News

2021 DACH Elections: Here are our Nominees

New Executive Committee to be elected at Annual General Meeting March 14

The DA Switzerland 2021 Nominations and Elections Committee is pleased to announce that Election of the 2021-2023 Executive Committee will take place during the 2021 Annual General Meeting, on Sunday March 14th, online. (See separate AGM announcement for details). We hope you will attend to hear our annual reports, to show support for the nominees, and, most importantly, to vote for the candidates of your choice. The offices to be elected are:

  1. Chair

  2. Vice-Chair

  3. Secretary

  4. Treasurer

  5. Members-at-Large (4)

  6. DPCA Voting Representatives (3)

We thank all those who came forward to present themselves as candidates. See their names and statements below.

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2021 DACH Elections: Offices of Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer

Candidate for Vice-Chair

Liz Voss (Basel)

I have been an active member of the DACH ExCom since joining as replacement Secretary in May 2017, being reelected in 2019, and becoming Vice Chair effective January 2020. I have worked hard to assist the other members of the ExCom, as well as my local Basel chapter, and members around the country, with tasks including event planning and promotion, voter registration, and fundraising and donation tracking. With my degree in Business Admin and minor in Management Information Systems, I am able to handle digital organization with ease. I have managed the new members as well as overseen the annual membership verification process, keeping our records accurate while handling record membership growth. I organize the Google Drive where we store our documents. I also take minutes at our ExCom, AGM, and supplementary meetings, distributing them afterwards via email and in Slack.

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2021 DACH Elections: Office of Chair

The Candidates (2)

Eric Wasson Burns (Zurich)

The last few years have been difficult for all of us. Our nation has become increasingly polarized, basic information has become politically charged, and mistrust in our institutions has grown. At the same time, our planet faces tremendous challenges which desperately call for urgent and unified fact-based action.

I am running for Chair of Democrats Abroad Switzerland not because I think I am the solution to our problems. Instead, I run because I know that we must empower our community to deliver the necessary solutions that we all want and care about.

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2021 DACH Elections: Offices of Member-at-Large and DPCA Voting Rep

Candidates for 4 X Member-at-Large (4)

(in alphabetical order by last name)

Joe Amato (Zurich)

I was born in New York City in 1955 and grew up in Flushing, Queens. I left in the early 1980s to work as a Biology and Geography teacher as well as an IB Coordinator at international schools in Caracas, Bangkok, Tokyo and in Zurich (since 2000). I am presently retired and once the pandemic dust reasonably settles, hope to be involved in a number of volunteer activities.

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DACH Needs YOU!

DACH Needs YOU!!!

Joe and Kamala have been inaugurated! And members like you help make it happen. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

image1.pngNow, work continues for 2022 and 2024. Locally here in Switzerland, DACH members will soon elect officers for two year terms. Becoming involved on the Executive Committee is rewarding and helps guide the future of our organization. The tremendous growth of membership in the last four years (as Democrats unified in the mission to defeat Mr. Trump) has allowed us to have highly motivated volunteers and a great basis to keep up the momentum with new ideas. We would love to see many new members running for offices. In addition to the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, we will elect “Members-at-Large” to the Executive Committee where you can volunteer your expertise in a given field (Volunteer Coordinator, Communications Chair, Fundraising Chair, etc.) or participate as required based on upcoming activities.

NOMINATIONS

This year, Democrats Abroad Switzerland will hold our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Elections on Sunday, March 14th. We have established a Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) with Peter Buterfield as the NEC Chair. This Committee is available to help you determine which position you would like to run for and to answer any questions about how to promote your candidacy. You can contact the Nominations Committee via email at [email protected]. Alternatively, you can call Peter at +41 79 598 53 74 or Vance White (Outgoing DACH Chair) at +41 79 746 60 26 to ask about roles and responsibilities.

Running for officer positions is quite rewarding. And the next two years are a really good way to make your mark on our organization because during non-presidential election years you have time to really focus with the global team to make positive change happen.

You can help set the Democratic Party Platform, encourage new members and get to know other Democrats Abroad from around the world! And when COVID-19 restrictions ease, you can help us run local in-person events once again!

