News

DA Stuttgart Intro

 

Welcome to Democrats Abroad Stuttgart!

DA Stuttgart is a chapter of DA Germany, the official country committee for US Democrats living in Germany. Our chapter includes members all over Baden-Württemberg with precincts in Freiburg and Tübingen. If you’re in the area and looking to connect with welcoming, dedicated, and democratically-minded people, then you’ve come to the right place. 

On this page, you’ll find information about upcoming announcements of meetings and events throughout the year. We encourage anyone interested in participating to get in touch.

If you have questions or would like to help with Democrats Abroad in Stuttgart, please contact us. We look forward to meeting you!

Kelsey McLendon, Chapter Chair
stuttgart@democratsabroad.de
https://www.facebook.com/DAGStuttgart/


Provisional Results - March 7, 2020

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary today for our second and final day of voting in Stuttgart.

I am pleased to announce the provisional results of today’s voting. Please note that they are, indeed, provisional and therefore are unofficial. Votes will be reviewed and vetted by our global primary team before the official results of the Global Presidential Primary are announced on March 23. Furthermore, please note that these provisional totals only reflect the votes cast in person, today, at this location, one of over 230 polling stations Democrats Abroad is hosting around the world.

The provisional results are as follows:

In total, 64 ballots were cast, 1 of which was spoiled. Of those ballots cast successfully,

Bernie Sanders received 56% or 35 of the votes.

Joe Biden received 32% or 20 of the votes.

Elizabeth Warren received 13% or 8 of the votes.

Thank you again for your participation today and this week.

You can look forward to hearing the official results of the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary on March 23.


Provisional Results from Super Tuesday - March 3, 2020

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary yesterday in Stuttgart.

I am pleased to announce the provisional results of yesterday’s voting. Please note that they are, indeed, provisional and therefore are unofficial. Votes will be reviewed and vetted by our global primary team before the official results of the Global Presidential Primary are announced on March 23. Furthermore, please note that these provisional totals only reflect the votes cast in person, yesterday, at this location, one of over 230 polling stations Democrats Abroad is hosting around the world.

The provisional results are as follows:

In total, 51 ballots were cast, 7 of which were spoiled. Of those ballots cast successfully,

Bernie Sanders received 45% or 20 of the votes.

Elizabeth Warren received 34% or 15 of the votes.

Joe Biden received 14% or 6 of the votes.

Michael Bloomberg received 7% or 3 of the votes.

Thank you again for your participation yesterday, and I hope to see a big turnout at the second and last day of our polling center on Saturday, March 7 from 10 am to 6 pm at Museum Hotel Silber in Stuttgart. Provisional results will be announced after the closing of that polling center event as well.

You can look forward to hearing the official results of the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary on March 23.


Member Spotlight Series Feb. 2020 - Marisa Schlenker

In this edition of our Member Spotlight Series, we're proud to highlight Marisa Schlenker. Marisa dove into volunteering with Democrats Abroad and took over revitalizing our Bodensee Precinct. She's no stranger to political activism and is making plans to get out the vote around the Bodensee in 2020. A former soccer player, she now consults for women's soccer programs in addition to studying at Konstanz University. As in sports, teamwork is fundamental in politics, and we're glad to have Marisa on the DA Stuttgart leadership team. 

Marisa Schlenker

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What brings you abroad? How long have you lived here?

I came to Hamburg, Germany in 2012 after I was accepted to be part of the DO School Fellowship program. The project I helped develop used sports as a tool and platform to contribute to social change and positive outcomes. After spending two months living in Kenya, I decided that I would return to Germany to live in Friedrichshafen. Since 2013, my husband and I have lived in different towns 'am Bodensee' and can see that this will be our home for many years to come.

When you aren’t doing something with Democrats Abroad, what are you doing? What other interests and hobbies do you have?

I study political science and public administration at Konstanz University, work as a freelance consultant for many different sports development projects, am involved in many women's soccer programs/mentorships, and am often chasing around my two kids and now 6 chickens! Not really chasing the chickens but making sure they are fed.

Were you politically active or interested in politics before moving overseas? If so, how?

