Chapter Welcomes Kassel Precinct and New Leadership!

  The Göttingen-Hannover Chapter is pleased to announce the formation of the Kassel Precinct, with Richard Sentinella taking on the role of Precinct Captain. We are also excited to welcome three more new volunteers to our leadership team, Dr. Katie Von Holzen as our Get Out The Vote Coordinator, Verena Wilkening as our Media Contact and Karla Schmidt organizing our University Outreach. There are more volunteer opportunities if you're interested - please read on for more information.


    Richie Sentinella, Kassel Precinct Captain                                  Katie Von Holzen, GOTV Coordinator 


            Verena Wilkening, Media Contact                                             Karla Schmidt, University Outreach


   The Kassel Precinct now becomes the second precinct in our chapter along with Braunschweig Precinct. Our new Precinct Captain Richard Sentinella helped in making our small Global Presidential Primary in Kassel a success, along with other DA members from the city, i.e., Debbie Dinsmore, Steven Lavan and other great volunteers, who helped at our voting center on March 7th, 2020. We are looking forward to working with Richard in helping to build the Kassel Precinct, so that Americans living in and around Kassel know that they can Vote from Abroad by requesting their overseas ballot, which is especially important in these turbulent times. We welcome him to our growing group of leaders, and we thank him for his willingness to serve the democratic cause. In his own words Richie says that, “Although no Kasseläner, he moved to Kassel from his native Washington State in 2018. Previously he has lived in Portland, Oregon and Vienna, Austria (where he was also a member of DA), and chooses his residencies based on coffee shop quality and access to hiking.”

   Getting out the vote in the coming November election requires a team effort from dedicated volunteers. And thus, we are happy to announce that our chapter has been able to fill important volunteer positions, i.e. GOTV Coordinator, Media Contact and University Outreach. For the position of GOTV Coordinator, Dr. Katie von Holzen from the Braunschweig Precinct has taken up the mantle for our chapter. She will be planning and coordinating the activities necessary for ensuring that the Americans in our large chapter area are informed about how to vote in the coming general election. In her own words Katie says, “that she has bounced around the world for the past decade after leaving her hometown of Winneconne, Wisconsin in 2010. She completed a PhD in Psychology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and then worked in psycholinguistics labs in Paris, France and Washington, DC until she landed in Braunschweig last year and now works at the TU Dortmund in the Germanistik department. She enjoys knitting, sewing, cuddling with her cat Hermione (a fellow expat from DC), and bicycle rides and hikes with her husband, André.” Katie, we are excited to have you on board and look forward to working with you in planning and helping to Get Out the Vote.

   To reach more Americans living in Germany who may not be aware of DA, to let our fellow Germans understand what Democrats Abroad is about and to be able to respond to important US events abroad and in our chapter, a liaison or Media Contact with the German Press is an essential asset. For this volunteer position, we welcome and are happy and excited to have Verena Wilkening on our team. Verena is a German citizen who will bring a unique aspect to our contact with the press. In her own words she says that, “I was born near Hannover, but I studied in Göttingen and London. I started volunteering for Democrats Abroad while living in Barcelona in October 2016. I have made close friends across North America while traveling in my youth and feel deeply connected to the people and the culture of the United States.” Thank you for investing your time and energy into helping shine a spotlight on our work, Verena!

   Many American students study in other countries and Germany is no exception. They may not know that they can request an overseas ballot, and this is even true for academics, researchers and Professors who work at German universities like in Braunschweig, Göttingen, Hannover, Magdeburg and Kassel or at other institutes in our chapter. Thus, we are pleased to announce that Karla Schmidt of Sehnde near Hannover has stepped up to the plate to bat for democracy. Karla is a retired University Placement Counsellor from the International School Hannover. In her own words, "I enjoyed working with high school and university/college students for many years. During all those years, I voted in every U.S. federal election. Now, I would like to contact students who are U.S. citizens studying in Germany and help them to register and then vote!" Welcome to the leadership team of our chapter, Karla. We look forward to working with you in getting as many young Americans as we can to cast their ballot.

   One essential position in our chapter that is still vacant is that of Phonebanking Coordinator. Phonebanking is a very efficient way of getting out the vote and DA Germany under our country coordinator Katie Solon offers a number of training sessions for those who may just want to volunteer as a phonebanker. Those of you in our large chapter who may be interested in joining our team of dedicated volunteers, please contact us regarding the Phonebanking Coordinator position or to volunteer to make calls in your spare time.

You can reach us at these email addresses:

Christian Gross, Chair at [email protected],

Jennifer von Estorff, VIce Chair at [email protected]

Kenton Barnes, Braunschweig Precinct Captain at [email protected]