AGM Information, Nominations and Election Commitee (NEC) Report, Candidate Statements

Toronto Chapter AGM
Center for Social Innovation
192 Spadina
Sunday March 17th
3-4 pm

We will tallying ballots and finalizing the election, taking nominations from the floor if necessary, reviewing our many accomplishments over the last term.

We are planning to celebrate after the AGM at a nearby pub so stay tuned!

RSVP here to attend in person

You may also attend virtually by Web Ex on your own device! RSVP here to receive those instructions.



NEC Toronto Report 2019

The NEC held conference calls and evaluated the 2019 Nominee Statements.  We kept minutes, sent agendas, and worked towards filling all positions.  Our final report will be given at the AGM.

Erin Campeau, Teller
Reg Charney
Star Goggins, Chair




Danielle Stampley

Chapter Chair

I am the outgoing Co-Vice-Chair of the Democrats Abroad - Toronto Chapter, and I am running for Chair because I would like to build on the momentum we created in 2018 by increasing engagement in 2019 and getting out the vote in 2020. I am also the current Counsel of Democrats Abroad Canada.

Before joining Democrats Abroad, I worked with other small volunteer projects. In the short time I have been with DA (since 2017), I have learned a lot about organizing and how to best deploy the resources we have available. We are all volunteers, which means we have limited time and have to be strategic in how we invest that time. We are getting better and better at this, and our enthusiasm is limitless.

As a Vice Chair, I helped plan meetings and chair them in our Chair's absence. I organized volunteers, sent out communications and planned events. I also worked to organize chapter resources online and train volunteers. I have attended our international DA Meeting and have developed a good understanding of the organization's resources and rules.

When I'm not working with DA, I'm a lawyer. I started out practicing in a large law firm in New York, and now I represent workers and unions in an employment and labour practice. In both settings, organization, planning, and leadership are key to a successful practice. I rely on these skills in my work with DA.

I am a Missouri voter, and I won't be satisfied unless we do everything we can to turn out every overseas Democratic vote in 2020.  I would very much appreciate your support.


Karin Lippert


We need people like Karin Lippert who inspires the people with hope and
justice in their heart to devote enough time into changing the world.

She has devoted hundreds of hours to voter outreach events, hitting the
streets and handing out literature, working in voter outreach booths at
street fairs, organizing events like debate watches and producing a voter
outreach video at Second City.

In the last term she co-chaired the first ever Women's Caucus in Toronto and has been fighting for womens' rights for 50 years.

As our media contact, she sent out press releases and organized at least 3o interviews with various board members. The key in terms of media is establishing good relationships, providing accurate information and putting forward spokespersons who can put the
issues and Democrats Abroad role in getting out the vote to as wide an
audience as possible. Building the media relationships is especially
important in a large media market like Toronto.

She has the experience, expertise and is an inspiration to us all

Julie Buchanan


George Polak



I am a retired sales and marketing leadership professional with some 44 years of doing the work and leading the work of others in a team-oriented setting.

I am committed to the ideals of the Democrat party who, I firmly believe today more than ever needs to take back the White House and Senate while retaining the House.

I am an Army veteran of 3 years which included a tour in 1970 in Vietnam Nam and feel I did not make this sacrifice so that our thin skinned, no nothing, egomaniac could become leader of the US and the free world.
It would be my honour to serve!


Mari Rutka


I have enjoyed my duties as co-secretary for the Toronto Chapter and am willing to continue in that role.  It has been a pleasure to be around so many who are dedicated to making a difference by helping to support Americans abroad, both in their ability to vote and in supporting matters of particular concern to Americans living in Canada.   Hope I can still help.



No nominee

Kathleen Leuschen

Member at Large

Hailing from Omaha, Nebraska with stops in Virginia and Maryland along the way, I have been a Toronto resident for over 20 years.  I have served as a Member-at-large for the Toronto Chapter for the last two years and as the Treasurer for the last few months.  I bring to the position my experience in the non-profit sector, including various roles in high profile private and public foundations.

Currently my passions include gender equity and parent engagement in education.  I volunteer in various roles that blend my own love of social justice with being a policy nerd and strategic planner.

This year, I hope to use my background in organizational governance and strategy to engage our younger, progressive members in our get out the vote efforts. Toronto has an amazing number of Americans living abroad that simply need the right reason to join us.


Arielle Loeb

Member at Large

I’ve been living outside of the US since 2006; first in Europe and now in Canada. While a proud resident of Toronto, I continue to be a fiercely proud American. I have chosen to submit my candidacy for Member-at-Large at Democrats Abroad Canada because I believe the upcoming 2020 elections are too important for me to remain a bystander and voter only.

