Once a year, the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA and what we all call Democrats Abroad) has an Annual General Meeting (AGM). Each odd year, this meeting occurs in Washington DC, a great locale so that we can remind all our Congresspersons post-AGM the important work we do - and votes we cast! - from all over the world in a doorknock on Congress.
After the Australia AGM in April, we elected the full suite of Voting Representatives to attend this meeting - either in person or on via teleconference. As we are allocated votes based on population in DA International, we elected 4 new Voting Representatives.
This call, for most of us, was a very late - commencing at about 11pm AEST and finishing around 6 or 7am. This is the commitment that so many give to this organisation in this volunteer role reminds us of our duty to democracy, even though times are often unforgiving for the Asia-Pacific region.
Even at the late hour for most of us, this AGM was packed with presidential candidate visits, an election of the new International leadership, key Resolutions, Chatrer (ByLaw) Amendments and important information to lead us into this critical election year.
Democrats Abroad invited all of the current presidential candidates to attend our AGM or make a recorded statement. Two candidates, Marianne Williamson and Kirsten Gillibrand attended and others sent in recorded statements. As officers of Democrats Abroad do not endorse one candidate over another, we encourage everyone to get familiar with the issues of each - we'll plan debate watch parties soon!
The new International leadership saw a return of Julia Bryan as International Chair, Alex Montgomery as Vice-Chair, Jeffrey Cheng as Secretary and Lisette Wright as Treasurer. This team was tremendous in our 2018 GOTV effort and led us through a difficult transition for the country and party - which is indeed continuing. As the International Counsel did not stand for re-election, Joe Smallhoover ran and was elected. Also, Kat Allikan returns as Asia-Pacific Regional Vice Chair!
There were some key resolutions that were debated. Firstly, the International AGM voted near unanimously for the Endorsement of Medicare for All, this was moved by the Australia Chair, supported by the Vice-Chair, DNC Members, Caucus leaders, many Country Chairs and Voting Representatives. A resolution Addressing the Closure of United States Citizen and Immigration Services, moved by one of our Voting Representatives, was debated and will be further discussed at an upcoming meeting. Others such as opposing the attacks on Transgender service members and honouring of Arian Ardie were passed unanimously. Others were sent to a committee and some such as the Support for the Green New Deal and resolution urging action on Gun Violence will be heard in just over a month at a special meeting.
There were Charter Amendments which you can find here. The Charter is our key governing and organisational document. Several amendments passed, others will be discussed at a future meeting. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, there is only so much
In all of these things, this AGM was packed with information and organising talks to lead us into 2020. This included all Caucus presentations (some were skipped to return to Resolutions), GOTV information, Study Abroad plan, more updates coming to VoteFromAbroad, Communications strategies and much more! We'll be getting this to our local chapters soon.
This AGM was quite comprehensive with inspiring presidential candidate speeches, some great resolutions we hope will motivate issue-based interest in DA and most all a great community trying to create change in uncertain times!