Paris Chapter Officer; Immediate Past France National Chair (DPCA)

  • 2023 DA France National Elections and Annual General Meeting

    Democrats Abroad France 2023 Annual General Meeting

    Our 2023 AGM will take place on Saturday, April 1 from 2 - 5 PM, both online via Zoom and in person in Paris at the American Church. The AGM is a time to come together with other Democrats from around France, to hear about our achievements of the past year, elect our new national leadership team, and gather our forces for the future.

    Please RSVP by March 30, 2023 to be registered to vote at this meeting. 

    Join us for the biennial election of the National Democrats Abroad France (DA France) Officers and Voting Representatives. The national elections and meeting will be held on April 1, 2023 online via zoom and in person beginning at 2 PM. We will hear candidate speeches and elect a new Leadership team for Democrats Abroad France, hear about how DA France will continue its important work on US elections and political engagement heading into the 2024 election. For those who wish to participate online, the zoom information will be provided upon rsvp. 

    More information on the roles and responsibilities can be viewed here.

    Candidate statements can be viewed here.


    All members of Democrats Abroad France are welcome to attend and vote in the DA France National Officer and Voting Representative Elections on April 1. You will have an opportunity to hear from the candidates themselves prior to the close of voting and final tabulation of results. All members wanting to vote at the meeting are asked to register to vote by virtue of RSVP for this meeting, below, on or before March 30th -- this allows the DA France Election Board to prepare the voter rolls on the day of the meeting.


    All DA France members also have the option to vote early via an online absentee ballot made available to them via email, from 7 to 10 days prior to the election until 5PM on March 30th. This is to encourage member participation from all across France even if they cannot attend the meeting on Election Day. As a result, no nominations from the floor will be allowed. 

    If you elect to vote via the Early Vote/Absentee Ballot, you will not be able to vote in the same election a second time even if you attend the Election Meeting. However, in the event of ties, the DA France Election Board may elect to conduct snap Run-off Elections to break ties, time and other conditions permitting, at their discretion. In such a case, all members of DA France who have RSVP'd for the meeting by March 30th and in attendance at the Election Meeting, will be allowed to vote in any Run-off Elections. Absentee voting will not be an option for snap Run-off Elections since they will be conducted at the Election Meeting. RSVP below to register to vote on Election Day, April 1.

    To join Democrats Abroad, please go to You must be a US citizen 18 years of age or older by Nov. 7, 2023 and reside in France.

    April 01, 2023 at 2:00pm
    American Church of Paris, Thurber Room
    65 quai d'Orsay
    Paris 75007
    Google map and directions
    68 rsvps rsvp

  • Tackling Wealth Inequality from Cradle to Rocking Chair

    How can we tackle wealth inequality effectively in the United States? Providing opportunity and security from cradle to rocking chair is our progressive answer. Join our guest speakers to learn more about proposed legislation for Baby Bonds and Social Security Expansion.  Take action to make them reality.

    Confirmed speakers:

    • AYANNA PRESSLEY, U.S. Rep. Massachusetts CD-7 
    • ALEX LAWSON, Social Security Works Executive Director 

    Here are resources to prepare for the event:

    All are welcome to attend! Please RSVP to receive the Zoom link.

    Thanks to our co-sponsors: Global Seniors Caucus, proDA Austria, proDA Germany, Global Youth Caucus

    RSVP below for the Zoom link!

    While there is no donation required to attend, the suggested donation for this event is $10. Click here to donate. Help Democrats Abroad volunteers mobilize voters around the world. Help us fight for progressive policy changes in the new Congress!

    Vancouver, CA 9:00 - 10:30 am
    Washington DC 12.00 - 1:30 pm
    London, UK 5:00 - 6:30 pm
    Vienna, AT 6:00 - 7:30 pm
    Nairobi, Kenya 7:00 - 8:30 pm
    Mumbai, India 9:30 pm - 11:00 pm


    March 27, 2023 at 12:00pm
    Zoom - online, Washington DC
    48 rsvps rsvp

  • rsvped for DSP Town Hall 2023-03-20 08:09:42 -0400

    DSP Town Hall



    Town Hall on Democrats Abroad's Delegate Selection Plan!


    Join us on March 27 at 10:00 AM US Eastern

    (AMERICAS friendly time)

    Across the US and world, all 57 Democratic state parties are at work planning the 2024 presidential primary contest, specifically by developing a Delegate Selection Plan unique to their state party. In a nutshell, the DSP is a binding document that defines how each state party will run their 2024 presidential primary and select delegates to send to the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

    Each state party must submit a final delegate selection plan to the Democratic National Committee by May 3, 2023. Prior to that, there must be a 30-day public comment period, launched on March 6.

