as Chair of ACSESS, The Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services from 2011 to 2013, I received a Special Achievement Award for Volunteer Service.

In my personal life, I am a second-generation American raised in Canada. I am a mother to an 11-year old daughter and a wife to a supportive husband, a writer who lives with Muscular Dystrophy. My extended family is divided between Vancouver and Toronto and I have strong connections with both DA chapters.

My vision for progressive, unifying and collaborative leadership: I truly believe we have a significant opportunity to increase membership and voter registration and positively affect the outcome of U.S. elections. As my contribution to the DACA outreach strategy, I envision energizing a Student Board and expanding social and mainstream media coverage, similar to my DAV election work. I would also conduct membership demographic analytics and draw from this data to target our GOTV voter registration and phone-banking campaigns—all in an effort to reach more voters and help the Democratic Party win in key battleground areas in 2018.

In summary, I look forward to serving the National Board and hope you will favor me with your support.

Voting district is San Diego
Born in Sweden

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Duncan MARTIN

I am running for Vice Chair and DPCA voting representative of Democrats Abroad Canada (non-incumbent).  As a lifelong Democratic voter and activist in Vermont, where I vote, and now in Vancouver, I see the party at a crossroads, and I believe that the best way forward will be one in which the party embraces inclusiveness in its platform and policies.

2016 was a loud wake-up call that stressed the need to ensure that the Democratic Party - the party of workers' rights, public health, civil rights, women's rights, public works, and environmental protection - continue to be governed by those values as new voters come of age and develop their own fresh impressions of the political parties on their ballot.

Canada's ties to the US are many, with students, business owners, expats, war resistors, and many others with a stake in the outcomes of US elections. It should be the role of DACA to engage these voters, not only in election years, but regularly, as we push bask against the ruthless corporate takeover and/or gutting of our institutions that has been going on for decades, and has now entered an even more frightening chapter.

In 2008, I was a canvass organizer and volunteer coordinator in NH and CO with Work For Progress, a group of non-profits working to elect strong progressive (all Democratic) candidates in swing states. Since 2014, with the Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-op, I promote and coordinate the installation of renewable energy systems from Vancouver to Nunavut. I own a small business in the local food sector, and have facilitated workshops ranging from regional water access and planning to small scale agriculture in urban areas. 

With Democrats Abroad Canada, I aim to work for greater voter engagement throughout my term. In the last election, a common grievance on both sides was that ordinary citizens did not feel heard. A Democratic Party that stands up for its core values will be able to counter the current President's agenda.  It is critical that we offer up a party and platform not only worthy of votes, but one that elicits a groundswell of volunteers come 2018 and 2020. I would be honoured to bring my passion to Democrats Abroad and ask for your vote in the DACA election. Find me at  www.facebook.com/DuncanMartinForDACA

Thank you,
Duncan Martin

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Christine ODUNLAMI

I was born in Hyattsville, Maryland and began my tenure with the Democratic Party as soon as I came of age, casting my first official vote in the 2012 Presidential Election series. I am a registered voter of Prince George's County and regularly take part in gubernatorial voting cycles.

Since 2007 I have resided in the Greater Toronto Area. I hold a BA in English literature and Anthropology from the University of Toronto and currently study Human Resources Management at Seneca College(Newnham). I have experience working on pro-bono projects with labour unions, higher education committees and leadership panels.

My earliest contributions to the Democratic party involved phone banking and canvassing for former President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign.  More recently, I volunteered for Bernie Sanders' campaign, contributing to social media moderation, forum chats and Millennial outreach efforts.   Bernie's bold progressive agenda continues to resonate with millions of American citizens, both in the continental U.S. and abroad. It is this very agenda of true and unapologetic progressivism that has inspired an upsurge in political awareness, particularly for youth and minorities.

Outside of politics, I bring to the DAC leadership experience and a growing, grassroots Millennial perspective. I am an acting researcher with the HRPA on a project to ascertain ways that "Big Unions" (ex. AFL- CIO) can best cooperate and engage Gen Y workers to maintain the growth, needs and integrity of unionized labour in an ever-changing working economy.

