As out-going Chair and member of the Election Commission, I am pleased to announce the candidates for Barcelona chapter leadership positions for the coming 2019-2021 term.
The roles and candidates are as follows:
Chairperson; 2 Nominees: Harry "Cody" Edelman | Chris Reilly
Vice Chairperson; 2 Nominees: Wendy Hunter Roberts | Catherine Dexter
Secretary; 2 Nominees: Andrea Host-Barth | Ann Graul
Treasurer; 1 Nominee: Sharon Avery-Fahlström
The following are statements from those candidates who have submitted them. Please stend-by for further information on on-line, proxy and in-person voting proceedures. And please plan to attend the elections meeting on 15 May in Barcelona.
DA Spain - Barcelona Chapter
2019-2021 TERM CANDIDATES' STATEMENTS
Candidates for Chairperson:
Harry “Cody” Edelman
You may have met Cody if you were registering voters last fall. He was the field director for Rock the Vote Spain, focusing on registering young Americans living and studying abroad. He is currently a student with a Spanish language school, while at the same time completing a master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management through Georgetown University. He does not have any kids, but is living with his girlfriend, Gabriela, and their two cats in Barcelona.
Cody was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the wrestling team in high school. Upon graduating, he studied International Relations and Military Affairs, minoring in German and East Asian studies while attending The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina on a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship from 2009-2013. He would subsequently be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army as a logistics officer. Where he was stationed for four years in Germany. Harry moved to Spain shortly after leaving the army. He’s very excited about taking Democratic principles to younger votes.
I am a US Citizen by choice. I’ve had an interest in politics my entire adult life. I am a Democrat – I believe deeply in social equality and economic opportunity for all.
My professional life has seen me based in Asia, USA and Europe. My career has encompassed business development and senior sales roles in several industries with the majority spent in new technology/media related companies. In 2009 career opportunity bought my wife, Ann, and me to Barcelona where we’ve happily lived since, staying connected to USA and voting regularly as Democrats living abroad.
I studied the U.S. political system for 3 years in school and was a resident green card holder as Bush v Gore unfolded in 2000. I wanted the right to vote in the U.S. where I was living, so I became a U.S. Citizen in 2001 in San Francisco. Later in New York, I worked on two presidential campaigns - for John Kerry and Barack Obama. I subscribe to an idea derived from Muhammad Ali’s poem “Me, We” – I see “Me” as representing how Republicans see the world and “We” as Democrats do.
As America goes, so goes the world. Today, issues I support are under direct assault by the current U.S. administration. These include Campaign Finance Reform, Environmental Protection and Climate Change, Universal Health (Obama)Care, Sensible Immigration Reform, Women’s equality and reproductive rights, Gun Control, LGBT Rights, Consumer Protections, Voting Rights and much else. At the same time, nationalist right-wing parties – all with similar divisive populist messages and policies - gain strength across Europe and the world.
Democrats Abroad is a global organization helping to ensure that Democrats among the estimated 9 million ex-patriot Americans, U.S. taxpayers all, are heard via elections or lobbying efforts. Topics range from taxes (ie FATCA and HR7358) to social rights. There are many examples where absentee ballots by Democrats have determined the outcome of important US races. This must continue. While every election cycle is described as “the most important ever”, those words will never be truer than in 2020 and so we must prepare. It is essential that the local DA Chapter continues to work to support the various rights and issues of U.S. Citizens resident in Catalunya and to encourage them to vote at U.S. election time.
If elected, I will focus on the following:
· Develop and execute a multi layered strategy to reach and register as many potential Catalunya based U.S. qualified Voters as possible using the advice and expertise of various data gathering and online media experts in my network.
· Supporting on-going DA lobbying activities, particularly those related to fairness in taxation.
· Develop the internal structure necessary to build on the foundations put in place by previous DA Barcelona organization members.
· Provide regular meetings and forums for all issues affecting Democrat voters resident in Catalunya.
Candidates for Vice Chairperson:
A long-term expat here in Spain, I grew up mostly in Bethesda, Maryland, in a foreign service family, and last lived in Seattle in the U.S. I'm a freelance translator and Pilates instructor professionally and follow the bizarre twists and turns of U.S. politics perhaps too closely for my own good in my spare time. A sworn never non-voter and, goes without saying, never-non-Democratic voter, I want to do my part to help get the vote out for 2020 with the great group of committed volunteers in Barcelona. The huge field of amazing candidates on the horizon gives me hope, and if every citizen who wants the country's future to be sane votes, there will be a Democrat in the White House in January 2021.
Wendy Hunter Roberts
W. Hunter Roberts has been an active member of Democrats Abroad since landing in Europe in 2011. While living in Budapest she served on the executive board as a member at large during the time that the organization grew to twice its previous size.
She has been an activist her whole life. She was a charter member of psychotherapist for social responsibility during the arms race in the 1980s. In the fall of 2018, she volunteered with the Rock the Vote Spain events in Barcelona, registering nearly 60 young students herself.
She works as a therapist and coach online with clients throughout the world. She now lives in Barcelona overlooking las Ramblas and looks forward to helping to grow the DA chapter in Barcelona as well as ensure that there is active participation of its current membership.
Candidates for Secretary:
Andrea Host-Barth is a 61-year-old retiree currently living southwest of Barcelona, near Sitges, Spain. She and her husband, Karl, have been living in Spain for nearly two years. Before coming to Spain, they lived in the Philadelphia area. For political and practical reasons, they maintain an address in Miami, Florida.
Andrea spent her professional career working in IT in higher education. In her last position, she served as a Customer Success Manager with Ellucian. She provided IT and software support for over 100 customers. She was responsible for ensuring that services were delivered accurately and on-time. An experienced project manager, she is process-oriented and developed streamlined policies and procedures for many of the services her team provided.
Politically, Andrea considers herself a middle of the road Democrat; she is open-minded and open to the ideas of other parties. In the past, she volunteered to help with the campaigns for local politicians and Barack Obama knocking door-to-door, writing letters, and making phone calls. In November 2018, she traveled back to Miami to volunteer as a non-partisan poll-monitor for the organization Election Protection, ensuring that all votes count.
Now that Andrea’s retired, she is eager to do more to help the Democratic party come out on top in the 2020 election. Serving in the role of secretary for Democrats Abroad is just one way she can serve. She also believes her skills in IT, management, and customer support make her a good candidate for the position.
I have lived in Barcelona for more than 30 years, but never lost my interest in U.S. politics and society. Nonetheless, family and other obligations kept me from being little more than a “member in name only” of Democrats Abroad prior to 2016. The election of Donald Trump caused me to rethink my priorities and dedicate more time and energy to the party. As Democrats living overseas, the most important thing we can do for our home country is to vote, and Democrats Abroad plays a critical role in getting U.S. citizens registered (and re-registered every year) to exercise this constitutional right. If elected Secretary of DA-BCN, I will bring my passion and communication skills to the group, with the aim of increasing participation and communication among our members so that we can mobilize an informed and effective block of overseas voters in 2020.