Berlin Chapter Board Candidate Statements

At the March chapter meeting (follow link for details) on March 7, 2017, the following candidates will be running for positions on the Berlin chapter's board.


Michael Steltzer

The smooth and transparent management of the finances of the Berlin Chapter of Democrats Abroad Germany is essential for the effective progress of our Democratic values. This includes fundraising and accountability. Having been chair and vice-chair of the Berlin chapter for seven years, I bring a lot of experience and continuity with me to assist our new chair Diego Rivas in leading the Berlin chapter to do our part in forwarding a progressive agenda and winning the hearts and souls of Americans in our region to vote for Democrats and discard the reactionary Trump-Regime. I ask for your confirmation as new treasurer of our chapter.

Youth Coordinator

Chris Sauca

In the spirit of continuing to help Democrats Abroad grow , it's our duty to embrace those who willingly choose to fight alongside us. Democrats come in all ages, and whether you're eighteen or eighty, all votes are worth the same. Confirm me as Youth Coordinator and I'll make sure we get as many young people as we can actively involved with our organization. As a John F. Kennedy School alumnus, I know exactly who we need to talk to to get our message across. By contacting parents, students, and young professionals across Berlin I expect to at least double the number of young democrats partaking in our events and calls to Congress over the next two years, and hopefully at the end of those two years we can get them to vote and make sure Trump stays a one-term president.

Vice Chair

Emily Lines

Despite not becoming chapter chair, I still want to remain very active and involved with the Berlin chapter of DA. It’s important to me to make sure that the Berlin chapter continues to grow and is able to make an impact on the Democratic Party. I also want our voices to be heard by the current administration and fight for what I believe America stands for.


Andrea Schwab

After years of teaching and volunteering in both developed and developing countries, I have settled into life here in Berlin. Since discovering Democrats Abroad, I have delved into our organization as an active and dedicated member. As secretary, I would take our chapter’s level of transparency a step further by committing to posting (online) meeting minutes not just from our monthly meetings but our board meetings as well in an effort to engage members and keep them informed about the direction and activities of Democrats Abroad Berlin. Furthermore, I will support our chair and vice chair as needed and collaborate with our board on political education, GOTV, and community-building events as we do our part of rebuilding the Democratic Party in preparation for the 2018 midterm elections. I appreciate your consideration.

Media & Communications Coordinator

Powen Shiah

Over the last two years, I've been honored to work with a group of politically active Americans in Berlin. I look forward to helping Democrats Abroad Berlin grow, become more diverse, and to develop new ways for Americans to engage effectively while outside the US.

I'm running again for Communications and Media Coordinator for Democrats Abroad Berlin because I continue to believe effective and transparent communication is the key to building our movement. I believe we need to reach out to current and potential members in the ways they are most comfortable: whether it’s email, Facebook, or flyers. To that end, I've expanded our chapter online presences on social media, on our local website, and on the Democrats Abroad page, and I've worked to improve our email newsletters. I bring many years of experience in traditional and social media, press relations, and internal/external communications, as well as much community organizing experience.


Events in February We Recommend

There's a lot going on this week in Berlin, but isn't there always? There are a couple over the next few days that are not Democrats Abroad events, but still political and worth your time.

Fighting Back "Economic Populism" Political Breakfast

Das Progressive Zentrum is hosting a whole slew of American political organizations for a breakfast discussion on populism, economic inequality, and progressive movements. Advanced registration required.

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 from 9-11am
Das Progressive Zentrum, Werftstraße 3, 10557 Berlin
RSVP | Facebook

V-Day 2017 Berlin - Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues

The American Women's Club of Berlin is hosting two performances of The Vagina Monologues this weekend, a powerful play performed over 6000 times over the last 20+ years to change societal attitudes towards the treatment of women and women's sexuality. All proceeds will benefit TERRE DES FEMMES.

Fri & Sat. Feb 24-25 at 7pm
Institut for Cultural Diplomacy, Genthiner Straße 20, 10785 Berlin
Tickets | Facebook

ACLU Fundraiser Silent Auction

Decad is hosting a silent art auction to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the organizations that is leading the legal fight against the Trump travel ban and other injustices. Bidding starts at 50 Euros, and there will be refreshments for sale for those who want to contribute in a smaller way.

Sun Feb. 26, 2017 from 3-6pm
Decad, Gneisenaustraße 52, 10961 Berlin
Facebook event

Organizing for International Women's Day

As many attendees discussed potential plans for International Women's Day, including the call for a strike, a group will now start organizing in Berlin to coordinate activities for March 8, 2017.

If you're interested in being part of this, the working group is meeting for the first time on Sunday, February 12th at 12:30pm at Oslo Kaffebar near Nordbahnhof: RSVP | Facebook

Join us!

February 2017 Chapter Meeting Minutes

It was amazing that so many people came to the meeting on Tuesday. Our apologies to the folks who couldn't get into the room, we'll look into alternative locations for such well-attended meetings. If you have a tip, please get in touch!

To help keep you in the loop, we've made an effort to get the minutes/notes from Tuesday's meeting (Feb 7, 2017) out as quickly. You’ll find the minutes from Tuesday’s meeting (Feb 7, 2017) linked below.

