Taxation Task Force Chair

  • signed up on Taxation Task Force Signup 2017-09-06 16:47:38 -0400

    Taxation Task Force Signup

    Click below to receive periodic updates from the Taxation Task Force on our tax advocacy work.  We will message you when there are important updates and developments to report.

    Sign up

  • Residency Based Taxation - what it is and why Democrats Abroad support it

    Get involved with our campaign for Residency Based Taxation today - join in today

    The US is the only developed nation that taxes its citizens on overseas income earned while they live abroad.  This system is complicated, inefficient, and causes uncertainty for ordinary Americans living outside the US. Democrats Abroad favors Residency Based Taxation because it is a simpler, fairer, and more efficient system.

    Read more

  • Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

    The Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force (TTF) was formed to a) research US tax policy as it affects Americans living outside the US and b) consider, develop and execute initiatives aimed at enacting reforms that resolve adverse impacts.

    We believe the 115th Congress has an opportunity to enact common sense reforms that clarify and simplify filing and make the tax code fairer for all Americans.  Our support for any tax reform – and certainly any package of reforms - will depend on how it aligns with our Democratic Party values.

    We do not believe tax reform should be used to re-structure the federal government by starving programs that conservatives don’t like or that benefit indigent, elderly or otherwise vulnerable Americans.

    We support reforms that help reduce inequality, boost opportunity and raise enough revenue, predominantly from those with the greatest ability to pay, to meet public needs. 


  • Taxation Task Force Report - April, May, June 2017

    It has been a very busy first few months for the Taxation Task Force (TTF).

    • April Congressional action on FATCA was detailed in messages to Leadership. See the first endnote[i] below for a quick summary.
    • At the May 2017 Global Meeting it was announced that the FBAR/FATCA Task Force would be re-structured to take on a broader tax advocacy brief and re-named the Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force (TTF). We are operating under the terms of a Draft Terms of Reference (TOR) that is awaiting DA Executive Committee approval. I urge those interested in the tax advocacy work of Democrats Abroad to review the document. Comments are welcome.
    • Further, we encourage those interested in better understanding DA’s tax policy positions generally, and the work of the TTF in particular, to examine these slides on Tax and the American Abroad. They were originally published to help Country Committees prepare for gatherings about tax, but have since become an overarching guide to the tax matters that impact Americans living outside the US and the reform recommendations Democrats Abroad has made and continues to make.
    • On May 23rd the TTF launched the DA grassroots campaign in support of Residency Based Taxation, distributed the Residency Based Taxation (or RBT) Campaign in a Box and, in the weeks that followed, reached out to each of your country committee chairs for support in promoting the June 15 RBT Congressional Call Storm. We believe the launch produced thousands of calls, letters, postcards and emails to Congress asking for their support.
    • Since the launch our campaign has drawn scores of comments from members throughout the world, which enabled us to quickly expand the Residency Based Taxation Frequently Asked Questions document initially distributed with the RBT Campaign in a Box. The RBT FAQs are under continuous review and expansion, as it is our key resource for educating our members about RBT, explaining our campaign and addressing concerns about a change from Citizenship-Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation.
    • We have also produced an RBT pamphlet, suitable for printing on your home printer in either Word or PDF format that we hope you will place on your tables at July 4th functions and celebrations. You may also like to print a“Support Residency Based Taxation for U.S. Citizens” banner. Two banner files are attached to this message. I’m having difficulty posting them, but I hope to get them on to the DA wiki soon. Many thanks to Peter Fischbach of DA Thailand for developing this terrific campaign resource!!
    • Taxation would have to be foremost among the matters considered by the commission that would be established, under the bill re-introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney on May 25th, to study how Federal laws and policies affect United States citizens living in foreign countries. Voting from abroad, the Social Security Windfall Eliminations Provision, Medicare Portability and Citizenship Transmission[ii] might also be among the matters the commission would examine. This is Rep. Maloney’s speech introducing the bill. Democrats Abroad continues to support H.R.2137, the Commission on Americans Abroad Act.

    As Resistance Summer moves on we will be very carefully following the work of Congressional Republicans on tax reform and will reach out to leadership with important developments and opportunities for tax activism. Furthermore, we look forward to your support for a new research project that we hope will help demonstrate the grave difficulties US taxation causes for Americans abroad.

    We have already identified for Congress the areas of the Internal Revenue Code that discriminate against Americans abroad. We have described the enormous complexity of reporting overseas income, the high cost of filing with support from a tax advisor, and the stress of (and out-of-proportion penalties for) making a filing error. We believe it would be helpful to bring these matters alive by creating a report with Americans abroad tax filing case studies. It would include the stories of non-resident citizens whose situations profile the range of problems we have been discussing.

    Please look out for more information about this research study, which we hope to publish by the end of September.

    Best wishes for a safe, fun and resistance-filled summer,

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE

    Julia Bryan - ex officio (Czech Republic)

    DeeDee Gierow (Sweden)

    Carmelan Polce - Chair (Singapore)

    Michael Ramos (Australia)

    Joe Smallhoover (France)

    Orlando Vidal (UAE)



    [i] April brought us long-awaited Congressional attention on the unintended adverse impacts of FATCA:

    · On April 24 Americans Abroad Caucus Chair Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced H.R. 2136, the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act (OAFAA) in the House of Representatives. The bill embodies our FATCA reform recommendation, the Same Country Safe Harbor Exemption from FATCA reporting for Americans abroad.

    · On April 25, the House Subcommittee on Government Operations held a hearing into the unintended impacts of FATCA. Although our requests to provide testimony were denied, we made a written submission to the Subcommittee prior to the hearing and a follow up submission with three modifications for improving FATCA. We will continue to follow FATCA developments closely and strongly support H.R. 2136.

