2020 DNC Member Candidate Statements
Warm welcome to the 2020 Democrats Abroad DNC 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 DNC member candidates. Any story submitted by someone who is not a candidate will not be published.
Martha McDevitt-Pugh, DNC Representative, Global
I’m running for DNC Representative because I care about the lives of Americans living abroad and their families. I will serve Democrats Abroad as an advocate for our platform and make our needs known at all levels of the DNC. I have been working for legislative change as an advocate and activist for almost two decades. I will bring stories of our lived experiences abroad to critical issues, such as universal access to affordable healthcare, tax reform, immigration and the climate crisis. As an LGBT woman, I bring diverse representation to the DA DNC team. Having a strong and diverse team expands DA’s reach and enables us to work hand in hand with the constituencies, caucuses, and councils that comprise the DNC. https://www.MarthaDNC2024.com
Art Schankler, DNC Member - EMEA or Global
I’m a dedicated Democrat and a dedicated Democrat Abroad. I’ve served as a Country Chair (Czech Republic), International Treasurer, International Vice Chair and now head of the Fundraising Committee. Believe me, I don’t like asking people for money, but I do it because I believe in our organization and our mission – to elect Democrats and support issues that are important to Democrats and Democrats Abroad. I want to help that mission by becoming a DNC member. It’s for others to judge, but I think I have the experience, the temperament, and the judgment to do a good job and help us get the support from the DNC and the rest of the Democratic Party that we need. In the photo above, I'm the one on the right. And it's not an endorsement by Bernie - or by me. Just one of my favorite moments in DA.
Orlando Vidal — DNC Member — Global
The DNC doesn’t accord DA the respect and support we deserve as representatives of 9 million Americans abroad. With the leadership of the Black Caucus, I stood as our only DNC Member opposing depriving us a first-round vote at the Convention. I knew that would make me unpopular with some. And I alone took the DNC on for discriminating against us with only half-a-vote, when every Member from every other delegation is treated as a full person. (Letting us have only half-a-voice means Americans overseas don’t matter as much to the Party. They’re wrong. We’ve been and can continue to be the margin of victory.) I did this despite our Chair’s disapproval because I’m tired of DA sitting at the back of the bus. If you want a principled fighter to continue to battle for Democrats Abroad, I hope you will send me back.
Joseph Smallhoover, DNC Candidate (EMEA and Global)
The next four years may be the most critical period for the United States and the Democratic Party since the Great Depression. Future generations in America and the world will be shaped by what comes next — and in that, DA has its own voice and role to play. I wish to put my experience and my close relationships with congressional, civic, and political leaders back home at the service of DA as one of our DNC Members during those four years. I have worked diligently for years to ensure that DA’s profile among congressional and party leaders and the wider community is something we can all be proud of, whether via the Global Tax Team, on voter protection and voting rights legislation, as International Counsel, or working with state and national Democratic Parties — DA’s messages on healthcare, equality, climate, and true defense of liberty are more important than
John Mensing, Asia-Pacific Region
I have lived in Japan, Sri Lanka, Korea, China and India over the last 25 years, raised two children, and am well versed in the history and culture of the region, being ABD for a PhD in Buddhist Studies and working for a history museum here in Japan. Stateside, I ran for City Council, was appointed to Brooklyn Community Board #1 (Williamsburg-Greenpoint), and campaigned for Jerry Brown in the '92 election. As the director of Outreach and Support Services for the People's Firehouse, and in the same position for the Environmental Action Coalition, I organized around a variety of progressive issues, including community recycling centers that were key in defeating garbage incinerators. I also helped found the Soup Kitchen at Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Church. I am well versed in progressive political organizing and would be a perfect choice to represent the Bernie Sanders movement.
Charlotte Robertson, DA National Committee Member
Greetings from isolation in Paradise…. St. Vincent and the Grenadines! My name is Charlotte Robertson and I want to represent DA as a National Committee Member. I’ve been active in more campaigns than I can remember. I went door to door for JFK, and, like many of my generation, he inspired me politically. I have held various party positions locally, statewide and nationally. I am a community organizer….that’s my passion. I am a lifelong environmentalist and, currently, I am involved in ocean/climate issues. The main question facing the Party is: Do we want to be the "Party of the People" or the "Party of AI"? I say we want to be the "Party of the People”! We need to rebuild the party block by block, precinct by precinct, county by county with young, spirited, energized, competent people. That is the future.
I am seeking the office of DNC for the Americas Region of Democrats Abroad. I am the founder of Democrats Abroad Guatemala in 2006-7, and past vice chair and current chair and former Regional Vice Chair for the Americas (2010 to 2013). I support Joe Biden in this year’s race for the Democratic nomination because he has the experience and broad voter support needed to win in November. One goal is achieving universal health care, and Joe’s approach of working within our tradition of employer-sponsored private health insurance while building outward toward government supported options for the uninsured and underinsured offers the best path to wide voter appeal. Also, the negative approach the current administration has taken toward immigration from Central America, an approach that has become dangerous under the current pandemic, is concerning and needs more attention drawn to it. Thank you for your support
Ben Mendelson (Uruguay) - DA candidate for DNC
The Democratic Party has been in my blood... since my mother strolled me door to door, for Adlai Stevenson. I tagged along with my sister, campaigning for Eugene McCarthy. I personally volunteered for Dukakis, Boxer, Dean, Obama, Clinton, and most recently Elizabeth Warren. Where I organized "Team UFL" (Uruguayans For Liz). After 40 years in the media-technology business... I'm now semi-retired living with my Brazilian diplomat wife, in Montevideo, Uruguay. I now have the time to give back to my Party and to my country. I am running as a DA delegate to the DNC. And I'll use all of my experience, resources, and connections... to strengthen the Party and support every Democratic candidate. It's IMPERATIVE that we defeat Donald Trump, hold the House, and take back the Senate. The environment, our civil rights, our international stature... all depend on it.
Adrianne George - DNC Member Candidate
I would be honored to be re-elected to represent you on the Democratic National Committee (DNC). I will continue building relationships with fellow DNC members, telling your stories, explaining how we elect Democrats in every State. Simultaneously, I worked within Democrats Abroad (DA) as the former Global Caucus leader, former Global Volunteers leader, and am on our Affirmative Action Committee and Sweden’s Black Caucus Chair. My mission is to keep you up-to-date by sharing news from the DNC via the leadership listserv, our DA wiki, and my Facebook page. During the DNC meetings, I attend the Black, Midwestern, Military Veterans & Families and Women’s meetings and belong to the Disability, Rural, and Senior Caucuses.
I couldn’t have done any of this without your belief in me and my husband’s support. I thank you and hope that you and yours will stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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