Meet the 2021 Democrats Abroad Spain Madrid Candidates!

The Democrats Abroad Spain Nominations and Elections Committee has received the nominations of volunteers to fill the positions for our leadership team for the next two years. 

You will note that in each case there is only one nominee per position.  It's not for a lack of effort - we put out the call, let loose on social media, and sent two email blasts requesting nominees. Don't hate the players, hate the game!

 

Here are the nominees that stepped up to volunteer their time for the next two years, and their personal bios:

Chair

Samuel Mattern

Vice-Chair

Maggie Zelonis

Secretary

Revé Fisher

Treasurer

Carmen Milagros Higgins

 

Personal Statements:

Chair

Samuel Mattern

"After becoming heavily involved with Democrats Abroad beginning in 2014 in multiple capacities, then serving as press officer in the run-up to the 2016 election, and ultimately acting as Chair for the Madrid chapter during this last term, I have felt deep gratitude toward you: our organization’s committed team of volunteers and members. Throughout a particularly taxing year, your sacrifice and willingness to donate time and know-how has inspired me to do the same. And we have achieved great results! Democrats Abroad voters proved decisive in the Biden-Harris White House victory and the special election in Georgia. 2020 has been a wild, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants ride. From learning to migrate and run elections in an entirely online setting and conducting meetings and providing voting support remotely, to accompanying our members in a variety of ways as they grappled with the challenges thrust on them by COVID, it’s been a dizzying, steep, and ultimately gratifying learning curve. This upcoming term is a big one: we can begin to hope for in-person meetings again, the crucial 2022 midterm elections are just around the corner, and we must continue to act with the utmost flexibility on a rapidly shifting world stage. In this context, I’m excited to implement the lessons learned and to place my skill set at your service, making DA an even stronger force for positive change and democracy. I’m also excited to continue forging relationships and building our community, based on shared values. Taking stock of these past few years, I would like to thank you for your trust in me. It would be an honor to receive your trust once again and to continue to serve as Chair of DA Madrid."

Vice-Chair

Maggie Zelonis

"My name is Maggie Zelonis and I'm running for DA Madrid Vice-Chair. I grew up (and vote) in Indiana. After studying Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Bryn Mawr College, I spent two years working in Washington, DC before moving to Madrid in 2015. Upon completing a Master's degree in Public Anthropology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, I began my current role as Development Officer (institutional fundraising) at Women's Link Worldwide, a nonprofit human rights organization. In my free time, I enjoy cooking/baking, spin classes, reading and wine tastings. I'm running for DA Madrid Vice-Chair because I'm passionate about politics and increasing the engagement of Americans living abroad with the democratic process in the US. My involvement with the Democratic party began in high school, when I knocked on doors for Obama's campaign and helped turn Indiana blue for the first time in 44 years. I went on to volunteer for several campaigns during college and served as the President of the Bryn Mawr College Democrats. I've also been involved with phone banking, voter registration and GOTV efforts here in Madrid, including last year's Global Presidential Primary. If elected, I'd bring my strong organizational skills and commitment to working to ensure strong turnout for the 2022 midterms to the position."

Secretary

Revé Fisher

"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. When I first ran for Madrid chapter secretary, I said that, "Democrats Abroad will ensure that we overseas Americans have a visible role in the U.S. political fabric." Now, the U.S. knows that the transition from the Trump to the Biden Administration was only possible because of voters overseas. In my daily life in Madrid, I'm a freelance writer, editor, and content marketer as well as a grad school student at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. I also volunteer with SOS Racismo Madrid and help Madrid's English-speaking community stay informed about local events regarding anti-racism and social justice. These experiences have given me the skills to support the communication and outreach efforts for Democrats Abroad Madrid, from managing the organization's content management system to taking a lead role in organizing the 2020 Global Presidential Primary. I'd love to have the opportunity to continue serving the American community in Madrid."

Treasurer

Carmen Milagros Higgins

"It's hard to sum up how I feel about being so committed about how things are going in the States even after 18 years living abroad. I am the mother of two boys born in Spain, and it occurs to me often that they will one day need to register for selective service. This is the most personally selfish of my reasons for wanting things to run well at what I still call "home". And all of my family--siblings, mother, nieces and nephews--still live in New Jersey. But the fact is, I would be invested in keeping up with DA's objectives even if I had no personal investment in the well-being of my native country. The fact is that as a citizen of the world, I spend a lot of time worrying about the state of global affairs, and I hope that constant contact with DA will facilitate me turning that worry into productive actions. So there's the why. As for the who, I'm a bilingual translator and language instructor who hopes to add something to the DA as well as learn from the other members."