On October 5th, we welcomed Howard Dean to Berlin as part of our kick-off to the 2018 midterms. To start the event, we held an Activist Fair so our members could learn about other opportunities in Berlin to become more involved. We were happy that we could welcome The Coalition, the American Women’s Club, and American Voices Abroad. We also had a table for members to learn more about the various Democrats Abroad Caucuses.
In addition to the Activist Fair, member Eva Adams gave a presentation on different organizations that are working to help flip Congress in 2018. Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like a copy of the presentation.
Before we welcomed Howard Dean to the stage, we had two excellent warm-up speakers: Julius van de Laar, a former youth coordinator for Barack Obama and Isaac Epstein, a former New Hampshire State Representative.
Howard Dean gave a great key-note speech, addressing our current political times. He argued in favor of the younger generation and the role they are playing to make a difference. Dean believes that young people are very important and they are very good at mobilizing for a cause. He gave an example of a 22-year-old woman in 2011 who was able to make Bank of America reverse their policy on charging individuals extra for making payments with their debit card. He used this story of an example of how well she was able to mobilize other individuals and make a real change and stand up to one of the biggest banks in America.
Dean went on to discuss how new technologies and abilities of young people can help to more effectively fight for what they believe. However, he also argued that even though young people can mobilize, they need to improve their ability to organize. With younger people no longer feeling a direct connection with a specific political party, it is harder to “pin them down” and have them stay involved with an issue over a long period of time.
Dean also highlighted the importance of staying involved in groups such as Democrats Abroad and also supporting groups like Indivisible, Sister District and Flippable.
Following his speech, Dean took questions from the audience.
The event was covered by ABC News. You can watch the video here http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/democrats-abroad-berlin-kicks-off-2018-midterm-efforts-50309193
Democrats Abroad would like to thank our speakers Howard Dean, Julius van de Laar and Isaac Epstein, as well as all of our volunteers who helped make this event possible. This event helped us raise money, engage our members, and grow our networks in preparation for the fight in 2018. We are looking forward to continuing our speaker series in 2018 - keep an eye out for upcoming events.