Can we count on you? Do you have questions or want to learn more? Are you interested in any of our roles, or know somebody else who might be a good fit? If so, please reach out to [email protected]. We will be more than happy to hear from you. 

In addition to officers at the DACH country level, we will also have elections this Spring for officers in the Basel, Geneva, and Zürich chapters during their AGMs, so you can also run for local chapter positions.

IMPORTANT DATES
March 14, 2021 AGM and Elections
By Feb. 7, 2021 Members who wish to run for office shall inform the Chair of the NEC in writing (email)
Feb. 17, 2021 The NEC will distribute to all current members of DACH a notice regarding the election meeting. The notice will include the names of all candidates and a brief summary of their qualifications

To learn about officer and member-at-large duties, follow this link to see excerpts from the DACH Bylaws.


Crunch Time for the Georgia Senate Runoff Elections!

Track your ballot and make sure it has been accepted. You have until January 8 to fix any issues. Please contact your Local Election Office (LEO) and if you have any questions, reach out to our Voter Help Desk!

Are you a Georgia voter? Have you sent your ballot back yet? If so, great! Make sure you track it to ensure that it is received and counted by your LEO. If you haven't sent your ballot back, you still have a bit of time! You can request and mail your ballot back, but be sure to return it via a courier service to ensure it reaches your LEO in Georgia in time! If you have questions, you can attend a 1-on-1 live voter help session with voting from abroad specialists or find out more at votefromabroad.org/georgia.

Are you not a Georgia voter but want to get involved to make sure that Democrats #FlipTheSenate? Phone- or textbank with us or many other organizations doing this work! (Yes, you can do it from abroad!) Find more info at democratsabroad.org/phonebanking.

All resources for the Georgia Runoff Elections can be found here and an overview of the candidates can be found here.


Accept the Votes & Stop the Seditionists

On Wednesday, Jan 6th, the 117th Congress will hold a joint session to accept the results of the Electoral College and certify Joe Biden & Kamala Harris as President and Vice-president elect. Currently, 140 GOP House & 12 Senate members have stated they will not accept, or will challenge the votes from some states. 

Democrats Abroad is outraged by this seditious behavior. With the release of the Trump Tape it is clearer than ever that Trump is trying to get people to do literally anything they can to steal the election for him. Even if this sedition will fail, it happening at all is damaging to our democracy. Let's do everything WE can to help Congress stand up to him, end the reign of this would-be autocrat, and help us turn the page on this awful chapter in our history. 

The Action:
Call your Senators & Representative and ask that they support the Constitution and state elections, and accept the results of the Electoral College vote. 

A) If your Senators or Representative have stated they will challenge the Electoral College results, call them to demand they stop. They are participating in an attempt to steal the election, disenfranchise and invalidate the votes of American citizens, and support Trump's baseless accusations of fraud. 

List of Senators in the #SeditionCaucus*
Tommy Tuberville, Alabama
Mike Braun, Indiana
Roger Marshall, Kansas
John Neely Kennedy, Louisiana
Josh Hawley, Missouri
Steve Daines, Montana
James Lankford, Oklahoma
Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee
Bill Hagerty, Tennessee
Ted Cruz, Texas
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming

(A full list of Congressional members is not available, but 2/3 of Republican Representatives have stated they will challenge the results.)

B) If your Senators or Representative have not spoken up, or have said that they do not support this sedition, call them to let them know you support their decision to defend the Constitution and support the will of the people. 

Look up your Representative here.
Look up your Senators here.

* Note: this is a developing story and this list is changing in real time. 

Sample script for seditionists: 

Hi, I'm {Name} and I am a constituent of {insert person's name}. I'm calling about Wednesday's joint session to certify Joe Biden as President elect. I strongly support {insert person's name} accepting the results of the Electoral College vote, and believe that it is sedition to not do so.  

Sample script for others: 

Hi, I'm {Name} and I am a constituent of {insert person's name}. I'm calling about Wednesday's joint session to certify Joe Biden as President elect. I appreciate {insert person's name} accepting the results of the Electoral Collect vote.

via Aaron Fishbone at DemocratsAbroad.org/Tiny_Actions


New Email Alert!

