Canada Legal Counsel / Toronto Chapter Chair / DPCA Voting Rep

  • Call for Candidates for DA Toronto Co-Vice Chair for 2020!

    Due to a resignation in 2019, we are looking for male/male-identifying/non-binary candidates to volunteer to serve as Co-Vice Chair of the Democrats Abroad Toronto Board for the 2020-2021 term. (Our DA Charter and the DA Canada Bylaws require Chapters to have a Vice-Chair of a different sex from the Chapter Chair (currently female), which is why this position has a restriction on who can run.)

    Serving on the Board is a great way to take action and make a difference in 2020. We will be organizing debate watches, running a polling place for the Democrats Abroad Presidential Primary, and most importantly Getting Out the Vote for 2020!

    The Co-Vice Chair performs the following role:

    In the absence of the Chapter Chair, either of the Co-Vice Chairs shall call and preside at meetings of members and of the Executive Committee. The Co-Vice Chairs shall have such other duties as chairing one or more committees. The Co-Vice Chairs shall work with the Chair to ensure all responsibilities approved by and on behalf of the organization are supervised and executed appropriately.

    Submit you nomination here by January 12, 2020.

    The voting will take place online during February and at the DA Toronto Annual General Meeting on February 25, 2020. Further details of the AGM will be sent in January 2020 according to our Bylaws.

    If you have any questions about what's involved and whether this is a good fit for you, email us at


  • rsvped for LGBTQ+ Happy Hour 2019-12-17 11:28:06 -0500

    LGBTQ+ Happy Hour

    Join DA Toronto for an LGBTQ+ Caucus reboot!

    Come out, be proud, and meet other Dems Abroad for this casual meetup social event. We will be meeting up at O'Grady's on Church, in the heart of the Village. Folks of all identities, allies, friends, and partners welcome.


    January 31, 2020 at 6pm
    O'Grady's on Church
    518 Church St
    Toronto, ON M4Y 2C8
    Google map and directions
    14 rsvps rsvp

  • published Dealing With Challenges to Choice in News 2019-07-02 15:53:44 -0400

    Dealing With Challenges to Choice

    The DA Toronto Women's Caucus brings members together on a key issue

    A group of about 20 Democrats Abroad Toronto members, all women except for one, gathered over a June 9 potluck dinner to discuss strategies for resistance to the anti-choice laws that have been recently enacted in Alabama and elsewhere.  The Alabama law, which is the most restrictive in the nation, would outlaw nearly all abortions and make performing an abortion a felony.  Legislators in a number of other states, including Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Ohio have also recently passed bills limiting women’s right to terminate a pregnancy.  It has become evident that the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is not an adequate protection of American women’s ability to control their own bodies.

    The pro-choice potluck dinner was graciously hosted by Toronto Board Secretary Mari Rutka at her home.  The comfortable atmosphere enabled people to talk about their own lives.  Toronto Women’s Caucus Chair Karin Lippert noted that “bringing women together, especially at a potluck in someone’s home, just like a quilting bee or a consciousness-raising group, gives women an opportunity to talk about their personal experiences.  The story telling builds solidarity. It leads to unity, determination, and action.”

    Jennie Toby, one of the participants in the dinner and discussion, talked about her stance on women’s right to choose this way: “I believe it is incredibly important that women have the right to choose what is best for them.  The nuances and considerations that get factored in when making such an important decision, such as to continue or terminate a pregnancy, rest solely within the realm of the woman and her day to day life.  No one can possibly know what that woman’s life is like, what her situation is, or what she should do.  I do not and cannot support any laws that remove that choice from a woman.  To do so is to remove any faith and trust in a woman’s capacity to make an informed choice about her life and future.”

    Much of the discussion at the potluck focused on ways to make the case for women’s right to choose.  We know that we have made the case many times before, but laws related to choice never seem to get finally settled.  Therefore, it is vital to keep showing why protection of the freedom to choose is the only fair and just way to proceed.  We agreed that we might be able to change people’s minds about choice, not by making theoretical arguments, but by telling stories and asking questions.  We can ask: what would you do in this impossibly difficult situation?  We can tell stories about why women make the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy.  We concluded our discussion by writing postcards to our Congressional representatives, urging them to uphold the right to choice.