    Please join this Town Hall to give feedback, learn more, and ask questions about the 2024 Delegate Selection Plan.

    The final draft DSP must then be approved by Democrats Abroad's elected leaders (vote scheduled for April 22 DPCA Meeting) prior to submission on May 3, 2023.

    You can review a copy of our draft 2024 Delegate Selction Plan which was posted for public comment on our website on March 6, 2023. Public comments on the draft are to be submitted on the form here through April 5, 2023.

    (Please include the page and line number your feedback refers to in your email. Thank you!)

    Convert to local time here:

    March 27, 2023 at 10:00am
    36 rsvps rsvp

  • DA France Speaker Series: Borderline Insanity - How Did Immigration Become So Polarizing?


    Please join us for an-indepth discussion with two experts on US immigration issues. Jim Cohen and Jody McBrien will discuss how we arrived at the immigration mess we are in due to historical and political interventions as well as how these problems affect new Americans and local communities. Topics will include state and federal policies, Latin American border issues, DACA, and refugees. This event is hosted by Democrats Abroad France, the DAF Paris Chapter and the DAF Diversity Caucus.


    JIM COHEN is a professor of North American studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle and lecturer at the Institut des hautes études de l’Amérique latine (IHEAL). His main areas of research include Latinos in the United States, U.S.-Latin American relations, the status of Puerto Rico, immigration policy, and U.S. politics more generally. His article “Zero Tolerance: The Trump Administration’s Permanent Anti-Immigrant Offensive and its Repercussions in the Americas” appeared in Politique Américaine n° 37 (2022). 

    JODY McBRIEN is a Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies at the University of South Florida. She has researched international and comparative refugee policies and support since 2002 in North America, Africa, Australasia, and Europe. In 2021-22 she was a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow working at the OECD in Paris.

    FIRST TUESDAY SPEAKER SERIES: Every first Tuesday of the month, we will host a speaker’s event with one or two experts on issues that concern us as Democrats. We will hear from the invited speakers and then have the opportunity to exchange with them. The events will take place in a Paris restaurant over an apéro: we’ll have drinks during the session, and then after the event anyone who likes may stay for dinner as well, to continue the convivial evening. All drinks and food will be paid directly to the restaurant by each participant. 

    April 04, 2023 at 6:00pm
    Joe Allen's
    30 Rue Pierre Lescot
    Paris 75001
    Google map and directions
    12 rsvps rsvp

  • published Thank you for voting! in Czech Republic 2022-10-12 15:28:17 -0400

    Thank you for voting!


    Friends don't let friends abroad not vote!
    Tell a friend:

  • published Thank you for voting! in France 2022-10-12 15:26:06 -0400

    Thank you for voting!


    Friends don't let friends abroad not vote!
    Tell a friend:

  • published VIVE LA RESISTANCE THIS INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND in News 2022-06-28 12:35:10 -0400


    The news coming out of the US is a nightmare — in the past week, the conservative-dominated Supreme Court has handed down rulings with profound impact on American life — ranging from gun rights, to Miranda rights, to religious funding of schools — but most significantly overturning Roe v Wade, and ending a constitutional right to an abortion that has protected reproductive choice for over 50 years. 

    The horrible effects of this ruling are immediate — abortion is expected to soon become illegal in 16 states, and still others may soon see restrictions through court action or pre-Roe bans. In many places, restrictive abortion bans will come with criminal penalties for abortion providers and patients. Blue state governors are pledging resistance and expansionas they position themselves as safe havens for people seeking abortion.

    As the battleground for reproductive choice shifts to state courthouses your vote and voice from abroad matter now more than ever. America is on the threshold of authoritarian rule by people who do not care about rule of law. Democrats must win commanding majorities in House and Senate to stop the assault on American freedoms, but voters must also show up for all the governor races, attorney general races, ballot measures, judges, and other local elections that will determine the future of our nation. Every vote counts more now than ever.

    JOIN US AS WE VIVE LA RESISTANCE and fight the radical right this Saturday, July 2nd --

    Want to do MORE?

    See the Paris current events calendar, here!



