Switzerland

Arosa, Graubünden, Switzerland
Mountain in Arosa, Graubünden, Switzerland by W. Bulach licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Democrats Abroad Switzerland is the official country committee for U.S. Democrats living in Switzerland.

We strive to help Americans connect with fellow citizens living across the 26 Cantons of the Swiss Federation and remain active in U.S. politics. Living in a unique nation of expats in which resident foreigners comprise 23% of the population, Democrats Abroad provides a vital social and political link for American citizens staying for a short period as well as those here for the long-term.

Our mission is to deliver critical votes for Democrats in U.S. Federal elections, as well as serving as unofficial U.S. ambassadors, communicating global perspectives to Washington D.C. and our hometowns and Swiss communities.

Watch this space for upcoming announcements of meetings and events – we have events planned throughout the year and encourage anyone interested in participating to get in touch.

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DA Switzerland Leadership:

Kathryn Edson
| Chair of DA Switzerland
Elizabeth Voss
| Secretary, Switzerland
Christian Jordan
| Treasurer of DA Switzerland
Wendy Olum
| Legal Counsel, Switzerland
See all Leaders


  • News

    Basel Chapter Call for Candidates for March 31st Election

    The Democrats Abroad Basel Chapter is an engaged grassroots group and has had a very suc-cessful last 2 years as an official chapter of Democrats Abroad. We are a volunteer organization and creative team that has built a broad member base, registered a record number of voters for mid-term and special elections and hosted numerous events to enhance socio-political knowledge and a sense of community in Democrats Abroad in Basel. We look forward to continue this suc-cessful story with you!

    Every 2 years, the DA Basel Chapter and the Democrats Abroad Switzerland Chapter elects a new Committee. The DA Basel Chapter will host their Annual General Meeting and next cycle of committee elections on March 31st at Klara, Clarastrasse 13 in Basel at 15:30. Please find more details of our event on our website: http://www.democratsabroad.org/ch_events.

    Our 2019 Nominations Committee is now seeking candidates to stand for office and to run the nominations/election process.

    Consider running for an office and joining our team!

    We are much more than a group of volunteers – through our friendships, mutual support and activism we run impactful outreach and advocacy for Americans living abroad and have a lot of fun while doing it!

    In 2018 we experienced first positive signs that we are turning the tide of the national political agenda. Democrats Abroad International continues to grow as a voter base and in its influence in Washington.

    In our community in Basel there will be plenty of opportunity to be involved from 2019 - 2021

    • Promote the Democratic message and activism to counter the policies being put in place by the Republican administration
    • Help Democrats win races in special elections in 2019
    • Promote awareness on political topics and grow our member base
    • Increase the number and commitment of registered voters for the 2020 Presidential elec-tion
    • Help Americans living abroad request their ballots and vote in the 2020 Presidential elec-tion

    Join the Basel Chapter Committee and take an active role in our vibrant chapter in Switzerland!

    Basel Committee Officers

    Four Basel Committee officers will be elected for a two-year term.
    Officers are members like you who volunteer their time and skills to represent and organize Democrats in the Basel area.

    1. Chair
    2. Vice-Chair
    3. Secretary
    4. Treasurer

    NOMINATIONS TIMELINE

    All members of Democrats Abroad active in the Basel region are eligible and encouraged to run for an office and to vote at the elections on March 31st at 3:30 pm at Klara, Clarastrasse 13 in Basel.

    To run for a position, inform any Nominating Committee member (contact information below) be-fore the deadline of February 24th. Include name, address, telephone number, email address and a brief statement of intention to run.

    By March 5th we will distribute information about the candidates, their statements, short bios and voting procedures by email.

    At the meeting on March 31st, additional nominations for all offices will be allowed from the floor. This is an important meeting, so be sure to attend and vote for the new Basel team.

    OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTIONS & DUTIES

    ☆ Chair ☆
    Chief executive officer of the Basel Chapter

    • Lead and mobilize members to join the Basel team and welcome new members
    • Oversee and coordinate the business functions of the chapter and report to national and international as required
    • Ensure that Secretary and Treasurer core work is being done, appoint other positions as necessary for effective functioning of the group
    • Represent DACH-Basel as a member of the DACH Executive Committee (ExCom), and report to the DACH ExCom on city chapter activities
    • Work with the other city chapters, volunteers and the DACH ExCom
    • Hold regular meetings, direct the activities of DACH in this region of Switzerland and keep members informed about activities and events
    • Contribute to DACH fundraising and insure all activities are conducted in compliance with FEC and campaign finance laws as established by the ExCom
    • Coordinate and share responsibility with the DACH ExCom and Zurich Chapter for voter and member outreach in the Swiss German region where no chapters are yet established

    ☆ Vice-Chair ☆

    • Assist the Chair in all Basel Chapter activities
    • Partner with the Chair to take on some of their responsibilities
    • Participate in key discussions and decisions as part of the Leadership Team and with the volunteer corps
    • Substitute for the Chair when needed
    • Organize and conduct the regularly scheduled Chapter meetings in the absence of the Chair
    • Attend DACH ExCom meetings in the absence of the Chair
    • Represent DA Basel together with other Chapter members in media relations activities

    ☆ Secretary ☆

    • Distribute meeting agendas to the Chapter Committee
    • Take and distribute minutes of all meetings and distribute to the Chapter Committee and DACH ExCom
    • Participate in key discussions and decisions as part of the Leadership Team and with the volunteer corps
    • Maintain files and administrative records of the Chapter (Google Drive)
    • Manage and maintain the Basel Chapter membership and volunteer lists in coordination with the DACH Secretary. This may require training on the DA database
    • Ensure event advertising, internet and social media presence in collaboration with event organizers and committee members

    ☆ Treasurer ☆

    • Manage the finances of DA Basel in agreement with the Basel Chair and the DACH Ex-Com Treasurer
    • Participate in key discussions and decisions as part of the Leadership Team and with the volunteer corps
    • Maintain clear and accurate financial records and make financial reports as required
    • Ensure all financial matters conform to local rules and regulations as well as to those of the Federal Election Commission and campaign finance laws of the United States
    • Educate the Basel Chapter members on latest updates on financial compliance guidance for Democrats Abroad

    NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE

    For further information about elections or the officer roles, contact any committee member (or email basel-elections@democrats.ch)

    Testimonials: WHAT DID YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT YOUR ENGAGEMENT IN YOUR DA BASEL ROLE?

    “It is hard to pick what I most enjoyed about volunteering for DA Basel. We have built such a great team of funny, dedicated and creative members. At our monthly chapter meetings, we have a lot of fun but run a very effective meeting. In our team, everyone contributes to an enlightening discus-sion, with great ideas for events and advocacy back home. Everyone supports our activities in any way they can and respects each other`s ability to contribute. I am handing over my office for the time being due to my new job as a new mother, but look forward to continue to help the team in their activities.” – Rosemary Pontarelli, Outgoing DA Basel Secretary

    “It’s great working with such an engaged, active team! I’ve most enjoyed our get-out-the vote ef-forts for the 2018 mid-term elections. There was a great team of volunteers for that team, and we help many events both to raise awareness about voting from abroad and to help Americans request their ballots. We’re proud of how well that effort went and are looking forward to an even more successful effort in 2020!” – Kristen Jafflin, DA Basel Vice Chair


    “The cadre of volunteers in Basel is rather remarkable, especially the leadership team. My involve-ment with DACH Basel stands out among my myriad volunteer experiences. Our critical mass takes on and achieves extraordinary tasks and programs. I really value everyone’s readiness, openness, ac-countability, creativity and inspiration. I could wax on, but through it all, we stay focused on our mis-sion. Putting words into action while engaging everyone we can is what keeps us moving. It’s work and fun at the same time. I look forward to our continued collaboration and accomplishments on-ward into 2020.” - Vivian Beetle, DA Basel Treasurer

    “It’s difficult to improve on everyone else has said. This is one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with and it’s really been a joy. Sadly our time in Basel is coming to a close so I can’t commit to another two years, but any candidates should know they have an extremely supportive team and I will be there till April 2020 to assist in any way I can.” - Kelli Brouillet, Out-going DA Basel Chair.