I currently do not occupy any positions as an incumbent.

If you'd like to learn more about me and my musings, please check out my Twitter page @christineodun

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Donal THOMS-CAPPELLO

Fellow Democrats,

My name is Donal. I am honored to be running for Vice Chair of the Board of Democrats Abroad Canada.  

I was born and raised in New Jersey. I've lived and worked in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, and now here in Vancouver, as an actor. Currently I am earning my Masters in Writing at the University of British Columbia, where I teach as well.

I am registered out of Los Angeles, where I was active for eight years in local non-profit and political causes. These include:

-Serving as Corresponding Secretary for LA's East Hollywood Neighborhood Council
-Field organizing for the LA Homeless Services Coalition
-Tutoring for Senator Barbara Boxer's  Youth Policy Institute
-Advocating for Los Angeles' non-profit small theaters.
-Co-creating and managing a paid intern program with a local theater and an LA pilot public school.

While serving the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, as part of EmpowerLA, a network of local boards serving under the City Council, I discovered that people on the ground level have more in common than current culture and media may want us to believe. The potential for mass conflict is a reality, but so is the potential for mass consensus.

I learned there to work side-by-side with board members I did not politically align with in the slightest. I learned the value of listening, and how to build trust through the simple act of acknowledging another's voice. I also learned the art of compromise, as well as the value of knowing what you will not compromise. I witnessed the power of showing up and speaking out. While there, I was part of a mass resistance to a realty developer. We were a small community of people who had nothing in common, and we were able to set aside our differences to stave off private interests and keep our neighborhood together.

It is clear at this time our party must keep true to that spirit. We are divided when corporate interests and the 1% need division to continue seizing the mechanisms of representational government. To counter this, in the position of Vice Chair, I will reach out to and organize all Americans abroad here. It will take expanding our tent, and actively engaging members to craft a unified message, and effort, to strengthen Democratic ideals. Now more than ever, we need this. We have no more time to lose.

Thank you for reading and for your consideration. I look forward to telling you more here: www.facebook.com/DonalTCDACA/

Donal Thoms-Cappello

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Ed UNGAR

I wish to be considered for the position of Vice-Chair. It is important that at least one national officer bring institutional memory to the virtual table. My experience goes back to 1972 when I proudly helped McGovern take Massachusetts, D.C and Ottawa. I’ve been privileged to be there as DA Canada has expended from one living room to the cross Canada country committee it is today.

One of my modest ongoing life goals to save the world. So how do you go about achieving that especially if you don’t cut a particularly striking figure in spandex. The answer - keep as many Republicans out of office as possible. To that end I‘ve developed a knack for addressing policy and strategy issues. For instance I authored a DA adopted resolution that would in part addresses the present U.S. government’s foreign accountants’ income and work enhancement program. It’s otherwise known as our income tax & financial holdings reporting obligations. The resolution-all Americans who obviously owe zero dollars in taxes kneed only file a one line tax return.

With Adrienne Jones I helped launch first get out the vote DA phone bank in the world. This past election at I suggested we phone bank the phone bankers to maximize our GOTV participation. Also, I’m the guy who answers calls to our national phone number. Finally, as an officer I would like to set up media training for our likely spokesmen across the nation. I assist with such training professionally.

These are particularly crucial times. We don’t have the luxury of wasting even one general election vote-either mid term or presidential. I have specific suggestions on how to prevent this and I can help as a vice chair. Thank you for your consideration.

Ed Ungar

Toronto
Voting State Pennsylvania (Philadelphia County)
2016 Philadelphia convention delegate (Bernie)

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Candidates for Secretary

Roseanna SHARPE

The position of Recording Secretary for Democrats Abroad Canada, is a position which requires a nominee whom possesses: dedication, time and passion.
 
I am a transplant currently residing in Vancouver, originally from Seattle, Washington. I am a University of Washington graduate, having attained graduated my Bachelors Degree in Sociology. My focus held and emphasis on social problems, social movements, gender inequality and feminist philosophy.
 
Following graduation I worked tirelessly in assisting domestic violence victims in women shelters. I managed and coordinated support groups for youth from low-income families, providing emotional and practical support, conducted life skills classes, and provided resources, which supported the development of better life and social skills.
 