  • signed up on Join 2022-04-20 09:30:08 -0400

  • published Donation - Meet Mayor London Breed in Events 2022-03-19 05:52:22 -0400

  • published Thank you for your donation! 2022-03-18 15:42:46 -0400

    Thank you for donating to Democrats Abroad


    Democrats Abroad France thanks you for your donation to Democrats Abroad — your contribution has been earmarked for spending that is prioritized by DA France. Whether you choose to make a one-time donation or become a sustaining donor, your generosity supports our mission to mobilize the overseas vote, and to connect the American community abroad with US Democratic politics back home.

    We cannot do this important work without your support. Merci!

    To learn more about Democrats Abroad France, please click here.

  • Letter to Senators and Representatives of the 117th Congress


    December 7, 2021

    Dear Senators and Representatives of the 117th Congress,

    For 77 years, America’s veterans have been able to use GI Bill education benefits to further their education after leaving the Armed Forces. Veterans have used this vital benefit to learn how to open and run businesses, to become doctors and lawyers, to learn important trade skills, and much more. For the entire history of this benefit, veterans have been able to freely use their benefits at whatever legitimate institution of higher learning they wanted—until now.

    Recently, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs has made changes to the program approval process for universities to be able to participate in the GI Bill program. Some of these changes were required by law, but others were the result of overzealous interpretations of the law or the VA’s aging technical infrastructure. Regardless of the causes, these changes have hit overseas veteran students the hardest. Records show that between 1,500 and 3,000 veterans1 typically utilize their GI Bill benefits at overseas universities each year, but those students’ ability to utilize their earned benefits is now in danger. These new rules imposed on universities create three giant hurdles for student veterans to cross.

    First, overseas veterans have reported problems with communication between the VA, their university, and the veteran. Schools are required to submit an application for approval prior to a student veteran being cleared to use their GI Bill benefits, and the VA’s response time is unacceptably slow. In one case, it took the VA several months to respond to the university. That veteran was stuck between his university claiming that it has sent multiple follow-up requests to the VA and the VA claiming that it had responded in a timely fashion to the university—but that veteran has no way of verifying either claim, nor do they have a way to make this process move along faster. That veteran has been fighting for at least six months just to get basic information about where his school's application is in the approvals process. This problem was exacerbated by the closure of VA’s Foreign Schools Approval Office.

    Then the VA sends a list of about 40 additional, onerous requirements that were not previously required.2 Among these requirements are whether or not universities are complying with various local laws that the VA cannot reasonably verify, a copy of the university’s entire academic catalog translated into English, personal information about the university’s staff and faculty, and much more. Another requirement, created by the January 2021 Isakson-Roe bill,3 cited by multiple overseas universities as a primary problem is a new reporting requirement about enrollment at the university. Universities located in the United Kingdom, Australia, the European Union, and other countries with similar privacy laws cannot legally furnish personal information about students, faculty, or staff, so they are not legally able to comply with the VA’s new requirements.

    If a veteran and their university can get past the first two hurdles, there is still another issue they must face. In order for a university to receive tuition payments from the VA, the university must open a bank account with a U.S. financial institution and apply for a U.S. Employer Identification Number through the IRS. This extra burden on overseas universities is unnecessary, and after questioning the VA admitted that the requirement is solely due to their legacy electronic payment system that cannot process payments to foreign financial institutions. We maintain that this is an unacceptable reason to deny veterans their earned education benefits.

    The 117th Congress must fix this problem. Veterans earned their education benefits by sacrificing years of their lives, and oftentimes their health, to serve in the United States Armed Forces. We cannot abide by veterans losing access to their earned benefits simply because of where they reside or where they would like to receive an education. Many overseas veterans have been unable to utilize their benefits because of these changes, and some have seen their GI Bill benefits expire while they have waited for the VA to approve their academic programs. Congress and the VA must address this issue by, at a minimum, accomplishing the following:

    • Re-establishing the Foreign Schools Approval Office to improve communication between overseas universities and the VA;

    • Providing a legislative carve-out of reporting requirements for overseas universities that violate privacy laws;

    • Updating the VA’s legacy electronic payment system to be able to process payments to foreign financial institutions;

    • Requiring that, when the VA reports to Congress about its education benefits, the VA have specific reporting requirements about veterans utilizing their benefits overseas; and

    • Extending the education benefits eligibility window of veterans adversely affected by these changes who are not covered by the “Forever GI Bill” by two years at a minimum.

