News

Webinar: Investment Tips & Traps for Americans Living in Canada

Democrats Abroad Canada extends an invitation to join us for the next webinar in our information series

INVESTMENT TIPS & TRAPS FOR
AMERICANS LIVING IN CANADA

THURSDAY, NOV. 8, 2017

9:00PM AST / 8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST

Presented by

BDO Canada LLP
and
Perreira Hurly Wealth Advisory of Raymond James Ltd

This webinar will provide insight on investment management, retirement planning and cross border tax considerations for Americans living in Canada. We will outline various investment and retirement accounts available on both sides of the border and will also provide insight on the regulatory issues and alternatives available. We will address the Canadian and U.S. tax implications of these investment accounts & retirement plans and provide some tax planning strategies to help minimize the tax burden.

This is a free online webinar and advance registration is required.

WHEN
Thursday, Nov. 8th
9:00pm AST/8:00pm EST/5:00pm PST

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE SPACE


Note that webinars are presented on the WebEx platform. To avoid frustrations, you need to be aware that:

· WebEx will not function on Mac OS X 10.6 which would affect this and any earlier version of the OS. You should be okay on any newer version than 10.6.

· WebEx does not function properly with Microsoft Edge


Leading this session from BDO Canada LLP is Romana Fabicka, Senior Manager, U.S. Personal Tax and Manisha Deora, Manager, U.S. Personal Tax. And from Perreira Hurly Wealth Advisory are Elizabeth Hurly, and Bernardine Perreira, Financial Advisors.

BDO Canada is a leading provider of professional services to clients of all sizes in virtually all business sectors.

Perreira Hurly Wealth Advisory of Raymond James Ltd., is a broadly-resourced, boutique-style financial services company serving select clients in Canada and the U.S.

If you wish to attend this webinar you must complete the registration form to receive the access instructions. If you're unable to attend but wish to receive the audio recording and presentation slides afterwards, be sure to register.

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE

We hope you’ll join us for this very informative session!

Democratically yours,

Steve Nardi
Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada


Webinar: Operating a Corporation as a U.S. Citizen in Canada Oct. 22nd

Democrats Abroad Canada is pleased to offer the following webinar

Operating a Corporation
as a U.S. Citizen in Canada

Sunday, October 22, 2017
4:00pm ADT / 3:00pm EDT / 12:00pm PDT

US citizens living in Canada are subject to two tax systems: Canada and the United States. In the eyes of the US tax system, all activities conducted outside of the United States are “foreign” and therefore subject some of the most complex and expensive provisions of the US tax code. This is especially true of those who run a business through a corporation. The US tax rules that apply to those who own Canadian corporations are the same as the rules that apply to large multinationals such as Apple and Walmart.

This webinar will address the US tax consequences to US citizens in Canada who:

· Are incorporated professionals (doctor, dentist, lawyer, consultant etc.);

· Run a business

· Use a corporation to invest in stock or securities

· Use a corporation or a family trust to split income with a spouse or kids;

A survey of some common Canadian corporate tax planning techniques and whether they work in the United States will also be addressed.

When
Sunday, October 22, 2017
4:00PM ADT / 3:00PM EDT/ 12:00PM PDT
Duration: 90 minutes

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE SPACE


These is an online webinar and advance registration is required. Democrats Abroad Canada is entirely run by volunteers and we request a $10 donation to cover the costs of the webinar plus our nationwide Get Out The Vote efforts.

Note that webinars are presented on the WebEx platform. To avoid frustrations you need to be aware that:

· WebEx will not function on Mac OS X 10.6 as of July 14, 2015 which would affect this and any earlier version of the OS.

· WebEx does not function properly with Microsoft Edge


Leading the session is Max Reed with SKL Tax. SKL Tax is a law and accounting firm that has been serving US citizens in Canada for over 40 years. SKL's team of accountants and lawyers provides a range of cross-border tax services including yearly tax compliance, general tax planning, estate planning and administration, FATCA compliance, and tax services for owner-managers. To read more about the presenter please click here.

If you wish to attend this webinar you must complete the registration form to receive the access instructions.

                                                                                                                     CLICK HERE TO RESERVE 


2 Webinars ~ Estate Planning for US Citizens in Canada & Canada Immigration Options for US Citizens

Democrats Abroad Canada is pleased to announce two webinars, one on a topic which has proven to be in great demand from members, and the other presenting a new topic

Estate Planning for U.S. Citizens Living in Canada

Sunday, September 17, 2017
3:00-4:30 PM Eastern
12:00-1:30 PM Pacific
Presented by SKL Tax

And

Going North – Canadian Immigration Options for US Citizens

Monday, September 18, 2017
8:00-9:30 PM Eastern
5:00-6:30 PM Pacific
Presented by BDO Canada LLP

Estate Planning for U.S. Citizens Living in Canada
Sunday, September 17, 2017
3:00-4:30 PM Eastern
12:00-1:30 PM Pacific

This webinar, presented by Max Reed of SKL Tax, outlines the basics of estate planning for US citizens who live in Canada. Topics include:

• What is estate planning and why it matters
• The estate planning basics
• The basics of US estate tax
• Canadian income tax at death
• Selling your principal residence
• Tax consequences of inheriting money from US parents
• Other cross-border trips and traps

Max Reed is a cross-border tax lawyer at SKL Tax where he specializes in tax and estate planning for dual citizens and helping people evaluate their citizenship options. Prior to joining SKL tax he practiced US tax law at White & Case LLP in New York and before that clerked at the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal where he specialized in Canadian tax. Max is the co-author (with Dick Pound) of A Tax Guide for US Citizens in Canada - a plain language guidebook that helps US Citizens in Canada understand their tax obligations, a number of technical articles on US tax for Canadians, and a series of newspaper columns on the same topic. You can learn more about Max at http://www.skltax.com/max-reed.

