Presentation of Candidates for Vice-Chair

DAN Executive Committee 2017-2019

 

CANDIDATE NAME:    Audrey Camp            

e-mail:   audrey.camp@gmail.com 

POSITION:   Chair and Vice-Chair

Why you would like to work on the DAN Executive Committee?  What skills and ideas would you contribute?  Why are you the best candidate for the position? 

The Democratic Party needs to find itself fast. The new President’s opening barrage of Executive Orders has allowed those of us in the opposition little time for reflection and soul-searching. Still, we cannot go into pure survival mode and pray for an implosion on the right. Nor can we allow ourselves to burn out playing constant defence. Our party must reestablish a solid, diversified position from which to communicate our progressive principles to the most people in the most persuasive way. If elected to serve Democrats Abroad Norway (DAN) as Chair, this would be the foundation for my contribution. 

My husband and I grew up in the same California town. We moved to Norway in 2011 for the adventure of it. Now we see ourselves living here long-term. In my past professional life, I worked as an insurance broker; I have also coached teams, directed plays, and taught writing classes. Today, I am a freelance writer.

I have a BA in English from UC Davis and an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. I am also completing my MA thesis in English and American Literature at the University of Oslo. You can find my work—essays,  short stories, journalism, personal profiles, even poetry—in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Recently, I was the co-author of two city guides for entrepreneurs: Startup Guide Oslo (2016) and Startup Guide Vienna (2017). Since then, I’ve been hired by Telenor Norway to write a series of profiles on their top female executives. In the last year, I’ve interviewed more than 60 people from every walk of life, every industry, every corporate level. It’s been a career highlight, and it’s brought into sharp focus that my greatest skill is the ability (and desire) to speak with people directly and sincerely. 

As a writer, everything I do hinges on truth and beauty. In this post-fact climate, I cling to my principles. And I am hopeful. This could be inspired by my evangelical background. I’m a liberal Christian who has stepped away from the organised church due to its unfortunate entanglements with conservative ideology. My faith makes me especially compassionate toward those who desire and deserve real religious freedom, particularly American Muslims. It also means that I am always prepared to give a reason for the hope that I have.

Today, my hope comes from the thousands of people around the world who are rallying, marching, protesting, essaying and stirring things up. This is activism. We need to harness that energy and use it to accomplish measurable progress. We need to liaise with other Democratic action groups in Norway, bring in new voters, and mobilise those who want to help but aren’t sure how. We also need to maintain the morale of our membership, as many will suffer Trump-fatigue in the coming weeks and years. To this end, I believe I can be an effective communicator of Democratic values and an advocate for Democratic culture. I hope to be of service.

 

 

CANDIDATE NAME:    Jonathan Roth              

 e-mail:   jonathan.d.roth@gmail.com

POSITION:   Chair and Vice-Chair

Why you would like to work on the DAN Executive Committee?  What skills and ideas would you contribute?  Why are you the best candidate for the position? 

I am Jonathan Roth and I am running for the position of DAN Chair, for which I kindly ask your support. I moved to Norway with my Norwegian partner in the Summer of 2016 after being a regular visitor with her over several years, and have been involved with DAN since I arrived. The challenges ahead of us in fostering civic engagement among expatriates here in Norway will be tough after the last election, but this engagement is vital to our cause, so we have to get back up on the horse!

As Democrats, we are entering a period of uncertainty and reorganization as the opposition in the near term, and these times call for a reasoned and informed type of leadership, one that will emphasize the sharpening and expanding of our message and reach in Norway, in order to mobilize voters for the mid-term congressional elections of 2018 (and 2 east coast Governor races this year!). I believe I am the right choice. I arrived in Norway from Washington DC, where I had worked as a Legislative Fellow on staff for senior Democratic members of congress Eliot L. Engel and Carolyn B. Maloney from New York. I have a broad authority over the politics and policy of our government, and I am familiar with the personalities and ecosystem of our legislature.

The fight of our particular time is to hold the line in the Senate and make gains in Congress next term, and that means articulating our opposition while also educating our constituency here in Norway.  That work begins now. There is vast potential to expand DAN, and I look forward to working with all members and affiliates in achieving a lasting expansion of our footprint which will hold our DA organization in good stead going into 2020 and beyond.

By way of strategy, I have existing relationships at the Democratic National Committee in DC, and networks among the staff of many of our current representatives, to utilize for guidance. I also have personal communications and social media experience working with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy - New York. Previous to my work in the Congress, I worked as a diplomatic writer at the UN, and had several years of experience working in emerging markets in the finance industry. I now have a small business consultancy. I am a foreign policy specialist by training, and I received my Masters in International Relations from the University of Westminster in London in 2006. I did my political science undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont.

I believe the future belongs to the agents of progress, and history has shown this to be the case. However, we cannot be complacent and believe the tide will turn, we must work for it. I commit to you a leadership with intellectual honesty, and commitment to a fact based public diplomacy. We have a lot to be proud of as Democrats, so I ask for your vote, and let’s climb back up this mountain.

