Democrats Abroad Australia Secretary

  • published Sue Barrell elected Queensland Chapter Chair in News 2017-06-28 18:28:45 -0400

    Sue Barrell elected Queensland Chapter Chair

    Queensland Democrats elect Sue Barrell (centre) as Chapter Chair
    Queensland had its state chapter AGM on Sunday, June 25 at the Pig n Whistle in Brisbane.  While only five people attended in person, we had many more vote remotely, and Sue Barrell was elected Chair unanimously.  We spent a couple of hours discussing the parlous state of US governance, and how we can increase both membership and voter participation for the 2018 midterm elections.  Since Queensland, unlike perhaps other states, has significant membership outside the capital city, we also discussed the formation of satellite subchapters, perhaps on the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and far North Queensland.  I'm sure Sue will have a lot more to say in the coming weeks and months.  
    Thanks to all who participated, and stay tuned -- we're energised and ready to go!
    Lisa Lombardi,
    DAA Legal Counsel & QLD Chapter Member

  • published New Leaders elected to NSW Chapter in News 2017-06-26 12:26:07 -0400

    New Leaders elected to NSW Chapter


    Steve Knuth and Marla Minow (lower left corner), elected as new leaders by NSW chapter members

    Both hailing from Chicago, Marla Minow and Steve Knuth have been unanimously elected to lead the NSW Chapter of DA Australia as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. Marla brings several years of experience to DA having served in leadership roles previously. She believes that Democrats have become complacent, "I recognise that when the Democratic Party was in power I was very inactive and that now that we have lost the White House, both houses of congress and governorships across the country that I want and need to be in action and a force for change." Balancing out the leadership team, Steve decided to run because he wanted to get more involved in reaching out to like-minded people who can work together to strengthen DAA NSW and attract more members. "If you've never been involved, there's never a good time like now to start."

  • published Thomas Lopez elected Victorian Chapter Chair in News 2017-06-26 11:54:42 -0400

    Thomas Lopez elected Victorian Chapter Chair



    Thomas Lopez speaking to members as outgoing leader Ersie Burke listens


    At its annual general meeting, held on 25 June, the Victorian Chapter of Democrats Abroad Australia elected a new chair to continue the fight for everyday working-class Americans in the Trump era. Election officer Phil Kowalski declared a unanimous vote in favor of Thomas Lopez among all ballots cast.


    Originally from California, Thomas is a US Army veteran and has lived in Australia since 2015. Those not previously familiar with the new chair had ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss how to become more involved with DA as members remained at the venue for several hours post-election.


    “I look forward to working with each and every one of you to turn the tide against Trump’s terrible policies and his disastrous vision for America,” Thomas said. “With some hard work and dedication, we can take back the House in 2018.”


    With Trump’s continuing controversial statements, racist policies, and conflicts of interest, Thomas’ comments are in line with the DNC’s recently launched Resistance Summer organizing initiative. There was also meaningful discussion between chapter members on ideas for upcoming meetings, activities, and the need to continue reaching out to Americans living in Victoria and encouraging them to vote from abroad.


    The chapter’s meeting also marked a meaningful farewell to Ersie Burke and Chris Stueckle, the outgoing leaders from Melbourne who previously served DA both locally and as national officers. Despite having contributed countless hours of work on behalf of DA Australia, Ersie and Chris vowed to remain politically active and to support Thomas when they can.  


    Democrats in Victoria were re-energized with motivation. Ersie confirmed her eagerness in hoping to see a renewal of political activism within the membership. “I'm so happy and relieved that someone as wonderful and enthusiastic as Thomas is the new Chair. He’s smart and savvy, a breath of fresh air. I know he’ll be an outstanding Chair,” she stated.


    Thomas and the elected chairs from other Australian chapters will next join the national leadership as members of the executive committee. As Victoria’s sole representative to the executive committee, Thomas has stated that his priorities will include focusing efforts on getting members to exercise their right to vote in upcoming special elections, making preparations for the 2018 congressional mid-term elections, and working to make the Victorian chapter a place for all Democrats to come together and engage in sharing ideas.


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