Meet the new Executive Committee Members representing Aix Marseille for the new term (2021/2022)
thanks to Peter Gillepsie for the photographics!
2021 MARSEILLE CHAPTER ELECTION CANDIDATES
The nominations period for the 2021 Marseille Chapter Elections has now closed. Please find below statements for the candidates standing for election.
The Election and Annual General Meeting for the Marseille Chapter of DA France will take place on March 13th at 2PM. Candidates will give speeches prior to the close of voting and tabulation, and results will be announced. RSVP here. Early voting via electronic ballot is available to all members of the Marseille Chapter region — members should look for an email containing a link to this ballot.
You must be a member of the Marseille Chapter in order to vote. New members are welcome but must join by Friday March 12th. To join: www.democratsabroad.org/join. You must be a US citizen 18 years of age or older by Nov. 2, 2021. Questions? Email the Marseille Election Board [email protected]
If you are a member of the Marseille Chapter and do not receive a link to the online ballot but would like one, please contact the Marseille Election Board [email protected]
CHAPTER CHAIR CANDIDATE
Previous ExCom Positions: Chairperson/ Secretary/Member at Large
Based in: MARSEILLE
I was born and raised in Los Angeles California.
I left the USA when I was 24 and have lived abroad since.
I have been living in Marseille since 1994
I believe in Universal Health Care – Equal Rights – Gun Control – Black Lives Matter - Environmental Consciousness
The Democratic Party represents the values I believe in
I have been a member of our chapter since it was created in 2008
I became ‘Chair’ of our chapter in 2019.
Over the past 2 years I have been very active in DA France and DA Global and DA Caucus Events.
GOTV 2020 was certainly the highlight!
Helping US Citizens register to vote is a gratifying and important thing to do.
We have a great team and I hope to continue working together to organize events that will bring our community together and keep the US Blue!
VICE CHAIR CANDIDATE
I am a "people person" and communicator, and a third-culture-kid (TCK) from before the term became popular. I was born and raised in the tropics (São Paulo, Brazil). I spent 25 years in New Orleans where I am registered to vote. I met my French wife in New Orleans. In 1995 we moved our four children and our livelihood to Aix en Provence, France where we have lived since. I am inclined toward progressive public advocacy and am keenly interested in Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street as transformative movements. I am a member of the DA Global Black Caucus and the worldwide Progressive Caucus, and have been a member of the Marseille Chapter of DA since 2009. I look forward to supporting Chapter outreach in the context of DA France activities.
VICE CHAIR CANDIDATE
JOHN ESTEBAN RODRIGUEZ
My roots as a working-class, LGBTQ immigrant of color growing up in rural Georgia profoundly shaped my politics and desire to fight for a more egalitarian United States and world. I understood inequality and injustice because of the way it structured my own trajectory: I started working at age 15, indebted myself to pay my way through college, and until the age of 25, when I came to France, I never had stable health insurance.
I have been involved in political activism in Democrats Abroad because I now know that, as the richest country in the world, the U.S. can strive to flatten out inequality, bolster social programs, and tackle the environmental crisis that is already devastating the country. I am running for Marseille Chapter Vice Chair to make Democrats Abroad a more dynamic, energetic and accountable organization to the progressive cause. We need more progressive voices.
I am excited to have the opportunity to run for Secretary of the Marseille/Aix Chapter of Democrats Abroad.
I have lived in the small village of Lorgues for just over two years, coming here from San Francisco after retiring. I spent my working years in marketing/advertising and subsequently in teaching art to children. I’ve been politically involved since the 1960’s with a particular interest in women’s rights issues but always with an interest, opinion and inclination to help on a wide range of other challenges. Since joining Democrats Abroad I have organized events & materials for the Global Women’s Caucus (The Suffrage Centennial last August, our March celebration of Women’s History Month and launching the new Violence Against Women Action Team).. I also did what I could to assist the Global Communications Team leading up to the 2020 election.
It would be my honor to bring what energy and skills I can to this Chapter.
Early last year, I discovered the existence of Democrats Abroad and immediately wanted to connect my new life in France to my passion for politics back home. Coming from a politically active family of Democrats in Louisiana, I grew up campaigning, attending political events, and waiting for results on election night.
