Heidelberg Chapter Chair; DPCA Representative

  • rsvped for 2020 DA Germany Annual General Meeting 2019-10-25 12:37:04 -0400

    2020 DA Germany Annual General Meeting

    2020 is going to be a pivotal year for the future of American democracy. At Democrats Abroad Germany, we remain committed to mobilizing the over 100,000 Americans in Germany to restore respect, dignity, and ingenuity to our nation’s highest offices.

    Getting Republicans out and Democrats in next year, however, is going to be a collective effort. It’s going to require us to work together nationwide like never before, keeping our eyes set on one main goal: getting each and every American in Germany to vote.

    As 2020 approaches, we would thus like to cordially invite you to join us in our efforts by attending the

     

    2020 Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Germany
    focused on
    “Getting Out the Vote – At Home and Abroad”
    from
    Friday, January 24 to Sunday, January 26, 2020
    at the
    Literaturhaus München
    Salvatorplatz 1, 80333 Munich
     

    Register here

                                                

    A great series of events are planned to help us – Democrats across Germany – connect and discuss our voter outreach efforts in 2020. These events are outlined in our tentative

    Schedule

    • On Friday, January 24, we’ll kick off the weekend by volunteering with the Münchner Tafel, a local food bank, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day (10:00-14:00). We’ll also hear from the Women’s Caucus, which has put together a fantastic panel and performance centered around the topic “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even – Electing People Who Will Create Balance” (16:00-20:00). The first evening will come to a close with a welcome cocktail reception where we can connect with each other over drinks (starting at 19:30).
    • On Saturday, January 25, the main meeting focused on “Getting Out the Vote – At Home and Abroad” will be held (9:00-17:30). We will begin with an introduction to our organization and briefly highlight our activities across Germany over the past year. Our full attention will then be directed at how we can work together nationwide to get out the vote in 2020. We will round off the main meeting by reviewing our organization’s bylaws as well as vote on any suggested changes to them. Suggested changes may be submitted until December 31, 2019, and should be directed to events@democratsabroad.de. Following the meeting, we’ll gather for a three-course gala dinner at the nearby restaurant Zum Franziskaner and hear from a guest speaker passionate about getting out the vote in 2020 (19:30-22:00).
    • On Sunday, January 26, we want to make sure that those from out of town have some time to see the city and have scheduled a walking tour of Munich (11:00-12:30). Following the tour, everyone is welcome to join us at the tasty vegetarian restaurant Prinz Myshkin for a farewell luncheon that will leave us invigorated for the election season ahead (12:30-14:00).

    Register today for this exciting weekend with passionate and inspiring Democrats from across Germany! Registration will close on January 17, 2020. Payment must be received by January 20, 2020.

    Cost

    To attend the meeting, we are asking for a donation of 10€ for the Women’s Caucus event and 25€ for the main meeting on Saturday. This is an early bird offer. Beginning December 1st, the suggested donation for the main meeting will increase to 35€. Participants do have to pay for meals and coffee breaks, which are available at the following costs:

    • Saturday lunch: 20€
    • Saturday coffee breaks (includes two): 10€
    • Saturday gala dinner (three-course meal): 40€ 

    Under the rules of the Democratic Party and Democrats Abroad, a fee for attending the meeting is not allowed. However, we kindly ask for a donation to cover use of the Literaturhaus München, technical equipment, copies, and supplies. We ask that you donate this amount to cover the expenses of hosting the meeting and avoid drawing down the DA Germany treasury, which is devoted to getting out the vote. Participants do have to pay for meals and coffee breaks.

    Stipends for Attending

    DA Germany understands the accompanying financial cost of attending the Annual General Meeting. To ensure as many members are able to attend as possible, DA Germany will be offering eight stipends that will cover attendance on Saturday, the gala dinner on Saturday night, and up to 50€ for transportation costs. The deadline to apply is Saturday, November 30, and recipients will be notified by Saturday, December 7.

    If you are interested in applying for a stipend, please complete this application.

    Accommodation

    Homestays will be available thanks to DA Germany members in the Munich area. If you are interested in having a homestay, please complete the following survey so that we can make sure you are matched with an appropriate host: “need a homestay” survey. As soon as a homestay has been found, you will be contacted via email.

    For those in Munich who would be willing to host another member of DA Germany, please fill out this survey to sign up as a host: “homestay host” survey.

    If you would prefer to stay in a hotel, the Munich Chapter has compiled a list of hotels, which include several hotels offering us a discounted rate.

    We hope that you will join us for this weekend geared at bringing Democrats together and energizing us for the momentous 2020 election season. On behalf of the entire volunteer team already at work planning the meeting, we say:

    WHEN
    January 24, 2020 at 12pm - January 26, 2020 at 12pm
    WHERE
    Literaturhaus München
    Salvatorplatz 1
    Munich 80333
    Germany
    Google map and directions
    20 rsvps rsvp

  • Thanksgiving and Holiday Potluck in Heidelberg!

    Heidelberg_Thanksgiving.png

     

    It's the holiday season again! You may be spending Thanksgiving Day with family or friends, but a few days later, on Sunday afternoon, Democrats Abroad is hosting a Thanksgiving/Holiday Potluck and "White Donkey" book exchange. Along with enjoying delicious homemade food and camaraderie, we will have a book exchange in the spirit of a "white elephant" gift exchange (we just like the Donkey Mascot better!). This means that along with your favorite side dish or dessert, you should bring a gift-wrapped book. Numbers will later be given out, and books "won" according to numbers drawn. But the game is that you can either keep that book or trade it for a better one. Turkey and drinks will be provided by Democrats Abroad. To pay for the room at the HCA and cover the drinks, we are asking for a donation of 10 Euros, students 5 Euros. Please RSVP so we know how many people to set things up for. Also, let us know if you'd be willing to help set up or clean up.

    If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Schimkat at heidelberg@democratsabroad.de

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    WHEN
    December 01, 2019 at 1pm
    WHERE
    Heidelberg Center for American Studies
    Hauptstraße 120
    Heidelberg 69117
    Germany
    Google map and directions
    9 rsvps rsvp

  • 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!
    Donate

  • 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 2017-12-07 08:45:27 -0500

    Make a donation using the form on the left or sponsor one of our projects through our Give to Win program.

    If you want to make a MONTHLY RECURRING (VERY HELPFUL) donation or use Paypal to make a donation, you may contribute to Democrats Abroad using ActBlue

    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 upcoming 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 are already working on 2020!

    If you are unable to contribute online, send us a US Dollar check with this form to the following address.

    Democrats Abroad
    PO Box 15130
    Washington DC 20003
    USA

    Thank you for your support!

    On-line credit card contributions made to Democrats Abroad are secure, encrypted transactions made via Stripe.

    Donate

  • 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.