News

Julia Bryan in the Alabama Vote

Glorious news from Alabama today! To follow up on this remarkable win, we are going to be sending out an email tomorrow morning to all members. In the email we will encourage everyone to call their senators and demand that they wait till newly elected senator Doug Jones is seated to vote on the tax bill. Due to Alabama's rules, that will not happen until Congress is in session next year. This action is inline with Chuck Schumer's call for Mitch McConnell to "hit pause on the tax bill and not hold a final vote till Jones is sworn into the Senate." We will provide scripts and calling information, as usual.

Please let me know if you will be able to encourage your members to participate in this action as well.

All the best,

Julia

Julia Bryan

International Chair, Democrats Abroad

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DA's current version of the Code of Conduct and Ethics

As a follow up to the DPCA Executive Committee's Statement on Sexual Harassment, please click the following link to view DA's current version of the Code of Conduct and Ethics. Please note that the Code of Conduct applies equally to all elected and appointed officers and representatives of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad and its recognized member country committees.

Best regards,

Tom Schmid

International Counsel

Democratic Party Committee Abroad

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DA's current version of the Code of Conduct and Ethics

As a follow up to the DPCA Executive Committee's Statement on Sexual Harassment, please click the following link to view DA's current version of the Code of Conduct and Ethics. Please note that the Code of Conduct applies equally to all elected and appointed officers and representatives of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad and its recognized member country committees.

Best regards,

Tom Schmid

International Counsel

Democratic Party Committee Abroad

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DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE

Dear Leaders,


If you’ve suffered whiplash watching the GOP tax plan speed through both Houses of Congress then you’re not alone. No one could have imagined Congressional Republicans would succeed in so rapidly progressing a thoroughly debunked “middle-class tax plan.” Adding insult to injury, it seems hardly anyone – including the US Treasury – actually understand what’s in it.


If you, like the members of the US Senate, have not read the Senate bill that will form the basis of what will likely go to a final vote in both houses of Congress before Christmas, then here is a breakdown of what is in it.


Clearly the determination of Republicans to pass SOME tax legislation, ANY TAX LEGISLATION at all, no matter how poorly it serves the nation, has overwhelmed their long-standing aim of bringing down the deficit.[i] The plan passed by the Senate in the wee hours of Saturday morning blows out the deficit by $1 trillion.[ii]
Nor do Republicans seem concerned that their plan does not achieve their stated goals, such as stimulating the economy.[iii]
Or closing business tax loopholes.[iv]
Or cutting taxes for the middle class.[v]
Or bringing jobs back from overseas.[vi]
Or encouraging companies to hire more workers and pay them better.[vii]
Or eliminating the carried interest loophole that gives such outrageous advantage to hedge fund managers.[viii]


So what’s next? Tomorrow (Monday, Dec 4) the Congress will convene a Conference Committee to reconcile the differences between the bill passed by the Senate yesterday with the bill passed by the House of Representatives the week before Thanksgiving. The momentum is pretty powerful but there may yet be holdouts and dissenters.


The Taxation Task Force watched every hour of debate heard by the Senate Finance Committee and then on the floor of the US Senate chamber this last week. Reports and rumors from the press and the Hill had us on watch for floor amendments related to residence-based taxation, the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and FATCA. In the end there was silence on these matters.


We have drafted floor speeches for friends of Democrats Abroad in both houses of Congress and hope to hear our concerns voiced in those chambers and appearing in the Congressional record before this is over.



We're already hearing that the Congress will follow up with a further tax bill early next year so there's more work to be done. 

In line with the statement released by Democrats Abroad on Saturday, the Taxation Task Force recommends you continue to encourage your members to call or message Congress to tell them to vote NO to this Trickle Down tax scam that rewards Republican donors at the expense of hard-working Americans. The campaign we ran for the last two weeks yielded over 1,100 messages to the US Senate, which is not nothing. Ten times that would have been preferable but it’s been a record-breaking year for outrage and our Resistance activists are clearly exhausted. We are grateful for their engagement.


Thanks to all leaders who have supported this important work. Please contact us at any time with questions 

TaxationTF@democratsabroad.org.

