The Candidates (1)
- Kristen Jafflin
I joined Democrats Abroad, Switzerland eight years ago, after moving to Geneva just a couple of weeks before President Obama's inauguration and thankfully learning of an inauguration party hosted by Democrats Abroad.
A life-long Democrat and committed voter, I have long been active in Democratic and progressive politics. As an undergrad, I was a leader in my campus feminist and GLBT groups, and I have been an active participant in many progressive causes, from marching against the Iraq War to pushing for graduate-student workers' rights as a member of our graduate student union while studying at UC Berkeley. I'm also an enthusiastic voter – I registered to vote as soon as I turned 18, and I participated in get out the vote drives in Nevada in 2004 and volunteered to work as a poll worker during the 2008 election.
Since arriving in Switzerland, I've been an active member of Democrats Abroad, participating and volunteering frequently for all manner of events, from Art Walks to Expat Expos. I've been active in the Basel Chapter-in-Formation for over a year, helping with a great voter registration effort and many election-related events, including Debate and Election-night Watch Parties. Since the election, I’ve redoubled my involvement, completing database training and certification on the new DA database and helping organize action events to respond to the current Republican administration and other events of interest to the group.
It is vital that we resist the Republican administration and fight to take over the House and Senate in the mid-term elections. As vice-chair of DACH Basel, I hope to put my passion, skills and experience to use strengthening our local chapter to help us all in that effort. My top priority is to help Americans living in the greater Basel area make their voices heard in US politics, both by registering and voting and through other forms of political action.
Towards that end, I have three top priorities for 2017:
- Outreach to Americans living in the region, to make them aware of our activities and to recruit more people interested in helping with and shaping our efforts.
- Activism to make our voices heard on issues of concern to us.
- Preparing for the mid-terms in 2018 by updating and extending information in the database and developing a local GOTV team that’s trained in voter registration.
The Candidates (1)
My interest in politics arose early. My college major was Political Science evolving into Public Administration. Though I did not work in that field my interest has held. I have not been especially active politically but as with many, my outrage over the current political climate has spurred me to action over the last year or two. I have been active in Democrats Abroad in Basel since moving here so know the local people and processes fairly well.
The skills I bring to the table are excellent organizational and teamwork development skills. I enjoy working with others to develop a plan of action for whatever ideas and activities are on the table. I’m experienced with large and small groups, don’t mind being a spokesperson and am a clear communicator. I have a fair amount of free time to focus on helping Basel DA succeed.
I think our focus first needs to be ensuring we are well organised to get American voters registered and voting in the upcoming special and midterm elections. Flipping our congress is a must.
I am also very interested in creating opportunities and facilitating political actions wherever our members would like to focus their time and energy. It's important in these times to help everyone get their voices and opinions heard in a way that helps to move policies in a direction that is best for all Americans.
Rounding this out, I'd like to see some of our processes become more efficient, clear and workable for everyone. Time should be spent on doing effective work and not spent trying to figure out what is going on and where to best use our limited time and energy.
Thank you for your consideration.
The Chair of Democrats Abroad Switzerland is pleased to announce that the Zurich Chapter 2017 Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday, May 20, in Zurich. During the meeting, the 2017-2019 Zurich Chapter Committee will be elected. We hope that you will attend to show your support for the nominees and to vote for the candidates of your choice.
DA Switzerland is made up of volunteers working together to keep Americans living abroad informed and connected with the political process and to make it easier to vote from abroad. We invite you to become involved in Zurich chapter activities and political activism. We are expecting a very exciting and busy next term, resisting the Republican administration in 2017 and voting in mid-term elections in 2018. Come help us elect Democrats!
The Zurich Chapter offices:
We thank those who came forward to present themselves as candidates. See their names below. Click on names to read candidates' statements of intent.
Americans who are DA members as of Friday, May 19, may vote. Please register here by May 15 to attend the AGM. You may vote in one of the following ways:
In-person voting: Printed ballots will be distributed at the meeting.
Vote by proxy: Request a proxy form from [email protected]. Send a copy of your completed and signed proxy form to us by May 15, and give it to your chosen attending proxy member before the AGM. Any voter at the meeting may hold at most two proxies.
At the meeting, the four offices will be elected one by one, in the order shown above. Nominations may be made from the floor as write-in candidates. This includes listed candidates who did not win their announced race. All candidates will be given two to three minutes to address the members. Up to three questions from the audience will be allowed (per candidate).
