Canada Country Chair / DPCA Voting Rep / Canada LGBT Caucus Lead

  • NY-26 Voters invited to join DemsAbroad meeting with Rep Higgins staff to discuss Residency Based Taxation [RSVP Required]

    Dear NY-26 Voter --

    Democrats Abroad Canada is reaching out to our members who vote in New York Congressional District 26 served by House Representative Brian Higgins of Buffalo / Niagara Falls. 

    DemsAbroad has a meeting scheduled with Rep. Higgins’ staff in Buffalo on Friday, January 24 at 1:30 PM.  We invite you to join us by RSVP'ing to this event. For transportation coordination and the Congressman's office protocol, an RSVP is required. We will be coordinating from a meet up point at the Aldershot Go station for those who would like to carpool. 

    Our delegation plans to tell the Congressman our tax stories about the discrimination, unfairness and burdensome demands that the present Citizen Based Taxation (CBT) system has on us Americans who live abroad. 

    We are seeking Rep. Higgins support for reforms to the current system of Citizenship Based Taxation (CBT) by an adoption of Residency Based Taxation (RBT) system. If you live outside the region or are otherwise unable to join us, we invite you to send a letter of support for RBT to the Congressman's Buffalo office. Ask Rep. Higgins for his support for Congressional hearings on RBT before the House Ways and Means Committee of which he is a member. A sample letter is below this message for your use.

    “Americans abroad face a range of laws and regulations that discriminate against us for living outside the U.S.  U.S. tax laws are foremost among them, causing us serious personal and financial harm, jeopardizing our ability to arrange even ordinary banking services, threatening to crush our small to medium-sized businesses and obstructing our ability to save for the future,” reports the Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force. 

    By enacting a switch to Resident Based Taxation (RBT) Congress would sweep away the vast majority of the problems we face.  Click here to download our policy paper “Making the Case for a Switch to Residency Based Taxation.”    The attached policy paper was prepared for our use in reaching out to Rep. Higgins and other members of Congress.

    Yours for taxation reform in 2020,

    Kenneth Sherman
    Democrat Abroad, member to Democratic National Committee

    Steven Nardi
    Democrats Abroad Canada, Chair

    Sample letter to send Congressman

    Congressman Brian Higgins
    726 Exchange Street
    Suite 601
    Buffalo, New York 14210

    Date:

     

    Dear Representative Higgins

    I vote absentee in your District.  I live in Canada and like other Americans living abroad I am required to file taxes both in the US and in Canada.  There are 6.5 million Americans like me, living outside the United States, suffering serious personal and financial harm because we are subjected to taxation both in the US, even if I have no US income, and Canada where we live.

    Filing from abroad is more complex and is very costly, even for ordinary earners like me. Tax code provisions as recently passed lacked consideration for their impact on overseas filers. One example is the recent “transition taxes” in the 2017 Tax Act that is forcing many American small business owners abroad to close their companies.

    There are many issue of discriminating taxation from which Americans abroad need relief. We want the US to switch from our current system of Citizenship Based Taxation (CBT) to Residency Based Taxation (RBT).  If the US had a system of Residency Based Taxation (RBT), like nearly every other nation, then I’d still be required to report my US-based income if I had any, but not the income I make and pay taxes on in Canada.

    A bill to enact Residency Based Taxation (RBT) is in development stage in the Ways and Means Committee.  Democrats Abroad is calling for hearings on RBT taxation before this Committee of which you are a senior member.  I urge you to support RBT legislation when it is introduced.  It will provide much needed relief to Americans living abroad.

    I am also asking for your support to HR 4362, the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act.  It would exempt Americans living abroad from disclosures on their financial accounts in their countries of residence – accounts from which they pay bills and save for the future.  I encourage you to contact Rep Carolyn Maloney to become a co-sponsor of this important legislation. I am glad to hear that you are also a member of the Americans Abroad Caucus. 

    Thank you very much for your service to the voters of your district, including us who live abroad.

    Sincerely,

    [Your name and address]

    WHEN
    January 24, 2020 at 1:30pm
    WHERE
    Congressman Brian Higgins Buffalo Constituency Office
    726 Exchange St
    Suite 601
    Buffalo, NY 14210
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • Voting our issues! By Karin Lippert, Chair, Women’s Caucus, Toronto Chapter

    The issues matter. Getting out the VOTE matters. It all matters because we can’t afford to lose. So much has already been lost, trashed and discredited. The Toronto and Canada Women’s Caucus Groups have an opportunity to have a big impact in 2020. It is also a big job. Sometimes the news and noise from across the border is deafening, but we intend to power on. Our goal is to break some records with the numbers of women registered and voting in the upcoming election.

    Most important, we are going to vote our issues and those that impact every American. We know from our Women’s Marches, potluck dinners, actions like #WeBelieveWomen in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, debate-watch events, and fun nights like the Second City all-women show we attended together in Toronto that we have women voters who care. We have to continue to engage them.

    These are some of the issues we are fighting for (sadly some many decades old!):

    · ERA -- #ERANOW – We’re hopeful the ERA finally passes before the election. We are not yet in the U.S. Constitution and won’t rest until we are.

    · ABORTION – Our support of #STOPTHEBANS – is unwavering and consistent with our goals as activists and feminists. Women’s reproductive rights impact all of us. With the wave of legislation criminalizing abortion being passed we need to keep pushing that issue:

    #My BodyMyChoice.

    · VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN – Earlier this month we honoured the 14 young women killed in the Polytechnique Massacre in Montreal in 1989. Those women – killed by a young man because they were women and feminists – are a stark reminder of the danger women face in our culture and in cultures around the world.

    · CLIMATE CHANGE -- This is the crisis that is everyone’s issue. Many of us are participating in the #ClimateStrike events in solidarity with youth. We need to protect our children and our children’s children.

    These issues and many more require that our GOTV efforts be doubled and tripled this year. The impeachment in the House will not solve it. Trump has the biggest pulpit in the world. But WE have the numbers to win. That’s our Trump card.

    For more on how to join or start a Democrats Abroad Women’s Caucus in your chapter email: womenscaucus@democratsabroad.org


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  • Chapter Spotlight: Canada’s Capital Region chapter brings in the voters

    The geography covered by Canada’s Capital Region chapter is best marked by the rivers: the Gatineau, St. Lawrence and the Ottawa. “It’s a huge territory,” explains Rachel Eugster, the chapter’s vice-chair, “reaching all the way east to southwestern Quebec, then stretching west to Kingston. We’re trying to hold debate watches in these different areas.” At the hub, of course, is Ottawa and environs, where nearly 80 percent of the chapter’s 860 members live. It’s a challenge, admits David Schellenberg, chapter chair, to organize over such a large area. “We have endless discussions about how much we need to find and bring in more Americans. They’re out there.”

