Together with more than 2000 people, Democrats Abroad danced and celebrated love and tolerance through the streets of Lübeck. For the first time, the Lübeck precinct participated in the 2-hour Christopher Street Day parade proudly holding up our Happy Pride banner and Make America Gay Again signs. Our group was small but our message was loud and clear: our American values differ greatly from those of the current administration.
Following the parade we positioned ourselves at the market place handing out information and the ever-so-popular Trump in Drag postcards, answering GOTV questions, receiving ubiquitous free hugs and generally just having a good time.
Many thanks to our volunteers, especially to those from Hamburg, who traveled hours to help make our event a success.
We are looking forward to participating again next year with our own pavilion. Contact me if you have any suggestions and/or would like to volunteer.
Article by Cynthia Walther and photos by Cynthia and Sean Walther
Text by Maryann Schmunk; Photos by Maryann Schmunk and Vinnie Cabrera
My name is Vinnie Cabrera, and I am running for the position of Hamburg Chapter Chair. I have a bachelor’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, and I am a graphic designer by profession with experience in various sectors including finance, healthcare, education, and retail. The Jersey Shore is where I grew up and where I am registered to vote, and I have voted in every election since I was naturalized as a US citizen. I moved to Hamburg in February 2017, just a couple weeks after Donald Trump’s inauguration. One of the first things I did after settling in Germany was to join Democrats Abroad because I was alarmed by the changes that happened in my community and the country at-large, and I wanted a way to be politically engaged and active despite being outside the United States.
Since joining Dems Abroad, I’ve been an active member of the Hamburg chapter, participating in and helping to organize events like the Women’s March and the March for Our Lives demonstration. I currently also serve as LGBT Caucus leader for the Hamburg Chapter, and I am particularly proud of our participation at CSD Hamburg Pride, which has been consistently one of our most successful outreach events. If elected Chapter Chair, my priorities will include continuing our chapter’s growth in membership, preparing for the Dems Abroad Global Primary in 2020, and organizing GOTV events all throughout the 2020 leading up to the presidential election in November.
12 July 2019
For the second time in a year, we felt the urgent need to draw attention to the inhumane situation on the southern U.S. border. Since our first protest in 2018, the situation has only intensified, sickness and deaths increased, and a real solution still seems nowhere in sight. But not doing anything is also not an option, and a least these vigils all over the country have shown our solidarity with democrats in the U.S. who are investigating and testifying.
Thank you to all of you who came out to stand before the U.S. Consulate in our candlelight vigil against this human tragedy. And thank you once again, Chesney, for giving eloquent voice to our collective grief.
Text by Maryann Schmunk
Photo by Chesney McKinley Severance
"Has it really been a year?" a few of us sheepishly asked each other. That made us only all the more grateful for this most traditional of American holidays which had brought us together to enjoy hamburgers and beer in such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. There was a great deal to talk about, so soon after the democratic candidates' debates. First, though, there was a grateful, but a sad toast to Chesney who has played a significant role in our chapter since the day we met in March 2016, but who will leave Hamburg shortly. And finally, there was a round of answers to the questions: "what do you like most about our country?" and "what would you wish for us before we meet again next 4th of July?".
The twenty five answers were varied, and offered praise for American openness and friendliness; for standing up in protest when our democracy is threatened; for the important work of the American Bar Association in defending our values; for the National Parks which preserve the future for all; and for PIES, of every shape and form. The wishes were wide-ranging, but most were variations of the sad fact that many of us will not be able to have a sound night´s sleep until the current occupant of the White House is replaced. There were hopes for an electable democratic candidate, and for dialogue instead of polarization, and we all vowed to see each other more often in the next months to help to get-out- the-vote!
Text by Maryann Schmunk
WELCOME TO DEMOCRATS ABROAD HAMBURG!
DA Hamburg is a chapter of DA Germany, the official country committee for US Democrats living in Germany. We provide fellowship, offer educational and informational events, and encourage activism for Americans living in Hamburg and Northern Germany. You can find us here on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @DemsAbroadHH. Watch this space for upcoming announcements of meetings and events - we have events planned throughout the year and encourage anyone interested in participating to get in touch.
If you have questions or would like to help with Democrats Abroad in Hamburg, please contact us.
Chesney McKinley Severance, Chapter Chair
Democrats Abroad Germany - Hamburg Chapter
MY PARTNER, MY FRIEND
by Claudia Clark
Bookclub Reading and Discussion
22 January 2019
When was the last time you heard a politician say: "It´s fun to work together"? It may seem like a lifetime ago, but those words were spoken by President Obama describing his relationship with Chancellor Angela Merkel. We were privileged to hear these and other revelations during the evening our Bookclub spent with Claudia Clark, author of My Partner, My Friend.
Exhaustively researched, the book details a relationship that started with caution, progressed into trust, and grew into friendship. Especially in today´s polarized world, it seems almost quaint to observe the interaction between the two leaders who were able to relax with each other while tackling the world´s problems because of their own authenticity and their affinity and respect for each other.
Claudia, a Democrats Abroad member, was compelled to write the book because, especially in light of what is happening today, it is instructive to re-examine how personal relationships between those in power contribute to peace. What has been lost—communication, working through differences, the willingness to compromise—should be a lesson for us all. We look forward to reading more when the book is published, both in English and in German.
Text by Maryann Schmunk
Tax Information Event for Americans Living Abroad
Saturday, 2 February 2019
Following a tradition of offering information for all Americans living Abroad, we were pleased that once again, certified public account David Opperman agreed to talk us through the responsibilities and potential confusions involved in tax filing from abroad. The room was packed to capacity on this grey afternoon as David patiently described what most of us found to be a confusing set of rules navigating between the German and American tax systems. There was plenty of time for questions and the attentive group was visibly relieved by the end of the afternoon, even finding comical moments despite the serious subject matter. After listening to what some people have gone through in the past, and how hard it is to receive answers, we can only express our gratitude to David for his advice once again.
*The generous support of the SPD made it possible to hold this event in the heart of Hamburg.
Text by Maryann Schmunk
Women´s March Hamburg, 19 January, 2019
Even the weather was perfect as we gathered in front of the Rathaus--posters, banners and hand scrawled signs blazing in the bright sunshine. After a week of greyness, literally and figuratively, suddenly progress seemed possible--as Chesney told the gathering-- if only each of us would make the effort. She reminded the rapt crowd of the upcoming vote in Virginia for the Equal Rights Amendment and urged us to write in support of this affirmation of women´s equality. After nearly 100 years of activism on its behalf, the measure needs only the votes of one more state to pass!
Energized and motivated, the march began with some 200 participants winding their way, singing, chanting and drumming along the shimmering Alster to the U.S. Consulate, colorful posters held high: "Empowered women empower women!" "Equal pay for equal work;" "My body, my rules;" not to mention numerous clever original variations. Many of us commented, with a certain weariness, on one poster: "My arms are tired from holding this sign since the 1960´s." Elaine, however, in her closing speech, urged us not to give up, and noted with gratification how many young people there were in the audience to carry on the struggle to achieve what we deserve, no matter how long it takes.
Thanks to all who made this a joyous afternoon and a worthwhile demonstration!
Photos by Eric Shambroom
Text by Maryann Schmunk
So it is time for Chapter Elections in Hamburg, to be held this January 12th. We are looking for you to help fill the following chapter positions:
If you are interested in, or have questions about running for any of these positions, please let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
More details about the time and location will follow.
- Marc J. Castagnera