International Chair - Julia Bryan - Democrats Abroad

Name:                      Julia Bryan

Gender:                    Female

External links:          facebook

Candidate:                International Chair

Member since:          2009

Residence:                Czech Republic

Biography:

I'm originally from South Carolina, where I grew up with a passion for civil rights and voting accessibility. Since 1999 I have lived in Prague, Czech Republic, running a management consulting company in IT services and digital media. My volunteer work with Democrats Abroad has been a defining part of my life for several years now. I am grateful to my husband and two children for their flexibility and support (and their volunteer time too!). I vote in North Carolina.

 

Link to MYC video -- click here

Note on video quality:

We apologize for the poor quality of the image in the middle of the screen. Please view the better image in the upper right-hand corner.

 

Describe your volunteer work with DA and cite your greatest DA accomplishment.

International Chair (2017-2019)

International Secretary (2015-2017)

Co-Chair, Communications Committee (2016-2017)

Delegate, Democratic National Convention (2016)

Deputy Regional Vice-Chair for EMEA (2013-2015)

Chair, Data Committee (2013-2015)

Chair, DACZ (2012-2017)

Vice-Chair, DACZ (2011-2012)

  • Set strategy, launched and managed voter outreach in 2018, enabling an 800% increase over 2014.
  • Created DA outreach strategy for midterm elections
  • Worked with our excom, global teams, and country committees to implement strategy
  • Wrote grants for DNC funds that paid for our digital ads program
  • Created 2018 digital ads program
  • Supported data project -- team gathered state voter data from 30+ states, and enhanced data for email outreach
  • Fundraised extensively to support phonebanking efforts and grant program for country committees
  • Experimented with and supported the rollout of text messaging to members
  • Supported the rollout of the new votefromabroad.org website, Spanish language votefromabroad.org and students.votefromabroad.org

Why are you running for this office?

Democrats must win the White House in 2020. I am running for Chair so I can help ensure that Democrats Abroad is a major part of that win.

During the 2017-2018 cycle, we showed what we could do with limited funds and laser focus. We must now expand our outreach and reach more Americans abroad through 2020. Democracy is on the ballot. It's time to fight to keep it in office.

How will your skill sets and experience contribute to DA's success?

Strategist - As Chair, I've had the privilege of setting the strategy for DA. I work to maximize our efforts by streamlining our tools and processes, simplifying work for leaders, and finding ways to grow our success rate.

Team leader -  I have a great deal of experience organizing teams in a multi-country online environment. Since 2015 I've managed hundreds of volunteers for DA in global roles. As the chair of the Excom I strive to ensure that our team's opinions all have the chance to be heard as we work toward consensus. We focus on good debate and the results are efficient, the effort fun.

Communicator - I believe that listening is vital for figuring out problems and finding solutionsL. As Chair, I invite all leaders to join our Excel calls, write mostly weekly newsletters to leaders and regularly reach out to country committees and volunteers for your input.

Are there any DA organizational or practical issues (not political goals) that you would like to address should you be elected?

Streamline our volunteer process to bring more support to country leaders and global teams

Work to simplify administrative burdens for country committees

Continue to invest in tools that help our teams and committees  do their jobs -- continuing to improve the website, callhub, voteformabroad and wiki

Continue expanding  communication and idea sharing amongst leaders across country committees, regions and global groups through our digital tools, open ExCom meetings, weekly newsletters, training opportunities and more.

What are the three pressing political issues that you would work to include in the DA 2020 Platform and why?

Overseas vote protection must be included in the Democratic plank for a "fair and representative electoral system." We need to start working now to ensure that we are prepared and ready to fight hard to protect this fundamental right for Americans abroad. We know this matter is important to the state Democratic parties as well -- our voters are their voters. We can engage their support in the work to protect overseas voting.

Fair taxation for overseas Americans should be included in the Democratic plank "fight for economic fairness and against inequality." It is astonishing how many sections of the tax code discriminate against Americans living abroad. Building an understanding of the Americans abroad community -- we are ordinary working class Americans whose relationships by and large have caused us to move abroad will help us engage the Democratic Party in our work to enact reforms. 

And finally, environmental protection is essential as is the inclusion of the Combat Climate Change plank in the 2020 platform. We must build a global commitment to protect the Earth for future generations.

