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  • published October Newsletter in News 2017-10-13 02:49:26 -0400

    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
    SolSun8_first_call.jpg

    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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  • posted about September Newsletter on Facebook 2017-09-20 11:55:35 -0400
    Democrats Abroad Austria September Newsletter

    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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  • published Democrats Abroad Austria July Newsletter in News 2017-07-08 13:05:06 -0400

    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!

    *

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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.

    *


    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    • 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 .

    *

    ___________________________________________

    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.

    *

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    • 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

    *

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    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

    *

    +

  • published Democrats Abroad Austria June Newsletter in News 2017-05-30 13:50:46 -0400

    Democrats Abroad Austria June Newsletter

     

    In this June 2017 issue

     

    Upcoming Events

    • An Evening with Senator Sanders –Livestream from Berlin
    • DAA Talks: Melissa Fleming on the Plight of Refugees
    • Young Dems Pub Night Summer Edition
    • It ’s just Absolutely Fabulous! Join us June 17th for Vienna 's Pride Parade
    • Solidarity Sundays Vienna #5
    • Save the Date - Fourth of July party on the SECOND of July!

     

    Issues and Actions

    • An Interview with Melissa Fleming
    • June is LGBT Pride Month
    • U.S. Special Elections in 2017
    • Print, Pose, and Post –Participate in DA ’s Virtual Tax March

    DAA Review

    • Taking It To the Streets:  Protest in the Time of Trump
    • Democratic Party Committee Abroad 2017 Global Meeting

    Member's Corner

    • Making Resistance Easier
    • Thanks to the Republikanischer Club: Menschlich, Realistisch, Fair

     

     


    Upcoming Events

    1. An Evening with Senator Sanders –Livestream from Berlin

    Please join Democrats Abroad Austria for an early evening with Senator Bernie Sanders via livestream from the Freie Universit ät Berlin on Wednesday, 31 May! The Senator will discuss social renewal in the U.S. and globally in front of a live audience with Christoph Amend, Chief Editor of DIE ZEIT Magazin.

    The livestream begins at 18.00. (All are invited to arrive early to purchase food and beverage.)

    WHEN: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 12:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    WHERE: Beaver Brewing Company

    Liechtensteinstrasse 69

    Vienna 1090

    Austria

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT: Bruce Murray · bamurray1954@yahoo.com

    RSVP HERE

     

     

    2. DAA Talks: Melissa Fleming on the Plight of Refugees

    SOLD OUT!

    • You must RSVP by May 19th for you and your guests to be on the guest list!
    • Seating is limited and we expect this event to be fully booked. Don ’t wait to reserve your spot!
    • Join us beforehand for light refreshments at 18:30. The talk will begin at 19:00.
    • Donations from U.S. citizens will be accepted.

    We are pleased to announce that Melissa Fleming, Head of Communication and Chief Spokesperson at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), currently working as Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General, and author of A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA will address DAA members and friends.

    At the UNHCR, Melissa has led a media team to bring the news and stories of the world 's sixty million refugees and displaced people to the public. Her discussion will highlight the stories of human suffering and resilience she has witnessed on a daily basis and bring to life the story of Doaa al Zamel, a young Syrian woman who was one of the few survivors, together with the baby she saved, of a boating disaster that killed over five hundred men, women and children who were attempting to reach the safety and promise of Europe.

    Melissa has recently written a book, A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA, published by Flatiron, which details Doaa 's journey from her war-ravaged country of Syria to her exile in Egypt to her nightmare on the Mediterranean Sea and finally to her new home in Sweden. The refugee crisis is one of the most pertinent topics for discussion right now. We thank Melissa for agreeing to speak with us.

    Here is a recent review of Melissa 's book from The New Yorker: Written by an official in the U.N.’s refugee agency, this deeply affecting book recounts the story of a young Syrian, Doaa al Zamel. In 2011, as a shy, stubborn fifteen-year-old, she demonstrated against the regime; after fleeing to Egypt, she stitched bags in a burlap factory, hoping to get to Europe. In September, 2014, she was pulled from the Mediterranean, parched and delirious, with two small children clasped to her chest. She ’d been afloat for four days, after a boat smuggling her to Europe sank, killing five hundred other passengers, including her fianc é. Fleming brings a moral urgency to the narrative. Doaa is now safe in Sweden, but Fleming pointedly asks, “Why is there no massive resettlement program for Syrians —the victims of the worst war of our times?”