    While Eugster was a member of an earlier incarnation of the CCR chapter – organizing events such as inauguration balls after Obama was elected and re-elected – Schellenberg was spurred to join Dems Abroad as Trump’s candidacy was heating up. “I remember sitting on the couch watching TV and realizing he might just win. I knew I had to do something.” Five people, including Lissette Wright, treasury chair for DA Canada, as well as treasurer for DA Global, came together in 2015. “We were all thinking the same thing,” says Schellenberg.

    A sign of that collective energy was election night 2016, when the chapter organized an event at the Heart & Crown, an Irish pub in Byward Market. “It became the place in Ottawa to watch the returns,” says Schellenberg. “The entire bar was watching CNN. Both CBC and CTV hosted national shows that night and used our event, with reporters doing live hits back to both networks. It grew from just being a Democrats Abroad thing to being a big, non-partisan thing.”

    Media is something Schellenberg, who also serves as communications chair for DA Canada, understands well. As co-host of the Morning Start-Up show on Live 88.5 FM, an alternative-rock radio station, for the past 11 years, he knows how important exposure is and how challenging it can be to get that exposure. Another challenge: how to juggle it all. Like Schellenberg, Eugster works more than full time as a theatre director, musician, actor, writer, choir director and editor. “My professional life is multi-streamed,” she says. “DA got added in as an extra layer.” “We’re all people with full-time jobs already,” Schellenberg says of the chapter’s board. “We don’t have enough hours in the day for all the ideas we have.”

    Those ideas will carry the chapter into 2020. “I just want people to vote, to be involved in the political process,” says Schellenberg, a goal he shares with his co-chair. “Canada has this unique challenge, with so many ‘hidden’ Americans,” says Eugster, “but how do we find those people? Most would vote if they knew they could.” Globally, she’s hopeful “we’ll flip the Senate, change presidents and pass the ERA.” 

    It'll be accomplished through the efforts of hundreds of volunteers across Canada educating Americans on their right to vote. If you're interested in volunteering in 2020 please contact the DemsAbroad Canada Volunteer Manager through this email.

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  • Volunteer Spotlight: Toronto DA Member Stephanie Perry

    Stephanie Perry has one piece of advice for Dems Abroad members lying awake at night stressing about U.S. politics: Get up and make some phone calls. Perry, member-at-large for DA’s Toronto chapter, should know. She was second in phonebanking calls from Canada in the lead-up to the 2018 mid-terms and number one for the Toronto call centre. “When I get up in the middle of the night to phonebank, it gives me hope and resolve. That’s a good use of my time.”

    Perry, a former tax attorney in the U.S. Treasury Department, who moved to Canada 25 years ago, has been using her time to speak out since she was an eleven-year-old Pennsylvanian protesting the war in Viet Nam. She became active in the women’s movement and served as president of the gay alliance in university, even though “I’m a flaming heterosexual,” she laughs. In Toronto, her five-year term leading the Cabbagetown Tour of Homes raised money for many local charities, including women’s and Canadian newcomers’ literacy initiatives, Casey House (HIV care), art therapy for at-risk children, and a shelter for homeless LGBTQ teens.

    Then came the 2016 election. Perry flew from Phoenix to Los Angeles for that city’s massive Women’s March. “I’d always appreciated Democrats Abroad for its access to voting from Canada, but I wasn’t actively involved until I saw the hundreds of thousands of potential volunteers in the streets,” she remembers. Perry also realized she “wanted to do more than march for the next four years.” She’s been all in with Democrats Abroad since then, helping organize local debate-watch parties and attending the Americas meeting in Costa Rica this past October. Perry found it invaluable “having the perspective of people from twelve other countries, many of whom face different, tougher challenges than we do in Canada in terms of getting out the vote.”

    GOTV is where it’s at for Perry. “The most important thing I can do is register voters and get their ballots to them. I’ve registered hundreds, if not thousands, of voters.” All those calls have helped hone her approach. “I ask first, ‘Are you registered? Have you voted before?’ Then I walk them through the Vote From Abroad form.” Perry has found that the number one determinant for someone registering is personal contact. “People mean to vote, but … ” She’s found, too, that once people follow through they feel good saying, “‘Yes, I did vote and it’s in the mail. Aren’t I wonderful?’ And I say, ‘Yes, you are wonderful!’” Perry also tries to take it to another level, asking about other family members and friends living abroad.

    With 2020 on the horizon, she hopes more Democrats Abroad will join her on CallHub. “Phonebanking is like video games or a slot machine. You’ve got that addictive pull of the handle, plus a display showing your ever-increasing score of calls made in the past hour. You get a little dopamine hit and each time you ‘win’ it makes it more likely you’ll ‘play’ again.”


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  • published Chapter Spotlight: Vancouver brings them in in News 2019-10-06 03:30:09 -0400

    Chapter Spotlight: Vancouver brings them in

    Close to 80,000 Americans live in Vancouver, and Susan Brennan, chair for DA’s Vancouver chapter and membership chair for DA Canada, is determined to reach every one of them. “We Americans do seem to find each other,” she says with a laugh. “I think we’re more assertive, especially Americans who leave the U.S. and live elsewhere. Maybe it’s a pioneering spirit.”

    The Vancouver chapter got its formal start in 2008 when DA held its global meeting in the city. Early leadership crafted by-laws and constitution, a structure that now supports almost 3,700 members, the second largest chapter after Toronto. The growth was slow and steady, before a sharp uptick in 2016. “In 2012 we had 30 people vote in our Global Presidential Primary,” says Brennan, adding this was the year she got actively involved. “In 2016, that number jumped to 125.” The 2018 mid-terms brought in 100 people to watch the returns, many of whom have now become members and active volunteers.

    Brennan and her board have kept the events coming: In 2018 they set up a voter registration table in front of Trump Tower. They’ve taken advantage of public-speaking events with Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. They break out hotdogs for Fourth of July picnics, turkey and fixings for Thanksgiving dinners. This season’s Democratic debates have brought out 153 “unique” people, with debate-watch venues in Downtown Vancouver, the University of British Columbia, and Surrey. Plans are already in the works for hosting Kitchen Table conversations to help mold DA’s 2020 platform. Brennan has her eye on recruiting Darius Pruss, member-at-large for DA Canada and member of the Vancouver’s board as well, to head these up. “He’s a policy wonk,” she says. “He’s really good.”

    The future is where it’s at for Brennan and her chapter. The goal? More, she says simply. More events, “more people stepping forward.” She’s proud of her board and grateful for how they came together this past year when her husband was being treated for cancer. “We’d just opened our store,” she explains. (The couple own a comic-books and collectibles store called Nifty Keen Stuff.) “I was trying to work, take care of him and run the chapter.” The support of DA members made it all possible.

    What also keeps Brennan going is the thought of all those Americans in her part of Canada. “There are a lot of people out there who could vote and don’t,” she says. This chapter is doing its best to find them.