    Very Respectfully,

    Candice Kerestan
    Democrats Abroad International Chair

    Anthony Nitz
    Democrats Abroad Global Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair

    Office of the International Chair of Democrats Abroad
    [email protected]

    1. According to VA statistics released in Annual Benefits Reports. Data was taken from fiscal years 2014-2020. Historical reports are available here.
    2. The VA claims that many of these were previously required, but the VA did not start enforcing them until this year. See the list of requirements here.
    3. H.R. 7105, often referred to as the Isakson-Roe Bill, of the 116th Congress was passed on January 5th, 2021. Read more about the bill here.

  • published JosephineBakerGala_ticket_redirect in France 2021-11-08 04:04:58 -0500

  • Commemorating 100 Years (1921-2021) of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    "We view the Centennial not only as a celebration to remember the burial of the World War I Unknown Soldier, but an opportunity to reflect on what the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier means to America and her allies."

    — Gavin McIlvenna, President & Centennial Committee Chairman

    We are honored to share with you the opportunity to participate in a series of very special commemorative events in France. The Arlington Sentinels (also known as the Tomb Guards) are here this month to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 1921-2021. The unknown soldier from World War I buried in Arlington National Cemetery died in France, and their body was repatriated to the U.S. in 1921. Click here for the story.

    There are several commemorative events open to the public, Oct 24-26:

    • CHÂLONS-EN-CHAMPAGNE - Sunday, October 24, 10am: 100th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony and Military Parade retracing the route taken by the Unknown Soldier in 1921 beginning at the Hôtel de Ville of Châlons-en-Champagne and ending at the war memorial. No RSVP required. Contact [email protected] for details.

    • LE HAVRE - Monday, October 25, 3-4:30pm: Commemoration Ceremony at Quai Roger Meunier for the 100th Anniversary of the Departure of the WWI Unknown Soldier from Le Havre to the United States in 1921, and the USS Olympia’s mission to bring the Unknown Soldier home. It is here in Le Havre that André Maginot presented, on behalf of France, the Knight's Cross of the Legion of Honor to the Unknown Soldier. No RSVP required. Contact [email protected] for details.

    • PARIS - Tuesday, October 26, 5:30pm: Rekindling of the Eternal Flame under the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France. Honor and pay tribute to the French Unknown Soldier, standing alongside French and American veterans. RSVP at [email protected].

    • PARIS - Tuesday, October 26, 7pm: The Unknown Soldier Centennial Gala Dinner will be held at the prestigious and historical French Ècole Militaire with the Arlington Sentinels, American Gold Star Mothers, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and US veterans. Live Jazz band, Champagne Kir Apéro, and 3-course dinner. RSVP required - Register Here. Deadline to register is midnight October 23rd. Once you have registered, if you would also like to be seated at a DA France table, please notify Anna Marie at [email protected]

    We sincerely hope you can join us to remember and honor all who have served, the Arlington Sentinels, and Gold Star Mothers.

    DA France Veterans and Military Families Caucus
    [email protected] 

      DA France VMF
    WhatsApp group: Join here 
    FB page: Join here 
    Donations: Give here


  • published Join the Paris Chapter Executive Committee in News 2021-10-08 04:01:42 -0400

    Join the Paris Chapter Executive Committee

    Democrats Abroad was the margin of victory for President Joe Biden in Georgia and Arizona, and we're determined to continue delivering scale-tipping votes in races across the United States in 2022 and beyond.

    To continue our get-out-the-vote from abroad, we are currently building a robust Paris Chapter and, for the first time, doing a call for applications for expansion of the executive committee. Our goal is to have an inclusive, transparent, and fair appointment process. We need you to be a part of our work!

    All members of the Paris Chapter are encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. CET on November 1, 2021. Decisions will be made around Nov. 10th. 

    Send your CV and short cover letter outlining your vision and qualifications to [email protected].

    Juan Cerda
    DA Paris Chapter Chair



    The Paris Chapter Treasurer shall manage the chapter's finances, prepare a budget and cash flow forecast as required by the Paris Chapter Chair for approval by the Paris Executive Committee, and interact and coordinate with the National Treasurer to maintain proper financial reporting structures to ensure the Paris Chapter's finances are in order. All such records shall be available for review by the Paris Executive Committee.

    The Paris Chapter Treasurer shall be available to consult with National, Subchapter, and Caucus Chairs regarding fundraising activities for projects and activities and access to potential donors.

    Ideally, candidates for this role should have experience in cash accounting, book-keeping, basic finance, banking, fundraising or related background.  


