Your Chair and Vice-Chair had the privilege to attend the AGM this past weekend and vote for new leadership of DA. Prior to the AGM, we released a survey to ask you who we should vote for and we wanted to share this publicly below as well.
First, the AGM was based in Washington DC and roll call began at about 11:00pm Sydney time. This proved very challenging to attend, but we’ll have more on how we worked together with the Asia-Pacific region to change this for next year.
We had 26 respondents to the AGM Election Survey and we're excited to announce that not only did we reflect your vote - but your vote won!
Julia Bryan was successful for the Chair position and is who we supported. The majority of the survey responses supported her as well as all Australia’s votes. Julia’s lengthy experience in Democrats Abroad would serve us incredibly well over the next 2 years and feel that we are in very good hands.
In a surprise move, Art Schankler dropped out of the race allowing Alex Montgomery of Hong Kong acclamation to the Vice-Chair position. Our survey was strongly in favour of Alex, and we eagerly look forward to working with him as key representation in the Asia-Pacific region.
In surprising similar move, Kari Hiepko-Odermann followed Art’s move allowing Lisette Wright acclamation to Treasurer. Our survey was a virtual tie, a difference of only one vote, between these two qualified women, and it was proving difficult to decide.
Jeffrey Cheng was successful for Secretary, was strongly supported by our survey and Australia’s votes. Jeffrey has played a key role in the LGBTQI caucus and will make an exceptional Secretary.
Our survey for Counsel was varied and dispersed unevenly between the four candidates. Although Tom Schmid was marginally 2nd in the results, he was our voting choice based off his record and ability and was ultimately successful for the position. Tom makes the second candidate from the Asia-Pacific region - a feat that has not yet occurred in Democrats Abroad.
Resolutions and By-Law Amendments
The Resolutions and By-Law Amendments made for conversation, debate and most eventually ended up being “referred to a committee.” There were over 50 pages of proposed changes to resolutions and by-laws, which you can see here, and once the Wiki is updated with information about how the by-law changes went, we’ll update the link on our website so you can read more.
Committee & Caucus Updates
There’s great work happening in Democrats Abroad committees and caucuses, including GOTV, tax, fundraising, young, hispanic and progressive caucuses. We encourage you to get involved in committees related to your interest. You can see the full presentations and updates here.
Asia Pacific & 2018
The Asia-Pacific region also held elections for our region during the AGM, and your Chair served on the election committee. We’re excited to announce that Shaun Barnes from Hong Kong was elected Chair of the region and ran unopposed.
Before the AGM, we also lobbied and worked with the Asia-Pacific region to bloc behind the next year’s AGM to be held closer to home. We are proud to announce that next year’s AGM will be held in Japan in or around Tokyo! This will hopefully allow more DA Australia members to attend and take part in our party.