Country Chair / DPCA Voting Rep

  • published Special Meeting of DA Canada Members in News 2018-12-21 19:10:50 -0500

    Special Meeting of DA Canada Members

    This is a formal announcement of a special meeting of members of Democrats Abroad Canada (“DACA”) called for Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 7:30PM EST via WebEx. The purpose of the meeting is to consider passage of a revision to Article 15.2 of the Democrats Abroad Canada Bylaws (the “Bylaws”), proposed by the Board of Directors of DACA.

    Article 15 addresses how DACA members become Democratic Party Committee Abroad (“DPCA”) voting representatives. This announcement addresses the reasons the DACA Board is proposing this amendment, what it attempts to do and why we recommend it.


    Democrats Abroad (“DA”) is formally known as the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (“DPCA”). DA has a Board of Directors at the international level. Members organize themselves locally into Country Committees (like DACA) and local chapters.

    DA calls annual international meetings where certain members of the Country Committees have the power to vote on initiatives related to DA’s governance and activities. These voting members are called “DPCA Voting Representatives”.

    DA assigns each Country Committee a number of votes in proportion with the size of its membership. These votes are assigned to each country’s DPCA Voting Representatives. For example, larger Country Committees, like Canada, have more votes at the international meetings.

    In Canada, we assign one vote per DPCA Voting Representative. Therefore, we have more DPCA Voting Representatives than most Country Committees.

    Why is the Board Proposing this Amendment?

    DA’s Charter requires each Country Committee to elect DPCA Voting Representatives nationally. The Charter also requires even sex distribution among the group of DPCA Voting Representatives from each Country Committee (i.e., the DPCA Voting Representatives from Canada must be an equal number of people who identify as female and people who identify as male).

    Under the current Article 15.2 of DACA’s Bylaws, DACA’s DPCA Voting Representatives are:

    1. all of the elected officers of the Board; and
    2. Chapter Chairs who are in office as of May 1st each election year.

    Article 15.2 does not say anything about sex distribution.

    DA has informed the DACA Board that Article 15.2 violates the DA Charter because:

    1. it allows Chapter Chairs to serve as DPCA Voting Representatives and they are not elected nationally (which is required under the DA Charter); and
    2. it does not provide for even sex distribution among the DPCA Voting Representatives from Canada.

    Accordingly, DACA has to revise Article 15.2 to be in compliance.

    What does the Amendment do?

    The Amendment (below) eliminates Article 15.2 and replaces it with new text that does the following:

    1. confirms that the nationally-elected members of the DACA Board of Directors’ Executive Committee (Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) Vice Chairs, Secretary, Membership Secretary, IT Manager, Counsel and three (3) Members-at-Large will also serve as DPCA Voting Representatives; and
    2. establishes a process for nationally-electing the remaining DPCA Voting Representatives for DACA in a manner that takes sex distribution into consideration.
    3. The Amendment provides that each national election will follow the following process:
      1. candidates can choose to run for Executive Committee officer positions and/or DPCA Voting Representative;
      2. the votes for the candidates for officer positions will be counted first, and the members of the Executive Committee will be declared;
      3. anyone who ran as an officer and for a DPCA position will be removed from the slate of candidates for DPCA Voting Representative because they will already have a DPCA vote as an elected officer of the Executive Committee;
      4. the votes for the remaining candidates for DPCA Voting Representatives will be tallied;
      5. based on the sex distribution balance of the Executive Committee (e., the number of officers who identify as male, female non-binary, etc.), the DPCA Voting Representatives candidates who will balance the sex distribution of the overall group of DPCA Voting Representatives will be declared according to who received the most votes; and
      6. for the purpose of achieving even sex distribution among the DPCA Voting Representatives, non-binary individuals will be treated as neutral and the sex distribution will be determined based on the self-identified sex of those candidates who identify as male or female.

    Why does the DACA Board recommend the Amendment?

    The Board recommends this approach for the following reasons:

    1. This Amendment ensures that DACA’s DPCA Voting Representatives are all elected nationally and have even sex distribution as a group. This ensures that we can use all of our Country Committee Votes at each DA annual meeting.
    2. By distributing DPCA Voting Representative responsibilities among the Executive Committee and individuals who only serve as DPCA Voting Representatives, it allows the group to draw on a range of knowledge and experience and national and international involvement while keeping the group at a manageable size.

    CURRENT ARTICLE 15 Democratic Party Committee Abroad Voting Representatives (DPCA Voting Representatives)

    15.1 The DPCA Voting Representatives shall represent the views of DACA at the international meetings of the DPCA. The number of voting members is based on country membership and other factors and is determined by the DPCA. The Country Chair and the Executive Vice Chair are Voting Representatives by virtue of their offices. All DPCA voting members pledge to attend the Annual DPCA meetings or may timely proxy their vote to another board member or a member of their chapter board.

    15.2 DACA voting representatives to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) shall be members of the DACA Board, its Officers, Members at Large, IT Manager and Chapter Chairs who are in office May 1st of each election year. Each voting representative shall share an equal portion of the voting allocation assigned to it by the DPCA in February of the same year.

    PROPOSED ARTICLE 15 Democratic Party Committee Abroad Voting Representatives (DPCA Voting Representatives)

    15.1 The DPCA Voting Representatives shall represent the views of DACA at the international meetings of the DPCA. The number of voting members is based on country membership and other factors and is determined by the DPCA. The Country Chair and the Executive Vice Chair are Voting Representatives by virtue of their offices. All DPCA voting members pledge to attend the Annual DPCA meetings or may timely proxy their vote to another board member or a member of their chapter board.