Democratically yours,


DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE
Julia Bryan - ex officio (Czech Republic)
DeeDee Gierow (Sweden)
Carmelan Polce - chair (New York and Australia)
Michael Ramos (Australia)
Joseph Smallhoover (France)
Orlando Vidal (UAE)
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DAGT Policy Retreat: Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fellow Democrat,

Your Democrats Abroad Guatemala country committee is planning to convene a policy retreat on Saturday, January 20, 2018. We have an indoor venue identified that will hold up to 50 people comfortably and will provide lunch, but we need to book no later than December 8th. So we are asking for your vote of support now for this important event. The event would run from 9:00am to 4:00pm and would cost Q85 per person or Q75 if you prefer not to have lunch with the group.

We are almost one year into the Trump presidency, and many Democrats still feel the need to voice their concerns and to share their thoughts and views on policy issues being affected and changed by the Trump administration. The latest example is Friday’sSenate vote to approve “the largest tax cut in history” as Trump likes to call it, but is more accurately captured by Bernie Sanders as one of the “great robberies in U.S. history.” This policy retreat is your opportunity to be heard.

The following issues have been identified for the day’s agenda: Achieving Universal Health Care; The Democratic Party – Winning Elections in 2018 and Beyond; Immigration Reform; Russia and US Elections; Key 2018 House and Senate Races; Women’s Issues; Tax Cuts and the US Economy.

A presenter will introduce each topic using slides or a short detailed talk of five to 10 minutes, followed by open discussion for 45 minutes to an hour, closing with a summary statement that best captures the sentiment of the open discussion. Closing statements on each topic will be used in messaging to Get Out The Vote for the 2018 midterm elections.

Your input is important, so please consider participating in this important one-time event. Respond right away, no later than December 7, to Kee Kalwara, at keekalwara@gmail.com that you will attend. And direct any questions to Kee as well. Please do not click "reply," but use this email address keekalwara@gmail.com

Thank you.

The Executive Committee

Democrats Abroad Guatemala

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November 29, 2017: ExCom Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Dave’s & Kee’s house/Via Skype

Attendance: In person: John Chudy, Chair; Tom Totino, Treasurer; Kee Kalwara, Events/Membership/Fundraising Coordinator; Lyn Totino, Secretary; Elisabeth Shackelford, Volunteer Coordinator, via Skype: Mary Reynolds, Media Contact; Traci Styner, Lake Atitlan Meetup Group Chair.

Call to Order - 5:38 pm

The agenda and minutes of the previous EXCOM minutes were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report:

Our Net Worth stands at Q725.40 of which Q310 is a credit at the Revue. While this is just a small increase over last month we paid for 12 hats which can be sold or given as a token of our appreciation for donations. So far this year, we generated revenue of Q3,189 from showing eight movies. In addition to donations from the seven attendees at November’s movie, Letty Manne gave a Q100 donation. After paying for space rental and the popcorn lady we’ve netted Q2,278 well on our way to covering the Q3,800 cost of the projector. The report was accepted unanimously.

Events for 2017:

Film Series:

Megan Leavey, a true story about a young marine and her bond with her military combat dog, was shown at CCC on November 17. Although the film was interesting, only 7 members attended, five of which are board members. We netted Q155. We discussed low turnout which could be because films are shown Fridays. We discussed changing the day or the venue. It was decided that CCC is pretty much a perfect place to show films. Since Friday is the only day available at CCC we will continue to show the films same place, same time. We can hope more people show up.

Christmas Vacation is still scheduled to be shown at CCC on December 15 at 6:30 pm. Kee will send an email requesting an RSVP from members who plan to attend. We could cancel the movie if interest is scarce.

Fund Raisers:

On January 2 DAGT will begin our Anti Inaugural Anniversary fundraising drive. Members can visit our website to donate and pay through PayPal or Stripe.com. The prize for a donation of $25 or more is either a Women’s Caucus 2018 calendar (which are made available as a donation by John Chudy) or a cap embroidered with Lo Siento por el Imbécil. The donation drive will last until February 20.

Most members in attendance liked the caps so much that we decided we could begin selling them right away. Elisabeth will be testing the market in Antigua to see how they sell. A photo will be posted on Facebook to see if that generates any interest. We will probably need to have more caps embroidered, this time minus the quote marks. We will be selling the caps for Q80.

