This month, Democrats Abroad Sweden is proud to be officially launching three caucuses in Sweden – the Progressive Caucus, the Black Caucus, and the Women’s Caucus.
All three of these newly formed caucuses will have a significant amount of autonomy to pursue their missions independently and are supported by both the country Chair and Executive Committee. They are affiliated with their global counterparts and will participate in coordinated global efforts.
“We’re so excited to launch these three caucuses,” said Alex Lange, Chair of Democrats Abroad Sweden. “The caucuses are a great way for volunteers to get involved and to connect with the vast global networks of like-minded Democrats Abroad members. We recognize the intersectionality of the issues that they will be working to advance, so they are also strongly encouraged to collaborate with each other.”
Members can join any of the caucuses by logging in to their profile on democratsabroad.org and then visiting the dedicated caucus pages at democratsabroad.org/caucuses. It is also possible to join the caucuses not yet formed in Sweden, in which cases members will receive information from the global caucuses. Provided there is enough interest, such caucuses can still be formed in Sweden as well. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The newly formed caucuses each have a chair who leads their efforts in Sweden together with a steering committee of dedicated volunteers. Here is a brief introduction on each of the caucus chairs:
Progressive Caucus Sweden Chair: Jason Czarnezki
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, Jason Czarnezki has been a longstanding member of the Democratic Party and committed to promoting progressive policies within the party. Jason's father Joe Czarnezki served in the Wisconsin State Legislature and was elected Milwaukee County Clerk. Jason has hosted fundraisers and was actively involved in state and local political campaigns in Wisconsin, Vermont and New York, as well as national profile races. As a member of Democrats Abroad, Jason hopes to help turn out the vote, increase engagement and membership in Sweden, and help with fundraising. Jason is the Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law at Pace University and has lived in Stockholm since 2018. In 2020, Jason will be the Olof Palme Visiting Professor at Stockholm University. Jason received his undergraduate and law degrees from The University of Chicago.
Black Caucus Sweden Chair: Adrianne George
Adrianne George is a native of Washington, DC who moved to Sweden from Brussels in 2006. After founding the Halmstad Chapter of Democrats Abroad Sweden (now part of Western Sweden Chapter) she moved to Stockholm and joined the DA Sweden Steering Committee. She's served on Democrats Abroad's Nomination and Elections Committee 3 times, door knock committee, chaired DA Sweden's Nominations Committee, was Global Volunteer Coordinator, Global Caucus Coordinator and currently sits on the Affirmative Action Committee for the 2020 Delegate Selection Plan.
She is a 2016 - 2020 Democratic National Committee member, marketing communications consultant, multiple award-winning blogger and freelance writer. In addition to travel, Adrianne enjoys knitting, quilting, Yoga, reading, cooking, self-love & self-care and being in the company of interesting people. She is the immediate past President of the American Women's Club Stockholm.
Women’s Caucus Sweden Chair: Sarah Thomsen
Sarah Thomsen hails from Fremont, California but has lived in Sweden for almost half her life. She has been a member of Democrats Abroad Sweden since 1998 and was the Chair of the Stockholm chapter from 2017-2019. She is currently on the steering committee of the Global Women's Caucus Reproductive Rights Task Team. Sarah has dedicated most of her life to promoting and defending everyone's right to decide over their own bodies. In graduate school at University of Michigan in the 1990's she was a founding member of a local chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus, a PAC that worked to get women with pro-women policies to run for office. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and is currently a Senior Policy Advisor in health and sexual and reproductive health and rights at Sida's Africa Department and an Associate Professor in International Health at Karolinska Institutet. In January 2018, she had the privilege and honor to address the Women's March in Stockholm on behalf of Democrats Abroad. In her free time, Sarah sings in a rhythm and blues band called "Moodswing" and spends time with her bonus family consisting of a husband, 4 kids from 12-19 and 2 cats.
The past few months have been a flurry of events for Democrats Abroad Sweden, and Democrats Abroad as a global organization. Hang on to your seats, there’s a lot of important content here to share!
On May 4th, DA Sweden held our 2019 Annual General Meeting in Stockholm. At the meeting, we held our biennial Executive Committee elections and the Stockholm Chapter elected new leadership.
Here’s the new team that is dedicated to leading us through the decisive 2020 elections and beyond!
