Vice-Chair, Switzerland

For as long as I can remember, I have identified with and held dear the programs and ideals that the Democratic Party represents. I come from a union family who instilled in me the importance of voting for candidates who protect workers’ rights. As a young adult, I benefited from the services offered at a reasonable cost at Planned Parenthood. I have used the social safety net when it was necessary and I had no other options. So many of my life experiences and my beliefs necessitate my allegiance with the Democratic Party; truly, the party cares for the real needs of the American people with basic empathy underlying each of the policies put forth by our representatives.

As an American living outside of America, I can appreciate all of the concerns of those living back home as well as the concerns that are specific to those of us who live outside our nation's borders. They are issues that aren't thought about until they impact us, but once we're here, the consequences are quite obvious.

Our nation is at a critical point. I think our first priority has to be protecting and stabilizing our democracy, and then moving forward to improve it for all citizens, regardless of where they lay their head at night.


  • Join DA Switzerland as we Celebrate the Centennial of the 19th Amendment!

    Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted US American women the right to vote.

    Join us as we celebrate this important event in our nation's history!


  • published 19th Amd in Switzerland 2020-07-08 05:50:42 -0400

  • is hosting Women's Suffrage Centennial Planning Meeting 2020-07-01 11:06:25 -0400

    Women's Suffrage Centennial Planning Meeting

    We Need Your Ideas - Commemorating 100 Years of US Women’s Suffrage

    August 26, 2020 marks 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment, which was a major step in the fight for women's equality. DA Switzerland is planning to commemorate the milestone and inspire expat women in particular to take action in 2020.

    Please join a brainstorming session on Zoom on July 14 at 19:30. Email Jamie Donahoe to receive the meeting details.


    Add to your Google Calendar.

    WHEN
    July 14, 2020 at 7:30pm
    WHERE
    Zoom Meeting
    Basel, BS
    Switzerland
    Google map and directions
    2 rsvps rsvp

  • published AGM 2020 Wrap-Up: New Bylaws and More in News 2020-06-30 07:29:41 -0400

    AGM 2020 Wrap-Up: New Bylaws and More

    We held our AGM via WebEx on Wednesday, June 24. It was very productive!

    Our new bylaws were accepted unanimously and you can read those here.

    Our agenda included:

    Here are our AGM materials for your review and education:

    Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering with us in the coming months! Either way, we look forward to seeing you soon!


  • rsvped for (Virtual) Voter Registration Training via 2020-07-01 13:37:11 -0400

    (Virtual) Voter Registration Training

    Join our Voter Registration Team!

    At our virtual training session, we will demonstrate how to use the new, improved votefromabroad.org website to help Americans register to vote and request their ballots.  

    RSVP to Liz Voss at vice-chair@democrats.ch to receive the Zoom meeting information.


    Add to your Google Calendar.

    WHEN
    July 28, 2020 at 8pm
    WHERE
    Zoom Meeting
    Basel, BS
    Switzerland
    Google map and directions
    4 rsvps rsvp

  • published DA Discussions: Looking Local in News 2020-06-18 16:01:48 -0400

    DA Discussions: Looking Local

     
    While the world watches the US presidential election closely, and to a lesser extent Congress, most elections in the US on November 3rd will be for local offices. The consequences of these elections are tremendous. Not only will local results determine congressional district lines for the next ten years, but with reduced federal spending on a social safety net, Americans increasingly turn to local government programs for basic needs.
     
    Several members joined us for a Democrats Abroad Virtual Discussion of the advantages and limitations each Party has when it comes to winning these crucial local seats. Tory Mallett, a political sociology PhD student at the London School of Economics, lead us in a discussion of both ideological and institutional strategy for finding progressive success all the way down the ballot. The Zoom meeting was recorded; the YouTube link can be provided upon request.
     
    Theory:

    Cases:


  • published DACH Revised Bylaws - Final Draft for Review in News 2020-06-18 02:15:43 -0400

    DACH Revised Bylaws - Final Draft for Review

    Hello Fellow Voters!

    We are now just shy of one week before our Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will be held via WebEx next Wednesday evening (24.06.2020). All members are encouraged to attend as we review the last year and sharpen our focus on the elections for November. We have a lot of exciting news to share.

    In addition to the regular topics of the AGM, we will also vote on the "revised bylaws." The current DACH bylaws were approved in 2014 and there were some updates needed in order to meet current Democrats Abroad global requirements. The revised bylaws include updates about technologies used for member communications and meetings, updates to privacy of your data, updates to gender specific wording, and updates to some financial requirements.

