Chair's New Year's Message

2017 … Looking into the abyss. Really hard to get excited about. My virtual office floor is littered with discarded drafts. Pre-Holiday “Greetings!” turned to Inter-Winter-Holiday to Last-Day-of-Old-Year, each as depressing as the first.

After a weirdly stellar year wound down to that November whimper, there just didn’t seem to be a way to greet the New Year without a frisson of fear, a dollop of dread, a tremor of Trump.

Okay. There. Now I’ve said it. I, maybe like you, have been twittered and pm’d into believing the worst year ever was about to be nudged out of first place. Is there any hope?

Someone also said, “Hope is what you say you have when you don’t have a plan.” Well, guess what. DAGR has hope, talent, and we also have a plan!

A Field Plan, in fact. It breaks down into two main parts.

2017: We build community, recruit even more volunteers and hone our skills.

2018: We do our part in one of the most crucial midterm elections of recent memory.

As members of the Party, not just ‘usually-vote-Dem’ types, we have a voice in Party policy as Dems Abroad, as well as a responsibility to help make it happen.

So, let’s get on with it!

Coming Along and Coming Up

The 2017 ‘off year’ will give GOTV a breather, but Issues and Fundraising rise to shine.

Issues will be critical to confront legislation expected from the new puh-puh-pruh-ceck-preh (try again) president and hedgem…, er, henchmen. The devil will be in the details, along with unrelated amendments and killing Obamacare, while the press spins it all as ‘new normal.’ Stay sharp!

Fundraising will be as painless as possible, but we are now a bona fide non-profit org for Greek tax purposes! See details, rationale, and photos. To be legal, we’ve had to take on new, though minimal, expenses. And need to add VAT into any ‘commercial’ activities.

Last week, the Secretary snail-mailed to members who’ve been out of contact for 4 years and stand to be removed from our membership count. DAGR was also asked to mail to Cyprus, which does not yet have a country committee (CC). See what we sent here.

Jan 1-31 The 31st is the last day for DAGR and all Country Committees (CCs) to confirm our membership to DPCA (DA global). This number determines how many votes we have in the DPCA. DAGR has had 4 for the last 2 years. We’ve grown, especially in 2016. Will we gain votes?

Until Jan 18, Nominations are open for DAGR board and Chapter officers. Elections are tentatively set for Feb 19, with the AGM, a short program and lunch option. Details TBA. In the meantime, think about who you’d like to nominate and look for an email later this week with nominating forms and ‘job descriptions.’

Jan 20-21 The Inaugural and the MillionWomensMarch. DAGR Women’s Caucus is working on the ‘march’ or alternate observance. Frankly, we can’t decide WHAT to do about that coronation in DC. Weigh in with your thoughts in our google query. Add your ideas, too, if you’re from outside Athens and would like to form something up in your area.

Jan 20-21 also looks like a good time for an εγκαινια (open house) at the new DAGR ‘headquarters’. Work parties start on the fix-up this week. See here for items you may have to donate. Or if you’d like to help with the clean-up/fix-up work.

Feb 19 Probably. DAGR AGM, Chapter AGM’s, ExCom elections, lunch and program. Details TBA.

Feb 23-26 – The Democrat National Committee (DNC) will meet and elect a new DNC Chair, replacing Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who resigned in August, and interim appointed chair, Donna Brazile. The current shortlist is topped by Rep. Keith Ellison on the progressive side and Labor Secretary Tom Perez for the ‘party regulars.’ For more on the Process, check the DA website, main News page.

In case you/we missed these:

Greg Palast on the real goals behind the 2016 vote recount

Interview about Internet Archive’s new server in Canada

ArtSpace (new ref from WC Chair Sarajane) treatise on the ‘liberal’ art world, NOT

Two realistic takes on 2016, from NPR and Slate

Following on from NPR: 2016 ... Is it gone yet? Yeh? Whew!

Here’s to making the best of 2017!

Karen Lee, Chair DAGR 2015-2017