2020 Delegate Candidate Statements

Warm welcome to the 2020 Democrats Abroad delegate candidates! We are looking forward to hearing from you about your candidacy, why you are running and who you are! Please use this space to tell us about yourself 150 words maximum please). If you'd like, please add a picture here too, and you can also add a link to a video, and any relevant affirmative action information (optional). Note that your information will be publicly viewable from this page, so only send in content you are comfortable sharing widely.

Our moderators will review your story, confirm that you are a candidate, and publish! Note that we can't edit stories after they are published, and will not publish information if it violates our code of conduct, including obscenities, harassment and promotion of your non-Democrats Abroad work or business. This space is reserved for our delegate candidates. Any story submitted by someone who is not a candidate will not be published.   

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Ayden Pierce Maher, Sanders Delegate (Americas)

Hi everyone! I am a 30-year-old Floridian in London. I am running as a Sanders delegate to ensure the progress we made at the last convention and the vision of Senator Sanders live on in a bold, progressive democratic platform. My political activism started in 2004 when I volunteered over 500 hours for the Kerry Edwards campaign - my mom even let me miss school the week before the election so I could knock on more doors! After finishing college in 2012 I worked as a democratic legislative assistant in the FL House of Reps. before running a campaign for the first openly LGBTQA state rep. I had the privilege of voting for Bernie in 2016 with dems abroad and have always continued my involvement with the democratic party back home. I would be honoured to represent Dems abroad at the convention. (pictured: 2012 campaign photo)

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Mark Sinclair (Chile), Sanders Delegate, Americas Region and Global

I'm a progressive cis-gender straight male Caucasian living in Chile, my birth country, since 2002. Educated in US public schools all my life, I support Bernie's Free Public Higher Education proposal. Since my youth, I've been involved in social movements and political organizing for a more just, inclusive and non-imperialist US- Picketting for United Farmworker Union boycotts in the 70s, organizing teach-ins and campaigns to end illegal US covert wars in Central America in the 80s and working in education/child welfare advocacy in the 90s (in Minnesota). I've been working in international student exchange for the last 18 years, principally with US study abroad students. In addition to supporting Sander's campaign pledges, I'll advocate for a sharp reduction in military spending (but support fully funding veterans programs) in order to confront health and climate crisises and a non-interventionist, multi-lateral foreign policy that promotes human rights.

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Helen Li-Delegate Candidate for Bernie Sanders (Asia Pacific & Global)

As a child of immigrants, a mental health advocate, an educator, and an entrepreneur, I am accustomed to forming coalitions between groups of people. Not just through empathy, but taking that empathy and transforming it into fundraising, communications, and action. Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, I want to share the stories and importance of inclusion — Medicare-for-All, improved access to education, environmental action — as a representative for Sanders’ progressive platform. In Beijing, I’ve taught university courses focusing on educating young people about the urgency of civic engagement. Adapting to healthcare loss and increased hate crimes during COVID-19, I’ve experienced firsthand how domestic/foreign policy can impact citizens abroad and . I believe I have the skills and perspectives to represent Democrats Abroad at the National Convention. I want to represent DemsAbroad, youth voters, and Asian Americans by having a seat at the table as we support our 2020 nominee. https://medium.com/@helen.li2019/my-story-why-i-care-and-why-i-am-running-to-represent-democrats-abroad-1abe187456b2

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Christopher Brandon, EMEA & Global Youth Delegate for Bernie Sanders

In order to defeat Donald Trump, we need to unite the Democratic Party. My life experiences as a worker, student, teacher, and a volunteer have provided me with the experience and skills necessary to contribute to this collective effort and elect Joseph Biden. As a former delivery services worker burdened by student debt, I understand everyday people’s struggles. I have also experienced both the benefits and difficulties of living abroad as a Masters student and an English teacher. Sending thousands of texts for the Bernie Sanders campaign has provided me with invaluable insight into the perceptions and preferences of voters from across the political spectrum. Finally, through volunteering as a poll worker at the Skåne region’s Global Presidential Primary and co-hosting chapter events, I have developed outreach and organizational skills which enable me to effectively communicate Bernie Sanders and Democrats Abroad’s values and interests to fellow Democrats and the media.