While living in Canada, I want to do whatever I can to ensure fellow Americans living here are registered to vote. I want to show how easy it is to vote absentee from Canada and the importance of doing so. The midterm elections have demonstrated that every vote truly counts.

I have worked in marketing my entire career. First at General Mills in the US, followed by stints in Europe and Canada. Currently, I am the EVP of Marketing for Spark Power, an independent power company based in Oakville.

I would like to bring these experiences to Democrats Abroad Canada. While I am a relatively new member of Democrats Abroad, I think the upcoming elections offer a great opportunity to increase awareness about the organization, its cause, and how Americans living in Canada can engage and ensure their votes are counted and their voices are heard.

To the position of Member-at-Large and the Board overall, I will bring my passion for making positive change happen—as well as over 20 years of persuasive marketing and communication know-how—in any way that can serve the organization and its members.

Some races in the midterms were decided by as little as a percentage point. “With America’s elections increasingly decided by far less, participation in early voting can decide races from Congress to school boards” (Quartz article, After 2018, the US should stop calling it election day), I want to do my part to ensure that every American living in Toronto/the GTA have the chance to participate in a way that works for them. 


Lewis Luo

Member at Large

I'll say thank you to Julie for her email at the beginning. Julie said "We need you to volunteer to be a member of the Board of the Toronto Chapter".

I've known Julie, Star, Sherry, David, Ed, Bennett, Lissette and many other fellow Americans here and among Expat American abroad friends for some years now. Frankly, I've learned a lot from YOU and obtained both your helps and your friendships as well in many aspects. I feel grateful to your friendship, in particular David, Ednar and Starla 'Star'.

Participating DA branch organized "Register and vote abroad" community event, to advise citizen students in Toronto area to sign up online and to demonstrate the privilege right vote from abroad; attending Tax seminar in local library and tele-conference workshop on overseas American TAX issues and concerns; assisting in election-watch party, pub night and election debate, handling vote from abroad postings and accepting training in Toronto Consulate General etc. I've been a pretty active participant in the local branch community.

I'm passion of public service, obligated to voice people's concerns about their responsibilities verse their legal rights. i fully understand the role that DA can play in community and in electoral democracy process. Too often, I told myself it's not always about to win or to lose, but to show your passion and your care across the party line.

Ten years went through and gone by, since I left home state. I crossed over day by day and another, while missing home, friends and family relatives, too painful to tell. I never have such kind of feelings in my life!

Member-At-Large position can be a fit to fulfill my passion and to be ALWAYS ready on-call to GO HOME.

Thank you for your consideration.


Janette McCabe

Member at Large

Although my family and my roots are in Toronto, I have spent almost 25 years of my adult life living in the United States and my husband and I raised our three children there. When then candidate, Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee in 2008 I became highly energized to become an American citizen so that I could vote in this historic election. I was ecstatic with his victory and felt that the values and causes for which he and the Democratic party stood aligned with mine. Throughout my adult life I have been involved in social justice issues; in particular those related to Latin America, human rights/refugee rights and in the latter part of my professional life worked with a refugee resettlement agency in Louisville, Kentucky as the Special Medical Needs Coordinator. I have an undergraduate degree in Nursing and an M.A in Political Science. In the 2012 and 2016 Presidential elections I did some door to door canvassing in Cincinnati for Democratic candidates as well as some phone banking and most recently worked as a volunteer in the Toronto office assisting with phone banking for the 2018 mid-term election. In December I was invited to join the Toronto Board as a Member-at-Large and was happy to accept this position. I am deeply concerned about the events I see happening in the U.S. and feel a responsibility to work to bring about the changes necessary to reverse the course taken by the Republican government over the last two years. I am committed to working diligently with other Board members and volunteers with the goal of engaging and increasing the membership of Democrats Abroad, getting out the vote and ultimately, ensuring a Democratic victory in the 2020 Presidential election which by almost any measure will be the most consequential election of our time. I would be grateful for your support in this effort. Thank you.


Stephanie (Sarah) Perry

Member at Large

I am a retired lawyer, age 62, and as a phonebanker during the recent mid-terms I was one of the most committed (in terms of hours worked, not in terms of the fervour we all shared) volunteers in the Toronto campaign centre. I believe I may have been the "top-producer" for the Toronto chapter, and I know we all had a great time working together on a project we passionately believed in.

I'm really, really OLD, so I've done volunteer work for many organizations, dating back to handing out anti-war -- that's the VIETNAM War -- flyers every day after middle school, without my GOP parents' knowledge.