    15.2 The following 12 board members upon election would automatically become DPCA Voting Representatives: Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) additional Vice Chairs, Secretary, Membership Secretary, IT Manager, Treasurer, Counsel, and 3 At-Large Members.

    To elect the remaining DPCA Voting Reps there will be one slate of female, male and non-binary candidates. Candidates can run for both a Board position and on the DPCA slate.

    DA Canada members vote for the Board positions, and for up to 12 on the DPCA slate.

    Once the Board positions have been declared elected, two things will happen:

    1. The elected names, if also appearing on the slate of DPCA candidates, will be removed.
    2. Based on the declared sex distribution of the Board, the candidates with the most votes of each sex will be declared winners such that the DPCA representation is sex balanced. If the number of allowed DPCA reps for Canada is an odd number, the imbalance on the elected DPCA Voting Reps shall be of the opposite sex to the larger sex makeup of the Board. If the number of elected DPCA Voting Representatives is an odd number, the final DPCA Voting Representative position will go to the candidate who received the most votes.

    In the event that a DPCA rep cannot fulfill their position, a candidate of the same sex as the departing rep shall be elected as an acting DPCA rep by a vote of the Executive Committee. The candidate shall be selected in voted order from the previous DPCA slate.

    In the event of non-binary DPCA Voting Representatives, they shall not be counted for the purposes of gender parity, and the remainder of the delegation shall be equally divided.

    This proposal will be voted on electronically, with the ballot being distributed no later than 15 days prior to the special meeting. The ballot will also have instructions for how to access the special meeting on WebEx.

    If you have questions or concerns about the Amendment, please reach out to Steve Nardi at

    Democratically yours,

    Board of Directors
    Democrats Abroad Canada


  • URGENT: Voters from FL, GA and AZ - ensure your ballot is counted!

    November 10, 2018 at 3:52am

    This urgent message is for members who vote from Florida, Georgia or Arizona – Please take a moment to read on to ensure your vote was counted. It’ll take a few minutes of your time but it’s crucial to take action now or risk allowing the Republicans to take your vote away.

    Over the past several election cycles, the votes received by Democrats Abroad voters has delivered the numerical difference to victory in one to two close races; e.g. MN, NY, CT, NV. This time it’s overseas voters from FL, GA and AZ who have the ability to truly play a role in victory – every vote does count!

    The stakes are high and the numbers are close - if every vote is counted Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Bill Nelson and Kyrsten Sinema could see victory at the end.

    The Democrats Abroad GOTV Team has put together crucial information to help you contact your voting county immediately to make sure your vote is being recognized and counted. If your ballot has not been counted or cannot be found, follow the following steps outlined below. The tight race in Arizona has not only highlighted the value of our votes from abroad, but also highlighted how much we need to do to help protect those votes and ensure they are counted.

    In GA, FL and AZ, the GOP is actively working to avoid counting absentee ballots.

    To help ensure that our votes are counted, we are working with state voter protection teams and have rolled out the following process to help you PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE..

    1. We are sending emails to voters in each state with information walking them through checking on the status of their ballots.

    2. If a ballot has not been counted, we are asking Florida and Georgia voters to fill out a form which we are sharing directly with the voter protection teams in their states. We are asking Arizona voters to get in touch with their local election offices immediately to ensure they have all the information they need to verify their ballots, and then to reach out to us if they have further problems.

    Here is the information, by State:





    Please contact your local Chapter or email for additional assistance.



    In Solidarity,

    Bodil Geyer
    GOTV Coordinator, Canada


  • Some thoughts on Pittsburgh; by a Jewish guy from Philadelphia

    It happened.

    Every Jew who attends any Jewish activity experiences the worry that something like what happened at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend could happen at any time. Hateful rhetoric and gun manufacturers have made it clear that these kinds of atrocities--hate crimes--can happen in the United States.

    Extremists want to blame the Jewish people for bringing it upon themselves, but we know that is not true. The NRA and their accomplices on the Right in Congress, the Supreme Court and certain presidents have made sure that as MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell puts it, "the U.S. has the best armed mass murderers in the world.” 

    And it’s more likely to happen in the atmosphere of racial resentment fostered by the current administration. Unfortunately, prejudice against people of color and Jews come hand in hand. As somebody who had to pass swastika painted walls on the way to Hebrew school in Philadelphia, I am grateful that at least here in Canada individuals harboring this kind of hatred and prejudice are unlikely to have an AR-15. 

    However, our work to combat hate and racism and promote equity and equality is never done. We in Democrats Abroad are working to create an environment in which atrocities like the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh are less likely to happen. Thank you for all you are doing to support that mission. It is so important.

    Ed Ungar
    Co Vice Chair
    Democrats Abroad Canada

    November 02, 2018 at 2:09am

  • Help! What can I do to get my ballot returned with the Canada Post rotating strikes?

    October 25, 2018 at 3:44am

    Don’t let the Canada Post rotating strikes keep you from returning your ballot. Below are a few suggestions on how you can submit your ballot outside of the Canada Post system, however you need to act quickly.

    If you can return your ballot electronically (email, fax or online upload), we urge you to do so! 28 states permit fax returns and 23 of those permit email so don't presume it's not an option.

    If your state only allows fax return [AK, FL, CA, LA (with special permission) and OK] and you don’t have access to a fax machine, there are free apps that will convert an email attachment to a fax.
    Or you can use the DoD Fax service through the Federal Voting Assistance Program ( Email your ballot, any required supporting materials and a cover sheet (see: to FVAP will then fax your election materials to your Local Election Officials. (This option is ONLY to use their email-to-fax service, if your state accepts email ballot return, just email to your state directly.)