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    Executive Committee Seeks New Leaders Now, for April 7 Election

    Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) will elect a new Executive Committee (ExCom) at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Zürich on Sunday April 7th. Now is the time to heed the call for candidates and get involved! We especially encourage those who have some previous experience at any level in DACH registering voters or helping out in some capacity to step forward. Volunteers should be committed to being task oriented team players. We are a grassroots organization with a small budget and no paid staff. We meet monthly via video conferencing, and work and organize between meetings using SLACK, an online team communications tool. Willingness to use this tool is necessary. If you enjoy working online, then a national position might be well suited to your skills!

    Our primary mission is to use our various skills and enthusiasm to reach out and find Americans living in Switzerland and help them register to vote in upcoming US elections. There are many opportunities for activism and to work on political issues important to our members here in Switzerland and within our international organization (DA). Democrats Abroad has regular in-person meetings in Europe, Washington DC and other member countries that provide opportunities to train for the upcoming elections, to work together with other country committees on the DA platform, policies, and caucuses, and to hear stimulating political speakers. The ExCom guides the DA effort in Switzerland.

    PLEASE CONSIDER RUNNING FOR AN OFFICE!


    EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS

    The ExCom is the leadership of DACH and is made up of thirteen officers, of which nine will be elected at the AGM and four sit as ex-officio (Chapter Chairs and previous DACH Chair). Officers are elected for two-year terms and may serve two consecutive terms. Officers are members like you who volunteer their time and skills to represent and organize Democrats across Switzerland. The elected positions are listed below.

    DPCA VOTING REPRESENTATIVES

    In addition to electing the ExCom at the AGM, we will elect three voting representatives to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA). This is DA at the global level, which is part of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Each country committee, eg. Switzerland, sends reps to vote at DPCA global meetings. In 2019/20 DACH sends five, of which our Chair and Vice-Chair are two. The three others are elected from among the DACH membership. You may run both for an ExCom office and to be DPCA Voting Rep.

    NOMINATIONS TIMELINE

    To run for a position, inform any Nominating Committee member (contact info below) before the deadline of March 3rd. Include name, address, telephone number, email address, and a brief statement of intention to run. By March 13th we will distribute candidate names, short bios and voting procedures to all members by email.

    Elections will be held during the 2019 AGM on Sunday April 7th, from 12 to 5, Strassburgstrasse 11, 8004 Zurich. At the meeting, additional nominations for all offices will be allowed from the floor. Be sure to attend the meeting and vote for your new ExCom!

    FIND OUT MORE AT ON-LINE INFO SESSIONS

    The Nominations and Elections Committee will hold two on-line information sessions for members who’d like to know more. We’ll describe what’s involved in serving on the ExCom, and answer any and all questions. Join a meeting and listen! We’re here to help. Sessions scheduled via WebEx for Wed February 13th at 8:30pm, and Sun February 17th at 7pm. Find meeting-attendance details and links at our Information Page.

    OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTIONS & DUTIES


    Chair

    Chief executive officer of DACH

    • Organize and conduct meetings of the ExCom and the membership, and set the agenda of such meetings
    • Establish all committees necessary for the proper functioning of the organization
    • Ensure that Secretary and Treasurer core work is being done
    • Represent DACH in interviews with the press, or delegate to spokespersons
    • Represent DACH at meetings of the DPCA (DA International) and EMEA in person or online, in accordance with the DPCA Charter, and report to the DACH ExCom on DPCA activities, issues, votes, etc.
    • Ensure that Democratic Party, DPCA, DACH and FEC rules are followed
    • Choose a fair and impartial head of the 'Nominations and Elections Committee' to run DACH elections in odd numbered years
    • Raise funds for DACH activities and DPCA

    Vice-Chair

    • Must not be the same gender as the Chair (as per DACH and DPCA by-laws)
    • Partner with the Chair to take on some of their responsibilities
    • Substitute for Chair when needed
    • Attend DACH ExCom meetings in person or online
    • Attend and vote at annual DPCA Global Meeting, in person or online, or ensure another country leader carries your proxy

