Please note that Chair and Vice Chair must be gender balanced.
Kim Life: Candidate for Chair, Democrats Abroad—Baja California, Mexico, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I am a lifelong Democrat and a passionate feminist and civil rights advocate. My undergraduate degrees concentrated on Women in Development, and I was recruited to pursue my law degree at Duke University School of Law by its exclusive Public International Law program.
I was born in Newport Beach, California, but I moved overseas when I was three and spent almost 30 years living in Asia, Africa, and Europe. My life partner and I moved to México in 2019 with our horse and five cats; we have since been joined by four dogs, his mother, my mother, and her three cats. I speak French and my Spanish is a work in progress. I hold a law degree from Duke University School of Law, and BAs in Economics and Finance from the University of Iowa. I am a Food, Drug, and Cosmetics ethics and compliance attorney; I manage my international practice through my firm, Life Law Partners, from my home in La Misión, Baja.
My first affiliation with Democrats Abroad was when I lived in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in the late 1980s. In 2021, I was approached by the leadership of Democrats Abroad—Mexico to run as Vice Chair of the Baja chapter. Unfortunately, I was compelled to resign when it became clear that the current Chair and certain members of his Board were concerned primarily with personal interests, rather than growing the potential of the chapter.
I am running now as Chair of the Baja Chapter, and with my Vice Chair, Roberto Moreno, and our strong ticket of Board members, we will get Baja ready to join the fight for the 2024 election.
David Diaz: Current Chair, Democrats Abroad—Baja California, Mexico,
David Diaz is an experienced interdisciplinary, international professional with a broad experience operating globally in both the public and private sectors, with a notable background and history in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. He has native professional proficiency in both English and Spanish, fluency in Italian, and a working knowledge of French. He is currently a Site Manager for the San Diego County Registrar of Voters and an Analytical Linguist for a Federal Contractor. Diaz served as Charter Vice President and Foundation Chair for the San Diego Downtown Evening Rotary Club 2020-21 and is a Past President of United Services Rotary e-Club.
Diaz worked in the Outreach Department of the San Diego County Registrar of Voters at one point working concurrently for a Department of Homeland Security component. Prior, he was a Political & Global Affairs Analyst for Interactiva News KSDY San Diego. He was also a United Nations Association of the United States delegate to the UN Population Conference. In 2013, he received a lifetime (Presidential) appointment as a member of the U.S. Selective Service System Local Board in the State of California. In 2012, he worked as Central Las Vegas Field Organizer for OFA (President Obama’s Re-election Campaign) and beforehand served at the Political Section of the American Embassy in Madrid, Spain. Additionally, he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and a Caux Scholar. In 2010, he served as an Office Manager/Field Organizer for the San Diego County Democratic Party. He has served as a Disaster Public Information Officer for the American Red Cross. He has significant experience in the private sector that dates to his teenage years when he helped his mother manage her store in Mexico and continued through the years when he opened a language school in the Madrid suburb of Pozuelo de Alarcon and most recently, when he operates an SME online business.
Diaz continues to work towards the implementation of his Sustainable Peace Education Project, for which he was awarded student membership in the Clinton Global Initiative. In March 2010, he served as a U.S. Department of State Iraqi Elections Observer. He lectured at the 2009 Euro-Mediterranean meeting on “Identity & Conflict” in Italy and “Post-Conflict Development” in Croatia. He has also collaborated with the American Red Cross (ARC) International Services Department on a pilot program to establish both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) in San Diego County. Diaz is certified by the ARC in IHL. That same year, he was granted a University of California, Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation fellowship, during which he earned a certification in Public Policy & Biological Threats.
Diaz carried out his Ph.D (currently ABD) in International Law & International Relations at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and earned his M.A. in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding at California State University-Dominguez Hills. He received his B.A. in International Security & Conflict Resolution from San Diego State University. He also holds an A.A. in Political Science from Southwestern College where he was also certified in Diversity Management. In addition, he studied Comparative Law and Russian at Lomonosov Moscow State University and International Relations at East Mediterranean University in Famagusta, Cyprus. Prior to moving to Madrid to work for the Spanish Ministry of Education, he worked at the Institute of the Americas in La Jolla, California, in the Information and Communication Technologies programs. During his time in Spain (2008 – 2012) Diaz was an active member of Democrats Abroad, Madrid. His current research interests include but are not limited to: Global Governance, Conflict Resolution, Anti-Aging, and Comparative Religion in addition to Atypical Spiritual Traditions and Belief Systems. Diaz has been elected to Honorary Membership in the Madrid Cibeles Rotary Club and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). He is an international speaker who frequently speaks at Rotary Clubs and other CSOs.