I have over a decades worth of secretarial experience. I have worked as an administrative assistant for global scale companies assisting in all realms of management and secretarial duties. I have also served as an assistant to a non-profit board of directors. I feel that my scale of experiences have prepared me for any and all duties pertaining to this position.
 
While my political involvement has been limited time spent at the polls, my passion for politics has no been absent. Our current election and need for a stronger political movement within our party is the driving force behind my desire to pursue this position. I consider myself progressive liberal and a believer in our parties' ability to strive towards change and to resist when necessary. Issues that I believe in: wealth inequality among women, environmental policy, tax reforms and transparency among our political representatives as well as candidates.  Although I don't have extensive experience in the political arena, I believe just as importantly I have passion, commitment and a willingness to learn. I would be an asset to this board because I possess the qualities of a team player, ability to work with diverse backgrounds, and an open mind. I know my intentions and loyalties will be unparalleled.

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Victoria RAMOS*

 No Candidate Statement. . .

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Candidates for Treasurer

Richard HAVLAK

I'm a 10 year resident of Vancouver, BC, where I live with my wife and run a small business. Several times a year I visit my native Olympia, WA, where I am registered to vote.

I have supported Democratic candidates since before I had the right to vote, and for the last three election cycles have participated in the Democratic primary as well, favoring progressive candidates. My support has included phone banking, door to door engagement, and more. In 2012 I appeared in a Vancouver paper as the Obama supporter with all the American flags. While these are troubling times for our country, I remain proud of my identity as an American and hope to positively impact the trajectory of our country despite continuing to live abroad.

My business background will allow me to make great contributions to the DAV chapter. I wear many hats and am used to getting things done. My company has put on hundreds of workshops and other community-building events, and I have a strong IT and communications background which I would use in support of other DAC programs.

I bring considerable board experience including formal training in board governance. I am entering my fourth year on the Board of Directors of the Strathcona Business Improvement Association (annual budget just under $1M), and my second term as the Vice-Chair of the Board.

My focus if elected treasurer would be to manage our financials in a manner supportive of ongoing member engagement between election cycles. Democrats are not just the party out of power; we're the opposition, and we must step up to hold Congress and the White House in check.

I believe I can be useful and so I ask you for the opportunity to serve.

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Lissette WRIGHT*

I'm a New Yorker living in ON, Canada. I'm a bilingual (English/Spanish) accounting & finance professional with an understanding of cross-cultural & international communication. Upon relocating to ON in 2012, I've been working as Treasurer/Bookkeeper for Digital Halide Inc., an IT professional services & digital photography company. Previously, I worked for over a decade at International Planned Parenthood Federation/WHR in New York City. I began my accounting & finance career at IPPF/WHR as fund coordinator for the Endowment Fund for Sustainability, later promoted to grants officer in Programs, and then became manager of budgeting & grants management in Finance.

In 2016, I was appointed Treasurer by the Democrats Abroad Canada (DAC) Board. Later, I was appointed Vice-Chair of the DAC Chapter-National Capital Region (NCR). Over and above my treasury duties, I've been an active Board member seating in the Fundraising Committee, chairing the Membership Verification Committee and serving as one of the organizers of the DAC Ontario Delegation of the Women's March on Washington in Jan 2017. Post-March earned media: www.citynews.ca/video/2017/01/22/video-canadian-demonstrators-from-womens-march-on-washington-return/  

At the chapter level, I helped organize the DAC Delegation to welcome President Barack Obama on his last official visit to Ottawa. I coordinated the DAC Toronto & NCR Chapters' effort to honour & remember #OrlandoPulse at #OttawaCapitalPride, organized GOTV, debates & election night events, and also phone-banked. At the DA Global Convention, I voted for the DA Americas Sanders Delegate. Currently, I've enlisted in the DA's Civic Action & Rapid Response Team in charge of DA action on political issues of the day at a global level.

