News

December Newsletter

In this Issue–

Events

Save the Date

  • Meet-Up Wednesday, January 24th. Details TBA

Issues & Actions

  • A Meet-Up for the Mature Crowd
  • January Registration Drive
  • Born Abroad Americans – No Guarantee to Vote

Reviews

  • DAA Talks with Laura Rockwood & Nadja Schmidt
  • Sol Sun #10
  • DAA Talks with Tom Hicks

On the Social Side

  • Thanksgiving
  • Graz Member Xmas Meet Up



Events


Young Dems Christmas Punsch

As always, Democrats Abroad will be getting together for our annual Christmas "Punsch" at the romantic Christkindlmarkt at Spittelberg. To celebrate "Nikolo" & each other. We'll be in the Spittelberggasse at the first "Punsch" stand on the left hand side (if you are coming from Burggasse) – just after the roasted almonds! Please call Ashley Arreola if you have trouble finding us as it will be crowded +436503749481

We look forward to seeing everyone one last time this year. All are welcome! :-)

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/553755421633444/

WHEN: December 06, 2017 at 7pm - 9pm
WHERE: Spittelberggasse Weihnachtsmarkt. Spittelberggasse 15, Vienna 1070
CONTACT: Ashley Arreola · ashley_arreola@yahoo.com · +436503749481



Issues & Actions


A Meet-Up for the Mature Crowd

DAA Member John Cahill got an overwhelmingly positive response when he posted the following on Facebook in the DA Austria Group, “While I believe that the Young Democrats Meet-Ups are a splendid idea for keeping young people involved, I really miss the open meetings in which the more mature(?) members participated. So, I am asking: Are there others, aged 50 and older like me, who would welcome periodic informal meet-ups at which we could have a drink or two, share our concerns and vent our spleen about the state of American politics? Nothing formal, no agenda or minutes or other such annoyances.” The first Meet-Up will take place on Wednesday, January 24th. Details to be announced in the January newsletter, on Facebook, and on our website. Thanks for the great initiative John!



OVERSEAS VOTERS MUST REGISTER EVERY ELECTION YEAR

Watch this space! We’ll be starting off 2018 with a January Registration Drive to make sure that every US citizen in Austria has registered to vote for the 2018 midterms. Keep an eye out for times and locations and make sure to come and bring your friends.

Also, If you are interested in becoming DA Austria’s Get-Out-the-Vote Coordinator or are willing to help out for a couple of hours, contact Jennifer at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com. DA Austria will be coordinating with the global GOTV Team to work on GOTV plans for 2018, pool resources, set up trainings and discuss the best ways to provide voting information to overseas voters, both DA and non-DA members. For more information on phonebanking and other GOTV efforts go to http://www.democratsabroad.org/gotv_phonebanking.


Born Abroad American and Can't Vote?

It’s true! Federal laws enfranchising military and overseas voters do not automatically extend voting rights to US citizens born overseas who have reached voting age without having resided in the US. The voting laws of too many states also lack provisions guaranteeing these Americans the right to vote. This oversight perpetrates a grave injustice on those who are otherwise recognized as citizens (including for federal tax purposes).

Do you know about the Uniform Law Commission’s Military and Overseas Voters Act?

In 2010 the Uniform Law Commission drafted the Military and Overseas Voters Act. The law simplifies the process of absentee voting for United States military and overseas civilians by making the process more uniform, convenient, secure, and efficient. The Act covers all military personnel and their dependents, as well as US citizens residing outside the United States who are unable to vote in person. This includes US citizens born overseas who have reached voting age without having the opportunity to reside in the United States. The Act applies to all state-wide and local elections, as well as to all federal elections, both including primary and general, as well as special run-off elections.

For more information about this model act, go to the Uniform Law Commission’s website,www.uniformlaws.org, and search for Military and Overseas Voters Act.

Democrats Abroad can help!

Democrats Abroad would like to support states that have not as yet enacted the ULC’s Military and Overseas Voters Act. Please contact us at MOVA for more information and to discuss an advocacy plan.



Reviews


DAA Talks with Laura Rockwood and Nadja Schmidt

U.S. Nuclear Policy under the Trump Administration

On November 16th at the Republikanischer Club, DA Austria were proud to host an event featuring Laura Rockwood, executive director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP), and Nadja Schmidt, executive director of ICAN Austria.

Ms. Rockwood, who retired in 2013 from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the Section Head for Non-Proliferation and Policy Making in the Office of Legal Affairs, was at the IAEA in 2005 when it won a Nobel Peace Prize for its “efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way”.

Speaking in her personal capacity, Ms. Rockwood presented an in-depth look at nuclear policy issues in the U.S. under the Trump administration. Ms. Rockwood discussed the benefits to international security of the Iran nuclear deal, disagreeing with the critical assessments of the White House. She also expressed concern about the recent nuclear weapons and missile tests performed by North Korea, and the posture of the Trump administration in relation to North Korea.

Ms. Schmidt’s organization, ICAN Austria, is an affiliate of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian 

consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. Ms. Schmidt discussed her organization, how the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty came about, and what steps remain to be taken, in particular by the United States. She pointed out the important role played by the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons conferences in changing the conversation about nuclear weapons, and allowing for the perspectives of the non-nuclear weapon states to be heard.



Solidarity Sundays Looked at the News and How to Fake It

On Sunday, November 26th, Marcy Fowler gave Solidarity Sunday attendees a deep look at misinformation and disinformation. She showed us how to spot it – and how to help people we know think critically about what they find online and on TV. Marcy’s top insights:

  • There are different kinds of propaganda: White propaganda is somewhat accurate information but biased, incomplete or in a misleading context. Example: social media trolls playing up existing racial divisions to deepen those divisions.
  • With Black propaganda, both the source and information are false. Example: Bill O’Reilly stating that Black Lives Matter is „Killing Americans“.
  • Not all fake news is propaganda: misinformation is sloppiness, disinformation is deliberate.

We learned how to apply the classic Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions both to the source and to the content to unpack news items. Combating fake news takes time and effort, but the more we do so, the more we help our community and democracy.

Join our next Solidarity Sunday where we take aim at the November midterm elections and learn how each of us can help Get Out The Vote, and how to organize a group for change.

–Tanya Lolonis



DAA Talks with Tom Hicks

Democrats Abroad Austria was honored to host a discussion with U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Thomas Hicks. Mr. Hicks briefly introduced his organization, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the law that created the EAC, the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Under HAVA, overseas absentee ballots must be tabulated separately from domestic absentee ballots; it is the EAC that oversees the process of data collection from the states on the number of ballots sent, received, counted and rejected. Mr. Hicks discussed the implications of the January 6th, 2017 Department of Homeland Security decision to designate election systems as critical infrastructure (later reaffirmed by DHS Secretary Kelly, now White House Chief of Staff), and highlighted some of the EAC activities in standard setting and certification for U.S. voting machines.

Of particular interest to the DA Austria audience, Mr. Hicks discussed the activities of his organization in working to facilitate the right to vote for U.S. citizens abroad. DAA greatly appreciates the work of Mr. Hicks and the EAC, and it echos Democrats Abroad’s calls for Congress to enhance its support for the organization, including fully funding the EAC and HAVA and by filling all commissioner positions.
–Marcy Fowler, Treasurer

Sources:

“U.S. Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure”, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, https://www.eac.gov/assets/1/6/starting_point_us_election_systems_as_Critical_Infrastructure.pdf.