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  • published Victoria DA member finds his voice on CallHub in News 2019-10-06 03:27:54 -0400

    Victoria DA member finds his voice on CallHub

    As an audiologist, Michael Stevenson is used to listening to people. Since moving to Victoria from Washington in 2007 and joining DA’s Victoria chapter, he’s had ample opportunity to put his listening skills to use. “I was drawn to phone banking because of the time flexibility in making calls and the efficiency of working from home,” says Stevenson, who is consistently the Canadian top caller for CallHub. “I’ve enjoyed being able to call in the morning, afternoon or evening, depending what works for my schedule.” He admitted feeling uncertain at first about how well the program worked, “but those fears were quickly allayed. Training was provided and resources were available when needed. CallHub provides basic contact information, history of calls and ease in updating contact information or requesting follow-up services.”

    But what he likes most about phone banking is how much people appreciate talking to someone from Democrats Abroad. “I’ve talked to Americans living in over 50 countries who were [already] registered or wanting to register in their home state. It’s certainly highlighted for me how many Americans live abroad and how important it is they maintain their right to vote.” Stevenson’s personal goal for 2020 is to focus on the climate crisis and to increase informed, active voter participation “to give Democrats the power to protect our democracy and courts.” One call at a time.

    (Stay tuned for more information on how to join phone bankers like Michael in the coming critical months.)

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  • Push for ERA: Virginia voters could take it over the top

    Count them: 4,764 postcards signed and sent by Democrats Abroad to Virginia voters in a push to (finally) ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. With all positions in the Virginia House and Senate up for election on November 5, it’s an opportunity to flip two Republican-held seats. Virginia House chair Kirk Cox, in fact, has made it his business to block passage of the ERA for the past several years. “It would be a pleasure for us to help kick him out,” says Shari Temple, DA Global IT Team chair, who worked with VAratifyERA to spearhead DA’s postcard-writing campaign in September. With 58 Dems Abroad volunteers and teams working around the globe, more than 2,700 cards were posted to Cox’s district, another 2,000-plus sent to Republican Chris Jones’ district. “The original goal was to do 2,000 and we overachieved that!” says Temple. (DA Canada members signed and posted 800 of those cards, with 400 sent by the Hamilton/Burlington chapter alone.) If Democrats replace Republicans in both districts, “there’s a high probability that Virginia will become the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment,” Temple explains.

    Many think the ERA passed long ago, that it was a “seventies thing.” In fact, according to a New York Times piece published earlier this year, 80 percent of Americans “mistakenly believe that women and men are guaranteed equal protection under the United States Constitution.” But the only right the Constitution explicitly extends to women is the right to vote. While Congress passed the ERA in 1973, it then had to be ratified by three-quarters (numbering 38) of the states. Thanks to Phyllis Schlafly, a Republican anti-feminist, the amendment was derailed 45 years ago. But supporters never gave up hope that it would eventually become an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Now Virginia voters are poised to take it over the top, with DA members around the world giving it an extra little push.

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  • An assault on our rights as voters living outside the US is about to occur - we need your help!

    The Trump administration is attacking voting rights again - this time the rights of Americans abroad - through their plans to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union on October 16th. If the withdrawal goes forward, postal mail service to the United States will be thrown into disarray and the USPS expects postal service to and from the States to be massively disrupted.

    This action will hit voters from abroad hard. Beyond the widespread, unprecedented disruption to personal, business and financial affairs that the withdrawal will create, voters abroad will not be able to return their ballots or ballot requests by standard postal mail.

    Just consider - in 2018, 67% of ballots from abroad were returned by postal mail.

    For more information on the impact of oppressing the overseas vote please read this post from DemList.com.

    Call your Senators and your Representative and demand that they pressure the Trump administration to stop this nonsense now.

    • Demand they push for the Trump administration to allow the uninterrupted flow of overseas mail to the US
    • Remind them that your ability to vote depends on being able to get your overseas ballot back to the US on time, and that goes for everyone voting abroad in every state and district across the country.
    • Consider including a personal story of your experience returning your overseas ballot, or other ways you depend on sending and receiving mail to and from the US.

    Contact your governor and state legislators and ask them to step up to preserve your right to vote from abroad.

    Whether you’re voting for President or town council members, the rules that determine how you can request, receive and return your ballot are decided at the state level. State legislation can make it harder for you to vote from abroad, or it can create a path around the mess that will be made by the Postal Union withdrawal.

    1. Use this guide from Vote From Abroad to look up your state’s ballot delivery methods.

    2a. If your state requires ballot requests and/or returns be sent by mail (and not email/online submission), contact your governor and state legislators.

    • Ask that they push for legislation in 2020 which allows their military and civilians abroad to submit their absentee ballot requests (aka “FPCAs”) and overseas ballots by email or online submission.

    2b. If your state allows ballot requests and/or returns to be done online or via email, consider letting your governor and state legislators know how much you appreciate these essential, modern solutions which ensure that you can easily and securely request and return your ballot. In order for these options to be maintained, it’s helpful for them to know why it matters to you!

    Protect your right to vote!

    • If you aren’t registered to vote yet and will vote in any of these states, register to vote as an overseas voter NOW -- before the UPU withdrawal.

    Go to www.votefromabroad.org and click “start” to fill out your voter registration form and overseas absentee ballot request. Then mail it in ASAP.

    1. Alabama
    2. Arkansas
    3. Connecticut
    4. Florida
    5. Idaho
    6. New Jersey
    7. New York
    8. Oregon
    9. Rhode Island
    10. South Dakota
    11. West Virginia
    12. Wisconsin
    13. Wyoming

    Democratically yours,

    Steve Nardi
    Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada

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  • published DemsAbroad Canada 2019 Election Results in News 2019-04-15 01:21:45 -0400

    DemsAbroad Canada 2019 Election Results

    The DA Canada Nominations and Elections Committee is pleased to provide the results of the 2019 Annual General Meeting & Election.

    Chair: Steve Nardi

    Executive Vice-Chair: Julie Buchanan

    Vice-Chairs (2): Marnelle Dragila & Ed Ungar

    Secretary: Sue Alksnis

    Treasurer: Lissette Wright

    Membership Secretary: Susan Brennan

    IT Manager: Tim Smith

    Counsel: Danielle Stampley

    Members-at-Large (3): Sofia Misenheimer, Darius Pruss, and Chris Shaw

    DPCA Voting Representatives DemsAbroad Canada is allocated and expected to elect 24 Voting Representatives. In accordance with Article 15 of DA Canada Bylaws we achieved sex parity by electing 12 female and 12 male Voting Representatives.

    Steve Nardi

    Julie Buchanan

    Ed Ungar

    Marnelle Dragila

    Tim Smith

    Sue Alksnis

    Darius Pruss

    Lissette Wright

    Chris Shaw

    Susan Brennan

    Louis DeLamarter

    Danielle Stampley

    David Hoyt

    Sofia Misenheimer

    J David Markham

    Gena Brumitt

    David Mivasair

    Heidi Burch

    Robert J Petrusa

    Rachel Eugster

    Engin Polar

    Tracy Hudson

    Kenneth Sherman

    Denise Roig

    In addition, the Proposed Bylaw Amendments were approved by the required two-thirds (2/3) majority.