Democrats Abroad Switzerland is very excited to announce our new email addresses. You can find the contact information for our national committee members here and the Basel, Geneva, and Zurich contact information on their individual pages.

Executive Committee

Office Name Email
Chair Vance White [email protected]
Vice Chair Liz Voss [email protected]
Treasurer Meli Hughes [email protected]
Member-at-Large Farid ben Amor [email protected]
Member-at-Large Pete Kaiser [email protected]
Basel Chair Kristen Jafflin [email protected]
Geneva Chair Laura Messenger [email protected]
Zurich Co-Chairs Britta, Darcy, and Stacy [email protected]

 
Communications Team

Role Name Email
Press Contact Abby Collins [email protected]
Media Team Member Amy Kasper [email protected]
Graphic Design Alexander Kaufmann [email protected]

 
Committee Leaders

Committee Name Email
Membership Rachel Thibodeaux [email protected]
Nominations Peter Butterfield [email protected]
Youth Eric Burns [email protected]atsabroad.ch

 


Getting to Know the GA Runoff Candidates

Information about this election can be found here.
 

Regular Senate Election

The following is a selection of information courtesy of BallotPedia.org and the candidates' campaign websites.

  Jon Ossoff David Perdue
Campaign website https://electjon.com/ https://perduesenate.com/
Please list 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?
  1. Too many Georgians can't afford health care. The high cost is driven by the corrupt influence of the insurance and drug industries in Washington - a devastating product of our broken campaign finance system. In the U.S. Senate, I'll work to make quality health care a simple, affordable, and reassuring reality for ​all of us by supporting​ Medicaid expansion, a crackdown on price gouging, expansion of the U.S. Public Health Service, and federal investment in health clinics. I'll vote to add a nonprofit public option to the ACA exchange while defending every citizen's right to private insurance.

  2. Lobbying and political contributions should not buy bailout money, unfair subsidies, or impunity for labor and environmental abuses. But as long as money buys political influence, our government's policies will favor the most powerful special interests. The health insurance, pharmaceutical, and fossil fuel industries have bought the allegiance of my opponent, Sen. David Perdue, and he in turn has voted in their interests rather than Georgia's interests. I run a business that investigates bribery and the abuse of power worldwide. I'm not taking contributions from corporate PACs, and my first act in the Senate will be to back a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

  3. The government's financial safety net for Wall Street is vast & instantaneous, while help for ordinary people & smaller firms has been meager & slow. Rather than relying on subsidies for investment banks as economic stimulus & hoping benefits trickle down, I'll support policies that help Georgia's families make & save more money: fast & direct emergency relief during economic crises, lower taxes for all but the wealthiest, debt-free public college, free vocational training, & health care guaranteed at an affordable price. And to create millions of jobs, revitalize our economy, and alleviate poverty, I'll support a historic infrastructure program to lay the foundation for decades of prosperity, sustainability, and health.
Perdue did not answer the Ballotpedia survey for 2020.
COVID-19

Congress and the Administration should focus on boosting the health response, shoring up Americans’ finances, and speeding up containment and adaptation so Americans can return to work and normal life as soon as possible.

I strongly encourage all Georgians to do their part to protect themselves and their communities by following the recommended safety precautions: wash your hands, watch your distance, and wear a mask.

Economy

This crisis is laying bare structural inequity and corruption in U.S. economic policy. Similar to the 2007-2008 financial crisis, while hardship is concentrated among working- and middle-class families and smaller businesses, the fastest and biggest emergency relief has gone straight to the top.