In particular, if you’re interested in

Our next event is February Political Pub night on Wednesday, Feb 15th at Buffalo Grill Restaurant: RSVP & more details here

> February 2017 Berlin Chapter meeting minutes <

Join the resistance in Berlin: NoBanNoWall Demo & February Meeting

The following is a message from Berlin Chapter Chair Diego Rivas:

In the wake of a Trump presidency there is (un)fortunately much to do.

From the NoBanNoWall Berlin Demo this Saturday, to our Democrats Abroad Berlin February Chapter Meeting next week, there are many ways to get involved politically here in Berlin.

Monthly Meeting

On Tuesday, February 7th at 7:30pm, Democrats Abroad Berlin will have its next monthly meeting upstairs at Max und Moritz (Oranienstr. 162, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg): RSVP | Facebook

We will be discussing everything from the Annual General Meeting (which will be held in Berlin!) to how to have a say in the political process from abroad. See the full meeting agenda.

Given the recent political developments, we want to focus on building a movement here in Berlin that can and will be heard back in the United States. We are looking forward to a productive meeting and hope to see you there.

Upcoming Events in Berlin

NoBanNoWall Berlin Demo

The Coalition Berlin has called for a demonstration against Trump’s executive order that enacted a “Muslim Ban” as well as the executive order to build a wall against Mexico. Support refugees, minorities and immigrants by coming out to Brandenburger Tor on Saturday, February 4th at 2pm! More info here:

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Germany will be held in Berlin this year! The meeting will take place on March 31st-April 2nd. We will need volunteers to help run the event as well as homestays, come to the meeting to learn more about how to participate and/or volunteer!

All the best,

Diego Rivas – DA Berlin Chapter Chair

Berlin Women’s March, Inauguration Day Protest & Pub Night

Dear Berlin Democrats,

The 45th President of the United States will be inaugurated this Friday.

With Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by almost 3 million people, it is safe to say the President-elect does not represent the majority of the United States.

Come out in Berlin this weekend to help demonstrate that we will not be a silent majority.

Berlin Women’s March

The Berlin Women’s March on Washington Sister March will take place on Saturday January 21st from 11am-12pm at Brandenburg Gate in front of the U.S. Embassy. The gathering is nonpartisan and will not feature speakers or performances; please bring candles and your own signs promoting Dignity, Justice, Freedom, Unity, Democracy, Solidarity, Human Rights, and Women’s Rights.

Please check the Facebook event for the most up-to-date information: Berlin's Women's March on Washington
You can also share this event page:

Inauguration Day Protest

If you would also like to protest on Inauguration Day, “The Coalition Berlin” is organizing a march and rally that coincides with the inauguration of President-elect Trump. The event begins at 5pm on January 20th and there will be speakers, music and more!

More info about the Inauguration Day Protest: No to Global Trumpism!: Inauguration Day Protest Berlin

Whether you mourn, protest, or live a normal weekend, remember: as Democrats we are not alone and the popular vote shows that we are the majority.

In solidarity,

Diego Rivas
DA Berlin Chapter Chair

P.S.: Don't forget January Political Pub Night tonight Wed. Jan 18th at Oranium Cafe from 7pm: RSVP | Facebook

P.P.S.: Want to make signs for the weekend's protests? Join our friends at AVA on Thursday for a Poster & Sign Workshop

Chapter Chair Election Results + Thank You, Team Berlin!

The following is a message from outgoing Berlin chapter chair Gwendolyn Lynch Hirsch:

If you attended our chapter chair election last night, you already know that I’ve chosen to step down from my role as Chair, and also that we had the fortune to choose between two dynamic, young candidates who would each bring much to the table as chair of our chapter over the next two years.

It has been an honor to serve you as the Berlin chapter chair during the exciting and intensive two years leading up to our 2016 presidential elections. Along with a great deal of work, I gained many friendships I hope to enjoy for years to come; friends who are passionate about making sure we put Democrats in office back home, to fight the good fight, despite living our lives abroad.

I still cannot truly express my disappointment with the results of our presidential election. However, I know that I would feel much worse if it were not for the fact that I know so many people who worked tirelessly as volunteers to put Democrats in office. I am so proud of our hard working team of volunteers here in the Berlin chapter – thank you for stepping up and playing an active role.

Thank you for your time, energy, donations, and perseverance. I hope you will find the energy to keep moving forward together with us as we already begin to put on our game face and prepare for midterm elections in two years time.

I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to our new chapter chair, Diego Rivas. I look forward to seeing our Berlin chapter continue to blossom and thrive under his guidance.

As the result of the chapter chair election last night was so incredibly close, and there were some ballots which needed additional approval to be considered valid, we were unable to call the election on the spot, as hoped. Please review the document prepared today by our DAG legal counsel explaining the final outcome and decision on the matter. Your patience and understanding of the delay in announcing our next chapter chair means a lot, while we have worked round the clock to resolve this as quickly as possible.

It has been my pleasure to work with you, my fellow democrats. I wish you strength and hope for the change we can surely create, together.