    The Chapter Event Coordinator will help design and coordinate Chapter events, in collaboration with others in leadership. The goal of these events — social, political, cultural, etc. — is to educate and advance discussion and member engagement on contemporary U.S. political issues.

    The Chapter Event Coordinator will assist members in planning and organizing local events such as lunches, dinners, wine-tastings, holiday gatherings, venues for significant speakers, etc. for membership development and fundraising, and shall help promote these events on the DA website and various social media channels, in collaboration with the Chapter Communications Coordinator, the Country Events Officer, and Country Database/IT Manager.

    The Chapter Event Coordinator shall manage the Chapter calendar and work to avoid scheduling conflicts among different events in the Paris region. The Chapter Event Coordinator shall report monthly to the Chapter Executive Committee on activities undertaken and planned.


    The Deputy Get Out the Vote Coordinator(s) will support the leadership of the Paris Chapter GOTV/IT Officer, and operate under their guidance, to help execute the Paris Chapter voter registration and GOTV strategy. This will include "on the ground" community events and outreach via social media.

    Ideal candidates for Deputy GOTV Coordinator should have experience with voter registration for overseas Americans (whether using FVAP or VoteFromAbroad), and be able to conduct in-person events or be able to work online to answer voter help questions. Those willing to learn are also encouraged to apply.

    If you have experience working/volunteering with voter registration, political campaigns, phone banking, canvassing voters, we are looking for you!


    The Deputy Communications Coordinator will support the leadership of the Paris Chapter Communications Officer, and operate under their guidance, to assist in designing, implementing and coordinating the communications activities of the Paris Chapter, including direct contact with members and interested persons via email, social media, French and English press communications, and develop the quarterly newsletter to members. They will assist in creating a strategic branding plan for DA Paris media and roll out outreach in 2022. 

    Ideal candidates for Deputy Communications Coordinator will have experience working with email marketing, branding, social media and public relations.


    All members of the DA Paris Chapter are encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. CET on November 1, 2021. Decisions will be made around Nov. 10th. 

    Send your CV and short cover letter outlining your vision and qualifications to [email protected].


  • National Deportation Remembrance Day, April 25

    DA France Veterans and Military Families Caucus Remembers Americans Deported to Concentration Camps during WW II, April 25th, National Deportation Remembrance Day

    In France, the last Sunday of April is National Deportation Remembrance Day. The Democrats Abroad France Veterans and Military Families Caucus has chosen to talk about four remarkable deportees: Dr. Sumner Jackson, his wife Charlotte and son Phillip, and a certain wondrous Virginia d’Albert-Lake.

    Dr. Sumner Jackson, his wife Charlotte and son Phillip

    Dr. Sumner Waldon Jackson (1884-1945) joined the British Army as a field surgeon in 1916, then transferred to the US Army in 1917, where he met and married the French Red Cross nurse, Charlotte Sylvie Barrelet de Ricout, nicknamed Toquette. After WW l they returned to Sumner’s native state, Maine, but finding life there too conservative, moved back to France in 1921. In order to practice medicine, the French required that he first pass the baccalaureat. He flunked philosophy so moved to Algeria where the baccalaureat was easier, then returned to France and graduated from the Ecole de Médecine. Sumner and Toquette had one child, Phillip, nicknamed Pete (1928-2016) who was proud to be both American and French. 

    Dr. Sumner Jackson with son Phillip

    Charlotte Jackson, known as Toquette

    Dr. Jackson was the Staff Surgeon then Chief Surgeon at the American Hospital in Paris from 1925 to 1943. During WWII, one of the Allied Forces soldiers he treated was an American ambulance driver who had gotten into trouble so Dr. Jackson hid him in the hospital basement. That was the beginning of the Jacksons French Resistance clandestine activities with the Goélette Network. During the Nazi occupation, his family home served as a resistance hub for the exchange of money, information and sometimes even people who were dropped off and picked up by a network of underground resistance fighters … but never arms. Messages heard on London radio about allied bombings or German positions were sewn into “stinky” cheese and sent to Vichy! Since he was a medical doctor, it was normal to see people come and go in his apartment.

    At the American Hospital, Dr. Jackson openly treated French and German soldiers but secretly took in wounded British, US and French airmen, Jews and servicemen, listed them as dead in the hospital records, provided false ID papers and helped smuggle them to Spain, on their way to the UK.