“Leave Behind Packs: Election Assistance Commission”, Democrats Abroad Spring 2017 Door Knock Campaign, 16-17 May 2017, https://wiki.democratsabroad.org/download/attachments/17072318/EAC%202017.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1494912138000&api=v2.



On the Social Side...


Members enjoying Thanksgiving with Juan Cerda (center left),  DAA LGBT Caucus, and Marcy Fowler (center right), DAA Treasurer.


Thanksgiving Dinner

On November 23, DA Austria members, family, and friends gathered for a sold out Thanksgiving dinner at Restaurant Sperl in Vienna’s 4th district. The room was packed with democrats of every age – from families, to Young Dems, to those of an older variety – who feasted on a traditional dinner and a splendid offering of homemade pies brought by volunteers. DAA was also pleased to welcome former International and DAA Chair Katie Solon, who came from Germany, and former EMEA Regional Chair Merrill Oates, who drove from Budapest to join us.

There were many new faces and it was wonderful to have the chance to talk with people about their interests and concerns. Despite the horrifying actions of our current President and Congress, DAA members found something to be thankful for.
– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair





Graz Member Xmas Meet-Up

On Friday, December 1st we met with fellow Dems (and a few little Dems-to-be) on Franziskanerplatz in Graz for some Glühwein and Kinderpunsch. It was a beautiful evening and a great chance to catch up on the latest political scandals. Both international news, such as the in-court poising of war criminal Slobodan Praljakin at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, as well as national news, such the revelation about the Michael Flynn guilty plea, which happened as we were meeting, were hotly discussed news topics over the even hotter Glühwein. Of course, some 

fun had to be had as well with some chocolate pretzel sharing, which was especially appreciated by our little Dems-to-be.

We are looking forward to planning more events in 2018. If you have ideas or requests for topics/events/venues feel free to contact Alma (alma.stankovic@me.com) or Caitlin (caitlin.ahern@gmail.com).

All Graz/Styria members are encouraged to join the Democrats Abroad in Graz Facebook group [https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1674471572865600&ref=content_filter].

– Caitlin Ahern, Database Manager & Alma Stankovic




STOCKING STUFFER? SECRET SANTA GIFT?

An iconic xmas gift for 2017. Get one for all the women you know who joined in the Women's March and persist! Just €5 (not including shipping).

Contact Jennifer at demsabroadasutria@gmail.com to place your order. Limited quantities available.


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November Newsletter

In this Issue:

Events

Upcoming Events

  • Young Dems Holiday Punsch on December 6th

Issues & Actions

  • Meet DAA Youth Caucus Coordinator
  • 2018 Women First Calendar
  • Update on Get Out The Vote Activities
  • Taxation Task Force – Washington DC Visit
  • DA DNC Officer on the Unity Reform Commission

Reviews

  • DA Webinar Series
  • Solidarity Sunday #9

Members’ Corner

  • More Podcast Love
  • IWM: Science Speed Talks



EVENTS


YOUNG DEMS ANNUAL MARTINIGANSL FEAST

Join us for our annual Martinigansl feast in the heart of Grinzing, where you can find Vienna's vineyards and heurigen restaurants.

The restaurant will need the exact count of people attending and ordering goose, so if you are vegetarian, please make sure you write it in the Facebook discussion, so I can inform them in advance. Hope you can join us!

Our reservation is for 10, so we'll need to update it if more people would like to come, so please RSVP via Facebook

WHEN: November 11, 2017 at 7pm - 10pm

Cobenzlgasse 34, Vienna 1190, Austria Google map and directions
CONTACT: Ashley E. Arreola · ashley_arreola@yahoo.com · +436503749481


DAATALKS: LAURA ROCKWOOD

U.S. Nuclear Policy under the Trump Administration: Strengthening or Hindering International Security?

Former legal counsel at the International Atomic Energy Agency and current Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation Laura Rockwood.

With the dramatic policy shift in the White House, many decades-long U.S. nuclear policies are being modified or even reversed. At this DAATalk, Laura Rockwood will discuss how the new U.S. policies on issues such as the Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea nuclear tests, and the nuclear weapons ban can impact global security.

Additionally, Nadja Schmidt, chairwoman of the Austrian branch of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), will present on the recently signed Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty. ICAN, a global alliance of more than 460 organisations in over 100 countries, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons."

Join us beforehand for a glass of wine at 18:30. The talk will begin at 19:00.

WHEN: November 16, 2017 at 7pm - 9pm

WHERE: Republikanischer Club – Neues Österreich (Eingang Café Hebenstreit)
Rockhgasse 1, Vienna 1010, Austria Google map and directions
CONTACT: Democrats Abroad · demsabroadaustria@gmail.com

RSVP: http://www.democratsabroad.org/at_events 




THANKSGIVING – A FEAST WITH ALL THE FIXINGS

On Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 23rd at 7PM, we invite our democratic friends and families to our annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

We have made reservations for 60 at Restaurant Sperl in the 4th district (not Café Sperl in the 6th). It's a typical Viennese Gasthaus and we’ll have a large private room all to ourselves. There will be a buffet with a 3-course feast including pumpkin soup, turkey with all the fixings – mashed potatoes, roasted red beets and sweet potatoes, green beans, red cabbage, stuffing – and dessert. If you can, please bring a pumpkin or pecan pie. They are always very appreciated!

To purchase your tickets, RSVP on our website and transfer €25 for each adult guest and €15 for each child (12 and under) to the DA Austria account:

If you have any questions, write Jennifer at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com or call at +43 6991 108 7981.

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 23rd, 2017 7pm-10pm
WHERE: Restaurant Sperl (not Café Sperl in the 6th!), Karolinengasse 13, 1040 Vienna, Austria. Google map and directions

CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · demsabroadaustria@gmail.com 

TICKETS: €25.00 EUR adults & €15 children under 12 

Purchase tickets


SOLSUN #10: UNFAKING THE NEWS ON BLACK LIVES MATTER

Black Lives Matter! But what do you *really* know about the movement? What you read is probably ... well ... not very *real*.
Join us as our *real-live* fellow Democrats Abroad members show us how to hunt down honest journalism, balanced news, and no less than the truth. Plus a glass of wine ;-) (or a cup of tea!)

Get all the voting and action info you need here:
http://www.democratsabroad.org/get_involved    https://www.votefromabroad.org/

WHEN: November 26, 2017 at 4pm - 6pm

WHERE: Amerlinghaus
Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070, Austria Google map and directions
CONTACT: Antje Lewis · demsabroadaustria@gmail.com





ISSUES & ACTIONS



MEET DAA YOUTH CAUCUS COORDINATOR

My name is David Heckenberg and since May 2017 I have been responsible for the Youth Caucus of the Democrats Abroad Austria. Currently my goal is to extend the outreach of our organization and keep members of the Youth Caucus - members under 35 years old - connected by organizing monthly meetings and group activities. I feel honored and motivated to fill this position and hope to bring positive change for the future together with your help! Feel free to contact me at david.heckenberg@gmail.com for any questions or ideas you would like to share.



2018 Women First CALENDARS 

Democrats Abroad Women’s Caucus has produced a calendar as a fund raising project for Democrats Abroad. Profits will go to the Get Out The Vote campaign for the 2018 midterms.