    [ii] On 12 June 2017 the Supreme Court issued a new decision on acquired citizenship, striking down, on equal protection grounds, the distinction in INA 309 between the physical presence required for fathers and mothers when the child is born out of wedlock. Previously, if the child was born of an unmarried US mother and non-US father the mother had to demonstrate 1 year of physical presence in the US in order to pass along US citizenship to the child; if the child was born of an unmarried US father and a non-US mother, the father had to demonstrate 10 years of physical presence in the US in order to pass along US citizenship to the child. Following this ruling and until Congress changes the law, the physical presence rule applying for fathers (10 years) will now also apply for mothers. Had the Court instead established the one-year rule for both fathers and mothers there would be greater protection from being born stateless provided to children born abroad with one unmarried US parent.  


  • DemsAbroad Lion City - Residency Based Tax Action Pack

    Democrats Abroad is hosting a global campaign urging Congress to shift from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation.  We are hoping that hundreds of thousands of Americans living right around the world will raise their voices in unison around June 15th, the tax return deadline for international filers, and demand that the package of tax reforms to be built by the 115th Congress includes a provision that ends mandatory reporting of offshore income by Americans that live outside the United States. 

    We hope this ACTION PACK is useful for you to understand the issue and how to call, write or email your members of Congress asking for their support for Residency Based Taxation.

    What is Residency-Based Taxation?

    • Residency-based taxation (RBT) is a system in which you pay taxes according to the country in which you live, rather than the one in which you are a citizen. This latter system is known as citizen-based taxation (CBT).
    • Every developed nation follows an RBT system, with one notable exception: The United States of America! The main rationale for such a system is that the benefits of U.S. citizenship follow Americans no matter where they live.

    Why is Citizen-Based Taxation a problem for overseas Americans?

    • An estimated nine million U.S. citizens live, for numerous reasons, outside the U.S.  CBT means that overseas Americans (who, together, make up a population greater than that of the U.S. state of New Jersey) face the financial and administrative burden of taxation in two nations.
    • Many overseas Americans must pay expensive professional tax preparers to comply with complex and ever-changing tax laws and to keep them up to date on other new and changing reporting requirements.
    • Most U.S. citizens living abroad are not rich “fat cats” who use overseas residency to “game” the system but rather are ordinary working Americans.
    • Globalization means that the number of Americans living overseas will only grow with time.
    • Increasing numbers of Americans living abroad are denouncing their citizenship as the costs of maintaining U.S. citizenship have become too high and do not justify whatever benefits they may have.
    • Not all benefits of U.S. citizenship seem to follow overseas Americans, at least with regard to these major areas:
      • Many areas of the tax code discriminate against Americans abroad: Double or punitive taxation can occur in the treatment of foreign retirement savings plans, capital gains, non-qualified, non-U.S. pension plans, and bequests to surviving foreign spouses, to give a few examples.
      • The IRS outreach to overseas Americans has been woefully inadequate over time, and budget cuts have resulted in overseas IRS offices being closed, making the misinformation and confusion about U.S. tax filing even worse.
      • State Department budget cuts mean fewer services for Americans abroad and longer wait times for appointments to renew passports or conduct other important business.

    How is Democrats Abroad participating in the efforts to bring about a change to RBT?

    • Democrats Abroad has supported a change to RBT since its creation.  Using its resources of thousands of dedicated volunteer activists, DA is working with other organizations of overseas Americans to campaign in support of RBT.
    • Now that Congress is again turning its attention to comprehensive tax reform, DA believes that it has a genuine opportunity to influence the process.

    How can I help DA in its work on RBT?

    Remember, you have a voice! And that voice is best directed to your elected Federal lawmakers: The member of Congress and the senators of the district/state in which you last voted in the U.S.

    If you don’t know your member of Congress and/or your senators, you can look them up using these online tools. All you need is the zip code of the last place you voted in the U.S.

    House

    http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

    There are also some Frequently Asked Questions on this page about how to contact your member of Congress.

    To find the address and phone number of your representative, look on the home page of their website, usually at the bottom. Sometimes this information is at the right hand side of the page.

    Senate

    If you know your voting state you can find your 2 U.S. senators in the table at this link:

    https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

    Clicking on the Senator’s name will take you to their website.  To find the address and phone number of your Senator, look on the home page of the website, usually at the bottom. Sometimes this information is on the right hand side of the page. You also may find a “Contacts” tab at the top of the home page.

    Here are some concrete actions you can take to make your voice heard.

     Contact Carmelan Polce at any time with questions (cpolce@tpg.com.au or 9380 1084)

    • Participate in the Congressional Call Storm – Thursday June 15!

    Organizations like DA sometimes plan “Congressional Call Storms” - an agreed day (and sometimes time period) for campaign participants to blitz Congress with phone calls about the same topic. The idea is to create a mass of calls that, literally, disrupt the day!  See the sample script below.

    Even if you can’t participate in the Congressional Call Storm, you can call your member of Congress and senators at any time to express your views on RBT – as well as any other issues of importance to you!

    Here is a sample script for calling your representative or senator regarding RBT. Make changes as necessary so that it relates to your own situation!

    The phone will be answered by the office receptionist.

    Hello, my name is ______________ and I am Representative/Senator ______________’s constituent in _____________ County, [State].  [If calling a Representative - My zip code is ___________.]

    I currently live in [city, country] and I am hoping to speak directly to the Senator/Representative or his/her staffer about a tax matter that impacts constituents like me who live outside the United States.

    [The receptionist may find you someone to talk to or may or speak to you themselves. This is the message you may want to relay. ]  

    I am calling to ask Representative/Senator _____________ to support Residency Based Taxation. As you may know, the U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on their world-wide income even when those citizens live abroad and no matter how long they’ve lived abroad. That means I pay taxes in [name of country] where I live, and I file a tax return to the IRS every year.  IRS tax forms for declaring foreign income are a lot more complicated, so besides being a nuisance, filing abroad is complex, costly and very stressful.

    I’m an ordinary US citizen. I moved to [country] to [be with my partner/ be with my family/ to take an exciting job/ other]. I/my family cannot afford to be double-taxed. I’m/we’re not wealthy, with lots of disposable income to spend on tax return preparers.