    In May 1944 his son Phillip, (16 years old), was already a resistance spy when Germans came to arrest him, his father and his mother. They were sent to the Compiegne prison camp. Toquette was shuffled to several camps and finally rescued by the Swedish Red Cross in Ravenbrück and taken to Malmö, Sweden on April 28, 1945. She had no idea what had happened to her husband and son.

    Dr. Jackson and his son survived beatings, starvation, and forced labor in Gestapo and SS prisons in France and Germany. They finally wound up near Hamburg at the Neuengamme Concentration Camp for political prisoners where the working hours were long and strenuous. When Dr. Jackson’s finger became seriously infected, he had another prisoner amputate it and kept on working. 

    Dr. Jackson spoke little, never explaining why he had been arrested because he was determined that nothing he might say would endanger those for whom he had quietly risked his life. He endured it all with stoicism and dignity that seemed to emanate from his sheer force of character.

    In April 1945 the British Army was closing in on Neuengamme. Phillip and his father had spent a year in that camp which had 9000 prisoners. 3000 were shot. Dr. Jackson and Phillip were among the 6000 put in freight cars and then on ships to northern Germany.

    On May 3rd 1945, as the POW ships were leaving the Lübeck harbor, the British ordered them to turn back. They didn’t. Unaware that these German ships were full of prisoners, British aircraft dropped bombs and rockets on them. Dr. Jackson’s body was never found. 10,000 people were killed, mostly prisoners. Phillip Jackson, then 17, despite the temperature of the Baltic Sea, swam to shore near Lübeck. Only 600 people survived. They were lined up against a wall to be shot but were saved by British tanks that rolled in just in time. The next day, dressed in a blanket, Phillip approached a British captain and said, “I have escaped and I am alone now”. He enlisted in the British Army and returned to Paris in September 1945 where he was reunited with his mother at the Arch of Triumph-Etoile. Their apartment on Avenue Foch was just as they had left it. After the War Phillip spent years encouraging improvement of Franco-German relations. 

    In 2013, The Board of Governors of the American Hospital of Paris created the Jackson Award to commemorate the extraordinary devotion of Sumner and Charlotte Jackson in serving the hospital before and during World War II. The first recipients of the Jackson Medal were Sumner and Charlotte, posthumously. Their son Phillip accepted the award for them and personally received the French Legion of Honor.

    Phillip, his father and his mother, Toquette, are the subjects of the bestselling book Avenue of Spies by Alex Kershaw.

    Virginia d’Albert Lake 

    Virginia d'Albert-Lake (1910-1997) was a schoolteacher from Florida who was awarded the French Legion of Honor, the Order of the British Empire, Croix de Guerre, U.S. Medal of Freedom and Maltese Cross for helping 67 British and American airmen evade German capture during World War II. Many airmen came with family to visit her after the War.

    In 1936 Virginia travelled to France, where she fell in love with and married Philippe d’Albert-Lake, the son of an English mother and a French father. Life was peaches and cream. The family had means, apartments, even a château. But in 1940 France had surrendered and Philippe, who had been in the French Army since the beginning of the War, was demobilized and came to Paris. 

    One day in the little town of Nesles where they tried to live inconspicuously by staying out of the Germans’ way, the village baker asked them to come to his shop. He was hiding and helping downed American pilots.

    When they looked at the young pilots, Virginia and Philippe knew they had no choice. Soon they were working with the Comet Escape Line, the French Resistance network in charge of returning Allied pilots to England via Spain. 

    Until Spring 1944, the routine was to receive the airmen at Paris train stations, hide them in their apartment and then guide them out of Paris to a camp in southern France from where they left for the UK.

    Many Germans who had been to US, Canadian or British schools pretended they were American pilots. Virginia quizzed them all with cultural questions such as “Who is Babe Ruth” and turned the “fake ones” over to the French resistance fighters. 

    On June 12, 1944, fearful of imminent arrest, Virginia, Philippe and 11 airmen left Paris and headed south. As they were bicycling near Châteaudun, a German car stopped Virginia who was slightly ahead of the group. She was ordered to empty her pocketbook. Out fell a list of French resistance fighters. In her haste, she had forgotten to memorize and destroy it.

    At German headquarters she admitted to swallowing the list and was told she would be shot in the morning. Instead, she was on one of the last deportation trains to leave France. Virginia was sent to Ravensbrück and other devastating concentration camps until finally being freed by the French Army on April 21, 1945. She left the last camp weighing a mere 76 pounds. Willpower had kept her alive.