I'm a strong believer in HumanRights & AffordableHousing to end the cycle of poverty for low-income working families. Since 2012 I've served as Family Partner & Treasurer on the Steering Committee of the Habitat for Humanity Chapter in Carleton Place, ON, am dedicated to community engagement, and helping families build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.

Before becoming an active member of DA Canada, I volunteered for Organizing for Action-Obama-Biden 2012, and for the Presidential Inaugural Committee | Second Inauguration of President Obama & Vice-President Biden.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve & take civic action together!
www.cp24.com/video?clipId=1040509
@WrightLissette

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Candidates for Membership Secretary

Rebecca BURNS

I currently reside in New Westminster, BC, but am from Charlotte, NC and am an active voter there. My involvement in politics began in 2006 when a Democratic candidate ran against the long-standing Republican representative in NC's 9th congressional district. Though we lost, this grassroots campaign inspired me to participate more fully in the democratic process, and in 2008 I volunteered in Barack Obama's Charlotte campaign office, registering hundreds of voters and helping to turn the state "blue" for the first time since 1976. After moving to Canada in 2013 I felt disconnected from political happenings at home, but became inspired by Bernie Sanders' progressive agenda in 2016, and volunteered for his campaign alongside other Americans living in BC. It was through this work that I first became aware of Democrats Abroad.

I believe that the Democratic Party is at a critical juncture and must pursue a progressive platform to address the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change, social justice and equity, access to healthcare, public education, and sustaining jobs. As a party we need to reach out across the US, particularly to rural communities and those hardest hit by neoliberal policies, to build understanding. In 2016 we saw a surge in young adults' participation in the political process and the Democratic Party must capitalize on that enthusiasm to do this work. As one of those young adults, I look forward to joining the DACA board to engage Americans living in Canada in DA, and increase voter participation in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

My professional background is in environmental science, where I worked on ecosystem restoration programs across the US. Upon moving to Canada I decided to pursue a new career path and am in my last term of nursing school at UBC. My environmental career allowed me to develop strong organizational and documentation skills, along with data entry and management experience, which I will bring into the role of Membership Secretary. Now as an aspiring nurse I fully appreciate the importance of data confidentiality, and will use best practices to maintain the safety of DA members' information. Through these two career paths I also bring knowledge and passion to two key areas of the Democratic Party platform: environmental protection and equitable access to healthcare.

To learn more about me, see my Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.burns.5264

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Candidates for IT Manager

Krystal THOMSON

No Candidate Statement. . .

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Candidates for Counsel

Danielle STAMPLEY

I'd like to serve as Counsel on the DA Canada Board because I believe I can help our chapter play an important part in focusing the Party on economic equality, social progress, and civic engagement.

I am a lawyer at Kastner Law in Toronto, ON. I primarily act for employees and unions in civil and human rights litigation. My focus is seeking justice in one of the most fundamental aspects of my clients' lives-their work. More often than not, my clients are at a disadvantage, both in terms of bargaining power and information, when it comes to advocating for their interests in the workplace. Leveling the playing field is very important to me as a lawyer and a citizen.

I attended law school at American University. After graduating I served as a law clerk to Judge Barbera of the Maryland Court of Appeals, assisting her in her work on that state's highest court.

After my clerkship, I joined a firm in New York, NY as a litigation associate. In that role I advised banks and corporations in a variety of matters. In 2012, I joined a plaintiff-side firm in NY, representing pension funds and unions in securities fraud class actions.

Working in so many contexts has taught me hard work, organization, and, above all, persistence. These are the experiences and skills I would like to contribute to the DA Canada.

My political involvement started at a young age. As a child, I helped my mom with her local school board campaigns, and I was involved in student government at many levels. Most recently, I volunteered for the Hillary campaign, going door to door to get out the vote in Milwaukee, and answering phone calls with a team of lawyers on election day. Voter ID laws and protecting everyone's right to vote are of particular concern to me, and we have to engage with our home state chapters on these issues.

I am deeply concerned about the outcome of the last election. In Missouri (my home state), I have seen the political division in our country and the challenges so many Americans are desperate to overcome. As a lawyer, I am acutely aware of a growing threat to the rule of law and our Constitution, which we must resist. I believe rebuilding the Party's community connections is key to this effort.

