GOTV, voting rights, 1 year after...

During the week of Nov 8th, one year after the 2016 US election, Hamburg Chapter members came together to talk about Getting Out The Vote in 2018 and the status of our eligibility to take part in US elections as citizens living abroad.  We were joined by some new faces and used the opportunity to exchange ideas and talk about what we consider important for the future of the USA.  Some of our members also took part in another performance of Neuland, this time in Lüneburg.  Thank you to everyone who came out - we look forward to seeing you at other upcoming events!


Naturalization and Dual Nationality

Information Evening on September 7 th , 2017 in Hamburg

Many Americans who have been living in Germany for many years are deterred from applying for German citizenship because of the German law requiring the renunciation of their American citizenship.

Almost 80 persons attended an information evening organized by the Hamburg Chapter of Democrats Abroad Germany to shed light on the subject.  What are the rules and regulations?  Where can I get more specific information concerning my situation?
Two officials from the Hamburg Naturalization Office presented the facts and answered questions. 
Here is their presentation, in German.


Labor Day Weekend Picnic in Stadtpark

On September 3rd, Chapter members met in Hamburg's Stadtpark to enjoy the beautiful weather and celebrate Labor Day (1 day early) with a picnic.  We enjoyed the late-summer sun, throwing the frisbee or football around, and enjoying taco salad, pico de gallo and homemade oreos, among other delicacies.  Hope to see you at our next get together!

picture by Chesney McKinley-Severance


Pub Night in Hamburg

We had our first pub night in Hamburg on August 17th, at the Irish Rover.  Over good food and drink, we talked politics and life in general.  The evening also included some political action with everyone attending writing a postcard to one of their legislators in the US about a topic of concern.  We hope to make this a regular event.  If you have ideas, please share them so we can look to offer events of this or any other kind that are interesting to you.

picture by Chesney McKinley-Severance


Hamburg Stands Against Hate

On August 16th, members of the Hamburg Chapter and others came together in front of the US Consulate in response to the deplorable events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  We had a candlelight vigil for those injured and killed, and in peaceful demonstration against racism and hate.  Thank you to everyone who made it at such short notice.

You can find more pictures here:

pictures by Chesney McKinley-Severance


CSD in Hamburg (Aug 4-6)

The Hamburg Chapter was present at this year's CSD-Straßenfest.  Our stand was set up Friday through Sunday, and we had an amazing time meeting everyone who came out to support equal rights.  We passed along information about DA and voter registration to many Americans living abroad, and raised money for our chapter and DAG.  This was our chapter's first time taking part, but it will not be the last.  Special thanks to all the volunteers who made this possible!

article & picture by Marc Castagnera


G20 Follow-Up

On July 15th, members of the SPD, SPE and Democrats Abroad came together and were joined by others to discuss G20 topics and politics in general at the SPD's rooms in Eimsbüttel.  It was an opportunity to hear from some very interesting people, all coming from their own unique perspectives, and take part in thought-provoking discussion.  Members from the cast of "Neuland" also performed scenes from the Julia Hart's amazing show.  All in all, it was a unique opportunity to look at the state of our world, and what we can do to make a difference.  We hope to hold more such events in the future.

Topics & Panelists/Moderators:

Think Global, Act Local:  Perspektiven wirtschaftlicher Nachhaltigkeit und konstruktiver Entwicklungshilfe
- Florian Staudt - SPE Hamburg (Moderator)
- Marina Pasquali - International Relations Analyst
- Karsten Weitzenegger - Vorsitzender Society for International Development e. V.
- Prof. Dr. h.c. Christa Randzio-Plath - Vorsitzende Marie-Schlei-Verein e. V.
- Madhu Singh, Senior programme specialist, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning

Politics in the 21st Century:  Disillusionment, Animosity and Fatigue
- Evelyn Fyffe-Mathiesen & Marc Castagnera - DA Hamburg (Moderators)
Julia Hart - Director of "NEULAND"
- Chesney McKinley-Severance - DA Hamburg Social Media Lead
- Andrew Sola, Ph.D. - Associate Professor UMUC

article & pictures by Marc Castagnera


G20 Event in Stadtpark

On July 8th, while the G20 was underway at the city's Messehallen, DA Hamburg set up shop in Stadtpark to ask Americans, Germans, and citizens of the rest of the world what they have to say about social democracy and the topics being discussed at the summit.  The goal was to collect material for the blog , as well as G20-specific interviews to be put together in a special format.  We would like to thank everyone who stopped by and took part.  The city of Hamburg suffered a great deal of destruction and negative experiences over the G20 weekend, but this was a positive, creative one, the results of which will help in spreading the word about democratic values.

article by Marc Castagnera, pictures by Eric Shambroom & Chesney McKinley-Severance


4 July, 2017 at The Bird in Hamburg

What would the 4 th of July be without a juicy hamburger and a cold beer?  Fifteen of us turned up at
The Bird in St. Pauli for what the majority (in fact, everyone I asked) agreed was the best burger in
Hamburg.  If we came for the beef, we stayed for the conversation.  It was a pleasure to catch up
with so many members we had not seen for a long time, including a couple just passing through
the city and looking for company on this, one of the two iconic American holidays.

As a member who could not attend attested, “it is sometimes hard to hold onto traditions when you
have to go to school and work as usual."  All the more so, we are grateful to those who came, some
from great distances, to share good food and interesting political conversations around the table in
this friendly restaurant on our national day.

Text and photos by Maryann Schmunk



Some eight thousand persons braved the fickle wet weather to gather at the Hamburg Rathaus on Sunday, 4 June for the opening protest march of the G20 week. Organized by several political parties and non-governmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Oxfam and World Wildlife Fund, its purpose was to lay out a series of demands for G20 heads of state, chief among them: 1) Protecting the environment by adhering to the limits set by the Paris Accord and ending the production of coal entirely; 2) Making treaties and rules for trade that benefit all; and 3) Enacting measures to close the ever widening gap the separates the very rich from the poor all around the world. The loudest applause however was reserved for those who vowed to stand up to the isolationist, anti-immigrant tendencies and the climate change deniers emanating from our own country.

Although this event was not organized by Democrats Abroad, several of us were pleased to take part in solidarity with issues that concern Democrats the world over. At least for the space of a few hours, that hopeless feeling disappeared in the company of so many different people, from all walks of life, melded together under a sea of wildly colorful banners, waves of floating slogans. Then the scores of demonstrating boats paddling down the Alster appeared, along with the sun, and the marchers moved forward with their message—Planet Earth first!

article by Maryann Schmunk, picture by Eric Shambroom