Our Slate for the 2017 AGM

On SUNDAY MARCH 19th Democrats Abroad UK will be electing officers for the 2017-19 term.

Come meet the Our Revolution UK candidates — including Larry Sanders, Bernie’s brother — at 12 noon at Dillon’s Coffee, Ground Floor, Waterstones, 82 Gower St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6EQ. We’ll go together from coffee to the AGM.

In order to vote, you must attend the meeting IN PERSON, at 1:30 pm, at Lecture Theatre B34, Basement floor, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX.

Please see this link for more information on the AGM, as well as our pre-meeting event, where you can meet the candidates and fellow progressives.

Our Candidates

Chair: Travis Mooney

Most a candidate statements tell you who someone is. I think it’s more important to tell you what we should do.

We must be bold. We must be humble. We must be active.

We must fight Trump, the Republican Party, and be an example to others.

We must be inclusive. Being the largest country in Democrats Abroad is not enough. There are more than 250,000 US Citizens in the UK and our membership is less than 6% of that number. As Chair, I will establish an outreach and membership growth coordinator who will use social media, viral marketing, and traditional direct email to grow our membership.

We must look beyond London. For too long, DAUK has been focused on the capitol. This is not enough. I will work to assist current chapters,and to establish new ones in the West Country, Yorkshire,Birmingham, and wherever there is a supporting population. And I will provide support for these chapters to ensure their success.

But inclusion is not just about membership and chapters — we must also support remote voting to engage those outside London in the democratic process. Every voter must be allowed to vote, and each vote must be counted. We live in a digital age, and requiring physical presence is discriminatory. I will introduce changes to our by-laws that make sure every member of DAUK is guaranteed a vote.

We must help educate and empower voters. To do that, we must be transparent in our actions,and engage our membership. All our documents — not just those that are deemed ‘safe’ — must be publicly available. We must provide explanations about the way that DAUK, the DPCA, and the DNC work together. And all events should be openly advertised, welcoming to both members and potential members.

We must also be engaged in Democrats Abroad at the international level, approaching it both with humility and the boldness which befits the largest country committee. It is time to sweep away bad blood and engage DA, both to listen and lead. I will establish a vice-chair level position in our DPCA body to deal specifically with Democrats Abroad, and make working with the international group a part of everyday DAUK business.

If you’re interested in all that, you might be interested to know who I am. I am a supporter of Bernie Sanders, a coordinator for Our Revolution Abroad, and was the co-coordinator of London for Bernie and the link between more than 35 national grassroots groups. I am a lifelong progressive, who started door-knocking for Jerry Brown at the age of 16, became a member of the Democratic Party at the age of 18, and have lived in London for more than 15 years.

Democrats Abroad UK has done a lot. But it’s not enough. I believe we can do better. A vote for Travis Mooney is a vote to be more inclusive, more transparent, and more engaged. I ask for your support.

Secretary/At-large ExCom member/DPCA Voting Representative: David Wenk

I would like to nominate myself for the position of Secretary of Democrats Abroad UK. I am also running as a voting representative, and for the executive committee.

Since joining DAUK, it’s been clear to me that the organization could, should, and must do better at engaging the hundreds of thousands of US citizens resident in the United Kingdom.

I am fully supportive of the efforts of the candidate for Chair, Travis Mooney, as regards the steps which need to be taken to reinvigorate DAUK and to help educate and empower US voters living here.

DPCA Voting Representative: Larry Sanders:

I was President of the Bolivar-Douglass Reform Democratic Club in Lower Manhattan in the early 1960s. I was convinced then and am now that the Democratic Party could stand for the rights and interests of the vast majority of Americans but a faction was able to use it for their own interests by supporting powerful and wealthy groups. In Manhattan we fought to stop urban renewal from evicting thousands of low rent tenants.

I have lived in the UK since 1968, and worked as a Social Worker and as a Lecturer  in Social Work and in Health and Social Care Law. I have been a County Councillor in Oxfordshire for 8 years and am at present Health and Social Care Spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales.