When I met my husband in 2001, I had no idea I would be living in France 20 years later, teaching English and seeking an opportunity to help my party overseas. My years as an adolescent psychotherapist in schools and psychiatric settings have made me particularly adept at working to find common ground among diverse groups of people. There is much we can do to support our newly elected administration, create community, and welcome newcomers who seek like-minded expats. I hope to have your support; and I look forward to meeting and working with “all of y’all."
MEMBER AT LARGE CANDIDATE
PHILIP J. BREEDEN
After serving my country as a U.S. diplomat for almost 30 years, I moved to Aix-enProvence in 2014 where I teach and help administer the American College of the Mediterranean/Institute for American Universities.
This experience, and my previous post as Consul General in Marseille, led me to get involved with the Marseille Chapter of Democrats abroad. Under the leadership of Chair Susan Fitoussi I’ve been honored to serve as Member-at-Large and as a Democrats Abroad France media spokesperson during the 2020 Presidential election.
I was proud to help ensure the vote abroad was counted, especially that of first time student voters. Our votes were an important reason we have new leadership in Washington. Our task now is to help the Biden Administration succeed, giving voice to the many Americans living abroad. As we all know, democracy is not a spectator sport!
It is in this spirit that I offer my candidacy as Member at Large.
MEMBER AT LARGE CANDIDATE
HEATHER C. ETCHEVERS
A dual U.S. and French citizen, mother of two who now also vote, I grew up as Gen X in Massachusetts. After a Wellesley B.A., I earned a joint Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and (today’s) Sorbonne Université became a tenured biomedical scientist and team leader with the INSERM (French National Institutes of Health) at Aix-Marseille Université. Residence abroad for 27 years has brought me unique perspective on policies concerning STEM, reproductive/health, cultural and many other issues pertaining to U.S. domestic and foreign policy. An engaged rare disease advocate, organizer of the Marseille March for Science in 2017, my responsibility is to aid the election of Democrats in the U.S., encouraging all rational citizens to remember that they remain a majority in the U.S. and need not succumb to conspiracy or wishful thinking. Our party must implement testable, effective ideas from the diversely talented people who make us proud to be Democrats.
MEMBER AT LARGE CANDIDATE
I'm Justin Heifetz and after a decade working as a journalist in Asia, I've relocated to Marseille with my French husband Laurent. Here, I'll continue reporting news freelance for the American media I've been working for, including VICE, CNN and many others. I'm running for member at large because our efforts as democrats are of incredible and arguably unprecedented importance after the past four years. I'll serve DA well because of the skills I've gained over the years as a journalist: I'm quick, organized, I don't back down and I know how to get the word out. Feel free to read more about me at my website justinheifetz.com or email me at [email protected]
MEMBER AT LARGE CANDIDATE
I’m Joel Luboff, and I have been a member of Democrats Abroad France for over 25 years. For the past two years, I have served as Vice Chair of the Marseille – Aix Chapter.
We are all proud of our contributions to the gains last year of Democrats. Perhaps in part because of our success, we can anticipate ever fiercer attempts to suppress mail-in voting in the coming mid-terms. We all have to do our part to make sure that the voice of Democrats ex-pat continues to be heard.
I would like to continue my work with the Executive Committee as a Member at Large.
MEMBER AT LARGE CANDIDATE
I offer myself as a candidate for member at large. I have served as treasurer and member at large on the committee since 2013, after retiring from law practice here to Aix in 2010. My first job was with a great California congressman in DC in 1968. I later served as a McGovern delegate at the l972 convention as the token white woman under thirty in a predominantly Black district. How things have changed, happily. I have never lost my interest in politics and I would like to continue to contribute to positive change. I spent many hours this past year phonebanking to get out the vote and in voter protection work helping expats solve problems so their votes would be counted. Now, with our “houses divided”, it is even more important that our overseas voices are counted and I want to continue to help.
- The Leadership Election for the Aix Marseille Chapter of Democrats Abroad France will take place on March 13th. This leadership group will serve all Aix Marseille DAF members living in AIx Marseille (PACA) . Please join us for this election and meeting! You will be able to virtually meet other DAF Aix Marseille members, hear about our organizing efforts in Marseille over the past year this historic election year, and what the year ahead will hold, and also hear speeches from the candidates running for office, and elect your new Chapter Leadership!
RSVP here in order to receive the meeting information.. https://www.democratsabroad.org/.../daf_aix_marseille...
The Chapter Chair shall call and preside at all meetings of the Chapter Executive Committee, establish the agenda of such meetings, and shall be responsible for carrying out the programs, policies, and activities duly approved by the members and the Chapter Executive Committee.
