Office: Secretary

The Candidates

 

 

Kristen Jafflin (Basel area)

I joined Democrats Abroad, Switzerland 8 years ago, after moving to Geneva just a couple of weeks before President Obama’s inauguration and thankfully learning of an inauguration party hosted by Democrats Abroad.

A life-long Democrat and committed voter, I have long been active in Democratic and progressive politics. As an undergrad, I was a leader in my campus feminist and GLBT groups, and I have been an active participant in many progressive causes, from marching against the Iraq War, to pushing for graduate-student workers' rights as a member of our graduate student union while studying at UC Berkeley. I'm also an enthusiastic voter - I registered to vote as soon as I turned 18, and I participated in get out the vote drives in Nevada in 2004 and volunteered to work as a poll worker during the 2008 election.

Since arriving in Switzerland, I've been an active member of Democrats Abroad, participating and volunteering frequently for all manner of events, from Art Walks to Expat Expos. This past election year, I was part of a team of Basel-area Democrats who organized a great voter registration effort and many election-related events, including Debate and Election-night Watch Parties. We've continued to be active since the election, organizing a Basel Chapter of DACH, and contemplating how to best respond to the terrifying new Republican administration. As part of that effort, I'm head of a team that completed database training and certification on the new DA database.

It is vital that we resist the Republican administration and fight to take over the House and Senate in the mid-term elections. As secretary of DACH, I hope to put my passion, skills and experience to use strengthening DA Switzerland to help us all in that effort. I should be able to do so from day one, given my familiarity with DA Switzerland and certification on the database (the latter being essential for maintaining the membership list).

 

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Laura Solia Shellaby (Geneva)

I am a proud American and progressive Democrat who firmly believes in the power of democratic government to advance social good and serve the needs of its citizens. At this alarming and uncertain time in American political history, I believe that citizen engagement in the political process is more important than ever to ensure that our democratic institutions protect all Americans, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, place of origin or economic status, maintain peace in the world, and withstand the dangerous whims of the current administration. This is why I would like to dedicate my time and efforts to serve Democrats Abroad in Switzerland as your Secretary.

I believe that my education, professional experience, and genuine passion for policy and politics qualify me for this role. Originally from New York, I bring a global perspective to all that I do and have travelled extensively in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Professionally, I specialize in the development of multi-sector partnerships for global health and am currently a Partnerships & Networks Manager at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in Geneva. My previous experience includes working on corporate social responsibility initiatives in the private sector, managing partnerships and communications for a Liberian NGO during the Ebola Crisis, and serving as Global Health Lead at the Clinton Global Initiative. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Public Health Policy from New York University and a Master of Science in Global Affairs from NYU's Centre for Global Affairs.

If elected, I will use my education and experience to fulfil the office of Secretary in an organized and efficient manner and contribute to the Executive Committee to the best of my abilities. In addition, I will employ my millennial enthusiasm and digital fluency to support increased member engagement through new avenues of information exchange and heightened activism. With daily headlines focused on the most sensational news coming out of Washington and the definition of "facts" up for debate, I will strive to break through the noise and elevate the most critical issues facing our country and you, the Democrats of Switzerland.

As the so-called 51st state, we - the millions of Americans living abroad - represent a powerful voting bloc that can swing elections and sway elected officials on issues that matter. Working together as the Democrats of Switzerland and as part of Democrats Abroad worldwide, I believe that we can make a difference. Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy. It would be an honour to serve you.

 

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Elizabeth Voss (Basel)

For as long as I can remember, I have identified with and held dear the programs and ideals that the Democratic Party represents. I come from a union family who instilled in me the importance of voting for candidates who protect workers' rights. As a young adult, I benefitted from the services offered at a reasonable cost at Planned Parenthood. I have used the social safety net when it was necessary and I had no other options. So many of my life experiences and my beliefs necessitate my allegiance with the Democratic Party; truly, the party cares for the real needs of the American people with basic empathy underlying each of the policies put forth by our representatives.

The Democratic Party is at a critical point. That the GOP controls the majority of state legislatures and governorships as well as the House and Senate spells major trouble for the Democrats now and far into the future. It is essential that we start gaining back ground so that after the next census, the Republican gerrymandering doesn't worsen and cause more issues for us and for the freedoms and protections of the American people, both at home and abroad.

I haven't ever held a secretarial position. However, I was heavily involved in Student Council and Key Club executive boards in high school. Additionally, I have worked in office settings for over ten years and have excellent written and oral communication skills. I am very organized and am also proficient with the Google suite of office tools (Docs, Sheets, and Slides).

It is unfortunate that I didn't really find my passion for politics until we moved overseas, but I suppose my passion was born of necessity. The current state of politics in the US is dire and while I feel fortunate to have some distance from it, I also feel it's necessary to do everything I can to help improve things for my friends and family back home, as well as the rest of the country, and the world at large. I have a five year daughter. My husband and I have had to explain to her that we won't be moving back to the US for at least four more years, but I want her to be able to move home one day and be proud of the country she’s returning to. That is why I want to be involved in the DACH Executive Committee.

 

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