NewsDemocrats Abroad Spain Leadership Candidates 2019
Jim MercereauA fascination for politics dates back to my first wearing a button “i Like Ike” back in the 50’s as a little kid on Staten Island NY. I was finishing up grammar school when I decided that I really liked that JFK guy and have been a Democrat ever since. My youthful activism took the form of taking to the streets in 1968 as the Vietnam War raged on. We lost Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy that year and I had friends coming home in coffins. My first Democratic National Convention in 1968 was on the streets while Daley’s cops were chasing us around the Park across from the convention center. During a long hiatus with a career in medical sales management my activism took the form of sending sending checks to favorite causes. I reengaged while living in NH during the primaries in the late 80’s. In the 90’s canvassing and driving folks to the polls in Manchester was my small part. My political engagement ramped up after the 2000 FL debacle and made a point of spending the last two to three weeks canvassing and poll watching in the deeply red south west coast of FL 2004 -2014. In 2008 at the suggestion of a DA leadership, a bunch of DA folks from across Europe joined by other Democrats from the Northeast we were able to drive up Democratic participation across the west coast of FL and the I-4 corridor a few points so the impact of the Republican voters was dampened, while our Democratic counterparts in Southeast FL brought home a massive vote to assure Obama’s victory. We did a repeat in 2012. Organization and the energy of retail activist’s make a huge difference. The disheartening loss in 2016 was an eye opener. The last few cycles I have had the pleasure of helping members of Democrats Abroad Spain tap their inner activism, and in 2018 we made a massive difference in participation by our membership. Over 78% of our members requested a ballot. 2020 is a must win in the Senate, the House and most importantly the White House. I’m asking for your vote and your activism in whatever form it takes over the next two years. We need a Trump free world. Thank you.
Vice-ChairJessica CraigI am a literary agent for multicultural writers based in Barcelona, but at times can be reached in London or even back Connecticut where I vote. A graduate of Columbia University with a focus on Islamic studies, I earned a BA in Comparative religion. After arriving in Barcelona I joined up with Democrats Abroad Barcelona later to become secretary. I was part of the Barcelona Women's March from its inception. When the horrors of the current administration’s policy toward immigrants from the southern border and the demagoguery of the President and his hench men it moved me to tears. It triggered an activism that was something new for me. It has proven to be quite satisfying and personally empowering. For close to two years I have been organizing demonstrations, workshops and an active WhatApp group with leaders in the US, Europe and Spain for a group now called Immigrant Justice Now. We have coordinated with our Barcelona chapter an emergency mobilization list of folks who turn up to respond the Trump’s crisis of the moment. The immigration crisis on the border has led to the death and incarceration of thousands of children and their families will only be stopped with a change in the White House. I hope you will vote for me as we prepare to mobilize our members and our fellow Americans to bring change in 2020 as we did in 2018.
- Born in Cleveland, OH; lived in Chicago, New York, Honolulu, Miami and Racine, WI; Palmira, Colombia and Barcelona since 2016
- First campaign I worked on and first vote I cast was for McGovern
- Very happily retired psychologist/educator/administrator
- Plenty of time to do things I want to do—like DA stuff
- Lots of writing experience
- I vote in Florida
- I attended my first DA Barcelona meeting within a month or two of moving here. I’ve been active in the group and in our voter registration mission ever since.
I’ve served as secretary of DAS for the past two years. In addition to organizing/scheduling the monthly ExCom calls and writing up the minutes, I assisted with the updating and cleaning of our membership files. I attended the EMEA conference in Madrid and participate on the EMEA monthly calls. I WebEx’d in to the DA Global meeting (in DC) two years ago and have my airline and hotel reservations to attend this year’s meeting in DC in person.
As we’ve been hearing for a few years now, the US is at a pivot point. Under
normal circumstances, I’d sign on to do the casual volunteering I’ve always
done, but the very high stakes now and the exhilarating results of the 2016
cycle have compelled me to step up to a more formal commitment.
Membership in DA Australia, under the inspiring stewardship of Carmelan
Polce, was my introduction to working with the organization. I volunteered
there and I continued volunteering for the Democratic Party once I relocated
to San Francisco, CA, where my main tasks were door-to-door canvassing in
Hispanic communities in Nevada and phonebanking. When I moved to
Valencia, about 1-1/2 years ago, I sought out DA Spain and helped Jim
Mercereau to Rock the Vote ahead of the 2018 election.
I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t informing myself about politics and
engaged in progressive causes. Over time, particularly after the 2000
election, I grew alarmed at the erosion in the US’s stated values of civil
society and rule of law.
