Minutes of Annual General Meeting 2023
Saturday, March 25, 2023 at 11:00am MDT via Zoom and In-Person
- Acting Secretary Hyungjoon Jin confirmed that quorum was met with 9 members in-person, two on line and 15 proxies for a total of 26.
- Meeting called to order 11:20am
- Acting Secretary Hyungjoon Jin read the summary of the 2022 AGM minutes. The March 2023 membership total count = 524. David Dean moved to accept the Secretary’s report. Seconded by Irene Saletan. Motion carried unanimously.
Democrats Abroad Guatemala Executive Committee 2021-2023 Elected Officers
- Chair: Kee Evans
- Vice Chair: John Chudy
- Secretary: Phyllis MacCartney
- Treasurer: Jim Criste, Interim
- Counsel: Blaine Stokes, Interim
- Member at Large: Karl Holzwarth
- Member-at-Large: Mary Lou Ridinger
- MediaContact & Communications Standing Committee Chair: Vacant
- Issues/Special Events Standing Committee Chair: Vacant
- Membership/Voter Registration Standing Committee Chair: Vacant
- Fundraising Standing Committee Chair: Vacant
- Guatemala City MeetUp Chair: Vacant
- Lake Atitlan MeetUp Chair: Vacant
- Occidente MeetUp Chair: Rachel Shenyo
- Huehuetenango MeetUp Chair: Johnny Figueroa-Mont
David Dean moved to accept the Secretary’s report. Motion was seconded by Irene Saletan. The motion carried unanimously.
Jim Criste, Interim Treasurer, reported that DAGT’s fiscal year runs March 1 through February 28. During FY2023 DA Global adopted new rules to comply with Federal Election Commission financial reporting requirements. All accounting is now done through DA Global which we refer to as NationaBuilder. (Nation Builder is the platform Democrats Abroad uses for its website and digital business such as email and webpage management). Under the new system, donations can be accepted only in US dollars by credit card at https://www.democratsabroad.org/donate_GT. Expenditures must be invoiced and are handled by reimbursement in US dollars to US bank accounts to those members incurring costs for activities such as rental of space for voter registration events. The treasurer’s report covered both Quetzales and dollars income and expenditures during the fiscal year and compared them.
Q3,905 are currently held in local currency cash in a shoe box for local subsistence items such as paper and other office items and for refreshments at meetings. It will slowly be spent down and will not be replaced with local donations.
INCOME/DONATIONS during the fiscal year
30 DAGT members Contributed to Democrats Abroad Global online
5 DAGT members made online Contributions to Democrats Abroad Guatemala
Jim reminded the members that to Contribute to Democrats Abroad – Guatemala use:
To Contribute to Democrats Abroad – Global use:
David Dean moved to approve the Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Sue Patterson. Motion unanimously approved
Events Report: Chair Kee Evans reported on this area.
- VOTER REGISTRATION/FPCA February 5, 2022 @ Enlaces in Antigua
- 2022 DAGT AGM March 19, 2022 Zoom
- VOTER REGISTRATION/FPCA March 5, 2022 @ Enlaces in Antigua
- VOTER REGISTRATION/FPCA April 2, 2022 @ Casa Convento Concepción in Antigua
- VOTER REGISTRATION/FPCA May 13, 2022, @ Cafe Madarina in Xela
- US LABOR DAY & MEMBERS’ APPRECIATION PICNIC September 3, 2022 @ Casa Convento Concepción in Antigua
- MIDTERM POTLUCK WATCH PARTY November 8, 2022 @ Private Home in Antigua
- VOTER REGISTRATION/FPCA & PRESENTATION BY MARIA MARTIN
January 28,, 2023 @ Casa Convento Concepción in Antigua
- VOTER REGISTRATION/FPCA April TBD, 2023 @ Casa Convento Concepción in Antigua
- INDEPENDENCE DAY PICNIC July 4, 2023 @ Casa Convento Concepción in Antigua
- VOTER REGISTRATION/FPCA Throughout 2023, wherever needed
Chair Evans said that everyone should request their Overseas Absentee Ballot/Complete their FPCA and do this every year in January. Members should watch their email for Voter Registration/FPCA Events.
Join Democrats Abroad Caucuses. Get to know all eleven of them at: https://www.democratsabroad.org/caucuses. Chair Kee Evans is a member of all of them and has served as chair of the Veterans and Military Families Caucus.