    If you must mail your ballot, consider using an overnight service. Or, if you're close to the US Embassy or Consulate, ask if they are accepting ballots to place in the diplomatic pouch. You can contact them here:
    It will be taken to the US and placed in the US mail, so be sure to ask how long they anticipate it will take to get to your ballot to your election office--there can be a significant time lag! Check the date your mailed ballot must get to your state here:

    We’ve checked with the Toronto Consulate and they are accepting ballots, as most should. Their diplomatic pouch ships to New York on Tuesdays, so if you drop off your ballot by Monday Oct. 29th it’ll have a good chance of arriving at your local election office in time.

    If you choose to take your ballot to the US Embassy or Consulate you must either have USPS postage (envelopes entering the USPS system with Canada Post stamps won’t be delivered) or you must use the postage-paid envelope available at this link ( You have two options, you can either print an envelope or print it on a sheet then cut out and place on top of a blank envelope.

    Finally, if you plan to go to the US to mail your ballot, please contact your Local Election Official first to confirm your ballot will be accepted if mailed from within the US. You can find the contact information here:". If you mail your ballot within the U.S. you must put your out-of-country address in the return address area – follow the directions that came with your ballot.

    We appreciate that some of these options take more effort than usual. Democrats Abroad has delivered the numerical difference in several close elections and our votes are needed now more than ever. These strikes are occurring at the worst time for Democratic voters in Canada – please don’t let Canada Post be an obstacle to helping deliver the blue wave!

    If you have questions about not having received your ballot or submitting your ballot, you can access the online Voter Help Desk at or email:

    Democratically yours,

    Steve Nardi
    Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada


  • Americans in Canada invited to volunteer in swing districts

    October 21, 2018 at 4:43am

    Democrats Abroad Canada has been approached by campaigns in critical swing districts in border-states asking for volunteers willing to travel help on the ground in a number of ways. The need is especially great on the weekend of Nov 2nd-4th and on election day, Nov 6.

    While we’ve had dozens of volunteers across Canada phone-banking Americans living abroad, our proximity to the border states provides a unique opportunity among our diaspora in that most of us can travel relatively short distances to participate on the ground to possibly tip the balance in certain very tight races.

    Here are comments from someone working with Danny O’Connor who came within 1,600 votes in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District and is running again:

    We have moved onto organizing Get Out The Vote canvass parties across the state with a focus on the last weekend before the election, although we have events every weekend. Lining up volunteers from in state and out of state as well as places for people to stay. In addition, we have phone banks set up but boots on ground is focus. This election is going to be won by whoever gets the base plus the tiny group of independents who usually stay home off the couch.

    Due to liability risks, Dems Abroad can’t officially organize car trips to the States. However, we know that several people are planning to travel to critical swing districts over the next couple of weeks to volunteer in campaigns. Dems Abroad will collect information for those who would like to join one of these trips. We will then share the information with those who indicated a specific canvassing opportunity and the campaign coordinator in the district. At that point it’ll be up to the group to coordinate activities.

    The comments about the opportunities in Ohio’s 12th District are representative of what’s available if you’re wanting to get more involved.

    To indicate your interest please click here and complete the form. We plan to distribute group details by Oct. 26th to coordinate plans. You’ll see 3 specific districts who are seeking volunteers however if you have another district you’re planning to travel to or would like to volunteer for, you can indicate that on the form.

    Democratically yours,

    Steve Nardi
    Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada 


  • We need your help - seeking volunteers for PRIDE Festival and Parade

    It’s Pride Month and we’re looking for volunteers during the PRIDE Festival!

    When you wake up on November 7th do you want to see a change to Washington? Now is not the time for complacency!

    We are in the midst of Primaries as the 2018 mid-term elections rapidly approach. With summer almost upon us now is the critical time to connect with Americans living in the Toronto area to encourage them to register for their ballot or to educate people on why we, as Americans living abroad, need to exercise our constitutional right to vote – FATCA. FBAR and the latest tax bill are all actions making it more difficult as an American living abroad. Democrats Abroad has made the numerical difference in victory in several recent special elections and the Democratic Party is looking to our diaspora to deliver the numbers to take the House and/or Senate.

    As 2016 taught us, complacency will doom Democrats in races across the country – we must get as many Americans living in Canada to register and exercise their right to cast a ballot in the election. Our history of delivering the numerical difference for victory by Democrats in close races cannot be understated.

    Democrats Abroad – Toronto will have a booth at the Street Festival on Sat. June 22nd and Sun. June 23rd. Additionally we’ll be marching in the PRIDE Parade (Sun. June 23rd 12pm-4pm) and are looking to make a respectable showing with a large number of walkers. As an aside, walking in the parade is FAR more fun than standing on the sidelines.

    We’re looking for members who would like to volunteer at the Democrats Abroad Toronto booth at Pride 2018.

    The Pride 2018 streetfair will be held on June 22nd & June 23rd

    If you are interested please click here to send us your information.

    Watch your email or this web page for further announcements of plans for PRIDE Week. If you have friends who would like to support the efforts for change in the mid-terms share the registration link with them. Volunteers don’t have to be American so if you have friends who want to help or walk in the parade with you please share the registration link with them so we know how many people can help out.

    If you happen to see our booth at a festival this summer be sure to stop by and say hello!

    Best regards,

    Steve Nardi
    Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada


  • signed up on Progressive Caucus Signup 2018-02-13 11:44:49 -0500

  • Democrats Abroad 2017 Non-Resident US Taxpayer Research Project

    We invite Americans living outside the US to submit their experiences of being a US taxpayer filing from abroad.

