Former Global Treasurer | Canada DPCA Voting Rep | GDC IT Liaison | DA CCR Treasurer

  • THIRD TUESDAY (JANUARY 18): Sip-&-Share Socializing, and FPCA Show & Tell

    Join us for our usual "sip and share" social hour while we chew over current events and pressing issues, as well as an FPCA Show & Tell. Complete your FPCA before the meeting at and bring along your confirmation that you have registered to vote in 2022 and requested your ballots for this coming year. Or complete your registration in real time during our meeting, with the assistance of the DA CCR leadership team.

    Need we entice you further by mentioning that there will be games and prizes? (Of course there will be!)

    Please RSVP below. The Zoom link will be included in your RSVP confirmation message, which is automatically generated when you register.

    (While we do indeed meet virtually, Parliament's address is entered into the booking system to ensure that our event shows up on DA's Events map.)

    January 18, 2022 at 7:30pm
    ONLINE ZOOM MEETING (using Parliament's mailing address enables the event to appear on DA's event map)
    1 Wellington St
    Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
    Google map and directions
    16 rsvps rsvp

  • Disability Rights Advocates to Meet with CDC Director Following GMA Appearance

    The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) / News and Media / Press Releases

    • Disability Rights Advocates to Meet with CDC Director Following Good Morning America (GMA) Appearance; Nearly 150 Disability Organizations Release Policy Demand Letter Ahead of Meeting

    Washington, D.C. – On Friday, January 7, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in an interview with Good Morning America, commented on the results of a research study. Director Walensky remarked that a disproportionate number of deaths due to COVID-19 in the study population occurred among those with four or more comorbidities, calling those patients “people who were unwell to begin with” and these results as “encouraging news”. The disability community, who represent those with four or more comorbidities who died in the study, responded in turn. The hashtag #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy, started by writer and activist Imani Barbarin, was a top trend on Twitter over the weekend.

    ... Ahead of the meeting, advocates sent a letter to the CDC Director from nearly 150  disability-focused organizations from around the country, representing tens of millions of disabled Americans from every state and territory. The letter, which can be read in full here, reads: 

    “The disability community’s faith in the government agencies responding to the pandemic has taken hit after hit with repeated policy choices that devalue disabled lives. For every step in the right direction, there have been steps backwards or actions delayed. It is necessary for the public health of our nation that the CDC and other agencies responding to the pandemic take immediate, concrete policy steps to rebuild that trust, protect disabled and high-risk people, and enact an equitable vision of pandemic recovery that centers on those communities most at risk and begins to shift long-standing systemic inequities.” 

    Click here to read more ...

    ~The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

  • Words matter. How we use them matters.

    Respect, awareness and good will can make a world of difference when speaking to someone with a disability or with a disability different from our own. Even the most “woke” person gets tripped up occasionally: Do I say dwarf or little person? Hearing impaired, hard-of-hearing, or “person with a hearing disability”? If a person with cerebral palsy welcomes the term “crip,” does this apply to most people with a motor disability? Should I use person-first language or disability-first language? (For more on this difference, see below.)

    The times and language are changing rapidly, as are the ways people with disabilities are choosing to identify themselves. Disability represents a form of diversity – similar to gender, race, religion, ethnicity and social class – and requires the same sensitivity when it comes to the way we address and refer to one another.

    Below is a quick guide (adapted from for respectful, mindful disability language. These suggestions aren’t meant to make anyone feel policed, self-conscious or shamed. Educate yourself on current, accepted terms. Still unsure how to address or refer to someone with a disability? Don’t guess! Ask the person directly, remembering most of us would still rather be referred to by our name than a label.

    Words to avoid:
    Cripple, handicapped, invalid, victim, afflicted with, confined to a wheelchair, normal (when referring to a non-disabled person), deaf-mute, birth defect, crazy/insane/mental patient, slow, mentally retarded, underachiever, deformed, handicapable, differently abled, disfigured, abnormal, palsied, spastic, physically challenged, manic, maimed, incapacitated, high-functioning/low-functioning, “special” and special needs.