How can Democrats Abroad best raise our profile among American voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats?

Our strategy must address the unique challenges Americans abroad face in voting. Many don't know they can vote, or how to vote, almost all find voting abroad complicated. 

We must continue expanding our voter outreach and support through comprehensive digital advertisement campaigns, extensive earned media, on-the-ground events, our phonebanking and text messaging program, friend-to-friend communications, and our online helpdesk.

We should expand our data outreach project to help find more Americans abroad.

We must engage Democratic presidential candidates and encourage them to launch their own outreach platforms to Americans abroad.

We will work with state parties to train their volunteers to ask about overseas voters when they canvass.

We will work with the DNC as they train 2020 organizers and ensure they share our vote from abroad messaging with these crucial field workers.


Endorsement from Will Bakker, Regional Vice Chair for EMEA, (newly elected) Treasurer for DA-Luxembourg

I wholeheartedly endorse Julia Bryan for International Chair. The International Chair sets the focus and the tone of the DPCA Executive Committee. Julia's leadership produced a focus on results, within a collegial environment that encourages candid arguments. Julia devised the plan that drove DA in 2018 and I believe in her plan for for 2019-2020.

Julia's focus on votes and voters has delivered results for Democrats Abroad, especially by expanding DA's reach. In 2017, Julia pushed the whole organization to develop relationships with partners and turn outrage into action. Then, in 2018, she found numerous and diverse ways to direct all those energies toward delivering votes for Democratic candidates. From DA's application for DNC grants to presentation to CC leaders, Julia built and communicated the unifying vision for how we would build the Blue Wave together. 

Julia set the early expectation that ExCom meetings would focus on the practical consequences of the issue at hand. That principle, animated by her personal charisma and gusto, resulted in a team bound by personal affection and respect for each others' strengths. More importantly, our work has been fulfilling because it is part of a clear shared plan.

I admire Julia's management of global committees but I must admit that I cannot grasp the sheer volume of personal engagement and encouragement she puts in daily. She is extraordinarily accessible and helpful as I support the EMEA region. I believe that there is nobody in Democrats Abroad better suited to lead us through the next two years.


Endorsement from Inge Kjemtrup, Chair, Democrats Abroad UK

I enthusiastically endorse Julia Bryan for Democrats Abroad International Chair.

In her first term as Chair, Julia Bryan has inspired, motivated, and united Democrats Abroad members and leaders around the world. Julia never loses sight of the overall goal or our organization: to find overseas Americans and get them to vote while representing our interests back home.

Julia is an excellent resource for the UK Country Committee. Our volunteers in voter registration, get out the vote, phone banking, policy issues, and more feel that Julia and the International team have their back. She is supportive or our in-country efforts and also suggests when when we could be even more effective by working globally across the Country Committees. This spirit of cooperation is what enabled the tremendous results DA had in overseas voting last year, and will make it even bigger and better in 2020.

Julia encourages innovation in a huge range of DA activities, while gathering data that allows her to measure their effectiveness at furthering our mission. Once Julia finds something that is effective she works tirelessly to make it a regular part of the DA process. Building these systems frees us from having to re-learn the same lessons every two years.

I am excited to be part of a organization that, thanks to Julia's leadership, has become more relevant, dynamic, and successful. We all need our energy and focus to win in 2020, and I believe that Democrats Abroad now is on the right road to make that happen. I urge you to support Julia Bryan for International Chair.


Endorsement from John Eastwood

Julia Bryan for Chair: Julia has been an extremely effective leader for Democrats Abroad within the Association of State Democratic Chairs and the Democratic National Committee. Democrats Abroad is recognized as a "state party" organization within the larger party structure, and she moves efficiently and effectively through the work necessary to get positive attention and helpful assistance. After all, Democrats Abroad is the one "state party" that spends its time helping voters from around the world cast their votes into the other 50 states! The party has gone through many changes in recent years, aiming to become a better, fairer party able to take on the GOP in a full 50-state strategy -- these are values that Julia brings to the table. And in the key close races in traditional "red states" Dems Abroad has a key role in helping good Dem candidates get those extra votes to carry them over the top. Julia speaks eloquently to the ASDC and DNC about what we can deliver and how we can deliver it. I give an unreserved endorsement to Julia Bryan to be re-elected. 

John Eastwood  - DNC member