    Democrats Abroad has invested a great deal of time making Congress aware of the issues we as non-resident taxpayers face filing from abroad - the complexity of the forms; the cost of preparing reports and filings (even when no taxes are owed); the stress of preparing accurate filings to declare overseas income and accounts given the penalties for filing errors; the tax code provisions that result in the double or punitive taxation of foreign source income; etc.

    We will use the submissions to this survey to provide further data and testimony of our experiences to help us advocate for important reforms to the US tax code.

    Thank you for taking the time to prepare your submission and for your support for Democrats Abroad's tax advocacy work. 

    Click here to submit your experience

    If you'd like to join our campaign to fight for RBT, visit And if you are not a member of DA, please consider joining at


  • published Democrats Abroad Vancouver AGM Election Results in News 2017-05-31 22:16:52 -0400

    Democrats Abroad Vancouver AGM Election Results

    The Vancouver NEC is pleased to announce the results of the election held on May 6, 2017 at the Vancouver AGM. We apologize for the delay. Thank you to everyone who stood for election, and congratulations to the following:

    Chair: Susan Brennan

    Vice-Chair: Robert J. Petrusa

    Treasurer: Pat Fournier

    Chapter Secretary: Lissa Robertson

    Communications Secretary: Julie Boton

    Development & Community Outreach: David Mivasair

    Policy Secretary: Tara Ryan

    Full election results can be viewed at this link.

    Draft AGM Minutes can be viewed at this link.

    Questions, or challenges (due by June 5th), should be directed to 

    Democratically Yours,

    DA Vancouver Nominations & Elections Committee

    Michael Meneer
    Seth Lauer
    Kate Ellison

  • signed up on Women's Caucus 2017-05-30 17:19:51 -0400

  • signed up on LGBT Signup 2017-05-30 17:19:35 -0400

    LGBT Caucus Signup

    Democrats Abroad is committed to a world where all persons have access to the same rights and benefits, regardless of sexual identity or gender expression.


    The Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus is the constituency group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members and any Democrat abroad who supports them.

    The goals of the LGBT Caucus reflect the mission of Democrats Abroad to:

    • engage and empower LGBTI Americans living abroad to vote in US elections;
    • provide a platform for Democrats Abroad members, country committees and chapters to advance issues at the heart of the LGBTI community;
    • support Democrats Abroad’s members in issues they face living abroad as LGBTI Americans, such as access to government services and benefits for same-sex spouses and family members, the legacy resulting from past discrimination and Defense of Marriage Act.

    The LGBT Caucus: 

    • supports Democrats Abroad’s country committees and local chapters in organizing activities of interest to the LGBTI community, such as participation in pride events and voter outreach; 
    • disseminates information to Democrats Abroad members and promotes action on issues that affect LGBTI Americans and their families;
    • ensures that the LGBTI perspective is effectively incorporated in all the work of Democrats Abroad, including issues advocacy, communication and GOTV strategy, planning and execution; ensures that issues and policies that impact LGBTI Americans are included in the Democrats Abroad and Democratic Party platforms;
    • takes leadership in Democrats Abroad’s issues advocacy initiatives, including “door knock” visits to elected officials in Washington DC, to ensure that issues that impact LGBTI Americans living abroad and their families are included and addressed by elected representatives;
    • encourages LGBTI members to run for elected leadership roles within Democrats Abroad and fulfill Democrats Abroad’s diversity and affirmative action goals;
    • supports community building among Democrats Abroad’s LGBTI members and allies;
    • promotes Democratic Party candidates who demonstrate commitment to policies that positively impact the lives of LGBTI Americans;
    • supports and engages with Democratic Party LGBTI caucuses build capacity and achieve common goals.
    Sign up

  • 2017-19 Chapter Election Results, AGM Minutes & Contact List

    The DA Canada Toronto Chapter Nominations & Elections Committee are pleased to announce the results of the chapter board for the 2017-19 term, as reported by the Teller of Elections at the AGM of April 9, 2017.

     Following the election results are links to the draft AGM minutes and the contact list for the new board.

     Chair: Julie Buchanan

     Vice-Chair: Nathan Lujan

     Vice-Chair: Danielle Stampley

     Secretary: Mari Rutka

     Treasurer: Dewitt Lee

     Member-at-Large: Alyssa Ages

     Member-at-Large: Dylan Clark

     Member-at-Large: Paulette Kelly

     Member-at-Large: J. David Markham

     Member-at-Large: Kathleen Leuschen Millar

     Member-at-Large: Derrick Raphael

     Member-at-Large: Virginia Smith

     Member-at-Large (Peel Region): Susan Alksnis

     Member-at-Large (York Region): Brooke Scott

     Subsequent to the election results, the newly elected Chapter Chair designated both candidates for Secretary as Co-Secretaries, with their consent.

     Respectfully submitted,


    DACanada–Toronto Chapter Nominations & Elections Committee


    Star Goggins, Chair
    Chris Eggers
    David Letteney
    Steve Nardi (Teller)


     -NEC Toronto Teller Elections Results of 2017-2019 Toronto Chapter Board may be viewed at this link


      -Draft of AGM Minutes to be approved at next Chapter AGM may be viewed at this link


      -DA Canada Toronto 2017-2019 Board contact list may be viewed at this link

  • Statements of Candidates for the DA Canada - Toronto Chapter Board of Directors 2017-2019



    BOARD OF DIRECTORS | 2017-2019


    The Elections of new officers of the Board of Directors for the Toronto Chapter of Democrats Abroad Canada will be conducted at the Chapter Annual General Meeting on Sunday, April 9, 2017.

    Please click on the officer positions of the DACA Toronto Chapter Board to be elected for a two-year term to find candidates' statements: Chapter Chair, two (2) Vice Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, seven (7) Members-at-Large, one (1)  Member-at-Large Peel Region and one (1) Member-at-Large York Region.

