The Candidates (1)
- Yael Borofsky
I am running for Chair of the Zurich Chapter of Democrats Abroad Switzerland because I realize that now is both a surprisingly difficult time to live outside the United States — separated from those whose pain we share — and an urgently important time. Organizing ourselves now to prepare to get out the vote for the 2018 mid-terms, and, eventually, the 2020 elections, will not only be our way of staying engaged and making our voices heard from afar, but our activism can also be a set an example for our Swiss and European neighbors. Through more frequent events in Zurich and focused outreach to other Americans, we can go beyond just getting out the vote to find new venues to discuss the difficult issues we care about (even if we disagree), learn more about what we can do to protect the rights of those who are more vulnerable than we are, and demonstrate that Americans are actually better than our slogans – that we really do value, above all, liberty and justice for every person.
As I wrote in my statement of intent to the Executive Committee and as was made clear at the elections, the political events of the last year and a half have been devastating to many. After living in Zurich during nearly all of campaign season, I came back to Cambridge, MA last September, just in time to watch Donald Trump win the election and then become inaugurated as the president of the United States. Despite the fact that I never imagined myself as an activist or a protester, since the election I have attended various events in the Boston area to either build community in the face of Trump’s lunacy, to protest and to learn new resistance techniques. Through these experiences, it has become increasingly clear to me that we cannot expect a tolerant, forward-thinking democracy as the default mode in the US or any country. Instead, we must work hard to protect this ideal at all times.
I hope to bring to the Chair position my experience co-founding and running an MIT forum focused on energy and human development, as well as my background in journalism, policy, and urban studies and planning. Most of all, I will contribute a newfound personal commitment to civic engagement. A commitment that is necessary now, in the face of the current challenges, and also, perhaps especially, in the future, when tolerance, justice, and peace may not seem so broadly threatened, but such ideals will be no less in need of protection.
My top three priorities are:
- Developing a strong leadership team that has the resources to both increase the visibility of Democrats Abroad in Zurich and to pass on institutional knowledge to future members and leaders.
- Building a strong community of politically engaged citizens (American or not) who come together for a variety of regular events, including get out the vote events, but also simple potluck dinners or other social activities.
- Organizing educational opportunities, such as lectures or group participation in online courses, to help members explore issues they are curious about.
- I am looking forward to working with an energized group of Zurich DA members to amplify our voices and build community.