March 15, 2021

Cologne-Bonn election results

The results of the Cologne-Bonn leadership elections are in!

Daniela Vancic was re-elected as chapter Chair, and Ben Cole was newly elected as chapter Vice Chair.

To get to know our chapter leadership, we start this week with a few words from Daniela:

I am very happy to have been re-elected as Chair of the Cologne/Bonn Chapter! Within months of arriving in Germany in 2017, I was immediately eager to get involved with Democrats Abroad. I worked for the Michigan Democratic Party in 2016 when we suffered a shocking and unexpected loss. As a person with an immigrant family background, coming from a strong union family, and the first to go to college, I couldn’t fathom that Donald Trump was going to be President. His views stood against everything I knew America represented. Shortly thereafter, I made the decision to move to Cologne (Alaaf!), but I knew I had to stay involved on US issues.

2016-2020 was the biggest threat against US democracy, but it also inspired it: the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter as the biggest civil rights movement in history, Democrats taking back the House, a wave of young and progressive candidates elected, and the biggest voter turnout in US history. During my time as Chair I ensured the Cologne/Bonn Chapter was active in each one of these historic milestones. I helped organize the annual NRW Women’s March, assisted in the organization of the Racial Justice March, and organized phonebanking info-sessions where our Chapter ran some of the best phonebanking campaigns in Germany. I manage our annual 3-day Cologne Pride booth, where we raised a record of nearly 800 euros in 2019. We joined the yearly Cologne March for Science, and I helped push a March for a Lives protest in Bonn. Joining and organizing Marches is one of my favorite on-the-ground activities with Democrats Abroad, and I can’t wait until we can get back out there again. 

My personal favorite events have been Debate Night Bingo and inviting a local German police officer to tell us about the process of obtaining a gun in Germany. We then wrote letters about the process to our local American newspaper editors. Mine got published in the Detroit Free Press, so even Americans back home knew about Democrats Abroad. Additionally, I’ve helped get Democrats Abroad press coverage, with 2 national TV appearances, 3 local TV appearances, and numerous radio and podcast appearances. Professionally, I am a campaign manager at Democracy International, a great NGO that strengthens citizens’ participation, which perfectly complements my volunteer work at Democrats Abroad.

I am honored to continue serving as Chair, continue bringing visibility to DA, continue our partnerships with like-minded groups/initiatives, and organize fun and meaningful events for members. My goals for our Chapter are to organize more advocacy-focused events that use our unique experiences as Americans abroad and to restructure Chapter roles. I want to introduce a participatory system of event-planning so members can feel open submitting suggestions. I hope to foster our membership’s creativity and activism so that being a Democrats Abroad member is fun and worthwhile. Thanks for your confidence in carrying out the next term as Chair of the Cologne-Bonn Chapter!


Democratically yours,

Daniela Vancic
Chapter Chair Cologne/Bonn