Heidelberg Chapter Chair; DPCA Representative, Germany

I have been a member of Democrats Abroad since 2009, and I vote in Tennessee. One reason I’m a member is that I enjoy the political discussions and the comaraderie at our meetings. Another reason is that through Dems Abroad I have a way to help get out the overseas vote every two years.

  • Heidelberg February Meeting and Chapter Elections !

    The main event of this February meeting is our Chapter elections. We will be voting for Chapter Chair and Vice Chair. DA Germany has created a Chapter Nominations and Election Committee (CNEC) as a neutral facilitator of the election, so please contact this committee if you would like to run for either position. An email from them is going out to chapter members with more details, so look for that. Otherwise, if you are not running, please join us to vote for candidates. Voting is open to all Heidelberg Chapter members.

    February 05, 2021 at 7pm
    Online Meeting via WebEx
    Heidelberg Zentrum
    Google map and directions
    10 rsvps rsvp

  • donated via 2020-06-18 11:14:41 -0400


    Dialing for Democracy is a calling marathon
    and global Democrats Abroad fundraiser.

    Phonebankers will make as many calls as they can to DA members to ask them to request their absentee ballots. Calls will be made from 9:00am to 9:00pm CEST on Flag Day, June 14. Generous sponsors like yourself will push our callers to reach our calling goals and provide the critical funds to keep our voter outreach going strong through November 3! 

    DONORS: If you are sponsoring a specific caller, BEFORE you select an amount, write the caller's name in the box at left!

    Donate $50 and you’re sponsoring 200 calls! 
    $10—40 calls   $25—100 calls   $100—400 calls 
    $250—1000 calls   $500—2000 calls   $1000—4000 calls

    Democrats Abroad will be making 100,000s of calls this year, and your contribution will help make this outreach possible.

    Thank you! We appreciate your support!

    Don’t forget to check in on how the calls are going on Facebook Live from 7:30pm to 9:30pm on June 14 on the DA Germany Facebook page.  

    For a full overview of the call-a-thon, click here.



    Donations will be going to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (Democrats Abroad) and not to any candidate for federal office.

  • published Democrats Abroad Germany Retreat 2019 in News 2019-09-12 05:10:25 -0400

    Democrats Abroad Germany Retreat 2019

    Democrats Abroad Germany leadership met for the weekend of September 6 – 8, 2019 for a retreat in Schladern to get energized and solidify our plans to Get Out The Vote in 2020. It was not only a chance to share information and ideas, it was also a great opportunity for us to socialize and find out what’s going on in other chapters and precincts around Germany. As our organization grows and becomes more complex, this is a fantastic way for us to stay in sync with each other and for leaders, old and new, to learn how they can maintain a successful chapter or precinct. If you see yourself getting more involved with helping Democrats Abroad, you are welcome to join us at future retreats. Just let your Chapter Chair know.


  • published 25th Anniversary and Independence Day BBQ 2019 in News 2019-07-19 05:46:13 -0400

    25th Anniversary and Independence Day BBQ 2019

    The Heidelberg Chapter Independence Day BBQ and 25th Anniversary had a great turnout! Our chapter was founded in June 1994 and, with only two exceptions, has met in one form or another every month since then. Germany Chair, Candice Kerestan, along with former Germany Chairs Ron Schlundt, Amy Peaceman and John McQueen were also in attendance. John is a co-founder of the Heidelberg Chapter, and had a humorous anecdote to share with us called “Invasion of the Meeting Snatchers”. Former Heidelberg Chairs Niki Vonderwell, Charles Keene and John McQueen were also in attendance as was current Chair Nancy Schimkat. As per our tradition of reading notable political speeches, we had a reading of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Angie Johnson, Pub Quizzer Extraordinaire, gave us an American-themed quiz, and younger visitors brought their favorite games. The food everyone brought was excellent, and fun was had by all. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped to make this happen!