    Here are the complete vote results:

    * = ACCLAIMED

    Office + DPCA Voting Representative

    Name

    Country Chair

    Steve Nardi*

    Executive Vice Chair

    Julie Buchanan*

    Vice Chair

    Marnelle Dragila*

    Vice Chair

    Ed Ungar*

    Secretary

    Sue Alksnis*

    Treasurer

    Lissette Wright*

    Membership Secretary

    Susan Brennan*

    Counsel

    Danielle Stampley*

    IT Manager

    Tim Smith*

    Member-at-Large

    # of votes

    DeLamarter, Louis [M]

    25

    Misenheimer, Sofia [F]

    101

    Mivasair, David [M]

    57

    Pruss, Darius [M]

    64

    Shaw, Chris [M]

    59

    DPCA Voting Reps [Female]

    # of votes

    Brumitt, Gena

    69

    Burch, Heidi

    72

    Busch, Earlene

    45

    Castillo, Ivelisse

    44

    Eugster, Rachel

    75

    Hudson, Tracy

    78

    Roig, Denise

    54

    Schneiderman, Heidi

    Withdrawn

    Scott, Brook

    53

    DPCA Voting Reps [Male]

    # of votes

    DeLamarter, Louis

    Acclaimed

    Markham, J David

    Acclaimed

    Mivasair, David

    Acclaimed

    Petrusa, Robert J

    Acclaimed

    Polar, Engin

    Acclaimed

    Sherman, Kenneth

    Acclaimed

    DPCA Voting Reps [Male]

    # of votes

    Hoyt, David

    13

    Schellenberg, David

    7

    Proposed Bylaw Amendments

    Yays

    Nays

    Should proposed amendment 4.1 be adopted?

    109

    7

    Should proposed amendment 6.2 be adopted?

    103

    13

    Should proposed amendment 6.4 be adopted?

    111

    8

    Should Article 12 be renamed Article 11

    118

    2

    Should Article 11 be renamed Article 12?

    117

    3

    Should proposed amendment 18.3 be adopted?

    111

    5

    Should proposed amendment 19.6 be adopted?

    114

    4

    Should proposed amendment 20.1 be adopted?

    117

    2

    A copy of the most recently approved DA Canada Bylaws can be downloaded by clicking here.

    The membership is informed that any member of DA Canada who wishes to challenge any election result may do so by submitting an email to Bodil Geyer, Chair of the NEC, at: bodil.geyer@swimrecruiting.com. All challenges must be submitted by April 30, 2019.

    The Teller of Elections tabulated the results of the 127 electronic valid ballots cast. (Out of the 134 ballots submitted, 7 were spoiled and not included in the results). 20 in-person valid ballots were cast for nominations from the floor where needed. Any questions about vote tallies may be directed to the Teller of Elections at: nominations@democratsabroad.ca

    With highest regards,

    DA Canada Nominations and Election Committee

    Bodil Geyer, NEC Chair [Vancouver, BC]
    Starla Goggins [Toronto, ON]
    Randi Weitzner, NEC Teller of Elections [Montreal, QC]

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  • published Notice of Proposed Bylaw Amendments in News 2019-03-02 00:27:52 -0500

    Notice of Proposed Bylaw Amendments

    The Board of Democrats Abroad Canada has approved the following proposed Bylaw Amendments to be decided by the membership. Most of the proposed amendments are a change of one word in order to have the Canada Bylaws to be in sync with the recently passed Article 15, and the DPCA Charter.

    ELECTION INFORMATION

    The electronic ballots will be emailed to members on March 16th. Submit your completed ballot by 11:59PM EDT March 30th. To vote you must have joined Democrats Abroad by 11:59PM EDT March 3, 2019, you must be a member of DACA, a US citizen of voting age and a resident of Canada.

    PROPOSED BYLAWS AMENDMENTS

    · Articles 4.1, 6.2, 6.4, and 18.3 each need one word adjusted; “gender” to “sex” to synchronize with terminology in recently passed Article 15

    · Article 12 [IT Manager] needs to be renamed Article 11 and moved above ‘Other Voting Members of the Board’ following DA Canada members 2018 approval to amend Article 4 Officers to include the IT Manager

    · Article 11 [Members at Large] needs to be renamed Article 12

    · Article 19.6 [Terms and Removal from Membership or Office] needs to be amended to include violation of the DPCA Code of Conduct

    · Article 20 [Vacancies] needs to be amended to confer the full rights of the appointed office until the next AGM

    The proposed changes are in bold under each Proposed Article

    Current Article 4.1 [Officers]: 1st paragraph needs to be amended

    4.1 The Officers of the Organization shall be the Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) additional Vice Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Counsel and IT Manager. The Executive Vice Chair shall be opposite in gender to the Country Chair. These Officers constitute the Executive Committee of DACA, which shall meet at least quarterly.

    Proposed Article 4.1 [Officers]

    4.1 The Officers of the Organization shall be the Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) additional Vice Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Counsel and IT Manager. The Executive Vice Chair shall be opposite in sex to the Country Chair. These Officers constitute the Executive Committee of DACA, which shall meet at least quarterly.

    Current Article 6.2 [Executive Vice Chair]

    6.2 The Executive Vice Chair shall be a member who is of the opposite gender to the Chair, as per the bylaws of Democrats Abroad and the rules of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

    Proposed Article 6.2 Executive Vice Chair

    6.2 The Executive Vice Chair shall be a member who is of the opposite sex to the Chair, as per the bylaws of Democrats Abroad and the rules of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

    Current Article 6.4 [Additional Vice Chairs]

    6.4 The two additional Vice Chairs shall be elected without consideration of gender. Responsibilities shall be decided among the Officers, but should allow for division of such responsibilities so that the many organizational and policy-making roles are equitably and productively arranged.

    Proposed Article 6.4 [Additional Vice Chairs]

    6.4 The two additional Vice Chairs shall be elected without consideration of sex. Responsibilities shall be decided among the Officers, but should allow for division of such responsibilities so that the many organizational and policy-making roles are equitably and productively arranged.

    Current ARTICLE 12 [IT Manager]

    12.1 The IT Manager performs as liaison to manage the domain name, institutional email addresses, and security access to the database and bulk emailing system. With the IT Committee, the IT Manager is responsible for the Board list serve, DACA website postings, wiki updates, and development and support of all types of electronic forms. The IT Manager manages the DACA social media sub-committee and other team members to offer technical solutions, training, and best practices to leaders across DACA.