    Secretary

    • Take and distribute minutes of ExCom meetings and Annual General Meeting.
    • Maintain all files and administrative records of the organization (Google Docs)
    • Responsible for country membership, either by performing the duties of the database manager or by coordinating with the database manager for these tasks.
    • Currently the secretary is also the database manager
    • Reporting to international secretary on administrative issues as required

    Treasurer

    • Manage the finances of DA Switzerland and its Chapters
    • Maintain clear and accurate financial records and make financial reports as required on a timely basis
    • Establish annual DACH budget in coordination with the ExCom
    • Ensure all financial matters conform to local rules and regulations as well as those of the Federal Election Commission and campaign finance laws of the United States

    Counsel

    • Preferably a qualified lawyer with experience in Switzerland
    • Consult with the ExCom and/or its officers on legal and procedural questions relating to DACH and its activities. Consult with International Counsel as necessary

    Chairs of Zurich, Basel and Geneva Chapters (ex officio, elected separately at the chapter meetings)

    • Lead and mobilize members to join their team and welcome new members.
    • Oversee and coordinate the business functions of the chapter and report to national and international as required.
    • Coordinate with Chapter positions such as vice-chair, secretary and treasurer. Appoint media contact, event organizer, GOTV coordinator, Fundraiser, Young Dems chair, or any other position deemed necessary
    • Direct the activities of DACH in their region of Switzerland and keep local membership informed about activities and events.
    • Hold regular meetings, contribute to DACH fundraising, organize election related activities such as voter registration events, debate watches, political discussion groups and speaker events, etc.
    • Attend ExCom meetings and keep ExCom and other chapters informed of events and activities.
    • Insure all activities are conducted in compliance with FEC and campaign finance laws as established by the ExCom.

    Immediate-past Chair (ex officio)

    • Advise and assist DACH ExCom in its activities

    Member-At-Large, Communications and Media

    • Work with DACH leadership to ensure DACH webpage and other social media channels are up to date
    • Work with global communications and IT teams and complete necessary trainings
    • Work with Country and Chapter leadership to send notifications of news and events to membership and publicize events.
    • Maintain up-to-date press list and maintain press and media relations by drafting and coordinating press releases
    • May recruit other DACH members to help with communications tasks, forming a team if desired.

    Members-At-Large (3)

    • We have three flexible member at large positions whose duties have not been defined in advance. Some of our needs include regional coordinators, fundraisers, project managers, event managers, voter registration and phone-banking coordinators.
    • More information regarding Member-at-Large needs can be found HERE.

    NON-EXCOM POSITIONS

    DPCA Voting Representative (3)

    • One of five representatives of DACH at annual and other meetings of the DPCA (Chair and Vice-Chair are the other two).
    • Casts one vote in any DPCA election
    • A Voting Rep may also hold an ExCom position

    NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE

    For further info about elections or the roles described above, contact any committee member:


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    Upcoming Events

    Thursday, February 21, 2019 at 06:30 PM · CHF25.00 CHF · 4 rsvps
    Foyer im Lohnhof in Basel, Switzerland

    US Taxes for Americans Living Abroad - Basel

    Are you wondering how the new tax law affects Americans living abroad? Or new to (and baffled by) overseas Americans' US tax obligations? Or maybe you just have a US tax question you would like an expert to weigh in on? Then come to Democrats Abroad Switzerland's talk on US taxes for Americans living abroad.

    Rebecca Heid of AIT Services will be answering our questions about overseas Americans US tax obligations. If you have a particular issue or question you would like her to address, please submit it to basel@democrats.ch and enter it in the online registration form (see link above).

    This event is a fundraiser for Democrats Abroad Switzerland. We are asking all Americans attending to donate CHF25 or more to support our efforts on behalf of Americans living abroad. Payment at the door.

    Friday, February 22, 2019 at 07:15 PM
    Hiltl Dachterasse in Zurich, Switzerland

    Zürich Chapter Monthly Meeting

    Join us for our monthly meeting to discuss the future of our Zürich chapter.