The Chapter Chair and Chapter Vice Chair, with the advice of the other Officers, may allocate between themselves the duties of the Chapter Chair.
The Chapter Chair, or any Officer delegated by the Chapter Chair to do so, shall be entitled to sit on all Standing and Ad Hoc Committees, with full voting privileges. Decisions or actions taken by the Chapter Chair may be overruled by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Chapter Executive Committee.
The Chapter Chair shall be an ex-officio member of the DAF Executive Committee and should attend meetings to the extent practical. The Chapter Chair shall report monthly to the Chapter Executive Committee the current activities of the Democrats Abroad leadership on a national and international level.
CHAPTER VICE CHAIR
The Chapter Vice Chair shall assist and support the Chapter Chair in the execution of the Chapter Chair’s duties and shall, in the absence of the Chapter Chair, call and preside at meetings of members and of the Chapter Executive Committee.
The Chapter Vice Chair shall serve as the primary liaison with other chapters and be charged with coordinating activities, sharing information, and supporting the activities of the other chapters within France and around the world.
If the office of Chapter Chair shall become vacant, the Chapter Vice Chair shall assume the responsibilities of the Chapter Chair until the next duly scheduled election.
The Chapter Treasurer shall manage the finances of the chapter and prepare a budget and cash flow forecast as required by the Chapter Chair for approval by the Executive Committee, and interact and coordinate with the Country Treasurer to maintain proper financial reporting structures to ensure the chapter’s finances are in order. All such records shall be available for review by the Chapter Executive Committee.
The Chapter Treasurer shall be available to consult with Country, Subchapter and Caucus Chairs regarding fundraising activities for projects and activities and access to potential donors.
Ideally, candidates for this role have experience in accounting, finance, banking, or a related field.
The Chapter Secretary shall take and archive minutes of Chapter Executive Committee meetings and all Annual General and Special Meetings of the chapter members. The Chapter Secretary shall maintain and safeguard all files and administrative records of the Chapter. The minutes of all meetings shall be made available to all Chapter members without undue delay.
The Chapter Secretary shall notify the members of the results of all Chapter elections. The Chapter Secretary shall be responsible for direct communication with members on matters that concern the entirety of the Chapter, in collaboration with the Chapter Communications Coordinator.
Candidates for this roles should have experience in with office productivity tools (MS Office, Google Docs, WebEx, etc.) and technology such as the Nationbuilder membership database.
Candidates should be members of Democrats Abroad France, US citizens 18 years or older, living in the Paris/Ile de France region from the time of their nomination, and be able to serve a full term of two years. Every eligible member with interest, ability, conviction and ideas is encouraged to run. Previous organizing experience is welcome but not necessary.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
The Elections Board for Aix Marseille Chapter Elections
We had a fabulous afternoon with lots of new and familiar faces coming and going to our Potluck Party last Sunday July 7th.
Thanks to Pamela King for hosting the event in her beautiful house and garden
And thanks to all who came and brought such fabulous food to share the spirit of Democracy !
Photo by Robert Hale
Welcome to Democrats Abroad Marseille!
We are a friendly politically active community of American citizens and Democrats living in the Aix-Marseille region of France. We organize events, meetings and Primary Democratic elections together and for all members of our DA community.
Last year we had some wonderful events including:
- A ‘March for our Lives’ (gun control) rally in Aix en Provence on March 24th (see events)
- Conferences at the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix en Provence
- Voting Registration booths at our events
As often as possible we try to organize an American holiday together – whether it be a 4thof July potluck or a Thanksgiving Day dinner at a local organic restaurant. Watch this space for upcoming announcements of meetings and events as the year evolves.
We encourage all Democrats to get in touch with us if interested in participating with Democrats Abroad in Marseille or have any ideas for events.
If you have questions, please contact us!
Susan Fitoussi – Chapter Chair
Democrats Abroad Marseille
Email - [email protected]
Congratulations to our DAF Aix Marseille Leadership Team 2019/2020 !
Susan Fitoussi - Chair
Joel Luboff - Vice Chair
Pamela King - Secretary
Karen Wildau - Treasurer
Judy Godfrey - Member at Large
Philip Breeden - Member at Large
Last Saturday march 30,2019 the Aix MARSEILLE DAF chapter held their Elections in Aix en Provence!