List of Candidates
Office: Chair (1)
Office: Vice-Chair (1)
Office: Secretary (1)
Nominations will be accepted from the floor on May 20.
The Candidates (1)
- Marlene "Lena" Dente
Marlene "Lena" Dente
I would like to run for the position of Secretary of the Zurich Chapter of Democrats Abroad.
“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”― Barack Obama
I have always been interested in politics and knew I was a Democrat from a very early age. I was very proud that my country elected President Barack Obama and I was inspired by him and his leadership and humanity on every level. I thought I would be celebrating the election of America’s first female president on November 9th. When that did not happen, I was shaken to my core and it made me realize, that to be effective, to have my voice matter, and to be able to help shape the Democratic Party’s future, I need to be more engaged. I believe in the strengthening the party from the ground up.
As an American living abroad for the last 7 years, I have remained very connected to US political discussions and developments, in particular regarding topics that are of intense interest to me, including climate change and sustainability, healthcare, equality, and gun regulations.
My background is international affairs. I earned my Master’s Degree at the Georgetown Graduate School of Foreign Service and worked in an international government affairs capacity for most of my career. In Switzerland, I worked for the World Economic Forum on geopolitics and sustainability and am currently Head of Government Relations for an energy-focused non-profit. I have experience crafting communications, developing and running high-level events and programming, and working on organizational strategy. I have served on another board as communications chair and enjoy being part of a group working towards common goals.
The Zurich area needs a strong Democrats Abroad Chapter, as I found that events in Switzerland were often in Geneva or other cities. There is an expatriate community here in Zurich to engage with and I would be honored to serve as Secretary and to help build the presence here in Western Switzerland and to discuss and brainstorm about the Democratic Party’s policies and future.
The Candidates (1)
- Christopher Kelley
For the majority of my still rather young life, I have been an impassioned activist for social justice. While raised in Arlington, VA and coming from an American family with political roots stretching back to the founding of our nation, I have lived in Switzerland since I was thirteen. Because of that, despite maintaining a vivid interest in the political process back home, my active political commitment was for a long time primarily dedicated to events in Switzerland. As such, I have worked as a labor organizer in the largest Swiss labor union since 2011.
The horrifying events of November 2016, however, changed everything. Not only on a broader political level, but also on a very personal one. Like thousands of others, I could no longer stand by as a mere onlooker to what was going on back home. That being said, while this may seem utterly optimistic, some of the most progressive moments in history were born out of some of the most momentous crises. And we are, in fact, facing at least two such crises.
The first is, of course, the more obvious one. Representing a farce of previously unseen dimensions, a corrupt billionaire masquerading as a “man of the people” has propelled corporate America into a position where it is able to plunder our great country at will. Not only turning our once proud democratic institutions into cash cows for the overprivileged, it has already and continues to destroy the lives of thousands if not millions of hard-working Americans.
The second of this crises, and this is perhaps the even more tragic one, is that we were unable to stop it. Reflecting a tragic phenomenon visible throughout the Western world, progressive parties are perceived by many as being either incapable of solving the very real problems haunting the lives of working people or even worse: being complicit in the emergence of those problems.
Yet here comes the positive, even inspiring, flipside of the horrors that have threatened our nation since the shock of last November. Not only has a dynamic process kicked off, aimed at rebuilding the Democratic Party as the true representative of normal, working America, but hundreds of thousands of previously uninvolved people have flocked to this very task. And nothing makes me prouder to be an active Democrat, and nothing motivates me more to continue this journey together with all of you.
In my eyes, this must be the main priority of our party: to motivate and organize more people into taking part in the political process and actively playing a role in winning elections and pushing forward a progressive agenda. It is my hope and true belief that out of the ashes of the last election will arise a strong and active Democratic Party. One not only representing the interests of the majority of Americans, but also carried by those very people.
It is to participate in this great task that I put myself forward as a candidate for Vice-Chair of Democrats Abroad Zurich.
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.
Call for Candidates
2017 – 2019 Geneva Chapter Chair
In an exciting decision for the future of DACH, petitions for new chapters in Basel and Geneva were approved at the DACH AGM on March 25, raising the number of chapters to three, including Zurich (2009).
We are pleased to announce that the election of the DACH Geneva Chapter Chair will be held on Wednesday, May 24 from 6 to 8 PM in Geneva (details to follow). This will be the only elected office.