    The electronic ballots will be emailed to members on March 24, 2017.  Submit your completed ballot by 11:59AM EDT April 9, 2017. *Asterisks indicate officers who are incumbent and are eligible to run again.


    Yours Truly,

    Toronto Nominations & Elections Committee
    Starla Goggins, Chair
    Chris Eggers
    David Letteney
    Steve Nardi, Teller of Elections


    Candidate for

    Chair & Democrats Abroad Canada Committee Representative

    Julie BUCHANAN

    Julia (Julie) O’Neal Buchanan, Mobilian (AL) voting in Tennessee, living in GTA 16 years.

    My volunteer activities for the organization began with the Democrats Abroad Canada bus trip to President Obama's inauguration in 2009 and I have continued fervently for eight years.

    As this DA election approached, I considered ‘retiring’ from officer positions in DA, and I had thought my activities might end on similar note…by organizing a bus trip to DC for the Women’s March on Washington.

    However, I have been so inspired by that experience, by the women of the Women’s Caucus (in formation) of Canada, and influx of new, talented and committed volunteers, I realize my duty to serve is not over.

    It’s been an honor and a privilege to have been mentored by the Boards I’ve served and I want to pay that forward, by serving as the Chair of the Toronto Chapter.

    I’ve held many positions in Democrats Abroad. The list includes positions where I was elected or, in many cases, appointed for partial terms.

    Toronto-Chair 2012; 2016-current
    Canada-Vice Chair- 2016-current
    Canada-IT Manager 2014-current
    Canada-Treasurer 2013-2016
    Toronto-Vice-Chair 2011-2012; 2015-2016
    International-Global Administrator Assistant, Global IT Team-2015
    Canada-Membership Co-Secretary 2014-2015
    Canada-DPCA Voting Member-2013-2015
    International- Best Practices Committee 2012-2013 
    Toronto- Secretary Pro Tem and Founding Member 2010-2011 
    Canada-Member at Large 2009-2011

    I encourage you to like/contact/follow me on facebook.

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    Candidates for

    Co Vice-Chair & Democrats Abroad Canada Committee Representative

    Nathan LUJAN

    I am a lifelong Democrat who first moved to Canada in 2012 to conduct scientific research at the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of Toronto. I am now married to a Canadian (Bernadette), am a Toronto home owner (upper Beaches) together with my wife, and am applying for permanent residency. I also now work primarily for Canada Fisheries and Oceans. I care deeply about science-based public policy and the need for government support of both basic and applied scientific research. I am part of a large group of American scientists working in Canada who feel disconnected from American politics but who, given the chance, would like to participate and advocate for Democratic ideals. Unfortunately, many of my expat scientist friends are unaware of Democrats Abroad or do not participate in DA activities. I am running for the Vice-Chair position to both give this community of expat scientists a voice and to recruit them to help advance Democratic electoral and policy objectives via participation in the Democrats Abroad organization.


    Danielle STAMPLEY

    I would like to serve as a Vice-Chair of the Democrats Abroad - Toronto Chapter because I believe I can help us modernize and expand our impact. I am not an expert in technology, but I have experience creating blogs and leveraging social media to spread a message.

    One of these projects is a volunteer effort founded by Canadian doctors to provide medical services to children in remote areas of Honduras. Once a year, we travel to Gracias, Honduras for a week-long clinic. For the past several years, I have managed the logistics of our trips, coordinated  fundraising efforts, and worked to improve our online presence. As we are all busy professionals, organizing the group can be challenging, but we are getting better and more effective every year.

    By day, I'm a lawyer. I started out practicing in a large law firm in New York, and now I work in a small employment, labour, and human rights practice. In both settings, organization, planning, and leadership are key to a successful practice.  I manage teams of lawyers and other professionals, chair meetings, negotiate with opposing counsel, and manage client relationships. Of course, I am also very comfortable operating in a rules-based environment. I would draw on these experiences to assist our chapter's leadership.

    As a Missourian, I am acutely aware of the political divide that our country is facing, and the challenges Americans are desperate to overcome. I see it every time I visit my family. Although I am a long way from home, I want to help Democrats in Canada, especially in Toronto, make a difference now and going forward. I would very much appreciate your support.

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    Candidates for


    Martha CHARNEY

    Professionally, I write scientific reports for drug companies to submit to the FDA and drug approval agencies worldwide.  I served as secretary for my church for several years. 


    Mari RUTKA

    I am willing to serve as secretary, with the proviso that I may need to miss a meeting occasionally.  I can, however, maintain records and files at all times and coordinate participation. 

    I served for 11 years as a trustee on the Toronto District School Board and, in that capacity, as chair of several committees and as chair of the board.  I have a deep appreciation for the necessity of thorough record maintenance and availability and a long familiarity with agenda and minute formats.

    I type fast and I have my own iPad with keyboard.

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    Candidate for


    Dewitt LEE


    I'm Dewitt Lee, an Afro -Canadian with citizenship in the US and I was very glad to discover this organization during the 2016 Presidential election. Being away from the battlegrounds here in Toronto, I felt like I was not a part of the process, although I did make it in time to vote, I  played a much less significant role in helping my candidate and party win.  I take my civic responsibility very seriously and I have actually engaged not just as a voter in elections but I've also been a candidate.  In 2010 and 2014, I was a Mayoral candidate here in Toronto and I feel very accomplished in that we inspired and lead many people not to just vote but to see themselves as a candidates. In 2016, I was asked to join in the a provincial race to be an MPP for the Liberal party which also resulted in a great turn out at the polls and produced much more engaged and educated group of voters from diverse communities.

