Minutes of Democrats Abroad Guatemala
Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 1:00pm via WebEx
Members in Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Mary Lou Ridinger, Vice Chair; Kee Adams Evans, Events Coordinator; Dave Evans, Member-at-Large; Hyungjoon Jin, Member-at-Lage Scotney Young, Media Contact; Traci Styner, Lake Atitlán Area Chair; Rachael Shenyo, Occidente Area Chair; Gloria Rowe, member; Rae Leeth, member.
Per our bylaws (paragraph 19.3), all meetings are open to all members.
Called to order at 1:09pm
Approval of Agenda and Minutes: Minutes from February meeting and agenda for April were approved.
Treasurer’s report: Net worth as of April 16, 2020 is Q6,408.
Chair’s Report: (1) DAGT 2020 Direct Email Fundraiser will run to June 15 but currently on hold due to Covid-19. Donations over $35 win a 2020 candidate T shirt. (2) RVC Rothschild gave a summary of GPP results; DPCA Global Convention moved online only to June 6-7, with Americas regional online convention to be held May17, when regional delegates and one DNC member will be elected, (3) New CallHub Ballot Request campaigns for regions and DAGT up and running – John, Kee, Mary Lou and Scotney are signing up and we hope more volunteer – goal is to call all DAGT members to encourage them to use https://www.votefromabroad.org to request their overseas absentee ballot now, (4 )Secy. and Treas. Positions remain open – Scotney suggested we all pledge to talk to one person before the next meeting.
Events 2020: Movies and other public events are currently on hold. Kee said they will resume when the emergency abates and Guatemala opens up again. DAGT’s Independence Day celebration will take place as scheduled on July 4th, but should the lockdown continue it will be moved to U.S. Labor Day, September 7, 2020. Kee was disappointed to note that 1st quarter data from VFA reveal that only 70 DAGT members requested their ballots so far this year. We have a long way to go. The first in-person event of 2020 was held at Enlaces in Antigua on March 14th, with five voters requesting their ballots. Future in-person events are on hold. Kee will be sending out emails to encourage DAGT members to go to https://www.votefromabroad.org and request their ballot on their own, with phone and email support available from her and John. John mentioned the CallHub is a good way to support the email initiative since many have opted out of receiving emails, or don’t open them. Reaching them by phone may make the difference. Scotney mentioned that Democrats Abroad Guatemala now has an Instagram account. It was created as one way to attract young people who tend to be avid users of Instatram to Democrats Abroad. If you have an Instagram account, visit the site and offer graphic input to Scotney so she can keep the site up to date.
Covid-19: We spent several minutes sharing coronavirus lockdown experiences. Kee and Rachael expressed the challenges and anguish both have been through the past week with their extended family members who have been ill with covid-like symptoms and worse; Mary Lou and Scotney shared helpful logistical information; Rae, now in Washington, DC, gave us some insight into the emergency from that vantage point; Gloria shared her approach to calm oneself amidst the chaos through prayer and meditation. Dave asked if anyone knew when commercial flights might resume. Scotney offered that from the perspective of the Embassy, everything is on hold and no one knows when flights might resume. In addition to the work she’s doing to mitigate the effects of covid-19 in the Xela area, Rachael suggested that four key indicators to look for when flights will resume and the country reopens are:1) increased capacity for more testing and contact tracing of all new cases and people showing symptoms, 2.when treatments and medications are approved for use and can be widely distributed, 3) achieved ability to treat all who are sick individually, humanely and effectively, 4) achieve two full weeks where number of new cases has declined. All of the comments were touching, helpful and revealing, and optimistic.
The DAGT Excom will meet next on Thursday, May 21st, at 1pm Guatemala time, via WebEx.
Travel Notes: All plans are on hold.
Adjourned: 2:29 pm