    I value my US citizenship. I vote every year I can. I pay attention to U.S. politics as much if not more than the average citizen. But I don’t think it’s fair that I must pay taxes in [country of residence] as well as to the IRS.

    The current law is costly, punishing, and unfair and is causing many of us to consider renouncing our U.S. citizenship.  I hope that shocks you because it shocks me.

    That is why I am asking Representative/Senator _________ to change the US tax laws from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation.

    Can you please pass this message to Representative/Senator ________________ and ask her/him to support Residency Based Taxation. Thank you.

    • Write your member of Congress or your senators!

    Here are templates for creating your own letter to your representative and to your senators:

    Sample Letter Language – House of Representatives

    Writer’s Name

    Address 1

    Address 2

    City, State

    Country Post Code

     

    Date

     

    Representative Name

    Address 1

    Address 2

    Dear Representative ___________________

    Re:  Seeking your support for Residency Based Taxation

    I vote in [state and district #].  My voting address zip code is [zip code].  I currently live in [city and country of residency]. 

    As you may know, the U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income - no matter where they live and no matter how long they’ve lived abroad. Citizenship Based Taxation forces Americans like me who live abroad to report our income both to our country of residency and to the IRS.  Many of us are double-taxed, and all of us endure costly, stressful and complex filing of overseas income – which is much more complicated than filing income generated in the US. 

    The burden the law places on Americans living abroad is causing many to consider renouncing our US citizenship. This is intolerable. We are asking Congress to change the law from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation. I ask for your support for Residency Based Taxation. 

    My personal story is as follows:…

    [Personal stories are very important and can be highly compelling.]

    I hope this has been helpful to you in understanding the serious and detrimental impact Citizenship Based Taxation has on the lives of ordinary Americans like me whose life happens to have taken abroad. 

    I value my U.S. citizenship. I vote every year I can. I pay attention to U.S. politics as much if not more than the average citizen. But I don’t think it’s fair that I must pay taxes in [country of residence] as well as to the IRS. 

    Thank you.

    Kind Regards,

    Name

    Voting address

    Voting city, state, zip code

    Sample Letter Language – Senate

    Writer’s Name

    Address 1

    Address 2

    City, State

    Country Post Code

     

    Date

     

    Senator’s Name

    Address 1

    Address 2

    Dear Senator ___________________

    Re:  Seeking your support for Residency Based Taxation

    I vote in [city and state]. My voting address zip code is [zip code]. I currently live in [city and country of residency]. 

    As you may know, the U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income - no matter where they live and no matter how long they’ve lived abroad. Citizenship Based Taxation forces Americans like me who live abroad to report our income both to our country of residency and to the IRS.  Many of us are double-taxed, and all of us endure costly, stressful and complex filing of overseas income – which is much more complicated than filing income generated in the U.S. 

    The burden the law places on Americans living abroad is causing many to consider renouncing our US citizenship. This is intolerable. We are asking Congress to change the law from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation. I ask for your support for Residency Based Taxation. 

    My personal story is as follows.  .....

    [Personal stories are very important and can be highly compelling.]

    I hope this has been helpful to you in understanding the serious and detrimental impact Citizenship Based Taxation has on the lives of ordinary Americans like me who life happens to have taken abroad. 

    I value my U.S. citizenship. I vote every year I can. I pay attention to U.S. politics as much if not more than the average citizen. But I don’t think it’s fair that I must pay taxes in [country of residence] as well as to the IRS. 

    Thank you.

    Kind Regards,

     

    Name

    Voting address

    Voting city, state, zip code

    • Send a postcard to your member of Congress/senators!

    Here are templates for creating your own postcard to your representative and to your senators:

    Sample Postcard Language – House of Representatives

    Dear Representative__________________.

    I vote in [state and district #]. My voting address zip code is [zip code]. I currently live in [city and country of residency]. Americans like me who live abroad are forced by the U.S. tax system of Citizenship Based Taxation to report our income both to our country of residency and to the IRS. The U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, no matter how long they’ve lived abroad. I/my family am/is not wealthy. I/we cannot afford to pay tax in both the US and [country of residence]. The current law is costly, punishing, stressful, and unfair and is causing many of us to consider renouncing our U.S. citizenship. That is why we are asking Congress to change the U.S. tax laws from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation. I ask for your support for Residency Based Taxation. Thank you.

    Sample Postcard Language – Senate

    Dear Senator _______________________

    I vote in ___________ County, [State]. I currently live in [city and country of residency]. Americans like me who live abroad are forced by the U.S. tax policy of Citizenship Based Taxation to report our income both to our country of residency and to the IRS. The U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, no matter how long they’ve lived abroad. I/my family am/is not wealthy. I/we cannot afford to pay tax in both the U.S. and [country of residence]. The current law is costly, punishing, stressful, and unfair and is causing many of us to consider renouncing our U.S. citizenship. That is why we are asking Congress to change the US tax laws from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation. I ask for your support for Residency Based Taxation.  Thank you.

    • Participate in Democrats Abroad’s RBT Email Campaign!

    Democrats Abroad has initiated a campaign on the Democracy.io website, a platform for communicating with elected officials in both houses of the U. S. Congress. With Democracy.io, you can write an email message and send it automatically to both of your senators and to your member of Congress!

    Please use this link to access the Democracy.io messaging platform:  WeNeedRBT

    The WeNeedRBT campaign link enables DA to track how many supporters of RBT have sent messages to Congress. Thanks for using this link and being counted in our campaign!

    Here is some sample language for your Democracy.io message:

    I vote in [state and district #]. My voting address zip code is [zip code]. I currently live in [city and country of residency]. 

    As you may know, the U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income - no matter where they live and no matter how long they’ve lived abroad. Citizenship Based Taxation forces Americans like me who live abroad to report our income both to our country of residency and to the IRS. Many of us are double-taxed, and all of us endure costly, stressful and complex filing of overseas income – which is much more complicated than filing income generated in the US. 

