Hamburg chapter members organized and/or took part in important meetings during the first quarter of 2021.
On February 28, we held our official chapter election via Zoom. Candice Newton was elected our new Chapter Chair, and Geoff Simmons was elected Treasurer. We congratulated both Candice and Geoff on their new roles. We also thanked Vinnie Cabrera for his service as Chapter Chair and Candice Newton for her work as Treasurer (especially in 2020 – a very busy year for getting out the vote!).
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place on March 20 via Zoom, and several Hamburg members attended. This meeting also featured important elections in addition to a recap of the past year and goals for 2021. Our former Chapter Chair Vinnie Cabrera was elected as one of the DPCA Voting Reps.
On March 28, we held the first chapter meeting presided over by Candice. We took stock of both Germany-wide and Hamburg accomplishments in 2020 as well as goals for this year. Discussion included plans to draft a proposal to rename the Hamburg chapter to encompass other Northern German cities, such as Bremen, Flensburg, and Lübeck, where we have a significant number of members and active Precinct Captains.
On November 3, we hosted Election Night 2020 – A Digital Party, a live theater performance on Zoom by Julia Hart, director of the play Neuland and starring members of the DA Germany Hamburg Chapter.
After the 2016 election, Julia Hart created Neuland (Uncharted Territory), a theater performance created in response to the election of Donald Trump, based on the collected true stories of American women's reactions to the results of that election. Election Night 2020 was a sequel of sorts to Neuland, with new stories and perspectives from Americans from even more diverse backgrounds and genders reflecting on the events of the last four years. With a mix of personal stories, scenes, and songs, Julia Hart and the ensemble cast reflected on the most significant moments, impressions, and feelings from the last four years. The performance was produced in partnership with the Lichthof Theater in Hamburg and was also part of DA Germany’s live, all-night election night program on Zoom, which was attended by hundreds of viewers across Germany.
Text by Vincienzo Cabrera
Did you know...?
DA Hamburg's Elaine Thomas is a member of the 2020 Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus Poet Laureate Circle. Elaine's presence has been a real highlight of 2020. Here are some of the poems she wrote, inspired by this year's elections as well as other major events.
No Bullets Prize: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_no_bullets_prize
Biking Home: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_biking_home
In Fall of Corona: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_in_the_fall_of_corona
Time & Time Again: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_time_and_time_again
An Amiable Heart: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_an_amiable_heart_to_heart
Malcolm and Martin Revisited: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_martin_and_malcolm_revisited
Feeling Vulnerable Amidst the Chaos: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_feeling_vulnerable
A Grain of Hope: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_a_grain_of_hope
Unjust Indigestion: http://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_unjust_indigestion
IN-PERSON VOTER ASSISTANCE IN HAMBURG, LÜBECK, AND BREMEN (August—October, 2020)
Each one felt like a small victory: three new Texas voters in a state perhaps poised to turn blue; the American man who had lived in Germany for years without voting from abroad; the woman who needed a fellow American as a witness before sending her ballot to Wisconsin; and the couple who came all the way to Hamburg for advice after missing the voter assistance table in the city where they lived. These are just a few of the many grateful voters we met during two months of in-person voter assistance in Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen.
We are so pleased to have been able to help all of you to vote from abroad, and so grateful to those volunteers who made it possible. Thank you to: John, Geoff, Kira, Candice, Elaine, Mallory, Jessica, Katy, Nils, Cynthia, Emily, Sean, Sam, Lou, Lisa, Mandy, and other volunteers in Bremen.
In the words of Vinnie, our chapter chair: "It's been amazing to see how much we've been able to accomplish despite all the difficulties and curveballs this administration, the pandemic, and this year in general have thrown at us. We've been able to help so many people over the last couple months, and I'm so proud of all the work we've done together. You all are amazing! Thank you so much."
Text by Maryann Schmunk
Photos by Nils, Candice, and others
Hamburg was in the fortuitous position to have a considerable group of highly talented artists to support its last celebration of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
This year's event was arranged and moderated by myself (Elaine Thomas), as were the two years before. It's purpose was multi-fold. One was, of course, to acknowledge Juneteenth. Tyrone Chambers II did a wonderful reading of the Juneteenth Proclamation. There were unforgettable songs from Melvin Edmondson, Darrin LB, Julie Silvera, and a spontaneous talk from the well-known DJ Gordon Clay.
Because of the recent number of Black Americans who have died from police brutality lately, we also did a commemoration #SAYTHEIRNAMES ceremony with electric guitar backings from Randall Brown. The ceremony concluded with Marshall Titus, Johnny Tune, and Tony Potts leading everyone in a very stirring rendition of "We Shall Overcome."
It was a very emotionally touching experience that, I am sure, left everyone who attended lifted and inspired.
Text by Elaine Thomas
Democrats Abroad-Hamburg provided voting station on Saturday, March 7, 2020 from 11am to 6pm around the corner from the Rathaus in Hamburg at the Julius-Leber-Forum (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung). The organizing team expected approximately 100 voters, and even more showed up -- a significant increase from the last GPP in 2016. NDR covered the event, which you can see here.
Photos by Eric Shambroom
Our chapter has been making waves in Hamburg and Northern Germany! Our leadership team was especially busy in the week leading up to the Global Presidential Primary.
On February 27th, Vinnie Cabrera (Chapter Chair) and Natalie Roxburgh (Press and Communications) took part in a public discussion with the SPD's Arbeitskreis Internationales in Altona. The title of the discussion was "'Four more years' für Donald Trump? Oder können die Demokraten die US-Präsidentschaftswahl doch noch gewinnen?" The talk was moderated by Jan Meder, head of the Arbeitskreis Internationales SPD Altona, and we discussed how politics and society have changed in the last four years, what is unique about the US elections this year, and the importance of voting and knowing one's rights while living abroad.
Vinnie and Natalie were also interviewed by NDR 90,3 on March 3, which was aired later that day. They talked about the importance of the Super Tuesday election as well as the Global Presidential Primary in Hamburg. You can listen to the interview here.
On February 8th, 2020, the Dems Abroad Black Caucus, headed by Elaine Thomas (in cooperation with the AICC-Afro Int. Culture Center), hosted a roundtable discussion that focused on fundamental issues governing American racial policies, especially as they pertain to the preservation of American democracy. The panel consisted of speakers of various races, backgrounds, and roles in Hamburg's Chapter of Democrats Abroad, including Vinnie Cabrera (Chapter Chair), Natalie Roxburgh (Press and Communications), Joana O'Neil (Women's Caucus Chair), and Candice Newton (Treasurer and Young Dems Leader). The audience participated with insightful comments. The roundtable was also a kickoff event for a series of courses offered for Black History Month at the Hamburger Volkshochschule. For more information on these offerings, please contact Elaine Thomas ([email protected]).