The calendar has a good theme — WOMEN FIRST— and highlights 86 American women who were the FIRST to do various historic, wonderful things. Other features include: US calendar format, profiles of 12 featured women, all major US holidays, a unique holiday for each committee country, 2018 state election dates, and 2 pages of interesting “on this date” events. The calendar is printed on folded A3 paper with a photo on top and calendar on the bottom half.

Expect to learn a lot—and hey, with holidays coming up this would make a great Christmas/holiday gift for American daughters, nieces, sisters, friends and family.

DA Austria is taking orders to buy a box of 25 calendars that we will offer to our members at cost for an inexpensive Correction: pre-orders are €6,20 per calendar– a €9,28 savings on the first calendar not  €10 per calendar – a savings of €5.47 for the first calendar. Calendars will be available for pick-up, by arrangement, at Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 23. Solidarity Sunday on Nov 26, the Young Dems meet-up on Dec 6th, or can be mailed to you within Austria for an extra shipping cost.

Please complete this form to order your calendar(s). To make this offer, we need to have 25 calendars pre-ordered by Nov. 13th!


UPDATE ON GET OUT THE VOTE ACTIVITIES

The GOTV Team has been working to get out the vote for the Special Elections happening in Fall 2017 as well as preparing for the 2018 Elections. Here is an update and ways you can get involved. Go to the new GOTV page on the DA website for easily accessible voting information.

If you are interested in becoming DA Austria’s GOTV Coordinator contact Jennifer at mailto:demsabroadaustria@gmail.com. The GOTV Coordinators will get in touch to schedule a group call to work on GOTV plans for 2018, pool resources, set up trainings and discuss the best ways to provide voting information to overseas voters, both DA and non-DA members. READ MORE


TAXATION TASK FORCE– WASHINGTON DC VISIT

The Taxation Task Force was on Capitol Hill the week of October 16 to talk to members of Congress about tax reform for Americans abroad. They had meetings in 10 offices - a mix of Republicans and Democrats, representatives and senators – talking about the findings of our research on the problems faced by Americans filing from abroad and our recommended reform: a switch from citizenship based taxation to residency based taxation. To read the full email with detailed information, READ MORE here.


DA DNC OFFICER ON THE UNITY REFORM COMMISSION

On Wednesday, October 18, in Las Vegas, many Democrats Abroad DNC members attended the fourth and next-to-last meeting of the Unity Reform Commission, a dynamic effort initiated by DNC Chair Tom Perez.

The Unity Commission is made up of members appointed by Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders, and Tom Perez. The chair of the Unity Reform Commission is Jennifer O’Malley Dillon. Larry Cohen is the vice chair. 19 highly experienced and educated members of the party, from “the big tent” all across the spectrum of opinions, sit across from one another listening, agreeing, disagreeing and coming up with solutions for making the Democratic Party more democratic, transparent and effective. READ MORE



REVIEWS


DA WEBINAR SERIES

You’ve probably been receiving emails from Democrats Abroad (global) announcing webinars and training sessions that have been bringing important information and resources to our members. The topics have been varied: taxation, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, the climate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and most recently, Stephanie Schirock from Emily’s List.

Many of our members have participated in a webinar and Marian Pink (Immigration Rights webinar) said, “I found the webinar helpful and certainly interesting. The graphics were really good and the structure of the whole package was excellent. … I would very definitely encourage other people to take the time to work through the program, it is very good.”

Next up, watch James Carville as he speaks about Democratic candidate for Senate Doug Jones and his upcoming election in Alabama, and briefs us on this year's elections. The call begins at 9am DC time on November 8, 2017. RSVP to join!


SOLIDARITY SUNDAYS #9

Solidarity Sunday with Democrats Abroad Austria -- this time focused on social systems and framing arguments. Antje Lewis drew from her experience as a social worker in Austria to give perspective on the US versus Austrian social systems and the premises on which they are based. There are advantages and disadvantages to every system, but comparing the full costs in terms of %GDP is revealing -- spending on social welfare (including health, unemployment and old age) accounts for 29.6% of GDP in Austria versus 30.2% in the US, the key difference being that 11.4% of the US figure is private while virtually all of the Austrian spending is via the state. Most jarring is the cost of health care: 14% of GDP in the US (of this 6% is private) versus 7% of GDP in Austria -- and guess which cheaper system has the better results in terms of actual health care.

Tanya Lolonis followed with a synopsis of Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Righteous_Mind), describing the deep moral foundations which all humans use to inform or frame their political beliefs, and how we can become aware of these in order to better communicate with and understand our fellow citizens.

–Andreas Beckmann, DAA Member

DA Austria members at the 9th get together of the community building and activism grassroots group – Solidarity Sundays Vienna



MEMBERS’ CORNER


MORE PODCAST LOVE

In order to attempt to pull myself out of my Facebook-algorithm-driven bubble, I decided a few weeks ago I needed to put aside my standby Crooked Media podcasts and listen to something elsewhere on the political spectrum.

Googling “best political podcasts” landed me at an article, The 10 Best Political Podcasts To Help You Become A More Informed Citizen, that claimed to be “picking the best political podcasts from both sides of the aisle.” The suggested podcasts ranged from Glenn Beck to Bernie Sanders as well as others including The Federalist and Pod Save America. Despite the author’s claim that, “Whether you believe in the rhetoric of the hosts and guests or not, there’s value and information to be gleaned from each.” I would need to work myself up to Beck –The Federalist seemed a good place to start.

The Federalist Radio Hour: The first thing that struck me was that I often had no idea who the host was talking about. I’ve clearly been living in Europe too long to know who “The Rock” is or that he is considering running for president in 2020, but I was relieved to hear that the hosts, despite or because of Trump’s presidency, were also not convinced of his presidential qualifications.

In another episode, Emily Ekins, Research Fellow and Director of Polling at the Cato Institute, discussed the findings of a survey she recently did about contemporary views of free speech rights. Her consistent use of “Liberals” and “emotional” in the same sentence had me pulling out my ear buds, but I did pause when she brought up that, according to her polling, ‘60’s era Liberals have a much more tolerant view of the kinds of speech that should be banned than those of younger generations.

Another episode had me rapt as Josh Kraushaar and Ben Domensch analyzed the different factions of both parties – highlighting the benefit of stepping out of my comfort zone and getting a clearer view on what’s on the horizon.

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

Have a podcast you’d like to share? We’d love to include it in our next newsletter. Write us at demsabroadaustria


IWM SCIENCE SPEED TALKS

IWM Pop-Up in Wien Strebersdorf. Join IWM Fellows at the Weingut Schilling for a special evening. Instead of sitting in one chair all evening, you'll have the chance to circulate among the speakers, hear about the latest developments in their field, and challenge them with your questions.

WHEN: Monday, 20 November 2017, 6:30pm - 9:00pm

WHERE: Weingut Schilling, 1210 Wien

Music: Ernst Molden & Walther Soyka 

In German and English!

In cooperation with Stadt Wien

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Recent Events in Pictures

Here are more photos from the Liberal Libations fundraiser, the Solidarity Sundays Medicare-for-All presentation and Call Hub training, and the Senator Warren watch party. If you missed these events last month, make sure to  read the October newsletter and see what's planned for October & November. We look forward to seeing you!

Liberal Libations on October 7th:

DAA members enjoying the libations and our hosts, Keith and Kate.


Long time members, Bill & Gloria ...


... and young members, Kira & Ali...


and Janet had the chance to meet and get to know one another.


Our guest speaker Martha with Lin & Ashley


And some liberal ladies discussing...politics?


