February 23, 2023

DA Canada Candidate Statements and Voting Information

Thank you to all the candidates for the DA Canada 2023-2025 Board! Please see the election updates and candidate statements below.

The following positions received a single nomination and will be acclaimed and begin to hold these positions at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) March 26, 2023. RSVP for the AGM here.

Chair: Erin Kotecki Vest

Executive Vice Chair: Jacob Wesoky

Co Vice-Chair: Heather Paterson

Co Vice-Chair: Anya Brown

Treasurer: Susan Brennan

Counsel: Alicia Windsor

Membership Secretary: Sue Alksnis

Volunteer Manager: Randi Weitzner

IT Manager: Jessica David

In accordance with the DA Canada Bylaws, the above candidates will also serve as DPCA Voting Representatives. 

As a result of the above candidates’ election by acclamation, we received fewer male or non-binary nominees for DPCA Voting Representative than needed to achieve gender balance in accordance with the DPCA Charter. Accordingly, the following nominees who identify as male will also be acclaimed as DPCA Voting Representatives:

Steve Nardi
David Mivasair
Noah Goldstein
Finn McGrath

The following candidates who identify as female are running for DPCA Voting Representative. Ballots will be circulated by email by March 5, 2023. We received no nominations from non-binary candidates.

Julia Buchanan
Rachel Eugster
Julia Gould
Eden Wein

We will be seeking nominations from the floor at the AGM for the following positions, which received no nominations: Secretary, Programs and Events Manager, and Male/Non-Binary DPCA Voting Representatives. If you would like to run for one of these positions and would like more information, please contact the Nominations and Elections Committee at [email protected] . View the position descriptions here

Candidate Statements

Chair: Erin Kotecki Vest

As the current Canadian Chair who stepped into this position due to the resignation of a previous chair, I feel I am just getting started.

I began my term in what many would agree was a time of turmoil. The entire organization changed how it operates in relation to everything FEC-which is a large part of our work.

I'm proud to say during my tenure I was instrumental in trying new ways to reach voters as we slowly transitioned from all zoom all the time Covid meetings, to actually visiting DACA's chapter's in Vancouver, Victoria & Toronto.

I was responsible for securing a record amount of funding from DA Global for targeted social media ad buys, with "fantastic" results. And that's just a tiny bit of what I can bring to DACA if allowed the honour of serving a full term as chair.

If elected my main priorities will continue to be GOTV, diversity within our membership and leadership and helping DACA continue to grow.

Executive Vice Chair: Jacob Wesoky

Originally from Virginia, I’m a Political Science and International Development student at McGill, and I am a leader in the Democrats at McGill club. I am extremely passionate about US politics and I have worked with Democratic campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. I am especially passionate about state and local politics; although every vote matters and is very important in federal elections, state and local elections are often decided by even smaller margins and, depending on the state, voters from abroad could be the deciding votes in some of these crucial state legislative, gubernatorial, and municipal elections (especially in my home state of Virginia where the whole state legislature is up for election this year). As a student at one of the international universities with one of the highest (if not the highest) concentration of American students abroad in the world, I believe I could be a helpful asset in mobilizing young voters abroad in elections at every level of government. It is more important now than ever that young people have a seat at the table. For more information about my experience, see my Linkedin page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacobwesoky and don’t forget to follow @mcgilldemocrats on Twitter!

Co-Vice Chair: Anya Brown

As a project manager at Democrats at McGill, I have helped facilitate events to improve voter engagement and participation at a school with a very significant American population. Not only that, but I have also helped organize and facilitate many fundraising and community activities in my hometown. Growing up abroad, I watched how my parents got involved in politics and voting and would be honored to be able to provide that same service to Americans living in Canada. Participating in politics is one of the most important things a person can do, and it can be difficult from abroad. It can feel as though you are cut off from the US and that nobody considers the Americans living in other countries. However, I wish to help people realize that that is not true and that they can make a difference, regardless of where they live.

Co-Vice Chair: Heather Paterson

My name is Heather Paterson, and I am an American citizen residing in St. Catharines, Ontario, since 2010. I want to put myself forward for the consideration of Co-Vice-Chair and DPCA Voting Rep.

Over the three years, I have been part of the re-creation of the Niagara Chapter. I have also been on executive committees for community organizations such as Peninsula Orchestra and service clubs like Kin Canada. This experience places me in a unique position to understand how Democrats Abroad works on a National level. 

These past election cycles have given Democrats Abroad a leg up in showing that just because Americans are not living in The States any longer does not mean they do not care deeply about their hometowns. The increase in voters from different countries shows that the world is watching. Americans should do their part to make our voices heard, no matter where they are. 

