March 27, 2022

DA Canada - Annual General Meeting + Candidate Statements

The DA Canada Annual General Meeting and Elections are coming up!

Join us at 2:00 PM EDT on Saturday, April 30, 2022 for the DA Canada AGM. We will meet online to celebrate the accomplishments of our volunteers in 2021, share opportunities to help win the Midterm elections, hear from special speakers, announce the results of our 2022 Board vacancy elections, and take nominations from the floor for open positions, including the Executive Vice Chair position.

View the Candidate Statements below for several open Board member positions we will be electing. We will be taking nominations from the floor for Executive Vice Chair. If you are interested, you can view the position descriptions and call for nominations here. Email the Nominations and Elections Committee with any questions here: [email protected].

Voting will be taking place electronically, and the Nominations and Election Committee will circulate ballots in advance of the AGM. Keep an eye out in your email for your Ballot, which will be sent out by April 9, 2022 and voting will close on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 2 pm ET.

Looking forward to seeing you at the AGM! And please be sure to vote when you receive your ballot.

Best regards,

DA Canada Nominations & Elections Committee 2022

Danielle Stampley

Tim Smith

Steve Nardi, Teller

Sue Alksnis

Candidate Statements

For positions with multiple candidates, they are listed in the order nominations were received.

To comply with the DA Canada Bylaws, DA Charter, and policies of the Democratic National Committee, the Country Chair and the Executive Vice Chair shall be of different sexes, as declared by each candidate in advance of the election. We must also have gender balance with respect to our DPCA Voting Representatives. 


Candidate: Erin Kotecki Vest


Social media: @QueenofSpain


After serving as DACA Vice Chair, Erin is currently the interim Canadian Chair. 

She has spent her career as a journalist, commentator, activist, political pundit & social media strategist. As a broadcast journalist, Erin covered the LA & Orlando markets, winning six Golden Mic Awards. 

She then joined BlogHer Inc., as Social Media Strategist, Political Director. 

She has briefed the (Obama) White House & Congressional personnel on ways to reach and engage women online. She was invited to the White House several times over both terms of the Obama Admin, not only to brief senior staff on the critical engagement of women via the web, but also to attend the first ever Twitter Town Hall & an intimate economic round table. However Erin's most memorable visit was bringing her husband & two children along in order to lobby for Lupus research funds. 

As a public speaker Erin has addressed audiences nationwide, including SXSW. Her keynotes & insights have been documented in several best sellers by authors like Brian Solis, Shel Israel & countless anthologies featuring stories of parenthood. 

She has frequently been a featured contributor/pundit with national media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, ABC, the Katie Couric Show & more. 

"As DACA Chair, I hope to build on the strength of the years of hard work of all the volunteers before me and count on their wisdom to keep Canada strong, influential and key in getting out the vote from abroad." - Erin Kotecki Vest 


Candidate: None - we will call for candidates at the AGM. Email the Nominations and Elections Committee if you are interested. [email protected] Because we only have one candidate for Chair, and she identifies as Female, this candidate has to be male according to Democrats Abroad and DNC rules.


Candidate: Julia O Buchanan



Hi I am Julia (Julie) O’Neal Buchanan, Mobilian (AL) voting in Tennessee, living in the GTA 22 years and am in my 13th year of holding leadership roles in Democrats Abroad. 

From the Democrats Abroad Canada bus trip to President Obama's inauguration in 2009 to the Presidential win in 2020, I have been there, serving in leadership positions. 

I am consistently inspired by the influx of new, talented and committed volunteers and happy to offer my experience (over ten positions held in varied levels of Democrats Abroad) to support the team by serving as Vice-Chair of Canada. 

I'm stepping up, again, to help this team make a difference in the Mid-Terms. If we don't win this, we lose Democracy as we know it. 

Candidate: Kimberly Johnson



Kimberly Johnson is a California native who misses the sea breeze and her favourite Mexican food but is happy to call Edmonton, AB her adopted home. Shocked and disturbed by the 2016 election results, she felt compelled to pursue a more active role at Democrats Abroad through volunteering & leadership. From 2017 to 2019, Kimberly was the Communications Director at DA Edmonton. In 2019 she became DA Edmonton Chapter Chair and was re-elected in 2021 for her second term. Under her leadership, DA Edmonton’s social media profile has expanded, the chapter community has grown and a library of chapter resources is growing. Proudly in 2021, under her leadership—for the first time in Alberta history—the Edmonton chapter elected a full board. Currently, Kimberly serves on the Pennsylvania State Team as the Communications Manager and is in the process of forming the Indigenous Voices Caucus. Kimberly looks forward to supporting DA Canada’s GOTV efforts in a critical midterm year, providing chapter support across the country, reinforcing institutional archives and fostering community building in her role as vice chair.