    Proposed to Rename Article 12 to Article 11 and move above “Other Voting Members of the Board”, below “Counsel”

    Proposed Article 11 [IT Manager]

    11.1 The IT Manager performs as liaison to manage the domain name, institutional email addresses, and security access to the database and bulk emailing system. With the IT Committee, the IT Manager is responsible for the Board list serve, DACA website postings, wiki updates, and development and support of all types of electronic forms. The IT Manager manages the DACA social media sub-committee and other team members to offer technical solutions, training, and best practices to leaders across DACA.

    __________________________________________________________

    Current ARTICLE 11 [Members at Large]

    11.1 The three (3) Members at Large represent the broader membership and bring to the Organization special gifts and talents, which complement those of the other elected officials on the Board. Members at Large shall be elected at the AGM in accordance with 19.1 below.

    Proposed to Rename Article 11 to Article 12 [Members at Large]

    12.1 The three (3) Members at Large represent the broader membership and bring to the Organization special gifts and talents, which complement those of the other elected officials on the Board. Members at Large shall be elected at the AGM in accordance with 19.1 below.

    __________________________________________________________

    Current Article 18.3 [Chapters] Chapter Officers should be elected biennially in odd-numbered years at an AGM of the Chapter held prior to the national (DACA) AGM. The Chapter election should include at minimum a Chapter Chair. Though it is not required, it is recommended that each chapter have a Vice-chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Membership Secretary.

    If a Chapter has a Vice Chair or a Co-chair in addition to a Chair, they shall be opposite in gender in accordance with the policy of the Democratic Party. Each chapter shall appoint a Nominations and Election Committee Officer, not running for elected office, to conduct chapter elections.

    Proposed Article 18.3 [Chapters] Chapter Officers should be elected biennially in odd-numbered years at an AGM of the Chapter held prior to the national (DACA) AGM. The Chapter election should include at minimum a Chapter Chair. Though it is not required, it is recommended that each chapter have a Vice-chair, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Membership Secretary.

    If a Chapter has a Vice Chair or a Co-chair in addition to a Chair, they shall be opposite in sex in accordance with the policy of the Democratic Party. Each chapter shall appoint a Nominations and Election Committee Officer, not running for elected office, to conduct chapter elections.

    __________________________________________________________

    Current Article 19.6 [Terms and Removal from Membership or Office]

    19.6 Some examples of conduct detrimental to DACA follow: (i) speaking against the host country while purporting to speak on behalf of DACA or DA and (ii) soliciting funds or in-kind services from non-Americans. Volunteering without monetary value by non-Americans is generally acceptable.

    Proposed Article 19.6 [Terms and Removal from Membership or Office]

    19.6 Some examples of conduct detrimental to DACA follow: (i) speaking against the host country while purporting to speak on behalf of DACA or DA and , or (ii) soliciting funds or in-kind services from non-Americans, or (iii) violating the DPCA Code of Conduct. Volunteering without monetary value by non-Americans is generally acceptable.

    __________________________________________________________

    Current Article 20 [Vacancies]

    20.1 The Country Chair shall appoint a member on a temporary basis to fill a vacancy among elected members of the Board. The appointee shall serve until the next regular AGM where members shall elect the position.

    Proposed Article 20 [Vacancies]

    20.1 The Country Chair shall appoint a member on a temporary basis to fill a vacancy among elected members of the Board. The appointee shall serve with the full privileges of their office until the next regular AGM where members shall elect the position.

    Democratically yours,

    DemsAbroad Canada Nominations & Elections Committee

    Bodil Geyer, NEC Chair [Vancouver, BC]
    Starla Goggins [Toronto, ON]
    Randi Weitzner, NEC Teller of Elections [Montreal, QC]

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  • published NOTICE OF AGM AND OFFICER ELECTIONS in News 2019-02-24 21:34:14 -0500

    NOTICE OF AGM AND OFFICER ELECTIONS

    The Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Montreal will take place Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at 6:00PM EST
    688 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Room 361, Montreal, QC H3A 0B2

    Below are the candidate statements for each office. Electronic ballots plus the RSVP link to attend the AGM will be distributed to registered members of the Chapter on March 11th and must be voted by midnight EST March 25, 2019.

    Chair

    Brent Jamsa

    Hello, I am Brent Jamsa, and I would be honored to serve as the DA Montreal Chair. I recognize that the Chair is responsible for the general administration and well being of the chapter. This means we must work together to ensure the prosperity of our chapter for years to come. If elected, I pledge to work more closely with Democrats Abroad at McGill with coordinating events and discussion meetings. As well, I support the work being done to expand our DA university network.

    In terms of relevant experience, I have served as a Project Manager for Democrats Abroad at McGill since June. In this role, I was responsible for implementing and coordinating our phone banking operations to swing districts back home. Together, we made over 4,000 calls and a lasting impact. As well, I have previously served as a Page in the 438th General Assembly of Maryland and served four years in various portfolios in my countywide student council. One particular stint included a two year mandate as Legislative Affairs Director, which required that I be in constant communication with Maryland legislators regarding legislation that were of interest to public school students. Under my mandate, our keynote legislation finally passed the legislature and became law after multiple attempts under other Directors. Moreover, I served as Parliamentarian in my senior year, which demonstrates my interest in parliamentary procedure as it relates to running organized meetings with Roberts Rules of Order. With this, I humbly ask for your support. Thank you.

    Randi Weitzner

    My name is Randi Weitzner and I am running to be the next Chairperson of the Montreal Chapter of Democrats Abroad.

    No one in the Democratic Party, regardless of which of the many announced candidates one supports, can ignore the urgency of doing everything possible to stop another four years of Trump. I would have to say my number one priority for my work with DA right now is to reach out to each and every US citizen residing in and around Montreal and making sure that they are registered to vote in their home state and have requested an absentee ballot. The 2018 midterms showed the power of the youth vote and the absentee ballot vote and it is my mission through November 2020 to create our own Blue Wave in the “Great White North”.

    I would like to see the Montreal Chapter take on a more active role in a number of different areas: social activities, “educational” activities, political discussion groups. As a trained social worker, former employee of the New York City Department of Personnel and volunteer on various local government committees, I believe I possess the necessary interpersonal skills and government experience to make these things happen.

    On the advice of the McGill chapter of DA Canada (and with their valued assistance), I have created a Facebook page to outline my priorities and concerns for the DA Montreal Chapter in more detail. I would encourage all DA Montreal members to take a look and post comments/ask questions. Here is the link. http://www.facebook.com/Randi-Weitzner-2371597459735351/

    Montreal is a diverse and vibrant city and I would like to see our chapter be that as well. This is an important time for Democrats. This is our chance to set things right and get our country back on track to serve ALL Americans, including those of us who have chosen to live and/or work in Canada. Let’s do this together. I urge you to get involved, take up the challenge and work with me to make our chapter a difference maker. I believe my leadership will get us there.

    Please cast your vote for me as Chairperson of the Montreal Chapter of Democrats Abroad.

