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
DA Sweden members are cordially invited to join the 2019 Annual General Meeting. More details are available at the event link:
The Nominations and Elections Committee has also posted the candidates for our 2019-2021 executive committee.
Ballots are also now live, and voting is open from April 19 - May 3, 2019.
During the 2019 AGM, we will also be announcing the results of the election.
Simultaneously with chapters in Western Sweden and Skåne, on Saturday, Aug 26th, we held a rally to unite against hate in Stockholm to commemorate the victims of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, VA, and to stand up and send a clear signal that hate has no place in America.
More than 50 attendees came in Stockholm alone, and across Sweden more than 100 showed up to stand against hatred while President Trump is failing to do the same.
Thank you to all who attended, and to all the speakers, poetry performers, and musical contributions who made this event a powerful experience for all involved.
As Trump attacks the rights of LGBT+ Americans, Democrats Abroad Sweden is joining pride parades across Sweden to resist his anti-LGBT+ agenda.
– Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from the U.S. military is a stark reminder of how fragile progress is and that we must continue to stand up and speak out for LGBT+ rights. That’s why Democrats Abroad Sweden is joining pride parades across Sweden, says Alex Lange, Chair of Democrats Abroad Sweden.
– Despite claiming to be a ‘real friend’ of the LGBT+ community, Donald Trump is rolling back many of the gains made during the Obama administration, and we must resist. Because LGBT+ rights are human rights, says Alex Lange.
As part of a global “Resistance Summer” campaign, Democrats Abroad Sweden is participating in pride parades in Stockholm and Malmö next week, and already marched in Göteborg Pride earlier in the summer.
With country committees in 42 countries around the world and more than 2,000 members in Sweden, Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party organization for Americans who live outside the United States. There is an active LGBT Caucus that ensures LGBT+ voices are strongly represented in the Democratic Party.
To hold Trump accountable, Democrats Abroad Sweden invites Americans and Swedes to march with them on August 5 in Stockholm and on August 6 in Malmö. Registration can be found at http://www.democratsabroad.org/se_events.
Photo: Democrats Abroad Sweden marches in the 2016 Stockholm Pride Parade. Source: Democrats Abroad Sweden
Please contact Alexander Lange at 070 612 0179 for more information or press requests.
Democrats Abroad is the official arm of the Democratic Party for US citizens living outside the United States and its territories. The Democratic Party is the only major American political party that affords its members this opportunity. Democrats Abroad holds seats on the Democratic National Committee and sends a voting delegation to its national convention to nominate our candidate for President. Founded in 1964, Democrats Abroad now has members in over 190 countries and has committees in 42 countries around the world.
For more information, visit www.DemocratsAbroad.org
Did you miss the broadcast of Radiokorrespondenterna? Listen to the recording of Chair Alexander Lange as he joined P1 to talk about the future of the Democratic Party and what we're doing to get organized at the grassroots, even here in Sweden. Program is in Swedish.
This is an English-language version of an op-ed article originally published in Swedish on etc.se. To read the original, click here.
There may be nothing more American than the debate about what the United States stands for. The country has had its share of flaws, while also continuing on a remarkable path of long-term progress. That progress has often been a struggle and suffered deep setbacks, like those we are experiencing just a month into the Trump administration. But we have regrouped and begun to organize to defend liberal democracy and our values.
The setbacks remind us that progress is not inevitable, and does not just happen naturally. Instead, progress is actively built by involved citizens, both by those in the United States and also by the millions of Americans who live abroad, many of them here in Sweden.
At the ballot box, through civil society, and by organizing politically, Americans are engaged in what President Barack Obama called the “hard and frustrating and necessary work of self-government”. Since Donald Trump’s election victory, in which he lost the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes, we have seen the sheer power of what happens when the American civil society kicks into action to protect liberal democracy.
Organizations dedicated to protecting civil rights in the United States like the American Civil Liberties Union have raised unprecedented funds, while millions have demonstrated for what they believe in, and become engaged in the political process. Democrats Abroad, the official overseas arm of the Democratic Party, has signed up thousands of new members and volunteers, including here in Sweden.
On the day after Trump’s inauguration, more than 150 members of Democrats Abroad demonstrated on Medborgarplatsen in Stockholm (Photo: Democrats Abroad Sweden)
Trump’s ban on travel from a number of Muslim majority countries is unconstitutional and contrary to international law. Because it was originally conceived as a ban on all people of one of the world’s major religions, it is also deeply un-American. Even though it has now been halted by the courts, the Trump administration continues to defend it on the spurious grounds that it will keep the country safe. Now he has announced that he wants to deport millions of migrants, even those who have already become an integral part of American society.
We refuse to simply accept that. On the day after Trump’s inauguration, more than 150 members of Democrats Abroad demonstrated on Medborgarplatsen in Stockholm. When the travel ban was announced, many Americans in Sweden sprang into action. Democrats Abroad volunteers lined up to say they were ready to help those affected, and others went to work organizing legal support, lighting up the phone lines of their elected representatives, and recruiting friends and family to find ways to fight back. Similar stories have poured in from around the world.
That is how Donald Trump’s vision of America will be resisted. But the way we will turn the country toward progress again is through the electoral process, beginning with the midterm elections in 2018. That is why right now Democrats Abroad is organizing citizens and dual-citizens who live in Sweden to help them register to vote, get engaged with the political process, and shape the future of the Democratic Party.
Trump does not determine what America stands for. We will continue to fight for an America that is open, tolerant, and just. Nothing is more American than that.
By Alex Lange, Democrats Abroad Sweden, Stockholm Chapter Chair
Please join us for the Democrats Abroad Sweden Annual General Meeting in Stockholm on Saturday, March 25, 2017.
Below you will find the Candidate Statements for DAS Executive Committee Candidates and Proposed Bylaws Amendments.