This will also be the chapter organizational meeting, when we get the chapter up and running and fill other positions on the new committee, appointed by the Chair. Please see three proposed positions below.
PLEASE CONSIDER RUNNING
The role of the future Chair will be to see that the Geneva chapter engages its members in the U.S. political process with events and political action to help Democrats win races at state and federal levels, by getting out the vote in the 2018 U.S. Midterm Congressional Elections. There will be plenty of opportunity and demand for activism to promote the Democratic message and to counter the policies being put in place by the new Republican administration.
Any member of Democrats Abroad active in the Geneva region is eligible, and encouraged, to run for Chair, and to vote.
To run, please submit your name, address, telephone number and email address to the Nominating Committee with a statement of intent (up to 500 words).
Please share what you think qualifies you for the position of Chair, and the three priorities that you will focus your time and energy on over the next two years.
Candidates are invited to send in their candidate statements by midnight, Monday, April 24.
The list of candidates and their statements, along with election details and voting procedures, will be posted on the website and emailed to members on April 28.
Organizational meeting and election: 6-8 PM, May 24, Geneva (venue TBA)
Anne-Shelton Aaron [email protected]
Peter Butterfield [email protected]
You are invited to contact either member if you have any questions.
OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTION & DUTIES
☆ Chair ☆
As Chief Executive Officer of the Geneva chapter and Member ex officio of the DACH Executive Committee (ExCom), the Chair is expected to
• be a dedicated team player who will work with the Basel and Zurich chapters, volunteers and the DACH ExCom;
• appoint other chapter officers as needed to sit on the chapter committee, and define their responsibilities;
• organize and conduct regularly scheduled meetings and other events of the Geneva chapter as needed;
• establish and support all committees necessary for the proper functioning of the chapter;
• coordinate and share responsibility with the DACH ExCom for voter and member outreach in the Swiss Romande region where no chapters are yet established.
GENEVA CHAPTER COMMITTEE
The committee also seeks volunteers who would like to hold the following positions in the chapter:
☆ Vice-chair ☆
• Assist Chair in chapter planning
• Substitute for Chair when needed, especially at DACH ExCom meetings
• Attend all chapter committee meetings
• Take on other responsibilities as agreed upon with the Chair
☆ Secretary / Treasurer ☆
• Distribute meeting agendas to committee when necessary
• Take minutes of all meetings and, after approval of the Chair, distribute to the chapter committee and DACH ExCom
• Manage and maintain the Geneva chapter membership and volunteer lists in coordination with the DACH Secretary. This may require training on the DA database.
• Maintain files and administrative records of the chapter (Google Drive)
• Manage the finances of the Geneva chapter in coordination with the DACH ExCom Treasurer
• 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
☆ Events / Volunteers Coordinator ☆
• Develop and implement a program of events for the chapter, coordinating with the Chair and with the DACH Member-at-Large for Events/Volunteers
• Keep an up-to-date list of volunteers, recruit them for events as needed
Virtual Tax March
Until we see the president’s tax returns, we are all in the dark about his conflicts of interest and foreign entanglements.
On April 15, outraged taxpayers are taking to the streets in 130 American cities. But those of us living abroad can start protesting now – virtually. The American Resistance Sevilla has organized a Virtual Tax March, encouraging taxpayers everywhere to post photos on social media demanding – in a phrase borrowed from Jerry McGuire: “Show me the money!”
For details on how to participate, check out the group’s website.
DA Switzerland is currently looking to establish its own Women, Youth and LGBT caucuses. If you are interested in joining or would simply like more information, please email [email protected].
DACH members can also take part in special teams and caucuses organized by DA International. Here are some ideas:
Get Out The Vote Team
We need YOUR help to Get Out the Vote! Find out more about what we do and let us know what you are interested in doing by filling out this short survey. Questions? Contact [email protected]
The Global Action Team
We're still forming DA's newest committee, the Global Action Team -- but if you're motivated to keep our numbers growing, our members marching, writing, and calling, and the resistance fires burning, this is the right group for you! Find out more about what we do and let us know what you are interested in doing by filling out this short survey. Contact us at takeacti[email protected] with any questions!