Solidarity Sundays on September 24th:

Solidarity Sundays Vienna co-founder Tanya opened the event with a discussion of Medicare-for -All


Which led to discussion and multiple looks from Sol Sun co-founder Antje, Nathan, and Sol Sun co-founder Juan.


With some Improv, Juan led brave volunteers through the ropes of phone banking.


Josh made the first online call and Juan set his phone banking goal...


...and the rest of us as well.


After multiple calls, a Democrats Abroad voter picks up and Josh is ready to make sure that she has registered to vote and requested her ballot for the upcoming election.


Senator Warren Watch Party on September 17th:


Watching Senator Elizabeth Warren...


Democratic politics from a different perspective.




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October Newsletter

In this Issue:
Events
  • Young Dems Pub Night with special guest Heather Brown
  • Young Dems Annual Martinigansl Feast
  • Thanksgiving Dinner.
Issues & Actions
  • Give to Win Campaign
  • Call for Global Auction Items
  • Energetic and in the Provinces? We Want You!
Reviews
  • Elizabeth Warren Watch Party
  • Solidarity Sunday #8
  • Liberal Libations #2
Members’ Corner
  • More Podcast Love 

 

Events


Oct. 25th - Young Dems Pub Night with special guest Heather Brown

Pub Night at Beaver Brewing Company






We're headed back to our favorite spot for our monthly pub nights and are excited to have Young Democrats of America International Affairs Director Heather Brown in town to join us.

Heather previously served as Young Democrats of America chief of staff. In addition, she also worked tirelessly on Hillary's campaign and could provide insight to how a campaign is organized.
Please RSVP as 10 seats have been reserved.

  • P.S. Don't forget to pay your bill before you leave!

WHEN October 25, 2017 at 7pm - 11pm
WHERE Beaver Brewing Company
Liechtensteinstraße 69 Vienna 1090 Austria
Google map and directions

CONTACT Ashley E. Arreola
+436503749481



Nov. 11th - Young Dems Annual Martinigansl Feast

zum-martin-sepp.jpg

Join us for our annual Martinigansl feast in the heart of Grinzing, where you can find Vienna's vineyards and heurigen restaurants.

The restaurant will need the exact count of people attending and ordering goose, so if you are vegetarian, please make sure you write it in the Facebook discussion, so I can inform them in advance. Hope you can join us!

  • Our reservation is for 10, so we'll need to update it if more people would like to come, so please RSVP via Facebook
WHEN November 11, 2017 at 7pm - 10pm

Nov. 23rd - Annual Thanksgiving Dinner at Restaurant Sperl

Thanksgiving_invite_4_web.jpg

This Thanksgiving we invite our Democratic friends and family to our annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

We have made reservations for 60 at Restaurant Sperl in the 4th district (not Café Sperl in the 6th). It's a typical Viennese Gasthaus and we’ll have a large private room all to ourselves. There will be a buffet with a 3-course feast including pumpkin soup, turkey with all the fixings – mashed potatoes, roasted red beets and sweet potatoes, green beans, red cabbage, stuffing – and dessert. If you can, please bring a pumpkin or pecan pie. They are always very appreciated!

WHEN November 23, 2017 at 7pm - 10pm


Save the date for these upcoming events!

Nov. 26th Solidarity Sunday #9
Dec 6 - Young Dems
TBA Voter registration tables
TBA DAATalks speaker series

Issues & Actions

Give to Win Campaign

As of October 9th you can be a part of political change - Play a role in the GIVE to WINcampaign. For 4 weeks Democrats Abroad is asking members like you to GIVE your TIME, GIVE your EFFORT, and GIVE your LOVE on social media.

We will also be asking for donations. But, we want to show you what you GET when you GIVE to WIN!

Your gift to Democrats Abroad can sponsor a specific effort. Here are some examples:

  • If you GIVE a sponsorship for your State’s Voter Data You GET: More Voters
The best way to get and keep Democrats in office is to find voters. We need help reaching Americans abroad from your state. Democrats Abroad can mobilize 200,000 voters, but there are nearly 9 million Americans living outside the US. DA can reach an estimated 500,000 additional voters by gaining access to state voter rolls. This information shows where the states are sending their ballots. It is valuable and available to DA, but it costs. Why not sponsor it?
  • If you GIVE… a sponsorship for Healthcare Stories You GET: Policy Change
The universal healthcare stories we've collected are being turned into books that will be sent to Congress and to other healthcare advocates around the US. They will be tools to create dialogue and show how other countries handle their national healthcare systems. Why not sponsor this effort and be a part of creating policy change?
  • If you GIVE a… sponsorships for an Honorary Membership in Democrats Abroad You GET: To Honor a Leading Democrat and Build Important Relationships
Many Governors and Senators have overseas experience that helps them understand the challenges you face as a US citizens abroad. To celebrate their roles as leaders and honor their experiences, DA is offering members the opportunity to sponsor them as honorary Democrats Abroad. DA will visit with each governor or senator and present them with their honorary membership certificate with your name as sponsor on it. Why not sponsor your Congressperson?

But it is not just about the money-

  • If you GIVE… your TIME You GET: To be Part of Political Change
We need fellow Democrats - like you - to give their time to make this fundraising drive a success. We are still looking for volunteers to use our CALLHUB and contact fellow Democrats from this region.

If you are interested please sign up HERE



Call for Global Auction Items

Are you an opera aficionado? An expert on the architecture, art, culture of your adopted city? Or a foodie who loves to share your knowledge? Do you have a holiday house that’s free or a skill you’d like to share? DA will once again host a Global Auction in order to raise funds for our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) activities in 2018 and we need items to auction!

In the past, DA Austria has put together an Austria Package that has included lodging, tours, hikes and other entertainment. We are looking for a member who might have an apartment, air bnb, or other accommodations they would be willing to donate from a weekend to a week for this year’s DAA Package. Remember, the people who visit are other DA members, so it’s a nice way of getting to know other members from around the globe and the proceeds go towards DA Global and DAA getting out the vote in 2018. This has been a BIG seller in prior auctions and we hope to be able to do it again this year!

Please contact Jennifer at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com If you’d like to add to our package or submit your offer through this form and you will be contacted by the auction's primary organizers. The sooner we can confirm commitments, the better results we'll get!

The auction itself is set to run November 12-22. Mark your calendars!


Energetic and in the Provinces? We Want You!
provinces_recruitment_.jpg

Many of DA Austria’s members live outside of Vienna and would also enjoy getting together and meeting some fellow Dems, throwing a watch party, phone banking together, or joining one of the many GET OUT THE VOTE events that will be taking place over the next year. That’s why we’re looking for people from Burgenland to Vorarlberg who would like to organize an event. It’s easier than you think and we’ll give you any support you may need. Please contact Jennifer at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com if you think you might like to hold a meet-up or event. We’d love to hear from you!



Reviews

Elizabeth Warren Watch Party
warrenwatch.jpg

Fifteen DAA members got together on Sunday, September 17th at the home of DAA Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, to watch Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presentation to Democrats Abroad members around the globe. International Chair Julia Bryan wrote, “The call last Sunday was an energy-filled round of question and answer. She cheered on our universal healthcare campaign and asked us to keep fighting for DACA. She also answered our questions on RBT (residency-based taxation) with clarity and candor. We are continuing to work with her team to help them understand the issues that affect Americans abroad and thank you for your contributions to the call!” Senator Warren answered questions from attending members Antje Lewis and Dr. Joshua Lange.