    I would like to thank everyone who participated in the update process and those who spent hours to review, comment, question, or make suggestions so that we have a comprehensive yet inclusive set of bylaws that are reflective of our membership. Those who exercised their rights to comment on the draft versions were proactive and quite helpful for all of us as members.

    I am pleased to attach the final version of the "revised bylaws" via PDF. This is the final version after the public comments have all been incorporated and this is the result after the WebEx review/comment meeting which took place on Wednesday evening, 17.June.2020.

    I encourage you to read through these "revised bylaws" so that you are prepared to vote on them next week during the AGM.

    Please note that voting will take place in the WebEx "chat box" and we have volunteers who will count the votes. If you are not familiar with WebEx or the use of the "chat box," we will have one more training session this coming Sunday (21.06.2020) at 13:00 CEDT. The link to this training is HERE.

    I am very much looking forward to seeing you online for the AGM next week!

    Vance White
    DA Switzerland Chair

     


  • DA Discussions: Police-Instigated Violence in Protests

    Note: This event has been rescheduled from Tuesday, June 30, 2020!

    Many of us have watched videos of police officers attacking peaceful protesters at recent Black Lives Matter protests in shock and consternation. How can we understand this police violence? And what can local communities and voters, including voters abroad, do to counteract this problem?
     
    Join us for a lecture and discussion with Tory Mallet, PhD candidate in sociology at the London School of Economics, with expertise in political sociology and policing. Her master's thesis, "The Thick Blue Line: A Police-Centered Analysis of Violent Encounters Between Occupy Protesters and Police Officers in the United States", examined police violence against protesters with the Occupy movement. She will give a talk about what we know about police violence against protesters, and then lead a discussion of how we see this dynamic today with BLM protests and what we can do about it.
     
    Please email Tory at basel@democrats.ch to receive the Zoom information.


    Add to your Google Calendar.

    WHEN
    July 23, 2020 at 7pm
    WHERE
    Zoom Meeting
    Basel, BS
    Switzerland
    Google map and directions
    6 rsvps rsvp

  • Antiracism/Black Lives Matter Events Around Switzerland

    Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) has been made aware of the following demonstrations and marches planned around the country over the next few days:

    Basel

    • Demonstration Against Racism
      June 6 at 1 PM
      Barfüsserplatz
    • No to Racism! Together We Are STRONG!
      June 13 at 2 PM
      Barfüsserplatz
      Wear all black

    Bellinzona

    • Demonstration Against Racism
      June 6 at 4 PM
      Piazza del Sol

    Bern

    • No to Racism! Together We Are STRONG!
      June 13 at 2 PM
      Bundeshaus
      Wear all black
      More information here.

    Geneva

    • Demonstration - Cancelled
      June 8 from 4:30 to 6 PM
      Outside the U.S. Mission in Geneva
    • March
      June 9 from 6 to 9:00 PM
      Gather at Place de Neuve; travel in groups of 300 along the route to end at Parc des Cropettes
      More information here.

    Lausanne

    • Demonstration
      June 7 at 2 PM
      Choose any spot throughout the city, maximum 30 people per location.
      More information here.

    Neuchâtel

    • Demonstration Against Racism
      June 6 at 1 PM
      Places des Jeunes Rives

    Zürich

    • March
      June 6 at 2 PM
      Gather at Bahnhofstrasse/Main Station
      Note: As of this time, we are unsure who is organizing this event, as are other leaders in the area. As such, please take precaution if you choose to attend.
    • No to Racism! Together We Are STRONG!
      June 13 at 2 PM
      Stadelhofen
      Wear all black
      More information here.
    DACH is supportive of Black Lives Matter (BLM) initiatives and as such are making members aware of related events across Switzerland. These events are neither organized nor sponsored by DACH. If you choose to participate, please maintain the proper spirit of peaceful demonstration and also observe any COVID-19 guidelines regarding social distancing and number of people at a gathering. Here is a Twitter thread with some ideas on how to protest safely.
     
    We are trying to vet this information as best we can. However, events are developing quickly and our members are looking to us for information. It is our hope and assumption that you, our members, are well-informed and savvy enough to research these events/organizations yourselves, as well as planning for ways to keep yourself safe should something go wrong.
     
    Also: Please promote DACH and the right to vote! Carry posters and highlight “Vote from Abroad” or “VoteFromAbroad.org” or “DemocratsAbroad.org” in your signs and in your clothing (t-shirts, hats, etc.). If you have votefromabroad.org handouts or cards, feel free to carry some to give to people along the route!
     