The Global LGBT Caucus is DA's constituency group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members and straight allies, working to advance inclusion and acceptance of LGBT people in society and participation of LGBT people in US political processes. The caucus organizes locally in DA countries and chapters across the globe via live events, calls to action, engaging our representatives on issues of concern, social media, contributing to the DA platform every four years and supporting LGBT families and people where they are not fully recognized under the law and/or face discrimination. To get involved, contact us at [email protected]
Our Global Women's Caucus is helping American women around the world to become real activists in the struggle for our rights no matter where they are, no matter how small or large their numbers, a committee of one or a hundred! Through participation in on-line meetings and webinars featuring leaders in the Women's movement, volunteering to help plan workshops and live events for your region, and responding to regular "calls-to action" through our website, social media and newsletters, you too can help us make a difference for women, whatever your skill-set and wherever you happen to be. Write us at [email protected] and get involved!
Veterans & Military Families Council (forming)
The Democrats Abroad Veterans & Military Families Council is a new caucus, formed for veterans and their loved ones to communicate their concerns to the Democratic Party. We welcome all branches of service and all military family members to join with us as we share information on crucial legislation to assist those who honorably served, ensure accountability and proper funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, provide education and insight for Democratic leaders, and to support Democratic candidates who have served their country or who will serve our veterans. No one "owns" national service and patriotism, you earned your benefits, you deserve to have your say and the Democratic Party would like to offer all veterans living overseas the opportunity to provide their perspective on the issues that matter most to them. Reach out to our veterans and their families at [email protected].
The Democrats Abroad Youth Caucus was formed to lobby the Democratic Party on issues including college/university affordability, climate change, women’s health access, equality, and economic justice – all from the perspective of Young Democrats, and to help organize Young Democrats Abroad to ensure their voices are heard in local, state, and federal elections. If you’re a Democrat under 35 and want to get involved with the Youth Caucus, please get in touch with us at [email protected]!
The Basel Chapter will elect a new Committee at its first official Annual Chapter Meeting on Monday, May 22 in Basel at 7:30 PM.
A Nominations Committee has been appointed to seek candidates to stand for office and to run the nominations/election process.
Please Consider Running for an Office
Join the Basel Chapter Committee to make it a vibrant and active chapter in Switzerland! Now is the time for members to heed the call for candidates and get involved! Motivated members are encouraged to step forward.
There will be plenty of opportunity and demand for activism to promote the Democratic message and to counter the policies being put in place by the new Republican administration.
Help Democrats win races at all levels of our political process for the 2018 U.S. Midterm Congressional Elections. Bring your ideas on how to get people out to vote.
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.
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 May 22.
To run, send a Statement of Intent (up to 500 words) to the Nominations Committee by end of day April 16. In your statement, please elaborate on what you think qualifies you for the position. If you are running for Chair or Vice-Chair, in your statement list the top three priorities that you will focus your time and energy on during the next two years. The statement must include nominee's name, address, telephone number and email address.
The Chair and Vice-Chair do not have to be of the opposite gender (as in the DACH national election). If you are qualified and committed, we encourage you to run for office!
By April 27 we will distribute information about the candidates, their statements, and voting procedures by email.
OFFICER JOB DESCRIPTIONS & DUTIES
☆ Chair ☆
Chief executive officer of the Basel Chapter
- Is a member of the DACH Executive Committee (ExCom)
- Is a dedicated team player who will work with the Zurich and Geneva Chapters, volunteers and the DACH ExCom
- Organizes and conducts regularly scheduled meetings and other events of the Basel Chapter as needed
- Establishes and supports all committees necessary for the proper functioning of the organization
- Will 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 ☆
- Assists the Chair in all Basel Chapter activities
- Organizes and conducts the regularly scheduled Chapter meetings in the absence of the Chair
- Attends DACH ExCom meetings in the absence of the Chair
- Substitutes for the Chair when needed
- Takes on other responsibilities as agreed upon with the Chair
☆ Secretary ☆
- Distributes meeting agendas to the Chapter Committee
- Takes minutes of all meetings and, after approval of the Chair, distribute to the Chapter Committee and DACH ExCom
- Manages and maintains the Basel Chapter membership and volunteer lists in coordination with the DACH Secretary. This may require training on the DA database
- Maintains files and administrative records of the Chapter (Google Drive)
☆ Treasurer ☆
- Manages the finances of DA Basel in agreement with the Basel Chair and the DACH ExCom Treasurer
- Maintains clear and accurate financial records and makes financial reports as required
- Ensures 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
For further information about elections or the officer roles, contact any committee member (or email [email protected]):