On Super Tuesday March 3, 2020 Democrats Abroad (DA) produced the Global Presidential Primary (GPP). The 2020 GPP spanned 180 countries with 39,984 ballots cast representing an exciting 15% increase from 2016. Official results show that Bernie Sanders received 57.9% of the vote while Joe Biden received 22.7%.
For complete details about the 2020 GPP visit http://bit.ly/2xz42u4 and http://bit.ly/2XDOwYm.
From Christina Skovsgaard, Voting Center Manager 2020 and Democrats Abroad Norway (DAN) Vice Chair; DAN had two voting centers one in Oslo the other in Stavanger. All of this was made possible by an amazing volunteer staff. All volunteers participated in a great deal of training before the actual event. DAN is grateful for and proud of each one of our 17 volunteers. Without them this would have not been the success that it was.
(above) Even though it was a rainy, cold day in Oslo we welcomed a continuous stream of voters (including 3 first time voters) along with people looking for advice on registering to vote.
In Stavanger (above left) our first vote! (above right) Directly off the plane from the US a jet lagged voter. (below) Voting Center Manager Gaye Rosland (right) with volunteer André Durham.
(above) Oslo votes in the American Lutheran Congregation’s (ALC) Fireside Room. (below) Last but certainly not least! Thanks to our voting centers (left) the Kafe Go Nok in Stavanger and (right) the ALC in Oslo.
Watch Corinne Hobson of DAN and the DA Veteran's Caucus discuss Demokratenes presidentdebatter on Dagsnytt 17 - TV2. The debate was on August 1, 2019 and starts at 42:18. The conversation is in Norwegian. Go to bit.ly/2T0l8Yfbit.ly/2T0l8Yf.
Democrats Abroad Norway Vice Chair, Christina Skovsgaard was recently in Washington D.C. for the Democrats Abroad Annual General Meeting and "door-knock".
This is her report—
DA leaders from all around the globe participated in the largest ever DA AGM with more than 120 members participating in person and online. The days were speckled with videos from Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg and in person speeches from Kirsten Gillibrand and Mariann Williamson.
Senator and presidential hopeful Kristen Gillibrand speaking at the DA AGM.
On May 17 DA International Chair, Julia Bryan, opened the meeting followed by guest speakers Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Democratic National Committee Secretary Doug Jones. Secretary Jones spoke of the criteria needed to participate in the upcoming Democratic debates.
The day was spent reviewing and voting on resolutions. The Medicare for All and the Vote from Abroad (VFA) Integrity and Sustainability resolutions are important resolutions that passed unanimously. The VFA resolution deals with assuring that it will be a premier tool for Democrats Abroad to grow membership and to register voters. At the evening dinner the guest speaker was DNC CEO, Seema Nanda, where she spoke about the DNC strategy plan for 2020.
On May 18 elections were held for the International Executive Committee and for 3 regional officers. The guest speaker DNC Secretary, Jason Rae, was the youngest person ever elected to the DNC at age 17. He spoke about the creation of a “DNC War Room” a strategy to be “hyper-focused” about the impact of Trump’s policies on local communities.
That evening Josh Handelman from the Democratic Legislation Campaign Committee spoke about the importance of electing Democrats at all levels of government.
On May 19 we completed discussions about resolutions and bylaw changes. Mariann Williamson, American author and presidential candidate, was an impressive speaker and she wants voters to understand that our present administration “is not a swamp, it is an ocean of corruption with an opportunist infection”.
That evening the DA Global Women’s Caucus had an intimate event at the Cosmo Club. We decided that our primary issue going forward is protecting a woman’s right to choose. The GWC will also continue to work and support the ERA going into 2020.
Angela Fobbs, Chair of the Global Black Caucus, reportsRead more
Democrats Abroad is establishing a new caucus, the global Veterans and Military Families (VMF) Caucus. This caucus will work within Democrats Abroad to honor the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces; their service deserves our deepest gratitude and respect. Government policies must reflect the interests of those who are serving and those who have served, including their families. This caucus will work to achieve this goal.
All the various groups, ethnicities, persuasions, identities, and beliefs that make up American society are present in our military; we share issues and concerns in common with the other caucuses of Democrats Abroad. We share the principles and demands expressed in the platforms of both the Democratic Party and Democrats Abroad regarding veterans, active military and their families abroad.
- Reach out to veterans, active duty and reserve military members as well as their dependents living abroad to encourage them to register to vote and to engage them in advocacy for our policy positions.
- Provide a forum for DA members to understand better the issues and concerns affecting our military forces, veterans, and their families outside of the United States.
- Provide a voice for veterans and military families to the Democratic Party Committee Aboard and the Democratic National Committee.
In addition to our stated goals, we also strive to act as a conduit to service members, veterans, and their families overseas by sharing information regarding benefits (e.g. VA and Tri-Care) and participate in commemorative services.