    After the War, Philippe and Virginia moved to Brittany where she dabbled in the sale of antique dolls to the U.S. market. She died in 1997, Philippe 3 years later. They are buried in a section reserved for Anglo-American citizens in a cemetery in Dinard.

    According to her son Patrick, “After her release, I think she thought she’d been given a second life. She loved life. She had a fantastic sense of humor. It was very sharp, very American.” 

    Written by Karen Kenny and Tilly Gaillard

  • published 2021 DA France National Election Results in News 2021-04-18 06:46:36 -0400

    2021 DA France National Election Results

    Please join us in congratulating our 2021-2023 National Officers and Voting Representatives for Democrats Abroad France! Thank you to all the amazing candidates who stepped up to #RunForSomething! 

    National Officers

    National Chair – Jonathon Holler. Jonathon supports the Equal Rights Amendment, Medicare for All, and strengthened labor unions, and a DPCA charter providing for more equitable voting and more inclusive gender parity rules.

    First Vice-Chair – Danielle Follett. Dani is committed to continuing the work DAF accomplished to broaden the organization by welcoming new voices, expanding membership and raising voter turnout.

    Second Vice-Chair (Chapter Liaison) - Drew Lombardi. Based on his past organizing experience in New York and Boston, Drew plans to launch a “50 state strategy” across all 12 local chapters to boost active engagement, recruit new members and deliver decisive electoral victories to Democrats.

    Secretary – Alejandra Roman. New to France, Alejandra was DA Mexico City chapter Membership Chair and aided GOTV efforts leading up to the 2020 elections. 

    Treasurer – Marjorie Bernstein. A past Treasurer and Secretary of DA France, Marj will apply her qualities of thoroughness, dedication, and enthusiasm (as well as her degree in Mathematics!) to her reprised role as Treasurer.

    Counsel – Julia Grégoire. Julia is licensed to practice law in both France and the US and begins her second term as Counsel. She has assisted with two thorough revisions of the DA France Bylaws and ensured compliance with French law governing non-profit organizations.

    Database/IT Manager – Max Dunitz. Max begins his second term as Database/IT Manager. He added many new tools to our digital organizing toolkit, from peer-to-peer texting to state voter file data to inform voters about ballot deadlines, rejected ballots, and voter assistance options.

    GOTV Officer - Dori Schwartz-Laboune. During the 2020 election cycle Dori recruited and engaged volunteers, doing outreach and phone/text banking. She is committed to increasing our efforts to turn out voters for the midterm primaries and 2022 elections.

    Communications Officer – Amy Porter. Amy’s objectives are to build out the Comms team; coordinate the use of our multiple channels—social media, website, email—for recruiting new members, increasing current member engagement levels and helping members to vote, and to work closely with the chapters and caucuses in support of their communications efforts.

    Issues, Program and Events Coordinator – Gretchen Pascalis. A founding member of the DA France Rhone-Alps chapter (now Grenoble) and organizer of many memorable events in her region, Gretchen believes that events make organizations come alive, energize and inform members, and help recruit new members.

    Membership Outreach / Volunteer Coordinator – Florent Marchais. Flo has a record of dynamic, energetic youth organizing in Texas and France. In his new role, he plans to engage alongside the GOTV and Events officers to mobilize volunteers to participate in phone-banking, social-media activism, and in-person volunteering and rallying in solidarity for international causes like climate action and Black Lives Matter.

    DPCA Voting Representatives

    Ada Shen 

    Max Dunitz

    Camille Canter

    Jerry Zellhoefer

    Connie Borde

    Jim Christiansen

    Meredith Wheeler

    Juan Cerda

    Marjorie Bernstein

    Alex Rehbinder (Alternate)

    Susan Fitoussi (Alternate)

    Ricky J. Marc (Alternate)

    Gretchen Pascalis (Alternate)

  • Ada Shen, Former DA Global AAPI Caucus Steering Committee Member

    Ada Shen

    Hi, I’m Ada Shen. I’ve been an active member of Democrats Abroad since 2007 when I organized China for the first Global Presidential Primary, and later became the Obama campaign China field organizer in 2008. I led the DA organizing effort in China, mostly focusing on voter registration and mobilization, until its successful founding as a country committee in 2017.

    I now live in Paris, France with my husband and son, and am the 2019-2021 National Chair of DA France. I am very pleased to serve on the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee -- our voices, votes, and visibility are an important contribution to the ongoing conversation on what it means to be American. I believe the AAPI voice and vote can work to forge a better future for all — the urgency of our times demand it.