  • published New Reading Group in Mannheim! in News 2019-06-30 14:21:34 -0400

    New Reading Group in Mannheim!

    We're starting up a reading group in the Mannheim area.  For now, this will meet just from time to time to see what interest there is. Our first book for discussion is "Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance. This get-together will take place in October and will be hosted at the home of one of our members, with the exact date TBA (probably the weekend of October 11th or 12th). If you are interested, please  contact us at   heidelberg@democratsabroad.de    and we will keep you informed of the meeting details.


  • published Running For Democracy Fundraiser in News 2019-05-14 11:41:52 -0400

    Running For Democracy Fundraiser

    On May 11th, runners arrived in Mannheim from around Germany to Run for Democracy in the Mannheim Half-Marathon and 10K runs. Not only that, but they collected sponsors to support them, and in the end, we raised over $3,000 in pledges for global Democrats Abroad (DPCA) to use in its Get Out The Vote efforts in 2020. Nancy Schimkat organized the event and hopes that other Chapters and Country Committees will be inspired to do something like this in the future.

    Thanks to the runners:

    Taryn Williams Feroze Mohammad
    Jack Miller Gretchen Chojnacki-Herbers
    Stephen Holmes Beverly Seebach
    Niki Vonderwell Candice Kerestan
    Justin Burstein Kelsey McLendon
    Matt LeMieux  
    See more videos and pictures from the marathon.

    Nancy was injured this year. However, she, along with Daniel Hoever-Eckardt, Angela Fobbs, Anne Johnson-Zander, Aileen Dinin,  and, Barbara Lutes cheered on our runners.

    A special thanks to everyone who sponsored our runners and thanks to our members who hosted runners at their homes. Thanks to everyone who came out even though the weather was chilly and windy!

    We hope you join us next year.

  • donated via 2019-05-13 00:00:27 -0400

    Running For Democracy

    Thanks for supporting Democrats Abroad at the Running for Democracy event.
    The race is over and you should have received an email telling how your runners did - and what your donation amount should be. 
    If the amount matches one of the boxes on the left, just click on that box and then complete your donation information. If it doesn't match one of the boxes, then enter the amount in to the "Other" box and complete your donation information. 
    By sponsoring our Running for Democracy event, you are helping Democrats Abroad finance our very important GOTV efforts for the 2020 Election. So feel free to donate a larger amount than what you pledged. It WILL make a difference!

  • Chapter Elections and Executive Committee Elections 2019

    The Heidelberg Chapter had its bi-annual elections in early February 2019, resulting in Nancy Schimkat being re-elected Chapter Chair, and Daniel Hoever-Eckardt being elected Chapter Vice-Chair. At our April meeting we will discuss possibly creating a few “at-large” positions, which would strengthen our already active team. These positions include Volunteer Coordinator, Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) Coordinator, and Treasurer. If you are interested in filling any of these roles, please get in touch with Nancy (nancy.schimkat@englishmatters.de). At the end of February, Heidelberg hosted the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for Germany, which was a big success because so many members pitched in to help! Aside from bringing members together for the weekend, the bi-annual Executive Committee elections for DA Germany took place. Congratulations to the 2019 team:

    Candice Kerestan, Chair

    Kenton Barnes, Vice-Chair

    Andrea Schwab, Secretary

    Ron Schlundt, Treasurer

    And your Chapter Chair, Nancy Schimkat, was also elected along with 11 others in Germany to be a DPCA Representative. This means that she will represent Germany at the international level of Democrats Abroad. 


  • Democrats Abroad Once Again A Big Presence at the Women's March

    Heidelberg was once again the location for one of the many Global Women’s Marches, with about 400 marchers showing up in 2019. Democrats Abroad members from Stuttgart and Wiesbaden came over and joined us, adding to the enthusiastic support by Democrats Abroad in this March. The Global Women’s March theme this year addressed “Violence Against Women” as a major and ongoing issue, and Democrats Abroad, while supporting that theme, also focused on efforts to finally get the ERA ratified in the United States. Speaking to that topic at the Women’s March was Democrats Abroad Communications Coordinator Amanda Mohar (pictured here).