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Hugh Aaron Ambeau

I am a lifelong Democrat from Louisiana, where I still vote. After 18 years living together in Louisiana, my French husband and I decided to move permanently to France last year. I come from a politically active family, as my grandfather was our parish tax assessor. Campaigning and waiting for telephone calls from the boxes around the parish are some of my fondest memories. It helps that my grandfather never lost an election and was elected for seven terms. Eventually, my uncle was an elected judge for 24 years and my aunt served as tax assessor for 10 years. As an adult, I chose to be in a profession that has a long history of being associated with progressive policies. Social work is a profession that came of age in the Progressive Era and continues to stand with the most vulnerable in its fight for access to services and self-determination. In addition, I am a proud union member (AGMA). So, siding with the progressive wing of our party, and voting for Senator Sanders, has been congruent with my core personal and professional values. As soon as I found out about Democrats Abroad – earlier this year – I knew I needed to become involved in your work. I am not doing this as a stepping-stone to other activities back home, but because I have always been a Democrat (even in Republican-heavy Louisiana, voting outside my party never occurred to me) and because I am now, for the rest of my life, going to be a Democrat Abroad.

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Sam Pointon, Bernie Sanders Delegate

I moved to Massachusetts age 5 in 2006 and returned to the UK after getting my citizenship in 2014. What I can say about the two countries is that while they both currently have a wholly incompetent leader, at least here bankruptcy is never on our minds when in a medical catastrophe. Additionally, as an 18-year-old about to embark on my university/career journey, I worry about my future and that of my children if the US doesn’t take radical action in mitigating the climate crisis. As a delegate for Bernie Sanders, I will use my experience in activism and group leadership to speak up for these issues and influence Joe Biden’s campaign to take some of his core socialist ideas to the White House. The democratic party must be united by compromise, not by silencing the progressive wing.

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Katherine Longhi Candidate for Bernie Sanders EMEA

Hi! I'm Katherine. I'm running to be a delegate for Democrats Abroad because I believe that it's time for America to step up and be the new world leader that the world needs. I'm a stand for female leadership and empowerment and fulfil on that stand through the work that I do at GIFEW (The Global Institute for Evolving Women.) I believe that it's time for women to rise up in partnership with men to be the change we all desperately need. Although we can't send a woman to the White House next year, let's send one to the DNC this year! More about me and my candidacy here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84gUrHnl5HI

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John Esteban Rodriguez -- Youth LGBT Hispanic Immigrant Candidate for Bernie Sanders (EMEA)

Like Bernie Sanders, my roots informed my desire to fight for a more egalitarian America and world. Growing up in rural Georgia, my intersectional identity was politicized: my skin color, sexual orientation, and immigrant Colombian background. Xenophobia surrounded me in the Deep South. Uninsured and low-income, I neglected medical issues. Earning minimum wage since age 15, I racked up debt for my studies. My activism with France for Bernie strengthened my conviction that America could and should do better for all its citizens. Living in a country where health care coverage and access to free higher education are universally guaranteed, I will push for Sanders’ ideas so that Americans may have a similar horizon of opportunity and security. My involvement as a Democrats Abroad National Voting Representative reaffirms my commitment to transforming the Democratic Party. If elected Delegate, I will fight for the progressive voice of Americans abroad. https://youtu.be/nPc9gscYHvU

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George Black, At-Large National Convention Delegate and/or Alternate

Greetings fellow DA members, I humbly request your consideration of my candidacy for At-Large National Convention Delegate and/or Alternate to the upcoming Regional Caucus/Global Convention. I’m a retired USAF Master Sergeant who honorably served the American public for 22 years. In 2018, I transitioned to multinational service and began working as an IT consultant for NATO’s maritime mission headquartered in the UK. My partner Didi and I have lived in London since 2014 and have continued to stay focused on sociopolitical and environmental issues back home. We support representatives who struggle to end gender, racial and economic inequalities in the States. Voting abroad helps us stay in the fight, and defeating Trump by getting Vice President Biden elected in November is our mission. If I’m fortunate enough to receive your vote, I look forward meeting that goal by representing DA at the DNC National Convention. Thank