    I had the wonderful opportunity to meet members of Democrats aboard Canada- Toronto at a 2016 Presidental election event and I was very pleased to meet so many people here in Toronto that are providing a platform and forum for us to come together and create a space where Canadians can learn about our politics and experience the excitement of our elections.

    After the event, I was very grateful to hear back from Starla Goggins, the Co-Vice Chair and Volunteer Coordinator, of the Democrats Abroad Canada Toronto Chapter. We have stayed in touch and she shared information with me regarding this opportunity to serve on your board and I immediately felt intrigued and almost obligated to join your efforts.

    I am applying to serve as Treasurer and I'm prepared to step into this role of because of my experience as Treasurer for the Harriet Tubman Community Organization which is one of the oldest and most respected non for profits in the country.  I have also served as money manger for my campaigns and CFO for my own business.

    I believe that we can become a powerful force in helping support fellow Democrats from abroad as I remember the impact we had in 2008/2012 when we joined campaigners in battleground states pushing for Barack Obama and I remember the feeling heading back to Canada feeling accomplished, that I served my country and made a real difference.

    I am willing to serve on your board in any capacity and believe that I will bring experience, energy & political expertise that will be an asset. Thank you for the opportunity.

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    Candidates for


    Alyssa AGES

    I moved to Toronto from New York in March of last year and while I'm told consistently that I "got out at the right time," the feeling I more often experience is: "I wish I was still there to stand with you, to resist, to make our presence known."

    I am encouraged by the opportunity to take on that role abroad as a Member-at-Large.

    My strengths which are pertinent to this role include:

    - Mobilizing Volunteers (I worked for five years at a nonprofit that relied heavily on the work of volunteers)

    - Fundraising (skills earned from the same nonprofit role)

    - Marketing on a shoestring (as the Marketing Director for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I spent five years growing the largest revenue-generating chapter of our organization with an extremely limited budget)

    - Events (I have been coordinating events for multiple organizations for nearly a decade)

    - Writing (As a publicist, journalist, and marketing professional with a degree in literature, writing is my strongest skill and one I hope to use as a Member-at-Large for our chapter)

    I hope to support the growth our chapter by recruiting new members, as well as energizing and engaging existing members. I hope to help our other elected officials by offering my writing skills whenever they are needed, and my event-planning experience to organize and promote our smaller meetings while building plans for larger events.

    More than anything, I hope to stand with Democrats in the U.S. by helping our chapter build a presence and a voice so strong here in Toronto that we can make as significant an impact as if we were protesting at the doorstep of the White House.

    Dylan CLARK

    Our planet and our democracy are in peril: now, more than ever, we need a progressive Democratic Party to restore sanity and justice.  I am a lifelong activist who has mostly avoided party politics.  I hail from the "Bernie" wing of the party: a group that has largely felt alienated by the Dems, but who now feels a progressive movement can restore power and purpose to the party. 

    I believe that DA-Canada can and must do more to increase membership, donations, and cross-border activism.  I truly believe that DA-Canada can evolve into a very powerful political organization.  There are perhaps as many as two million (!) Americans living in Canada, from dual citizens, to students, to temporary residents.  That makes us a population larger than about ten states.  Moreover, most of us are liberal, educated, and relatively affluent. My friends, that is one heck of a fighting force. If we can mobilize behind the Democratic Party, we can deliver positive change to the US.

    I believe that we have an opportunity for progressive change unrivaled since the early 1970s.  Although Trump is our so-called President, he and his cronies have energized masses of Americans.  We must seize this unique moment to take back the government: from city councils and school boards to state legislatures, on up to the US Congress.  We can help strengthen a Blue wave that retakes America from the takers.

    To succeed, I believe we need to enhance our presence in social media, galvanize participation in local events, and forge sustained networks of resistance.  To be honest I am less preoccupied with fundraising, and more concerned that we get out the vote, pump up the volume, and help transform outrage into action. I believe that we need to help build the capacity for rapid mobilization, because I think we have to be ready to act swiftly against Trump, McConnell, and Ryan's maneuvers. And we have to be able to work in concert with the millions of Canadians who share our goals.

    I teach part- to full- time at the University of Toronto, have two girls and a wife, bike ride, and spend some time for activism.  I am from Berkeley, California, went to Skidmore College in NY, and got my Ph.D. at the University of Washington in Seattle.  We lived in Colorado for 8 years before heading to the wonderful city of Toronto.  I love Canada, but want to retake my old homeland.

    In closing: they had their silent majority [sic], we have our full-throated majority. I want to help us win.

    Carol DONOHUE

    I would be interested in volunteering for the board as a member at large.  My prior volunteer leadership experience includes:

    Director Information Technology PMI Toronto Chapter (2016-present)  Other roles that I have had in PMI Toronto Chapter include VP Communications, VP Branches & Communities, and VP Volunteers.

    Lieutenant Governor Marketing District 60 Toastmasters International (2011-2012)

    Executive Board member for the New Jersey Division of the United States Fencing Association (1997-2005)

    I have a diverse skill set that includes Communications, Marketing, Technology, Volunteer Development, Database Management and Project Management.  I would like to volunteer as a member at large and donate my time as my skills are needed.

    Steven FISHMAN

    Thank you for taking the time to read my statement regarding the position of Member at Large. I'm a dual citizen having moved to Canada with my parents when I was 7 years old. I currently live in Innisfil, Ontario which is between Barrie and Bradford. I've been involved in politics most of my adult life. I've been a strong supporter of the party, and like many Americans I was shocked that Donald Trump became POTUS. I was active on social media during the election, and felt the wrath of the Alt-Right several times while trying to promote our candidate, Hillary Clinton. 