    The burden the law places on Americans living abroad is causing many to consider renouncing our US citizenship.  This is intolerable.  We are asking Congress to change the law from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation.  I ask for your support for Residency Based Taxation. 

    My personal story is as follows:…

    [Personal stories are very important and can be highly compelling.]

    I hope this has been helpful to you in understanding the serious and detrimental impact Citizenship-Based Taxation has on the lives of ordinary Americans like me who life happens to have taken abroad. 

    I value my U.S. citizenship. I vote every year I can. I pay attention to U.S. politics as much if not more than the average citizen. But I don’t think it’s fair that I must pay taxes in [country of residence] as well as to the IRS. 

    Thank you.

    Kind Regards,

    Name

    • Vote from abroad!

    Last but not least, make sure you vote in whatever elections you are eligible! For more information, check out www.Votefromabroad.org 


  • donated 2017-05-08 07:21:08 -0400

  • DA Lion City is hosting an Earth Day Celebration on Sat April 22 - something for everyone!

     

     

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD LION CITY EARTH DAY CELEBRATION

    WHEN: SATURDAY 22 APRIL 10:30-2:00

    WHERE: ST REGIS RESIDENCES 

    RSVPs ESSENTIAL.  

    For more information and to RSVP Click here. 

    The mission of our earth day event is to inspire our members and their families to learn more about the state of our planet and to join our political actions for a) fighting the current administration’s destructive environmental agenda and b) promoting legislators that support positive environmental policies and legislation. 

    Our event features speakers who will educate our members on the scientific, political, social, and economic challenges and triumphs surrounding protecting our planet. Following the speakers we will write post cards to our legislators (language provided) and then have a fun pot luck lunch and pool party.     

    The Program is starting promptly at 10.30am.

    Speakers:

    Ken Hickson -

    With more than 50 years’ experience in the communications industry in Asia Pacific, Ken Hickson is a leading sustainability advocate and author of six books, including “The ABC of Carbon: Issues and Opportunities in the Global Climate Change Environment.”  As Chairman/CEO of the Singapore-based consultancy Sustain Ability Showcase Consultancy Asia (SASA), he manages public affairs, media relations, editorial services, as well as business/investment advisory services for a range of public and private sector clients.  He is a regular speaker and writer on all aspects of sustainability and climate change, as well as an advocate for the switch to clean energy and energy efficiency. 

    He has been an advisor and consultant to Government agencies in Singapore, notably the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), and acted for many private sector businesses in green building, cleantech, clean energy and energy efficiency sectors, including Armstrong Asset Management, The Blue Circle, TEALE and BBP. 

    Ken is a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors (MSID), the advisory council of Eden Strategy Institute and Fellow of the Institute of Public Relations Singapore (FIPRS). In addition to his business and consulting experience, he has worked as a journalist and editor, covering television, radio, newspapers, magazine and online media. 

    He is a regular lecturer, speaker, trainer and moderator at events for many organizations and universities, including NTU, NUS, SMU and SIM in Singapore, and in Taipei for the Asian Productivity Organization (APO). 

    Cord Briggs -

    Cord Briggs is a sustainability and Clean Tech professional with years of experience working as a Director for the top Environmental Non-Profit, Clean Water Action in Philadelphia Pa.  During this time Cord designed and executed grassroots lobbying and policy campaigns at the municipal, state, and federal levels in order to pass legislation such as stopping new natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania state parks; protecting the drinking water of 117 million Americans under the Clean Water Act; and passing the first ever federal rules limiting methane from oil and gas operations. 

    In Singapore, Cord is pursuing an MBA from NTU and is consulting for several cutting edge clean tech companies working in micro grids, energy storage systems, renewables, and energy intelligence software. 

    Research Fellow:

    Rebecca Kreutter -

    Rebecca Kreutter was born in Seoul and grew up in Singapore, where she attended the Singapore American School. She received her B.A. in public policy from Princeton University with a concentration in environmental studies.  Rebecca is part of a Master's fellowship program through Princeton and is studying climate policy, including climate resilience and the economics of climate change.  Her work on "Econometric Drivers of Forest Change in India," which analyzed satellite data on land-use in India, won her a senior thesis prize. 

    As a Gilbert S. Omenn ’61 and Martha A. Darling MPA ’70 Scholar, Becky is interested in the interplay of climate science, economics, and policy.  She is working in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) on climate resilience, climate data and tools, energy policy, and communications.  Before that, Becky interned at the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in New York. She completed her SINSI internship with the Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis at the Department of Energy, conducting research and comparative analysis on the climate and environmental footprints of the national transmission, storage, and distribution infrastructure.


  • Lion City Committee elects new national officers at 2017 Annual Meeting

    Democrats Abroad Lion City Committee is pleased to announce that the following team of leaders was elected to national officer positions at our 2017 AGM that took place on Tuesday 14 March:

    Patricia Reed-Chair,

    Bill Gelman-Vice Chair,

    Naomi Bendiner Woldmar-Secretary/Treasurer,

    Members-At-large - Tricia Augustine Hamilton, David Klingensmith and Emily Tabak,

    Counsel - Dian Boothe, appointed by the chair.

    http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss119/DemsAbroad/2017AGMpic_zpse6eb1879.jpg

    Thanks to those who participated in the meeting in person and by proxy.

     

     


  • 2017 AGM - Meeting Notice, Proposed Agenda and other Materials

    Democrats Abroad is holding its 2017 Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 14 March at 7pm at 5 Farrer Drive, Singapore  259277.  Click here for more information about the location and to RSVP.

    At the meeting we will elect a new slate of national officers and we will prepare postcards with messages of opposition to Trump to send to the White House as part of the #IdesOfMarch 2017 campaign.

    These materials important for the meeting are accessible at the links.