    Words to use:
    Person with a disability, disabled, uses a wheelchair, non-disabled or able-bodied, deaf, hard of hearing, psychiatric history, emotional disorder, consumer of mental health services, epilepsy/seizures, learning disability, ADD/ADHD, developmental disability, cognitive disability, born with.

    Many of the “words to avoid” are obvious. But language is not only ever-changing, it possesses layers of meaning, history and nuance. Inherent in words like invalid or victim is the belief that disabled people are “less than” able-bodied people. Ableism itself isn’t a new phenomenon, of course, though the term itself might be for some. And it has a way of slipping into our everyday language. We call people “crazy.” We say someone made a “dumb” choice or a “lame” excuse.

    Andrew Pulrang, who writes a regular column for Forbes magazine on disability practices, policy, politics and culture, (link below), explains that “the harm of terms and uses like this is indirect, but no less real. They all reinforce the idea that a good way to describe bad things is to compare them to disabilities, or to disabled people.”

    The good news, according to Pulrang, however, is that ableist language is also “unnecessary,” given a reasonable amount of awareness, creativity and, above all, care.

    To learn more about respectful disability language, please check out these sources:

    “It’s Time to Stop Even Casually Misusing Disability Words,” Andrew Pulrang in Forbes:

    “The harmful ableist language you unknowingly use” – BBC’s Equality Matters

    “Respectful Disability Language: Here’s What’s Up!” – NYLN (National Youth Leadership Network)

    “Choosing Words for Talking About Disability” – American Psychological Association

    “Disability Language Style Guide’ - National Center on Disability and Journalism

    “Disability-Inclusive-Language-Guidelines” - Prepared by the United Nations Office at Geneva as part of efforts to implement the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy, launched in 2019. 

    WHAT COMES FIRST: The choice is personal and both are appropriate

    Person-first language places the “person” before the “disability” and is intended to emphasize personhood over impairment. Person with a disability …

    Disability-first language (or identity-first language) places “disabled” before the person, emphasizing that disability is an important part of one's identity. Disabled person …

  • published GDC Disability Insights in Resources 2022-01-13 13:59:23 -0500

  • Pierre Filatov, GDC Steering Committee Member

    Pierre_Filatov-LinkedIn.jpgPierre Filatov has always a big political activist. At age thirteen, I volunteered for Barack Obama's first presidential campaign in 2008, phonebanking and attending local volunteering events. I have been also very active in the 2016 election, phone banking both Americans in the US and Americans in Paris, helping out with their voting procedures. As a co-chair and/or member-at-large I will work with the other members to make every voice heard, to terminate the bleed of dismantling America and we will fight to retrieve our hope for 2018 and onwards.



  • published Lissette Wright, GDC IT Liaison in Meet the Team 2022-01-12 13:54:09 -0500

    Lissette Wright, GDC IT Liaison

    Lissette-Wright_DPCA-SM.jpgLissette Wright's BIO coming soon!







  • published Ken Sherman, GDC - DNC Liaison in Meet the Team 2022-01-10 20:04:53 -0500

    Kenneth Sherman, GDC - DNC Liaison

    KS_IMG_0854_(002).jpgKenneth Sherman of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada has served Democrats Abroad in many capacities over twenty years including the office of International Chair and Vice-Chair. He is one of its representatives now to the Democratic National Committee governing body.  He authored the resolution that has established July 17 as John R. Lewis Voting Rights Day. Ken votes absentee in Buffalo, New York.










  • published Heather Stone, GDC EMEA Coordinator in Meet the Team 2022-01-10 19:57:10 -0500

    Heather Stone, GDC EMEA Coordinator

    HeatherStone-ADA31-210726.JPGHeather Stone is a member of DA-Israel. She became a licensed attorney in NJ in 1988 and practiced municipal bond law in NJ from 1988-1990.She moved to Israel for academic work, in Urban Planning, passed the Israeli Bar in 1993 and practiced law with a few of the largest law firms in Israel in the high-tech sector - doing investments, international mergers & acquisitions, and internal investigations of publicly traded companies for over 20 years.  In 2017 she became visually impaired following brain surgery.  She volunteers for Democrats Abroad, currently as Deputy International Counsel (Global) and serves on the boards of a few non-profit organizations in Israel, and was the past chair of Democrats Abroad-Israel.  Heather is a mom of two grown teens, and two dogs, including one guide dog and one emotional support dog.  She continues to learn to navigate the world differently.