    I've been on the Executive of the Federal riding association of the Liberal party in Simcoe-Grey back in 2007-2009. In 2007 I ran in the Provincial election as the Liberal candidate in Simcoe-Grey, and while I did not win the election, I was able to gather 26% of the vote coming in 2nd to long time Conservative MPP, Jim Wilson. Running in the election was an eye opener for me, as I was up against a very well organized candidate who's been the sitting MPP since 1990. While I did not win, I was able to get the message of the party out to the people in the riding.

    In 2010, I was living in Wasaga Beach, and decided to run for Mayor. I was asked to throw my hat into the ring, as nobody else was registered to run against the sitting Mayor who's been a member of council since the late 1980's. I knew that I had an uphill battle on my hands, but felt that nobody should be unchallenged. The sitting Mayor was also the Warden of Simcoe County, and a member of the Provincial and Federal Conservative parties. So needless to say I was unsuccessful in my quest for public office.

    Besides political experience I bring to the table a wealth of knowledge in the field of management. During my career I've managed teams ranging in size from 10 all the way up to 300, with a focus on building strong relationships with both team members and clients.

    If anybody has any questions, please feel free to email me at or call me directly at 416-453-0249

    Thank you, and I hope to be part of the Executive moving forward.

    Steven Fishman

    Mimi FOX

    I am a dual US/Canadian citizen living in Toronto for the past 13 years.

    I have a background in sales and marketing in the b2b sector for over 20 years. I also have an MBA from University of Illinois at Chicago. I am the top sales person at my organization. Most of the work I do is by phone. I am also a board member at Act to End Violence Against Women.

    Paulette KELLY*

    Dear Democrats Abroad Members,

    I currently serve as a Member at Large for Democrats Abroad, Toronto Chapter.  My voting state is Connecticut.  During my term on the board, I have worked at booths and events to register voters.

    I also assisted at a primary election voting booth in Toronto.  On November 9, 2016, I was interviewed    on CTV News regarding the outcome of the U.S. elections. On both November 6st and 13th of 2016, I along with a Democrats Abroad colleague appeared on the radio station 98.7 (The Grapevine)to discuss U.S. politics and the election. Last month, I attended the send off of the Women's March to Washington. 

    Professionally, I am the first tenured Black faculty member in the School of Fashion, at Ryerson University. Over my years, at Ryerson, I have held administrative roles, including Program Director for the Apparel Design Segment. In 2013, at the Ryerson University's Viola Desmond Day Program, I received the Faculty Award for my service. Additionally, I am the 2nd Vice President of the Ontario Black History Society.

    I look forward to serving on the board again.

    Kind Regards,

    Paulette Kelly

    J. David MARKHAM*

    Dear Fellow Democrats,

    I am running for reelection for member at large on our Board. I hope and believe that in my first term I have helped further our progressive cause.

    I am a life-long active progressive Democrat. In Wisconsin in the 1970s/1980s I served as Fond du Lac County chair, Dane County vice-chair and State Platform Committee vice-chair. In 1976 I ran for County Clerk of Fond du Lac County. I was also an honored guest to the 1976 Democratic Convention in New York City. Elsewhere I have served as precinct committee person and helped in GOTV efforts, including running a phone bank in Wisconsin. A strong supporter of unions, I have belonged to the Teamsters and AFSCME (for whom I once served as the International Educational Coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Region, based in Phoenix, Arizona.

    My education includes a BS from Iowa, a MA from Northern Iowa and a M.Ed. from Arizona State. I have also done graduate study at Southern Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida State and Oxford, UK.

    I have served on many homeowners and other organizational boards, including as chair or president. I am currently vice-president of the Optima condo board of directors where I live in downtown Toronto next to the Rogers Centre. While I have held numerous professional professions such as being a veteran's service officer for state agencies in Wisconsin and Arizona and assistant director of the Commission on the Arizona Environment, my primary professional has been as an educator, usually teaching Honors World History and related classes in high schools in Arizona, Florida and Washington. I have also taught at the university, college and community college levels. As an active historian, I have authored/edited numerous books on Napoleonic history, written journal articles, organized international congresses, appeared on the History, Learning and Discovery channels, produced an extensive podcast (Napoleon 101) and produced museum exhibitions. As a result, I have received numerous awards and decorations, including France's highest civilian-only award, Knight of the Order of the French Academic Palms. Finally, I am a Viet Nam veteran with a Bronze Star (1968-69).

    Given the unfortunate state of our current political system, including the disastrous Trump presidency, it is imperative that Democrats regain control of the House and Senate and in four years regain control of the presidency. I hope to play a modest role in that effort.

    In Solidarity,



    I have been a Democrat abroad since I arrived in Canada over 20 years ago.  My home state is Nebraska, and I was born and raised in what I like to call an 'interfaith' family - by a Republican father and a Democrat mother. Both taught me that social justice requires work, and I have inherited both their passions if only one of their affiliations.  My day-to-day work has been operations in non-profits.  I have a Masters in Legal and Ethical Studies as well as a Masters in Museum Studies. I currently am the Finance and Admin Manager at the Inspirit Foundation. Over the years, I have engaged in accessibility issues in museums, inter-religious understanding and education with a global foundation, and equity and inclusion work here in Canada. But my personal passion is gender equality and equity. I have two girls, also US citizens, who are growing up without limits. I have been an officer in their schools' parent councils, produced 'maker faires' and  pushed for coding classes that open science to girls at the elementary level.  I joined the DC Women's March with my mother and sister in January and came back with the reminder that social justice requires work now more than ever. My younger brother, a dedicated aide to Rep Steny Hoyer, had such a heavy heart after the election.  The work is personal for me - for my parents and siblings and for my daughters - and the personal is political. As Gloria Steinem said at the Women's March, "Sometimes it is time to put your body where your beliefs are." For me, that time has come.  I hope to support Democrats Abroad in whatever way I can.