I have been really interested in politics since my studies in political science and environment studies at UW Madison. I have also volunteered for local elections in Illinois and then for Obama’s campaign. I lived abroad for many years and always tried to also get a hold of the local politics and main issues as well as policies.

How long have you been involved in Democrats Abroad? How did you find the organization and why did you join? (What factors influenced your decision to join?)

I have been involved since September 2019 when we hosted the Bodensee “Meet and Greet” event. I had followed online and was always trying to figure out how to go to an event or meet people, but it only opened up this past year.

What are some key issues for you? Where would you like to see Democrats Abroad focus?

This is tough. Of course, I want a Democratic candidate who is intelligent, trustworthy, strong and humane to lead our country, but I think the changes required are very deep. We didn't just get into this mess without a whole system in place which has really led many people to lose faith in democracy but at the same time realize how much engagement and upkeep it takes to keep it functioning. It is so complex, and I am fortunate to study political science and learn all sorts of theories on public policy, voter turnout and so forth. I am very conscious about the image we have in the world due to not just our leaders but also other decisions being made concerning the environment, trade and human rights. I also am very aware that living abroad puts you inevitably in another space, and you have to keep yourself engaged and active.

With which areas within Democrats Abroad are you involved? In which areas would you like to be more involved?

I am involved in the precinct and overall volunteer engagement. I want to be more involved at the country or national level and then also am thinking of how we should add a citizen diplomacy area to our DA initiatives.

What tips do you have for others looking to join or become more involved?

Join. Do something. Don't wait for others and find what it is you can offer to the group.

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What do you wish other people knew about Democrats Abroad?

There is this central team that is doing incredible work. I got to meet many at a leadership retreat. This team needs support, and this team also wants to grow and evolve, so I would encourage people to think about how to get involved long term, if possible, and also to bring in new ideas when feasible.

You were nominated for this spotlight. Why do you think that is?

I am doing my best-- well could always do more-- to get this precinct up and running. I have had lots of small meetings, email exchanges and so forth, but we need to do more. We have a lot of potential because we know there are members and numbers of Americans here. This award should put some more energy behind my plans and ideas and get me to bring more people together so it doesn't go through me.

What do you hope Democrats Abroad will achieve in the near future? How about long term?

2020 is the focus.

What motivates you to stay involved?

Politics are everything. They are policies made which influence everyone. Not to stay involved would be senseless.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing Democrats today? What challenges do you think are unique to Democrats living abroad?

We are a group which encompasses so many types of people and groups. We want to represent so many ideas and ideals. We need to work together and find some commonalities to push forward.

How has your involvement with Democrats Abroad impacted you? (What effect has your involvement with Democrats Abroad had on you?)

It has connected me to amazing leaders abroad. It has given me a chance to take my passion and apply it and find a vent for my frustrations with the current administration.

Has living abroad changed your perspective on social issues and politics within the United States?

Yes, for sure! I lived abroad for many years, and my perspective is constantly being forced to change and adapt.

Can you think of an especially memorable experience with the Democrats Abroad group or a funny anecdote that you'd like to share?

The leadership retreat was unforgettable! 


What's Your 2020 Democratic Resolution?

   

The 2016 election showed us what happens when nearly half of the eligible voters in the U.S. don't vote. The American political process is often exhausting, confusing, and inaccessible, but we can't change that by staying home. The 2018 midterms saw the largest voter turnout in a midterm election in over 100 years, which resulted in major Democratic victories across the country. If we're going to take back the Senate and the White House in 2020, we need to do even better.

Democrats Abroad is dedicated to carrying the hope and success of 2018 into 2020, and we need everyone to commit to not only requesting and returning their absentee ballots, but also getting all the Americans they know (at home and abroad) to vote. 

Are you ready to join the movement? Tell us what your 2020 Democratic Resolutions are! Send us a photo of yourself with your resolution: stuttgart@democratsabroad.de.

You can see other members' photos here.


What Still Unites the U.S.? - A Discussion

By Renee van Amburgh

What still unites the U.S.? On December 12th, Americans and community members gathered at the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum (DAZ) in Stuttgart to find out. Chair of the Stuttgart Chapter of Democrats Abroad, Kelsey McLendon, and Republicans Overseas member Dr. Michael Pierce discussed what could bring the parties together in an era of polarized politics. The lively debate was moderated by communications specialist Gregory Lemon and covered an array of subjects from healthcare, to favorite Christmas movies, to impeachment. 

