Hi! I'm Ada and I'm running for Chair
DA Member since 2007
Active in China (2007-2017) and France (2017-present)
I live in Paris, France with my husband Emmanuel and our son Elie, and I vote in Orange County, CA. I bring uniquely rich perspective to Democrats Abroad because I have successfully organized and launched of the newest country committees, China, and I led transformative change in one of the oldest country committees, France as Chair. I have also served on several global teams, from fundraising to GOTV to Comms to Bylaws. We must unlock the power of the people to help Democrats win 2022 and I will lead us to do that.
My DA Story
Describe your volunteer work with DA and cite your greatest DA accomplishment.
In 2007 I started with DA organizing voter registration in China. I created one-stop shop voter help and trained volunteers. In 2012 we added SMS; in 2016 social media / QR codes. We had 10x membership growth, from 300 to 3000 in 2008 (thanks Obama!) I led China to become a CC in 2017, building a strong bench of leaders including the first country chair, Aaron Kruse. In France, as an Officer and Chair, I supported fresh approaches to longstanding problems. We have grown our membership by 37% and reinvigorated our leadership. I served the DPCA on GOTV, Bylaws, Comms, Finance committees, and a Global Caucus. All of these have furthered my admiration for who we are and why we fight.
Why are you running for this office?
Friends, we are out of time. We face challenges that need a whole-of-civilization response — the climate crisis, weaponized bigotry, extreme inequality. DA must fight for economic and social justice FOR ALL. We must unify around shared values to meet these threats. I’ve lived on three continents and see a world on fire over these issues. The world we all live in. We bring perspective as small-a ambassadors to our friends, family, and elected officials back home, but we must organize better to cut through the noise. I have led one of the newest country committees in AP, and one of the oldest in EMEA. I listen, recruit, and elevate to build coalitions of support. I champion reform and innovation, while standing on the shoulders of giants, because I know this is how we win. I am ready to do what it takes as Chair to ensure our efforts succeed in 2022 and beyond. We are no longer a party outpost based in Europe. We are 200K worldwide, and must organize like it. I have a deep understanding of our organization, our potential, and a vision for how we can meet the future. Thank you for your vote.
How will your skill sets and experience contribute to DA’s success?
I never lose sight of the big picture: What are we here to do? Are we getting it done? Do our structures and teams and efforts support our goals? The chair sets the tone. I’ve proven my ability to create something from nothing in China and to revitalize one of the original CCs, France. I’ve worked in the DPCA, seeing the connections from the bottom to the top of our organization. As chair I will take a collaborative approach to leadership that will see Democrats Abroad flourish. In 2020 we tried everything. We had to. It worked! Now we must consolidate — keep the best and improve the rest. Through this process I will pull in more leaders, deepening our bench. I look to bring out the best in people, helping them thrive. I listen, collaborate, and encourage. I build structures and create conditions that allow people to succeed. This is what democracy looks like.
What I Will Do
Are there any DA organizational or practical issues (not political goals) that you would like to address should you be elected?
As chair, I will:
Focus on enabling country committees, caucuses, groups, and our members. We must make sure that every leader has the tools and support they need to mobilize volunteers and members at their level.
Make data-driven decisions. Let’s measure where we can, and use the results of those measurements to improve effectiveness of everything we do.
Build out technology that our CCs and other leaders can use best in their local context.
Foster innovation across the organization. Lots of small experiments, finding the things that work, and spreading the knowledge. Keep things up-to-date. Leaders and members shouldn’t need to search for the latest news, events, or actions.
Expand our reach. We all know that the best organizing is local. I’ll build systems that take small groups of committed volunteers and turn them into effective organizing teams, caucuses, and country committees.
Field plan to include staffing up and drawing down over time.
Coordinate our comms channels so that we are not exhausting our lists and members with too many emails. Democrats Abroad is the home of overseas Democrats, and I am committed to making it work for us all.