Space is limited!

Previous webinars on this topic have been filled
to capacity so we recommend registering early.

                                                     CLICK HERE to register for Estate Planning Sept. 17th

About SKL Tax

SKL Tax is a law and accounting firm that has been serving US citizens in Canada for over 40 years. SKL's team of accountants and lawyers provides a range of cross-border tax services including yearly tax compliance, general tax planning, renunciation of US citizenship, estate planning and administration, FATCA compliance, and tax services for owner-managers


Going North – Canadian Immigration Options for US Citizens
Monday, September 18, 2017
8:00-9:30 PM Eastern
5:00-6:30 PM Pacific

Leading this session from BDO Canada LLP is Doreen Buksner, Senior Manager, BDO Immigration Services and Tracie Jennett, Manager, BDO U.S. Personal Tax.

Are you or your family members interested in moving to Canada for a work assignment or a course of study? Are you currently residing in Canada and want to stay, or move here permanently?

This webinar will cover the most frequently used strategies for U.S. citizens relocating to Canada on a temporary or permanent basis.

You will benefit from this webinar if you are a foreign worker currently in Canada or seeking employment in Canada; foreign student currently enrolled in post-secondary education programs in Canada; working age professional looking to relocate permanently; family members looking to reunite in Canada, or a Canadian permanent resident seeking citizenship.

We will cover the following:

- Work and Study Permits

- Permanent Residence for Skilled Workers

- Family Sponsorship

- Citizenship

- Cross-border considerations

- Basic tax requirements for temporary or permanent residents

                              CLICK HERE to register for Going North – Immigration Options Sept. 18th

About BDO Canada

BDO is a leading provider of professional services to clients of all sizes in virtually all business sectors. BDO’s Immigration Services group provides a wide range of corporate and individual immigration services. They can assist with a variety of Canadian inbound and outbound matters, including business visas, work and study permits, and permanent residence applications. BDO’s U.S. Tax Practice helps businesses and individuals throughout Canada minimize their U.S. tax burden and identify new tax benefits. BDO professionals on both sides of the border provide personalized service through a single point of contact.

Democrats Abroad Canada suggests a donation of $10 to cover costs associated with presenting the webinars and raise funds for our 2017-18 Get Out The Vote campaign efforts.

Democratically Yours,

Steve Nardi
Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada


Appointments to DemsAbroad Canada Board

Congratulations to the following individuals on their recent appointments to the DemsAbroad Canada Board:

Marnelle Dragila – Recording Secretary
Jamey Shick – Director of Volunteers
Bodil Geyer – GOTV Coordinator
Tim Kelley – Communications Officer

Each of them brings skills, energy and a drive to make a difference in 2018 and we’re pleased to have them join us.

The board extends its gratitude to Roseanna Sharpe for her contributions as Recording Secretary. We wish her well in her endeavours and look forward to her continued support.

Democratically yours,
Steve Nardi
Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada


New webinar - "Navigating Canadian & U.S. Pension Programs" Aug. 29th & Sept. 6th

Greetings Members!

For more than 2 years Democrats Abroad Canada has been pleased to make available informational webinars on Tax Filing for Americans living in Canada, Estate Planning, and Operating a Corporation as a US Citizen in Canada.

Over that time, it has been our goal to expand on those topics with information relevant to you being an American living in Canada. No one hands you a book as you cross the border covering topics such as obligations you still have as a U.S. citizen living in Canada, or how to access the social security your eligible for from back home.

Today I’m excited to announce that in addition to SKL Tax, Democrats Abroad Canada has partnered with BDO Canada to bring you additional webinars covering topics such as government pensions, youth immigration, and private pensions.

Our first webinar will be Navigating Canadian and U.S. Entitlement Programs for Americans living in Canada, being offered on Tuesday Aug. 29th and Wednesday Sept. 6th - a topic of great interest to many members.

Canada and the U.S. each have their own social security programs which provide benefits to retirees who contribute to the programs during their working lives or to those who simply reside in the country. However, a number of questions arise when an American moves to Canada having contributed to both countries’ social security programs. Are they eligible to collect benefits? Can they “double-up” by collecting from both countries? How are the benefits taxed?

Join us for an informative webinar where we will answer these questions and more.

Topics covered include:

· Program overview and eligibility requirements for the Canada Pension Plan, Canadian Old Age Security, and U.S. Social Security

· Impact of Canada - U.S. Totalization Agreement on social security contribution requirements and eligibility for benefits

· Canadian and U.S. taxation of social security benefits

· Medical coverage for U.S. citizens living in Canada

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Mark your calendars for these future webinars and watch your email announcing registration details:


Date

Topic

Presenter

Sept 17

Estate Planning

SKL Tax

Sept 18

Immigration – Students/Youth Study/Work

BDO Canada

Oct 15

U.S. Citizens & Canadian Corporations

SKL Tax

Nov 8

Private Pensions – IRA’s, RRSP’s +++

BDO Canada

Jan 24

Legislative / Policy Update on Tax Issues

BDO Canada

Feb 7

Immigration – Students/Youth Study/Work

BDO Canada

Mar 18

Repatriating back to the U.S.