  • Elizabeth Blackbourn, GDC Communications Coordinator

    ElizabethB.Fist-2021OCT30.jpegElizabeth Blackbourn is the Chair of Democrats Abroad China and GDC Communications Coordinator. She hails from small town Wisconsin and currently resides in mega city China. She has learned no matter the size of an area in which a person lives, opening up about disabilities is difficult and connecting with others is key. Elizabeth hopes to help expand awareness and develop a means of support within Democrats Abroad for those with invisible diseases and physical ailments. Using her own journey with autoimmune diseases and injury, Elizabeth aims for the GDC to become a resource for those struggling to cope. Fostering a community that cares by increasing inclusivity and expanding communications is essential to the mental well-being of Americans abroad. Contact Elizabeth to share your story, work on public policy, and assist the Global Disability Caucus communications efforts.

  • Denise Roig, GDC Americas Coordinator

    DeniseRoig-Photo21OCT30.jpgDenise Roig has been an active member of Democrats Abroad since 2019. A published writer of fiction and non-fiction, she votes in California and has lived in Canada for over 30 years (twenty in Montreal and ten in Hamilton, Ontario). She's been a DPCA rep, headed up the GOTV postcard campaign for DA Canada in the 2020 election and is a writer for multiple projects through DA's Global Design Team. Denise is a founding member of the Global Disability Caucus and a member of its steering committee.Through her daughter, Georgia -- born with cerebral palsy -- Denise has become an ally to, and an advocate for, the disabled community. Georgia, now 26, has three college diplomas in helping professions and is currently working on a degree in Disability Studies, an emerging field that is political and justice-based. Allyship, Denise's special focus, also challenges the ways we think about disability so we can be mindful, informed advocates.

  • Caroline Ruchonnet, GDC Accessibilty Coordinator

    Caroline_Ruchonnet.jpegDr. Caroline Ruchonnet grew up in Madison NJ. At 18, she moved to Scotland where she earned a MA(Hons) in Medieval History and Archaeology from the University of St Andrews, and a MSc and PhD from the University of Edinburgh in Forensic Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology. As part of DAUK’s Scotland chapter, she helped organize the 2018 Edinburgh March For Our Lives protest. Since then she has led DAUK Scotland as Chair, organising fundraising events, voter registration drives, social events, and polling stations for the 2020 Global Presidential Primary. She has also served DAUK, helping to establish 7 new regional groups and organizing several country-wide virtual events including the July 4th picnic, presidential debate watches and town halls. She lives in Dunfermline, Fife, with her husband Antoine and their six chickens.


  • published Anthony "Mike" Nitz, GDC Legislation in Meet the Team 2022-01-10 17:51:11 -0500

    Anthony "Mike" Nitz, GDC Legislation Coordinator

    MikeNitz-ADA31-210726.jpgMike Nitz is the Vice Chair of DA Vietnam, Chair of the DA Veterans Military Families Caucus and GDC Legislation Coordinator. He joined the Navy in 2011 as a shipboard nuclear power plant technician. In 2013, he was admitted to the United States Naval Academy where he studied comparative politics, Arabic, and the history of US-Iranian diplomatic relations. In 2015, he left the Naval Academy to return to active enlisted service in the field of underwater minefield detection and neutralization (not to be confused with explosive ordnance disposal) and served onboard a Minesweeper in Sasebo, Japan from 2016 - 2018. His health deteriorated while stationed in Japan, however, and he was ultimately medically retired from active service in January 2020. He now spends most of his time advocating for improvements to the systems that serve service members and veterans, advocating for disability rights and changes to the civilian disability system, and studying trends in election data throughout the United States.

