From October 11 - 13, Democrats Abroad leaders and volunteers from countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa gathered in Athens for our 2019 Regional Meeting.
We took in the sights around the city, ate some truly delicious food, networked... And oh yeah! We brainstormed together and shared strategies from our country committees on how to find members, get them registered to vote, motivate new and existing volunteers, and win big in 2020!
This was my third regional or international DA meeting, having previously attended the EMEA regional meeting in Madrid and the Global AGM in Tokyo. By far, my favorite part of these meetings is getting to meet other motivated Democrats from around the world and hear what works for them back in their local chapters and country committees. Some of their ideas can be implemented here in Switzerland, but due to cultural and logistical differences, not every tactic works in every country. Getting to brainstorm ideas with people who have so many different backgrounds and experiences enables us to come up with creative solutions we might not have reached otherwise.
Additionally, many of our members are experts in their field. We had an excellent presentation in Athens by Brady Kiesling called Defending Democracy: Lessons from the Athenians. How often do you get to hear a former US diplomat, author, and archaeologist/ancient historian give a talk about democracy in the very city where it was invented around 2,500 years ago?!
Among the many presentations given, these were some of the highlights:
- From 2014 to 2018, there was a 147% increase in US ballots cast
- From 2014 to 2018, there was a 322% increase in civilian US citizens abroad casting ballots
- From 2014 to 2018, there was a 600% increase in Americans abroad using VoteFromAbroad.org
Big Picture Goals for 2020
- Double the abroad civilian vote from 2016 (send out 1 mil ballots)
- Take back the White House and the Senate and flip state senates and houses! We can do this; think about the 2019 results in Virginia!
- Protect the House
- Save Democracy in the US
- Messaging Goals for 2020
We learned about what it takes to run a Global Presidential Primary and tactics for reaching new American voters. We talked about social media messaging and strategies. We reaffirmed our commitment to fighting fake news and making the 2018 blue wave even bigger in 2020! I think all of the attendees returned home invigorated, excited, and determined to succeed in 2020; I know I did.