    Please join us for an evening that focuses on one of the human tragedies of our day …when we become better and more personally informed, we are also perhaps better prepared to help! Go to Melissa Fleming 's Linked in page  for further biographical information on Melissa Fleming.

     

    WHEN: Thursday, June 08, 2017 at 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM

    WHERE: Republikanischer Club

    Rockhgasse 1

    Vienna 1010

    Austria

    Google map and directions

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

     

    3. Young Dems Pub Night Summer Edition

    Summer is finally here, and we can finally return to our favorite summer spot along the Donau Canal. We 're starting a little later since it 's a Friday night. If you can 't find us, ask for the table reserved under Democrats Abroad.

     

    WHEN: Friday, June 09, 2017 at 07:30 PM - 11:30 PM

    WHERE: Strandbar Hermann

    Hermannpark

    Vienna 1030

    Austria

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT

    Ashley Arreola · ashley_arreola@yahoo.com  ·+436503749481

    RSVP Here

     

    4. It ’s just Absolutely Fabulous! Join us for Vienna 's Pride Parade

    DANCING IN THE STREETS, FEATHERS, BEADS &MASKS WHAT MORE DO WE NEED TO HAVE A BLAST AT THIS YEAR ’S VIENNA 'S PRIDE PARADE!

    Join Democrats Abroad Austria as we march and dance at this year ’s Vienna Pride Parade. Although the Pride Parade begins at 14:00 on Saturday June 17th, participants planning to join the Democrats Abroad Austria contingent in the parade should meet in Rathausplatz at 1:00 p.m. (exact line-up location is TBD). Participants may simply join the group at the beginning of the parade route, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged.

    Our parade group is open to all. We urge participants to bring signs —the more colorful and creative the better —and we encourage participants to wear colorful costumes (feathers, beads, masks, fairy tale character, glitter).

    You can RSVP for this event using one of the methods below:

    1. The Democrats Abroad Austria Event page
    2. Email Juan
    3. Use Facebook  (For current Democrats Abroad Austria Facebook Group members)

    WHEN: Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    WHERE: Rathausplatz

    Vienna 1010

    Austria

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT: Juan Cerda · juandcerda@gmail.com

     

    5. Solidarity Sundays Vienna #5

    ENVIRONMENT WITHOUT PROTECTION:

    Does the earth stand a chance?

    How to live without the EPA, climate protocols, and nuclear disarmament?

    Democrats Abroad members Faith Hall Herbold and Andreas Beckmann will lead us through some answers to these questions.

    One answer will be to take action, pick up your phone and get your representatives and fellow voters to take action!

    Learn about the issues, LEARN TO PHONE BANK. It 's easier to brave the phone banking system when you have a Democrat friend and potato chips at hand. Let 's go! Bring your laptop!

     

    WHEN: Sunday, June 25, 2017 at 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

    WHERE: Amerlinghaus

    Stiftgasse 8

    Vienna 1070

    Austria

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT: Antje Lewis · ahl@gmx.at

    RSVP Here

     

    6. Fourth of July on the Second of July in the Prater!

    We 're celebrating the Fourth of July once again with Americans in International Organizations in Vienna (AIOV) on Sunday, July 2nd. We look forward to coming together to celebrate this all-American Holiday. Please join us on from 11:00 until dusk at the Cantina at the Prater park, located at the end of the number 1 tram line, Prater Hauptallee station, near the ASKO softball fields.

     

    There will be American style hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and hotdogs, French fries, beer, wine and soft drinks, games, softball (to watch and to play), and live music with ‘Just the Troubles ’. Come ready to dance and bring an American picnic side dish and dessert to share, and any outdoor games you ’d like to play (Frisbee, football, bocci ball, etc.).

     

    Payment: The food and drinks will be purchased from the Cantina; prices will be announced. There is no charge for this event, thanks to the generous sponsorship of the AIOV and DAA.

    WHEN: Sunday, July 02, 2017 at 11:00 AM - 09:00 PM

    WHERE: Prater

    Spenadlwiese

    Vienna 1020

    Austria

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT: Ashley Arreola · ashley_arreola@yahoo.com  ·+436503749481

    RSVP Here

     


     

    Issues and Actions

    1. An Interview with Melissa Fleming
     Unknown.jpeg

    by Ellen Lewis, Democrats Abroad Executive Committee Member

     

    The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people around the world has topped 65 million .  Just this week, more than 30 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as hundreds fell from a migrant boat off the coast of Libya. Some 60,000 refugees are currently stranded in Greece. In South Sudan, political conflict, drought, and famine have created a dire situation, with tens of thousands fleeing to neighboring countries.

