Minutes of Democrats Abroad Guatemala
Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, June 18, 2020 at 11:00am via WebEx
Members in Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Mary Lou Ridinger, Vice Chair; Juan Pablo Aris, Counsel; Scotney Young, Media Contact; Vincent D’Agati, interim Treasurer; Alison Schwarz, interim Media Contact; Rachael Shenyo, Occidente MeetUp Chair.
Per our bylaws (paragraph 19.3), all meetings are open to all members.
Called to order at 11:08am
Approval of Agenda and Minutes: Minutes from May meeting and agenda for June meeting were approved.
Treasurer’s report: Recent expenses of Q660 for the one dozen Biden tee shirt order was paid June 15th, and a cash donation of Q400 received during Direct Email Campaign and one tee shirt sale are reflected this month bringing the June balance to Q6,248.
Chair’s Report: Mary Lou moved and Rachael seconded a motion to approve Vincent D’Agati as interim Treasurer. Following discussion a vote of the Excom, including proxies of Kee and Dave Evans carried by John Chudy, passed unanimously. An online Google form ballot will now be sent to the full membership for a vote to make Vincent’s appointment formal for the balance of the 2019-2021 term as per articles XVII and XIX of our bylaws. The Google ballot will go out on June 19th and run till June 20th 5pm local time. Welcome Vincent!
The position of Secretary remains vacant. Also, Scotney vacates the position of Media Contact in August when she moves to Washington, DC. Alison Schwarz, has stepped forward to replace Scotney to act as interim Media Contact as she gains experience with our social media sites and DA’s website management tools. Welcome Aly!
John reported on the DAGT 2020 Direct Email Fundraiser that was restarted on June 8th following suspension due to Covid-19. Four donations followed, with two winning t-shirts for amounts over $35. The campaign was ended on June 19th.
Rachael offered a piece of jewelry with a value of Q300 for any future raffle. She could send it to Antigua via Guatex. We will make note of that offer for our next in-person fund raising pot-luck with a raffle.
Paid Facebook ads are running now on Democrats Abroad Guatemala. One completed on Democrats Abroad Latino in Spanish June 4 to 9, for $10. The one running now prepared by Scotney and boosted by the John June is also running 5 days to June 20th for $10. Funds from t-shirt sales and the Direct Email campaign will be used to boost paid ads on Facebook up to August at least.
Biden President tee-shirts are in and are on sale for Q100 each in sizes small, medium and large. An email promoting the tee shirts will go out June 19th and will include instructions for buying and shipping t-shirts beyond Antigua via Guatex.
John reported on the Democrats Abroad Global Convention and DPCA meeting that took place over the weekend of June 6 and 7, and the Americas region meeting, that took place, June 16th, both via WebEx. One item of note from the regional meeting is the new DPCA initiative to raise $25,000 via an online raffle at $20.20 per ticket, with proceeds to be used to contract CallHub time to make at least 200,000 global phone calls to get the vote out since no country committee or their chapters can hold live in-person voter registration/ballot request events. Phone banking is the go-to tool this year.
Events 2020: Email messages and CallHub initiatives will continue to replace in-person voter registration events. We continue to monitor those voters who must return a hard copy of the FPCA. On the June 16th regional meeting call, it was reported that NY, CT and NJ have now suspended their FPCA hard copy requirement due to covid-19 and will accept FPCAs by email. DA will update votefromabroad.org to enable the photo signature direct email feature for those states. On June 17th, the US Embassy sent out a message that the DPO will accept ballot materials in postage paid envelopes for sending onto the USA and alerted citizens that the time frame is up to four weeks for delivery. We will monitor this option and alert members by email of DPO availability and support by DAGT.
Movies and other public events are currently on hold, but will resume when the emergency abates and Guatemala opens up again.
An Independence Day event will not happen this year.
Covid-19: This month’s discussion centered on the Government of Guatemala’s response, the rising daily case rate, and related statistics. Mary Lou reported that Prensa Libre had published numbers related to the number of active covid patients now at home because hospital space is being reserved for more the more severely ill and a significant number of young children being infected in Guatemala, and in the region. Rachael updated the group on her extended family members infected in Pennsylvania, and their tough road to recovery. John offered some more optimistic information citing data that Guatemala at 64 cases per 100,000 population puts it at number 12 out of 14 countries in Latin America. Chile is number 1, with 996 cases per 100K, Nicaragua is number 14 with 24 per 100K (but their numbers are highly suspect), compared to the United States at 643 per 100K.
The DAGT Excom will meet next on Thursday, July 16th, at 11am Guatemala time, via WebEx.
Travel Notes: All plans are on hold.