France

We Are Democrats Abroad France

We are one of the largest and oldest country committees of Democrats Abroad — the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of Americans living outside the United States. We are a volunteer-based organization with a presence across France.

Our Mission: To provide Americans living in France a voice in US politics back home, and to help elect Democrats by mobilizing the overseas vote.

Our Chapters: Wherever you are in France, there is a chapter with events and community for our members. Click on a link to find a local chapter:

Avignon

Bordeaux

Brittany

Grenoble

Lyon

Marseille

Montpellier

Normandy

Paris

Riviera

Strasbourg

Toulouse

Our Caucuses: We have several active caucuses that focus on specific constituencies:

Our DPCA Voting Representatives: The DPCA Voting Delegation of DA France is tasked with the responsibility of carrying our twelve DPCA votes and weighing in on matters of our global organization Democrats Abroad, (officially, the Democratic Party Committee Abroad, or DPCA) such as Global elections, DNC elections, Charter Amendments, and Resolutions, and other business of our state party. The members of the DA France DPCA Voting Delegation are:

  • Danielle Follett, National Chair
  • Max Dunitz, National Vice Chair
  • Gretchen Pascalis, National 2nd Vice Chair
  • Ada Shen, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Jerry Zellhoefer, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Camille Canter, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Jim Christiansen, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Connie Borde, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Juan Cerda, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Meredith Wheeler, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Alex Rehbinder, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Marjorie Bernstein, DPCA Voting Rep
  • Ricky Marc, Alternate DPCA Voting Rep
  • Susan Fitoussi, Alternate DPCA Voting Rep

To contact DA France's DPCA Voting Representatives, please use this email address: [email protected]

Our Activities: These range from monthly get-togethers, lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and guest speakers to political rallies and marches!  And more…

  • Bookmark our Events and News pages to stay up-to-date on what is happening near you.
  • Follow us on social media!

    

Get Involved! Open to all US citizens living in France who identify with the Democratic goals, and want to help elect more and better Democrats in US elections!

BECOME A MEMBER

GET INVOLVED

DONATE

PRESS

Please consider DONATING to Democrats Abroad France. Your generosity helps Democrats Abroad France make sure that Americans living in France vote and make a difference in US elections. Every donation counts!

Questions? Don't hesitate to contact us.

DA France Leadership:

Danielle Follett
| National Chair, DA France (DPCA)
Gretchen Pascalis
| National Second Vice Chair, DA France; Grenoble Vice Chair (DPCA)
Max Dunitz
| National Vice Chair, DA France (DPCA)
Marjorie Bernstein
| National Treasurer, DA France (DPCA)
See all Leaders


  • News

    2021 DA France National Election Results

    Please join us in congratulating our 2021-2023 National Officers and Voting Representatives for Democrats Abroad France! Thank you to all the amazing candidates who stepped up to #RunForSomething! 

    National Officers

    National Chair – Jonathon Holler. Jonathon supports the Equal Rights Amendment, Medicare for All, and strengthened labor unions, and a DPCA charter providing for more equitable voting and more inclusive gender parity rules.

    First Vice-Chair – Danielle Follett. Dani is committed to continuing the work DAF accomplished to broaden the organization by welcoming new voices, expanding membership and raising voter turnout.

    Second Vice-Chair (Chapter Liaison) - Drew Lombardi. Based on his past organizing experience in New York and Boston, Drew plans to launch a “50 state strategy” across all 12 local chapters to boost active engagement, recruit new members and deliver decisive electoral victories to Democrats.

    Secretary – Alejandra Roman. New to France, Alejandra was DA Mexico City chapter Membership Chair and aided GOTV efforts leading up to the 2020 elections. 

    Treasurer – Marjorie Bernstein. A past Treasurer and Secretary of DA France, Marj will apply her qualities of thoroughness, dedication, and enthusiasm (as well as her degree in Mathematics!) to her reprised role as Treasurer.

    Counsel – Julia Grégoire. Julia is licensed to practice law in both France and the US and begins her second term as Counsel. She has assisted with two thorough revisions of the DA France Bylaws and ensured compliance with French law governing non-profit organizations.