Roberto Moreno, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I am a life-long Democrat with dual US and Mexican citizenship. Fluent in English and Spanish, I bring a bi-national perspective to this leadership role that will help grow the Baja chapter into a unique powerhouse. We have an enormous potential constituency here that can help with cross-border matters, and that allows us to reach into those border states that need our Baja votes the most, especially Arizona.
As a cross-border business owner, with my wife, I have nurtured and maintained political ties and membership in organizations in the United States and Mexico that I am confident will make my contribution to this chapter more effective, including:
- Binational representative for the National Chambers of Commerce (Cámaras Nacionales de Comercio) (CANACO) Ensenada
- Binational Vice Chair for the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Active participant in the Border Governors and Border Mayors Conferences
- Active participant in Border 2025 for the past 10 years. This is an environmental task force between the United States EPA, its counterpart in Mexico, SEMARNAT, and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on both sides of the border.
- Active member of Grupo 21 of Tecate, an organization of retired Mexican government officials from all three levels of government, retired executives, and businesses owners.
I am excited to re-launch this Baja chapter with a ticket that is energized and ready to make Baja the largest chapter in the Americas.
Rita Monares, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I studied Information Technology and Studio Arts and worked 10 yrs in the financial software industry training, marketing and installations in Asia and the United States. I am currently the Executive Director of an animal rescue charitable organization and have since 2014. As a result I have 5 dogs in various sizes that keep me busy along with the ownership of a resale shop that supports the non-profit, VIVA-Pawsitive Purrposes. I moved fulltime to Baja, Mexico, San Felipe and La Mision in 2012. I speak some Spanish, but for the most part it is a work in progress. I am a life-long feminist Democrat with and hope that I have been a mentor to other women. I try my best to stick to my word if I commit to something and would do the same with this commitment.
Kasandra Valladolid has experience in public service,legislative office and non profit industry which developed skills in problem-solving, field research,bilingual communications(spanish and english) and creation of a big impact of community projects on vulnerable communities. Kasandra has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and International Relations and Affairs from University of California San Diego.
Denise Studer, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I have lived in Baja California North for three years now after retiring as a teacher of 30 years, which I absolutely loved. I am from a small town next to Mexicali called El Centro, which is 120 miles east of San Diego in the desert, so I wanted to retire close to the ocean. I graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in soil science and was a water conservation specialist for the Imperial Irrigation District for six years; then I went back to college to get my teaching degree from San Diego State University.
I taught for 30 years at a small country school that was Kindergarten through 8th grade. I am single and have a 26-year-old daughter who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. I love to travel and have visited Europe quite extensively since my parents were from Scotland and my grandparents, aunts, and uncles, plus cousins lived there, so we visited often.
Network Engineer, College Professor, Entrepreneur, Ray is a Network Engineer with broad experience in Data and Voice Networks, Microsoft and Linux Infrastructures, Cloud Web Services and E-Commerce. More than 15 years’ experience with Infrastructure operations and management with focus on WAN and LAN implementations. He has also taught Networking, Systems and Cyber Security courses for DeVry, Coleman College, ITT, and Syracuse University. Founder of The Elus Group focusing on E-Commerce, Websites & Things focusing on Business to Client Web implementations.
Members at Large (a maximum of 7 may serve)
Michael P. O'Gorman, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I am a father, a grandfather and a lifelong farmer and political activist. I spent 11 years managing what was Mexico’s largest organic vegetable company here in Baja California, and several other years running farms in Sinaloa, Sonora and Baja California Sur. In 2009 I launched a national movement in the States to help military veterans transition to farming for which I got invited several times to the Obama White House. I am passionate about winning back rural voters to the Democratic Party.
Lisa Marie Hayes, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I have more than two decades of experience in campaign management, field office campaign staff or management, or campaign consulting with Democratic campaigns ranging from local city council races to presidential races. All of that work has been deeply meaningful, but the highlights have been:
- I worked in various roles at field offices around the U.S. in both Obama campaigns
- In Washington State, I authored and ran the campaign for the first state-wide voter initiative to reform law enforcement use of force laws in the U.S.
- I moved to Mexico from Olympia, Washington, with my husband and now fifteen-year-old son three years ago. We have been joined by our elderly parents on both sides of our family and are directly responsible for their care. Our oldest son just bought property here in Baja. This is a place our family intends to put down permanent roots.
- I spent two decades working in homeless advocacy spaces. I am a lifelong Democrat with a special passion for race equity, social justice, and police reform. Since moving to Baja I have missed being involved in the electorate and campaign process. It was such an important part of my life adult life. I am looking forward to serving again in Baja if elected.
Lisa Briganiti Rath, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
A lifelong entrepreneur, joiner, and doer, I served in leadership roles with sorority and student government at Denison University, where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a Theatre Performance major. When I learned that my university did not offer international study abroad programs, I created my own. I made a trip around the world at 20.
