The Annual General Meeting of the Democrats Abroad in Germany took place in Berlin from March 31 to April 2 and the Hamburg Chapter was strongly represented with 16 members - the most members from one chapter, after Berlin. It was a weekend spent with debate - sometimes heated, discussions and laughter.
The AGM started on Friday already with the workshop „Looking forward - Sustainability in a Volunteer Organization“. Members of the Hamburg Chapter who attended the workshop will be reporting the results of this workshop this Sunday at our chapter meeting. It was followed by the Early Bird Dinner at the RED restaurant in the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. Other members started networking and getting to know the various candidates for the DA Germany positions.
The core work took place on Saturday. There were 6 hours of workshops interspersed with coffee breaks and lunch, in which members split up into six groups and worked out action plans for various issues. While flip charts and post-its dominated the meeting rooms, a silent discussion of important issues hung on the walls of the roof terrace, which was a popular refuge during the hot and sunny day.
The elections were an eventful and long process. It was the first time that chapters were able to participate live via internet or telephone. Unfortunately there was some disagreement about certain procedural rules. Congratulations to our newly elected officers! The new DA Germany leaders are found here. Shortly past 6 o’clock everyone was happy for the hour break before dinner.
The highlight of the entire weekend was the gala dinner with Mayor Pete Buttigieg from South Bend, Indiana as the keynote speaker. He gave a motivational speech stressing freedom, family, fairness and future. Quaide Williams rewarded a few members for exceptional accomplishments, of whom our own Pam Cory was one of the recipients for her excellent work as our former chair. After a few glasses of wine and a fund-raising raffle, karaoke wrapped the evening up in a not quite so melodious but entertaining fashion.
On Sunday, while many members explored Berlin or headed home, the Ex-Com meeting took place. We’re looking forward to hearing about the takeaways from this meeting on Sunday as well.
All in all, the AGM was useful to coordinate with members around Germany in moving forward. Specific ideas were born on the weekend and bonds among people with a common goal were strengthened.
Article written by Cynthia Walther
Photos by Chesney McKinley-Severance and Cynthia Walther