  • Rolling back regulations and take action to unleash GA's energy potential
  • Cut taxes for GA families and small businesses
  • Roll back Dodd-Frank regulations
Healthcare
  • The link between health and wealth must be broken. It is essential that every single American has great health care. And Georgia already faced a shocking health crisis, with among the highest rates of uninsurance and maternal mortality in the country.
  • I’ll work to make great health insurance a simple, affordable, reassuring reality for all of us. Other countries have achieved this. So can we.
  • I’ll vote to protect and strengthen Medicare, and I support offering all Americans a public health insurance option as an affordable alternative to private insurance.
  • I’ll vote to crack down on price gouging by drug companies and make more generic medicine available.
  • I’ll introduce legislation to expand the U.S. Public Health Service so it can recruit, train, and deploy more medical teams to clinics across Georgia and the nation.
  • I believe in protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and I authored the PROTECT Act to do just that.
  • Worked to pass the 21st century CURES Act, streamlining regulations to get life-saving drugs to market faster and cheaper.
  • I’m working with President Trump and the Senate to ensure transparency in prescription drug pricing.
Education
  • To improve the quality of primary and secondary education, I support increasing teacher pay and breaking the link between a community’s wealth and the funding available for its public schools.
  • I’ll work to make trade school and vocational training free for every American.
  • I’ll work to make four-year degrees at our public colleges 100% debt-free.
  • I support a generous forgiveness program for those struggling to pay off their student loans, caps on interest rates to relieve financial stress for all borrowers, and a program that links Federal student loan payments to income so paying off student loans is never a financial hardship.
  • I support school choice because a student’s zip code should not determine whether they have access to quality education.
  • When COVID hit, I wrote the SCHOOL Act – a commonsense plan to help students and teachers safely return to school or learn virtually until it is safe to return.
  • I proposed bipartisan School Safety Clearinghouse Act to enhance school safety nationwide through communication, innovation, and new technology.
(Critical) Infrastructure
  • I’ll push for an unprecedented American infrastructure program that includes big, overdue investments in transportation and transit, clean energy, energy efficiency, public health, communications, research and development, emergency response, and environmental cleanup.
  • Infrastructure is often taken for granted. It includes energy production and the grid, transit, roads, bridges, tunnels, rail, aviation, ports and waterways, communications, cybersecurity, water treatment and distribution, housing, and public health.
  • Strong, advanced infrastructure is also essential for resilient and effective emergency response – whether pandemic, natural disaster, national security, or the totally unexpected.

I’m committed to strengthening our critical infrastructure. The Port of Savannah recently became the top U.S. port for agricultural exports and is the third fastest growing port in the country. After nearly 20 years of failures by career politicians, we’ve secured full federal funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project (SHEP), which is expected to be completed by early 2022.

Roe v. Wade / Protecting Life
  • I am pro-choice. I believe that women, not the government, should control the private, personal, and complex decision whether to terminate a pregnancy.
  • In the Senate, I will only vote to confirm federal judges who pledge to uphold Roe v. Wade.

Being pro-life is a deeply held conviction for me. I believe we have a moral obligation to promote a culture that values life and protects the innocent, including the unborn.

Gun Safety Reforms / 2nd Amendment
  • I support the Second Amendment and I respect the overwhelming majority of gun owners who recognize that guns aren’t toys; they are lethal and dangerous tools.
  • I support universal criminal history checks for gun purchases, red flag laws to protect family members and domestic partners concerned about the mental health of their loved ones, and closing the gun show loophole.
  • I support a ban on the sale of semi-automatic rifles (“assault weapons”) and high-capacity magazines to the general public.

The right to bear arms is a freedom enshrined in the Constitution. We should focus on enforcing the gun laws already on the books to keep our families and communities safe.