SKL Tax

Apr 15

Solving U.S. tax problems for Americans in Canada

SKL Tax

May 9

Solving U.S. tax problems for Americans in Canada

SKL Tax

June 20

U.S. & Canada Entitlement Programs

BDO Canada

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR AUG 29TH OR SEPT 6TH GOVERNMENT PENSIONS WEBINAR

Democrats Abroad Canada is grateful to SKL Tax and BDO Canada for their support to educate our members on this very important information and look forward to having you join us for one of our webinars.

Democratically yours,

Steve Nardi
Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada


A Donkey's Destiny

As the mid-terms approach, a recently arrived donkey is refreshing our determination to change Congress.

by Ed Ungar

From mid-April 2016 forward, when some members of DA heard about an outdoor art installation at the upcoming convention in Philadelphia, the destiny of one soon-to-be-born Equus asinus (donkey) was clear. The party’s convention coordinating committee, along with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program and a non-profit local arts organization, would place 57 plexiglass donkeys around town from July to September. Each convention delegation (the 50 states, the five territories, the District of Columbia, and most important to us, Democrats Abroad) was to have its dedicated donkey. After September, each delegation would get its donkey as a gift!

Delegations were told that all they had to do was arrange and pay for the shipping. Since DA Canada is the DA location closest to Philadelphia, it made sense that the ultimate home of the DA asinus would be Southern Ontario. After all, the beast’s left flank depicts Niagara Falls (Mt. Fuji and the Eiffel Tower appear elsewhere on the donkey’s body). The trip to Canada was only 11 hours in a rented van. Surely others in Democrats Abroad would see this clear logic, we thought.

Alas, that was not the case. Instead, at the DA international meetings in Washington this spring, the donkey was used as a cash cow and was put up for auction among the delegates. Thankfully, like a superhero, Ken Sherman, our former chair and Hamilton, Ontario, chapter leader, swept in to save the day with the winning bid.

A week later, Marnelle Dragila of our London, Ontario, chapter saved our asinus by driving a rented van to pick up our co-vice chair and Philadelphia native, Ed Ungar, along with the donkey, at a suburban Philadelphia warehouse. From there, Marnelle barreled up the highways to the Buffalo - Fort Erie Canada border crossing. At that point, a bemused customs officer encountered her first ever plexiglass donkey and waved the van through. The donkey statue was home, where it can fulfill its destiny of attracting Americans to DA street fair booths and helping them to become voters.

Our donkey had its public debut in front of the Kimmel Arts Centre, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Its Canadian debut occurred this summer at Toronto’s PRIDE events. If you happen to be in Southern Ontario, Quebec, or, who knows, maybe other places in Canada, look out for the DA donkey at a street fair or other venue near you.

#ResistanceSummer - Strawberry Social - DACA Hamilton, Burlington & Niagara chapters, July, 2017. Marcia Sweet, Judy Wanner, Steve Nardi, Susan Caughan, Ken Sherman, Beryl Bowen, Frank Bowen, Tracy Hudson and Connie Jain.

*The DA donkey is available to make appearances at DA Canada events. If you are interested, please contact: Ken Sherman, email: k_e_sherman@yahoo.ca


Dems Abroad Speaker Series with Tom Hicks from the Election Assistance Commission Aug 18th 2pm EDT

Greetings members -

It's not too late to join us for Friday's DA Speaker Series with Tom Hicks of the Election Assistance Commission. Tom will be speaking with us about voter suppression tactics in the US today, how the EAC's work affects overseas voters, and what we can do to stop this assault on voting rights and get out the vote from abroad! Register for the access link here: http://www.democratsabroad.org/voting_rights_webinar_da_speaker_series?utm_campaign=ta_august&utm_medium=FB

Additional details can be found on the Dems Abroad Facebook event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/DemsAbroad/posts/10159059702245005


Democrats Abroad Canada Elections Results

The DA Canada Nominations and Elections Committee is pleased to provide the results of the 2017 Annual General Meeting & Election. 

Chair:  Steve Nardi

Executive Vice-Chair:  Heidi Burch

Vice-Chairs (2): Christine Odunlami & Ed Ungar

Secretary:  Roseanna Sharpe

Treasurer:  Lissette Wright

Membership Secretary:  Rebecca Burns

IT Manager:  Krystal Thomson

Counsel:  Danielle Stampley

Members-at-Large (3):  Susan Alksnis, Annie Parry & George Spiegelman                                                                                        

In addition, the Proposed Bylaw Amendments were approved by the required two-thirds (2/3) majority.  Accordingly, the DA Canada voting representatives to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) shall be members of the DACA Board; its Officers, Members-at-Large, IT Manager and Chapter Chairs who are in office May 1st of each election year.   Click here  for the amended version of the by-laws.  Click here  for the minutes of the AGM.   All officers and the Chapter Chairs are Voting Representatives.  The chart at this link  provides contact details for each Officer and Chapter Chair.

The Teller of Elections tabulated the results of the 363 valid ballots cast.  (Out of the 397 ballots submitted, 34 were spoiled and not included in the results).  Any questions about vote tallies may be directed to the Teller of Elections at: info-canada@democratsabroad.org

The membership has been informed that any member of DA Canada who wishes to challenge any election result may do so by submitting an email to Ken Sherman, Chair of the NEC, at: k_e_sherman@yahoo.ca   All challenges must be submitted by May 2, 2017.