While raising four children - including triplets - I served on the boards of a hunger charity, the women’s service group of my church, as a deacon, a trustee, and as a scout leader. Many years were spent serving on committees working for social justice, to support mothers of multiples, enrich children’s lives, and to battle food insecurity. I volunteered for a successful mayoral campaign in Annapolis, Maryland, and organized calling parties in support of Obama’s election.
Since moving from Maryland to Baja California in 2018, I have organized a vegetable delivery service to boost the business of a local farmer with my neighbors; created multiple Facebook groups to introduce other expats to events and culture, as well as social, service, and arts opportunities. To give back to the community of my new home, I volunteer with La Misión Performing Arts Center, Cruz Roja, Rotary International, and La Misión Children’s Fund.
I am a lifelong Democrat and feminist, and I look forward to serving Democrats Abroad and growing the Baja chapter to its full potential.
Gaille Brennan, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I am a retired adult education teacher and post-graduate professor. I have a Ph.D. in psychotherapy, hanging my shingle as a family psychotherapist. I have also dedicated my spare time to public housing advocacy. I have been actively involved in Democratic politics all my adult life, and I will bring my organizational skills and passion for civil rights and peaceful justice to my position on the Board for Democrats Abroad—Baja.
Kristine Witscher, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
I am a UC Berkeley graduate with a B.S. in English. In 2011, I spent a year in Albuquerque, New Mexico serving as a member of Americorps. My work in New Mexico led to nine years of work providing behavior therapy to children on the autism spectrum.
I moved to La Misión in 2020 and feel a strong connection to the region and the people that I have met here. I love to connect with my community, and I deeply value the perspective my time living abroad has brought to life. I bring a dedicated humanist perspective to the Democrats Abroad board and I look forward to empowering and mobilizing Baja voters to get Democrats elected.
In my spare time you can find me walking the beach and practicing yoga at the local gym.
Clarence Lamar, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
Jordan Tramp, Endorsed by DA Mexico Executive Committee.
Dr. Eduardo Zarate
Luis G. Rivera Colin
Christian S. Ponce, is a Mexican American, who has lived all his life on the San Diego-Tijuana border. He is an art-loving citizen with a special interest in fine art. As the son of a fine artist, he has dedicated his studies to Art Criticism and currently works as an art advisor to collectors, government institutions, artists and first time buyers, all from the private sector.
Christian Ponce has participated in political activities for 9 years without interruption. In the political field he has made proposals for changes in cultural laws, and is a member of various groups for the protection of the heritage of the city of Tijuana. Of progressive leftist ideology, he currently serves as Commissioner in Tijuana for Art and Culture of the State Executive Committee of Morena in Baja California.
- American, born in Chula Vista California in 1996, son of Mexican parents.
- Social work studies, graduated with a Law Degree from the Law School of the Autonomous University of Baja California in 2018.
- Work experience in the State Government of Baja California in the Secretariat of Integration and Social Welfare within the Community Centers management, as well as Administrative Vice Principal at the College of Scientific and Technological Studies of Baja California, Altiplano campus.
- Litigation lawyer within the "Valdez Panales and associates" law firm, specialized in family, civil, commercial and administrative matters with years of experience, completed diplomas in Mexican constitutional proceedings and the New Labor Justice System.
- Active political participation within the political party "Movimiento Regeneración Nacional" (MORENA) in the United States of Mexico since 2018.
- Interested in continuing his studies and professional training within the United States of America, as well as actively supporting the Democratic Party from abroad, helping in both Mexican and American legal areas.
Anamarie Flores Pacheco
Diversity and Inclusion are bywords of the Democrat Party. We celebrate the achievements of the LGBT community as they continue to strive for equality. Their hard-won successes make us stronger as a party and as a nation.
Fun Fact: Marriage Equality has now been a reality longer than "The Confederacy" was…
From the Equality Rights Archive
Democrats Abroad - Baja Chapter Board Member, David Rothmiller, shares his interview with Feminist Icon, Gloria Steinem. During the fight for Marriage Equality, she was a staunch ally.
El Capítulo de Baja California de Demócratas en el Extranjero Celebra el Mes del Orgullo LGBTQ+
Diversidad e inclusión son sinónimo del Partido Demócrata. Celebramos los logros de la comunidad LGBTQ+ mientras continúan luchando por la igualdad. Sus éxitos conseguidos con tanto esfuerzo nos hacen más fuertes como partido y como nación.
Dato curioso: La igualdad en el matrimonio ha sido una realidad por más tiempo que "La Confederación"
Del Archivo de Derechos de Igualdad
Demócratas en el Extranjero - David Rothmiller Miembro de la Mesa Directiva de Demócratas en el Extranjero Baja California comparte su entrevista con la Ícono del Movimiento Feminista Gloria Steinem. Durante la lucha por la Igualdad Matrimonial, ella fue una aliada incondicional.
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