    Database/IT Manager – Max Dunitz. Max begins his second term as Database/IT Manager. He added many new tools to our digital organizing toolkit, from peer-to-peer texting to state voter file data to inform voters about ballot deadlines, rejected ballots, and voter assistance options.

    GOTV Officer - Dori Schwartz-Laboune. During the 2020 election cycle Dori recruited and engaged volunteers, doing outreach and phone/text banking. She is committed to increasing our efforts to turn out voters for the midterm primaries and 2022 elections.

    Communications Officer – Amy Porter. Amy’s objectives are to build out the Comms team; coordinate the use of our multiple channels—social media, website, email—for recruiting new members, increasing current member engagement levels and helping members to vote, and to work closely with the chapters and caucuses in support of their communications efforts.

    Issues, Program and Events Coordinator – Gretchen Pascalis. A founding member of the DA France Rhone-Alps chapter (now Grenoble) and organizer of many memorable events in her region, Gretchen believes that events make organizations come alive, energize and inform members, and help recruit new members.

    Membership Outreach / Volunteer Coordinator – Florent Marchais. Flo has a record of dynamic, energetic youth organizing in Texas and France. In his new role, he plans to engage alongside the GOTV and Events officers to mobilize volunteers to participate in phone-banking, social-media activism, and in-person volunteering and rallying in solidarity for international causes like climate action and Black Lives Matter.

    DPCA Voting Representatives

    Ada Shen 

    Max Dunitz

    Camille Canter

    Jerry Zellhoefer

    Connie Borde

    Jim Christiansen

    Meredith Wheeler

    Juan Cerda

    Marjorie Bernstein

    Alex Rehbinder (Alternate)

    Susan Fitoussi (Alternate)

    Ricky J. Marc (Alternate)

    Gretchen Pascalis (Alternate)

    read more

    The 2020 Election Media Whirlwind

    The French media has always had a fascination with the American presidential election system. Every four years, they trot out “US experts” who explain the arcane Electoral College to their baffled French viewers, and point out what the red and blue areas on the map mean. And, being French, they engage in one of their favorite exercises: moderating debates. 

    We had a hunch that French media interest in the 2020 US Presidential election would be particularly intense, and we wanted to ensure that we were ready to meet the triple challenge of explaining the role of Democrats Abroad in helping overseas Americans vote, educating the French public about the American election system, and promoting the Biden-Harris ticket as well as the down-ballot Democratic candidates. To do so, the  DAFrance national leadership prioritized expanding the experienced spokespersons pool so that it better represented the diversity of our leadership and our regional geography. 

    If you’ve never been a press spokesperson, you probably can’t imagine what a perilous exercise it can be to go on live TV and radio to answer questions from journalists who excel in getting their guests to say something controversial. You must be careful about every word that comes out of your mouth, because you are there not to give your personal opinion, but rather to “carry the word” of the organization you represent. [The French word for spokesperson– “porte-parole”– expresses this perfectly.] 

    To be an effective spokesperson for an organization such as Democrats Abroad, there are many elements to master: knowing what to say, knowing how to say it, answering difficult questions, and, of course, skillfully wielding the spokesperson’s specialty: NOT answering certain questions, but rather pivoting to a slightly different topic. (If you’ve ever watched a politician being interviewed and thought “well, what he just said was interesting, but he didn’t really answer the question”, you know what a pivot is.) 

    So, the DA France leadership and Comms team recruited leaders who had relevant experience, or were willing to learn, and would have the time to devote to the team’s effort once the requests started pouring in. We set up a training program, led by former professional spokesperson, Amy Porter. It quickly became clear to all that you don’t magically become a media spokesperson: it involves training, homework and practice.

    From top left (clockwise): Joe Smallhoover, Philip Breeden, Amy Below, Didier Moutou, Gretchen Pascalis, Kate Barrett, Julia Grégoire, Fred Hoffman, Amy Porter.

    Our team of 18 trained spokespeople, reaching every corner of l'Hexagone, was comprised of diverse profiles: from teachers and fitness coaches to former State Department staffers, lawyers, and constitutional law experts. They each attended practice sessions where we tried our darndest to get them flustered! Armed with frequently updated Talking Points, the team handled more than 130 media hits by election day, of which 100 were done between November 3rd and 8th. In this whirlwind of activity, some spokespeople did as many as 5 interviews per day, including:

    • Panel discussions, interviews, and debates with Republicans.
    • National media outlets, such as LCI, BFM, M6, FranceInfo, RTL, FranceInter, France24, Libération and Le Parisien as well as numerous local television, radio stations and newspapers.

