2020 was a tumultuous year for everyone, and DAUK underwent a lot of unexpected, but necessary changes. DAUK expanded beyond what we imagined was possible, and is now serving more Americans than ever before. Despite lockdown and social distancing, we have been able to connect like-minded volunteers and activists across the UK to work towards a common goal, and our votes helped clinch the 2020 election! Now it’s time to move forward together as we approach the 2022 midterms.
As Secretary of DAUK I will:
1. Faithfully carry out the duties of this office as outlined in the DAUK by-laws, overseeing management of our database and all administrative records.
2. Encourage adoption of more accessible practices for both online and in-person events. (Captions on video calls for HOH/deaf, image descriptions/alt text on social media for the visually impaired, accessible venues for in-person meetings.)
3. Encourage further collaboration among regional groups, chapters, and caucuses, co-sponsoring events for common interests including get out the vote activities and introducing members to all DAUK has to offer.
4. Further member engagement with virtual events, in addition to in-person gatherings, to help build the DAUK community.
The Secretary is an essential hub for information in DAUK. I will help create content, events, and materials to serve our members, as well as foster collaboration among our groups. Through my experience in the past 4 years as a member and leader in DAUK, I have held a variety of roles including:
1. Served 2 consecutive terms as Chair of the Scotland Chapter. I organized a variety of events (July 4th BBQ, Speakeasies, Pub Nights, Voter Registration Drives) as well as the 2020 Global Presidential Primary for two voting centers in Scotland.
2. Helped establish 7 regional groups in 2020.
3. Organized DAUK-wide events including the first virtual Independence Day Picnic, Debate Watches and Biden Town Hall Watch. I also provided technical support for other events including the Election Night watch party and the Inauguration watch party.
4. Organized protest for gun law reform outside the US Consulate in Edinburgh, giving a speech on behalf of the Scotland Chapter.
DAUK has become a huge part of my life, and I truly believe in the service we provide for Americans living abroad. We will play a vital role in the political battles ahead, and a strong showing of American voters from abroad has the power to turn the tide at home. I would be honored to serve as DAUK Secretary and DPCA rep, and I look forward to working with Team Nicole 21 [https://www.teamnicole21.com]: Nicole Belanger Satullo, John Lindsay and Monica Tanouye, and the new Executive Committee.
We live in strange times. The world we used to know sits just outside our window and yet remains out of reach. It has left us all longing for community and the connections we previously took for granted. As Secretary and your DPCA voting rep this is what I will be focused on. Over the past 2 years I have chaired the DAUK Women’s Caucus and succeeded in significantly expanding our membership.
For the members and groups of DAUK to do their best work, there needs to be transparent planning from the top that drives increased involvement throughout the various branches of the organisation. I’ve often felt that there’s been a bit of a disconnect between DAUK leadership and the caucuses, chapters, committees, regions and groups . As a result members feel unclear about the overall goals of the organization and struggle to understand how to get involved. Collectively, we have potential to drive real change if we work together with a clear purpose.
As chair of the Women’s Caucus I’ve focused heavily on engaging members from across the organization and ensuring it’s as easy as possible for individuals, both new and old, to get involved. As a result, the Women’s Caucus consistently has well attended events and is one of the most active groups within DAUK. Women’s Caucus members often go on to be involved and take leadership roles in other areas of the organization due to support from the leaders and the extensive cross collaboration efforts of the caucus. Co-hosting events and working with other areas of the organisation on projects means our members have great exposure to the rest of DAUK and can build their networks.
Increased engagement across DAUK will ensure that we have new and diverse voices speaking up and taking action. We need to provide a place where our members can bring their enthusiasm, knowledge and talent to keep propelling the organization into the future. As secretary I will engage with our members and take action to ensure everyone finds their feet in a way that can make a real difference.
Professionally, I have the necessary skills to be Secretary and have a wealth of experience in Human Resources, training, and onboarding. In DAUK there is a need for a proper onboarding process to ensure leaders and volunteers have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. The best way to do this is by creating training tool boxes for each area of the organisation that explain the relevant bylaws, procedures and communication channels.
I am a committed and active member of DAUK and someone who has proven they can get things done in this organization. I ask that you vote for me to be your Secretary and DPCA voting rep where I will continue to bring my passion and drive to the leadership of this organization. Let’s #growtogether
I am very interested in seeing DAUK grow in membership, caucus participation, and strategic action. Americans abroad are an underutilized source of ideas and action as demonstrated by our involvement in policy drafting in the spring of 2020 and our voter registration drives prior to the Presidential and later Georgia special elections. I was honoured to be included in the policy drafting work and was especially thrilled to see DAUK’s Covid-19 language and ideas strongly reflected in the Biden Harris administration’s strategy to address the pandemic. I have had a largely positive experience in providing volunteer and some leadership work within DAUK and would like to increase my responsibilities and participation.
As a researcher and curator I have been entrusted with the care of delicate and valuable objects relevant to cultural history, human remains, and private medical data. This educational and occupational background lends me exceptional organizational skills and has engendered conscientiousness of the ethical constraints and necessities for handling data. I am a thorough and disciplined note-taker often recording verbatim conversations mnemonically useful to participants and helpful to absentee but interested parties. These skills translate directly to the task of looking after our delicate and valuable democracy.
While the state of the DA is strong, there are also areas where Democrats Abroad and DAUK may improve. We have a wide pool of talent, but our communications could be more standardized and accessible. Particularly as we have been forced online we have an opportunity for greater inclusion and a wider reach. However, this will require better communication with other groups, more communication with the media, and the willingness for members of DAUK to meet at hours that are more convenient for Democrats on the other side of the globe. Particularly in reference to this last issue as a recovering academic I am eminently prepared to meet with members of Democrats Abroad who prefer to meet at early hours of the morning.
As Democrats we have recently had some remarkable successes both morally and electorally. While I consider myself a relentlessly progressive idealist, at my core I am a little d democrat and believe in – above all – the democratic process even where it does not necessarily reflect my own preferences. I am proud of the work I have thus far been privileged to do with DAUK and would like to increase the reach of my service. We have an excellent opportunity at this historical inflection point to increase membership and activism and to improve the efficacy and positive action of our Party and nation and I would like to be a part of that. I believe that my skills lie in communication, writing, and presentation as well as organization. I would make an excellent Secretary or DPCA representative, but as a little d democrat I defer to the will of the voters to place me in any position where I may be of service.