On August 12, we joined millions in horror, witnessing the events in Charlottesville, VA, where a rally organized by white supremacists and neo-Nazis terrorized the local community. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, since September 11, 2001 the majority of terrorist attacks committed on U.S. soil have been perpetrated by white supremacists. The Trump Administration turns a blind eye to this reality. At the “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, a white supremacist protester ran his car into a group of counter protesters. He killed Heather Heyer, an anti-racism activist, and injured dozens of people. Our horror turned to disgust when President Trump refused to unequivocally condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who organized the marches and equated their actions with those of the counter protesters demonstrating for civil rights and against hatred.
Alarmed about the impact of Trump’s dangerous rhetoric, the Zürich Chapter of Democrats Abroad Switzerland and Action Together Zürich organized a public phone-in and call to action on August 18. The emergency response aimed to provide strategic outcomes–phone calls to Members of Congress, information exchange, and community building around anti-racism, social justice, and civic engagement. The event recognized Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer as well as all victims of terrorism and people everywhere who educate and organize for a more equitable and peaceful world.
U.S. Americans living abroad received sample scripts and called their Members of Congress to request that they do everything in their power to unequivocally stand against hatred of all forms, and stand up for civil and human rights during this crucial time in U.S. history. Nearly fifty people attended the event at Lindenhof in Zürich, a historic site of civil assembly. For some, it was their first call to a U.S. Member of Congress. For others, it solidified their commitment to on-going participation in the democratic process. People in Switzerland of all nationalities were invited to show their support and solidarity.
Author: Darcy Alexandra, Zurich Chapter Democrats Abroad
The State of Alabama will conduct a Special Primary Election on August 15, 2017 for the office of U.S. Senator to replace Jeff Sessions (R). The Special General Election will be held on December 12, 2017. This special election concerns all Alabama voters.
If you are an Alabama voter, register and request an absentee ballot today at www.VoteFromAbroad.org or by clicking the VOTE link in the navigation above. Vote From Abroad helps you prepare the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories. Complete, sign and send the FPCA to your election office in order to receive a ballots to vote in all upcoming elections this year. You must mail your signed FPCA to your election official.
REMEMBER: You must 1. COMPLETE, 2. SIGN, and 3. MAIL the FPCA to your local election office.
Be sure you will receive a ballot to vote
To vote in the August 15 primary election, if you are not currently registered, your FPCA needs to be received by July 31; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request must be received by August 10. Ballots will be sent beginning June 30 for those who have requested them.
Please do not assume you will receive the ballot to vote in this special election, even if you just voted in the November 2016 General Election. Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at www.fvap.gov/alabama.
The State of Utah will conduct a Special Election on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, for the 3rd Congressional District to replace Jason Chaffetz (R) , who will resign on June 30 — concerns voters in Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan, and Wasatch counties as well as portions of Salt Lake and Utah counties. A Special Primary Election will be held on August 15, 2017.
If you are a Utah voter, register to vote and request an absentee ballot today at www.VoteFromAbroad.org or by clicking the VOTE link in the top menu above. Overseas citizens may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the registration and ballot request form accepted by all States and territories to request a ballot for this special election.
REMEMBER: You must 1. COMPLETE, 2. SIGN, and 3. SEND the FPCA to your local election office.
Be sure you will receive a ballot to vote
If you are not currently registered, your FPCA needs to be received by July 17 to vote in the Primary as well as the Special Election, or October 10 to vote in the Special Election. We recommend you complete and send the FPCA now; if you are currently registered, your FPCA ballot request also must be received by August 10 to receive a ballot for the Primary as well as the Special Election, or November 2 to receive a ballot for the Special Election.
Please do not assume you will receive the ballot to vote in this special election, even if you just voted in the November 2016 General Election. Detailed instructions and county contact information is available at www.fvap.gov/utah.
On Wednesday, May 24th, Laura Messenger became the first Chair, elected by acclamation at the inaugural meeting of the Democrats Abroad Switzerland Geneva Chapter held near Geneva's Old Town.
Laura, a longtime member, is also on DA's Global Communications Committee.
Current DACH Chair Kate Edson came from Basel to welcome Laura Messenger to the new office and seat on the Executive Committee. Also in attendance were Macha Levinson (DACH Chair 1987-1990), Warren Furth (DACH Chair 2001-2003) and Michael Parmly (former ExCom Member) among the quorum of 25 members.
Thanks go to the Nominations Committee for the Geneva Chapter Elections, Anne-Shelton Aaron and Peter Butterfield, DACH Chair and Vice-Chair from 2013 to 2017, and who were instrumental in the launch of two new chapters this year and growing communities in other regions across Switzerland. Anne-Shelton proposed the creation of the new Geneva chapter, and together with former DACH Chair Maya Samara (2009-2013) carried it to its inauguration.
Reflections from DA Switzerland's Past Leaders
The newly formed Basel Chapter elected chapter officers on Monday, May 22.
The 2017-2019 Basel Chapter Committee
- Chair - Kelli Brouillet
- Vice-Chair - Kristen Jafflin
- Secretary - Rosemary Pontarelli
- Treasurer - Vivian Beetle
The four Basel Committee officers are elected for a two-year term. Congratulations to the Basel Chapter leadership team!
Thank you goes out to the members of the Nominations Committee for the Basel Chapter Elections: Sarah Thomforde (Nominations Committee Chair), Kate Edson and Mariabeth Silkey.
Members of the Zurich Chapter elected a new chapter committee on Saturday, May 20 at the Zurich Annual General Meeting.
The 2017-2019 Zurich Chapter Committee
- Chair - Yael Borofsky
- Vice-Chair - Christopher Kelley
- Secretary - Lena Dente
- Treasurer - Jessica Mijnssen
Congratulations to the new Zurich Chapter leadership team!