With highest regards,
DA Canada Nominations and Election Committee

Ken Sherman, Chair
Starla Goggins, Secretary
James Davis
Paulette Kelly
William Curry
Peggy Hamilton, Teller of Elections


Democrats Abroad Canada - Vancouver Chapter Elections 2017: Candidates

Report of the Nominations Committee | Democrats Abroad Canada – Vancouver Chapter | Submitted: April 4, 2017

The Elections of new officers of Democrats Abroad Canada Vancouver Chapter will take place at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, May 6, 2017. Please click here for details on DA Canada Vancouver AGM. Please SCROLL DOWN to read candidate statements.

The electronic ballots will be emailed to members on April 21, 2017 and must be submitted by 11:59 pm PDT May 5, 2017.

ELECTION 2017 PROXY | ALL NOMINEES WERE SELF NOMINATED

Chair:  Susan Brennan  |  Bodil Geyer

Vice Chair:  Robert J. Petrusa  |  Doug Sarti

General Secretary:  Lissa Robertson

Treasurer:  Pat Fournier  |  Rick Havlak

Development & Community Outreach SecretaryNo Candidate

Policy Secretary:  Amanda Bristow Macpherson  |  Tara Ryan |  David Hoyt

Communications Secretary:  Matthew Borghese  |  Julie Boton

CANDIDATE STATEMENTS

CHAIR

Susan BRENNAN – 2017 Candidate for Chair of DA Vancouver

As a staunch lifelong Democrat, I am a dual US-Canadian citizen who was raised in the Chicago area and votes in Cook County. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Mundelein College (now a part of Chicago's Loyola University)..

*****    Long History of Participation with Democrats Abroad    *****

A member of Democrats Abroad since 2006, I have served on the executive board of the Vancouver chapter as the Community Outreach Secretary since 2013.

As Community Outreach Secretary, I was instrumental in organizing many DA Vancouver events over the past 4 years:

  • two Roy Zimmerman concerts
  • annual State of the Union watches
  • tax seminars
  • Fourth of July picnics
  • Thanksgiving dinners
  • 2016 primary debate watches and global primary election

In addition to the duties of Community Outreach Secretary, I organized and chaired our chapter's annual general meetings in 2014 and 2015.

*****    Extensive Leadership Experience    *****

I bring to DA Vancouver a solid background in leadership and working with boards. Certified in Non-Profit Sector Management from Simon Fraser University, my background includes both paid and volunteer management experience.

Paid management experience:

  • IT Manager of S.P. Richards Canada
  • Executive Director of Strathcona Health Society
  • Director of Special Projects and Client Services Coordinator for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

Volunteer management experience:

  • founding and managing the Seymour Area Youth Services Society
  • serving as board chair of the Pacific Coast Computer Fair Association, Capilano Community Services Society and the North Shore Community Garden Society
  • chairing two District of North Vancouver's granting committees for local non-profits.

*****     Why I Am Running     *****

I am running for Chair because I feel that Democrats Abroad, our Vancouver chapter and other chapters around the world, must work with the Democratic Party leadership to regenerate our party with our eyes firmly fixed on the future.

To do this, the party must vigorously fight gerrymandering and voter suppression and support Democratic candidates in local, state and federal elections where more than 1,000 Democrat-held spots have been lost in the last 8 years.

I believe that the Democratic Party must get back to basics as a progressive grassroots party that supports workers' rights, public health, civil rights, women's rights, public works, and environmental protection and not be beholden to corporate interests that weaken our party's values and vision.

With DA chapters worldwide, I will strive to engage more ex-pat US citizens in Democrats Abroad and help to ensure a higher voter turnout on November 6, 2018 when 33 Senate seats, 435 House seas, and 14 governorships will be up for re-election. One way that I want to do this is by encouraging the formation of DA Vancouver interest groups in all areas of our vast province.

Hopefully, it won't be too late to save American democracy and the US Constitution.

I thank you for your consideration and would be very grateful for your support.

Find me at www.facebook.com/Brennan4DAYVR.

Susan Brennan

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Bodil GEYER COO

Swim Recruiting

Email: bodil.geyer@swimrecruiting.com

Mobile: 778-385-7946

March 3, 2017

Re: Self-Nomination of Bodil Geyer for Chair, Democrats Abroad Vancouver

My Vision for Progressive, Unifying and Collaborative Leadership

I am thrilled to submit my nomination for Chair, Democrats Abroad Vancouver (DAV). 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.

Note: I am also running as part of “Democrats United Vancouver” or “Team DUV,” a group of four local, active DAV members, contending for the election as your Progressive Leadership Team.

Confirmation of Meeting Nomination Requirements

I confirm:

  1. I am a U.S. Citizen.
  2. I am living abroad in Vancouver, B.C., residing in Canada since 1974.
  3. I enthusiastically adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the U.S. and strive to exemplify democratic values in all I do.

Distinguishing Qualifications Benefitting DAV

1.   Lifelong Commitment to Progressive Values and Political Service

    • Active in local politics since youth
    • Organized many successful events as DAV Acting Events Manager in 2016 including voter registration, membership drives and debate and election-watch evenings—the latter breaking all prior records with a turnout of 1,600+ people and full press and TV coverage
    • One of Five Key Members who organized the successful Women’s March on Washington, Vancouver, garnering nearly 20,000 participants
    • Serving on the National Board to arrange ongoing marches and events

2.   Proven, Fair-minded, Collaborative Executive Leadership Experience

  • Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Swim Recruiting – A highly profitable and culturally diverse Vancouver company, growing to 25 full-time employees since 2007.
  • Award-Winning Past Chair of ACSESS BC, the Canadian industry association for recruitment – Won a Special Achievement Award In Recognition of Volunteer Service during role (2013-2015)

 3.   Lifetime of Experience Leading and Participating in Charitable and Sustainability Initiatives

Through my company, I have spearheaded significant participation in many local programs:

Canadian Blood Services; Muslim Food Bank, Muscular Dystrophy Canada; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Movember Foundation; Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre; Union Gospel Mission; Green at Work.