Photo by Peppersmint/Shutterstock
My name is Jon Roth, I am the current Vice Chair of DAN, and I am running to be Chair for the upcoming term. In concert with Audrey Camp, our outgoing Chair, and my fellow board members, I point proudly to the progress we have made in developing an outreach program that successfully harnessed the energy from our political wing coming out of 2016, which helped to begin the healing of political wounds and give our local constituency an outlet to organize and do our part to contribute to the achievements of 2018's blue wave! We leaned into partnership programming, expanded our communications and media relations activities and broadened our relationships with local businesses to promote and host our activities and visibility. My candidacy is one of continuity from the local engagement side, and of political experience and competence from a public facing perspective. My professional experience working in DC policy circles will prove valuable in the 2020 cycle, as the local interest in the presidential election will require a DAN leadership personality to consult with the media, and I am able to speak on all matters of politics and policy with articulate authority on behalf of us, our organization and our party. I humbly ask for your vote so we can continue our trajectory of progress and I look forward to welcoming and working with you all.
For Vice Chair
I am Christina Skovsgaard and I was born a Democrat. The first time I attended a DA Global meeting in Toronto (2005), I knew I found a home. For the past 14 years, Democrats Abroad Norway has become an integral part of my life and has helped me have an active voice even while living abroad.
Americans abroad are increasingly enduring unintended but seriously adverse impacts from US legislation that does not consider our unique circumstances. These policies can affect citizenship and it transmission, voting access, immigration and taxation. I’ve served DAN as the acting Vice-Chair (2008), volunteered for the 2008 Convention, was appointed as the International Representative in 2009 until 2015, and have served as Counsel from 2011 until 2017. I have been involved in voter-registration, phone-banking, fundraising, event planning, and Door-Knocking in DC (09,11,14,17). I’m the only board member to have attended all yearly regional and global DA meetings, also at my own expense (Brussels, Vancouver, Florence, Seoul, Japan DC.etc.). These activities not only allowed me to update myself on DA happenings and lobbying efforts, but also enabled me to build a community of fascinating American’s living around the world.
I was happy to work with the new energic DAN board elected in 2017. They appointed me to be the “Get Out the Vote Coordinator”. I have taken the online course to become a Voting Assistance Officer. I also am now serving on the Steering Committee of the DA Global Women’s Caucus and the DA Global Black Caucus. In the US, for the 2018 election, I worked as a poll observer in Ohio.
My Vision:DAN should enable Americans to use their voice. Senate and Congress races have been won due to our votes, opening eyes in DC. Some resolutions written by DA members are now part of the DNC platform. We should increase information and encourage social events. We need to encourage Chapter development to increase membership and participation thought out Norway. In a volunteer organization, it is vital to value the input of others and work as a team.
In the many years that I’ve lived in Norway, first as a wife, then a mother and now as a happy grandmother, there has never been such a need for us to have our voices heard.
My name is Arna Desser and I’ve been actively engaged in political activities of one sort or another for almost 50 years, so I was very glad to find a group of like-minded people in Democrats Abroad Norway after the 2016 presidential election fiasco. Participating regularly in DAN activities has given me the opportunity to cultivate new friendships with Americans in Norway and to feel engaged in political activities by helping in get-out-the-vote efforts.
In addition to a deep commitment to social justice and an ability to listen and respond with respect to people with whom I disagree, I bring practical experience to the treasurer’s position. I’ve been the treasurer of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America, a non-profit organization in the U.S. with an annual budget of about $35,000, since 1999, and, for the past several years, treasurer of one of the Norwegian dance groups in which I participate. I’m also relatively fluent in Norwegian.
A few personal details: I’m a native Baltimorean (and fanatic Oriole fan) who moved to Norway almost 13 years ago. I have a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Maryland and currently work as a health economist at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health performing cost-effectiveness analyses of new medications, medical devices and other types of health technologies.
From DAN Chair, Audrey Camp, first thoughts the morning after...
"Rose early to shine the blue light across the Norwegian airwaves. Thanks to VGTV for hosting a debate between DAN and RAN. I’m enthusiastic about the blue wave. It may not have been the deluge we hoped for, but with unprecedented representation for women, minorities and youth, I’ll take it. All stories matter and all votes count. Hurrah for Democrats Abroad Norway!" 🇺🇸 🇳🇴
Here’s a link to the debate. The talk starts at 2:39:10. http://goo.gl/UkV7zJ
DAN joined The American Coordinating Council of Norway (ACCN) in celebration for the 33rd American Independence Day picnic in Frogner Park, Oslo. During the busy day we welcomed two new volunteers (thank you, Dana and Brooke!) along with our Ambassador to Norway, Kenneth J. Braithwaite, to our booth. We also enjoyed wonderful weather and the many people who stopped by to ask about voting from abroad while discussing issues of the day.
Below, DAN welcomes the first visitor to our booth.
Overview of the crowd.
DAN Chair, Audrey Camp, with U.S. Ambassador Kenneth J. Braithwaite.
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.