    DALCC AGM Meeting Agenda

    2017 DALCC National Officer Election Timeline and Rules

    List of DALCC National Officer Nominees (nominations are still open but close at midnight on 1 March 2017)

    DALCC By Laws

    DALCC By Laws with proposed amendments

    DALCC 2017 Proxy Form 

    DALCC 2016 AGM Draft Minutes

     


  • Inauguration Call To Action: HomePack for Demanding Accountability

    Thanks for joining our Inauguration Action demanding Congress perform its Constitutional duty to act as an independent check on the Executive Branch.  Many of us hold grave concerns about the conflicts of interest that exist between the business interest of the incoming president (and some of his appointees) and the interests of the nation.  

    We are therefore marking the troubling start of Trump's term by handwriting letters to Congress asking them to sponsor legislation that requires the President of the United States and his Cabinet members to disclose details of all their business dealings and US tax returns and put all business holdings in a blind trust.

    In order to help prepare your letter we have drafted some rough bullet points on this grave issue of concern and have prepared two sample letters  - one suitable for an adult and one for a child.  Letters to Congress from children stand a decent chance of being answered!  Encourage yours to write!  Find the links to these three documents below.

    If you do not know the name of your member of the House of Representatives or your Senators these links will help you find them, and their addresses, using the zip code of your voting address: 

    http://www.house.gov/representatives/

    Please let us know that you have sent a letter or letters.  We will report back on the success of our campaign.

    Democratically yours,

    Carmelan Polce

    Vice Chair, DA Lion City Committee

    http://www.scribd.com/document/336745601/Bullet-Points-for-Inauguration-Action-Letter-Writing

    http://www.scribd.com/document/336745600/Letter-Format-Child

    http://www.scribd.com/document/336745599/Letter-Format-Adult

     


  • posted about 2016 Election Recovery - UPDATE: a proposed agenda for moving forward in opposition on Facebook 2016-11-16 20:18:15 -0500
    2016 Election Recovery - UPDATE: a proposed agenda for moving forward in opposition

    2016 Election Recovery - UPDATE: a proposed agenda for moving forward in opposition

    THANKS TO ALL WHO ATTENDED THE "PICK UP THE PIECES AND DRINK WINE" GATHERING HOSTED BY DEMOCRATS ABROAD LION CITY COMMITTEE LAST NIGHT.  SOME OF YOU BROUGHT IDEAS THAT HAVE BEEN INCORPORATED INTO THIS DOCUMENT FIRST POSTED YESTERDAY.  MANY THANKS!  If you weren't at the event or didn't see our Sign Up sheets, please contact DA Lion City Secretary-Treasurer Holly Kreutter if you are interested in joining a team to plan our Inauguration Week of Action Abroad and/or working on Democratic Party part-building and advocacy initiatives going forward.

    DA LION CITY EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

    ---

    This is a proposed agenda for moving forward as 1) a party, 2) an advocacy organisation and 3) a group of like minded Americans in Singapore  

    1) Party:

    Short term - GOTV in the Lousiana run off election.  Voting in this is a bit tricky and will require volunteer-to-voter support in some instances.  We have a team who will phone all our LA voters across the world and the 24/7 Help Desk is open.  We are encouraging donations to Foster Campbell's campaign for the LA senate seat.

    Medium term - Electing new leaders for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), Democrats Abroad (globally) and at our local Singapore level.  We need committed leadership ready to re-build our organisation structurally and, if you will, spiritually.  

    DNC Leadership:  Democrats Abroad is planning to collect questions for candidates vying for the chair of the DNC.  The top 5 questions will be established and forwarded to the candidates.  Some of you have indicated an interest in a straw poll of the candidates and we will explore that idea.

    Democrats Abroad Leadership:  Democrats Abroad will gather for our 2017 Global Meeting in Washington DC in either February or March (stay posted for notice).  The meetings are open to all.  Please consider attending.  We will elect a fresh team of international officers at that meeting.  All members are eligible to run for office. Our DA Lion City chair and vice chair are empowered to vote on behalf of DA Lion City.

    DA Lion City Leadership:  Democrats Abroad Lion City Committee will have our 2017 Annual General Meeting before 31 March 2017.  Please stay posted for notice of date, time and place.  Also look out for notice welcoming nominations to contest our country committee offices:  chair, vice chair, secretary-treasurer, legal counsel and 3 member-at-large places.  All members of DA Lion City are welcome to nominate.

    Long term - Driving, driving, driving voter turnout for the 2018 mid term elections and building awareness of down-ballot races (again, party re-building) so that Democrats control more state legislatures and governorships when the electoral district maps are re-drawn following the 2020 census.  We cannot emphasise enough the importance of re-drawing Congressional boundaries.  Over the next 2 years we need to expand our volunteer teams, expand our member/voter lists, expand our brand.  All this takes committed leadership at the chapter and country committee levels. 

    2) Advocacy:

    Short term - we have a very active Facebook page and Twitter handle.  Please follow us and reach out to Democrats in Singapore and encourage them to follow us.  We connect followers to important news, provide inspiration/hope/humour and connect them to the Democratic Party agenda committed to providing opportunity for all.

    Telephone outreach to Congress:  One of the ideas raised at the DA Lion City Pick up the Pieces and Drink Wine gathering included a type of phone-a-thon to Congress in which we would storm the DC offices of our elected officials with phone calls from abroad to communicate our concerns about the in-coming administration (still can't say his name).  (For example, progressive organisations are currently encouraging citizens to phone their Congressional reps in opposition to the appointment of Breitbart editor Stephen Bannon as chief White House strategist.)  I suspect there will be a lot to concern us about appointments to important government positions.  The House and the Senate calendars suggests a date for this phone-a-thon might occur in the first or second weeks of December. 

    Medium term - We are staging an Inauguration Week of Action Abroad.  DA Lion City can join other Democrats Abroad groups in a letter-writing campaign.  Templates and models will be developed at the global level and shared with groups that gather to write letter to in-coming Congress members on topics of deep concern to the individual (eg environmental protection, civil liberties, labor rights, immigration reform, trade policy, civil discourse, voting rights, energy policy, electoral reform, NATO, the US military, etc).  Letters, preferably hand-written, will be mailed on behalf of members.  (DALCC may need a small fundraiser to pay for stamps, paper, envelopes.)