    Vice Chair*

    *Both candidates for Chair have also expressed a desire to run for Vice Chair

    Brent Jamsa

    Hello, I am Brent Jamsa, and I would be honored to serve as the DA Montreal Chair. I recognize that the Chair is responsible for the general administration and well being of the chapter. This means we must work together to ensure the prosperity of our chapter for years to come. If elected, I pledge to work more closely with Democrats Abroad at McGill with coordinating events and discussion meetings. As well, I support the work being done to expand our DA university network.

    In terms of relevant experience, I have served as a Project Manager for Democrats Abroad at McGill since June. In this role, I was responsible for implementing and coordinating our phone banking operations to swing districts back home. Together, we made over 4,000 calls and a lasting impact. As well, I have previously served as a Page in the 438th General Assembly of Maryland and served four years in various portfolios in my countywide student council. One particular stint included a two year mandate as Legislative Affairs Director, which required that I be in constant communication with Maryland legislators regarding legislation that were of interest to public school students. Under my mandate, our keynote legislation finally passed the legislature and became law after multiple attempts under other Directors. Moreover, I served as Parliamentarian in my senior year, which demonstrates my interest in parliamentary procedure as it relates to running organized meetings with Roberts Rules of Order. With this, I humbly ask for your support. Thank you.

    Gilbert (Gib) Primeau

    Hello, my name is Gib Primeau and I am a candidate for the Vice Chair position. I’m a lifelong Dem from Indiana, from a family that has voted blue going back to FDR at least. I have been living in Montreal since 2015 and work as a research assistant/collaborative coordinator at McGill. Prior to that, I was a social worker at a skilled nursing facility in western Washington state. In my career so far, I have made it a priority to be detail-oriented, conscientious, and to hold myself to a high standard, whether I’m writing something, organizing meetings or events, or advocating for clients. I always strive to be friendly and respectful to people, and to seek consensus. I feel a little guilty getting to live in Canada while such terrible things are going on back in the States, and I would like to make more of a contribution to the Democratic Party if I can.

    Randi Weitzner

    My name is Randi Weitzner and I am running to be the next Chairperson of the Montreal Chapter of Democrats Abroad.

    No one in the Democratic Party, regardless of which of the many announced candidates one supports, can ignore the urgency of doing everything possible to stop another four years of Trump. I would have to say my number one priority for my work with DA right now is to reach out to each and every US citizen residing in and around Montreal and making sure that they are registered to vote in their home state and have requested an absentee ballot. The 2018 midterms showed the power of the youth vote and the absentee ballot vote and it is my mission through November 2020 to create our own Blue Wave in the “Great White North”.

    I would like to see the Montreal Chapter take on a more active role in a number of different areas: social activities, “educational” activities, political discussion groups. As a trained social worker, former employee of the New York City Department of Personnel and volunteer on various local government committees, I believe I possess the necessary interpersonal skills and government experience to make these things happen.

    On the advice of the McGill chapter of DA Canada (and with their valued assistance), I have created a Facebook page to outline my priorities and concerns for the DA Montreal Chapter in more detail. I would encourage all DA Montreal members to take a look and post comments/ask questions. Here is the link. http://www.facebook.com/Randi-Weitzner-2371597459735351/

    Montreal is a diverse and vibrant city and I would like to see our chapter be that as well. This is an important time for Democrats. This is our chance to set things right and get our country back on track to serve ALL Americans, including those of us who have chosen to live and/or work in Canada. Let’s do this together. I urge you to get involved, take up the challenge and work with me to make our chapter a difference maker. I believe my leadership will get us there.

    Please cast your vote for me as Chairperson of the Montreal Chapter of Democrats Abroad.

    Secretary

    Debra Lazar

    I am originally from Massachusetts and have been in Canada 34 years (in Montreal for 28). I’ve been an active member of DA Montreal for about ten or eleven years and was Vice Chair of our chapter for approximately two years during a time when we had a rather small active membership. Because of this, the boundaries between the Executive roles were very fluid with everyone chipping in to do what needed to be done. During this period, I was also a volunteer teacher at RECLAIM Literacy Centre while also serving on their board for five years, with three of those in a secretarial capacity. While I have opted to take a back seat for the past few years (two weddings to plan and health issues of various family members), I am eager now to seek a more active role once again. These are challenging times and I am excited to make my contribution, as small or as large as it may be. I look forward to meeting all of you and to carry on with the work of moving our chapter and the Democratic Party forward. Thank you!!

    Treasurer

    No nominations received. Nominations for Treasurer will be accepted from the floor during the AGM.

    Democratically yours,

    DemsAbroad Montreal Nominations & Elections Committee

    Charlie Baranski, Chair
    Andrew Figueirido
    Claire Rawson-Dannenbaum, Teller of Elections

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  • published 2019 DAVI Board Candidate Slate in News 2019-02-15 12:52:20 -0500

    2019 DAVI Board Candidate Slate

    DA VICTORIA AND THE ISLANDS CHAPTER (DAVI)

    CANDIDATE SLATE - 2019

    CHAPTER CHAIR -

    • Provides agenda and chairs regular Chapter Board meetings

    • Provides leadership for GOTV initiatives

    • Chairs the Chapter AGM every two years

    • Represents the Chapter at the DA Canada (DACA) monthly Board meetings

    Candidates:

    1. Heidi Burch: “I’ve been active in DAVI since 2012 as a Member-at-large, helping to set up events to foster the DAVI community and Get Out the Vote, such as the Sticky Wicket Pub meetups, registration events at the Victoria Public Library and setting up the annual Tax Seminar. I have also been active with DA Canada, where I am currently Exec Vice-Chair, and with DA Intl, where I am continuing in my role as chair of the GOTV team.”

    VICE CHAIR -

    • Chairs Chapter Board meetings in the absence of the Chair

    • Assists in providing leadership for GOTV initiatives

    • Steps in for Chair as needed


    Candidates:

    1. Jim Ham: “I'm a US/Canada dual citizen living in Victoria BC since 1972 working as a musical instrument craftsman. I was born in Augusta GA but vote in my last place of US residence, Bellevue WA. I have a long standing interest in US politics and have felt a strong concern for the recent horrible developments in my birth country. While I do vote I feel like I need to do more, working with Democrats Abroad seems like a good way for me to contribute. I do have experience serving as a board member, I have served on the board of the Civic Orchestra of Victoria for many years (where I also play the violin). In the days leading up to the mid-term election I did canvassing with DA board member Jena Magnus in WA district 8 for candidate Kim Schrier.”

    SECRETARY - Jena Magnus (Acting) (Aug 2018 - March 2019)

    • Schedules regular Chapter Board meetings

    • Takes minutes of Chapter Board meetings and distribute them to the Board


    Candidates:

    1. Jena Magnus: “I have served as the DAVI Secretary since August 2018. As a RN I worked as Admin Support for several large interdisciplinary provincial healthcare teams. I ensured people had the right information at the right time, members were kept up to date, & our activities stayed on track. I look forward to bringing my experience working with high performance teams to the DAVI.”

