Candidates for 4 X Member-at-Large (4)
(in alphabetical order by last name)
Joe Amato (Zurich)
I was born in New York City in 1955 and grew up in Flushing, Queens. I left in the early 1980s to work as a Biology and Geography teacher as well as an IB Coordinator at international schools in Caracas, Bangkok, Tokyo and in Zurich (since 2000). I am presently retired and once the pandemic dust reasonably settles, hope to be involved in a number of volunteer activities.
From the summer of 2019, I worked at locating and helping Americans living in Switzerland to register to vote. Initially I did this at various international schools in Switzerland, concentrating on students with US passports who would be 18 just before the election while also helping any parents and teachers in these school communities who needed help. This was followed with helping on some university outreach initiatives. From the spring until October I worked with a youthful team out of Zurich setting up registration help stands wherever we thought we might catch Americans passing by.
At this moment Republican state governments around the US are devising new ways to disenfranchise potential Democratic voters. I would like to do what we can from our base in Switzerland to maintain, if not increase, Democratic numerical advantages in the Senate and House with the mid-term elections in mind. I am not a techie but have good communication, organizational and collaborative skills. I would look forward to working with and meeting new colleagues on the national level within a team from all over Switzerland.
Pete Kaiser (Zurich)
Dual national (France/USA) living in Zürich and voting in Massachusetts; married to a Dutch/Swiss partner; and politically active since early adolescence -- active in the senses of "activist" and "showing up for work". I'm on DA's Global IT Team, where I work with DA's international data, skills I've also applied for DACH.
All patience for petty internal struggles and ambition was burnt out of me decades ago, and I try to keep my eyes on the prize: to improve the life and destiny of the USA, its inhabitants, its citizens, and the world by electing Democrats to office at every level. We've learned what hard work that may take. Bring it on! I'll add: if you see another candidate who's committed to the ideals and the work, by all means vote for them, especially if they're new to DACH. I'd love to see new blood here, and I'll continue with my global work and supporting DACH however I can even if I'm not in office. We need all hands to pull this rope, and we need to be able to count on one another.
Jennifer Shore (Geneva)
I think it is fair to say that this was one of the most important presidential elections of my lifetime. This really motivated me to get involved as much as I could with Democrats Abroad in Switzerland in the run up to the elections. I really felt like there was more I could do. I am seeking this position as I am committed to engaging Americans in Switzerland to be part of the political process and dialogue and to help them feel connected. I believe that creating this connection keeps people engaged. Obviously this has a been a challenging environment, but hopefully in the next couple of years we will be able to have more personal and in-person events. I think it should be a goal to make Democrats Abroad feel like a home away from home for Americans, a place to be engaged and involved but also an organization of support and resources for our members. I would like to grow the membership, but also more importantly increase the involvement of members, to make them feel they have a voice and a stake. In that regard, I would love to be involved and support an initiative to engage young Americans of voting age or even a bit younger. I feel this is important for the future of the party and the country. There are several areas I could take on leadership (possibly fundraising, press relations, youth, etc), but I think it best to commit to something once the executive committee is elected and we can see where the needs are, as well as the areas of expertise of members.
In terms of my background, I have an MA in International Affairs, as well as an MA in Spanish. I worked in the first Clinton administration at Commerce and the NSC, as an associate at a strategic consulting firm headed by former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, and I have also worked as a chief of staff and speechwriter for a senior executive of a global financial institution.
I am motivated and excited about this opportunity to take on a leadership role at Democrats Abroad Switzerland. Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.
Cedric Sumo (Lausanne)
My name is Cedric A. Sumo and I’m an American from Virginia who’s been living in Lausanne since December 2014.
I’ve been a proud member of Democrats Abroad Switzerland since 2016 and I’ve participated in many voter registration campaigns since then. A while back I put my name down for a leadership role and I’m happy to jump at the opportunity to serve, in more involved manner, my fellow Americans, i.e. Democrats who live abroad.
As a member of the executive committee and/or a voting rep, I will actively participate in our mission which is to strive to help “Americans connect with fellow citizens living across the 26 Cantons of the Swiss Federation and remain active in U.S. politics”. I will do so by becoming more active in DA public events, media requests and other PR activities. I will also talk about, and proudly represent, our organization in the expat community.
I welcome the opportunity and challenge that the roles will entail. I know the importance of our organization to Americans who live abroad and being a familiar face that represents “home” is an honor I will not take lightly.
Candidate for 3 X DPCA Voting Representative
Cedric Sumo (Lausanne)
(See Cedric’s statement above.)
During the Elections at the March 14 AGM, we will accept nominations from the floor for the two remaining DPCA Voting Rep positions. For those interested, below is a description.
Summary of the DPCA Voting Representative position: Voting Reps take an interest in the issues and elections that Democrats Abroad global (formally called the Democratic Party Committee Abroad or DPCA) will take on at its annual global meeting in May each year, and at infrequent extraordinary sessions. Reps will attend the full weekend-long meeting this May (to be held virtually) and in May 2022, and cast one of the five Swiss votes when called for. This year, voters will elect a new global Chair and Executive Committee, and take other actions. Where appropriate, they will represent the interests of DA Switzerland at global meetings.