- Kate Edson (Basel)
I am a lifelong Democrat and have been continuously involved in progressive causes since my first Earth Day as a teenager organising recycling drives up until the Women’s March in Geneva. I studied and worked in a field dominated by men and know how important it is to preserve the rights women fought so hard for. I volunteered with the Obama campaign in 2007 in Basel helping to organise voter registration, debate watch events, an election and inauguration night parties. In 2016, as Vice-Chair for Basel Events under the Zurich Chair Renee Rousseau I worked to organise a team in Basel that is now ready to form an official Basel Chapter. We held several voter registration events (at one event registering about 80 people), an Expat Expo, Debate Watches, Election Night Party and other events such as Tax Nights and have held regular monthly meetings of our volunteers.
During the past year I gained valuable experience working nationally on the Executive Committee as a Member-at-Large for GOTV and as acting Chair for Basel. I’ve had the benefit of the good example the current leadership team has provided in nurturing a cohesive team and have enjoyed working with them all. I have also had previous experience serving on a Board of Directors as Social Events & Programs Chair for the American Women’s Club of Basel. In addition, I think my 20 years of professional experience as an executive and project leader in a large corporation has also provided me with useful organisational and management skills that will be useful in serving as Chair of DACH.
The next two years will be critical in regaining control of Congress, working to increase the Democratic presence in local and state offices and prepare for the next presidential race in 2020. In Switzerland in 2017 we will be working to further develop local organisations, reach out to more Americans across the country and to update and increase our membership list. Then come January 2018 we will be ready to start registering voters for the 2018 midterm elections. Many progressives also feel frustration about the outcome of the elections and need help channelling that frustration into activism. We need to be ready to help. We have seen that energy used in positive protest can make a difference even with this administration in place.
- Max I. Zappe (Zurich)
I am a native Californian living in Switzerland, who has eagerly followed American political affairs since I can remember and would like to contribute as much as I can to the wellbeing of American Democracy. Being appalled by the recent election and in despair about the direction towards which American Politics has been taking a turn, I committed myself to do everything and anything I can to fight the elitist, oppressive and unrepresentative Agenda being pushed forward by the far-right. I have been very outspoken about justice, privacy and equality in the United States in the past and would appreciate the opportunity to continue to push these important principals forward on a larger scale, as Chair of Democrats Abroad. Given the chance, I would use all available resources to push against the outrageous propositions being produced by the current White House by, amongst many other things, recruiting larger numbers of volunteers, lobbying senators and congresspeople, organizing charities for groups like ACLU and Planned Parenthood, mobilizing more Voters and loudly calling out the current administration for their counter productivity and bigotry. In such unsettling and uncertain times I find it most important remain calm and consistent in contrasting unreasonable ideas. This is exactly what I hope to be able to do as Chair of Democrats Abroad and thus hope I can count on your vote.