On January 29, 2019, elections for the Berlin chapter of Democrats Abroad Germany (see election event details) will take place for five leadership positions. Members intending to run were able to submit declarations of candidacy by email by January 15, 2019 at 11:59pm and could also include a candidate statement of up to 250 words.

Nominations of candidates may also be made from the floor at the election meeting, if supported by a second from among the membership. For more details about the election process and descriptions of the positions being elected, visit the 2019 Berlin Chapter Elections page.

The following candidate statements were received by the submission deadline.

Chapter Chair

Diego Rivas

I am running for Berlin Chapter Chair to continue working on Democrats Abroad’s primary goal: register and get the tens of thousands of US citizens living in Berlin to vote. To achieve this goal, I would like to continue my first term’s emphasis on the issues as well as developing the necessary infrastructure and human-networks that our organization requires to thrive.

Specifically, I would like to continue working on making our organization more sustainable, by building a volunteer network within Berlin, Potsdam, Leipzig, Dresden that is able to reach and engage US citizens living in all corners of the region. The establishment of the Berlin Board and my work with the precinct captains of these cities has been a good start to building this network. In the coming two years, I plan to collaborate with these groups more, collectively define their roles, so that we can together create a coherent and effective chapter that will help us win elections back home in the states.

It was a true pleasure meeting and collaborating with members of the community the the past two years during my first term as Berlin Chair. I would be humbled to continue working with this chapter, as we together do our part in taking back our country in 2020.

Chapter Vice Chair

Emily Lines

I am running for the position of Vice Chair of the Berlin Chapter of Democrats Abroad Germany. After already serving in this role for two years, I would like to serve another term and continue the work that we began in 2017. The next two years are focused on the upcoming general election in 2020 and I want to keep doing the important volunteer work to make sure the Democrats defeat the current President, as well as reach all those Americans living overseas to help them vote. During my first term as Vice Chair, I learned a lot about Democrats Abroad and specifically the Berlin Chapter. We are a large chapter in the capital of Germany that requires a lot of organization and dedication. I have worked well together with the board that was established in 2017 and I think we have reached a good rhythm of how to plan all of our events and we work well together. Therefore, I would like to continue working with these individuals and our members to make sure that the next two years are just as successful. That is why I am asking for your support to be re-elected as Vice Chair of the Berlin Chapter.

Communications and Press Officer

Powen Shiah

I believe that building sustainable political movements starts at the local level, and that Americans living abroad need and deserve ways to stay engaged in the U.S. political process as well. That’s why I’ve been active in Democrats Abroad Berlin since I first arrived in Berlin in 2014: organizing events, managing chapter’s social media, website, and email, among other responsibilities.

Right now is the time for progressive communities like ours in Berlin to develop a vision of what kind of world we want to live in, by delving into the pressing issues like climate change, economic justice, civil rights, health care, and other challenges our society faces today.

We can do this as Americans in Berlin by continuing to create opportunities educate ourselves about critical political and social issues, by expanding the community through social and cultural events, and by supporting and helping U.S. citizens abroad to vote.

I want to make our chapter of Democrats Abroad a model for transparent and effective communication, making information accessible where and when our members want it.

My goals for the next two years are to
1) develop new ways to connect with Americans living in Berlin
2) strengthen our relationships with local news media to increase Democrats Abroad’s reach

My name is Powen Shiah, and I’m asking for your vote for Berlin chapter Communications & Press Officer.

Member and Volunteer Coordinator

Julia Dennis

After taking on this role for the past 6 months, I am delighted to run for the Member & Volunteer Coordinator position for next term. I’m currently working towards a PhD in political science and have a background in events and communications, so this position rolls a lot of my interests into one — but so far the real highlight has been getting to know so many of the members and volunteers who bring with them unique stories, experiences and motivations for being in Berlin and getting involved in DA. That said, there is always a lot more to be done. In this role I hope to grow the initiatives from the past months, for example: conducting an All-Members survey to engage with more people on topics and activities that speak to them, create a ‘DA gives back’ volunteer day with the Berlin mobile kitchen (an idea that came from members); continue volunteer trainings to support events and Get Out the Vote; and kick off a quarterly member and volunteer profile to feature some of the interesting stories of those who joined both recently and many (many) years ago. My ultimate goal is to contribute to the DA Berlin mission by connecting, engaging and helping prepare volunteers and members in order to not only support political action and change in the US, but also to help build a community here in Berlin, and, above all, to keep learning, meeting new people and having fun doing it.

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