The range of experience I have had in the past few years illustrates my dedication to growing this organization. One of my goals is to get people engaged in meaningful activities that make them feel part of a community and to keep the momentum going. I am committed to meeting the challenges that await us in the coming years.

I look forward to continuing to be part of the leadership team.

Treasurer: Susan Brennan

I am a dual US-Canadian citizen who was raised in the Chicago area and votes in Cook County. I hold a BA Mathematics from Mundelein College (now part of Loyola University) and hold a Non-Profit Management Certificate from SFU. I have lived in Canada since 1971.  

*** Long History with DA 

A member since 2002, I have served on the board of the Vancouver chapter since 2013 - as Community Outreach Secretary (2013-2017) and as Chair (2017-2021). 

I have represented Canada as a DPCA voting rep since 2017, and I have served as Canada's Membership Secretary for 4+ years. I recently re-joined the global DA IT team.

*** Why I Am Running for Treasurer and DPCA Rep

I want to support DA by ensuring our donations and finances are kept up-to-date. While not having a designation, as a software professional, I have designed, developed, and installed accounting software as well as trained staff. I am also very experienced with spreadsheets. For the past 4 years, I have been my husband's bookkeeper in his comic book store. 

I would be very grateful for your continued support as I seek this new role as treasurer and continue as a DPCA rep.

Counsel: Alicia Windsor

I am a Floridian currently living in the Halton Region of Ontario after relocating to Canada in 2018. I am licensed to practice law in Ontario, Florida, the US District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of Florida, and the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. I attended New College of Florida, an institution I deeply love and which is currently being used by members of the GOP as a political tool. Watching what is happening at New College has reinforced my belief in the importance of staying involved politically and inspired me to become more active in Democrats Abroad. I am looking forward to serving as Counsel for Democrats Abroad in Canada and working with you to improve the lives of Americans – no matter where we may choose to live.

Membership Secretary: Sue Alksnis

With your support, I would be honoured to be elected as Membership Secretary and/or DPCA Voting Member.

Professional experience:

  • Member, volunteer, donor, and alumni records management
  • Volunteer management
  • Fundraising
  • Media Relations

Dems Abroad experience (selected):

  • Current Secretary for DA Canada (former Member at Large)
  • Engaged DPCA Voting Member since 2017, writing resolutions, participating in DPCA decision making, and enthusiastically lobbying Congress members
  • A leading co-founder of the Global Progressive Caucus, former inaugural Co-Chair and current Vice Chair
  • Toronto Chapter Board, 2017-2019
  • Several Nominations and Elections Committees at the chapter and regional level
  • Canada’s 2020-21 bylaws working committee
  • 2019 committee on DA Canada’s process for DPCA elections


  • Equity, diversity, inclusion and justice lens

Volunteer Manager: Randi Weitzner

My name is Randi Weitzner and I am submitting my name for Canada DPCA voting representative.  I have been the Quebec Chair for 4 years, did a 10-month stint as Canada Chair, and did all things GOTV during this last midterm cycle – call hub calling, call hub training, and support, voter assistance, intercom, and zoom rooms.  I have attended the DA Americas meetings and my fair share of Global ExCom meetings as well. 

I would like to add to my experience with DA and have more of an impact at the Global level and “have a voice at the table” where Canada is concerned.  Being elected as a DPCA voting rep will facilitate that aim.

I look forward to working with the Canada Board, the other Canada DPCA voting reps and all of the DPCA voting reps from all of the countries worldwide as Democrats Abroad continues its work.  

IT Manager: Jessica David

I am running for re-election of my position on the DA Canada board for 2023 -- 2025 & wish to continue the work and help I've been able to provide DA. Since joining DA I have assisted in running Zoom calls, created and set up email addresses & forwarding, maintained our back-end web systems, procured secure password storage, and volunteered as technical assistance at our global meetings. I am excited to continue in this position as we proceed into a critical 2024 election year.

In my personal experience, I have been working in tech for over 10 years and currently work as a data engineer. I am interested in how technology is used to automate decisions and ethics in artificial intelligence. I'm excited to continue to bring my technical knowledge to Democrats Abroad global meetings for any technical-based motions we wish to adopt. Thank you for your consideration!


Female DPCA Voting Representative Candidates

Julia Buchanan

I have been active at the leadership level of Democrats Abroad Canada, and Democrats Abroad Toronto since 2009. I have also served at the global level on several committees over the years and several terms as DPCA Voting Representative. Feel free to email me with any questions [email protected]

Rachel Eugster

Born in Washington DC, I have lived in Maryland, Virginia, and Massachusetts. A dual citizen, I have resided in Ottawa for 20+ years.

In 2008, I served on the advisory committee that revived DA’s Canada’s Capital Region chapter (then Ottawa-Gatineau) and guided it into 2014. Elected as a DPCA Voting Representative in 2019, I participated two months later in the last Global Meeting held in person (Washington, D.C.).

In 2019, I became co-chair of the Canada’s Capital Region, and David Schellenberg and I launched DA’s podcast, the Blue Vote Café (60+ episodes to date). 

I served on DA Global’s 2020 Platform and 2021 Nominations and Elections committees; sat on DA Canada’s 2020 Election Watch and 2021 Inauguration Celebration committees; and spearheaded the collection of celebrity videos supporting blue votes in 2020

I have sat on three school councils (co-chairing two); a community association board, and the board of a local theatre. I advise the executive of the Canada East chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I have volunteered on six campaigns for municipal council, and have been a poll supervisor in Ontario elections.

I would be honored to be reelected as a DPCA Voting Rep.

[email protected]

Julia Gould

Julia is a Political Science undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. She believes that voter rights advocacy is a cornerstone of the Democratic process. She acknowledges the requirements of the voter representative position and commits to participate in Democrats Abroad meetings in person and through teleconference.

Eden Wein

I am running to be a DCPA Voting Representative because, as a college student studying here in Toronto, I believe I provide a unique perspective on matters pertaining to Americans living in Canada while staying involved in U.S. politics. I am a political science student, and I hope to return to the U.S. and work in politics after school. I have organized with the democratic party in my home state of Arizona and worked with many Get Out The Vote Organizations. Additionally, I was an intern in Senator Mark Kelly's office last summer. Democrats Abroad Toronto has made voting abroad and staying involved in U.S. politics so much less daunting, which is why I am running to help continue this work.

Male DPCA Voting Representative Candidates

Steve Nardi

Dear Democrats Abroad Canada Members,

My name is Steve Nardi, and I am running for the position of DPCA Voting Representative. As an active volunteer for over ten years and a former Chair and Past-Chair of DemsAbroad Canada, I deeply understand the organization and its mission to encourage American citizens abroad to participate in the election process and protect their rights.

Throughout my tenure, I have been dedicated to supporting DemsAbroad's activities. I have consistently attended in-person and virtual global meetings since 2015 to ensure that I am informed and able to make informed decisions for the direction of the DPCA on behalf of our membership. As your Voting Representative, I will continue to prioritize the mission of DemsAbroad and work tirelessly to ensure that all Americans abroad have the resources and support they need to engage in the political process.

I am honored to be running for this position and would be grateful for your support and vote. Let's continue building a solid and engaged community of Democrats abroad and make our voices heard.

Thank you for your consideration.

David Mivasair

I have been active in Democrats Abroad since 2008, in Japan, Vancouver and Hamilton. On the Vancouver exec for several years, I have chaired the Hamilton chapter for four years while serving as a DPCA voting rep.

I was an alternate delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention. In 2008, I personally registered over 300 U.S. citizens to vote.  Now retired, I have more time and energy for Dems Abroad.

My focus is on how we can best achieve positive electoral outcomes in 2024. My strengths are in communications and organizing. I have organized dozens of voter registration events. In 2018, I organized nearly 40 DA Canada members to canvass in four Congressional swing districts in the U.S. In 2020, I organized events that raised our profile in nearly all mainstream media in Canada. I will continue to reach U.S. citizens in Canada who are not yet involved.

As a DCPA voting representative, I will bring DA Canada's perspective to the DPCA and help the Democratic Party toward successes in the critical 2024 election cycle.

I want to hear concerns, questions and suggestions from members across Canada and invite you to contact me at any time.

Noah Goldstein

My name is Noah Goldstein and I am a third-year student at the University of Toronto. I am from New York and am a dual citizen living here in Toronto. At UofT, I founded a club called Vote From Abroad to help get students registered on campus, and help them secure their absentee ballots. I am looking forward to getting more involved!

Finn McGrath

My name is Finn Mcgrath and I am a 2nd year engineering student with an interest in political science and the former president of the Democratic society at McGill University in Montreal. As the executive officer I chaired general meetings, oversaw a team of 12 project managers and 300ish general member population. Our role is to plan a vast variety of outreach events to reach and register students on campus. I also worked closely with the DA Quebec chair to help reach Americans beyond the McGill campus, and I was focused on integrating Quebec chapter with our university club.

I am originally from Texas but I have spent most of my life in Cape Town South Africa and I have been part of DA since I was old enough to vote. I have utilized the resources of DA to vote from 2 different countries across 3 different elections, so I have great admiration for this association and would love to be a part of its Canadian chapter.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/finn-mcgrath-9a8589246/

On behalf of the Nominations and Elections Committee, thank you to all of the candidates.

Danielle Stampley, Chair
Tim Ellis, Teller
Mari Rutka
Ken Sherman
Tim Smith