Below, you'll find the candidates statements from Diego Rivas & Emily Lines, who are running for Berlin Chapter Chair 2017-2019. For more information about what chapter chairs are responsible for, read this post. The election will take place at the January 10, 2017 monthly meeting.
Politics is not a spectator sport. Democrats Abroad Berlin needs sustainable and continuous political engagement throughout the year, so when it is time to go to the polls in 2018, the networks are already there, and ready to vote democrat. We can do this through building on our standards like pub nights and monthly meetings, by introducing events such as round table discussions, political education workshops, solidarity dinner parties, and GOTV efforts beyond presidential election years. Members should leave meetings and events feeling heard, politically engaged, and wanting to return.
As someone who was a leader in the Berlin GOTV efforts for both the democratic primary and general election, I have worked side by side with Hillary and Bernie supporters alike. I have organized political panel discussions, film nights, solidarity dinner parties, and invited enthusiastic democrats into my home for phone banking evenings. As a person who has been politically active throughout my life, I understand that in order to be successful in our political endeavors, we must bring people together.
Together we need to support strong democratic candidates for the 2018 midterms now. My goals as chair are (1) to keep DA members engaged throughout the year, (2) to strengthen the voices of democrats abroad in US political affairs and (3) to create events and actions that can serve as a model of political engagement for Democrats Abroad chapters within Germany and around the world.
My name is Emily Lines and I’m 28-years-old. I’m originally from Indiana and have lived in Berlin for almost six years. Currently, I’m working on completing a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Bielefeld while working in Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. I’ve been a member of Democrats Abroad since 2012 and joined during my time in Cologne. During 2016, I became a more active member of DA by volunteering at the DA Global Convention. Even though I had originally signed up to volunteer for only two shifts, I ended up volunteering all four days. These four days were so much fun. I enjoyed meeting other Americans living all over the world and it reignited my interest in DA. Since then, I have made sure to participate in more events and helped organize the Election Night Party.
Following the disappointment of the 2016 election, my motivation to do my part to work towards a better Democratic Party and to fight for the things I believe America stands for has only increased. Since I cannot return to the States at this moment, I want to make sure that I do all that I can from Germany to continue to try and make a difference. In addition, I want to help facilitate the discussion surrounding how to move forward and rebuild the Democratic Party. A lot happened during this past election and it’s important to find a way for us to all come together so that we can continue to work towards the America that we envision. Many Americans abroad have begun to show their interest in being more involved and now is the time to try and harness their interest and motivation so that we can have a strong showing in two years during the mid-term elections.
By being chapter chair, I hope to:
- Continue to develop and grow the Berlin chapter
- Provide an environment for people to collaborate and work together
- I want to help foster a conversation among the members of DA that hold varying viewpoints. It is crucial that we find a way to express our opinions on how we think the Democratic Party should move forward. I also want to offer the members ways to make sure their voices are heard all the way from Germany.
- Organize events and/or meetings that focus on specific issues or groups
- For example, DA has several caucuses and it would be great to have events that were specific to the topics and areas of interest of each of these caucuses. Or, to hold meetings where we introduce and talk about a specific policy area that are of importance to our members.
I hope that other members now know from my time spent helping at the Global Convention and the Election Night Party that I am a hard worker and someone they can rely on to get things done. It would be a great honor for me to be the chapter chair, and to have the chance to lead and improve the Berlin chapter of Democrats Abroad.