Before and after members stayed for chips and salsa and political conversation. Thanks to everyone who made it on a very rainy Sunday afternoon and to Global DA for their organisation!



Solidarity Sunday #8
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What do New Hampshire, New York, Florida, and Oklahoma have in common?

That’s what an enthusiastic group of Dems discovered at the Amerlinghaus on September 24th for the eighth Solidarity Sundays Vienna meeting.

The session began with a presentation by SolSun Vienna co-founder, Tanya Lolonis, about the pros and cons of the Medicare-for-All plan proposed by Senator Sanders and recently supported by Senate Democrat co-sponsors and Democrats Abroad.

Afterwards, we turned to a hands on phone banking training session on the calling platform CallHub with a focus on the current 2017 Special Elections. The beauty of the Call Hub system is that you can commit as much or as little time as you’re able and the calls are free for you, the volunteer.

This training session was a lot of fun. We started with some role-playing of the different situations and soon moved on to the real thing with actual calls. Phone banking volunteers reach out to DA members which, as Juan Cerda shared with us, is a lot easier than making Prop 8 calls for marriage equality as he did in California in 2008.

Historically, Democrats do badly in midterm elections because they don’t vote. We’ll be working hard to change this in 2018 and we’re beginning now. You can even donate your time phone banking to the Give to Win Campaign. There are 795 calls to make in Europe.
Interested to find out more? Click here.



Liberal Libations Two
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On a recent Saturday evening, Democrats Abroad Austria members gathered for a wine tasting Fundraiser at the home of Kate McGrath and Vice Chair Keith Jacomine. The evening had a three country, three wine theme with attendees tasting sparkling, white and red wines from Austria, Hungary and Italy.

We were pleased to also have with us that evening former DA The Netherlands Chair and current Democratic National Committee member Martha McDevitt-Pugh. Martha gave a brief talk on how the eight DA DNC members work to ensure that the interest of overseas Americans are heard in Washington, DC.

Approximately €500 was raised which will go towards our Get Out the Vote efforts during the 2018 mid term elections.



Members’ Corner

More Podcast Love
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Podcasts are the Netflix of radio — delivering content on-demand straight into your earbuds or radio speaker. They’re growing in popularity and cover topics from the Arts to Comedy to Science to Sports. As a Democrat living abroad, I use them to join in political discussions back home. Two of my favorites in the Trump era:

Pod Save The People:
The “Crooked Media” empire continues to produce podcasts that race to the top of political podcast charts. On “PStheP”, organizer and Black Lives Matter activist De Ray McKesson leads conversations that dive deep into culture, social justice and politics. Wondering about #TakeAKnee issue? Want to hear how people of color are processing Charlottesville? You’ll learn about it here. DeRay was a teacher before becoming an activist, and it shows in his illuminating questions and manner of listening — and he does it all in the most velvety voice you’ve heard since late-night FM radio. Change starts with knowledge. This podcast delivers.

On The Media:
From the NPR stable, weekly "OTM" is a fascinating podcast that examines media and journalism. Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield explore threats to free speech, government transparency, and shine a light on how the news is delivered — and how this shapes our views. After the Las Vegas shooting they looked at how numbers distort our understanding of tragedies, have asked politicians how the attacks by the President on journalism and facts influence how they deal with the press, and used the mystery of the earthquake victim in Mexico who never existed to explore distrust in media and government. Listen, and learn how to filter and understand the news.

Both are free on the iTunes store, Spotify, and Stitcher.

–Tanya Lolonis


 DA Austria

http://www.democratsabroad.org/

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September Newsletter

Welcome back! We hope you have had a relaxing and rejuvenating summer. We, the executive committee and volunteers, spent ours learning languages in France, Italy, and Nicaragua, travelling Stateside to Illinois and Louisiana, and taking the warm months to enjoy all the beautiful sights that Austria has to offer.

Regardless of where we were, we are rejuvenated and ready to get out the vote in the upcoming elections and we hope you are as well! We reconvened on August 31 for our September monthly meeting and it’s looking like a busy fall season. We hope to see many of you at events over the next few months! Mark your calendars for these upcoming events or keep an eye on our website if the dates and details aren’t yet fixed.

Sept 24 - Solidarity Sunday Vienna #8 - Phonebanking Fun! Making Our Vote Count in Special Elections Now
Oct 1 - Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Oct 7 - Liberal Libations - DAAT Fundraiser
Oct 29 - Solidarity Sunday #9
Nov 23 - Thanksgiving Dinner at Restaurant Sperl
Nov 26 - Solidarity Sunday #10

Dates & Locations TBA:

Poster Hanging Pub Crawl
Young Dems Pub Night October, November, December
Voter registration tables
DAATalks speaker series



In the September Issue:

Events

  • SolSun #8 Phonebanking Fun! Making Our Vote Count in Special Elections
  • Liberal Libations - Democrats Abroad Austria Fundraiser

Issues & Actions

  • Are you a Savvy Vote-From-Abroad Voter?
  • Call for Global Auction Items
  • Every Vote Counts! Phone Banking for 2017 Special Elections
  • Energetic and in the Provinces? We Want You!

Review

  • How Democrats Abroad Spent Our Summer Vacation
  • Resistance Summer Poster Hanging Pub Crawl
  • DA Around the Globe

Members’ Corner

  • Happenings Around Town of Interest

Trouble viewing this in email? View this in a browser.


Events

Solidarity Sunday #8 Phonebanking Fun!

Making our vote count in special elections now! The vote is already on and New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Utah and Alabama have state or federal elections right now or real soon. Get phonebanking with us to help your fellow Democrats Abroad from these states to register, request a ballot, and VOTE. Let's flip these elections together!

Phone, phone blue! :-)

RSVP via Facebook here

WHEN: September 24, 2017 at 4pm - 7pm
WHERE: Amerlinghaus
Stiftgasse 8
Vienna 1070
Google map and directions
CONTACT: Antje Lewis · solsun@gmx.at


Liberal Libations #2
Liberal Libations

We'll be tasting a variety of white, red and sparkling wines from Italy, Slovenia and Austria accompanied by a tasty spread of cheeses and charcuterie.

Also joining us for the evening will be Martha McDevitt-Pugh an elected member of the US Democratic National Committee and Chair of the Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus. Martha lives in The Netherlands and has led a variety of innovative initiatives, including a successful effort to change US immigration law to include LGBT partners.

She chairs the board of Gala, the award-winning ING Bank network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employees and serves on ING’s Diversity and Inclusion Experts Network.

WHEN: October 07, 2017 at 6pm - 10pm
WHERE: Keith & Kate's Place
Mariahilferstrasse 7/2
Vienna 1060
CONTACT: Keith Jacomine
TICKETS: €30.00


Issues & Actions


Score Vote-From-Abroad Savvy with the Solidarity Sundays Vienna

Unsuppress your vote - from abroad - with our quick QUIZ! Just 13 questions will teach you all you need to know as an overseas voter. Take the Quiz and then either send your results to demsabroadaustria@gmail.com or share the link on our Facebook page with your score and tag it #DAresists! We’ll tally up the results for next month’s newsletter. Brought to you by Democrats Abroad Austria and #solsunvienna


Ready, Set, Go!

Midterm elections season is just around the corner and Democrats Abroad is gearing up to get Democrats elected up and down the ticket. Getting out the vote requires both money and volunteers, and DA’s GOTV Team is working on both. Please help out with the following two actions.