There was much to hear from the panelists, and there was also active audience engagement by way of questions and comments. Throughout the debate, the messages remained positive and cordial on both sides of the aisle, even when controversial issues were brought to the fore. 

So, what does still unite the U.S.? Many proposals arose during the discussion, but the most salient unifying factor was American values. While the two parties may disagree on policies to actualize those values, how to solve social issues, or what constitutes progress, one thing is certain: our shared values and uniquely American experience still unites us. No matter what corner of the world we live in today, our hearts still beat red, white, and (especially) blue!

Democrats Abroad would like to extend a huge thank you to the DAZ, speakers, audience, and moderator for organizing and participating in this debate!


Member Spotlight Series Dec. 2019 - Tony Moody

In the second edition of our Member Spotlight Series, we're proud to share with you Tony Moody's story. As a military veteran who decided to retire in Germany, Tony spends much of his time traveling and enjoying the European way of life. When he and his wife aren't traveling, Tony is a regular participant at the Stuttgart Chapter meetings. We asked him to share some of his thoughts as a long-standing member of  the group.

Tony Moody

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What brings you abroad? How long have you lived here?

I originally was a soldier, Dept of the Army Civilian and marriage. over 20 years

When you aren’t doing something with Democrats Abroad, what are you doing? What other interests and hobbies do you have?

Traveling, life coaching, and having fun

Were you politically active or interested in politics before moving overseas? If so, how?

Yes I come from a politically active family, My mother participated in the March on Washington and was active in local politics. In our family everyone had to vote. I became more active when I was living in the states for 3 years and participated in Obamas second election.

How long have you been involved in Democrats Abroad? How did you find the organization and why did you join? (What factors influenced your decision to join?)

About seven years. I just looked up certain groups and wanted to check out like minded people.

What are some key issues for you? Where would you like to see Democrats Abroad focus?

Voter suppression and registration, tax reform, prison reform , women's equality, affordable housing and education, and jobs.

With which areas within Democrats Abroad are you involved? In which areas would you like to be more involved?

I have done phonebanking.

What tips do you have for others looking to join or become more involved?

Try it. Come with an open mind and pick and area that you might want to get involved in.

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What do you wish other people knew about Democrats Abroad?

Just what the mission is and what Democrats Abroad actually does to reach back to the U. S.

You were nominated for this spotlight. Why do you think that is?

Well, I offer my opinion on topics I am interested in.

What do you hope Democrats Abroad will achieve in the near future? How about long term?

More members and be recognized for activities back in the U.S.

What motivates you to stay involved?

Topics that affect us all as Americans.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing Democrats today? What challenges do you think are unique to Democrats living abroad?

To put out a clear message to attract members and to have meaningful activities.

How has your involvement with Democrats Abroad impacted you? (What effect has your involvement with Democrats Abroad had on you?)

It has had minimal impact as I am in a continual state of political awareness.

Has living abroad changed your perspective on social issues and politics within the United States?

Oh for sure. The U.S. can learn much from other countries. 

ABOUT THE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Help us celebrate the amazing people who keep DA Stuttgart going! In an effort to reflect the grassroots nature of our organization, the Stuttgart chapter has launched a project called the Member Spotlight Series. Our goal with this project is to highlight the real people showing up to defend our democracy. The selected member will be informally interviewed about their experiences with DA, have a fun photoshoot with a professional photographer, Mitzi Kesterson, and then be featured on the Stuttgart webpage on democratsabroad.org as well as our social media pages.

Do you know someone, a long-standing or brand new member, who deserves to be highlighted? We're taking nominations now for next month's spotlight. Please send your nominations to stuttgart@democratsabroad.de.


Member Spotlight Series Nov. 2019 - Yvonne Najera

DA Stuttgart is excited to present the first post in our latest project, the Member Spotlight Series. This month we're featuring Yvonne Najera. A military veteran, videographer, and two-time Germany resident, Yvonne joined Democrats Abroad in January 2019 and has been active locally, nationally, and regionally ever since. We asked her to share some of her experiences as an American expat and a DA Stuttgart member.