  • published Heidelberg Chapter's Busy Summer 2018! in News 2018-08-23 08:01:46 -0400

    Heidelberg Chapter's Busy Summer 2018!

    Heidelberg Chapter had a busy summer 2018. In July, we had our annual Independence Day BBQ, with good weather, a great turnout and plenty of good food and drink! In addition to water balloons and a pub quiz, we took turns reading the Declaration of Independence aloud, and then we had a lively discussion about it. In August we went to Mannheim and marched in the Christopher Street Day Parade. An estimated 120,000 bystanders were there! We had lots of fun and supported our LGBTQ friends at the same time. Twice we had street stands in Heidelberg to register U.S. voters and help people request their absentee ballots. Meanwhile in Karlsruhe, some dedicated members formed a phonebanking group to call Americans in Germany to encourage and help them request their absentee ballots. And naturally, we also had our First Friday monthly meetings at Zum Achter Restaurant. Come join us if you haven’t already! Here are some photos . . .


  • published Be Sure to Request Your Absentee Ballot! in News 2018-05-13 09:04:59 -0400

    Be Sure to Request Your Absentee Ballot!

    Members of our Heidelberg Chapter at our GOTV (Get Out The Vote) table on Bismarckplatz. We helped some overseas Americans with information about requesting their absentee ballots, and we could request and print out a ballot request for someone right on site with our tablet and portable printer! Also, the chocolate chip cookies were a hit. Our next GOTV table is going to be at the Bunsendenkmal (Hauptstr. 47-51) on the pedestrian zone June 9th. Come on by and say hello. Oh, and if you have not done so already, please request your absentee ballot at www.votefromabroad.org !


  • published Half-Marathon Fundraiser was a Success! in News 2018-04-23 13:21:24 -0400

    Half-Marathon Fundraiser was a Success!

    Our DA Heidelberg Teams ran in both the Half-Marathon and the 3.1 K Team runs to raise awareness of and money for Democrats Abroad Germany. We raised over 700 Euros! Thank you to all the donors. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us. Thanks to Irisita and the Carpenters (sounds like a band) for making great signs.  Thanks to all the 3.1 K runners: Xander, Luisa, Charles (not pictured), Katie, Melisa and 9-year-old Liliana, and a HUGE thanks to Mandi Larsen and Niki Vonderwell, who ran the Half-marathon! This is one of the hardest half-marathons in Germany, with one uphill part 4 K long, and temperatures got up to 29 degress Celcius. Democrats Abroad Heidelberg rocks!


  • published Virtual March For Our Lives Emailing Party in News 2018-03-27 06:54:47 -0400

    Virtual March For Our Lives Emailing Party

    Our Virtual March For Our Lives event in Heidelberg was a success!! We were 21 people who met for a few hours on Saturday afternoon, the 24th March, with our laptops, tablets and even a typewriter. Together we wrote about 250 emails (plus 3 typewritten letters!) to our Members of Congress, encouraging them to vote for sensible gun laws, and we also wrote to businesses, either thanking them for standing up to the NRA, or shaming them for standing with the NRA.

    Many thanks to Irista Azary and Roger Lee for hosting the event, and especially to Irisita for the idea in the first place! Thanks to all the people who came to make their voices heard, particularly the young people. Thanks to those who brought snacks, and hotspots.

    We were one of 844 events across the globe. I think we should be proud that we both stood up to be counted in solidarity with all the other marches and events, and already took the next step with focused action.


  • published Heidelberg Women's March 2018 in News 2018-01-22 14:03:59 -0500

    Heidelberg Women's March 2018

    The Women’s March in Heidelberg attracted marchers from far and wide, with nearly 500 in total turning out. The cold rain didn’t dampen spirits. On the contrary, spirits were high and motivation to stay engaged was even higher. The March marked the beginning of this crucial election year as Democrats Abroad seeks to have as many overseas U.S. citizens as possible request their absentee ballots. Be sure to request yours if you haven’t already at www.votefromabroad.org.  Here are some of our photos from the Heidelberg Women’s March.


