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

  • 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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  • URGENT: Voters from FL, GA and AZ - ensure your ballot is counted!

    November 10, 2018 at 3:52am

    This urgent message is for members who vote from Florida, Georgia or Arizona – Please take a moment to read on to ensure your vote was counted. It’ll take a few minutes of your time but it’s crucial to take action now or risk allowing the Republicans to take your vote away.

    Over the past several election cycles, the votes received by Democrats Abroad voters has delivered the numerical difference to victory in one to two close races; e.g. MN, NY, CT, NV. This time it’s overseas voters from FL, GA and AZ who have the ability to truly play a role in victory – every vote does count!

    The stakes are high and the numbers are close - if every vote is counted Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Bill Nelson and Kyrsten Sinema could see victory at the end.

    The Democrats Abroad GOTV Team has put together crucial information to help you contact your voting county immediately to make sure your vote is being recognized and counted. If your ballot has not been counted or cannot be found, follow the following steps outlined below. The tight race in Arizona has not only highlighted the value of our votes from abroad, but also highlighted how much we need to do to help protect those votes and ensure they are counted.

    In GA, FL and AZ, the GOP is actively working to avoid counting absentee ballots.

    To help ensure that our votes are counted, we are working with state voter protection teams and have rolled out the following process to help you PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE..

    1. We are sending emails to voters in each state with information walking them through checking on the status of their ballots.

    2. If a ballot has not been counted, we are asking Florida and Georgia voters to fill out a form which we are sharing directly with the voter protection teams in their states. We are asking Arizona voters to get in touch with their local election offices immediately to ensure they have all the information they need to verify their ballots, and then to reach out to us if they have further problems.

    Here is the information, by State:

    Arizona
    https://www.facebook.com/DemsAbroad/posts/10160904477040005

     

    Florida
    https://www.facebook.com/DemsAbroad/posts/10160904523715005


    Georgia
    https://www.facebook.com/DemsAbroad/posts/10160905029765005


    Please contact your local Chapter or email gotv@democratsabroad.org for additional assistance.

     

     


    In Solidarity,

    Bodil Geyer
    GOTV Coordinator, Canada

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  • Some thoughts on Pittsburgh; by a Jewish guy from Philadelphia

    It happened.

    Every Jew who attends any Jewish activity experiences the worry that something like what happened at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend could happen at any time. Hateful rhetoric and gun manufacturers have made it clear that these kinds of atrocities--hate crimes--can happen in the United States.

    Extremists want to blame the Jewish people for bringing it upon themselves, but we know that is not true. The NRA and their accomplices on the Right in Congress, the Supreme Court and certain presidents have made sure that as MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell puts it, "the U.S. has the best armed mass murderers in the world.” 

    And it’s more likely to happen in the atmosphere of racial resentment fostered by the current administration. Unfortunately, prejudice against people of color and Jews come hand in hand. As somebody who had to pass swastika painted walls on the way to Hebrew school in Philadelphia, I am grateful that at least here in Canada individuals harboring this kind of hatred and prejudice are unlikely to have an AR-15. 

    However, our work to combat hate and racism and promote equity and equality is never done. We in Democrats Abroad are working to create an environment in which atrocities like the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh are less likely to happen. Thank you for all you are doing to support that mission. It is so important.

    Ed Ungar
    Co Vice Chair
    Democrats Abroad Canada

    November 02, 2018 at 2:09am

  • Help! What can I do to get my ballot returned with the Canada Post rotating strikes?

    October 25, 2018 at 3:44am

    Don’t let the Canada Post rotating strikes keep you from returning your ballot. Below are a few suggestions on how you can submit your ballot outside of the Canada Post system, however you need to act quickly.

    If you can return your ballot electronically (email, fax or online upload), we urge you to do so! 28 states permit fax returns and 23 of those permit email so don't presume it's not an option.