As Counsel, I would like to help DA Canada be part of the progressive force that has erupted in the U.S., and to help leverage our resources to rejuvenate the Party so we can not only resist, but also move forward--advancing social and economic justice for all.

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Candidates for Members-at-Large

Susan ALKSNIS

With your vote, I will be a new addition to the DAC Board, and will work hard to bring DAC to a new level of activity leading into the 2018 midterm elections.   A DAC member since 2008, I have organized voter registration, debate watches, and media events for Oakville and Mississauga. Leading up to 2016, I was an early Bernie supporter and voted for Hillary in November.

I believe in an economy that is fair to the middle and working class, protects the planet, and provides healthcare for everyone.   I also believe in funding progressive changes through bold tax reform so the wealthy pay their fair share.

As a DAC Board member I would propose and support several high impact initiatives.  We must reach out to U.S. voters age 18-35, through social media and/or establishing university chapters. McGill alone has over 2,000 U.S. students. This will likely involve collaborating with other progressive groups both online and through events.

I will encourage group canvassing trips to swing states where I have contacts. We can also explore how expat testimonials can support campaigns with our inspiring stories about living with universal healthcare, multiculturalism, lower college tuitions, reasonable policies for Bay Street, and less big money influence on politics. 

For over 20 years, I have worked as a fundraiser, developing experience in communications, media relations, direct marketing, volunteer management, gift solicitation, strategic planning, organizational development, and events. I am comfortable on TV and radio.

With training in diversity, inclusion, conflict resolution, management, anti-racism and anti-oppression, I was a strategist, spokesperson and canvasser in a highly contentious local community advocacy effort for an underserved and socio-economically diverse neighborhood.

I vote in Connecticut, along with my young adult children.  A resident of Oakville, Ontario, I grew up in rural Massachusetts and have family with independent orchards.  We live simply and enjoy camping, visiting family, playing music, debating current issues, and attending protests.

You can learn more and contact me at ska4dac.weebly.com

I hope I can count on your vote, and I commit to work very hard to get out the vote from Canada.

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Kyla BEHAR

No Candidate Statement. . .

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Richard FEIDEN

No Candidate Statement. . .

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Adele DOBKOWSKI

I am seeking the position of Member-at-Large on the Democrats Abroad Canada Board of Directors.  Contributing my professional capabilities as a new member of the Board would be an honor and a way I could work towards a positive future for the Democratic Party.

In many ways, I've lived the American dream. My family and I came to the US as refugees when I was four. Raised in that quintessential melting pot, New York City, I went on to Chicago for my undergraduate education.  With further post-graduate work, I've been able to build a strong professional career.  I moved to Canada as an adult, and became a citizen in 1999. Yet I still care deeply about America, and want the choices and opportunities I've had to be available to others. I currently live in Waterloo, Ontario and continue to vote in NYC.

Our diverse world has always inspired me.  I returned last year from a second term of service with the Peace Corps.  It was a wonderful counterpoint to much earlier two year Peace Corps service as a teacher in the Philippines.  Then, at the start of my adult life, I was the one who learned the most, while my recent six-month assignment allowed me to share well-honed skills as an organizational consultant with Guyanese NGOs working to eradicate HIV/AIDS.  The opportunity to see how much others depend on the US was rich and rewarding. Our globe is more inextricably linked than ever before, and it is an illusion that we can retreat to an isolationist stance.

My professional career has focused on the nonprofit sector, both as a senior executive and a management consultant.  Strategically focused, I am drawn to startup and change, and have built and renewed several organizations. Government relations, business planning and communications are some of the capabilities I bring to the table. I've regularly consulted on strategic planning and governance.

My immigrant background, along with my education, work and volunteer experiences, have crystallized my desire to do more to ensure the freedoms that we in North America enjoy. Today's political landscape, where so much seems imperiled, adds a sense of urgency to this commitment.
I feel very fortunate to be at a time in my life when I can reduce my consulting practice to increase my volunteer involvement in organizations where I can make a difference. I hope you will endorse my candidacy through your vote!

