May 2020 DAGT Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Minutes of Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Executive Committee meeting on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 11:00am via WebEx

Members in Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Mary Lou Ridinger, Vice Chair; Juan Pablo Aris, Counsel; Kee Adams Evans, Events Coordinator; Dave Evans, Member-at-Large; Scotney Young, Media Contact; Traci Styner, Lake Atitlán Area Chair; Phyllis MacCartney, member; Anfong Chen, member.


Per our bylaws (paragraph 19.3), all meetings are open to all members. 

Called to order at 11:05am

Approval of Agenda and Minutes: Minutes from April meeting and agenda for May meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s report: Net worth remains unchanged from last month at Q6,408.

Chair’s Report: John reported on the DAGT 2020 Direct Email Fundraiser that runs to June 15 but currently on hold due to Covid-19. Donations over $35 win a 2020 candidate T shirt. This will restart now with notice of Biden and Bernie tees being available (see below).  (2) Juan Pablo, who served on the Credentials and Rules committee along with Danielle Stampley (DA Canada) and Gil Anav (DA Mexico), for the May 17th Americas Region Convention, reported on the convention in which two delegates, one Biden and one Sanders, were elected to the 2020 Democratic National Convention and one DNC member was elected. Congratulations to Ken Sherman (DA Canada), reelected as Americas Region DNC member for the 2020-2024 term, Tim Ellis (DA Canada), 2020 Sanders delegate, and Miguel Madrigal (DA Costa Rica), 2020 Biden delegate. (3) John mentioned that the CallHub phone banking campaign to DA Guatemala members is still live. The other CallHub campaigns have ended. You can still make some calls to the DAGT campaign. Over 500 calls to DAGT’s 590 members have been completed where 75% have either been answered, a voice message left, and/or a text sent. (4) Ordering tee shirts for Direct Email Fundraiser winners and for sale to members was introduced by John. Model options for both a Biden tee and a Bernie tee were displayed.  Kee moved that DAGT purchase one dozen of the “Biden President” and one dozen of the “Bern it Down” tees. Scotney seconded the motion. During discussion it was mentioned that a list of desired alternatives be kept so that if and when additional orders are placed, they can be considered. The motion passed unanimously. John will place the order with Korey Peterson ASAP. (Note: a day after the meeting Kee and John discussed indications of lukewarm interest in the Bernie tee and decided that the first order will be for the Biden tee only; subsequent orders to include the Bernie model and/or other alternatives).

Events 2020: Kee reported on get out the vote efforts. An email went out this week reminding members to go to to request their overseas absentee ballots. She has gotten a few calls for help, and remains available for continued requests. Kee is monitoring those voters who must also return a hard copy of the FPCA. We will rely on the DPO to the extent we can, but will use alternatives if need be, e.g., DHL.

Movies and other public events are currently on hold, but will resume when the emergency abates and Guatemala opens up again.

John mentioned that DAGT should run some paid Facebook ads to alert more American citizens residing in Guatemala to go to to request an overseas absentee ballot. He will explore some language and ideas and Scotney will develop them into some attractive ads that can be posted and boosted to a wider audience.  The same items should be placed on Instagram and our FB group page. Scotney will work with Kee to finalize the designs and content.

Covid-19: As we did last month, participants spent several minutes sharing coronavirus lockdown experiences. Kee updated us on her extended family’s experiences back in New Mexico. Recovery for them has been slow and difficult with the damage done to lungs and other organs. Mary Lou mentioned how hard the shut-down has been for her business and her 45 employees who are furloughed.  She’s waiting for the GOG’s small business financial assistance to arrive. Mary Lou also suggested people look up the work of Jacob Glanville, son of DAGT member David Glanville, whose work on broad-spectrum antivenom is supported by the National Institutes of Health, and more recently his work on anti-SARS-CoV-2 COVID-19 therapeutic antibodies in coordination with other researchers at San Carlos university in Guatemala that is supported by the Gates Foundation among others. Jacob is based in California. There’s a YouTube video on his work and Mary Lou can send the link for anyone interested in learning more about this innovative effort. Mary Lou was asked if Rachael had updated her family’s experience back in the states as well as her work in and around Xela.

Also joining the meeting today was Anfong Chen, a DAGT member who resides in Guatemala City. She introduced herself and said she’s been in Guatemala for nine years. Her mother is originally from Guatemala and after high school she was interested in learning more about her mother’s home country. An older sister had also lived a number of years here. Anfong spoke little Spanish when she got here, but now, nine years later, is in her last year of medical school at Landiver University. She joined DA in 2016 and voted for Bernie, and is voting again this year through DA. Anfong hopes to return to the states to practice medicine after graduation. Congratulations!!

As reported earlier, Scotney and her husband returned to Portland, Oregon in early May.  She reported on their experience flying out on United. The flight was full, she said, but everyone was wearing masks and trying hard to keep safe and clean at their seats. She noted how different states are approaching covid-19. In Houston, social distancing was not readily apparent with almost no one wearing a mask and restaurant areas crowded as though it were pre-covid-19. But once in Portland, everyone was wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing norms. Scotney will be in Portland until August when they will move to Washington, DC. She will continue to help us with posts and communications concerns up to the move.

The DAGT Excom will meet next on Thursday, June 18th, at 11am Guatemala time, via WebEx.

Travel Notes: All plans are on hold.

Adjourned: 12:16pm