  • Allyssa Schoenemann, GDC Education and Awareness Coordinator

    AllyssaSchoenemann-Photo211023.jpgAllyssa Schoenemann (she/her) has been a DA member since October of 2020 (a month after arriving in Germany). She currently resides in the northwest part of Germany and works as an English teacher in a German public school for grades 5 to 10. She has spent time in Germany previously, receiving a Fulbright award in 2015 to work as an English language assistant at a German Gymnasium. At that time, she was not a DA member. Prior to moving abroad, she received her teaching certification for English Language Arts, Students with Disabilities, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the secondary school level. She has worked in various schools on Long Island in New York as a teacher assistant, substitute teacher or full-time teacher. After receiving her Masters degree, she pursued an additional certification in Disability Studies from Stony Brook University. Her goal has always been to educate, whether that be in the classroom teaching language skills or providing new knowledge about disability rights and methods of advocacy.





  • published Meet the Team in Meet the Team 2022-01-10 17:18:22 -0500

    Marnie Delanie, Chair of DA Global Disability Caucus

    MarnieDelaney.jpgMarnie Delaney has lived in France since the end of 2018.  She spent her working years in marketing/advertising with Ad Agencies In New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco and ran Advertising & Marketing Communications for Bank of America. As a second career she founded an art studio and shop for children and taught art classes as wel

    Marnie has been politically involved since the 1960’s with a particular interest in women’s rights issues.  She spent many years involved with the National Organization for Women in Los Angeles, including a term as President which coincided with the nomination of Geraldine Ferraro as Walter Mondale’s VP running mate. She also spent time on the road working on the Equal Rights Amendment campaign and time consulting for political candidates and start-up companies.

    Since joining Democrats Abroad, Marnie has served on the GWC steering committee and launched  the Violence Against Women Action Team. Currently she is the Marseille Chapter Secretary, on the Senior Caucus-in-formation team and the Medicare Portability Task Force and Chair of the Global Disability Caucus.

    As a large and quite matrixed organization we have a variety of challenges but also phenomenal opportunities. This work gives me purpose and I know that is a feeling shared by many of us. One of the best things about being part of the Democrats Abroad community is getting to know, work with and learn from such an enormous assortment of smart, dedicated, and highly motivated activists. It is like a new gift every day.

    [back to top]

  • published Meet the Team in About Us 2022-01-10 17:16:41 -0500

  • Bi-weekly Meetings - Global Disability Caucus Steering Committee

    Join the bi-weekly meetings of the Global Disability Caucus (GDC). Please RSVP below to receive the meeting link!

    We are dedicated to building a stronger Democrats Abroad - by making all information, events and activities more accessible and being more cognizant of, and sensitive to, disability issues.

    In addition to Democrats Abroad members with disabilities, we welcome and encourage the involvement of supporters of our members and our issues.  We hope to form an inclusive, diverse, active and effective community which provides fulfilling experiences for all.

    Please check the Global Disability Caucus Wiki-Page or the DemsAbroad Global Calendar to find future dates for these meetings and other GDC events!

    Consider making a donation to HELP get out the vote in 2022. Donate TODAY at:

    The Future is Accessible! 

    January 26, 2022 at 8:00am
    4 rsvps rsvp

  • Scared to Debt! Film Screening & Panel Discussion with Filmmaker

    Scared to Debt!

    Film Screening & Panel Discussion with Filmmaker

    [Note: film can be viewed anytime between January 27th-31st!]

    Currently, 45 million borrowers are saddled with close to $1.9 trillion in federal student loan debt in the United States. The Biden Administration has extended the CARES ACT payment pause until May 1st, 2022. Many borrowers perceive the decision as kicking the can down the road. They remain victims of predatory loan practices within a corrupt system that profits while increasing their debt far beyond their ability to pay it.

    View the award-winning Sallie Mae Not documentary, episode one of the Scared to Debt documentary film by Michael Camoin, and join him and others for a panel discussion to learn the chilling reality of student loan corruption in America and options to confront it effectively.


    How to watch film and participate in panel discussion:

    Watch the film in advance on your own [January 27th to 31st] via the easy access link you will receive when you RSVP below. The film is 41 minutes long. No fee/donation is necessary.


