These days, we celebrate bigtime in Washington DC: Ten years of German Greens in Washington. Ten years ago a dozen German expats came together in the Goethe-Institute in Washington D.C. to set up a political forum for those who are interested in German green politics and want to get involved. On April 13, 2008, we founded the first local chapter of a German party in the United States. The idea was born the year before when Thomas Losse-Müller had asked me if I wanted to help him getting the whole thing started. At the time, I had just arrived in DC to start my new job.
The “Ortsverband Washington D.C. of Alliance 90/The Greens” was officially registered. Our main goal was (and still is) to provide a platform for politically active and green-oriented German citizens, in and beyond Washington D.C. We want to tap into the expertise and knowledge of the many Germans who work for international organizations, be in cultural fields, the media, public and private foundations and nonprofit organizations. We want to foster professional and personal exchange, channeling the outcomes towards the political discourse in Germany. Of course, we are on Twitter, in German and English.
Personally, I think we have done many cool things over the past decade. Our most successful event format is the “Green Sofa Talk” with involves having a green politician over from Germany in a living room of one of our members and discuss transatlantic relations over beer, wine, and pizza. Over the years, we organized a range of activities and initiatives. My personal favorites were, in no particular order, an initiative to make it easier for Germans abroad to vote at home, a call for the German government to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on climate change, the Rally to Keep the (Nuclear) Fear Alive (video), and the Geo-Puzzle [Link].
Having returned to Germany in 2013, I remain a good friend and constant follower of the activities of my OV Washington (of which I am still a member, of course). Keep on rocking, guys, we are looking forward to the next ten years!