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Will Klemperer, Candidate for Sanders Delegate

I’m currently a graduate student at Cambridge University, where I have been active in both Cambridge’s DAUK chapter and the Bernie Abroad Campaign. While finishing my undergrad at Oxford, I chaired the Oxford Democrats through the 2018 midterms. Although just 22, I’ve been involved with Democratic party politics and campaigns all my life, from campaigning aged 15 for Bill de Blasio in NY, to interning in Senator Schumer’s leadership office. As a young American, I am passionate about protecting our democracy and taking the fight to this administration. Please do get in touch via email (will[dot]klemperer[at]gmail.com) or Twitter (@will_klemperer)!

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Stephanie Skourtes, Delegate for Bernie Sanders

I came to Vancouver, British Columbia 12 years ago to complete a PhD in Sociology and became a permanent resident of Canada. As a sociology professor, researcher, and community organizer I have spent my career working with marginalized and low income women and girls throughout the U.S. Working and living now in Canada, I have witnessed first hand the positive impact of the policies that Senator Sanders has been fighting for on the lives of everyday citizens. Like universal health care, a living wage, affordable or free college tuition, support for labor, a government commitment to climate action. These policies have meant the difference between life and death in Canada during the COVID-19 crisis and are not out of reach for the U.S. Therefore, I am committed to pressing forward to advance these policies at the Convention to create lasting change in the U.S. and globally.

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Claire Lops, Delegate for Bernie Sanders

As a 28 year old lawyer residing in Berlin, I have devoted my professional and activist life to the protection of human rights. During the last twelve months, I have been a lead organizer, social media director and event coordinator for Germany for Bernie. With our group, we have achieved an astonishing voter turnout in the Global Presidential Primary. I was also honored to serve as a Co-Chair for the Bernie Abroad Campaign. I truly believe in the strength of our democracy and hope to become an integral part of this process.

I pledge to vote for Bernard Sanders as he is the only candidate who understands the profound need at this moment in time to change the system as we know it. Without radically transforming our government to one that is less influenced by corporate greed, there will neither be room for equality nor for a healthy environment.

 

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Peter GILLESPIE, EMEA AT-LARGE DELEGATE FOR BERNIE SANDERS

I am a 68-year old Citizen of the World and “professional expat” enjoying retirement in the south of France. As a university student, I met a French woman who was teaching French in the Louisiana public school system. We married soon after graduation in 1975 and raised four daughters in New Orleans. My decision to “marry into French culture” reflected the “globalization spirit” of our times, a “golden age” for “liberal democratic culture and society”. During my lifetime however, our capacity to “lead by example” has almost always been subordinate to our capacity to project authority. That was the ideological context behind the cold war, and before that, our American struggle for Civil Rights. Our domestic struggle has been for fairness and equity against special interests. Since defeating fascism we have struggled to set a good example and live by the rules of an international order we built by consensus…

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Sophie Spiegelberger, pledged delegate Bernie Sanders (Austria, EMEA)

I work in journalism and communications, covering politics and business for two magazines in Vienna, Austria, where I live. As a 21 year old, I want to be proactive and not reactive to what happens around me and that means- campaign, work on getting out the Democratic vote and running to be a delegate myself. Youth voter turnout is a Democratic issue I am passionate about and work on as Communications Chair for Democrats Abroad Austria. 

 

I look forward to a lively and constructive debate on this platform and thank Democrats Abroad for giving me to opportunity to partake in U.S. politics so intimately, despite being overseas. 

 

Democratically yours, 
Sophie Spiegelberger 

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Wilbur Chow

As an American, I moved to Hong Kong 10 years ago, and recently to Singapore, I have spent a significant portion of my adult life in Asia - surrounded by its culture and diversity. The lives we live as Americans abroad is unique and ever-changing. For many of us, this life abroad has set us apart with different needs and interests than those of our fellow Americans back home. Often, these interests are underrepresented or misaligned – that shouldn't be the case. 