Candidate: Lewis Luo


Social Media: Lewis Luo (Twitter) @AcrossNation


Throughout the years to be with Democrats Abroad (DA) and the society of expat-American in Canada, I got chance to learn, to experience and to assist in events, webinars and workshops, such as FVAP, DA participated Ottawa parade, vote abroad sign-posting, DA outreach on-site registration, phone call campaign in Federal elections etc. The process of democratic engagement and fulfillment is more meaningful to me than comments or judge who is winner or loser. Moreover, the policy recommendations to elected officials would be more responsible to voters in general sense. 

I’m interested in this position of VP, cause I believe I can be of more help far beyond as one visible minority or AAPI American community, which equity, diversity and inclusion would be a must in our democratic practice, our constitution rights, and our value of DA society. The people of color are not quite yet as atmosphere as their white folks in elections, the accounting-numbers are matter of the most, but! They determined who or which party is going to win, somebody says so! I agree, people simply can’t under-estimated the reality. “As Americans of all races and creeds living abroad and stateside, our right to vote is not a forgone conclusion,” Dr. King Jr. said. 

I will support the DACA Chair in as many as meaningful ways in the election circle, to make efforts to acknowledge American and their relatives can vote as residing abroad, and the easy way they'll choose to do so, online or mailing or dropping off in Toronto U.S. Consultants General location, which I’ve done couple of times. Thank you for your consideration!


Candidate: Nancy Baron


Social media: 


With a marketing, events, and project management background and a passion for democratic causes, I believe that I can bring a wealth of experience to the Program & Events Manager role. I hope you’ll consider me for the position. 

I’ve organized and promoted projects and events for a variety of for and non-profit organizations over the years, including presence at industry conferences; fundraising events; webinars; product and campaign launches; and community action. 

I enjoy leveraging my tech skills from my day job for Democratic causes. I worked on the help desks for both Beto for Texas (2018) and Vote from Abroad (2020). In both cases, I used my knowledge to analyze how the software was being used and made recommendations to optimize the tech setup and processes to make the best, most efficient use of the software. In 2020, I implemented the VFA Intercom workflows to identify incoming emails by battleground state and assign them to dedicated views. I also created the FWAB explainer videos (short and long) to walk folks through the process of submitting their Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, as well as spending some time phone banking. 

I was a key member of a Vermont “localvore” organization, helping to put together community-wide dinners to promote local food that involved coordination with neighborhood restaurants, promotion, ticket sales, and donations. 

I also spent some time as the program manager of a non-profit Vermont ag loan fund. In addition to managing the loan process, it was my job to promote the fund to donors, borrowers, partner programs, and press; run the fundraising campaigns; tell borrower stories; and recruit new borrowers. While there, I stood up the Salesforce donor database and loan management software. 

I’d love to put my skills to work for DA Canada in this position!

Candidate: Mari Rutka



This morning, I read an opinion piece by a Russian dissident. He said they should have done more to oppose what was happening politically in Russia. It is a lesson we should all take to heart. I'm not too fussy about how I help, but I do want to help do more to support good government in the US. Previously, I've acted as secretary for our Toronto chapter. I've also been a public school trustee for 3 terms for the city of Toronto. In that role, I have led and taken part in organizing many events, including a conference for 2000 educators. I would be glad to bring this background to organizing programs and events for Democrats Abroad. Thanks very much for your consideration.


Candidate: David Hoyt



I previously was a DPCA Voting Rep, 2019-2021, and served on the Executive of the Vancouver chapter for 2013-2021

Candidate: Dianna H English


Social media: Twitter: @diannahenglish


Democrats Abroad has been a vital community for all of us over the last few years. I joined the Toronto Chapter after moving here in 2019, eager to make a meaningful contribution to the 2020 election. After a decade in public service, including at the U.S. Department of State and the Obama White House, I needed to connect to the fight to restore a progressive agenda in the United States. Democrats Abroad became my home and community in this effort. As the Toronto Chair and the Communications Officer for Canada, I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to contribute and get to know Democrats Abroad members within Toronto and across Canada. 

I’m running now to serve as an Alternate DPCA Representative, as I’ve learned more about Democrats Abroad and DNC structure. The DPCA Representatives serve a critical function within our own democratic process. I’m eager to serve in this elected and official capacity to support our own decision making and help support the DA Canada bench as we push towards the 2022 midterms.