- Chair: Alex Lange*
- Vice Chair: Beth Landry*
- Secretary: Jeffrey Cheng
- Treasurer: Sheri Eklund
- Counsel: Bayo Callender
- Member-at-Large: Liz Clark Wessel*
- Member-at-Large: Max Otterman*
- Communications Officer: Suzanne Samuels
- Stockholm-Uppsala Chair: Christina Davis
- Western Sweden Chair: Rose Shaber-Twedt
- Skåne Chair: Alexander Arcelay
*These representatives are both Democrats Abroad Sweden Executive Committee members and DPCA Voting Representatives
Most recently, from May 17-20th, the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA), our governing body, held our 2019 Global Meeting in Washington, DC, where we gathered in person (and remotely!) from all over the world to deliberate many important items of business. These included Resolutions, Charter Bylaws Amendments, and holding our International Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) office elections. We also heard from a number of the presidential candidate hopefuls.
Sweden's own Jeffrey Cheng was re-elected to the office of International Secretary, and we are proud to acknowledge all of the hard work he has contributed in several capacities!
Important Global Elections:
Our Democrats Abroad International Executive Committee team that will lead us until 2021 is:
- International Chair: Julia Bryan -- Czech Republic
- International Vice Chair: Alex Montgomery -- Hong Kong
- International Treasurer: Lissette Wright -- Canada
- International Secretary: Jeffrey Cheng -- Sweden
- International Legal Counsel: Joe Smallhoover -- France
- Americas Regional Vice Chair: Kathy Rothschild -- Costa Rica
- Asia Pacific Regional Vice Chair: Kat Allikian -- New Zealand
- Europe Middle East and Africa Regional Vice Chair: Will Bakker -- Luxembourg
Lastly, we voted on the location for the 2020 DPCA Global Convention. Congratulations to Democrats Abroad Canada, who will be hosting next year in Toronto! Stay tuned for more information on how to participate.
Resolutions & Bylaws of the DPCA:
Together as a body, we deliberated and voted on several Resolutions and Democrats Abroad Amendments. An important win for these was the Resolution to Endorse Medicare for All.
Invited Speakers to DPCA:
Throughout the Global Meeting, several Presidential candidates as well as notable speakers presented themselves to us, both in person and through submitted videos. Presidential candidates who spoke to us included: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, author Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Cory Booker, and former Rep. John Delaney. Other presenters included Sen. Doug Jones, DNC CEO Seema Nanda, DNC VC Jason Rae, DLCC Josh Handelman, ASDC Chair Ken Martin, and Liz Jaff. Some of these videos can be found here.
During our meeting, presentations regarding the crucial and diligent work were presented from Global Committees and Caucuses, including the Chair/Vice Chair/Treasurer/Secretary Reports, Global Caucuses, the Global IT Team, and more.
DC Door Knocking:
For those present in Washington, DC for our Global meeting, many stayed on afterwards to advocate for Democrats Abroad in Congress door-knocking on Capitol Hill. It is important to us that we bring issues that impact millions of overseas voters to the front, and our door knocking teams visited several offices to make that possible in-person.
Although I, as a former resident of Maryland and intrepid Washington, DC advocate, wished I could have attended this meeting in person, it was self-evident watching remotely how hard many worked to make this event a success and how much time and dedication was committed to all of the different segments presented for attendees both locally and abroad. So many of both our newly-appointed and seasoned champions made the time to attend and see to fruition our ambitious goals.
And now, what can we as Democrats Abroad in Sweden do?
The 2020 election is going to be the most important election of our lifetime. All across Sweden, we must now rise to the challenge ensuring Democratic wins all across the United States.
In 2018, Democrats Abroad had the numbers globally to make or break elections in several elections. Despite not residing within the contiguous United States, our collective voices pushed several elections to victory.
We matter, and the input of 9 million Democrats Abroad makes a difference.
If you will rise to the challenge with us, here’s what actions you can take:
Host a debate watch party, a film screening, a book club, a fika group, or many other ideas;
Make calls or sending emails to your Congressional legislators back home about our taxation concerns as expats;
Organize locally as a chapter liaison for the Women's, LGBT, Black, Hispanic, Youth, or Progressive DA Caucuses;
Help with voter registration; or
Check out the Delegate Selection Plan if you are interested in representing Democrats Abroad at the 2020 Democratic National Convention from July 13-16th, 2020!
Can’t commit your time? Consider making a donation to help us register voters, host phone banks, advocate for you in Congress, and the many ways we are working to ensure our Democratic Candidates win in 2020 and beyond.
Check out our Facebook pages and groups to keep in touch via social media!
