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Wed Mar 29, 2017, 06:25 AM

American Democrats Abroad are

more active than ever. Last Saturday (25 March), I attended the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of American Democrats Abroad - Swtizerland (ADACH) in Basel.

Here is a summary of the meeting which included elections for ADACH's Executive Committee.

... the new ExCom is equally representative of all the regions of Switzerland. This exciting new composition shows how truly energized this membership has become since November! It has been 41 years since DA Switzerland was created (1976) and run primarily from Geneva. Now, the new Chair, Kate Edson, will be running the organization from Basel with members of her committee based in 5 other cities! This means that it will be easier than ever for more members to participate.

This new leadership also brings enormous talent and energy to DA Switzerland at a time when it is most needed, to support political action by our members, and get out the vote for special elections this year and the Senate/House races in 2018.

Thank you to Maya Samara and Peter Butterfield on the nominations committee for all the hard work that went into making this meeting and election such a success. Thank you to the Basel team: Kelli Brouillet, Rosie Pontarelli, Mariah Silkey, Lyndsay Obbarius, Kristen Jafflin, Vivian Beetle, Sara Stewart, Liz Voss and Julie Charubusapayon for finding such wonderful venues for the lunch and meeting, and for the many kind hands that helped with the many thankless tasks that go into such an endeavor.

Thank you to the more than 60 members who took the time to attend (coming from Winterthur, Zurich, Zug, Lucerne, Bern, Lugano, Geneva, and points in between) and the 20 who voted by proxy. Most importantly, thank you to the sixteen candidates for their willingness to run for office.

I am also thrilled to announce the creation of two new chapters: Basel and Geneva. That makes a total of three chapters, along with Zurich (2009). This is wonderful news because while the new Executive Committee is getting cranked up, three additional committees will also soon be elected to join them (Look out for the call for candidates going out very soon!)

Member meetings around Switzerland have helped galvanize members into forming active groups elsewhere too! Thank you to Robin Bognuda and Meghan Jones for taking the lead in Ticino, Margo O'Brien and Pamela Penman in Zug, and Jack Pogany for hosting enthusiastic members in Lausanne. More will follow soon in other venues, so please let the ExCom know if you are interested in hosting or participating in a location near you.

It has been a privilege and an honor to Chair DACH for the last four years, together with such talented and dedicated ExCom team members. My heartfelt thanks go to them all. Special thanks are due to Maya Samara, former Chair, for her wisdom, insight and experience that she generously offered at every critical moment. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and deep gratitude to Peter Butterfield as Vice-Chair, for his steadfast, kind and reliable contributions. My heartfelt thanks and admiration also go to Terri O’Brien and Eileen Weinberg for the many wonderful contributions they made, far beyond their mandates. Further to her role, Emily Benson singlehandedly ran the registration for the Election Night in Geneva, a superhuman task! Christian Jordan (Treasurer) encouraged and supported the team in any way he could. Thank you to Karen Monroe for filling a key role as legal Counsel. I am extremely grateful to Kate Edson for reactivating the Basel team which has become a formidable force under her leadership. Thank you Renee Rousseau for your personable and talented promotion of DACH as Zurich Chair. And not least of all, thank you to the many many volunteers who answered the call to help register voters at the primaries, and all year round countrywide last year.


We might have lost the Electoral College, but we won the popular vote. The movement that was started in November to counter the current government has already shown promising results and I am sure that with your active participation, here and at home, and with the leadership of this new Executive Committee, American voters in Switzerland will continue to build support and overcome the hurdles to form a Democratic Senate in 2018.

If you are a US expat, please check here to find out which DA Country organization you can join. http://www.democratsabroad.org/countries Even though we live abroad, we can also help to influence events at home to assist those of our fellow citizens who are suffering under the draconian antics of a madman and his all-too-willing GOPer toadies.

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