While in San Francisco, I formed an organization, Folks for Polk, to give
voice to the majority who supported the City in the face of aggressive
opposition from a self-interested minority. The goal was to support the City
in its intention to follow ‘Liveable Cities’ design principles for a particular
street improvement project. I developed strong skills in attracting,
motivating and managing volunteers; strategizing, social media, and
publicity. These activist skills supplemented my professional experience as
an architect, project manager, and planner, and helped rally like-minded
people and raise our profile.
Valencia is home to an increasing number of American expats. I’d welcome
the chance to strengthen DA Spain’s Valencia Chapter, and help build its
numbers of informed, engaged voter-participants towards 2020.
Thank you for your vote.
Harry was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Harry was a member of the wrestling
team in high school. Upon graduating, he studied international relations and military affairs,
minoring in German and East Asian studies while attending The Citadel, the Military College of
South Carolina on a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship from 2009-2013. He would subsequently
be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army as a logistics officer. Where he was
stationed for four years in Germany. Harry moved to Spain shortly after leaving the army. After
joining Democrats Abroad, he participated as the field director for Rock the Vote’s efforts to
register young Americans living abroad during the 2018 midterm elections.
He is currently a student with a Spanish language school, while at the same time completing a
master’s in emergency and disaster management through Georgetown University. Harry
is living with his girlfriend, Gabriela, and their two cats in Barcelona.
Democrats Abroad Spain Annual General Meeting
The Village Tap Room
c/Martin de los Heros, 28 28008 Madrid
The iconic Plaza España is two blocks away from the location of this year's AGM.
Democrats Abroad Spain was founded in late 2003 in Barcelona. The Madrid chapter celebrates its 15th Anniversary now.
Welcome Reception Friday evening March 29th 7:30 -10 PM Tapas provided, self pay bar.
We will be joined at the welcome reception by the founding president of the Madrid chapter, Alana Moceri who will recall the activism that led to its formation. Alana will reminisce a bit about our early days. During the evening we anticipate one or two video links with Democratic Party activists in the US. Alana will then bring us up to date on the upcoming election in our adopted country. Alana is a Professor at Universidad Europea and an analyst and commentator on the political scene in the US for many Spanish television stations and newspapers. Alana also appears on English speaking networks commenting on Spanish politics.
Annual General Meeting Saturday morning March 30th 10AM to 2PM. Doors open at 9:30 for coffee and conversation.
The meeting will include an update on the activities of DA Spain and the plans leading up to the election.
Julia Bryant chair of DA Global who has led our organization to the largest period of growth in a non-Presidential election will join us through a video link for an update. Julia and her team have been the architects of an incredible social media outreach project.
Steven Tolliver will join us by video link from Barcelona to talk about the ties that bind Democrats and the challenges going into the upcoming primaries and the general election.
Nicole Pearson, events coordinator for the Madrid chapter will lead a panel and discussion we're calling Activating Activism. From the day after the inauguration we've been on the streets marching, we've been resisting, and most importantly we've been getting folks to the ballot box. Some remarkable changes have taken place and it has not been good luck. This panel composed of local activists (Jessica Craig, Tina Samson, and Jim Mercereau) should be a lively and informative discussion. Alana Moceri will augment this session with a review of some of the key organizing principles of that have been effective in change campaigns. Hopefully we will all leave the AGM with some ideas about what we can do as individuals and as members of DA to recapture the Senate and elect a President worthy of leading our great country.
The elections for DA Spain positions will take place for any position not voted on electronically. The results of the online voting will be announced. Lunch to follow. Every member of DA will soon be receiving an electronic ballot which allow folks coming to Madrid and those not coming to participate in the election. Choose the candidates of your choice and then hit submit and your ballot will be counted.
We are trying to get a feel for how many are going to participate in the AGM. Please click here to complete the attached form, and yes there is a maybe. If you are coming from out of town and would like the DA Madrid team to locate a homestay please fill in that part of the form. If you prefer a hotel or Air BnB, the areas of Madrid to search are: Centro, Plaza España, Opera, La Latina. We are well served with Metros, so where ever you end up you will still be pretty close.
We'll break about two for lunch. The lunch with beverage, and the coffee break will cost €15 payable at registration.
Margorie Kanter an early member of DA Madrid has offered her 'Story Walking' tour of her neighborhood, with a little history, a bit of legend and her own writings about places and events in the famous Barrio de las Lettras. The 90 minute+ tour will kick off from Plaza Santa Ana at 5PM and will include a visit to a classic bar to sample your favorite copa. You can learn more about Margie and her walking tour here.
Gil Carbajal, the former chair of DA and a founding member of DA Madrid is a long term resident who first arrived here as a Fulbright scholar. He is well versed in the history of Madrid. He has offered to do a walking tour of Medieval Madrid, including the Opera, Plaza Mayor and the San Isidro Museum. He plans to start around 10AM on Sunday morning. It will last about 90 minutes.
We look forward to welcoming you to Madrid.
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