4.   Commitment to Serving Two-year Term and Leading DAV in Achieving its Mission

It is important to note I have a supportive child and husband, a writer who lives with Muscular Dystrophy. Further, I have the unique ability to lean on my corporate administration.

5.   Platform Vision – Progressive and Collaborative Leadership

I truly believe we have a significant opportunity to increase membership, voter registration and voting to positively affect U.S. election outcomes. I envision a three-pillar approach reaching students, millennials and thousands of local Americans. If elected, I will reenergize a Student Board position and expand social and mainstream media coverage, similar to my recent work for DAV. I will 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 DAV and hope you will favor me with your support.

Sincerely,

Bodil Geyer

COO, Swim Recruiting

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VICE-CHAIR

Robert J. PETRUSA

                  I, Robert J. Petrusa, am asking for your nomination for the position of Vice Chair of the DAV Chapter.

Brief History ~

                  I am originally from Joliet, Illinois. After graduating high school, I attended Mt. Carmel College/Monastery (this included academic, 1st year and religious formation in the second).  I decided to leave seminary in 1969 and returned to Joliet, where I attended Joliet Junior College for one term.  After leaving JJC, I was faced with the potential of being drafted into the Military.  I chose to apply for a Conscientious Objector deferment.

                  Having completed my duties as a CO, I moved to the East Coast.  I lived in Cambridge, MA for approximately 15 years.  I worked in numerous occupations including arborist, mental health worker, drug rehab counselor and finally settled into the building trades as a carpenter/builder.                     

                  I married a Canadian lady in 1982 and we have two children together.  We moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1987, where we have lived since.  We have resided in New Westminster for the past 29 years.  I worked for a local developer/builder, Concert Properties, for 20 years as a quality control advisor, customer service representative and warranty services provider.  I retired from Concert in 2014.

Qualifications ~

I have been a life long Democrat.  I have been involved with Democrats Abroad since 2010 and an active member since 2013.  During my involvement as a member at large of the executive committee, I have been active in fundraising projects and DA group activities such as Thanksgiving dinners, and 4th of July gatherings.  I have always had a keen interest and volunteered with community organizations in the Downtown East Side.  They include Union Gospel Mission functions in Oppenheimer Park (3 years); RayCam Community Centre, outreach work providing necessary supplies and appliances to those in need; Trade Works, a training center for men and women interested in learning trades and job skills.  Most recently, since retiring, I have redirected my volunteer energies into my local community where I am active in our Resident Neighbourhood Association as a traffic advisor to New Westminster.  I will also be involved with the Heritage Advisory Committee and the Emergency Preparedness Committee come the beginning of 2017.

Reason for seeking office ~

My primary reason for seeking office with the DAV is to further people’s awareness of social issues, to inspire participation and most importantly, to nurture progressive actions and policies.  My objective is to become a more dynamic contributor to our society here and in the USA, where the need for generous cooperation and robust solidarity to our values of Liberty and Equality are so desperately needed.  My passionate beliefs in environmental justice, in voting rights and in civilian participation in governance is what fosters my dedication to grass roots involvement with Democrats everywhere…but most specifically Vancouver.  Finally, I adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Robert J. Petrusa, Executive Member at Large

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Doug SARTI

Self-Nomination of Doug Sarti for Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad Vancouver (DAV) Advocate for Progressive, Unifying and Collaborative Leadership

I enthusiastically submit my nomination for Vice Chair, DAV. I affirm I have the combination of business experience and a lifetime of Democratic Party service to carry out the critical responsibilities of this position.

Confirmation of Meeting Nomination Requirements

I confirm: 1. I am a U.S. Citizen, born in Phoenix, Arizona, and have lived in Virginia, Michigan, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 2. I am living abroad in Vancouver, B.C. 3. I unequivocally adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.

Distinguishing Qualifications Benefitting DAV

1. Lifelong Commitment to Progressive Political Values and Service • Raised in a Progressive Household – As the product of two 1960s liberals, I grew up in an environment championing democratic values. • Vice President of Young Democrats, Rhode Island • Managed State Senate Campaign and Other Political Work– I did many jobs in the world of east coast rough-and-tumble politics, from phone banking all the way up to managing a state senate campaign. I have worked on many municipal, state, and federal campaigns, including those of Senator Claiborne Pell and President Bill Clinton, and I even ran as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1996. Note: I am also running as part of “Democrats United Vancouver” or “TeamDUV,” a group of four local, active DAV members, contending for the election as your Progressive Leadership Team.

2. Fair-minded, Collaborative Leadership and Business Experience

• Editorial Administrator, the Georgia Straight newspaper with over 800,000 Weekly Readers/ Visitors1 –As a regular contributor, I write about U.S. politics, books, history and more.

• Published Writer Promoting Democrats Abroad– I have completed a number of interviews and articles about DAV and the local GOTV effort, including an interview with singer Roy Zimmerman for his local DA fundraiser.