To learn more about me, please visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/adele.dobkowski

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Rose HAMILTON

I  am a lifelong Democrat, campaigning at age 10 on John Kerry's first state campaign! I've helped GOTV in six countries & lobby for ex-pats.

My background includes media relations and strategies; strategic planning & management; human rights paralegal and refugee rights; negotiating & conflict resolution; event planning & management.
I've lived abroad since 1983 and still vote from MA. Living in Vancouver, BC since '09. I served on the DA Denmark (DADK) board through the amazing 2008 election cycle. 

My experience from DADK includes:

1. Organizing for First Global Primary polling station in Copenhagen.  This included managing coverage with major media outlets. 
2. Delegate to the EMEA regional caucus in 2008, and represented Denmark at the International DA meeting in Istanbul in 2008.
3. Organizing for the 2008 Election Night coverage at Politiken, the largest Danish newspaper.
4. Organizing the 2009 Inaugural Party, also at Politiken.
5. Voter registration drives, and general media relations.

EX-PATS ARE A FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH: WE CHANGE ELECTION RESULTS.

As a new DA Canada board member-at-large I will be devoted to raising the effective impact of ex-pat voters. No fancy website, so here's the drill:

I call it "Think Local - Act Global!"

1. Co-create a strategy and action plan for DA members, to give coordinated support to the persistence movement in the US. This would include strategies for including Republican representatives both as pressure targets and, where possible, strategic allies.
2. Collaborate with other country chapters to improve & replicate such a strategy.
3. Ensure that DA has a higher profile in the DNC and the various movements and organizations now in action. Many ex-pats still don't know about DA. We can change that.
4. Develop training and networking along the "Indivisible" or other suitable model(s) to help ex-pats work effectively and partner with stateside initiators.  This includes being much more aware of - and responsive to - bills before the House, as well as state legislatures.
5. Improve the DA outreach to members in regards to actions and initiatives - more pro-active.
6. Ensure that state and federal voting laws do not present (increased) barriers to overseas and absentee voters.  This could become an issue very soon, as absentee voters tend to vote Democrat. 

We can no longer take anything for granted. Let's get to work together. We have our democracy to save!

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Allenna LEONARD*

I am a Maryland voter and a constituent of Congressman Cummings. I live in Toronto, Ontario and am currently serving as a voting member of DA Canada.

I have been active in Democrats Abroad Canada since we were burdened with the George W. Bush presidency as a Board member and treasurer during the first Obama election.  I was elected as Vice-Chair when Ken Sherman succeeded Adrienne Jones as Chair and succeeded him as Chair when he became International Chair. Since then I've served as Vice-Chair and as a voting member, traveling for DA International meetings in Europe, Asia and the Americas.  I am also currently a member of the Board of DA Toronto. 

An important priority needs to be reaching out to Americans living here in Canada to let them know that they can still vote in federal and sometimes state elections and that the obligations they have to file tax returns come with the right to participate by voting and by making their views known to their representatives.

Getting Democrats elected, answering questions and providing a sounding board for Americans living in Canada and educating our members of Congress about issues that have an impact on Americans living abroad are the primary areas where we need to work.  Seminars presented nationally on WebEx have been and should continue to be an information resource about taxes, citizenship questions and other areas which are of concern.  In addition, we need to strengthen chapters so that they can serve as local outreach, social connection and information for our members.

We have in the past and can in the future make the difference in the election of Senators and members of Congress. 2018 will be an important election and a chance to mobilize voters to end the current majorities of the opposition party in our legislature.

I welcome your support to serve as a Member-at-Large.

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Colleen MCGOFF DEAN

 No Candidate Statement. . .

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Annie PARRY

Now, more than ever, The security and democracy of our United States of America and the health of the planet are threatened by conservative self-interests, and I am committed to do more than write letters and participate in marches.