    You may be able to find more information about these and other events at the Black Lives Matter Switzerland Facebook page or by emailing blmswitzerland@gmail.com.
     
    As always, thank you for your time and consideration. Be safe and do good.

  • published Food and COVID-19 in News 2020-05-29 16:40:38 -0400

    Food and COVID-19

    Covid-19 has created multiple shocks to food supply chains, affecting producers, workers and consumers. The World Food Programme estimates that up to 265 million people could face acute food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic.

    Michelle Grant (ETH Zurich: World Food Systems Center and author of The Great Full – Sustainable Eating with Purpose and Joy) shared with us the challenges the pandemic brings for our food system and discussed what government agencies, and other actors, are doing to respond.


  • published 2020 DA Switzerland AGM on Wednesday, June 24 in News 2020-05-30 03:08:02 -0400

    2020 DA Switzerland AGM on Wednesday, June 24

    Democrats Abroad Switzerland will hold our 2020 Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, from 7 - 10 PM via WebEx. At this meeting we will adopt new bylaws for DACH. Your presence is greatly desired as we need a quorum in order to adopt the bylaws.

    You will also hear our annual reports, hear overviews of the DA Regional and Global Conventions, participate in a brainstorming session for Get Out the Vote, and discuss election events for November.

    2020 Annual General Meeting (Add to Google Calendar.)

    Meeting Title = DA Switzerland AGM
    Date and Time = Wed, 24 Jun 2020 19:00:00 CEST
    Duration = 3 hours
    Meeting number = 478854014
    Meeting Password = dems
    Meeting URL: https://democratsabroad.webex.com/democratsabroad/e.php?MTID=madefb2d9f483193b1167487c39b2a6e5

    Agenda (preliminary)

    • 6:45-7:00 PM - Sign in, get WebEx set up properly, virtually mingle
    • 7:00-7:45 PM - Approve the 2019 AGM minutes; business meeting and officer reports
    • 7:45-8:45 PM - Adoption of new bylaws
    • 8:45-9:00 PM - Break
    • 9:00-9:30 PM - Get Out the Vote brainstorming
    • 9:30-10:00 PM - Election events for November
    • 10:00 PM - Adjournment

    Bylaws Revision: Please Review the Proposed Changes. We invite you to comment!

    We are pleased to include a draft of the revised bylaws for DACH, which will be presented for approval at the AGM on June 24. Several changes were necessary to bring our bylaws in line with changes made to the Democrats Abroad Charter. These include concepts such as "One Person, One Vote," wording changes regarding gender balance, etc. Also, we used this opportunity to include the status of DACH as a Verein/Association under Swiss laws in order to be compliant with local rules and regulations.

    We invite you to make public comments via Google Docs here. You can view and comment on this Google Doc without having a Google Account.

    As you review the draft, please note the following:

    1. Minor punctuation, format, spacing, capitalization, or spelling changes have been made and are not highlighted as "edits" from the original bylaws from 2014.
    2. Please do not reformat or concern yourself about formatting as that will be cleaned up in the final draft before presentation at the AGM.
    3. Please note that in Google Docs, you can choose to view all edits and comments (default setting) or you can use a simple view that only displays the "final document."



    4. Please respond with any comments or suggestions by 5 PM on Friday, June 12.
    5. A WebEx session for review and discussion of all public comments will be held on Wednesday, June 17 at 7 PM. Please plan to attend as we want to finalize all changes and address all questions before the AGM.

    We will have several events leading up to the AGM to prepare our members for the vote about bylaws and attending the meeting via WebEx.

    We look forward to seeing you at these virtual events over the coming month! Thank you for your time and attention.


  • published #YeahScience in News 2020-05-29 17:16:09 -0400

    #YeahScience

    As we’ve learned during the global pandemic, science communication is not easy. There are contradictory data sets and a lot of misinformation. How do you navigate the noise?

    Our very own Zachary Bailey, post-doctoral pathogen ecologist at the ETH, shared his knowledge on Covid-19. We also discussed trusted science podcasts, blogs, and journals.


  • published Donate in Switzerland 2020-05-20 12:11:18 -0400

    Donate to Support DA Switzerland!

    Democrats Abroad Switzerland is a volunteer organization that relies on donations to be able to provide outreach, voter education, and voter registration services. With the critical nature of the 2020 election, we need your financial support to allow us to register and motivate as many voters living in Switzerland as possible. Whether you choose to make a one time donation or become a sustaining donor, your contribution allows us to purchase advertising, provide voter registration, and rent venues (as needed).