    Long term - we are re-building our global advocacy programme.  If the RNC makes good on its promise to repeal FATCA and CBT (they were in the RNC platform but were never discussed by Trump during the campaign; they are not Trump commitments) then a big part of our tax reform agenda will disappear.  But it also may not.  We still have issues related to voting rights, freedom of movement, access to SS and Medicare and other to address.  There will be a DA global meeting in Washington DC in either February or March that will feature a Congressional door knock.  All members of DA are welcome to attend the global meeting and the door knock.  

    3) A Group of Like-Minded Americans:

    Short term - we need to be together to vent and grieve and mourn.  Wine may help.  And then we need to build each other back up for the work ahead.  

    Volunteering:  We are building a list (thank you, Crystal!) of local organisations that DALCC members might want to volunteer for. 

    Donating:  We are building a list of organisations that support vulnerable people if people are interested in giving.  (eg, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood.)   

    The Safety Pin for Solidarity project is going on in some Democrats Abroad CCs, especially where members are looking for a way to explain the election to their children.  The Safety Pin is a symbol that people are wearing in America that signals they will stand by and publicly support and defend persons vilified in the Trump campaign (people of colour, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, LGBT Americans, people with disabilities, women).  In some places (London, Paris, Prague, Madrid) they are having gatherings for children to decorate the safety pins and to reflect on the importance of being civil to each other.

    Medium term - As part of the Inauguration Week of Action Abroad, join other Democrats Abroad groups who are joining the Million Women (and Friends ) March by having marches or candle-light vigils abroad.  (Advise the Embassy.  Secure local government approval if necessary, Round up a few speakers.  And peacefully march or gather.)  We may be unable to do anything of this sort publicly in Singapore.  It may need to be a private gathering instead.  But it will feel good to build our friendships and share some Democratic party fellowship.

    Long term - In addition to other actions we will plan in response to policy initiatives proposed by the new administration and progressed in the Congress, DALCC can host gatherings to watch films (political documentaries and docudramas), celebrate US holidays or watch political events (State of the Union, etc), connect Dems in SGP to events at the LKY school or elsewhere and build a community around our political organising.

    All this depends upon the interest, energy and engagement of our Leaders and members.  Thanks to those attending PICK UP THE PIECES who signed up to contribute to our planning for the Inauguration Week of Action Abroad and to be a part of our work going forward.  Please email DA Lion City Secretary Holly Kreutter if you are interested in joining either or the both of these teams.


  • published 2016 ELECTION RECOVERY in News 2016-11-16 00:35:22 -0500

    2016 ELECTION RECOVERY

    This is a proposed agenda for moving forward as 1) a party, 2) an advocacy organisation and 3) a group of like minded Americans in Singapore  

    1) Party:

    Short term - GOTV in the Lousiana run off election.  Voting in this is a bit tricky (it's taken me the last 2 days to figure it all out - ping me if you want an explanation) and will require volunteer-to-voter support in some instances.  We have a team who will phone all our LA voters across the world and the 24/7 Help Desk is open.  We are encouraging donations to Foster Campbell's campaign for the LA senate seat.

    Medium term - Electing new leaders for the Democratic National Committee, Democrats Abroad (globally) and at our local Singapore level.  We need committed leadership ready to re-build our organisation structurally and, if you will, spiritually.

    Long term - Driving, driving, driving voter turnout for the 2018 mid term elections and building awareness of down-ballot races (again, party re-building) so that Democrats control more state legislatures and governorships when the electoral district maps are re-drawn following the 2020 census.  We cannot emphasise enough the importance of re-drawing Congressional boundaries.  Over the next 2 years we need to expand our volunteer teams, expand our member/voter lists, expand our brand.  All this takes committed leadership at the chapter and country committee levels. 

    2) Advocacy:

    Short term - reach out to Democrats in Singapore and encourage them to follow us on social media.  On social media we need to connect them to important news, provide inspiration/hope/humour and connect them to the Democratic party agenda that provides opportunity for all.

    Medium term - As part of the Inauguration Week of Action Abroad, join other Democrats Abroad groups in a letter-writing campaign.  Templates and models will be developed at the global level and shared with groups that gather to write letter to in-coming Congress members on topics of deep concern to the individual (eg environmental protection, civil liberties, labor rights, immigration reform, trade policy, civil discourse, voting rights, energy policy, electoral reform, NATO, the US military, etc).  Letters, preferably hand-written, will be mailed on behalf of members.  (DALCC may need a small fundraiser to pay for stamps, paper, envelopes.)

    If the RNC makes good on its promise to repeal FATCA and CBT (they were in the RNC platform but were never discussed by Trump during the campaign; they are not Trump commitments) then a big part of our tax reform agenda will disappear.  But it also may not.  We still have issues related to voting rights, freedom of movement, access to SS and Medicare and other to address.  There will be a DA global meeting in Washington DC in either February or March that will feature a Congressional door knock.  All members of DA are welcome to attend the global meeting and the door knock.  

    3) A Group of Like-Minded Americans:

    Short term - we need to be together to vent and grieve and mourn.  Wine may help.  And then we need to build each other back up for the work ahead.  

    Volunteering:  We are building a list (thank you, Crystal!) of local organisations that DALCC members might want to volunteer for. 

    Donating:  We are building a list of organisations that support vulnerable people if people are interested in giving.  (eg, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood.)   

    The Safety Pin for Solidarity project is going on in some Democrats Abroad CCs, especially where members are looking for a way to explain the election to their children.  The Safety Pin is a symbol that people are wearing in America that signals they will stand by and publicly support and defend persons vilified in the Trump campaign (people of colour, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, LGBT Americans, people with disabilities, women).  In some places (London, Paris, Prague, Madrid) they are having gatherings for children to decorate the safety pins and to reflect on the importance of being civil to each other.

    Medium term - As part of the Inauguration Week of Action Abroad, join other Democrats Abroad groups who are joining the Million Women (and Friends ) March by having marches or vigils abroad.  Advise the Embassy.  Secure local government approval if necessary, Round up a few speakers.  We may be unable to do anything of this sort publicly in Singapore.  It may need to be a private gathering instead.

