After a long career in public service, IAS alum Diane Weber relocated to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For many retirees, a life of leisure ensues, but Weber’s political work keeps her quite occupied. After the 2016 election, she felt compelled to take action and joined Democrats Abroad, the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of Americans living outside the United States. With 42 country committees throughout the world, Democrats Abroad keeps American citizens abroad informed of their rights and helps them participate in the U.S. political process. Weber recently joined the Mexico National Committee and is the Get Out the Vote chair for the Costa Banderas chapter.
"The 2016 election was filled with disappointment and concern,” says Weber. “I realized that the democracy I've known all of my life was changing, and I was not sure I liked or appreciated that change. The path of the 2016 election was different partly because people were not participating in their democracy. I surmised that if I do not do everything in my power to encourage voting then I will always wonder 'what if I had done more.' When at least 70% of the people participate in democracy and vote the result is easily accepted, but when a minority group is responsible for significant policy changes I must do something. Please vote and encourage others to do the same!”
Weber was already a successful administrator in the Lake Washington School District when she returned to college in the mid-1990’s. Still, she wanted to finish her education and see what unfolded. As an undergraduate, she was mentored by UW Bothell founding faculty member Jane Decker, who treated her like a peer and helped facilitate two study abroad experiences in Ireland. Weber went onto the M.A. in Policy Studies program and drew inspiration from Bruce Kochis’s human rights teaching. She continued her research in European politics, with a particular focus on social inclusion in Ireland’s National Development Plan. Post UW Bothell, Weber thought, “After completing grad school while working full time, I can do anything.” Eventually, she landed a leadership position as Snohomish County Risk Manager where she served until retiring.
Staying politically engaged is an extension of Weber’s values and the education she received at UW Bothell. "My education has given me the necessary tools to be successful throughout my work experience and now in retirement,” she says. “There is not a day that goes by that I do not practice what I learned at UWB. In particular, the work I am doing at the national level here in Mexico. As Membership Chair and Get Out to Vote chair, I am responsible for strategic planning, coordination and inclusion. I'll always be thankful to UWB for giving me the practical tools to be successful.”