I was proud to be able to vote for my brother, Bernie Sanders, at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

DPCA Voting Representative/At-large ExCom Member/Council: Amanda Wintcher

I am interested in running for the positions of Voting Representative to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad and At-Large Member of theCouncil and Executive Committee. At the moment my personal circumstances allow me the time to fulfill the duties of any or all of these.

Although I have lived in the UK since 2004 I only heard about DAUK last year. I’ve been registered as a Democrat in Colorado for most of my life but I never formally participated in the party. Since the shock of the election I have begun seeking ways to get more involved and to have a greater impact on our elected representatives. I joined the DAUK Women’s Caucus and have begun working on the communications and legislative committees, and I plan to join the Policy Action Network when it is established. I have also been following other progressive and activist movements such as Indivisible and Our Revolution and hope to promote the energy and ide as of these movements in DAUK.

I am interested in becoming a Voting Representative because I want to be actively involved in communicating the concerns of Americans abroad to the wider Democratic party, and to help influence the decisions that are made by the DNC. One of my main concerns is increasing voter participation, so I am interested in joining the executive committee to ensure that get out the vote and building membership remain top priorities. As I spend much of my time in the North East I want to support efforts to involve Democrats outside London. Similarly, I am interested in the DPCA council because of its stated aim of actively promoting DAUK and the interests of Americans living abroad.

DPCA Voting representative/At-large EXCom Member: Eric Lee

I have been a Democrat my whole life. As a small child, I saw John F. Kennedy campaigning for president. As a 13-year-old, I volunteered for Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 Presidential bid and was active in the anti-war movement. Later, I joined the Young People’s Socialist League, the youth section of the Socialist Party, which was totally committed to working inside the Democratic Party. Throughout the 1970 s, I worked in American politics in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee under the leadership of Michael Harrington.

In 1981, I left the US to go live in Israel on a left-wing kibbutz and there became very active in the peace movement and the left. By 1990, I was elected a member of the central committee of the United Workers Party (Mapam), a member party of the Socialist International and a sister party to the British Labour Party. I had also worked for several years as a staff writer for that party’s daily newspaper, covering international affairs, as well as being a freelance journalist focussing on politics.

I came to live in the UK in 1998 where I work as the editor of LabourStart, the news and campaigning website of the international trade union movement.

I became involved in the Bernie Sanders campaign before there was a campaign.  I’m proud to count myself among those who in 2014 urged Sanders to run.

Once Bernie was in the race, I set up a Meetup Group and later a Facebook page, printed out the first Sanders leaflets, bought a batch ofbuttons and stickers from the campaign, and set up a stall at the Democrats Abroad UK July 4th picnic in London.

Later, I organized a campaign launch event held in a packed room in the House of Commons. From that moment the campaign took off, leading to our win in the Global Presidential Primary.

At the end of 2015, the Sanders campaign named me to be the global repres entative to Democrats Abroad.  I also coordinator of the London for Bernie effort up until Bernie withdrew from the race.

Though most of my work has been focussed on workers’ rights and strengthening trade unions, I have never wavered in my support for the Democratic Party. In 2008, when John Edwards ran for the nomination, I gave him my full support and coordinated the short-lived effort in London to support his campaign.

After that, I helped Democrats Abroad UK with my skills as a web designer, creatingthe Policy Action Network website.

The Sanders campaign brought thousands of new members into Democrats Abroad, reinvigorating our organization. I played a role in that, and hope to contribute over the next few years to ensure that Bernie Sanders’ vision and values are represented in Democrats Abroad, and that we channel the energy of the Sanders movement into a fighting Democratic Party, one that stands up to Donald Trump from day one, resists his racist and authoritarian agenda, and ensures his defeat and that of his Republican allies.

DPCA Voting Representative/At-large EXCom Member: Oliver Mintz-Lowe

Friends,

I am running for Executive Committee and DPCA Voting Representative so I can bring my progressive values, energy, and experience, utilised as part of the Bernie Sanders and Our Revolution volunteer teams, to Democrats Abroad.