Members should also consider helping with STATE TEAMS. Information and access to joining a state team can be found at: https://www.democratsabroad.org/state_teams.
David Dean raised a question about holding a large July 4th event like we did back in 2013 when we had about 150 people attend with great food and a grand fireworks finale. For that event, which was a combined DAGT/American Society activity, tickets were sold in local currency ahead of time and at the door. It was mentioned that the new financial management arrangements would require that tickets sold for a future event would have to be online via the DAGT donation webpage. Chair Kee Evans mentioned that in 2019, our last in-person July 4th event, we had about 80-90 people attend at which we sold only beverages and provided snacks and finger food free. A fireworks show was also provided. That experience suggests that a good event might be possible without great expense or absolute need to depend on advance ticket sales on the DAGT online donation page. Rachael Shenyo suggested that instead of printing the donation link, it would be better to use QR codes on posters and other advertisements as that is now the way many people prefer to access online sites including places to donate. She also concurred with Chair Evans’s observation that David Dean should be on the events committee with his abundance of ideas.
Media and Communications Report for 2022-2023
Given that this position has been vacant for the term, Chair Kee Evans gave the report. DAGT has a Facebook page that includes a page DA Latino Page for posts in Spanish
DAGT also has a Private Members’ Facebook Group Page.
Posts on the Group Page include states news, election news, Caucus events, news from the U.S. Embassy Guatemala, GOTV, news from DA Global ExCom, and other news important to our members. Any member of the Group can post on this Page. The Admins reserve the right and have the responsibility to remove posts that are inappropriate. The DA Latino Page and the DA Page are public pages, so news that is specific to Democrats Abroad is not usually posted. GOTV activities are posted because they are open to any U.S Citizen. Rules of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) govern our posts.
MeetUp Chairs’ Reports
Occidente Region, Rachel Shenyo, One voter registration event held in 2022 at Café Mandarina. Venues have been close over the pandemic, but are now opening. Tourism sites are opening up. Movement on Xela expat Facebook page. Possibilities look good on the outreach front with venues we can access like Xela expats, Radio Xela and APC radio. There are other groups like Xela Traveler’s Facebook page and a new Huehue Traveler’s group as well. Demographic for expats is Gen Z volunteers. Rachael now has a permanent art gallery space where she is displaying her own works and could donate some proceeds to DAGT on the donation page when she has sales. Rachael is hoping to be more active in the coming year.
Huehuetenango Region, Johnny Figeroa-Mont, was absent due to the flu. Vice Chair John Chudy reported. A radio campaign of 30-second spots in Spanish was implemented in September 2022, directed at the dual-citizen population of Huehuetenango and surrounding area. Spots were run on Radio Mass 98.9, three times a day for five days from September 19 to 23. The cost for the one-week effort was Q360.00. The announcements produced five phone calls of inquiry received by Johnny, but no new voters.
Due to vacancies, there were no reports from Guatemala City MeetUp group nor Lake Atitlán MeetUp Group.
Chair Evans reported that the 2022 midterm elections headlined the year. A total of 469 seats in the U.S. Congress (34 Senate seats and all 435 House seats) were up for election on November 8, 2022. In the House, Six Democrat incumbents were defeated, resulting in 222(R) - 213(D). Though Democrats lost control, the slim margin they lost by was near historic in importance. In the Senate, Democrats retained control of the chamber gaining 51 seats. After the election, Arizona Sen. Sinema changed party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. This was the first election since 1914 that no Senate incumbent who ran lost re-election.
There were 36 gubernatorial seats on the ballot in 2022. After the election Democrats hold 24, with a net gain of 2. In addition, three U.S. territories held gubernatorial elections in 2022: Guam elected a Democrat, the Northern Mariana Islands elected an Independent, and the U.S. Virgin Islands elected a Democrat.
Chair Evans underscored DA Guatemala’s need for volunteers for several important areas.
GOTV Coordinator - Set up and staff voter registration events for DAGT.
Events Coordinator - Determine events that will engage members. Book venues.
Communications Coordinator - Post to Facebook Pages, contact magazines, newspapers and radio/TV for advertisements and announcements. Bi-lingual helpful!
Fundraising Coordinator - Plan fun ideas to raise funds for DAGT.
Meet-Up Coordinators - Plan events in your city or area to engage members or recruit new members. GOTV events, Happy Hours, etc. Guatemala City and Lake Atitlan needed now.