- Democrats Abroad Sweden
- Democrats Abroad Sweden - Stockholm/Uppsala
- Democrats Abroad Western Sweden
- Democrats Abroad Sweden Skåne Chapter
For those of you who have been involved with us already, we are tremendously grateful and we value every moment and resource you share. If you have not yet had the opportunity to do so, our all-volunteer team is waiting to welcome you to our Democrats Abroad Sweden family. Any idea that you have, any hour that you can give, or any dollar that you can donate literally propels us forward towards a more fair and representative democracy. The call to action is now, and we hope you’ll join us in the fight.
Yours in solidarity,
Beth Landry, RN
Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad Sweden
Notice of Annual General Meeting: February 8, 13:00 in Gothenburg
On February 8 we will be holding our Democrats Abroad Sweden Annual General Meeting at 13:00 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
WHEN: Saturday, February 8, 2020, 13:00 - 18:00
WHERE: Mötesplats Göteborg, Södra Allégatan 1B, 413 01 Gothenburg
It's an election year, so this year's meeting is especially important.
We're going to do our part here in Sweden to beat Trump and take back the Senate in 2020.
To launch us into the election season, we're making our annual meeting a whole afternoon with volunteer trainings and workshops.
We'll also be concluding a special election to fill a vacant spot on our Executive Committee, and there is a bylaws amendment proposed that will be voted on.
After the meeting, we'll have dinner together at a nearby restaurant.
We'll have the space all day, so early arrivals are welcome to come during the morning already to meet and socialize.
Note: To attend the optional dinner, you must RSVP by February 3. To RSVP click here. Details below.
10:00 - 13:00
Doors open for early arrivals, coffee/fika/socialize (lunch not provided)
13:00 - 13:30
Doors open for all, coffee/fika
13:30 - 14:00
Welcome & Introduction
14:00 - 14:45
Democrats Abroad Sweden 2020 Annual General Meeting (Agenda below)
14:45 - 15:00
15:00 - 16:00
Voter Registration Volunteer Training
16:00 - 16:15
16:15 - 17:00
Volunteer Workshop / Group work
17:00 - 17:15
Presentation: The Year Ahead for Democrats Abroad Sweden
17:15 - 17:50
Volunteer group work, information on how to be a DA delegate
17:50 - 18:00
Wrap-Up & End
19:00 - 22:00
Dinner (optional, dinner RSVP required by Feb 3 - click here for RSVP and see below for details)
2020 Annual General Meeting Agenda
1. Call to order; roll-call and quorum determination
2. Approval of the agenda;
3. Reading and approval of 2019 AGM minutes;
4. Chair's report (incl. chapter reports);
5. Treasurer's report and approval vote;
6. Discharge Executive Committee from liability vote;
7. Bylaws amendment proposal and vote;
8. Results of special election for Member-At-Large position;
9. Closing remarks and end of meeting.
Södra Allégatan 1B
413 01 Gothenburg
Attendance Remotely via WebEx
For members unable to attend the meeting in person, we will provide the option to attend remotely from wherever you are in Sweden via WebEx, an online meeting platform. To attend via WebEx, email email@example.com by February 6.
It is also possible to assign someone to hold a proxy for you. To request a proxy form, contact firstname.lastname@example.org by February 7.
Kaponjärgatan 4A (ca. two blocks from meeting location)
Self-paid. Non-member guests welcome.
Dinner RSVP required by February 3. To RSVP click here.
There are a number of affordable options nearby, such as Vandrarhemmet Linne, Göteborgs Mini-Hotel, or STF Göteborg City Hotell. The Western Sweden chapter will also be providing a very limited number of rooms with local volunteers. For information on homestays, contact Kimball MacKay: email@example.com
Special Election Notice: Member-At-Large
At the Annual General Meeting on Feb 8, we will also conclude a Special Election to fill an Executive Committee Member-At-Large vacancy.
Description of the role: Members-At-Large have a vote representing DA Sweden at global Democrats Abroad meetings. They also take the lead on various projects and tasks, depending on what is needed and their skill set.
The nominating committee for the Special Election consists of the following:
- Alexander Arcelay (Chair)
- Beth Landry
- Diane Larsson
- Deedee Gierow
Notice of Candidates (Feb 9, 2020):
The following members are nominated for the role:
- Bill Borden
- Clara Popenoe Thor
- Kathy (Katrin) Betzholtz
See below for the candidates' statements and biographies. Voting will take place via electronic ballot in the two weeks preceding the annual general meeting.
Member-At-Large Candidate Statements and Biographies
I would welcome serving DAS as a member-at-large, thus contributing more to elect a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress. Currently, I serve as a member of the Stockholm chapter steering committee.