    If your state only allows fax return [AK, FL, CA, LA (with special permission) and OK] and you don’t have access to a fax machine, there are free apps that will convert an email attachment to a fax.
    Or you can use the DoD Fax service through the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP.gov). Email your ballot, any required supporting materials and a cover sheet (see: http://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/coversheet.pdf) to fax@fvap.gov. FVAP will then fax your election materials to your Local Election Officials. (This option is ONLY to use their email-to-fax service, if your state accepts email ballot return, just email to your state directly.)

    If you must mail your ballot, consider using an overnight service. Or, if you're close to the US Embassy or Consulate, ask if they are accepting ballots to place in the diplomatic pouch. You can contact them here: http://ca.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/voting
    It will be taken to the US and placed in the US mail, so be sure to ask how long they anticipate it will take to get to your ballot to your election office--there can be a significant time lag! Check the date your mailed ballot must get to your state here: www.votefromabroad.org/vote/svid.htm?submission=true.

    We’ve checked with the Toronto Consulate and they are accepting ballots, as most should. Their diplomatic pouch ships to New York on Tuesdays, so if you drop off your ballot by Monday Oct. 29th it’ll have a good chance of arriving at your local election office in time.

    If you choose to take your ballot to the US Embassy or Consulate you must either have USPS postage (envelopes entering the USPS system with Canada Post stamps won’t be delivered) or you must use the postage-paid envelope available at this link (http://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fwab_envelope.pdf). You have two options, you can either print an envelope or print it on a sheet then cut out and place on top of a blank envelope.

    Finally, if you plan to go to the US to mail your ballot, please contact your Local Election Official first to confirm your ballot will be accepted if mailed from within the US. You can find the contact information here: http://VoteFromAbroad.org/states". If you mail your ballot within the U.S. you must put your out-of-country address in the return address area – follow the directions that came with your ballot.

    We appreciate that some of these options take more effort than usual. Democrats Abroad has delivered the numerical difference in several close elections and our votes are needed now more than ever. These strikes are occurring at the worst time for Democratic voters in Canada – please don’t let Canada Post be an obstacle to helping deliver the blue wave!

    If you have questions about not having received your ballot or submitting your ballot, you can access the online Voter Help Desk at www.VoteFromAbroad.org or email: gotv@democratsabroad.org.

    Democratically yours,

    Steve Nardi
    Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada

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  • Americans in Canada invited to volunteer in swing districts

    October 21, 2018 at 4:43am

    Democrats Abroad Canada has been approached by campaigns in critical swing districts in border-states asking for volunteers willing to travel help on the ground in a number of ways. The need is especially great on the weekend of Nov 2nd-4th and on election day, Nov 6.

    While we’ve had dozens of volunteers across Canada phone-banking Americans living abroad, our proximity to the border states provides a unique opportunity among our diaspora in that most of us can travel relatively short distances to participate on the ground to possibly tip the balance in certain very tight races.

    Here are comments from someone working with Danny O’Connor who came within 1,600 votes in the special election in Ohio’s 12th District and is running again:

    We have moved onto organizing Get Out The Vote canvass parties across the state with a focus on the last weekend before the election, although we have events every weekend. Lining up volunteers from in state and out of state as well as places for people to stay. In addition, we have phone banks set up but boots on ground is focus. This election is going to be won by whoever gets the base plus the tiny group of independents who usually stay home off the couch.

    Due to liability risks, Dems Abroad can’t officially organize car trips to the States. However, we know that several people are planning to travel to critical swing districts over the next couple of weeks to volunteer in campaigns. Dems Abroad will collect information for those who would like to join one of these trips. We will then share the information with those who indicated a specific canvassing opportunity and the campaign coordinator in the district. At that point it’ll be up to the group to coordinate activities.

    The comments about the opportunities in Ohio’s 12th District are representative of what’s available if you’re wanting to get more involved.

    To indicate your interest please click here and complete the form. We plan to distribute group details by Oct. 26th to coordinate plans. You’ll see 3 specific districts who are seeking volunteers however if you have another district you’re planning to travel to or would like to volunteer for, you can indicate that on the form.

    Democratically yours,

    Steve Nardi
    Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada 

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