• Community Leader–I am President of my condo strata and coach Little League baseball.

3. Commitment to Serving Two-year Term and Devoting Time to Lead DAV in Achieving its Mission

I have the full support of my wife, Loree. Our six-year old son, Frankie, is also American and we are raising him to be a good Democrat (and future president).

4. Vision and Motivation for Seeking Office

The election of Donald Trump was a shock and a wake-up call. There has been a tectonic shift in the state of our nation and all hands are needed on deck. It is not enough just to vote; we must be activists and help keep the spirit of American democracy and fairness alive. In the face of right-wing vitriol and with a very real sense of duty, I offer myself as candidate for Vice Chair, DAV.

I would very much appreciate your support. Sincerely, Doug Sarti

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GENERAL SECRETARY

Lissa ROBERTSON

Re: Self-Nomination of Lissa Robertson for General Secretary, Democrats Abroad Vancouver Enthusiastic, Highly Experienced General Secretary Candidate

I am delighted to submit my nomination for General Secretary of Democrats Abroad Vancouver (DAV).

I affirm I have the distinct combination of senior secretarial and political volunteer experience to excel in this role.

Confirmation of Meeting Nomination Requirements

I confirm: 1. I am a U.S. Citizen, born in North Dakota. 2. I am living abroad in White Rock, B.C. 3. I wholeheartedly adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.

Distinguishing Qualifications Benefitting DAV

1. Lifelong Commitment to Progressive Political Values and Service

• My interest in social justice formed as a youth in California and evolved as I resided in Arizona, Hawaii and BC. • In 2008 I served on the DAV Board and assisted with the organization of the Fourth of July picnic and Thanksgiving dinner and other activities. • In 2012 I volunteered my time with DAV call campaigns. • Today, I continue to encourage voter registration and actively participate in DAV events. Note: I am also running as part of “Democrats United Vancouver” or “Team DUV,” a group of four local, active DAV members, contending for the election as your Progressive Leadership Team.

2. Proven and Senior Administrative and General Secretary Experience

 • My career began in Administration. I have worked as an Executive Assistant in both public and private sectors. My direct, “General Secretary” experience includes: developing meeting agendas, taking notes, producing meeting minutes, coordinating activities and chairing meetings. • Qualification highlights: o Resourceful, versatile professional with a background spanning administration, customer service, sales, business owner, career counselor and life coach o Outstanding organizational, planning and prioritization skills; strong attention to detail o Excellent verbal and written communication skills; experienced public speaker and facilitator o Proficient computer skills o Flexible with a positive attitude o Self-motivated, collaborative team member

3. Commitment to Serving Two-year Term & Devoting Time to Support DAV in Achieving its Mission

I have the full support and encouragement of my family to serve on the DAV board for the full term. 4. Vision and Motivation for Seeking Office Understandably, I was devastated watching the 2016 election results with my fellow DAV members. As Trump’s cabinet takes shape, I am concerned with the direction of the country. I feel we are moving backwards with many of the democratic principles I espouse such as basic civil and human rights, economic empowerment, expanded education and access to social services. The bottom line: I feel my country needs me more than ever. I would be honored to serve on the Board and am genuinely passionate about dedicating my time to help the Democrats regain power in the House, the Senate and the Oval Office.

Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Lissa Robertson Lissa Robertson Case Manager / Life Coach

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TREASURER

Pat FOURNIER

Self-Nomination of Pat Fournier for Treasurer, Democrats Abroad Vancouver

Licensed U.S. and Canadian CPA for Treasurer Candidate

I am pleased to submit my nomination for Treasurer of Democrats Abroad Vancouver (DAV). I affirm that I have the skills and experience to successfully manage the finances of the chapter, create and maintain financial reports, manage the organization’s bank account and maintain such financial reports as may be required by law.

Confirmation of Meeting Nomination Requirements I confirm:

1. I am a U.S. Citizen. 2. I am living and working abroad in Port Coquitlam, B.C. 3. I whole-heartedly adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.

Distinguishing Qualifications Benefitting DAV

1. Commitment to Progressive Political Values and Service • I am an active member of DAV and have attended many events over the years supporting the Party and its mission. • I have voluntarily presented the Tax Seminars for DAV for the past four years.

2. Licensed Accounting and Business Leadership Experience

• Licensed CPA in both the U.S. and Canada – I am a local, practicing CPA that specializes in cross-border taxation, earning my Canadian license in 2001 and my U.S. license in 2006. • Active Local CPA Serving U.S. Citizens Living Abroad in B.C. – Most of my clients are U.S. citizens living abroad in the Lower Mainland—a key DAV target demographic. • Sole Practitioners Forum Steering Committee Member (Vancouver CPAs) – In this role I aid in setting the meeting agenda for this local organization that promotes the sharing of best practices. Note: I am also running as part of “Democrats United Vancouver” or “Team DUV,” a group of four local, active DAV members, contending for the election as your Progressive Leadership Team.

3. Commitment to Serving Two-year Term & Devoting Time to Support DAV in Achieving its Mission

I have the full support of my family to serve on the DAV board for the full term and a proven track record for meeting my professional obligations.

4. Vision and Motivation for Seeking Office

In light of the current U.S. political shift, I am deeply inspired to contribute more to DAV and the position of Treasurer is a natural fit. There were not many who foresaw the recent political changes and clearly, there are large gaps among the diverse political views being aired. I feel there is no better time than the present to get out and be heard and to help push along this worthy movement. My goal is to be part of the solution. I am confident my training and experience as a licensed accountant will enable me to provide the full scope of duties required for the position of Treasurer, DAV.

