April 04, 2017

2017 Democrats Abroad Annual General Meeting Review

By Vice-Chair - Keith Jacomine

On March 18th members of DA-Austria met for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to review the previous year’s business activities and elect a new Executive Committee.

The evening started with a business review by outgoing Chair, Keith Jacomine, and Vice-Chair, Ashley Arreola. The Chair's presentation focused on the sizeable growth in membership over the past year, the increased level of volunteerism amongst members, DAA’s financial and leadership support to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad—plus our members’ emboldened political activism. The Vice-Chair‘s presentation focused on member engagement and the numerous events, ranging from social to political orientation, that were staged over the year 2016 to keep members active and aware.

After wrapping up the AGM’s business agenda, the floor was opened to audience participation. What followed was a spirited discussion of DA’s overrall role in the Democratic Party and many members’ desire for it to take on a more grassroots, progressive orientation. The discussion ended with an agreement that, regardless of which “flavor” or persuasion one is on the Democratic Party spectrum, we must all work together to beat the Republicans. 

Post-discussion, it was time for the 2017-2019 Executive Committee elections. While the ballots were being tabulated, Chair Keith Jacomine and Member-at-large, Mary Ann Balko-Koch, entertained members with a politically oriented Trivia Quiz: "Real or Fake Headline/Who Said It Quotes" with the top winners walking away with "valuable" prizes. Since this is perhaps not so “trivial” after all, if you would like to test your knowledge, you can find the Quiz right here! 

Following the announcement of the vote results, the new Executive Committee was introduced. They are:

Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper

Vice-Chair Keith Jacomine

Treasurer Marcy Fowler

Secretary Ellen Lewis

Counsel Bruce Murray

At Large: Caitlin Ahern

Ashley Arreola

Adrea Mach

Matthew Stevens


Our newly elected Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, then presented the priorities, focusing our efforts over the coming two years (2017-2019) to work on the issues we care about and use our work to rally voters to the polls for the 2018 mid-term elections. She closed her presentation with a call to “Be Active! Volunteer for an issue you care about! Get involved!” 

Thanks to all the members and volunteers who have tirelessly given of their time and energy this past year. If you'd like further information on what was discussed at the meeting, please email Ellen Lewis, DAA Secretary at [email protected]