Immigration
  • Our country, like any country, must know and control who crosses our borders, and strong border security doesn’t require us to sacrifice our moral principles, our commitment to human rights, or our American identity as a haven for people fleeing persecution and striving for opportunity.
  • I’ll support an immigration policy that strengthens our borders, puts American workers first, respects human rights, and creates a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants who are already here and otherwise follow the law, especially those brought here as children.
  • And instead of making life hell for migrants, immigration enforcement should crack down on the employers of undocumented immigrants, like The Trump Organization.
  • We must close loopholes in our immigration law that allow dangerous criminals to enter our country and move towards a merit-based immigration system.
  • Our border patrol needs additional resources to stop illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and sex trafficking.
  • We need physical barriers at strategic points along our southern border.
Criminal Justice Reform / Safety
  • In the Senate, I will champion and fight tirelessly to pass a New Civil Rights Act that strengthens civil rights laws and advances comprehensive criminal justice reform.
  • Race and class disparities in policing, prosecution, and sentencing must be ended nationwide.
  • I will work to reverse the militarization of local police forces, enhance due process and human rights protections for all citizens, ban private prisons, end cash bail, reform prisons and raise conditions of incarceration to humane standards, abolish the death penalty, legalize cannabis, and end incarceration for nonviolent drug offenses.
  • I’ll also support more federal law enforcement resources to attack organized crime, human trafficking, racketeering, money laundering, fraud, espionage, and corruption.
  • Law & Order
    I believe we need police and criminal justice reform in order to make sure equal justice for all Americans. The vast majority of our police officers serve honorably, and I’m committing to providing them the resources they need to keep our communities safe.
  • National Defense
    Our military installations in Georgia play a critical role in our National Defense strategy. I’m committed to supporting our military personnel and families in Georgia and across the country.
    In addition to rebuilding our military, securing our borders and fixing our immigration law is necessary to ensure our national security.
Read more

Get Ready for the Georgia Runoff Election

Elections were held for both of Georgia's US Senate seats on November 3, 2020. Both races are going to runoff elections on January 5, 2021. This is because no candidate received at least 50% of the vote.

The Races

  • US Senate: Jon Ossoff (Democrat) vs David Perdue (Republican)
  • US Senate Special: Raphael Warnock (Democrat) vs Kelly Loeffler (Republican)

You can find an overview of these candidates here.

Deadlines

  • Dec. 7, 2020 - Register to vote, if needed [Email, fax, or postal mail]
  • Jan. 5, 2021 - Request a ballot, if needed [Email, fax, or postal mail]
  • Jan. 5, 2021 - Voted ballot postmark deadline [Postal mail return only]
  • Jan. 8, 2021 - Deadline for voted ballot to be received in GA and for any ballot curing to be completed

Registration and Ballot Request

Check your absentee ballot status on the Georgia Secretary of State's website. After you submit your information, go to "Click Here for Absentee Ballot Status" in the lower-left.

  1. If it shows that your absentee application has been received for the January 5 runoff, you don't need to submit a new Federal Postcard Application (FPCA).
  2. If it doesn't show that the absentee application has been received, you can vote in the runoff election but will need to submit an FPCA as soon as possible (January 5 deadline).
  3. If you aren't registered to vote but will be 18 by January 5, you can vote in the runoff election but will need to submit an FPCA by December 7, 2020.

Ballot  

Ballots for the January 5 runoff election are now available. Please check all email folders, including your spam folder, to make sure you have received your official ballot.

If your official ballot is lost or delayed, we are strongly recommending that voters abroad fill out and mail in a backup ballot (Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot or FWAB). Because the FWAB isn't set up for two Senate races, here is a sample FWAB showing how to fill it out:

Ballot Return 

The instructions will indicate how to prepare your ballot for mailing and will provide the mailing address for your election office in GA.

Returning Ballot by Courier (International Express Mail Service)

Given the deadlines and the fact that the Christmas season will further exacerbate the mailing disruptions caused by COVID, we recommend that you use a courier service to return your ballot (if possible). We strongly recommend voters use a courier service for any ballots mailed back in December.

A DACH member in Zurich has kindly offered to let other Georgia voters use her corporate FedEx account to return their ballots. Due to Federal Election Commission rules, you must pay the postage or courier fees for sending ballots yourself. Democrats Abroad cannot send them for you. However, with this corporate rate the courier fee is significantly reduced.

If you are interested in using this option, please complete this Google Form. You will need to know the address of your Election Office, which you can find here. FedEx cannot deliver to PO Boxes, so you may need to contact your local election official for a street address.

Verify Your Ballot was Accepted and Fix if Needed

After you mail in your ballot, be sure to verify that it was accepted. If your ballot is rejected for signature issues, GA will let you fix it. The deadline to do so is January 8, 2021


Additional Information and Resources