Even before I took the oath of US citizenship in Dec. 2008, I was active in the Santa Barbara County local democratic and presidential campaigns. I married a US citizen almost 30 years ago  and  have lived over half of those years in the States - 3 plus years in Colorado and 12 plus years in California. Born and raised in Toronto, I know it is possible for a nation to be strong and free - where a market-oriented economy thrives BECAUSE of government regulation and a social safety net.
I believe that Americans deserve the same sort of rights and privileges as exist in Canada i.e.
a free and democratic society where marriage equality legislation, single payer health care and affordable higher education. As an active and vocal Democrat in California, I volunteered many hours towards President Obama's election wins and now, back in Toronto, I want to continue to contribute to the strength of the Democratic Party, the American people, and to policies that build a stronger and safer America.
N.B. In addition to being an nurse with graduate degrees in the Humanities (MA PhD), I have training and experience in conflict resolution and Board Diversity.

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Alexandra RAMBUSCH

After attending the Women's March on Washington I remained in Virginia for several days visiting my cousin. We read the handbook developed by former progressive Congressional staffers, "Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda", and strategized about the specific next steps we could take now and through the mid-term elections to take back control of the Congress.  Shifting power in Congress will occur at the local advocacy level - nothing quite clarifies the mind of an elected official as the likelihood of not being elected/re-elected.

I have put my name on the ballot for Member-at-Large because I want to bring ideas on how to participate meaningfully in local advocacy efforts from Canada to Democrats Abroad Canada. We are members of constituencies from all over the U.S. and can become part of meaningful and ongoing local advocacy efforts nationwide. By working with local groups we multiply the effect of our individual efforts, and enable them to best use their "on the ground" resources.

Interested Democrats Abroad Canada members will become involved in a coordinated national effort. We will identify and connect with new and emerging state and county groups, and develop a menu of support that could be provided to them by members. The dialogue with these groups will elicit and refine the needs that could be met by their fellow citizens living abroad.   Interested members will be matched with groups from the constituencies they vote in, so they have a local connection with the group for whom they are providing support. 

I bring to this organizing and advocacy effort experience dealing with complex projects for a wide range of constituencies in the US and Canada. I have participated in analyzing and implementing organizational change and have developed programs for training and professional development in businesses, academic settings and arts organizations. I have also produced and directed theatrical productions, and managed office renovations and multiple media services facilities.

I vote in New York State, Ulster County's 19th Congressional district, and live in Toronto, Ontario.  I am a first time candidate for the Board.

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Heather ROSS

Like many of you, the U.S. election this fall left me frustrated, fearful, and with a deep desire to work toward protecting the legacy of President Obama. I envision a country that strives to have a more equal, more just society. The U.S. can be a world leader in promoting environmental policies that protect the planet and can establish sound foreign policy built around partnerships with democracies around the world. With these goals in mind, I volunteered to be the Chapter Chair for the Saskatchewan Democrats Abroad Canada and have been working hard to revitalize this passionate group of people. I have called my representatives to express my concern about a variety of issues, including some recent cabinet nominations. Locally, I have taken part in the Women's March and the vigil in solidarity with the Muslim community, both here in Saskatoon.

I aspire to do more and know that the opportunity to be on the board of Democrats Abroad is a role I will take on with enthusiasm. I have an excellent grasp of the issues facing Canadians living abroad including ex-pat taxation and maximizing the likelihood that your voice is heard and taken seriously by U.S. policy makers. I recognize that Democrats must focus on retaking the state legislatures in order to address the gerrymandering that has taken place and to stop the GOP from imposing voting restrictions aimed at reducing voter turnout among African-American, Hispanic, and other minority voters. Thank you very much for considering me for this position.

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George SPIEGELMAN

I was born in St. Louis Missouri.  I am a registered to vote in Seattle Washington.  My family and I moved to British Columbia in 1978 when I was offered a faculty position at the University of British Columbia.  I retired from the University in 2011 and am currently a Professor Emeritus.  My wife and I live in Vancouver BC.  I hold a B.Sc. degree from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.  

At the University of British Columbia, I directed my own laboratory that graduated many M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and was awarded a large number of research grants.  I also served as Acting Head of my Department, Director of three interdepartmental academic programs, and chair or member of over 40 university committees for the University Provost, Dean of the Faculty of Science, or my department.

My involvement with the Democratic Party extends from the time I was in high school when I volunteered during the campaign of John F. Kennedy.  I have been involved in most of the presidential campaigns since then to some degree including working for Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama.  