    Long term - DALCC can host gatherings to watch films (political documentaries and docudramas), celebrate US holidays or watch political events (State of the Union, etc), connect Dems in SGP to events at the LKY school or elsewhere and build a community around our political organising.

    All this depends upon the interest, energy and engagement of our Leaders and members.  Onward!


  • Happening this week - for Democrats abroad looking for what's next

    Democrats Abroad Global Town Hall Meeting

    Monday 14 Nov, 8pm Singapore Time, WebEx

    Main topics:  The Election and Post-election Democrats Abroad
     
    Among the questions we’re pondering:  What happened in the Tuesday election?  After our months/years of work, how did DA do?  What states/races did the overseas vote decide?  Which states/races could we have decided if we or the campaign had reached more of the “missing” 5 million overseas voters who likely didn’t vote.  (MI, WI, PA…AZ, FL...).  (We estimate there are over 6 million eligible overseas voters and predicted a doubling of turnout this year to more than 1 million.)
    How can we as DA keep fighting for Democratic values and issues?  How to provide opportunities for expression and action to our members and other overseas Americans and our allies?  What do we need to work on in the very short term, and the longer term?
     
    How can DA best participate in choosing the new DNC chair/leaders and the direction of the Party?  How to make sure DA’s and overseas voters’ potential and needs are included, as well as our vision for the Party?
     
    What are the priorities to improve overseas voting law and procedures and how can we most effectively advocate for needed reform?  What is the future of VFA.org? 

    DA Lion City Committee - "Pick up the Pieces and Drink Wine" gathering

    Wednesday 16 November, 7pm, Wine Connection, 41 Cuppage Road

    DA Asia Pacific Leaders - Monthly Teleconference

    Thursday, 17 November, 7.30pm Singapore Time, WebEx

    Agenda:  What's next
    - our incredibly important opposition role under a trump administration 
    - reviewing and documenting lessons from our 2016 work 
    - 2017 global meeting preview and planning
    - races where DA made the difference in 2016 (yes, the overseas vote did make the difference in some important races. )

    DA Women's Caucus - Global Teleconference Teleconference

    Friday 18 November, 12 midnight Singapore Time, WebEx 

    Discussing the new agenda, goals and activities.

    PLEASE CONTACT CARMELAN ON CPOLCE@TPG.COM.AU OR 9380 1084 FOR FURTHER DETAILS ON ANY OF THESE EVENTS.


  • published Singapore Election Watch - more options! in News 2016-11-07 09:21:31 -0500

    Singapore Election Watch - more options!

    Democrats Abroad Lion City Committee is not hosting an election watch event on Wednesday 9 November but had heard of two more functions that members may consider attending.

    AMERICAN CLUB OF SINGAPORE - 2ND FLOOR

    The American Club of Singapore has completely booked out its Union Bar but is opening a space in its 2nd Floor restaurant space for members and their guests to watch the event.  Unfortunately our leaders who usually meet DemsAbroad members who are not American Club members at the door to sign them in are NOT AVAILABLE on Wednesday morning.  

    DRINKING LIBERALLY-SINGAPORE:  LUNCH AT MUDDY MURPHY'S FROM 11.30AM

    Please click here for details and to RSVP. 


  • posted about COMING ELECTION EVENTS for Democrats in Singapore on Facebook 2016-08-23 02:26:44 -0400
    COMING ELECTION EVENTS for Democrats in Singapore

    COMING ELECTION EVENTS for Democrats in Singapore

    Democrats Abroad will be gathering for a number of events between now and election day, including the Debates.  Stay tuned for Event Announcements on this DemsAbroad Lion City webpage and in emails soon.  Here are some dates for your calendar:

     "New Challenges to Globalisation: Brexit and Trump"


    Date:  Monday 30 August 2016

    Time:  5.15pm

    Place:  Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy

    As a service to our members, DALCC will advise our members of talks at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (the LKY School) that we feel may be of particular  interest to our members on topics related to the current presidential election, key policy issues such as US relations with Asia, trade policy and the TPP in particular, US immigration and health policy issues, etc.  

    The LKY School is affiliated with the National University of Singapore (NUS). We will also be monitoring talks by other organizations such as the Middle East Institute (MEI), which is also affiliated with NUS and the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), which is affiliated with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and other cultural and political think tanks in Singapore.

    Our first notice under this new service is for a presentation entitled "New Challenges to Globalisation: Brexit and Trump"at the LKY School on Tuesday, August 30 from 17:15 to 18:30 at the LKY School located at the Bukit Timah Campus of NUS next to the Botanic Garden.  See the web site below for details on the event and how to RSVP.  This particular event is unfortunately "waiting list only" due to strong demand for seats, but if you are interested, you should register in any case.

    http://lkyspp.nus.edu.sg/?lky_event=new-challenges-to-globalisation-brexit-and-trump

     

    Presidential candidate debate happening at Hofstra University, New York on the evening of Monday September 26, 2016

    Date:  Tuesday September 27,  2016

    Time:  from 8am

    Place:  Union Bar, The American Club, 10 Claymore Hill, Singapore

    Vice Presidential Debate happening the evening of Tuesday October 4, 2016 at Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia

    Date:  Wednesday October 5, 2016

    Time:  From 8am

    Place:  Union Bar, The American Club, 10 Claymore Hill, Singapore

     

    Presidential debate happening the evening of Sunday October 9, 2016 at Washington University, St Louis, MO

    Date:  Monday, October 10, 2016

    Time:  From 8am

    Place:  Union Bar, The American Club, 10 Claymore Hill, Singapore

     

    Presidential Debate happening the evening of Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

    Date:  Thursday October 20, 2016

    Time:  From 9am

    Place:  Union Bar, The American Club, 10 Claymore Hill, Singapore

    ELECTION WATCH EVENT sponsored by American Chamber of Commerce SGP and US Embassy (and Singapore American Society)

    Date:  Wednesday November 9, 2016

    Time:  8am to midday

    Place:  Conrad Centennial, 2 Temasek Blvd, Singapore  068982

    Source:  http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com/2016-debate-schedule/2016-presidential-debate-schedule/

     


  • DA Lion City (Singapore) announcements - May-June 2016: Extraordinary General Meeting Thu 2 June

    We're coming up on some important dates for Democrats Abroad:

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD GLOBAL CAUCUS AND CONVENTION

    May 12:  2016 DPCA Global Meeting (annual business meeting)
    May 13-14:  Three Regional Caucuses (Americas, Asia/Pacific, EMEA)
    May 14-15:  2016 Global Convention

    The DA Global convention will determine the delegates we send to the DNC in July as a result of the Global Presidential Primary we held in March.