Our thanks also go out to the members of the Nominations Committee for the Zurich Chapter Elections: Darcy Molnar (Committee Chair), Kate Edson, Judy Brown and Amanda Bluck.
The new Geneva Chapter of Democrats Abroad Switzerland is getting organized! Two new chapters – Basel and Geneva - join Zurich (2009) in May. The Geneva organizational meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 24 from 6 to 8 PM.
We are looking for a person, or people, who wish to run for Chapter Chair for the May 2017 – May 2019 term. This position will be elected on May 24. Chairperson will be the only chapter elected office.
This will also be the chapter organizational meeting, when we get the chapter up and running and talk about other positions on the new committee, to be appointed by the Chair. The positions of Vice-chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and Events/Volunteer Coordinator have been proposed.
WHAT DOES THE CHAPTER CHAIR DO?
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. The goals are to build community among area Democrats, and to help Democrats win U.S. races at state and federal levels, by getting out the vote in the 2018 U.S. Midterm Elections. There is 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. The Chair also appoints others to join the Chapter committee, and has a seat on the country executive committee. See fuller description below.
Consider running! Any member of Democrats Abroad active in the Geneva region is eligible, and encouraged, to run for Chair, and to vote.
CANDIDATE STATEMENT, NOMINATING PROCESS
To run for Chair, please submit your name, address, telephone number and email address to the Nominating Committee, along with optional Statement of Intent (up to 200 words). A statement could present what you think qualifies you for the position of chair, and the priorities that you will focus your time and energy on over the next two years.
Please submit your nomination and statement by Wednesday, May 10. The list of candidates and their statements, along with election details and voting procedures, will be posted on the website and emailed to members soon after.
The Chapter organizational meeting and election will take place: 6-8pm, Wednesday May 24, at a member’s home near old-town Geneva. For details see our event post here.
For further information about elections or the officer roles, please contact the Nominating Committee, or either member:
JOB DESCRIPTION & DUTIES OF 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 Geneva volunteers, the DACH ExCom, and other chapters;
- 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.
The Chair of Democrats Abroad Switzerland is pleased to announce that the newly formed Basel Chapter will hold a happy hour and elections on Monday, May 22. During the meeting, the 2017-2019 Basel Chapter Committee will be elected. We hope that you will attend to meet and/or reconnect with local Dems Abroad, show your support for the nominees and vote for the candidates of your choice. We need to have a quorum for the elections to be official, so please do come, or vote by proxy if you can’t attend (more info on that below).
- 7:30 – 8 PM — Registration, happy hour mingle
- 8:15 – 8:30 PM — Election of Basel Chapter Committee
- 8:30 – 9 PM — Short Samantha Bee video on the civil rights movement and discussion on Basel activism opportunities (led by new chapter committee and DACH Chair Kate Edson)
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 Basel 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 four Basel Chapter offices to be filled are Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
We thank those who came forward to present themselves as candidates. See their names below. Click on names to read candidates' full statements of intent.
Americans who are DA members as of Friday, May 19, may vote. Please register to attend by May 19 at [email protected]. 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 19, and give it to your chosen attending proxy member before the meeting. Any voter at the meeting may hold at most two proxies. Let us know if you need help finding someone to be your proxy.
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: Treasurer (1)
The Candidates (1)
- Vivian L. Beetle
I initially joined Democrats Abroad a few years ago when I accessed their Voter Registration guidance. Shortly after, I started volunteering at Expat Expos in Basel. Then in the spring of 2016, I became an active Voter Registration worker as Basel achieved record levels of registrants. Since the election, I have continued to work within the core coordinating group for DACH in Basel where I have assumed treasurer responsibilities to date.
Given the evolving political climate, I am motivated to help lead the regional work of DACH as it informs, enrolls, engages, and mobilizes Democrats in the Basel area to do their part in restoring democratic values, principles and leadership in the USA. This offers one answer to the question of what can I do in these turbulent and troubling times despite being out of the country. Through the chapter’s work, I would aim to help others to find their answers as well.
I am eager to work within a collaborative leadership group where we each have areas of primary responsibility but also work together to address opportunities and issues to improve society today and the world we pass on to future generations.
Professional and Personal Background
Eleven years ago I relocated from New Jersey to Switzerland for my work with Hoffmann-La Roche from which I retired in 2013. During a thirty-plus year career at Roche, I developed a broad expertise in corporate engagement with particular skills in community collaboration, business strategic alignment, employee volunteerism, program development and budget oversight. Before joining Roche, I worked with the YWCA in Paterson, New Jersey, where I was involved in every aspect of their urban-based program and administration with a focus on women’s leadership development.
Throughout my adult life I have been involved in civic and non-profit organizations in advisory, governance and operational roles. My non-profit board experience has been varied, including such groups as Funders Concerned About AIDS, The Partnership for New Jersey, Diamond Terrace Condominium Association, and the Roche Employee and Action Trust. More recently I have continued volunteering as an English Conversation Group Leader for adult non-mother language speakers (Centrepoint, Basel), Project Leader of Swiss Exposure for Global Interns (World YWCA, Geneva) and project consultant to UNICEF Switzerland.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Douglass College of Rutgers University and a Masters in Business Administration from Rutgers Graduate School of Management.
Candidacy for Treasurer
My personal and professional background will inform my service as Treasurer for the Basel Chapter. Recognizing the responsibility that comes with stewardship of collective funds, I respect the importance of fiscal management for an organization, regardless of scale and scope. I would readily coordinate with the Treasurer of the National Executive Committee to align relevant procedures, processes and practices. Further I will gladly serve as part of the chapter leadership team to help govern while working to engage and support volunteers and to maximize the Democratic vote.