Outside the university I was an active member and National Vice President of Science for Peace, a Canadian organization that continues to work for a just, sustainable and peaceful world.  I have also been involved in many political campaigns in Canada at the Federal, provincial and municipal levels.

During the most recent presidential campaign, I was heavily involved in Bernie Sanders' campaign for the nomination, including spending some time at the national office in Burlington and then being on one of the support teams that helped volunteers who were hosting phone banks.

I am motivated to seek a position in the DPAC as a means to influence the direction of the Democratic Party as a whole.  As a passionate supporter of Bernie Sanders and the platform he voiced during the primaries, I think the Democratic Party is in dire need of change.  If it is to thrive, the Party cannot serve, or be seen as if it serves, the small segment of the US who have benefited from the policies of the last quarter century.  The party needs to bold as well as progressive.  Democrats Abroad provides one avenue to contribute to reorienting the Democratic Party.  

I look forward to serving Democrats Abroad Canada as a Member at Large

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Mitch STROHMINGER

CANDIDATE STATEMENT:
I am a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen and would like to help promote outreach to other dual citizens in Canada: the fight against what Trump stands for (intolerance, bigotry, chauvinism, etc.) affects not just those US citizens who reside in Canada, but also all Canadians. As a dual national, I would help encourage others to write and contact not only their US representatives, but also reach out to their local MPs and other Canadian political leaders, urging them to not "normalize" Trump.

In terms of qualifications, I am an analyst and part of my daily work is tracking government policies and how these could effect macro-economic performance. I also closely follow geopolitics. I have used this knowledge to help craft letters to US and Canadian political leaders, writing why I think its important to take the Trump threat to democracy seriously.

In terms of other skills, I speak French which helps in Quebec, in case we need to do local outreach here. Given my economic/analyst background I am also great at building graphs and tables if we need these for presentations.

In a previous capacity, I worked on a UN Financing for Development initiative where we built a customer care platform for an economic development agency. While I did not build the site, I did help user-test it and could work with the IT board member to test new web designs.

VOTING/HOME STATE: Maryland
CURRENT CITY/PROVINCE: Montreal, Quebec

INCUMBENT: No
ON-LINE PROFILES:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mitchstrohminger/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/mitch.strohminger

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Jeffrey SUGARMAN

No Candidate Statement. . .

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Scott TAVIS

Please consider me for a role in your organization as I believe it represents hope and possibility for so many in Canada and around the world. Canada is a unique and very special place and I have worked over the last 20 years to translate that uniqueness into strategies for American companies. My belief is that "good people" can win and that is what I spend my days helping CEOs and others see, believe and act on. I include a partial list of companies I have worked with to achieve a more humane and collaborative approach to winning in business and I firmly believe my skill set and experience will greatly assist in the efforts of Democrats Abroad going forward in these tumultuous times.

Bio
My passion is strategic facilitation and coaching. I work with CEOs and executive teams to optimize strategic planning processes focused on brand differentiation and growth. I specifically focus on identification, alignment and execution of bold, initiatives. I have owned and operated business consulting practices both in the US and Canada, supporting technological and management systems for fortune 500 companies and public sector organizations for the last 28 years. His experience in designing strategic solutions has translated into a unique repository of proven methodologies for enhancing both culture and strategy at the senior executive level in global organizations.

Partial Client List:
President & Senior Team - Campbell's Canada
President & Senior Team - Medtronic Canada
President & Senior Team - Mars Canada
President & Senior Team - Mars US
President & Senior Team - Teva Canada
President & Senior Team - Coke Canada
President & Senior Team - Sodexo Canada
President & Senior Team - Clearnet Canada (Now part of Bell Canada)
President & Senior Team - Canadian Cancer Society
President & Senior Team - Longos
President & Senior Team -  Canadian Business College
President & Senior Team - Save the Children Canada
President - Korn Ferry Canada
Chief Operating Officer - Toronto Transit Commission
GM &Senior Team - Wheeltrans Toronto Transit Commission

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Democrats Abroad Canada - Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

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