Going, Going, gone! Call for Global Auction Items

Are you an opera aficionado? An expert on the architecture, art, culture of your adopted city? Or a foodie who loves to share your knowledge? Do you have a holiday house that’s free or a skill you’d like to share? DA will once again host a Global Auction in order to raise funds for our Get Out the Vote (GOTV) activities in 2018 and we need items to auction!

When you're thinking of potential items, please keep in mind that physical items will likely have to be shipped somewhere across the globe, but DA members love to travel and vacation homes, tickets, tours, and experiences in your area are popular auction items.

The auction has been very well received by our members and the results have been a resounding success with nearly $50,000 raised in 2015. In the past DA Austria has put together a very popular and high bidding "Austria Tour Package" including accommodations and activities. In order to offer this package again this year we are looking for an accommodation to add. If you have an airbnb or free apartment during the year that you would generously be willing to offer, please contact us at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com. This is a lovely way to meet other DA members from across the globe!

If you have other items to offer outside the scope of our DAA package, please submit your offer through this form and you will be contacted by the auction's primary organizers. The sooner we can confirm commitments, the better results we'll get!

The auction itself is set to run November 12-22. Mark your calendars!


Every Vote Counts! Phonebanking for the 2017 Special Elections

The Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Team is kicking off phonebanking campaigns to support Democrats running in upcoming New Jersey and Virginia State Elections and Florida’s Special Election for State Senate District 40 by reminding overseas voters to request their ballots and vote.

Phonebanking is easy and people are grateful to get a reminder. Sign-up in the link to help the team and if you’re in Vienna join DA Austria on Sunday, September24th for a phonebanking get-together and training. http://www.democratsabroad.org/gotv_phonebanking


Energetic and in the Provinces? We Want You!

Solidarity Sundays Resistance Summer

Many of DA Austria’s members live outside of Vienna and would also enjoy getting together and meeting some fellow Dems, throwing a watch party, phone banking together, or joining one of the many GOTV events that will be taking place over the next year. That’s why we’re looking for people from Burgenland to Vorarlberg who would like to organize an event. It’s easier than you think and we’ll give you any support you may need. Please contact Jennifer at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com if you think you might like to hold a meet-up or event. We’d love to hear from you!


Reviews

How Democrats Abroad Spent Our Summer Vacation

Democrats in Austria and around the globe were busy activating members and letting our voices be heard back in DC. Read here about global Resistance Summer activities.


Poster Hanging Pub Crawl
Poster Hanging Pub Crawl

The first Resistance Summer Poster Hanging event on August 11th went well: we visited several locations and spread the message of Democrats Abroad, all while enjoying good company! Nevertheless, there are still plenty of places to visit and posters to be hung. We welcome volunteers to add locations to the list (like favorite bars in your neighborhood) and also to hang posters yourself! If you would like to help hang the posters please contact david.heckenberg@gmail.com and we’ll arrange for you to get some posters.

A second pub crawl event will soon be added to the website. We hope you will be able to join us in the fun!

Click on the link for the list of bars to hang posters. It’s waiting for you to add your name to it!

About the Google Doc: Please edit the document if necessary. If you have called a new location and they have approved of hanging posters (mention that it’s for Democrats Abroad, as some locations may not want political affiliation), add the name of the location to the “PLACES CONFIRMED” section. If there are any specifics you would like to mention put them in the “WITH DOUBTS” section and even if places decline add them to the “PLACES DECLINED“ section to let everybody know that there’s no need to contact them again. After having hung the posters please add the location to the “PLACES VISITED” section.


Members’ Corner

Happenings OF INTEREST Around Town

Panel Discussion:
DA Austria Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper has been invited by the Wiener Bildungsakadamie to join a panel discussion entitled, Fröhlich, bunt und stark gegen Trump. The discussion will focus on ‘the resistance that has developed because of the politics of Trump’s sexist, misogynist, and neglect of human rights policies’ and how his ‘declarations and deeds have strengthened the feminist and civil rights movements and have made the resistance more colourful, joyful and stronger.’ October 2 at 6:00 pm at ega:frauen im Zentrum, Windmühlgasse 26, 1060 Vienna


History buffs and others who would like to learn more about Austria might be interested in the following events taking place in September:

The Vienna Museum and the IWM in cooperation with Time to Talk is sponsoring the “Vienna Humanities Festival” from September 22 to 24 around Karlsplatz - the theme is Revolution. Admission is free.

Professor Marjorie Perloff, Professor Emerita of English at Stanford University and at the University of Southern California, will present and discuss her new book, Edge of Irony, Modernism in the Shadow of the Habsburg Empire Karl Kraus, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Joseph Roth, Robert Musil, Elias Canetti, Paul Celan at Grillparzerhaus (Literaturmuseum), Johannesgasse 6, 1010 Vienna,on Tuesday, September 26 at 7pm. The evening is hosted by the Wittgenstein Initiative and is free

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DA Austria Intro

Welcome to Democrats Abroad Austria!

DAAT is the official arm of the Democratic Party for U.S. citizens living in Austria and part of a global network that assists Americans living abroad to register and vote. We are an entirely voluntary organization and welcome your expertise and participation!

Through a range of activities and events throughout the year, we work hard to represent and connect our diverse and active membership. Our participation in the Women’s and Science Marches and, in particular, our monthly grassroots Solidarity Sundays meet-ups have helped us build and expand a welcoming community of compatriots. The DAATalks guest speaker series aims to provide a tri-annual platform for interesting discussions on topical events. DAAT recently hosted Melissa Fleming, UNHCR Communications Director and author of the best-selling book, A Hope more Powerful than the Sea and NYTimes best-selling author, Timothy Snyder, who spoke to us about his most recent book, On Tyranny. Finally, social events, such as our monthly Young Dems Pub Nights, annual Thanksgiving Dinner, Fourth of July party, participation in Pride Parade, and FUNdraising concerts and events guarantee that we also have a good dose of fun. 

Democrats Abroad supports all Americans abroad in registering to vote and casting their ballots from overseas. These get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts are at the heart of our political activity, and we rely on volunteers to ensure our members and friends are enfranchised every election, every year. Our absentee votes have been decisive in numerous elections across the U.S.! Together with other DA country committees from around the globe, we're making the specific issues, which are faced by overseas Americans, known on Capitol Hill. 

If you're not yet a member, you can join in just two minutes - under the Join tab above. You’ll receive our monthly newsletter with current issues and actions, events, and reviews. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

We look forward to meeting you at a DAAT event soon!



Pictures from the Melissa Fleming DAA Talks

Here are more pictures from the Melissa Fleming event. Many thanks to Melissa, Pari, Abdiwahab, and Sibylle for making this DAA Talks happen!


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RESISTANCE SUMMER SELFIE CHALLENGE

Here is the printer friendly version of the Resistance Summer logoPrint it out and take a selfie at an event, with a neighbor, or at a spot you feel represents your America. 

Tim Snyder spoke to DA Austria on July 5th and his 20 Lessons from the 20th Century  strengthened our resolve to engage in the Resistance Summer.

Get creative! Send your pictures to demsabroadaustria@gmail.com or post it on our FB page by September 4th!

Timothy Snyder (middle) and DA Austria ExComm members taking the Resistance Summer Selfie challenge!