The voting event was aligned with the screening of a Broadway play titled “ANN” at 5pm
Thanks to our members Jim Lovell and Karen Wildau we were able to all watch the brilliant actress HOLLAND TAYLOR http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland_Taylor performing her incredible one woman show and tribute to the late and great ANN RICHARDS ex governor of Texas !
With Jim’s lovely opening speech remembering when he worked for her campaign, we all felt very connected to this performance !
All included we recolted 20 ballots online and 10 ballots in person !
Some people came just to vote and we are very touched by this gesture of appreciation !
PS Jim also sent a twitter tweet to Holland Taylor herself to tell her about our event !
The period for DAF Marseille Chapter Executive Committee nominations has now closed.
The DAF Marseille Elections Board is pleased to announce that the Marseille Chapter ExCom Candidates of 2019 are as follows:
Marseille Chapter Chair
What I bring to the table –
Organizational skills, punctuality, bilingual and enthusiasm
Born in Los Angeles California 1962
I am the third child born of first-generation parents with European origins.
I left the USA when I was 24 and have lived abroad since.
I have been living in Marseille for 26 years.
I work in a huge multi-mega international shipping company. The nice part of this is that I work in a multi-cultural environment.
I am a single Mom with 2 children that are now independent and married.
Why I am a Democrat –
I believe in Universal Health Care – Equal Rights and Environmental Consciousness.
The Democratic Party represents the values I believe in.
Why I’m running for this position –
I have been a member of our chapter since it was created.
Meeting local Americans and helping them register to vote is certainly one of the most important roles I can play as an American living abroad today!
We have a great team and I hope to continue working together to organize wonderful events that will bring our community together and most importantly ‘Get out the Vote”!
What I hope to contribute?
I would like to bring more members to the chapter and do what it takes to get them more involved.
Marseille Chapter Vice-Chair
I’m Joel Luboff, and I wish to run Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad France – Marseille. I have been a member of Democrats Abroad for over 25 years and have served on the Executive Committee as a member at large for the past two years. I would like to increase my efforts to support local actions to maintain interest and enthusiasm for getting out the vote among expats in the Marseille and Aix area, and the Vice Chair position would provide an excellent opportunity for me to do so. I am particularly interested in supporting actions of Democrats Abroad in the areas of income and wealth concentration, immigration, and more equitable tax treatment for ex-pats.
Marseille Chapter Secretary
More than ever, we need to support the Democratic Party today. It is our best defense against a disappointing and dangerous administration in Washington D.C. Democrats Abroad is particularly well-organized and on the frontlines of the party’s efforts to uphold the civic values of fairness, equality and democracy. Action is needed now, especially when it comes to Getting Out The Vote and getting more Democrats in office. I would therefore be honored to be able to continue serving on the Executive Committee of the Chapter that I co-founded in 2008.
Marseille Chapter Treasurer
I offer myself as a candidate for treasurer of our chapter. I have served in that post for the past two years. Before that, I served on the Executive Committee for a number of years. I have lived in Aix for nine years but have never lost my interest in American politics and in doing what I can to push the Democratic policy agenda. I believe it is important to let American politicians know that even though we live abroad, we care deeply about our country, its leadership and its policies and WE VOTE. Before I retired to France, I was a lawyer for over 37 years. Before that, I was a congressional assistant to Congressman Don Edwards, from California, a leader on the House Judiciary Committee. I have always been interested in politics and government and was active in those pursuits while I was a lawyer in Atlanta. I would like to see more people from our chapter get involved and will work to try to accomplish that goal.
Marseille Chapter Member at Large
Philip J. Breeden
After serving my country as a U.S. diplomat for almost 30 years, I moved to Aix en Provence in 2014 where I teach and help administer an American school – The Institute for American Universities. This experience, and my previous post as Consul General in Marseille, has brought me into regular contact with many members of Democrats Abroad in the region. It would be a privilege and honor to join them in promoting one of the central pillars of any democracy – voting by as many citizens as possible. This is all the more important given the current troubled, chaotic and misguided leadership of the United States. It is vital we all contribute to making sure it ends in 2020, so that we can return the United States to a more responsible role in the world. It is in this spirit that I offer my candidacy as Member at Large.
Marseille Chapter Member at Large
I offer myself as a candidate for member at large of our chapter. I have lived in Aix for 40 years but have never lost my interest in American politics. I believe it is important to let American politicians know that even though we live abroad, we care deeply about our country, its leadership and its policies.