    TREASURER - Jon Scheer (Acting) (Aug 2018-March 2019)

    • Provides Chapter financial reports at regular Board meetings and at the biannual AGM

    • Manages and maintains Chapter bank account, donations (cash and online) and Chapter expenses

    Candidates:

    1. Jon Scheer: "I have served as DAV Treasurer since August, 2018. I have over 20 years experience as a tax accountant and have been in prior years Treasurer for 2 non-profit theatre groups, one here in Victoria and the other in Denver. I currently act as bookkeeper for Langham Court Theatre."

    MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY -

    • Works with the DA Canada Membership Secretary on annual Membership Verification

    • Learns to use the DA Nation Builder online membership management system

    • Send welcome message to new members via email (template)

    Candidates:

    1. Marilyn Mahan

    COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR -

    • Sends event invitations and updates to DAV members, using the DA Nation Builder online email system

    • Updates and maintains the DAVI Facebook page

    • Updates the DAVI events web page in Nation Builder

    Candidates: None

    STUDENT OUTREACH COORDINATOR -

    • Raises awareness of Democrats Abroad on campuses in the Chapter area

    • Coordinates on-campus voter registration events

    • Coordinates outreach to US citizens on-campus (non-DA members)

    • Liaises with the DA Canada point person on the DA Global Study Abroad Youth Outreach Team

    • Initiate and support DAVI-affiliated clubs on campus

    Candidates: None

    MEMBERS AT LARGE:

    Attend regular Chapter Board meetings and the biannual AGM

    • Contribute skills and experience in support of GOTV initiatives

    • Work on planning events and help to run events: GOTV, tax seminars, biannual AGM, Thanksgiving Dinner, election-year debate nights, etc.

    Candidates: None

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  • published Annual General Meeting in News 2019-02-15 12:49:11 -0500

    Annual General Meeting

    To All DAVI Members:

    The Victoria and the Islands Chapter of Democrats Abroad (DAVI) will be holding its 2019 Annual General Meeting and Election of Officers:

    DATE: March 17, 2019
    TIME: 3:00 PM

    PLACE: 250 Douglas St, Victoria, BC

    Please RSVP by email to: davictoriachapter@gmail.com

    It is possible to attend by Skype or Webex as well. If you’d like to use that option, please let us know in your RSVP 

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  • 2019 Taxation Questionnaire and update on DemsAbroad Efforts on Residency Based Taxation

    Democrats Abroad is launching our 2019 Non-Resident Taxation Research Project to generate information we will use to advocate for reforms to relieve the burden of tax, banking, financial account reporting, securities and other laws that discriminate against Americans living abroad. Please contribute to our research by filling out this questionnaire. It will be open for submissions until midnight EST on Sunday February 3, 2019.

    It is a lengthy questionnaire, but you should only be presented with questions relevant to your situation, as specified in your responses. The survey is anonymous. All questions are optional.

    Please share this email with other Americans abroad impacted by U.S. tax obligations and/or share this link on your social media channels. Thank you for your support with this important research and our work to persuade Congress we need urgent tax relief.

    If you follow the work of Democrats Abroad advocating for tax relief for Americans abroad you know that a major milestone was reached in December 2018 with the introduction of the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act, a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would enact a switch from the current U.S. system of Citizenship based taxation (CBT) to the global norm of Residency based taxation (RBT). The bill wasn’t perfect, but it does provide an excellent framework for building a proposal for enacting RBT that can be embraced by members of Congress on all sides of politics. Our work on such a proposal continues from where we left off last year and we need your help to execute our advocacy program. CLICK HERE for a 1 pager about the bill and CLICK HERE for a description of the provisions.

    Congress has a very poor understanding of the Americans abroad community, and that probably goes double for the freshman members. In order to persuade them to relieve us of the onerous and unfair burden imposed by Citizenship based taxation we need to educate them about who we are and how we are suffering because of discriminatory tax policy.

    To that end, Democrats Abroad announces the 2019 Non-Resident Taxation Research Project aimed at building a profile of the Americans abroad community and describing how we are impacted by the many ways U.S. tax, securities, banking and other laws cause us serious personal and financial hardship. We hope you will help by taking part in the research by completing this questionnaire.

    The questionnaire is comprehensive in its penetration into the many types of discrimination we Americans abroad face. It is divided into these main sections:

    Non-resident citizen profile – demographic information describing who we are and where and how we live

    Offshore Banking, Saving and Investing – compiling information about how we are impacted by financial account reporting requirements and the punitive tax treatment of savings, pension and investment programs.

    U.S. Banking, Saving and Investing – compiling information about how our non-residency impacts our ability to manage our U.S.-based financial affairs

    U.S. Tax Filing – recording our experiences managing the tax consequences of offshore residency

    U.S. Tax Compliance – recording our experience maintaining compliance with U.S. tax filing obligations, including our experience with the programs set up to help non-filing Americans come into tax compliance.

    Social Security Benefit impairment – gathering information from those whose U.S. Social Security benefits are unjustly reduced because a portion of their working life was spent abroad employed by organizations that don’t participate in the U.S. Social Security system.

    Tax Cuts & Jobs Act impacts – for the first time, generating data on how Americans abroad who have ownership in foreign companies are enduring the two new taxes imposed upon them by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

    It is a lengthy questionnaire. We estimate it will take 10 minutes to prepare.

    But all questions are OPTIONAL.

    We trust you will consider the tax, banking, investing and securities laws and regulations that have the most harmful impact on you and put your effort into responding to the questions that relate to those matters.

    Please send us any questions or comments – 2019ExpatTaxResearch@gmail.com

    Thanks in advance for your support with this research and for our advocacy work generally.

    If you are interested in getting more frequent updates on our expat tax advocacy work, including advice on our grassroots Congressional outreach campaigns, please click here to sign up.

    If you are interested in donating to support the work of DA in advocating for reforms to U.S. tax and banking laws you can do so by clicking here.

    Thanks again!

    Democratically yours,

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE

    Julia Bryan - ex officio (Czech Republic)
    Jennifer Cederwalls (Sweden)
    DeeDee Geirow (Sweden)
    Carmelan Polce - Chair (New York and Australia)
    Michael Ramos (Australia)
    Chip Seward (Washington DC and France)
    Joe Smallhoover (France)

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  • published Special Meeting of DA Canada Members in News 2018-12-21 19:10:50 -0500

    Special Meeting of DA Canada Members

    This is a formal announcement of a special meeting of members of Democrats Abroad Canada (“DACA”) called for Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 7:30PM EST via WebEx. The purpose of the meeting is to consider passage of a revision to Article 15.2 of the Democrats Abroad Canada Bylaws (the “Bylaws”), proposed by the Board of Directors of DACA.