 

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Democrats Abroad Austria July Newsletter

  • EVENTS
  1. YOUNG DEMS PUB NIGHT: ALTE DONAU EDITION
  2. POSTER HANGING
  • ACTIONS AND ISSUES
  1. SOLSUN IS ON SUMMER BREAK - OUR PLANNED ACTIONS ARE GOING ONLINE!
  2. SUMMER OF ACTIVISM: JOIN RESISTANCE SUMMER
  3. RESISTANCE SUMMER SELFIE CHALLENGE
  4. POSTER HANGING MEET-UP
  • REVIEWS
  1. DAA TALKS: MELISSA FLEMING
  2. CLIMATE CHANGE AND TRUMP
  3. DANCING IN THE STREET
  • HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN
  1. FOURTH OF JULY PARTY
  • MEMBERS CORNER
  1. WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU LISTEN TO!
  2. ‘VIELMEHR FÜR ALLE’

  • EVENTS
1. YOUNG DEMS PUB NIGHT: ALTE DONAU EDITION

Alte Donau Pub Night Patio

Summer is here and hot days are ahead, so we are planning our July Pub Night with a cool summer breeze on the Alte Donau We still have some Resistance Summer postcards to send out, so we will have those available for you as well. Please RSVP by either Facebook or via the website. We will have to change the reservation if we are more than 10 people.

Where: Restaurant Zur Alten Kaisermühle

U1 Alte Donau, Fischerstrand 21a

1220 Wien –Franz Josefs Land

When: July 20th, 2017 7 pm - 10 pm.

Contact: Ashley Arreola

+436503749481

ashley_arreola@yahoo.com

RSVP via Facebook

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2. POSTER HANGING

 

Currently we are working on improving our outreach in Austria. Thanks to a Resistance Summer grant The DAA Youth Caucus will be hanging up posters promoting upcoming events and becoming a member. The idea is to hang posters within the first nine districts of Vienna at pubs and bars, and places of interest to the international community. We 'll see how far we get! Join us in this supportive and help hang posters, perhaps in combination with a pub crawl and other fun activities, please contact david.heckenberg@gmail.com, if you have any other ideas or suggestions for the Youth Caucus, fire away and send an Email to the address provided above!

Bring your friends! The more the merrier!

Where: The Golden Harp

Erdbergstraße 27

When: August 11th, 2017 6 pm - 12 am

Contact: David Heckenberg

+43664 3782040

david.heckenberg@gmail.com

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  • ISSUES
1. SOLSUN IS ON SUMMER BREAK - OUR PLANNED ACTIONS ARE GOING ONLINE!

By Antje Lewis, Grassroots Caucus

Solidarity Sundays Vienna participants are spread across the globe this summer, so we’re taking our planned actions online where everyone can reach us.

Keep a lookout here to take part and be sure to keep up with DA’s Resistance Summer! (see below)

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2. SUMMER OF ACTIVISM: JOIN RESISTANCE SUMMER

by Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

Since the 2016 election, people are not - as Timothy Snyder would say - simply being bystanders. Instead, they have been marching, writing letters, calling their Members of Congress, and holding Town Halls. Small groups and a few noteworthy individuals have set a ball in motion that has managed to be heard and to make a difference in the halls of Congress. The DNC is using this momentum to contact voters in 50 states and around the world. “The mission of Resistance Summer is to educate, organize, and mobilize grassroots energy.“To further the grassroots efforts, Democrats Abroad has given grants to country committees like DA Austria to enable us to print postcards and posters. Please read below about Bruce Murray’s Resistance Summer Selfie Challenge and David Heckenberg’s Poster Outreach Party. Text RESIST to 43367 to stay up-to-date on all the major items of Resistance Summer.

Excitingly, the DNC has now approved Democrats Abroad’s grant proposal for online trainings over the next two months. There will be trainings for Executive Committee members as well as Membership trainings, which will include online seminars on phone banking and canvassing. They will also focus on DA issues such as Residency Based Taxation, the healthcare bill, its potential consequences abroad, and more. These trainings will provide useful skills for reaching out to voters in 2018, so I hope many members will take advantage of this opportunity!

Please contact me at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com if you would like to participate in an online training session and I’ll forward you the specifics as soon as they’re available. Country committees whose members participate also receive funding for banners etc. Join Resistance Summer - it’s a win for everyone!

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3. RESISTANCE SUMMER SELFIE CHALLENGE

by Bruce Murray, Counsel

Tim Snyder's 20 Lessons from the 20th Century can only strengthen our resolve to engage in the Resistance Summer. Become involved! Make a Difference! Your Voice Counts!

Democrats Abroad Austria encourages you to send us a creative Resistance Summer Selfie when you participate in (or host) an event. We look forward to your submissions on or before Labor Day, September 4th. We would like to post them on our Facebook page. The greatest prize we can offer is the future of our democracy. We also are tinkering with plans for more mundane prizes for the best submissions!

So –

  1. Look up a Resistance Summer event near you and attend.

  2. No event in your area? Then invite some neighbours and friends over and host one!

  3. Print out the logo (printer friendly version) and take a selfie at an event, with a neighbor, or at a spot you feel represents your America. Get creative!

  4. Remember to send it to demsabroadaustria@gmail.com

or post it on our FB page by September 4th!

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4. POSTER HANGING MEET-UP

by David Heckenberg, Youth Caucus

We are currently working on improving our outreach in Austria. Thanks to a Resistance Summer grant, the DAA Youth Caucus will be hanging up posters promoting upcoming events and new DAA membership. We will be hanging posters within the first nine districts of Vienna at pubs, bars, and places of interest to the international community. It should take no more than a few days to get it done. The posters will be designed and printed in July so that in August we can put them up. Please join us in this effort - we can combine it with a pub crawl and other fun activities! If interested, please contact david.heckenberg@gmail.com. Should you have any other ideas or suggestions for the Youth Caucus, fire away and send an email to the address provided above!

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  • REVIEW
1. DAA TALKS: MELISSA FLEMING

Democrats Abroad Austria was pleased to launch its new DAA Talks series with Melissa Fleming on June 8th. It was attended by about 70 members, friends, and a group of exchange students from the University of Illinois who heard the heart-wrenching story of a young Syrian woman’s journey to Europe. The audience also gained insight into the numerous challenges that refugees face and information about the UNHCR, who work to assist them. It was a fascinating account, which closed with a lively discussion.

Before the talk began, we had the chance to mingle while enjoying delicious bureks provided by a Syrian friend. We heard from Susanne Summer, who generously provided us the use of the rooms, about the history of the left wing Republikanischer Club. Afterwards, two representatives from “Vielmehr Für Alle” spoke to us about the work they are doing to help refugees build a new life in Vienna (see the article below in Member’s Corner).

The event was streamed live and recorded.

You can watch it here .

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2. CLIMATE CHANGE AND TRUMP
–A BAD DEAL FOR THE CLIMATE AND FOR A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE

by Faith Hall Herbold and Andreas Beckmann

Members of Democrats Abroad Austria as well as political and environmental science students gathered once again at the Amerlinghaus on a rainy, sweltering day to discuss climate change and the impact and implications of the United States withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord for the 5th Solidarity Sunday called “Environment without Protection? No.”