I sincerely thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Pat Fournier, CPA (CA), CPA (WA)

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Rick HAVLAK

I hereby nominate myself, Richard Rhodes Havlak, for the board position of Treasurer for Democrats Abroad Vancouver. I would not intend to fill both roles, but am ready and willing to serve as one or the other. I am a US citizen by birth and reside full time in Vancouver, BC. I do adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.

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. 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.

I believe my small 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.

I also bring considerable board experience. I am entering my fourth year on the Board of Directors of the Strathcona business improvement association, and my second term as the Vice-Chair of the Board.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve and would be happy to answer any questions or discuss my qualifications further at any convenient time.

Cheers,

Rick Havlak
cell: 604-612-2525
rick.havlak@gmail.com

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DEVELOPMENT & COMMUNITY OUTREACH SECRETARY

No Nominee

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POLICY SECRETARY

Amanda MACPHERSON

My name is Amanda Macpherson, and I am putting my name forward for the role of Policy Secretary for the Vancouver branch of Democrats Abroad.

I am the daughter of a long-time member of the USAF, and the granddaughter of two men who served in the Army, both in WWII and Korea.  I also come from a very long line of Democrats!  I have been living out of the country since 2003, when I married a Canadian.  We (me, my husband, and two sons who are dual-citizens as well) live in Abbotsford. 

My qualifications for this particular role come from both my education and work experience.  I have a BSc. in Public Management, which has an emphasis on community building, public administration, and public policy and strategy.  My work experience has included work in the nonprofit sector where I had to interpret changing government rules and regulations and help formulate policies and procedures to ensure our compliance with these.  This was a very important role, as most of our funding came from government contracts, and if we were found not to be abiding by these guidelines, we could have contracts pulled and be shut down. 

I am asking to be involved because I am scared of the direction our home country is going.  I know I’m not the first to say so, but I am willing to do what I can from where I am.  Absentee voting from out-of-country tends to be very blue, and though we may not live the US anymore, we are still citizens that can help shape policy that will affect all of us, no matter the citizenship or country.  I watched the election results with lead in my gut and tears in my eyes, and the only things that comforted me was the majority of the country feels as we do and that if we band together, we can fight the rollback of our civil rights.  It will take concerted effort, and a united voice.  We’re just a smaller part of that overall group!

I end this letter by addressing your qualifications: I am an American citizen, I am a member of Democrats Abroad, and I certainly align with the principles of the Democratic Party.

If I may answer any questions regarding the information above, I may be reached via phone at 604-765-2117 or at ​amandammacpherson@gmail.com.

Yours truly,

Amanda Bristow Macpherson

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David HOYT

Democrats Abroad Vancouver – Nomination for Policy Secretary: David Hoyt        

I would like to nominate myself for the above position with the BOARD OF THE Vancouver chapter of Democrats Abroad Canada.  I am somewhat familiar with the board through my position as treasurer of the chapter over the last four years.

I am a U.S. citizen, living in Delta, British Columbia, which is within the area covered by the DA Vancouver chapter.  I will also adhere to, and I believe I have adhered to in the past, the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.

I have an Honors degree in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  Although this was some time ago – 1974 – I believe I have kept current with many developments in the popular political field, although not in the academic world.  I also have a law degree from the University of British Columbia, practiced law in both B.C. and California for a total of about seven years, and have for most of the past 25 years worked for the Competition Bureau, a Canadian federal agency which is part of the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (formerly Industry Canada).

In my spare time, I have developed a keen interest in health care reform in the U.S., and have kept current with the topics of immigration and the taxation of U.S. citizens living in Canada and elsewhere outside the U.S.

I have also taken courses, in recent years, in Conflict Resolution, Mediation Skills and other topics.

Yours truly,

David Hoyt

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Tara RYAN

Self-Nomination for the position of Policy Secretary

Affirmation:

I, Tara Ryan, affirm that I am a citizen of the United States, living abroad as a resident of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and will adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States. 

Narrative:

As a native Nebraskan and registered Democrat, I have always been part of the political minority. This has given me some unique skills in terms of looking at all sides of issues and critically thinking about longer term implications of governmental policies. I have been living in Vancouver for the last 3.5 years as a graduate student in the clinical-forensic psychology program at Simon Fraser University. As a student in this program, I have special knowledge of the intersection between law and psychology (i.e. mental health) and the criminal justice system. I have taken graduate coursework related to policy including a Mental Health and Law course as well as a Mental Health, Law, and Policy course. I am a member of the Mental Health Law and Policy Institute at Simon Fraser University and have a unique sense of the comparative criminal justice and law policies and implications between Canada and the United States as well as those implemented throughout the world. Although I have an interest and knowledge in law and policy as it is related to criminal justice and mental health, I am generally interested in governmental policies and positions and avidly consume the news and media in various formats to understand governmental actions domestically and internationally. In terms of domestic policy, I am especially aware and concerned about voting rights and voter suppression issues. Internationally, I have a distinct interest in United States policies within the Middle East.

Given the current state of politics in the United States and implications within the country and abroad, I think it is imperative that citizens are aware of the most pressing and relevant policies and actions taken by the federal and state governments. As the Policy Secretary, my excellent written and spoken communication skills that will aid in advising the general membership about government policies and implications. Strong and direct communication regarding the policies and decisions of the incoming administration will be imperative and vital to strategically fighting injustice and bringing the branches of government back into balance in the 2018 midterm elections. I look forward to empowering and energizing Democrats Abroad-Vancouver members in being voices and actors of dissent as well as reasonable compromise as it pertains to policy decisions of the federal and state governments in the United States.