Furthermore, the past four years have been turbulent, not only in the United States but globally. It has been a period of diverging inequality, social and economic decline, and deteriorating environmental well-being. These issues are gravely important not only for our generation but or future generations. I believe the global perspective I have gained over the past will help in representing these issues for my fellow ex-patriots. Thank you!

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Hi my name is Kari B Dickson and I am running for AP Regional delegate for Sanders.

I currently live in Jakarta Indonesia and I am originally from Arkansas. I am the President of the American Women’s Association in Jakarta and I have a education background. I have two Masters degrees in Education and a Bachelors in Business. I have lived overseas for the past 20 years in eight different counties mainly in Asia and that is one reason I believe I am qualified to be a delegate in the AP DNC. Another reason I believe I would make an excellent candidate is that I am dedicated to bringing Bernie’s message to the masses . I am not the typical demographic age of a Bernie supporter but I am a firm believer in what he stands for. Although Bernie is no longer a Presidential candidate, I stand by him and I will have the Democratic party’s best interest in mind in order to defeat

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Christian Palacios, Bernie Sanders Pledged Delegate

My name is Christian Palacios. I was born and raised in the Bronx (New York City) to Dominican and Mexican parents. As a First-generation American, it was my highest honor to be the first to serve our country as an Airman for the United States Air Force. As a Veteran, it would be another honor to represent Democrats Abroad as delegate during the Convention. I have lived and worked in Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Iraq, Qatar, Korea, and now Colombia. In my current role, I’m a Network Engineer where I’m in the unique position of creating and maintaining working relationships with decision-makers to advance the success of my customer’s program. It is with this experience I believe I would be a valuable delegate to represent the Democrats Abroad Platform. Bernie Sanders consistent fierce advocacy for a better America is why I have been inspired to run as a Delegate.

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Brandon Porter, 35, Panama, (Prospective Sanders Delegate)

My background was first in environmental sciences (M.S.) and I am passionate to foster change to help us deal with climate change, and in general, the lack of science literacy in much of the population - one of the main reasons I am wishing to enter politics. I am currently a 4th - grade teacher who's married to a Latina, and we have two amazing kids who are 5 and 3. I am working on a teaching certificate to teach secondary science and continue my learning of Spanish. I am also a proud member of the Howling Wolf Band, Kentucky Cherokee Alliance and from the challenges we have experienced being in the minority, I recognize our serious need for diverse representation. I am also very passionate about animal welfare and I have many rescues. For these reasons, I hope you consider electing me to be the change we desperately need. Saludos.

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Brent Jamsa, Delegate for Bernie Sanders

I am currently serving his first term as Treasurer of the Montreal chapter and was elected in 2019. Elected at age 19, I am currently one of the youngest Democrats Abroad to ever serve on a city chapter executive. I am studying a Joint Honours BA in Political Science and History with a minor in Canadian Studies at McGill University, where I am also a member of their university DA chapter. I am very passionate about grassroots organizations and during my time at McGill has helped organized countless phonebanks to help elect Democrats all across America. Under my direction, DA McGill has made over 10,000 calls in the past 2 years. I would be honoured to serve as a delegate to a candidate with a similar passion for progressive grassroots advocacy, Senator Bernie Sanders. I humbly ask for your support and promise to represent DA well if selected!

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Arnav Sood (Delegate, Sanders PPG)

I'm a first-generation (Asian) American, an economics researcher at the Vancouver School of Economics, and a young person. I voted for Senator Sanders as all three of those things. Bernie recognized that ours is a top-heavy economy with grotesque levels of corporate power. And he demonstrated how this paralyzes our government, on everything from climate action, to labor policy, to campaign finance reform. Closer to my heart, he was also deliberate and thoughtful in reaching out to Asians on the campaign trail, when we are so often overlooked as a negligible fraction of American political life. In many respects, living in Canada has been a breath of fresh air for what democracy *can* be like, if we cut through the byzantine tangle of entrenched interests. It would be my honor to help do that this summer with Sen. Sanders, VP Biden, and the rest of our party.

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