Faith Hall Herbold began with a presentation discussing the basics of climate change with the aim of providing the audience with talking points based on scientific data in order to successfully debate the topic in social settings. Climate change is real and is already occurring. 2017 is the second hottest year on record and the earth is in flux with dramatic shifts in weather patterns, ocean warming resulting in acidification, and loss of coastline and habitats -- just to name a few. With the progression of climate change from a warning to an actual reality, we are left with few choices but to adapt to climate change and mitigate the effects. Although individual choices contribute to the rise of greenhouse gas production, a major contributor is industrial pollution. Government at the local, state and federal levels has an important role to play in driving forward the shift to a clean energy future.

Faith passed the rhetorical baton to Andreas Beckmann, who talked about the implications of the U.S. leaving the Paris Climate Accord. The Paris agreement, which was signed in 2015 by 195 countries (the two exceptions are Syria –mired in a nasty civil war –and Nicaragua, for whom the agreement was not ambitious enough!), was seen as the best hope for keeping overall increase in temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic impacts. It is important to note that the Paris Agreement is voluntary, depending on peer pressure not only to deliver on but also ratchet up future commitments to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases. By withdrawing from the agreement, Trump essentially has kicked the international community in the teeth –and has very much isolated the U.S. on the world stage.

The U.S.’s exit deals a serious but not necessarily mortal blow to the global efforts to address climate change –indeed, China, India, Europe and Russia have responded to Trump’s announcement with redoubled commitment to the accord. The U.S. accounts for 20% of the commitments to decrease greenhouse gases under the Paris Accord and much of this will be achieved regardless of the actions of the Trump Administration, thanks to economics, with cleaner gas and renewables putting dirty coal power out of business. Indeed, while the U.S. President has explained the withdrawal in terms of financial costs, the bigger risk over the longer-term is that the U.S. is left behind as China, India, Europe, and other parts of the world press forward to a clean energy economy. Fortunately, in the absence of leadership from the White House, a dozen states including California and New York, 333 cities, hundreds of corporations (Walmart and Facebook among others), and many universities have taken the lead and pledged their support for the Paris Accord, and they are doing their part to promote the shift to a clean energy economy.

We ended the session by taking action. Democrats Abroad Organizer Antje Lewis presented instructions on how to successfully use phone banking to contact our state and federal representatives on various issues, and we then wrote cards to our governors, mayors and university presidents urging them to show the leadership that is missing in Washington to deliver the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement.

You can check www.wearestillin.com to see if your governor, mayor, CEO, or university president has already signed up for the future. For all our sakes: thank them if they have and pressure them if they haven’t!

For more information see:

· Climate change and The historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2017.

· US states, cities, corporations, universities and colleges committed to the Paris Accord and promoting the shift to a clean energy future.

· Phone banking!

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3. DANCING IN THE STREET

 

by Keith Jacomine, Vice-Chair

On Saturday, June 17th, approximately fifty Democrats Abroad Austria members took to the Ringstrasse to march in the Regenbogenparade. This year our contingent had a decisively carnival feeling as our organizer, Juan David, encouraged everyone to don costumes, glitter and glitz with the theme, "It's Just Absolutely Fabulous!"

This year marked the fifth consecutive time that DAA has participated in this important event.

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  • HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN

 

by Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

We all know that there are many advantages to living in a city as beautiful and with such a high quality of life as Vienna, but an often underappreciated advantage is the number of fascinating people who are invited by the US Embassy or academic foundations to hold public talks.

Two such events took place in late June and both, unsurprisingly, touched on the realities and ramifications of fake news and the state of our current body politic. On Thursday June 20th, David Mikkelson, the founder and CEO of snopes.com, spoke at the Amerika Haus about whether the causes of the current distrust in the media are a product of fake news or simply bad journalism and whether this is actually a greater problem now than it had been in the past. Mikkelson explained the spectrum of journalistic behavior and the monetization of news that has caused the current phenomenon. snopes.com doesn’t have a single focus as do other political fact check sites such as the Pulitzer Prize-winning Politifact.com, but instead it investigates claims according to how they are trending, email requests etc.

On Tuesday June 22 nd , Timothy Snyder, a Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, an IWM Permanent Fellow, and, most recently, a New York Times best selling author, was invited by the IWM Institut f ür die Wissenschaften von Menschen (Institute for Human Sciences) to present his most recent book. Breaking conventional borders and reflecting the urgency of his appeal, his 20 Lessons on Tyranny were first published on Facebook and then transformed into posters by students from Kingston University and pasted along a street in East London. The book is “an attempt to distil what I have learned about the 20th century into a guide for action today.”His presentation and discussion with journalist Martin Pollack revealed the importance of the many activist actions that are currently taking place in the U.S. and globally –including our very own Solidarity Sundays Vienna group –from a historical perspective. On Tyranny is billed as “a practical guide to resisting the rise of totalitarianism”and his overarching theme, “Don’t be a Bystander,“struck a chord with an enthusiastic audience.

Although different in context, both talks addressed the polarization of our news sources and our society. Where Mikkelson said, “polarization is the disease,”Snyder posited that the result of polarization was inaction on both ends. To paraphrase –if all is going right, you feel it doesn’t matter to change something. And if all is going wrong, then it also doesn’t matter what you do to change something. Trying to find a place between is where you have responsibility.

As a last note, David Mikkelson accepted our invitation and joined about 20 DAA members on Friday, June 23rd for dinner. Professor Snyder met with about 30 members and friends in Halle Cafe in the Museumsquartier to discuss and sign copies of his book on July 5th. A full review will be in the September newsletter!

If you are interested in getting on the email list for such events, please send your request to the U.S. Embassy for Amerika Haus events at ViennaUSEmbassy@state.gov and the IWM at iwm@iwm.at .

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1. FOURTH OF JULY PARTY

by Marcy Fowler, Treasurer

Democrats Abroad Austria joined up with Americans in International Organizations in Vienna (AIOV) again to celebrate Independence Day in as authentic a way as possible: a big outdoor party complete with food, bands, sports and of course as many American flag themed items as you can imagine. The weather held up well and the large crowd of Americans and friends made for a truly festive event.

DAA yet again sponsored the annual softball game, which was great entertainment for all. Captained by DAA's own Jeffrey Velasquez, the "Stars" team defeated the "Stripes" 2-1 on a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 6th inning. With most of the game highlights coming in the form of fancy glove work in the field, who says Democrats are weak on defense?

As befits any 4th of July party, there was more food than anyone could possibly eat. Hamburgers, hot dogs and fries from Der Garten in the Prater park along with tables full of pot-luck desserts and snacks brought by attendees. Just the Troubles got the crowd singing and dancing, and made sure everyone went home not just full but also with a smile on their face.

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  • MEMBERS CORNER
1. WE WANT TO HEAR WHAT YOU LISTEN TO!

Do you have a favorite podcast? Share it with your fellow members in an upcoming newsletter. Send your submissions to demsabroadaustria@gmail.com

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2. VIEL MEHR FÜR ALLE

By Parissima Taheri

Remember me, Parissima, and my colleague Abdiwahab? On June 8th at the Melissa Fleming talk, we told you about our work for the organization “Vielmehr Für Alle,”which supports young refugees here in Vienna in many aspects of their lives that are critical to a healthy participation in society: education, housing, introduction into the working world and healthcare and a strengthened local social circle. Get involved! No need to speak German, no need to have regular time to dedicate. All we need is YOU – your talents, skills, contacts, ideas, spaces, collaborations – we are open to everyone. I look forward to hearing from you and I’m sure we can inspire each other.

Please contact: parissima.taheri@vielmehr.at

Further info. at www.vielmehr.at

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