    The appetite for debates in the French media was seemingly endless, as was the stream of Republican spokespeople. But we outmatched them: the people invited to TV studios had not benefited from the professional training that our spokespeople had undergone, and were armed only with “alternative facts” and conspiracy theories. In that respect, they accurately represented their candidate… Some of those debates got a “bit” heated. But our team rose to the occasion time and again, showing calmly and patiently that truth prevails over lies.

    We continued to comment on the election results through mid-November, and expected a quiet few weeks until Inauguration Day. That calm came to an abrupt halt with the Capitol Insurrection on Jan. 6th, which we were compelled to comment on in real time as the events of the day unfolded! No amount of training or talking points could have prepared us for that… But we persisted, and were again asked to comment on TV, radio and print through the Biden-Harris Inauguration Day, doing an additional 49 hits in January, after which we all breathed a collective sigh of relief.

    Here are a few examples of DA France spokespeople in action (and a trip down memory lane):

    November 1: Le Progrès (Lyon) with Diane Sklar

    November 4: France 24 with Amy Below

    November 5: France 3 (Paris/IdF) with Didier Moutou

    November 6: FranceInfo with Fred Hoffman

    November 7: France 24 with Gretchen Pascalis

    November 7: Libération with Ada Shen and Amy Porter

    November 8: BFM with Philip Breeden

    January 19: 20 Minutes (Toulouse) with Scott Stroud

    January 20: LCI with Julia Grégoire

    February 9: LCI with Amy Porter

    DA France is proud of the work done by the Media team, which has led to a higher profile in France for Democrats Abroad, supporting our mission around the world. Now, we stand ready for whatever the news cycle throws our way.

    Thanks to our spokespeople! (in alphabetic order)

    • Kate Barrett (Paris)
    • Reed Kennedy (Paris)
    • Amy Below (Paris)
    • Didier Moutou (Paris)
    • Philip Breeden (Marseille)
    • Gretchen Pascalis (Grenoble)
    • Victoria Gonzales (Paris)
    • Amy Porter (Deputy National Communications Coordinator)
    • Julia Grégoire (National Counsel)
    • Ada Shen (National Chair)
    • Rebecca Grossberg (Lille/Normandy) 
    • Diane Sklar (Lyon)
    • Fred Hoffman (Paris)
    • Joe Smallhoover (International Legal Counsel)
    • Jonathon Holler (National Vice Chair)
    • Scott Stroud (Toulouse) 
    • Aimee Johanssen (Brittany) 
    • Erik Teetsov (Bordeaux) 

     

    • Barbara Wells (Strasbourg)

     

    read more
    See all posts

    Upcoming Events

    Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 05:00 PM Paris Time · 5 rsvps
    Speak English Center in Fontaine, France

    Halloween Party

    Want to reconnect, meet other Americans, introduce your kids to an American tradition?

    Come to Democrats Abroad Grenoble's Halloween Party! At Speak English Center in Fontaine, near the Charles Michel stop on the A tram, this party is family-friendly, so bring your own kids, someone else's and/or your inner child! This is a family-friendly party with activities like a piñata and pumpkin carving and decorating. 

    Come in costume, and bring a pumpkin if you can (there will be some pumpkins for sale as well at 5 euros a piece). You can even register to vote from abroad, and learn about volunteering opportunities with Democrats Abroad Grenoble.

    Entrance donation of 5 euros is suggested. Note that the pass sanitaire is required to enter this establishment.

    Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 07:00 PM Paris Time · 18 rsvps
    Les Fontaines in Paris, France

    Politics and Pints: The Halloween Edition Paris

    Join DA France Young Democrats and the DA Paris Chapter for a spooky night of politics and drinks.  All are welcome to join us. Wear a Halloween costume to participate in the costume contest and win a grand prize! RSVP below to let us know you’re coming, and we look forward to seeing you soon!