We desperately need a decent, democratic president who will uphold the Constitution and a Congress that legislates for the welfare of ordinary Americans. I want to work more effectively towards preventing the further erosion of American democracy
Democrats Abroad is rightly focused on winning elections. However, as a Swedish delegate at international conferences, I would campaign and organize for the specific needs of Americans abroad such as residence based taxation. Thus, expats would no longer need to declare income to Uncle Sam. I also believe that the US government should eliminate requiring expats to disclose financial holdings including bank accounts, stock holdings and mutual funds. We should not be treated as money launderers by the US government.
I would welcome using my skills to benefit the executive committee based on my previous contributions such as serving as chair of Democrats Abroad Sweden from 2007 to 2009. See below.
I grew up in a diverse neighborhood in Chicago. So, I naturally became friends with children of different races, religions, and cultures, thus gaining insights and understanding of life styles different than my own. I taught political science, English and journalism at universities in both the United States and Sweden. Through my company, American Insights, I offer insights into American life. I also promote businesses and organizations by writing websites and translating from Swedish to English.
As DAS chair with the enthusiastic support of our team, I led the activation of a dormant DAS that resulted in increasing membership (from about 200 to 1200 members), started new local chapters while reactivating others, gained considerable media attention for DAS, successfully networked with other DA European based Democrats, and recruited several outstanding Americans to our executive team. Thus, we successfully contributed towards the election of President Obama and other Democrats in 2008.
I would very much welcome your support.
Clara Popenoe Thor
My name is Clara Popenoe Thor and I'm running for the position as Member-at-Large for DA Sweden.
Born and raised in Stockholm, in a half-swedish, half-american household, politics have been ever-present in my life. I've been involved in student government, and an active member of the Swedish Young Greens for the past 3 or so years, as well as in DA. I'm editor-in-chief of the Swedish Young Greens paper and do some work as a freelance writer.
I'm soon finished studying political science at Lund University, and will be studying linguistics this spring. I've spent 6 weeks or so on the east coast of the US every summer of my life, and speak fluent Swedish and English. I've also studied French and Mandarin Chinese.
Although American politics haven't always felt relevant, they have affected me, and I have, to my best efforts, affected them. I have focused my work in DA on finding people like me, who have never lived in America, and registering them to vote. Since moving to Skåne I have had some contact with DA Denmark, and intend to get more involved in Lund/Malmö.
Through my involvement in Swedish politics, I've had the privilege of seeing the fruits of my (and many others') labor. This is definitely easier in a small country with fewer members in political parties, but this experience makes me keen for a new challenge.
Despite not having lived there, I am a modern American. Growing up together with the anti-gun movement in one country, and the climate movement in another, I have faith in my generation and my future. I am that future.
Thank you for your work and for (excuse the Swenglish) orkaing what others don't, when everybody should. Look forward to hearing from you!
Clara Popenoe Thor
New Jersey voter
Kathy (Katrin) Betzholtz
Santa Barbara, Ca; Nov 8, 2016 around 7pm Pacific Standard Time
Anders: I think Trump is going to win.
Kathy: There is no f***ing way that is going to happen. People are not that stupid! If Trump wins we are moving to Sweden!
Kalmar, Sweden; Jan 7, 2020
Well here we are. The logistics of an international move is time-consuming, as most expats know. Now to be completely honest, we had always intended to move to Sweden so my husband could spend more time with his family, but the election was the impetus for the move at this particular time. My name is Kathy Betzholtz (AKA Katrin) and I am a proud U.S citizen. I take my privilege and responsibility of voting very seriously, never missing a vote in 39 years. I look forward to engaging and encouraging more expats to get involved in DA Sweden, both at the local and national level. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we exercise our civic rights and make sure that we preserve our constitution and democracy.
I do not have a PhD, nor have I worked for the U.N. or any other international organizations. However, I started and ran my own business for 25 years. It involved working with the DMV so you know that I am resilient! I also helped at my kids’ PTA and that qualifies me for sainthood. Their politics make our national politics seem like child’s play.
All jokes aside, the DA has a very important role to play, as do all of us expats, and I would be honored to work as your Executive Committee Member-At-Large for the DA Sweden,
Kathy (Katrin) Betzholtz
Notice of Bylaws Amendment Proposal
In accordance with the bylaws, notice is hereby given that the following bylaws amendment, as proposed by Beth Landry, will be voted on at the Democrats Abroad Sweden Annual General Meeting on February 8, 2020.
Notice of Bylaws Amendment Proposal and Proposed Amendment (click for PDF)
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