One 25-pack of Women’s Caucus calendars have been ordered and will be here by the end of the year. The Excom expressed appreciation to Rachael for the idea and for arranging the embroidering. If there is enthusiasm Rachel will arrange to have more hats embroidered. The calendars and the caps will be sold at all of our events.

Other Items:

DAGT Policy Retreat:

Although the venue has not yet been decided, our retreat will take place on January 20 in Antigua. Thus far the issues to be discussed are: Achieving Universal Health Care, The Democratic Party Identity,and Policies, (John Chudy will present these.) Immigration, Russia, and US Elections, Key 2018 House and Senate Races. We still need volunteers to select and present one of the remaining topics or another of interest. John sent out a separate email providing more details and volunteered to lead the discussion on Universal Health Care. Kee will contact Sue Patterson and request that she lead a discussion on Women’s Issues.

Americas Regional Meeting:

The meeting will take place in Costa Rica on January 26-28.

Database Cleanup and Voter Registration:

Members will be working on this in January. At this point only those members who have not logged on to the DA web page since 2014 will have to be called.

The next meeting: Dave’s and Kee’s house at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, January 10. This meeting is open to all members.

Travel Notes:

Lyn and Tom will be gone from December 16 to January 6. John will be gone from December 6 to 30. Dave will be gone from November 22 to December 24. Letty will be gone from November 28 to December 14. Annie will be gone from December 20 to January 7. Mary will be gone from December 14 to January 6.

Adjourned: 7:08 pm. 

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2017 DA Global Auction is NOW LIVE

The 2017 DA Global Auction is NOW LIVE via: biddingforgood.com/demsabroad/demsabroad17

   Please check out all the great deals including places to stay, services, and gifts before next Sunday (Dec 3) at 5pm EST.

Thank you to all who have donated items and made the Auction possible! You don’t want to miss this!

If you have any questions, contact auction@democratsabroad.org

Best regards, Larry Pihl (English : "peel" )

DA Mexico, Chair email: Info-Mexico@DemocratsAbroad.org


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Happy Thanksgiving 2017

On this first Thanksgiving of the Trump era, let us pause and bask in the graciousness of second chances, and above all be thankful for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections which will present us the opportunity to put the brakes on some of Trump’s deconstruction of the administrative state. If the importance of the 2018 election opportunity needs to be underscored, I urge you to read the following commentary from today’s Washington Post, and below it, an email post from our colleague, Maureen Harwood, Democrats Abroad Canada, that includes two remarkable articles that juxtapose what we are facing. The Trump tax reform will do more than just ensure that the wealthy have lots to give their children. It will leave millions without health care, and will set the USA on backward path toward something more akin to a pre-Lincoln nineteenth century.

Dear Friends,

In case anyone needs more incentive to voice concerns to their US Senator - also included in this appalling tax bill are proposals aimed directly at US universities. Key Republican provisions would eliminate or reduce deductions on student loan repayments (including death or disability), tax tuition waivers for graduate students, and endowments for private universities. Note that vital and ground-breaking research comes from our universities' science labs, thanks to graduate students working for minimum wage. While the Senate is reportedly hedging on some of these provisions (let us hope) the overall thrust amounts to a full-fledged attack on US higher education.

There has been some coverage of this recently in the NYTimes and Washington Post. Two articles are linked below:

NYT
Washington Post

Maureen Harwood

DA Canada

DA Guatemala 

http://www.democratsabroad.org/

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U.S. Embassy Guatemala City: Visit of the U.S. Social Security Administration

U.S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala

Message for U.S. Citizens

Visit of the U.S. Social Security Administration

December 11 and 12, 2017

Representatives from the U.S. Social Security Administration will visit Guatemala to provide social security services on December 11 and 12, 2017.

Beneficiaries are reminded that they must complete their annual or bi-annual report to the Social Security Administration and may drop off reports during the visit.

Services Location:

Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo – INGUAT - 7a. Avenida 1-17, Zona 4, 8o. Nivel, Guatemala City

Date/Time:

December 11th and 12th 2017 - from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

No appointment is necessary.