    Article 15 addresses how DACA members become Democratic Party Committee Abroad (“DPCA”) voting representatives. This announcement addresses the reasons the DACA Board is proposing this amendment, what it attempts to do and why we recommend it.

    Background

    Democrats Abroad (“DA”) is formally known as the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (“DPCA”). DA has a Board of Directors at the international level. Members organize themselves locally into Country Committees (like DACA) and local chapters.

    DA calls annual international meetings where certain members of the Country Committees have the power to vote on initiatives related to DA’s governance and activities. These voting members are called “DPCA Voting Representatives”.

    DA assigns each Country Committee a number of votes in proportion with the size of its membership. These votes are assigned to each country’s DPCA Voting Representatives. For example, larger Country Committees, like Canada, have more votes at the international meetings.

    In Canada, we assign one vote per DPCA Voting Representative. Therefore, we have more DPCA Voting Representatives than most Country Committees.

    Why is the Board Proposing this Amendment?

    DA’s Charter requires each Country Committee to elect DPCA Voting Representatives nationally. The Charter also requires even sex distribution among the group of DPCA Voting Representatives from each Country Committee (i.e., the DPCA Voting Representatives from Canada must be an equal number of people who identify as female and people who identify as male).

    Under the current Article 15.2 of DACA’s Bylaws, DACA’s DPCA Voting Representatives are:

    1. all of the elected officers of the Board; and
    2. Chapter Chairs who are in office as of May 1st each election year.

    Article 15.2 does not say anything about sex distribution.

    DA has informed the DACA Board that Article 15.2 violates the DA Charter because:

    1. it allows Chapter Chairs to serve as DPCA Voting Representatives and they are not elected nationally (which is required under the DA Charter); and
    2. it does not provide for even sex distribution among the DPCA Voting Representatives from Canada.

    Accordingly, DACA has to revise Article 15.2 to be in compliance.

    What does the Amendment do?

    The Amendment (below) eliminates Article 15.2 and replaces it with new text that does the following:

    1. confirms that the nationally-elected members of the DACA Board of Directors’ Executive Committee (Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) Vice Chairs, Secretary, Membership Secretary, IT Manager, Counsel and three (3) Members-at-Large will also serve as DPCA Voting Representatives; and
    2. establishes a process for nationally-electing the remaining DPCA Voting Representatives for DACA in a manner that takes sex distribution into consideration.
    3. The Amendment provides that each national election will follow the following process:
      1. candidates can choose to run for Executive Committee officer positions and/or DPCA Voting Representative;
      2. the votes for the candidates for officer positions will be counted first, and the members of the Executive Committee will be declared;
      3. anyone who ran as an officer and for a DPCA position will be removed from the slate of candidates for DPCA Voting Representative because they will already have a DPCA vote as an elected officer of the Executive Committee;
      4. the votes for the remaining candidates for DPCA Voting Representatives will be tallied;
      5. based on the sex distribution balance of the Executive Committee (e., the number of officers who identify as male, female non-binary, etc.), the DPCA Voting Representatives candidates who will balance the sex distribution of the overall group of DPCA Voting Representatives will be declared according to who received the most votes; and
      6. for the purpose of achieving even sex distribution among the DPCA Voting Representatives, non-binary individuals will be treated as neutral and the sex distribution will be determined based on the self-identified sex of those candidates who identify as male or female.

    Why does the DACA Board recommend the Amendment?

    The Board recommends this approach for the following reasons:

    1. This Amendment ensures that DACA’s DPCA Voting Representatives are all elected nationally and have even sex distribution as a group. This ensures that we can use all of our Country Committee Votes at each DA annual meeting.
    2. By distributing DPCA Voting Representative responsibilities among the Executive Committee and individuals who only serve as DPCA Voting Representatives, it allows the group to draw on a range of knowledge and experience and national and international involvement while keeping the group at a manageable size.

    CURRENT ARTICLE 15 Democratic Party Committee Abroad Voting Representatives (DPCA Voting Representatives)

    15.1 The DPCA Voting Representatives shall represent the views of DACA at the international meetings of the DPCA. The number of voting members is based on country membership and other factors and is determined by the DPCA. The Country Chair and the Executive Vice Chair are Voting Representatives by virtue of their offices. All DPCA voting members pledge to attend the Annual DPCA meetings or may timely proxy their vote to another board member or a member of their chapter board.

    15.2 DACA voting representatives to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) shall be members of the DACA Board, its Officers, Members at Large, IT Manager and Chapter Chairs who are in office May 1st of each election year. Each voting representative shall share an equal portion of the voting allocation assigned to it by the DPCA in February of the same year.

    PROPOSED ARTICLE 15 Democratic Party Committee Abroad Voting Representatives (DPCA Voting Representatives)

    15.1 The DPCA Voting Representatives shall represent the views of DACA at the international meetings of the DPCA. The number of voting members is based on country membership and other factors and is determined by the DPCA. The Country Chair and the Executive Vice Chair are Voting Representatives by virtue of their offices. All DPCA voting members pledge to attend the Annual DPCA meetings or may timely proxy their vote to another board member or a member of their chapter board.

    15.2 The following 12 board members upon election would automatically become DPCA Voting Representatives: Country Chair, Executive Vice Chair, two (2) additional Vice Chairs, Secretary, Membership Secretary, IT Manager, Treasurer, Counsel, and 3 At-Large Members.

    To elect the remaining DPCA Voting Reps there will be one slate of female, male and non-binary candidates. Candidates can run for both a Board position and on the DPCA slate.

    DA Canada members vote for the Board positions, and for up to 12 on the DPCA slate.

    Once the Board positions have been declared elected, two things will happen:

    1. The elected names, if also appearing on the slate of DPCA candidates, will be removed.
    2. Based on the declared sex distribution of the Board, the candidates with the most votes of each sex will be declared winners such that the DPCA representation is sex balanced. If the number of allowed DPCA reps for Canada is an odd number, the imbalance on the elected DPCA Voting Reps shall be of the opposite sex to the larger sex makeup of the Board. If the number of elected DPCA Voting Representatives is an odd number, the final DPCA Voting Representative position will go to the candidate who received the most votes.

    In the event that a DPCA rep cannot fulfill their position, a candidate of the same sex as the departing rep shall be elected as an acting DPCA rep by a vote of the Executive Committee. The candidate shall be selected in voted order from the previous DPCA slate.

    In the event of non-binary DPCA Voting Representatives, they shall not be counted for the purposes of gender parity, and the remainder of the delegation shall be equally divided.

    This proposal will be voted on electronically, with the ballot being distributed no later than 15 days prior to the special meeting. The ballot will also have instructions for how to access the special meeting on WebEx.

    If you have questions or concerns about the Amendment, please reach out to Steve Nardi at chair@democratsabroad.ca.

    Democratically yours,

    Board of Directors
    Democrats Abroad Canada

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