GROW THE DEMOCRATS ABROAD MEMBERSHIP: According to FVAP, overseas voter turnout is 5%, with 23% of non-voters feeling out of touch with their national and local community. Improving these numbers should be our main goal. DAUK should conduct outreach events at places like university campuses and poll members about types of events they’re interested in. A broader range of events and membership will go some way to addressing both issues.

GROW BEYOND LONDON: I would like to see the creation of additional chapters in underrepresented areas. A better spread of chapters and events throughout the country will mobilise non-participatory members, and will encourage current members to recommend Democrats Abroad to others.

I support making it easier for members in other parts of the country to participate in London based meetings and to cast votes, ideally via WebEx conference and online or absentee voting.

REPRESENT THE BASE: As someone who made over 14,000 calls for progressive Democrats, including nearly 8,000 for Bernie Sanders, the candidate who won the global primary overwhelmingly, I believe that I will represent the base of DA both in the UK and worldwide. The thousands of conversations I had, discussing real and pertinent issues, helped me understand people’s concerns and priorities, which will impact the votes I cast as a Voting Representative. While I understand the different needs of members living overseas, and those who I spoke to during the campaign, I also understand that our shared, progressive values cross international borders.

I believe that protecting and increasing voting rights for overseas citizens is a priority. I support our platform position to fully implement the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE), and the amendment to automatically register previous voters. We must also push for voting rights in the 13 states that do not currently allow US citizens born overseas to vote.

LEADING ON PROGRESSIVE ISSUESAmerican citizens living overseas are lucky enough to have the likes of universal healthcare as a human right and paid family and sick leave. We must share our experiences with friends and family in the US, as a means of trying to influence the Democratic platform. If Democrats fight for, and win, the argument on bold, progressive issues, we can work toward regaining control of Congress and state legislatures. Encouraging popular policies that increase the chances of a Democratic victory will help achieve the best policies, fullest voting rights and most sensible taxation policy, for overseas US citizens.

FOCUS ON VOLUNTEERING: Democrats Abroad is entirely volunteer run, so the less eye-catching side of the organization is important, too. The ExCom oversees the smooth running of events, which requires volunteer involvement at every step. I will look to put myself forward whenever possible, as well as helping to facilitate the organizational side of events.

At-large ExCom Member/Council: Elizabeth Read

My name is Elizabeth (Beth) Read. I am a special needs teacher from Chicago. I have lived in London for 4 years and plan on staying here

indefinitely.

I am committed to defending and fighting for those who are more vulnerable than myself under a Trump administration. As a young democrat living in the U.K., this means establishing a DAUK that is confident in it’s values and provides serious progressive solutions to the dilemmas that will inevitably face our party/organisation in the coming years. I will focus on youth recruitment, involvement and outreach within the U.K.

DPCA Voting Representative/At-large ExCom Member: Gerard Kaufold

For me it’s about keeping the voting public educated – knowing the difference between truthful information and false information – and more importantly how & where to look to get accurate facts.

I’m a 49 yr old New Yorker. I moved to the UK in 2007 and married a British woman in 2010 – she used to tell me that she never sees herself living in the US because of the proliferation of firearms . . . then Trump happened . . . I guess I’m in the UK for good now.

I work for an international news agency and have up close and personal interaction with world leaders and celebrities of all-sorts, does this mean i know little more that others? Possibly.

Please consider me for a seat on the executive committee, i believe with enough elbow grease, i could assist in making a real difference

At-Large Council: Thomas Mellors

The Democratic party can become a vehicle for real change, a movement for a fairer and more equal America. Like many of my contemporaries, I am inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders to fight for just that. I want Democrats Abroad to campaign on real issues which affect most Americans. As a social democrat, I want to see an end to poverty, an end to wealth inequality, a level playing field for all

and full civil rights for every American. I want the rich to pay their fair share. Vote for me, vote for our revolution.