    *Thanks to Toronto Board Member Virginia Smith for writing this post.


  • published Congratulations to the new Toronto Board! in News 2019-06-16 22:50:28 -0400

    Congratulations to the new Toronto Board!

    At the 2019 AGM, the DA Toronto membership elected the following members to its 2019-2020 Board:

    • Danielle Stampley, Chair 
    •  Karin Lippert, Vice Chair 
    •  Reg Charney, Treasurer 
    •  Mari Rutka, Secretary 
    •  Janette McCabe, Member at Large 
    •  Brooke Scott, Member at Large
    • Kate Leuschen-Millar, Member at Large 
    • Sam Rowan, Member at Large 
    • Stephanie Perry, Member at Large
    • Ed Ungar, Member at Large
    • Arielle Loeb, Member at Large
    • Virginia Smith, Member at Large

    They all look forward to serving the chapter members as we approach the 2020 election. Ever forward!


  • published Spring Cleaning - $20 for 2020 Fundraiser in News 2019-04-30 14:18:20 -0400

    Spring Cleaning - $20 for 2020 Fundraiser

    Julie Buchanan, our past DA Toronto Chair, has been doing some spring cleaning and would like to offer a deal to our members for some of our 'vintage' T-Shirts in our $20 for 2020 Fundraiser. T-shirts and swag will be sent straight to your shipping address, via Canada Post.

    Sign up here! Help support our Get Out the Vote efforts for 2020!


  • Cheering the 2018 mid-terms winners and all the candidates

    Hundreds of Toronto-based Democrats Abroad (DA) members crowded into the Madison pub on November 6, 2018 to celebrate the party’s gains in 2018 and their own efforts to change the balance of power in Washington by helping to flip the control of the House of Representatives.

    Democrats Abroad Toronto exerted unprecedented efforts to reach U.S. absentee voters by staffing a call centre based in the Cadillac Fairview Tower for two months before Election Day. The centre operated from noon to 9 pm seven days a week. A total of 150 volunteers made 20,000 calls from the centre. Toronto’s centre was primarily managed by DA member Arjun Gupta, who assisted volunteers with the use of the centre’s computers and the scripts used to motivate the members who were reached.

    Mari Rutka, a dedicated volunteer making calls.

    Call centre volunteers talked to Democrats based in Mexico, Italy, France, and countries around the globe. Volunteers were energized as they conversed about common concerns with Americans who were living thousands of miles or, in some cases, half a world away. On election day, one young volunteer spent over 12 hours calling U.S.-based members in Ohio and Texas.

    Volunteers on Election Day making calls from the Call Centre. Photo Credit: Peter Bregg Photography

    The high spirits that fueled this mid-term election effort were evident in the great throng that gathered at the Madison as the results were announced. The proceedings included the sale of buttons and “It’s Mueller Time” T-shirts to enthusiastic party members. Democrats were exuberant when the announcement came that the party had won control of the House. There was some regret about the outcomes for Andrew Gillum, Beto O’Rourke, and Stacey Abrams, but we were also certain that there is a “next time” for these candidates.

    Toronto chapter vice-chair Danielle Stampley told the cheering crowd that the voter contact effort this year was the “biggest success ever for a mid-term.” Stampley summed up the DA mid-term experience this way: "Because of our amazing volunteers, we exceeded expectations getting out the vote this year. We are thrilled that our efforts paid off and we flipped the House. Now, we are ready for 2020."

    By Virginia Smith


  • signed up on Progressive Caucus Signup 2018-02-12 11:56:04 -0500

  • signed up on Women's Caucus 2017-03-05 20:25:01 -0500

  • signed up on Join 2016-11-14 17:21:04 -0500

Employment and Labour lawyer - wannabe do-gooder - American in Canada