Democrats Abroad represents the margin of victory in dozens of close races coming up in 2018. Democracy is counting on us.
Global Chair Julia Bryan delivered this inspiring message to an enthusiastic audience at the first-ever Democrats Abroad Nordic Summit last weekend in Malmö, Sweden.
This mini-regional meeting was an experiment. Along with the Alex Lange, Chair of DA Sweden, and Kim Chopin, Chair of DA Denmark, my hope was that such a collaboration between our regional chapters would give us the chance to:
- Share knowledge between boards
- Build community among members
- Inspire all of us to make a difference in the coming elections
I’m pleased to announce that the meeting was a big success on all three accounts.
We started the day off with quick introductions of each participating country chapter (CC). It was inspiring to learn about one another’s successes and challenges, to compare notes a bit. From there, attendees received important info and tutorials on Voter Registration and Phone Banking. I was honoured to present a talk titled Ready to Reframe: Approaching Nordic Issues in American Politics. And Julia Bryan presented an update on Tax Issues for Americans abroad, as well as a keynote speech that included insights on her recent door knock on capitol hill.
This event began as a “Scandinavian Summit.” Then, in the planning process, we extended an invitation to Democrats Abroad living in Finland, who have been interested in forming their own CC. Three of them showed up on Saturday! They wanted to see how DA works as an organization. They wanted to understand how the CC’s help one another to succeed in registering voters and educating the public on the issues. I’m proud that our Nordic Summit—as we immediately rebranded it—could reinforce these ideas.
I want to thank Alex and Kim for all the hours of brainstorming and planning, their good ideas, their willingness to listen and pivot. We made a good team. And we couldn’t have done any of it without Alex Arcelay, Chair of the Skåne chapter in Sweden, who diligently found a venue and organized the logistics, then helped the day run smoothly.
Like many people, I only jumped into organising and activism after Donald Trump was elected. That tragedy was my personal catalyst. It also turned out to be a catalyst for the Women's March, the March for Science, the March for our Lives (Saturday, 24 March in Oslo, too), and dozens of other demonstrations and movements. These are remarkable showings of solidarity. We hope that sheer numbers will hold our elected representatives accountable. They might. But the most tangible change we can make in any election is the casting of our own ballots. That's what Democrats Abroad is about.
Given what I learned at the DA Nordic Summit last weekend, I think we're in good shape to continue reaching our voter registration targets. Americans abroad have the unique opportunity and responsibility to be the margin of victory in some close midterm races. Our efforts can make the difference and flip a few seats our way, or at least scare the hell out of complacent Republicans. Now more than ever before, I think we can do this together.
Join us at our next event and help take back the House!