    Thank you,

    Kate Leuschen Millar

    Romana MIRZA

    I am self-nominating. I'd like to bring my skills in marketing, brand strategy, social media and policy development to DA. Sitting around crying over Facebook isn't doing me any good.  I'm not much of a protest marcher.  My brilliance comes through in the backrooms, working on communication strategies and developing policy.  I was very active politically as a teen and young adult then my marketing career took over. Now, 30 years after leaving active political volunteer work, the political landscape has changed so drastically, I have to dust off my political charms and come out shining again and I must! I like to be part of a team, supporting them with whatever special gifts and talents I can muster up.

    Today, I am afraid to cross the border. Just this week I declined an invitation to give a presentation in New York City.  I'm not afraid of America, I'm afraid of what could happen at the border, and I even have a Nexus Pass! This has to change and I know we can do something in the USA from where we sit here in Canada. Rather than crying over Facebook each night, I want to be involved being active and in action. It is the only solution to feeling so shaken by what is going on.

    It will be my honor to serve the American people by being involved in Toronto. I won't let your vote go to waste, I'm ready for action, ideas and change!

    Derrick RAPHAEL

    Dear Nomination & Selection Committee Directors:

    I would like to lend my gifts and talents to the Democrats Abroad Toronto Chapter Board.

    After attending the Democrats Abroad meeting at Marche I have wanted get more involved locally.

    As proud African American North Carolina resident it pains my heart to see my home state "Go Red" for the national election twice in a row as well as the hardships the state has had with recent GOP control of the house, senate and governorship.

    I currently serve on a few board for my undergraduate institution and I know the importance of these volunteer organizations. I look forward to supporting the agendas of the executive leadership for our chapter.

    Please know that I will contribute my training as an attorney and advocate to our causes.

    I look forward to doing my part to take back Congress in 2018 and the White House in 2020!

    Have a great night.


    Derrick Raphael

    Virginia SMITH

    My professional experience as a reporter and analyst of current social trends would be an asset in any work done for Democrats Abroad.  I am the co-author of the book Perpetuating Poverty: The Political Economy of Canadian Foreign Aid (Between the Lines, 1981) and the author of Reshaping the World for the 21st Century: Society and Growth (Black Rose Books, 2002). In 2011, I drafted the report "Hunger Crisis: Report of the Hunger Inquiry," produced by the Toronto-based Recession Relief Coalition. I also served as a constituency assistant to an Ontario MPP in the 1980s.

    My volunteer work in community-based organizations has also been extensive. In the late 1990s, I was co-chair of the school council at my daughter's high school. More recently, I participated in a committee at my church that had the goal of building positive relationships between Muslim communities and other faith communities. I also served a term as the secretary of the church council.

    Through these activities, I have developed a solid understanding of the dynamics of a presidential system and also of a parliamentary system. I have been a member of Democrats Abroad for about nine years. I marched with Democrats Abroad contingent in the Pride parade twice and, just a couple of weeks ago, in the Toronto Women's March. The election of Donald Trump has been a spur for me to increase my participation in U.S. electoral politics.

    I am registered as a Democratic Party voter in Nassau County, New York. I have resided in Canada for over 40 years, but I have maintained close ties to the U.S. through frequent visits.

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    Candidate for

    Member-at-Large Peel Region

    Susan ALKSNIS

    Susan Alksnis is organizing Democrats Abroad activities for Peel Region. She is also an active participant in planning for the Hamilton/Burlington DA Chapter. First volunteering with Democrats Abroad for the 2008 election, Susan was lead organizer of Oakville/Mississauga debate watches, voter registration, and promotion in local media.

    A non profit fundraising executive with over 20 years of experience in fundraising, alumni relations, communications, and volunteer management, Susan has served as Chief Development Officer in higher education and social services. She published and edited an alumni magazine with circulation of 10,000, pitched story ideas to media, secured high impact promotional placements, and appeared on television. She also has event management experience.

    Comfortable with media appearances, public speaking and campaigning, Susan was a lead organizer and spokesperson for a highly contentious local community advocacy effort that resulted in the construction of a new school for her underserved and socio-economically diverse neighbourhood.

    Susan attended the Toronto Women's March and the Toronto anti-Trump March where she appeared on CTV News to promote  She is highly motivated to resist the current White House Administration and organize volunteers to get out the vote for midterm elections.

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    Candidate for

    Member-at-Large York Region

    Brooke SCOTT

    I am in Stouffville, north of Markham in York Region. Most months I could make the meetings in person and otherwise would attend online.

    Our family moved initially to Toronto 8 years ago from Providence, RI. I grew up in central and southern Illinois. My husband and I have 5 children and I homeschool them using Waldorf and social justice resources.

    My motivation for running for the board and being involved in Democrats Abroad is that I believe in the power of the people to through compromise and listening to one another help shape the platform and actions of Democratic candidates and sitting office holders. I want to register voters and engage young people here in Canada who are US citizens to feel they have a voice and I want them to know and internalize civic duty.

    My volunteer experience includes 5 years of running meetings, giving presentations and providing mother to mother counseling with La Leche League.

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  • donated 2016-04-13 11:25:57 -0400

    2016 Convention Checkout

    You are almost to Berlin! Please input your payment info and the names of any additional registrants you are paying for. If you have any questions please email International Treasurer, Art Schankler .