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COMMUNICATIONS SECRETARY

Matthew BORGHESE

I'm Matthew Borghese, a lifelong Democrat and communications specialist living in Canada and I humbly put my name forward for the DAC-V Communications Secretary Position (2017-19).

I was raised in Miami in a family of both refugees and immigrants, and began my work with the Democratic Party as a high school student, volunteering to go door-to-door, phone banking, and helping with data entry for a liberal Guardian Ad-Litem named Cindy Lerner who was running for the Florida legislature (she won and has gone on to be the Mayor of the town). As part of the Young Democrats club at my school, we all signed on to help Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. From the             Summer heat in Miami, to the bitter defeat in November, the experience inspired in me a lifelong love for politics which I was lucky enough to turn into a career in journalism.

I spent seven years as covering hard news for a private wire service in Florida. As an impartial journalist, I was watched from the sidelines during the tumultuous Bush years and celebrated the historic election in 2008. I was especially proud we were able to finally turn Florida “blue” - twice!

In 2011, I moved to Vancouver after falling in love with a fantastic woman. Fast forward to 2016, we were married in November and I am a permanent resident in Canada. I have steered my career from journalism to communications and I currently handle public relations for the largest non-profit provider of employment services in British Columbia. 

In my spare time, I volunteer and support progressive organizations. I have worked with the Lookout Emergency Aid Society to combat homelessness in Vancouver and Anika Youth Services to support at-risk young women in Surrey. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (VAST), the only organization in British Columbia that supports the mental health of refugee claimants escaping trauma.

The 2016 election was not only a shocking event, but a wake up call for everyone who believes in and champions progressive causes. I have been on the sidelines for too long, and I want to volunteer my time to help our party and America stand up for the values that have always made us strong; our diversity, our united strength, and our role as a champion of democracy across the world. We must engage all Americans, especially us who live across the border, in the unending work of expanding freedoms and speaking truth to authoritarianism. 

My vision for DAC-V is for us to stand as a positive, outspoken force to remind voters abroad that not only does our voice matter, but is an essential patch in the quilt that is our democracy. While we may spend the next two years in the minority, we will never compromise our values or vision for our friends, family, and fellow Americans.

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Julie BOTON – Candidate’s Statement – Communications Secretary

I am nominating myself as a candidate for the position of Communications Secretary of the Vancouver Chapter of Democrats Abroad (DA).

Why I am Running for Communications Secretary

As a concerned citizen I’m running for Communications Secretary because I wish to boost Democratic Party involvement. We must build a party of the people, for the people, that can win elections and turn our nation from the disastrous course the far right and the GOP have set us upon. We must welcome new members and embrace the progressive vision that brought so many to Bernie Sanders’ campaign. And we must do this in a way that unites rather than divides our base. I hope to bring in new members and see closer cooperation and communication between our chapters worldwide. I believe we are in an “all hands on deck” moment.  We must oppose the agenda of Donald Trump and the Republican right, and ensure high voter turnout in the 2018 mid-term elections and beyond.  

Democrats Abroad & Political Service

I became involved in Democrats Abroad events in 2010, and served briefly on the executive board of the Vancouver chapter as Communications Secretary in 2015 prior to the candidacy announcement of Senator Bernie Sanders. At that time I left the board to work for Sanders campaign, and am the founder of BC For Bernie. BC For Bernie helped sign up hundreds of unregistered US citizens to vote as Democrats in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary. Once Hillary Clinton was declared the nominee I enthusiastically supported her candidacy, and worked to persuade our supporters to support her candidacy and the platform she developed with Senator Sanders.  Prior to moving to Vancouver I served as an elections judge for the Democratic Party in Wilmette, IL for 9 years.

Professional Communications Background

An award-winning copywriter/content provider originally from Chicago, I’ve lived in Vancouver since 2009. My clients range from prominent Chicago-area non-profits to major grocery chains, Fortune 500 Financial/Insurance Institutions and leaders in the natural/organic food industry. My background includes Ad Agency Creative Director, and starting my own consulting company in the mid-80’s. In the 1990’s I created Dave Ivaz Music with my husband. We took it from start-up to one of Chicago’s respected live event entertainment companies with annual sales of $ 200K, and I handled all marketing and sales. Since moving to Vancouver I’ve written for the organic food industry while maintaining Dave Ivaz Music offices in Chicago and Vancouver.  I am experienced at project management and team coordination and hold Senior Management Certification in New Media and Web Design from BCIT.

Volunteer and Activism

A long-time activist for social and environmental justice, my work in Illinois included communications consulting for organic farmers, social and environmental justice activism and promotion assistance for the 1985 Farm Aid Concert. Our company, Dave Ivaz Music has donated performing services to not-for-profits ranging from AIDs organizations to The American Cancer Society and Planned Parenthood. In Vancouver I’ve volunteered for on actions to protect Howe Sound, and am a proud member of Democrats Abroad. Dave Ivaz Music continues to donate services for charitable causes.

Thank you for accepting my application. I confirm that I am a US citizen and will adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.

Julie Boton
8542 Seascape Court
West Vancouver, BC V7W3J7

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Statements of Candidates for the Democrats Abroad Canada Board | 2017-2019

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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