Most relevant for this position is that I chaired a non-profit community organization, The Cabbagetown Tour of Homes, here in Toronto. I had started as a one-day volunteer, then for a few years thereafter served as the volunteer co-ordinator and was responsible for organizing over 200 volunteers at multiple locations and in varying functions, for the weekend of the event, and eventually I got stuck running the whole damn thing for 5 years as chair.  We raised tens of thousands of dollars annually ( at a time when that was LOTS of money)  for local charities, including an after-school arts programs for at-risk kids in Regent Park which combined counselling with creativity, and an English literacy group for new Canadian women , many of whom couldn't read and write in their own languages and who were socially isolated.

I am grateful to DemsAbroad for keeping me informed on the issues most relevant to Americans abroad (of ANY political denomination) and for the help voting over the 25 years I've been here in Toronto, but I only got involved, came out to an event, and signed up to work for the organization as a phonebanker,  after Trump came in.

There is no cause more important to me at this time than 2020, and I understand that the Toronto Chapter is looking for competent and committed members with the time to step up and do more. 

If you can use me, I'm available.


Sam Rowan

Member at Large

I am self nominating myself to be a member-at-large for the next election cycle because as the posting on the website states, this is probably the most important election of my lifetime and want to help Democrats Abroad in any way possible. I recognize the importance that having an engaged base for the in the Toronto area as Democrats Abroad play a massive role in holding the Democratic Party to a progressive platform. Having volunteered municipal and provincial political parties in Canadian elections I have gained valuable experience talking and working get members and potential members of political parties to engage in the electoral process and look forward to doing the same in this coming election.

As a current student at Ryerson University, I feel that I'm an ideal candidate to be a member at large as I can help recruit fellow students who are eligible to vote yet haven't been engaged in American politics before to vote in this upcoming election. Being in a University environment ensures that I've been writing consistently over the past year in a way that will be considered professional and competent for this position. Additionally I find my current enrollment at a local University to be important because issues like climate change and financial equality are the most pressing issues of this next election and considering the enthusiasm that politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ro Khanna , show that mobilizing a young and progressive vote in Toronto will help assure that the party runs a optimistic campaign in order to combat the Neo-Fascist platform the Republicans will be running on the next election. As the last election proved a lesser of two evils platform is simply not good enough to beat Donald Trump's populist appeal.


Brooke Scott

Member at Large-York Region

My name is Brooke Scott and I am running for Member at Large-York Region. For nearly the past two years I have been the Member at Large for York region attending monthly Toronto board meetings both in person and online. I have participated in and run several events to engage US eligible voters. Beginning in 2018, I began became co-chair of the Women's Caucus Canada and recently have begun running the Women's Caucus Canada. I believe in grassroots activism and the power of our vote to create progressive change.


Virginia Smith

Member at Large

I think that I have made some significant contributions to the work of Democrats Abroad during my current term on the Toronto board as a member-at-large, and I would like to be able to continue those contributions. I may also start contributing in new ways if I am elected again.  My worked has been focused in two areas: as a mover of Democrats Abroad Vietnam project and as a writer of articles for the DA website.
A primary goal of the Vietnam project has been to tell the stories of DA members who moved to Canada from the U.S. during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The turbulence caused by the Vietnam War was a factor in the moves made by many Americans at that time. The project also aims to discover the contemporary relevance of the experiences of those who moved. Some of the stories told to DA can be found on the Democrats Abroad Canada website.
I have written a number of articles for the DA website, including articles on Hillary Clinton's visit to Toronto, on DA Toronto's response to the Parkland shootings, and on DA's efforts to get out the vote for the 2018 election.
My professional experience includes writing, editing, and community organizing. I have worked with a number of community-based initiatives, for example, the Out of the Cold program. I am currently a member of the council at my church. I have been involved in effort to develop bonds of friendship with Muslim organizations and families in Toronto.
I came to Canada as a student and became a permanent resident in the late 1960s. I am from New York, and I continue to vote from there.


Ed Ungar

Member at Large

 I've been on Toronto's ExCom since Toronto was effectively Canada's Ex Com. Among other activities. It's been wonderful to see Democrats Abroad Toronto and Canada grow to where we are. It is also important to keep in mind how far we have to go. Along with attending and organizing our reach outs at street fairs and labor day parades I'm proud to, along with Adrian Jones, to have  organized the first DA phone bank in the world right here in Toronto. Right now, I am a member emeritus. But that does not carry voting privileges nor does it allow me to help contribute to a quorum. I am running for member at large so I can further contribute in the next crucial years.

Ed  Ungar