 

 

CANDIDATE NAME:    Marine Vallet           

 e-mail:   marine.vallet13@gmail.com

POSITION:   Chair and Vice-Chair

I am Marine Vallet and I ask for your vote for Chair/Vice Chair of DAN.

I moved to Norway in the spring of 2015, and live in Østfold with my Norwegian samboer. I have been volunteering for DAN since my arrival and have been involved in Democratic (big D) politics since even before I could vote.

The Democratic Party needs to evolve to reflect the future through fostering continued civic engagement. While activism is spreading as an opposition to the current administration, the upcoming challenge will be to harness that energy into concrete action and avoid the complacency that comes from living far away.

The primary responsibilities of DAN are to “further the aims of the Democratic Party” and to “encourage and aid Americans to participate in elections.” If elected, this will be my focus. Expanding DAN membership throughout Norway and working on GOTV efforts in order to maintain and gain seats in Congress (and in state legislatures and governorships) in the coming years.

I believe I am the right choice to achieve these goals. In Brussels, I was the Vice Chair of DA-Belgium and was responsible for coordinating events and voter registration efforts. Prior to that, I was an elected board member of both the College Democrats of America and the College Democrats of Massachusetts, as well as founding the College Democrats chapter at my university. In these roles, I was responsible for growing the membership and working on advocacy towards state parties to implement youth-friendly voting policies as well as coordinating GOTV efforts on college campuses.

In my day job, I work in humanitarian aid as a grants manager of programmes in the Middle East (Iraq and Syria) for Save the Children. I also have experience in people and programme management though my involvement in Young Professionals in Foreign Policy – Brussels, where in my position as Programming Director I handled relationships with sponsors and partners as well as overseeing the organisation of weekly events. I have a Masters in International Development from the University of Kent and an undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Relations from Simmons College in Boston.

 If you elect me, I commit to leading DAN with honesty and openness; to serving you and other Americans living in Norway; and to growing the Democratic party abroad. I ask for your vote to make this happen. While we have much to fight for in the coming years, we have just as much to be proud of and I look forward to working with you.

 

 

CANDIDATE NAME:    Christina Skovsgaard      

 e-mail:   chris@skovco.com

POSITION:   Chair and Vice-Chair

I was born a Democrat. The first time I attended a DA Global meeting in Toronto, in 2005, I knew I found a home.  For the past 12 years, Democrats Abroad Norway has become an integral part of my activities and has helped me have a voice even while living abroad.

Americans abroad are increasingly enduring unintended but seriously adverse impacts from US legislation that does not consider our unique circumstances. These policies can affect citizenship and it transmission, voting access, immigration and taxation.  I’ve served as the acting Vice-Chair (2008), volunteered for the 2008 Convention, was appointed as the International Representative in 2009, and have served as Counsel since 2011. I have been involved in voter-registration, phone-banking, fundraising, event planning, and Door-Knocking in DC (09,11,14).  I’m the only board member to have regularly attended yearly regional and global DA meetings, also at my own expense (Brussels, Vancouver, Florence, Seoul, DC.etc.). These activities not only allowed me to update myself on DA happenings and lobbying efforts and issues, but also enabled me to build a community of committed American’s living around the world.

In this election cycle, I attended the Global meeting in Berlin where we voted for our Delegates and DNC representatives. I was the DAN advisor for the first Global Primary in Bergen, the coordinator for phone-banking, the troubleshooter for members with questions pertaining to voting, and the advisor for the YouTube production, Vote from Abroad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egVYIl6XC7k

We have a new political reality that truly has global effects. We as Democrats, all have a passion for reform. Passion is good, but we need action and a strategy.  Paraphrasing Obama, «you need a strategy, not just hashtags but votes» in 2018. We are uncertain of the exact number of women, in the largest ever collective protest on January 21, but we are certain the numbers tallied on November 8. The main function of Democrats Abroad is to rally votes and have members participate in the political arena.  With your help and your vote, I feel prepared to be Chair or Vice-Chair.

 My Vision: DAN should encourage engagement of citizens abroad. Senate and Congress races have been won due to our votes, opening eyes in DC.  Resolutions written by DA members are now part of the DNC platform.  DAN should increase information,encourage more social events and be open to joining caucuses (youth, woman’s, LGBT). Chapter development should be a goal for increasing membership and participation thought-out Norway.  It`s vital to value the input of members and work as a team.

In the many years that I’ve lived in Norway, as a wife, then a mother and now as a happy grandmother, there has never been such a need for us to have our voices heard.

Education: BFA, MFA Speech Pathology and Communications 

Certification: Professional Ski Instructor of America; Norwegian Ski School

“PLATO: THOSE WHO ARE TOO SMART TO ENGAGE IN POLITICS ARE PUNISHED BY BEING GOVERNED BY THOSE THAT ARE DUMBER”.