    Join the panel discussion on Zoom on Monday, January 31st, at 12:00pm to 1:30pm ET, 6:00pm to 7:30pm CET, 9:00pm to 10:30pm Dubai time. [A link to the recording of the panel discussion will be shared with those who register and are unable to attend the discussion.] 

    RSVP below for your free film screening access, panel discussion Zoom link, and invitation to submit a question for the panel discussion. 

    Invite your family and friends to participate as well. Here is a Facebook post to share. 

    ** Double your impact to get out the vote for Democrats**

    For a limited time, a generous donor in Asia Pacific will double your donation!

    Join with others today to win for Democrats up and down the ballot, including Congressional Progressive Caucus Members who are committed to student debt relief for borrowers in the United States – If you are able, please consider giving $4.50, $45 or anything in between to help us reach our goal of 45 donations in recognition of the 45 million American student debt borrowers. Please donate here today. Thank you!

    Co-hosted by the Global Progressive Caucus and Global Youth Caucus. 

    This event is part of the proDA series “Monthly Mondays for Your Progressive Minds.”

    Vancouver 9-10:30 am
    Toronto 12-1:30 pm
    Brazil 2-3:30 pm
    London 5-6:30 pm
    Berlin 6-7:30 pm
    Nairobi/Athens 8-9:30 pm
    Dubai 9-10:30 pm
    Mumbai 10:30 pm - midnight
    January 31, 2022 at 12:00pm
    26 rsvps rsvp

  • Democracy Talks - Dr. Benjamin Carter-Hett - Why You Need to Vote: Lessons from the German Experience

    Join Democrats Abroad Canada on January 19 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT/9 pm AT for a fascinating installment of our Democracy Talks Speaker Series. 

    January 19, 2022 at 8:00pm
    Online - RSVP to receive a link by email to join by Zoom
    300 College St
    Toronto, ON M5T 1R9
    Google map and directions
    123 rsvps rsvp

  • donated via 2021-12-31 10:47:27 -0500

    Join the Hispanic Caucus in supporting Democrats Abroad

    Únase Al Comité Hispano (Hispanic Caucus) y Bríndele Apoyo a los Demócratas en el Extranjero (Democrats Abroad) 

    Support Democrats Abroad with a donation that will help us get out the vote among US Hispanic and Latinx communities around the world.  We made the difference in several close races in 2020 - and with your help we will make the difference in 2022 and 2024.  Every donation counts - whether large or small.

    Bríndele apoyo a Democrats Abroad con una donación. Su donación ayudará a promover el voto entre la comunidad Hispana y Latinx Estadounidense alrededor del mundo. Hicimos la diferencia en varias carreras políticas con estrechos márgenes en el 2020. Y con su ayuda haremos la diferencia en el 2022 y el 2024. Toda donación- pequeña o grande- ayuda.



    Donations are to Democrats Abroad (Democratic Party Committee Abroad and not to any candidate or candidate's committee. Donations are not tax-deductible for Federal income tax purposes.
    Las donaciones se hacen a Democrats Abroad (Democratic Party Committee Abroad) y no a un candidato o comité de candidato específico. Las donaciones no son deducibles de sus impuestos.



  • donated via 2021-11-30 22:54:54 -0500

    The Global Disability Caucus is Preparing for 2022

    $40.44 raised
    GOAL: $5,000.00

    We Know We Must Win

    And We Need Your Support to Accomplish Our Goals

    Please support Democrats Abroad to increase the election-winning margins we helped to provide in 2020

    The importance of these elections cannot be overstated.  Your contribution will help us reach and assist voters across the globe who vote in states and districts where Democratic wins are imperative. 

    Every vote is critical.

    Donations are to Democratic Party Committee Abroad and not to any candidate or candidate committee.


NYer🗽|🇨🇦&🇺🇸Citizen|Support🌳Economic&SocialJustice|AffordableHousing|@HabitatGO|TheCanadian CharterofRights&Freedoms⚖️Treasurer|@DemsAbroad|@DemsAbroadCan