Democrats Abroad represents the margin of victory in dozens of close races coming up in 2018. Democracy is counting on us.
Global Chair Julia Bryan delivered this inspiring message to an enthusiastic audience at the first-ever Democrats Abroad Nordic Summit last weekend in Malmö, Sweden.
This mini-regional meeting was an experiment. Along with the Alex Lange, Chair of DA Sweden, and Kim Chopin, Chair of DA Denmark, my hope was that such a collaboration between our regional chapters would give us the chance to:
- Share knowledge between boards
- Build community among members
- Inspire all of us to make a difference in the coming elections
I’m pleased to announce that the meeting was a big success on all three accounts.
We started the day off with quick introductions of each participating country chapter (CC). It was inspiring to learn about one another’s successes and challenges, to compare notes a bit. From there, attendees received important info and tutorials on Voter Registration and Phone Banking. I was honoured to present a talk titled Ready to Reframe: Approaching Nordic Issues in American Politics. And Julia Bryan presented an update on Tax Issues for Americans abroad, as well as a keynote speech that included insights on her recent door knock on capitol hill.
This event began as a “Scandinavian Summit.” Then, in the planning process, we extended an invitation to Democrats Abroad living in Finland, who have been interested in forming their own CC. Three of them showed up on Saturday! They wanted to see how DA works as an organization. They wanted to understand how the CC’s help one another to succeed in registering voters and educating the public on the issues. I’m proud that our Nordic Summit—as we immediately rebranded it—could reinforce these ideas.
I want to thank Alex and Kim for all the hours of brainstorming and planning, their good ideas, their willingness to listen and pivot. We made a good team. And we couldn’t have done any of it without Alex Arcelay, Chair of the Skåne chapter in Sweden, who diligently found a venue and organized the logistics, then helped the day run smoothly.
Like many people, I only jumped into organising and activism after Donald Trump was elected. That tragedy was my personal catalyst. It also turned out to be a catalyst for the Women's March, the March for Science, the March for our Lives (Saturday, 24 March in Oslo, too), and dozens of other demonstrations and movements. These are remarkable showings of solidarity. We hope that sheer numbers will hold our elected representatives accountable. They might. But the most tangible change we can make in any election is the casting of our own ballots. That's what Democrats Abroad is about.
Given what I learned at the DA Nordic Summit last weekend, I think we're in good shape to continue reaching our voter registration targets. Americans abroad have the unique opportunity and responsibility to be the margin of victory in some close midterm races. Our efforts can make the difference and flip a few seats our way, or at least scare the hell out of complacent Republicans. Now more than ever before, I think we can do this together.
Join us at our next event and help take back the House!
“We are looking forward through the windshield not the rear-view mirror.” Larry Cohen, Board Chair of Our Revolution and Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission said. “We have to believe that we can win.”
Larry spoke recently to a group of over twenty DAN members at the Nighthawk Diner’s new Bygdøy Allé restaurant. He covered a range of topics from the results of the Unity Reform Commission to burgeoning movements within the Democratic Party.
“I like to say democracy is messy, movement building is messy and you just have to put up with it,” he said while discussing challenges progressive movements like Our Revolution face when creating new paradigms in the party. “We’ve got to get people to say we are going to work together and stay in the group and keep the group going. That is what you would call political organizing--party building especially within the Democratic Party--that is strategy- rather than candidate -centered.”
Members representing States across the Union enjoyed sliders, chicken, and mac ‘n’ cheese while engaging in a conversation about organizing and the prospects of the party. The evening closed with DAN members introducing themselves and their motivation for participating in the party abroad, and a brief introduction from last-minute visitor Roy Pedersen, head of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions’ (LO) branch in Oslo.
DAN thanks Larry and the Our Revolution team for sharing their time with our members, and for providing us with valuable insights into workings within the party and the progressive movement. We too are looking forward, and we too believe we can win in 2018 and onward. —Corinne Hobson
Photo below, Roy Pedersen speaks to DAN members.
Below, Larry Cohen with DAN board members (l to r) Danielle K. DeRose, Kathy L. Kelley, Larry Cohen, Cori Ready, Corinne Hobson and Christina Skovsgaard.
Hey everyone! Join DAN partner Drinking Liberally for a lively social pub meet up on the last Tuesday of every month. Do you have opinions to share? Come on out to talk some politics with like minded people while enjoying Siste Sang’s craft beers. We look forward to meeting new friends and seeing old friends alike! See you there!
- Share knowledge between boards
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