    Are you interested in becoming a sustaining donor? We are looking for members who can donate between CHF 2 and CHF 50 a month! Request that your bank do a "Standing Order," or "Dauerauftrag."

    Account Name: Democrats Abroad Switzerland
    IBAN: CH74 0029 2292 1665 7940 Q
    BIC: UBSWCHZH80A

    We can also accept donations via Twint:

    Simply open your Twint app, scan this QR code, and enter the donation amount you wish to send!

    By making a donation to Democrats Abroad Switzerland, you are agreeing to our Donation Declaration, found below.


    Donation Declaration

    1. I am a United States Citizen; and
    2. This contribution is not made from the general treasury funds of a corporation, labor organization, or national bank; and
    3. This contribution is not made from the treasury of a person or entity that is a federal contractor; and
    4. This contribution is not made from the treasury of a joint account for which one or more account holders are not United States citizens; and
    5. The funds I am donating are not being provided to me by another person or entity for the purpose of making this contribution; and
    6. I am at least 18 years old, the funds I am donating are my own personal funds, and I am donating these funds knowingly and voluntarily.

  • donated via 2020-06-07 11:28:12 -0400

    Make a donation using the form on the left or join our sustaining donors Margin of Victory Club.

    Are you interested in joining the Democrats Abroad Margin of Victory Club and making a monthly donation? Would you like to use Paypal to make a donation? Contribute to Democrats Abroad through ActBlue

    Every dollar you give supports our work to elect Democrats who will fight - AND FIGHT BACK - to make a better life for ALL Americans.   Join us by making a donation today.

    Julia Bryan, Chair - Democrats Abroad

    We need Democrats like you to commit to Democrats Abroad - your Democratic Party for overseas Americans. Contribute to Democrats Abroad today and help us fight back against the Trump agenda, register Americans all over the world for upcoming elections, reach out on issues that concern you and build a brighter future for our country and the world. With your help, we can make the difference. We did it all over the country in 2018! And we will make the difference in 2020!

    If you are unable to contribute online, send us a US Dollar check with this form to the following address.

    Democrats Abroad
    PO Box 15130
    Washington DC 20003
    USA

    Thank you for your support!

    On-line credit card contributions made to Democrats Abroad are secure, encrypted transactions made via Stripe.

    Donations to Democrats Abroad are not tax-deductible.

    Donate

  • COVID-19 Fundraiser: Supporting Communities of Color

    While COVID-19 affects us all, it disproportionately impacts communities of color in the US.

    Factors including front line jobs, underlying medical conditions due to lack of access to adequate healthcare, and/or substandard housing in densely populated areas are putting these communities at greater risk.

    At the same time, these communities are threatened not only by COVID-19, but by other existential challenges such as loss of income and food insecurity during the lock down.

    Because of this, our friends at Action Together: Zürich, CH (ATZ) have created the COVID-19 Fundraiser: Supporting Communities of Color in the US as a way for our community to donate to four organizations working directly to support these communities.

    donate-button.jpg

    Read more

  • published How the US Presidential Election Works in News 2020-04-27 08:32:39 -0400

    How the US Presidential Election Works

    The Bertelsmann Foundation was established in 2008 for the purposes of promoting and strengthening the transatlantic relationship. Through its research, debate forums, and multimedia tools, the Foundation provides analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political, and social challenges impacting the US and Europe.

    A former DA Switzerland secretary is now living in Washington, DC, and works at the Bertelsmann Foundation. She recently produced this short video explaining the US electoral process, including primaries, conventions, and the general election.


  • Do You Have Questions about the CARES Act Recently Passed by Congress?

    The Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force has answers!


    Democrats Abroad has received many hundreds of emails from members interested in understanding the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, their eligibility for support, and how and when they might receive it.

    In order to prevent delays in our responses, we have developed from member emails an FAQs document that aims to address the key concerns we have been hearing. We will continue to add to it as needed.

    Rest assured we are working hard to address our members’ concerns and thank you in advance for your understanding.

    We hope you find the information you are seeking in this list of CARES Act aid FAQs.

    The Treasury will surely make more information available soon.  We are updating these FAQs continuously.  So if you have further questions please plan to revisit the FAQs.