All my best,
Gwendolyn Lynch Hirsch
Berlin Chapter Chair, 2015 – 2017

Candidate Statements for Berlin Chapter Chair

Below, you'll find the candidates statements from Diego Rivas & Emily Lines, who are running for Berlin Chapter Chair 2017-2019. For more information about what chapter chairs are responsible for, read this post. The election will take place at the January 10, 2017 monthly meeting.

Diego Rivas

Politics is not a spectator sport. Democrats Abroad Berlin needs sustainable and continuous political engagement throughout the year, so when it is time to go to the polls in 2018, the networks are already there, and ready to vote democrat. We can do this through building on our standards like pub nights and monthly meetings, by introducing events such as round table discussions, political education workshops, solidarity dinner parties, and GOTV efforts beyond presidential election years. Members should leave meetings and events feeling heard, politically engaged, and wanting to return.

As someone who was a leader in the Berlin GOTV efforts for both the democratic primary and general election, I have worked side by side with Hillary and Bernie supporters alike. I have organized political panel discussions, film nights, solidarity dinner parties, and invited enthusiastic democrats into my home for phone banking evenings. As a person who has been politically active throughout my life, I understand that in order to be successful in our political endeavors, we must bring people together.

Together we need to support strong democratic candidates for the 2018 midterms now. My goals as chair are (1) to keep DA members engaged throughout the year, (2) to strengthen the voices of democrats abroad in US political affairs and (3) to create events and actions that can serve as a model of political engagement for Democrats Abroad chapters within Germany and around the world.

Emily Lines

My name is Emily Lines and I’m 28-years-old. I’m originally from Indiana and have lived in Berlin for almost six years. Currently, I’m working on completing a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Bielefeld while working in Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. I’ve been a member of Democrats Abroad since 2012 and joined during my time in Cologne. During 2016, I became a more active member of DA by volunteering at the DA Global Convention. Even though I had originally signed up to volunteer for only two shifts, I ended up volunteering all four days. These four days were so much fun. I enjoyed meeting other Americans living all over the world and it reignited my interest in DA. Since then, I have made sure to participate in more events and helped organize the Election Night Party.

Following the disappointment of the 2016 election, my motivation to do my part to work towards a better Democratic Party and to fight for the things I believe America stands for has only increased. Since I cannot return to the States at this moment, I want to make sure that I do all that I can from Germany to continue to try and make a difference. In addition, I want to help facilitate the discussion surrounding how to move forward and rebuild the Democratic Party. A lot happened during this past election and it’s important to find a way for us to all come together so that we can continue to work towards the America that we envision. Many Americans abroad have begun to show their interest in being more involved and now is the time to try and harness their interest and motivation so that we can have a strong showing in two years during the mid-term elections.

By being chapter chair, I hope to:

  • Continue to develop and grow the Berlin chapter
  • Provide an environment for people to collaborate and work together
    • I want to help foster a conversation among the members of DA that hold varying viewpoints. It is crucial that we find a way to express our opinions on how we think the Democratic Party should move forward. I also want to offer the members ways to make sure their voices are heard all the way from Germany.
  • Organize events and/or meetings that focus on specific issues or groups
    • For example, DA has several caucuses and it would be great to have events that were specific to the topics and areas of interest of each of these caucuses. Or, to hold meetings where we introduce and talk about a specific policy area that are of importance to our members.

I hope that other members now know from my time spent helping at the Global Convention and the Election Night Party that I am a hard worker and someone they can rely on to get things done. It would be a great honor for me to be the chapter chair, and to have the chance to lead and improve the Berlin chapter of Democrats Abroad.

Berlin Chapter Chair Elections on January 10, 2017

Mark your calendars! As mentioned in our chapter newsletter on November 28, our next meeting is on the 2nd Tuesday of January to kick off 2017 Democrats Abroad activities, as opposed to our usual first Tuesday of the month meeting.

Join us at Max & Moritz on January 10, 2017 and cast your vote for the next DA Berlin Chapter Chair!

If you're interested in running for the chapter chair position, please contact current chair, Gwendolyn Lynch - Hirsch at [email protected] with your candidate statement, no later than December 27, 2016.

Along with basic requirements and current DA bylaws to uphold, the Berlin Chapter Chair position carries with it a good deal of work and multitasking. As our chapter continues to grow and evolve, the chapter chair must develop and lead our group accordingly. Please feel free to contact Gwendolyn with any questions about the chair position, she is happy to speak about the details of the work, as well as general time commitment, expectations, and tasks.

Lively & Packed Political Pub Night at Eschenbräu

Democrats Abroad Berlin had a hopping political pub night this week at Eschenbräu, a great Berlin brewery in the northern neighborhood of Wedding. It was exciting to see new folks and old members alike energized by the Democratic presidential campaigns and growing interest in the 2016 election cycle from all corners. We filled the room we had reserved to capacity, so apologies to anyone who had to jockey for a seat. Next time (at Irish Harp in March), we'll reserve more tables!

We hope to keep seeing great turnouts at our upcoming events, help us spread the word: