April 2021 News

Spring has finally arrived – and not without many exciting updates from Democrats Abroad! Here is some of the most important news we have to share:

I. DA Germany is proceeding full steam ahead under the leadership of our newly elected 2021-2023 Executive Committee. The election results are listed below. 

II. Our chair and vice chair have special messages for all DAG members.

III. The GOTV team is hard at work devising strategies to increase voter turnout. Learn how YOU can make a difference in the 2021 elections and 2022 midterms. 

IV. Want to get involved in specific issue areas? DA’s Caucuses and local chapters have a lot of exciting events in store. 

V. Germany members can get great deals on awesome gear – all for a good cause! 

VI. Our communications teams are looking for volunteers

Keep reading to find out more!


I. Annual General Meeting & Elections

On Saturday, March 20, we held our first-ever online elections at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). We appreciate everyone who took part in the process and are excited to welcome our newly elected national leadership team:

Chair:
  Kenton Barnes

Vice Chair:
  Emily Lines

Secretary:
  Jennifer von Estorff

Treasurer:
  Powen Shiah

Chapter Development Coordinator:
  Matt LeMieux

Communications Coordinator:
  Kaitlyn Kennedy

Events & Fundraising Coordinator:
  Courtney Newman

GOTV Coordinator:
  Teresa Ritterhoff

Membership/IT Coordinator:
  Shari Temple

Press Coordinator:
  Anya Leonhard

DPCA Voting Reps:
  Vincienzo Cabrera
  Aileen Dinin 
  Angela Fobbs
  Antar Keith 
  Candice Kerestan 
  Pat Klipp 
  Matt LeMieux
  Anya Leonhard 
  Diego Rivas
  Robert V. Scott
  Powen Shiah
  Shari Temple 
  Quaide Williams

We extend a huge THANK YOU to all outgoing leaders, including Candice Kerestan (former chair), Ron Schlundt (former treasurer), Quaide Williams (former chapter development coordinator), Angela Fobbs (former communications coordinator), Susan Penrod (former membership/IT coordinator), and Beverly Seebach (former press coordinator). 

We also give a big round of applause to the Nomination and Elections Subcommittee, comprised of Susan Penrod, Nancy Schimkat, and Katie Solon, who ensured that the process ran smoothly and fairly. 

We are so grateful for all these super volunteers have done to make 2020 a success! 


II. Messages from Our Leaders

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Dear Democrats Abroad Germany Members:

I am honored to have been elected to serve you as Chair for the next two years and look forward to continuing the great work that my predecessor, Candice Kerestan undertook in her tenure as Chair: namely continue to register more new voters, to increase our membership, to better educate our membership about the importance of voting, especially about voting in down-ballot races, to assist both members and non-members with the voting process, to provide more programming for our members, and to improve our overall organizational structure. However, I cannot do this alone. In the coming weeks I will be reaching out to our leadership to get to know them and to put forth an agenda that will guide us for the next two years and help us attain the goals mentioned above.  I also look forward to meeting many of you, our volunteers, who work tirelessly to locate Americans in Germany and urge them to become engaged in the political process.  I am grateful to you for all the work you do. Please know that it does not go unnoticed. With your help, your energy and your dedication we will tackle and hopefully overcome the challenges that face us. Like Barack Obama said “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”  Like you, I am just an ordinary person, but together we will do extraordinary things to bring about the change that America needs today.

Yours,

Kenton E. Barnes, Ph.D.

[email protected]

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Hello! For those that don’t know me, I’m Emily Lines and I live in Berlin and vote in Indiana. I’m very excited to be the next Vice Chair of DA Germany. Thank you to all those that voted for me at the AGM (and to the NES for the well run election). I’ve had the pleasure of working with many people in DAG during my time as Vice Chair in Berlin and as the Events & Fundraising Coordinator the past four years. I’m so appreciative of all the work, energy, and time our outgoing leaders put into our organization. As we move ahead, I look forward to working with our newly elected leaders and even more of you to make sure we keep control of Congress in 2022. If you have questions, you’re welcome to reach me at [email protected].

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Do you have questions about DA? Do you want to get to know our new chairs better? Then join Kenton and Emily for a virtual Meet and Greet on April 24 at 2:00 p.m. CEST. RSVP for more information. 


III. GOTV Corner

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Democrats Abroad Germany remains committed to our core mission of getting out the vote, and there are plenty of ways you can get involved. 

Reminder: Overseas voters need to register every calendar year. Check your status atvotefromabroad.org and reach out with any questions! 

 

Here’s what’s happening this April:

  • Special election in Texas (CD-6) on May 1. 

Calling all Texans Abroad – We are currently building a global group to advocate for overseas and in-state voting rights, meet with state legislators and help flip races. Be sure to save the date for our Cinco de Mayo event on May 5 at 7:30 p.m. If you want to get involved, join our group on Slack or follow us on Twitter @TXabroad. Reach us at [email protected].

 

OTHER UPCOMING ELECTIONS -- If you're a voter in one of the states listed below, make sure you've requested your absentee ballot this year. Just go to votefromabroad.org to request or check your voter status.

  • New Mexico (CD-1) special election on June 1.
  • New Jersey and Virginia primaries on June 8 (General elections on Nov. 2).
  • Ohio (CD-11) special election on August 3.

 

Here's what else you can do this month:

  • Join a study group targeting MISINFORMATION AND RADICALIZATION – April 22, 7:00 p.m. CEST

We are piloting a group to review literature on misinformation and radicalization to help change the way we communicate in crucial swing districts.  The project is designed for the mutual benefit of overseas and homeland voters. RSVP to receive the connection information.

  • Come out to meet and get involved with our STATE ACTIVISM TEAMS – April 25, 3:00 p.m. CEST

We will be introducing initiatives for voters abroad from Texas (see above), Arizona, Georgia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and sharing information on how to help keep or turn these states blue. RSVP on our website for more details. 

Interested in starting or contributing to a group from your voting state? Get in touch with Teresa Ritterhoff at [email protected]

  • Keep your eyes peeled for another Pop Up for the People event to call our Senators in support of the For the People Act. We will be holding them regularly until S1 is passed and voting rights are secured for ALL Americans. 

 

What else can you do to help GOTV? A LOT! Postcarding is something you can start right away. Training for phonebanking is offered monthly. For more information/options, reach out to your chapter or send an email to [email protected].

We need everyone in DAG to Get Out The Vote – including you!


IV. Upcoming Events

Legislative Pulse: Using Billtrack50 to Follow Legislation – April 11, 9:30 a.m. CEST

Progressive Caucus

Biden-Harris Progress Report (Earth Day edition) – April 22, 7:00 p.m. CEST

Book Club: How to Be an Anti-Capitalist in the 21st Century – April 26, 6:00 p.m. CEST

SAVE THE DATE! Germany Progressive Caucus Launch – May 1, 7:00 p.m. CEST

Veteran's and Military Families Caucus

Sexual Assault Awareness Day (with Women's Caucus) – April 6, 6:00 p.m. CEST

Women's Caucus

Professor Linda Scott discusses her book The Double X Economy: The Epic Potential of Empowering Women – April 13, 6:00 p.m. CEST

Chapter Events of Note (open to all)

Virtual Pub Quiz – April 9, 7:30 p.m. CEST

Silly Debate Night – April 10, 7:00 p.m. CEST

"Nothing to Hide Part 1: Real-Time Communication" w/ Kevin Lyle – April 11, 2:00 p.m. CEST

Earth Day DIY Workshop – April 22, 7:00 p.m. CEST

Interview with Former Congressman Bart Stupak (MI-1) – April 22, 7:30 p.m. CEST

Book ClubHow Long 'til Black Future Month? – April 22, 7:30 p.m. CEST

Book Club: The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina—The Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist – April 29, 7:30 p.m. CEST

 

 DA Germany has a new addition this month: the DAG Climate Caucus! 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that humanity has less than 10 years to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid climate catastrophe; this means all hands on deck! The necessary political will has not yet been built, but as evidenced by the Biden administration’s climate pledges, the momentum is with us. Climate is a justice issue, a science issue, and a generational issue; for our present and our future we must demand action now. 

We’re looking to form a strong team of DAG members motivated by this issue. If you are interested in being active in the newly formed DAG Climate Caucus, please contact Dash Nesbitt at [email protected] to get involved!


V. Support DA Germany

As an entirely volunteer-run and donation-funded organization, your financial support allows us to do our important work — getting Americans overseas to vote. Contributions of any size are greatly appreciated and can be directed to:

Account name: Democrats Abroad Germany

IBAN: DE04 5405 0220 0140 2702 99

BIC: MALADE51KLK

If you’d like to get some bang for your buck, why not order some DA and Biden-Harris swag? All proceeds benefit DA Germany and help us get out the vote. As if it couldn't get any better, we are currently offering a special 20% off deal on 2020 merchandise!

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Tip: Coffee lovers should also check out our exclusive new "Cup of Joe" mugs. 


VI. Join Our Communications Teams

Are you a social media, advertising, or design guru? Are you looking for a meaningful way to use your skills to support DA? 

Then join our new communications teams! Send an email to [email protected] for more information. 

 

Thanks for staying up to date, and see you at an event soon!