  • published Call for Candidates Extended to March 15, 2021 in News 2021-03-09 11:29:31 -0500

    Call for Candidates Extended to March 15, 2021

    Call For Candidates/Nominations Period Extended to March 15, 2021

    Contact Election Officer Ann-Marie Pelosky
    [email protected]

    March 20, 2021 @ 1PM
    RSVP here

    (* Position is required, per the DA France Bylaws)

    The Chapter Chair* is the chief executive officer of the chapter, shall call and preside at all meetings of members, and shall lead the direction of the Chapter Executive Committee. The Chair shall establish the agenda of such meetings, and shall be responsible for carrying out and directing the programs, policies, and activities duly approved by the members and the Normandy Chapter Executive Committee.

    The Chapter Chair is ex-officio also a voting member of the DA France National Executive Committee, and is the primary Officer responsible for representing the Chapter at regular National Executive Committee meetings; and shall attend them or designate a proxy to the National Secretary to the extent practicable, including presenting a brief monthly report of Chapter or Caucus activities to the National ExCom. If the Chair is not present at a National ExCom meeting, and the Vice Chair is present, the Vice Chair automatically carries the vote and represents the Chapter (no proxy designation is required.) The Chair and Vice-Chair may, with the advice of the other Officers, allocate between themselves the duties of the Chair as they see fit.

    The Chair, or any Officer delegated by the Chair, is entitled to attend all Standing and Ad Hoc Committees, with full voting privileges. Decisions or actions taken by the Chair may be overruled by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Executive Committee. 

    The Chapter Vice Chair shall assist and support the Chair in the matters related to execution of the Chair’s duties, and shall, in the absence of the Chair call and preside at meetings of members and of the Chapter Executive Committee. The Chapter Vice Chair is invited to attend National Executive Committee meetings to the extent practicable, and shall, in absence of the Chapter Chair, automatically carry the vote and representation of the Chapter to the National ExCom (no proxy need be designated). In addition to the shared responsibilities of the Chapter Chair allocated to the Chapter Vice-Chair, if the office of Chapter Chair shall become vacant, the Chapter Vice-Chair shall assume the responsibilities of the Chair. 

    The Chapter Secretary* shall assist and support the Chair in matters related to keeping records and minutes of Chapter Executive Committee meetings; of Annual General and Special Meetings of Chapter members;  and in managing the database of its members. The Secretary shall maintain and safeguard all files and administrative records of the Chapter. The Chapter Secretary shall, along with the Chapter Chair, help ensure that timely notification of elections taking place within the Chapter, and their results, as well as any administrative matters related to the functioning of the Chapter, are duly communicated to the National Secretary.

    (Duties include database management of members, sending email blasts, and making updates to the Normandy Chapter website. Free training on the software needed to perform these tasks is available and ongoing IT support is available.)

    Members-At-Large shall assist and support the Chapter or Caucus Chair in duties and responsibilities that are not fixed but instead may vary according to the needs of the Chapter or Caucus. The Chapter or Caucus Member at Large will collaborate with other leaders, as well as counterparts at National and Global levels, accordingly.


    Candidates should be members of Democrats Abroad France, US citizens 18 years or older, living in the Normandy/Hauts de France Chapter Region from the time of their nomination, and be able to serve a full term of two years. Every eligible member with interest, ability, conviction and ideas is encouraged to run. Previous organizing experience is welcome but not necessary. To join Democrats Abroad, go here:


    You may nominate yourself, be nominated by someone else, or you may nominate others for an executive officer position for the Normandy Chapter. To make a nomination, please email the Election Officer Ann-Marie Pelosky at [email protected]com with the name of the person and the position for which they are being nominated. (If you are nominating another person, please put that person on copy of your email.) A member of the Election Board will follow up. Nominees are asked to prepare a short statement of no more than 200 words regarding their candidacy. Final candidate statements should be submitted by March 15. Candidates should be prepared to attend the Leadership Elections on March 20th (via Zoom) at 6PM and to speak for their candidacy.


    Contact Election Officer Ann-Marie Pelosky at [email protected]

    Thank you!

    Normandy Chapter Election Board
    Ann-Marie Pelosky, Election Officer
    Marjorie Bernstein
    Ada Shen

Paris Chapter Officer; Immediate Past France National Chair; Founding organizer DA China (2007-2017). DA member since 2007. I live in Paris, I vote in Orange County, CA.