Monday, November 25, 2013

DACH Newsletter and Calendar - November 16, 2013

Dear fellow DACH Members,

The post-shutdown American political landscape is looking ever more hopeful for democrats, confirmed by the recent election results in Virginia, Boston and New York.

Your Executive Committee in Geneva and Zurich are already working on voter and membership strategies for 2014, leading up to the mid-term elections. A smile, a comment, your encouragement, your presence, your time… all are welcome! Mid-term elections are just as important as the presidentials. In fact, we need you more now because keeping the momentum is a lot harder. Remember 2010? We can't let that happen again!

In this newsletter you will find information on how you can help, our upcoming events and our growing DACH community. For instance, please note the two separate requests for help with member-list data. Your suggestions are always welcome.

We are YOU,
Anne-Shelton Aaron
Virginia voter

Democrats Abroad - 2013 Global Auction .... STARTS TODAY
The long-awaited auction begins Thursday 14 November, online at Organized to raise funds needed by Democrats Abroad for their core membership and get-out-the-vote activities, the Online Auction is their major 2013 fundraising event. Check out the wide array of services and items to buy at, and register to start bidding. Auction goes ten days, ending Sunday 24 Nov. At the site, please spread the word to increase traffic: Refer Americans you know ("Refer Friends" at lower left of page) and share interesting items to facebook.

Wednesday, 20 November: Meet & Greet DACH Members in Zurich
Members in the wider Zurich area: Meet up with each other and get to know DACH Committee leaders, including Country Chair Anne-Shelton Aaron, Zurich Chapter chair Renee Rousseau, and Chair of the Membership and Voter Committee (MAVO) Sarah Wiebenson. Share a drink, talk about US politics and issues of mutual concern, or simply meet and chat. RSVP by Monday 18 Nov will be helpful.
When: Wednesday, 20 November, 18:00-19:30
Where: Restaurant and Bar/lounge "Au Premier" (at Bahnhof),
ShopVille-RailCity Zurich, Bahnhofplatz 15, 8001 Zurich

Thursday 28 November: Thanksgiving
While DACH is not putting on a Thanksgiving event, we pass on two other Thanksgiving dinners in Geneva that may interest you and other Americans in Switzerland.
American International Club of Geneva – Thursday 28 Nov, evening, all invited:
American International Women's Club (AIWC) of Geneva – Thursday 28 Nov, members and their guests only:

November/December project: Member-database cleanup
Calling for home-based volunteers!! Are you good at searching on web, handling a spreadsheet and making a few calls? Every two years, DA Switzerland (as DA in all countries) checks and verifies its entire member list. This involves writing, calling and researching people on our list who have not responded in a while or who have been unreachable in some way. Has the person left Switzerland, or simply changed their e-mail address? If you have some free time and might like this sort of detective work, please contact the project coordinator, Peter Butterfield ( ). We'd like to grow our team of five up to twelve (or more!).
Student Outreach Events will be organized across Switzerland. We are looking for members interested in helping to organize and host these events.

Wednesday 22 January, 2014: Talk "Guantanamo: Why we are still there"
Evening presentation by author Michael Parmly on the Guantanamo prison, followed by discussion. Mr. Parmly is a Geneva-based author and a veteran of over 25 years at the State Department. Being the former Chief of Mission of the United States Interests Section in Havana, or USINT (2005 – 2008), Mr. Parmly knows first-hand about the US base at Guantanamo, Cuba.
Event: Buffet dinner, presentation and discussion.
When: Wednesday 22 January, evening.
Entry: DACH members only, donation requested. Details to follow.
Where: Private home in Geneva.

 Saturday, 5 October: Democrats Abroad Global Town Hall with Cory Booker

Hosted in member's private home by your Cory Booker for Senate Host Committee: Tanya (NJ voter), Emily (NJ voter), Nicole (MD voter), Mark (IL voter), Lisa-Anne (NJ voter), Maya (NH voter). New Jersey candidate for Senate Cory Booker spoke live to the attendees in cities around the world, and answered questions submitted by two at the Geneva gathering. The DACH committee exceeded their goal and raised $2,000 for the candidate!

Sunday, 6 October: Expat Expo Geneva
The DACH booth was colorful and attracted lots of Americans. A handful of DA volunteers signed up dozens of new members!

Weekend of 18-20 October: EMEA Regional meeting in Kiev
Annual working meeting of the Europe-Middle East-Africa region of Democrats Abroad took place in Kiev, Ukraine. Members and officers from many countries met to work on strategies for attracting new Democrats Abroad in 2014 and for getting out the vote in the mid-term elections, and to forge and strengthen group bonds. DACH member Sarah Wiebenson, chair of MAVO committee, represented Switzerland and impressed all with her ideas, enthusiasm, and Russian dancing skills. All attendees agreed the meeting succeeded grandly, for which Ukrainian vodka may or may not have been a factor.

MAVO (Membership and Voter Outreach Committee) – Sarah Wiebenson
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Dems Abroad has begun an exciting effort to obtain overseas voter data from battleground states in the U.S. to increase our ability to reach out to these individuals (mostly non-DA members) in advance of the 2014 election cycle. Project head Julia Bryan (Czech Republic) seeks additional volunteers to assist with the data entry/analysis. If you'd like to help, please write to: If phoning up voters is not for you, but you can do data, then write Julia today!
WOMEN'S CAUCUS: DA-Germany now has a Women's Caucus, after the successful September founding conference in Heidelberg. According to DA politico John McQueen, the 2014 election battleground is looking to be crucial as far as both races involving women and the impact of women voters. Could there be a Switzerland partner? Would a DA-Switzerland Women's Caucus attract you members who are passionate about women's issues? If you are interested, please write MAVO chair Sarah Wiebenson (, who will connect you with each other and with the German group.

SOCIAL MEDIA (Community Manager) – Radhika Garland
Last month, with great excitement, I took on the role of Community Manager for Democrats Abroad. Practically, this means using social media and technological tools to reach out to our Democratic community abroad in order to facilitate absentee voting and to support party candidates. I am also working with social media pundits of other national chapters of Democrats Abroad to share best practice ideas and boost our membership.
In recent years I have accumulated a few media skills that might help our work, as a Communications coordinator for environmental non-profits in California and Alaska.
Please feel free to contact me at with any ideas or questions.
Sincerely, Radhika

Events and Fundraising Committee: Contact
Membership and Voter Outreach Committee (MAVO): Chair, Sarah Wiebenson / Bob Samors – GOTV Outreach / Amber Davis - Student Outreach / Katherine Hagen - International Organization Outreach / Charles Landow - Young Professionals Outreach
Volunteer Coordinating Committee: Chair, Emily T. Blitz
Social Media: Community Manager, Radhika Garland
Press and Media Contact: Tom Netter
U.S. Citizen's Issues: Chair, Karen A. Monroe
By-Laws Task Force: Chair, Maya Samara

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