Americas Region – monthly meetings on WebEx
Country Committees in the region include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana - In Formation, Mexico, Panama, Peru. The Regional Vice Chair is Hope Bradberry, DA Mexico
The DPCA Global AGM for 2023 will take place June 9 - 11, in person in Washington D.C. and virtual on WebEx. Business will include Officer Elections, consideration of resolutions, along with annual reports and a door knock visit to Capitol Hill.
Any DA Member can attend as an observer
Amendments to Bylaws
This amendment will govern DPCA voting representatives from DAGT. Language changes as a result of the Amendment begin with Article XIV: Other Officers and read as follows:
Depending on the DAGT membership count, the DPCA may allocate Voting Representative(s) to the DPCA in addition to the DAGT Chair and Vice Chair. The election for the position(s) shall normally take place at the Annual Membership Meeting unless the DPCA notifies DAGT of the position(s) after the Annual Meeting, making it impossible to include the election as part of the Annual Membership meeting. In such an instance, a special election shall be held following the guidelines and procedures specified in Article V. In keeping with DAGT’s commitment to the promotion of diversity and gender balance among elected officials, should DAGT be allocated more than one DPCA Voting Representative, the second Representative. shall be the opposite sex from the first; and consideration will be given to assure a diverse committee.
A motion to adopt the amendment was made by David Dean and seconded by Jim Criste. The motion carried unanimously. Chair Evans will adapt the language with relevant changes to the DAGT bylaws in consultation with Regional Vice Chair Hope Badberry to ensure compliance with the DPCA charter.
The 2023 Nominations and Elections Committee is chaired by Gretchen Schulz, and assisted by Hyungjoon Jin and Linda Conard. At the AGM on March 25, 2023, NEC member Hyungjoon Jin, acting on behalf of NEC chair, Gretchen Schulz who was traveling on work, managed the election. Because there was only one candidate for each elected office, a motion was made to accept all candidates by acclamation. The motion was made by Sue Patterson and seconded by Irene Saletan. The motion passed unanimously. A total of 26 members voted (nine in person, two on Zoom, and 15 by proxy). The newly elected officers are:
Chair, John Chudy
Vice Chair, Mary Lou Ridinger
Secretary, Phyllis MacCartney
Treasurer, Jim Criste
Counsel: Juan Pablo Aris
Members-at-Large: David Dean and Karl Holzwarth
Voting Representative, Kee Adams Evans
Standing Committee Appointments
GOTV Coordinator – Kee Evans
Events Coordinator – Kee Evans
Communications Coordinator - Vacant
Fundraising Coordinator - Vacant.
MeetUp Group Chair – Occidente, Rachael Shenyo
MeetUp Group Chair – Huehuetenango, Johnny Figueroa Montt
MeetUp Group Chair – Lake Atitlán, Hyungjoon Jin
MeetUp Group Chair – Guatemala City, Vacant
The gavel was passed to the incoming chair John Chudy following remarks of appreciation for support from DAGT by outgoing Chair Evans, and appreciation remarks from David Dean and Rachael Shenyo, who commented on Kee’s excellent leadership over the past term. Incoming Chair Chudy expressed his appreciation of Kee’s work not only as an excellent chair over the past two years, but her commitment over the past decade as an absolutely reliable volunteer for standing committees, especially GOTV and Events, and her participation and support of DA Caucuses and for chairing the Veterans and Military Families caucus.
Chair John Chudy thanked the body for his election, and extended thanks to those who stepped up to form the DAGT Executive Committee for the 2023-2025 term. It will be a busy term with the 2024 presidential election cycle coming up. DAGT will continue to meet via Webex on the third Wednesday of the month. At the April 19th meeting, we will discuss a day and time going forward that works best for the majority of the Excom, and also explore restarting in-person meetings with remote access. Also, the 2023-2025 term will adopt a theme of New Blood, to seek out and bring on board younger new members.
Ways to financially support DA and DAGT
- Become a sustaining donor to Democrats Abroad. Give monthly, quarterly, annually or give a one-time donation at democratsabroad.org/donate
- Give directly to DAGT, all donations stay with DAGT. democratsabroad.org/donate_gt
David Dean moved to adjourn, Rachael Shenyo seconded. Passed unanimously.
Adjournment 12:57 pm