Yvonne Najera

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What brings you abroad? How long have you lived here?

I moved for work opportunities last January.

Were you politically active or interested in politics before moving overseas? If so, how?

The 2016 Women's March sparked my interest and motivated me to become active.

How long have you been involved in Democrats Abroad? How did you find the organization and why did you join? (What factors influenced your decision to join?)

I arrived in Germany January of this year and wanted to participate in the 2019 Women's March because I went to the 2017 & 2018 Marches. I searched online and saw that a group from Stuttgart was going to the Heidelberg March and I contacted the page. I met up with the group at a meeting just prior to the March. I have been going to the monthly meetings ever since.

With which areas within Democrats Abroad are you involved? In which areas would you like to be more involved?

I've just recently joined the Veterans and Military Families Caucus.

What tips do you have for others looking to join or become more involved?

Try out a few meeting or outings.

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

You were nominated for this spotlight. Why do you think that is?

Because I'm new and consistently show up to meetings and events.

What do you hope Democrats Abroad will achieve in the near future? How about long term?

I would hope that more awareness of this organization will tip the voting scales to the Dems in the U.S.

What motivates you to stay involved?

This current administration.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing Democrats today? What challenges do you think are unique to Democrats living abroad?

Dems don't play their politics dirty and it's hard to play with someone who likes to cheat. Remembering that it's our civic duty to always vote no matter where you are.

How has your involvement with Democrats Abroad impacted you? (What effect has your involvement with Democrats Abroad had on you?)

DA has kept me in check so I don't slouch on my civic duty to vote.

Has living abroad changed your perspective on social issues and politics within the United States?

We see a bigger picture of the world and global events. We have a big impact on that world with the people we elect.

ABOUT THE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Help us celebrate the amazing people who keep DA Stuttgart going! In an effort to reflect the grassroots nature of our organization, the Stuttgart chapter has launched a project called the Member Spotlight Series. Our goal with this project is to highlight the real people showing up to defend our democracy. The selected member will be informally interviewed about their experiences with DA, have a fun photoshoot with a professional photographer, Mitzi Kesterson, and then be featured on the Stuttgart webpage on democratsabroad.org as well as our social media pages.

Do you know someone, a long-standing or brand new member, who deserves to be highlighted? We're taking nominations now for next month's spotlight. Please send your nominations to stuttgart@democratsabroad.de.

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New Beginnings for the Bodensee Precinct

by Marisa Schlenker, Bodensee Precinct Captain

It is exciting to have the opportunity to be part of revamping the Bodensee precinct as it gives those of us living in the Bodensee area a chance to come together to work towards the common Democrats Abroad goals. We know that there are Americans living here in this region and our main objective is to reach them to inform them all about the vote from abroad platform. It is so critical that all Americans living abroad know how to vote from abroad and that this nonpartisan platform exists to guide them in the different processes. Apart from informing Americans about voting from abroad and supporting them to have a voice in our government, our precinct will aim to be a space for our members to come together, discuss politics, fundraise, become more informed about different political and social issues and support the Democratic party from afar. 

With our first Meet & Greet planned for September 22nd in Bermatingen, we hope to attract a range of potential members who can join us in designing and reinitiating the precinct, particularly as we move into 2020, a busy election year!

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Get Geared Up For 2020 With A New DA T-Shirt

New DA shirts are in! Let the world know where you stand with a piece of our multi-colored merch. T-shirts cost $15 each and are available in the size and color combinations listed below. Snag one of these at our next chapter meeting on Friday, September 13! Or, because we have a limited quantity, it might also be a good idea to reserve your shirt now by commenting on this post or sending an email to stuttgart@democratsabroad.de. 😉

Democrats Abroad shirts (multicolored)*
❤️ Red - (1) L
🧡 Orange - (1) M; (1) L
💚 Green - (1) S; (1) XL
💙 Blue - (1) XL
💜 Purple - (1) S
💟 Magenta - (1) M

Get Your A$$ to the Polls shirts*
🗳 (1) S; (2) M

*Sizes run a bit large

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