    DA LION CITY COMMITTEE NEWS

    Here in Singapore, we have some changes to the DALCC Executive Committee. Jeff Watkins, our long-time Counsel, is leaving Singapore for colder climes. We thank Jeff for his dedicated service and wish him and his family well in their new expat adventure. I have appointed Dian Boothe as new Counsel.

    Beth Hollohan has resigned her position as Vice Chairperson. Thanks goes out to Beth for juggling a difficult work and travel schedule to contribute mightily to the cause. I have appointed Carmelan Polce as interim Vice Chairperson until we hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to fill the post until next year's AGM.

    NOTICE OF EGM TO ELECT VICE CHAIRPERSON

    DATE: June 2, 2016
    TIME: 8:00PM
    LOCATION: 53B Grange Road, #11-02 Spring Grove Singapore 249567

    Nominations are open for the position of Vice Chairperson. Candidates must be female, as Bylaws require the Chair and Vice Chair be opposite gender. In the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall call and preside at meetings of members and of the Executive Committee. The Vice-Chairperson shall have such other duties as the Chairperson shall define. 

    Nominations for candidates may be sent to the Nominations and Elections Committee, Lance DuBos, Chair, lance.dubos@yahoo.com. Candidates will be asked for a statement of up to 150 words to support their nomination.

    Nominations will close on May 18, 2016.  Ballots will be distributed electronically May 19. If there are no nominations by this date, nominations will be taken from the floor at the EGM.

    If you cannot attend in person then please attend by proxy and help us make quorum.  Contact Holly Kreutter for a Proxy Form an Hkreutts@hotmail.com.

    Democratically yours
    Lance DuBos, Chair

    DA Lion City
    http://www.democratsabroad.org/


  • donated 2016-04-10 23:44:18 -0400

    2016 Convention Checkout

    You are almost to Berlin! Please input your payment info and the names of any additional registrants you are paying for. If you have any questions please email International Treasurer, Art Schankler Treasurer@DemocratsAbroad.org .

    Donate

  • Participate (in person or by proxy) in the DemsAbroad Lion City Committee Annual General Meeting

    We will hold our 2016 Annual General Meeting next week:

    Date:  Thursday 17 March 2106

    Time:  7pm

    Place:  53B Grange Road, #11-02 Spring Grove Singapore 249567

    Please join us - in person or by proxy (see below) to share your thoughts about what Democrats Abroad Lion City can do this year to inform and engage Americans in Singapore to vote blue in the 2016 elections.  If you cannot attend then please proxy your attendance to another member, which will ensure we reach a quorum for conducting our business. 

    Attached at this link are the Meeting Agenda, Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting, a Proposed DA LCC By Laws Amendment and the Proxy Form for proxying your attendance to another member of the DA Lion City Committee.  

    We hope to see you next week on Thursday!

     

    Democratically yours,

    Executive Committee, Democrats Abroad Lion City Committee

    Lance DuBos, Chair - lancedubos@yahoo.com

    Beth Hollahan, Vice Chair - beth.hollahan@gmail.com

    Holly Kreutter, Secretary - hkruetts@hotmail.com

    Jeff Watkins, Counsel - jeffrey.watkins@gmail.com

    ExCom members at large

      Patricia Reed - pareedus@gmail.com

      David White - macondo88@gmail.com

      Carmelan Polce - carmelanpolce@gmail.com


  • posted about Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary Comes to Singapore on Facebook 2016-02-29 23:59:28 -0500
    Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary Comes to Singapore

    Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary Comes to Singapore

    Calling all Democrats living in Singapore.  The Global Presidential Primary is almost here!!

    On Monday 7 March, 7-10pm we will be gathering at the Asia Campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at 75 Bukit Timah Road (near the Little India MRT Station) to cast ballots for the Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States.

    Come and cast your vote!  And bring your USA Dem friends with you!!  

    Photo ID is essential, preferably issued by the US fed or a US state government.  Voters take an oath attesting to their US citizenship as well.

    From 8pm we will be hearing an enormously insightful and sure to be entertaining presentation by Steve Okun about the results of the Super Tuesday primary elections, both the Democratic and Republican contests.  This is an event not to be missed!

    For more information and to RSVP please click here.  

    If you have further questions about the Global Presidential Primary please click here.  

    We hope to see you on Monday 7 March!


  • posted about DA Lion City "Selma" Movie Night: Thu 18 Feb, 8pm, School of Thought Auditorium on Facebook 2016-02-14 01:19:09 -0500
    DA Lion City "Selma" Movie Night: Thu 18 Feb, 8pm, School of Thought Auditorium

    DA Lion City "Selma" Movie Night: Thu 18 Feb, 8pm, School of Thought Auditorium

    Democrats Abroad Lion City Committee is thrilled to host members to a free screening of the motion picture, "Selma".  It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights march.

    Please join us on Thursday 18 February at 8pm at the School of Thought Auditorium - 222 Queen Street, 4th Floor - for this special event. 

    Friends are welcome.  Admission is free.

    http://i567.photobucket.com/albums/ss119/DemsAbroad/Selma_zpscf06cf90.jpg 


Social justice advocate and campaigner. Living in Singapore. Home is Sydney. Votes in Pennsylvania.