How can Democrats Abroad best raise our profile among American voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats?
We are the party of Voting Rights and Voter Protection for overseas voters. Our members vote in every race across the nation, and we deliver the margin of victory for Democrats in many of them! I will better connect our internal and external comms with how we mobilize our entire organization, based on field planning for 2022.
All politics is local, and how we organize is too, but we can see patterns to the strategies that work or don’t and why. We can raise our profile internationally through traditional and social media while supporting and integrating efforts at the local and community level. Each of our countries, teams, and caucuses reach their constituencies through relevant channels and influencers. As your leader I will help connect the dots, enabling everyone to understand and contribute to the whole. Providing organizational support as well as funding our fight will be my focus.
I live in Paris, vote in Orange County, CA. Living abroad 20+ years has given me a rich life experience. Some highlights.
Internet/media startups, San Francisco
Tackle problems analytically, developed content management systems. Am comfortable with internet-based tools, software generally
Film Producer, China
Production management — schedules, budgets, teams, craziness; routinely ramp teams from 0 to 300+ over weeks and back down again
Pretty much bullet proof now (almost ready for DA politics)
Director, Major Humanitarian Aid Organization, China
Raised money and built partnerships for life-saving disaster relief programs. (Perspective, people.)
Climate Change Policy for Cities, Consultant, China/France
Built bridges with constructive policy dialogue, across languages and cultural differences. Political will is key.
Volunteer with Democrats Abroad since 2007
DA China (2007-2017) – country committee in formation lead, GOTV organizer
DA France (201-current) – GOTV and Database/IT Officer (two roles), and current National Chair
Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Chair, Democratic Party of Hawai'i
Ray Buckley, Emeritus Chair, Assoc. of State Democratic Committees (ASDC)
Charlie Chizungu, Candidate for International Chair
Maya Buchanan, DA Global Voter Protection, Chair; DPCA Representative; DAUK Policy Network Voting Rights and Democracy Group, Chair
George Takei, Actor, LGBTQ rights activist, Founder of One Pulse for America
Wen-Wen Lindroth, DAUK Chair
David J. Mustra, Vice Chair Candidate
Inge Kjemtrup, Past Chair, DAUK
John Lindsay, DAUK Executive Committee Member and DPCA Voting Representative
Linda Adeson, Co-Chair VotefromAbroad Comms, Co-Chair Global Student Outreach
Chloe Olsen, Co-Chair, DA France Youth Caucus
Michael March, DA Thailand DPCA Voting Representative
Anne Dlugosz, 2020 DNC Sanders Delegate
Juan D. Cerda, Paris Chapter Chair, DPCA Voting Representative France, Former Vice-Chair of Austria
Pastor Victor Andre Greene
Danielle Follett, First Vice Chair, DA France
Vance White, Immediate Past Chair, DA Switzerland
Drew Lombardi, Vice Chair, DA France
Marjorie Bernstein, National Treasurer, DA France
Alan Compagnon, Brittany Chair
Penny Schantz, Co-Chair Bernie Abroad
Susan Fitoussi, Marseille Chair
Gretchen Pascalis, National Events Chair, DA France, Grenoble Chapter Vice Chair
Joseph Smallhoover, Legal Counsel, DNC Member, former Chair
Jenny Lawson, National Deputy GOTV Officer
Victoria Gonzales, former Co-Chair, DA France Youth Caucus
Elizabeth Jenkins, National Secretary of DA China
Kaiser Kuo, former DA member in China, Democratic activist in North Carolina
Max Dunitz, GOTV Technology Lead, DA France
Aaron Kruse, DNC Member
Tanya Dohoney, GOTV Volunteer
Jonathon Holler, Chair, DA France
Britt Farbo, former Regional Vice Chair, Asia Pacific
Martha McDevitt-Pugh, DNC Member, Co-Chair LGBTQ+ Caucus
Michelle O'Brien, DA France member