  • published Heidelberg Chapter Thanksgiving Potluck 2017 in News 2017-12-13 08:21:44 -0500

    Heidelberg Chapter Thanksgiving Potluck 2017

    We had an impressive gathering in Heidelberg for Thanksgiving, with lots of good food and good fun. In addition to the “Red Book Exchange”, we had a slide show to look back at our many activities as a chapter. The Thanksgiving Potluck was a chance for people to get to know each other a little better and also to meet some new people. This was our last gathering in 2017, and we look forward to seeing everyone in 2018 to help Get Out The Vote and turn things around in the November midterm elections! To see photos click Thanksgiving Photos 2017


  • donated via 2020-05-16 13:50:48 -0400



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    Every dollar you give supports our work to elect Democrats who will fight - AND FIGHT BACK - to make a better life for ALL Americans.   Join us by making a donation today.

    Julia Bryan, Chair - Democrats Abroad

    We need Democrats like you to commit to Democrats Abroad - your Democratic Party for overseas Americans. Contribute to Democrats Abroad today and help us fight back against the Trump agenda, register Americans all over the world for the crucial 2020 elections, reach out on issues that concern you and build a brighter future for our country and the world. With your help, we can make the difference. We did it all over the country in 2018! And we MADE the difference in 2020! And in Georgia in 2021! And we will continue to fight for Democratic victories and for issues that our members care about!

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  • posted about All Covered #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-09-20 14:04:03 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: All Covered #DAresists #Medicare4all

    All Covered #DAresists #Medicare4all

    As an American living in Germany, I’ve never had to worry about my healthcare. We could choose our insurance company, with half of the cost being covered by us and the other half by my husband’s employer. I gave birth to two children, and had fantastic follow-up visits from the midwife to make sure the babies and I were healthy and to be sure I knew what I was doing with my newborns. When I broke my elbow, I went to the hospital and had it set, and then had the necessary follow-up visits. When I recently had a big operation, I could choose my surgeon, my hospital, and had great follow-up care. One of our children has a dustmite allergy, and the insurance not only paid for desensitization shots, but also the mattress and pillow covers. And so on. Germany has a modern industrialized economy like the United States, but there is this idea of “solidarity” here which means that citizens understand the moral obligation to take care of their fellow countrymates. And while people may have some things to worry about, whether or not they can afford healthcare is not one of those worries.

  • Heidelberg Chapter Annual Independence Day BBQ 2017

    With good food and fun, the 2017 4th of July BBQ was a success! Members and friends came to help celebrate our country’s independence. We had our annual reading of the Declaration of Independence by several members as well as two additional readings. John read about Thomas Jefferson’s 1778 visit to Heidelberg and his impressions, and Xander shared some of John F. Kennedy’s wisdom that applies still today. Then it was on to entertainment – Angie’s famous pub quiz, water balloon tossing contest and some singing of American folk songs. Here are some pictures. Hope to see you there again, or for the first time, next year!


  • New Chapter Chair for Democrats Abroad Heidelberg!

    Nancy Schimkat is the new Chair of the Democrats Abroad Germany Heidelberg Chapter. While interested in our always animated political discussions at monthly meetings, she is also looking for people willing to help with the Democrats Abroad Germany organization. You can help by being part of one of the Democrats Abroad Germany caucuses, including Women, LGBT and Minority Caucuses. You can also help by signing up to help Get Out The Vote (GOTV) for upcoming elections. This is the most effective way you can help the Democrats take back control in Washington. Please get in touch with us if you are interested.

My name is Nancy Schimkat and I’m Chair of the Heidelberg Chapter and also a DPCA Representative.