Madrid Chapter Leadership Candidates
The Nominations and Election Committee for Madrid solicited nominations at a meeting and with an email sent to all members in the Madrid region. These are the candidates who have been nominated.
Chair: Samuel Mattern
Vice Chair: Laura Hale, Khephra White
Secretary: Revé Fisher
Treasurer: Christina Samson
Please find the bios received from the candidates to date.
We all know what’s at stake in the 2020 election. Now more than ever, voter turnout is essential. And I want to help.
A Pacific Northwest native (Portland, OR), my feet are firmly planted on both sides of the pond after permanently settling in Spain in 2007. I joined Democrats Abroad in 2014 and became increasingly active in the run-up to the 2016 election, ultimately assuming my current position as spokesperson and press relations coordinator.
I enthusiastically believe in DA’s mission and work. Its members are uniquely poised with an outside perspective that translates to transformative, positive and long-lasting action when we cast our ballots. This is proof positive that DA plays a vital role in the political landscape back home, which redounds to our advantage in our adopted country of residence. In this vein, those who know me are aware of my passion for social justice and how much I care about the well-being of others. I would be thrilled to kick my current involvement up a notch and bring this passion to DA.
Running my own translation and communication business here in Madrid for the past decade has not only developed my strong command of the Spanish language; it has also honed my collaboration, organizational and coordination skills. My complete immersion in Spanish life and culture means that I can navigate the system and get things done on the ground, facilitating and streamlining the important tasks we have before us, especially as far as logistics and communication are concerned. Perseverant by nature, I’m committed to finishing the job.
The opportunity to dedicate my excitement and skills to the DA Chair position would be a privilege, and your consideration to allow me to serve an honor.
Vice Chair (1)
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. She has been involved in further activist activities online and offline mostly centering around Wikipedia and related projects since 2011.
Vice Chair (2)
I’ve lived through 7 presidents and seen a lot of change over the years. However, the Presidential election in 2020 may be one of the most important elections we will see in this lifetime. I joined D.A. Madrid in 2015 because I believed in their mission and wanted to get involved any way I could. After five years of working with DA Madrid fundraisers, events, and voter registration, I still feel like I can do more.
A vote is a powerful thing. This is a belief my parents and grandparents, who grew up in the Jim Crow south, instilled in me from a child. I grew up learning about politics, and always found them fascinating, but what I cared about most was getting out the vote. On Election days, my grandmother always voted first thing in the morning. She would call me saying: “Don’t forget to vote today. They said you haven’t gone in yet.” When I made it to the polls, the workers would ask me: “Is your sister coming? She hasn’t been here yet.” Hey, my neighborhood in New Orleans was small. We were a community and everyone knew each other.
With DA Madrid, I have that same sense of community, and I believe that should be shared with every member: past, current, and future. I also believe that DA Madrid’s work with local social justice groups is especially important to fostering a welcoming environment for immigrants of color. I feel it’s important for us to have a support system, where we are free to discuss issues that we may face here in Spain.
Working with DA Madrid in any capacity is an honor. If elected I will dedicate every ounce of my passion to serve our community, increase voter registration, and show the world that the expat vote is a force to be reckoned with. Thank you for your consideration, and I’ll see you at the polls!"
As Americans overseas, we view the U.S. through an especially critical lens. When talking to citizens from other countries, we are often pushed into the role of impromptu ambassador and urged to give an opinion about the current administration. The actions taken by the U.S., which is unfortunately led by a reality TV show host with a Napoleon complex, affect the world...a cringe-worthy thought at times.
Although we live far from home, we can still make an impact. Our opinions can be heard, and our votes can make a difference. 2020 does not need to experience the same disastrous results as 2016. Democrats Abroad will ensure that we overseas Americans have a visible role in the U.S. political fabric.
As secretary of DA Madrid, I will help you to stay informed about DA events (and make sure that you feel welcome if you attend :)), write up the minutes (so you can be in-the-know if you don't attend), organize the Madrid chapter database, and provide voting information to everyone who wants to be heard in our nation's elections.
My career as a writer, editor, and content marketer has given me with the skills to support DA's communication and outreach efforts. My role as a volunteer at SOS Racismo Madrid and back home in Chicago motivates me to help alleviate the issues that affect my local community. I'd love to have the opportunity to serve the American community in Madrid. We WILL make a difference in the 2020 election.
She is currently the Treasurer of Democrats Abroad Madrid and on the road for the United Nations..