by Randi Milgram, London, DAUK
On January 21, an unstoppable wave of hope and strength rose to resist the dark shadows of the preceding day. Once Donald Trump was officially inaugurated, many Americans felt disheartened and dejected, fearful that our values would be thrown aside. But then decent people all over the globe joined together to rise up, refusing to accept inequality and injustice in our democracy. In France, in Peru, in Macau, in South Africa, people of all ages, genders, races, and national origins stood as one band of solidarity against hate and for equality.
All over the world, citizens of numerous countries joined together with Americans in the first Global Women’s March, proving that millions of people with the same values will stand and fight for democracy, justice, and equal rights for all. Members of the Women’s Caucus of Democrats Abroad helped bring the enormous event to life in locations around the globe. Thousands upon thousands gathered in Brussels, Amsterdam, Brasilia, Mexico, Auckland, and even Antarctica. Just as in the epicenter of the Washington, D.C. march, with crowds breaking all estimates by the hundreds of thousands, most foreign cities showed turnout beyond all expectations as more and more people stood together to show support for women’s rights, gay rights, and equal justice. In London, the DA Women’s Caucus group marched proudly up front with other organizers as the crowds swiftly grew from the estimated 20,000 up to 100,000. In Paris, the crowd of thousands circled famous tourist destinations as residents and tourists alike joined to support women and girls.
The sources of inspiration were endless, from the many men who showed their support and willingness to fight for equal rights, to the many families who brought their small children, as it’s their world we are fighting to protect and improve. Common refrains were shared throughout various cities, with most participants stating that the massive show of solidarity among marchers provided the first feeling of optimism, the first smile, since Election Night. Many others said that this groundswell of grassroots activism is what will protect America from destructive policies.
Indeed, activists are acutely aware that the incredible momentum that built up to the epic march must be sustained, difficult as it will be, in order to effectively contest the aggressively undemocratic movements attempted by this administration. But the March proved to us that we are ready for the fight, that we are strong in number and resilient in will. Simply the sheer numbers of likeminded fellow marchers, no matter what city you were in, inspired us all to keep fighting, to keep making calls and writing emails, and keep marching on the right side of history.
To that effect, members of Democrats Abroad, and the Women’s Caucus in particular, are busily working to put all of this energy and goodwill into action. Several projects underway include an expat version of the superb Indivisible guide to activism and narrowly focused mass calls to Congress. The next date to keep your eye on is March 8 – International Women’s Day. This day of action for gender parity will use the tag “Be Bold For A Change” and advocate for women to promote themselves in work or private life. Keep an eye on the Women’s Caucus Facebook page and website for more information about how to mark this exciting day and about other upcoming projects.
A large crowd of DA Stuttgart members gathered on Friday evening February 10th to elect a new chair for our Stuttgart Chapter.
The evening began with each of our two candidates sharing their vision for the future of our chapter. After the candidate speeches, came a lively question and answer period with topics ranging from corporate influence on our party to DA’s relationship to German activist groups.
Under the watchful eyes of two former Chapter Chairs, the ballots were counted. With a clear majority of votes, Ann Hesse became our new Chair.
Many thanks to our outgoing Chair, Sumner Sherman, for the hard work, effort and dedication he gave to our chapter.
We would also like to thank all of our many members who participated and demonstrated how real grass-roots democracy works!
(Photo, Four Chairs: Kerin Black, Ann Hesse, Sumner Sherman, Sandra Payne)
Democrats Abroad is committed to a world where all persons have access to the same rights and benefits, regardless of sexual identity or gender expression.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus is the constituency group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members and any Democrat abroad who supports them.
The goals of the LGBT Caucus reflect the mission of Democrats Abroad to:
- engage and empower LGBTI Americans living abroad to vote in US elections;
- provide a platform for Democrats Abroad members, country committees and chapters to advance issues at the heart of the LGBTI community;
- support Democrats Abroad’s members in issues they face living abroad as LGBTI Americans, such as access to government services and benefits for same-sex spouses and family members, the legacy resulting from past discrimination and Defense of Marriage Act.
The LGBT Caucus:
- supports Democrats Abroad’s country committees and local chapters in organizing activities of interest to the LGBTI community, such as participation in pride events and voter outreach;
- disseminates information to Democrats Abroad members and promotes action on issues that affect LGBTI Americans and their families;
- ensures that the LGBTI perspective is effectively incorporated in all the work of Democrats Abroad, including issues advocacy, communication and GOTV strategy, planning and execution; ensures that issues and policies that impact LGBTI Americans are included in the Democrats Abroad and Democratic Party platforms;
- takes leadership in Democrats Abroad’s issues advocacy initiatives, including “door knock” visits to elected officials in Washington DC, to ensure that issues that impact LGBTI Americans living abroad and their families are included and addressed by elected representatives;
- encourages LGBTI members to run for elected leadership roles within Democrats Abroad and fulfill Democrats Abroad’s diversity and affirmative action goals;
- supports community building among Democrats Abroad’s LGBTI members and allies;
- promotes Democratic Party candidates who demonstrate commitment to policies that positively impact the lives of LGBTI Americans;
- supports and engages with Democratic Party LGBTI caucuses build capacity and achieve common goals.