Candidates

Democrats Abroad Spain Leadership Candidates 2019

Chair

Jim Mercereau

A 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-Chair

Jessica Craig
I 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. 

Secretary

Tim Lawler

The basics:

  • 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. 

Voting Representatives

Madeleine Savit

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 Edelman

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.


Laura Hale

Laura Hale has lived in Madrid since 2013, previously having lived in Bratislava, Tinian and Canberra. Originally from the Chicago suburbs and a family of life long Democrats, she has an BGS and MSEd in Instructional Technology from Northern Illinois University, and a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra. A data analyst and sports historian by training, in the past few years she has been active in disability activism through sports data related projects. Laura has been involved in further activist activities online and offline mostly centering around Wikipedia and related projects since 2011.

+