For further information on traveling or residing in Guatemala:

See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. http://travel.state.gov/

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html#WHemisphere

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/guatemala.html

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. https://step.state.gov/step/

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

http://twitter.com/travelgov

http://www.facebook.com/travelgov

Our website also contains a wealth of information about the services we provide and information about local resources for American citizens. https://gt.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/

https://gt.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/

If our website does not contain the information you need, questions about routine matters can be sent by email to AmcitsGuatemala@state.gov. We will make every effort to respond to inquiries within 48 hours.

To schedule an appointment for services, please click here. https://evisaforms.state.gov/acs/

For emergency services, contact the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, located at Avenida Reforma 7-01, Zona 10, Guatemala Ciudad, Guatemala, at +502-2326-4000, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +502-2331-2354.

Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Embajada de Estados Unidos en la Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala

Mensaje para ciudadanos estadounidenses

Visita de representantes de la oficina de Administración del Seguro Social

11 y 12 de diciembre, 2017

Representantes de la Oficina de Administración del Seguro Social de Estados Unidos visitarán Guatemala para proporcionar servicios de seguro social, el 11 y 12 de diciembre del 2017.

Se recuerda a los beneficiarios que deben completar y enviar su reporte anual o semestral (supervivencia) a la oficina de Administración del Seguro Social, o pueden entregarlo durante esta visita.

Lugar en donde se prestarán los servicios:

Edificio del Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo – INGUAT - 7a. Avenida 1-17, Zona 4, 8o. Nivel, Ciudad de Guatemala.

Fecha/Hora:

11 y 12 de diciembre 2017 de 8:00 a.m. a 5:00 p.m.

No es necesario solicitar cita.

Para mayor información sobre viajes o residencia en Guatemala:

Visite la Página de Internet del Departamento de Estado para Precauciones a Nivel Mundial, Advertencias de Viaje, Alertas de Viaje y la información específica para Guatemala. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html

Regístrese a través del Programa STEP https://step.state.gov/step/ (Por sus siglas en inglés, Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) para recibir mensajes de seguridad y así poder localizarle con facilidad en una emergencia.

Síganos en Twitter y Facebook

https://twitter.com/travelgov

https://www.facebook.com/travelgo

Nuestra página de internet también contiene abundante información sobre los servicios que proporcionamos y sobre los recursos locales disponibles para ciudadanos estadounidenses. https://gt.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/

https://gt.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/

Si nuestro website no continene la información que usted necesita, puede enviar por correo electrónico consultas sobre nuestros servicios de rutina a la dirección Amcitsguatemala@state.gov Haremos todo lo posible por responderle dentro de las siguiente 48 horas.

Para concertar una cita para nuestros servicios, por favor presione aquí. https://evisaforms.state.gov/Instructions/ACSSchedulingSystem.asp

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From the Hispanic Caucus

If you or someone you know is a CO-6 voter -- stateside or abroad -- please consider calling into U.S. Representative Mike Coffman's upcoming tele-town hall.

The tele-town hall is scheduled for November 29th from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Mountain Time. Unfortunately, Congressman Coffman is one of those Republican politicians who is always SCARED OF HIS CONSTITUENTS aka “unavailable” to hold in-person town halls for one reason or another, so what his office is doing is first verifying that participants are actual CO-6 constituents through their online registration page, and then calling you at the scheduled starting time. I have participated in these kinds of telephone conference town halls before, and in the registration space where you give your info, include your foreign phone number in parentheses so the oddity gets noted by a staffer. Again, please feel free to share this info with anyone else from CO-6 to give them a chance to participate.

If you do participate in the tele-town hall, first thank Congressman Coffman for signing on to the House discharge petition to bring up a vote on the Dream Act (to save DACA participants from being mass deported). Secondly, ask him what he's doing, if anything, for his constituents who live abroad, what's he doing to help Colorado's growing Latino community, or anything else important to you. If he does give a response, please report back to us!

The congressman may have an impressive an impressive résumé, but his voting record is somewhere in-between "unimpressive" and "disgusting." Not to worry, though, we're keeping a close eye on him (and other Republicans)!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,

Michael Ramos

DA Australia

https://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/1535/michael-coffman#.WhWbWk3wvIV

https://coffman.house.gov/biography/

https://tthm.wufoo.com/forms/congressman-coffman-teletownhall-signup/


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