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE

    IMPORTANT:  Democrats Abroad does not provide personal tax advice or recommendations.  We recommend that you engage a qualified, professional tax adviser to address questions related to your personal financial situation. If you do not have a tax adviser we recommend the U.S. Tax Return Preparer Directory published by American Citizens Abroad.  Many will offer payment plans. There are also FreeFile tax return systems for low income taxpayers that accommodate taxpayers with foreign addresses



  • Interested in Attending the Democratic National Convention in August? Here's How!

    During the week of August 17th, the Democrats Abroad (DA) delegation will join with others at the Democratic National Convention to formally choose our nominee for President of the United States. This is a great honor and among the most important civic roles one can have as a U.S. citizen living abroad.

    We will once again have a fired-up delegation casting our votes with all the other Democratic state parties' delegates in showing support and unity among us. You may recall from 2016 our delegation was prominently shown on media stations around the world!

    With great interest in attending the national Convention, this is the moment for all interested Democrats Abroad members to submit their declaration of delegate candidacy. Any DA member is eligible to run, and the Affirmative Action Committee strongly emphasizes the importance of DA members from historically-underrepresented backgrounds to run as delegate candidates in showing the world the diversity of our Party and our members around the world.

    Forms to declare delegates’ candidacy are now available online. Please encourage your country committee’s members, state chapters, caucuses, task forces, and other leaders and members to fill it out as soon as possible and return it no later than April 17th.

    -The Democrats Abroad Affirmative Action Committee-

    Questions or comments? E-mail: diversity@democratsabroad.org


  • Democrats Abroad Switzerland, COVID-19, and the Global Presidential Primary

    At this time, Switzerland has imposed a ban on public events attracting more than 1,000 attendees. Although interest in the GPP is high, we do not expect that many attendees in any one center at one time. As such, currently we are going ahead with our GPP events as planned.

    However, if you are concerned about your health, you are welcome to take advantage of our remote voting option.

    Please use your best judgement regarding your own health and that of others; stay home if you feel sick or are more at-risk of severe illness. If you choose to attend a GPP event, great! We are looking forward to helping you cast your ballot!


    **Please note that our GPP landing page will be updated as necessary, alerting you to any changes in our Global Presidential Primary Voting Center operations in Basel, Geneva, and Zurich.**

    **You can find the official Democrats Abroad statement regarding COVID-19 here.**


  • published SwissPats: Helping Americans Rock Their Vote in News 2020-02-27 10:38:56 -0500

    SwissPats: Helping Americans Rock Their Vote

    In early February, Liz Voss (DA Switzerland Vice Chair) and Kristen Jafflin (DACH Basel Vice Chair) visited Don and Suzi at SwissPats to discuss all things Democrats Abroad: the upcoming Global Presidential Primary, VoteFromAbroad.org, volunteer and social events, and the General Election in November 2020.

    You can listen to this episode of the podcast here, or wherever you listen to your other podcasts.

    In the interview, Suzi asked about opportunities for non-Americans to get involved. Liz and Kristen both made some suggestions on the spot, but it's always easier to click a link than remember a URL. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for people to get involved in US politics, whatever their nationality and wherever they live:

    VoteFromAbroad.org: Any US citizen living outside of the US can use this site to register to vote and/or request their ballot. This should be done every year!
    (And as mentioned in the podcast, anyone can help an American register to vote or request their ballot and for most states, the process can be completed with a smart phone, a piece of paper, and a blue or black pen.)

    Join Democrats Abroad: Any US citizen living outside of the US who is 18 or older can join Dems Abroad. We have members living in over 190 countries around the world who vote in every state and Congressional district in the US.

    Dems Abroad Switzerland: This is the homepage for our country committee and has a wealth of information about our GPP, our leadership, our chapters, and our upcoming events.

    Be a DA Switzerland volunteer: Democrats Abroad can only accept cash donations from US citizens, but we can have volunteers from any country!

    A Year of Living Better: How to Participate in Politics: This New York Times article has many ideas on how to participate in US politics in the US or from abroad, some being applicable to non-US citizens.

    Postcards To Voters: Sign up to send postcards to voters in the US.

    Text Banking: Several text banking options that allow you to text US voters.

    Places to donate/get involved/register to vote in you're a US citizen living in the US:

    • Vote Save America: A wide-ranging repository of political information from Crooked Media, the minds behind Pod Save America and other podcasts.
    • Fair Fight: The organization that Stacey Abrams founded after the mismanaged 2018 gubernatorial race in Georgia. They promote fair elections around the US, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.

    We are looking forward to interacting with more Americans and concerned world citizens throughout this election season!


I'm an expat SAHM in Switzerland and a proud Democrat.