    I sat down with Melissa Fleming, Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the UNHCR, who will be speaking on June 8 th  to DAA members and friends on the plight of refugees. Melissa has written a book, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea, recounting one Syrian woman ’s perilous and dramatic journey to reach safety and a new home in Europe.

    The statistics are mind-boggling and the individual stories heart-wrenching. Melissa ’s work is informed by both and during our conversation it became clear that in her position as spokesperson for the UNHCR, she is personally driven by a compassion for and dedication to helping refugees throughout the world.

     

    EL: You ’ve worked with the UNHCR since 2008. How would you compare the refugee crisis today with what was happening when you started at the organization?

    MF:  It ’s much much bigger, and I think that it has been going up about 10 million a year; I have to look at the exact figure from 10 years ago, but it has just consistently gone up. The Syria conflict is a [major factor], but every year we keep announcing the new figures and it ’s always the [largest] number since WWII. We also still have large numbers of Afghans, Iraqis, Somalis, refugees from South Sudan, and now the Democratic Republic of Congo as well. There are now 65 million people who are forcibly displaced; these are record numbers; the organization has continued to grow to meet the demands, the budget has increased fourfold …

    READ MORE...

     

    2. June  is LGBT Pride Month

    June is the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) and is currently celebrated each year to honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City.  In 1969, the solicitation of homosexual relations was illegal. Gay bars were the only places of refuge where lesbians and gays could socialize without public harassment.  However, gay bars were subject to frequent police harassment. On June 28, 1969, the police entered the Stonewall Inn bar, arrested employees, roughed up patrons, arrested anyone who was not wearing at least three articles of gender-appropriate clothing.  This time the patrons fought back and rioted against the police brutality.  This act of defiance, the Stonewall riots, are now considered to be the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. Now, each year, pride is celebrated throughout the international community to pay tribute to diversity, lgbt rights, and individuality.

     

    As a community, we have come a long way from the Stonewall riots and, yes, we may have marriage equality in the United States; nevertheless,LGBT rights are still under siege by the Republican statehouses. In Texas, the State Senate and Assembly passed two anti-lgbt bills: one bill is HB3859, which allows counselors as well as adoption and foster care agencies the ability to refuse services based on religious beliefs.  The second bill, SB2078, targets transgender students in schools. Both bills are now making their way to the Governor ’s desk.  We need you. Please send a message to the Governor, asking him to veto HB 3859 and SB 2078.

     

    Internationally, LGBT members are being persecuted and sentenced to concentration camps.  Authorities in Chechnya - a Russian republic - have rounded up at least 100 gay men and placed them in concentration camps  where they are tortured, starved, and often killed. The Chechen ruler, Ramzan Kadyrov, plans to " eliminate "all of Chechnya 's LGBT community by the beginning of Ramadan, which begins on May 26. In the face of media inquiries, Chechen spokespeople have claimed that gay men simply " do not exist. "Despite international outrage, Putin and Trump have remained silent. But we can do something: through All Out , we can each donate  to support the efforts of the Russian LGBT Network to get LGBT people out of Chechnya as soon as possible.

     

    Closer to home in Vienna, you can also help by supporting and learning more about  Queer Base ,  a program which helps and supports LGBTIQ refugees who have sought refuge in Austria. You can also participate in this year ’s Vienna Pride Parade and show your support: see the event section of this newsletter for more information.

     

    4. U.S. Special Elections in 2017

    On Tuesday, May 23, Democrats had their first Trump era special election wins in the New Hampshire and New York State Legislatures and turned two traditionally safe red states blue. This is great news and illustrates how often-forgotten Special Elections can really matter. Below is a shortened version listing the spring and summer deadlines from an article that noted all of the special elections that will take place in 2017, which was

    posted on democratsabroad.org website by DA GOTV committee member, Eileen Weinberg, on February 11, 2017.

     

    We ’ll list the fall Special Election deadlines in September. Make sure to register, vote, and spread the word to friends and family back home to help get out the vote! Please click here  for the entire piece; to keep up-to-date about the most recent races, make sure to check out flippable .

     

    As overseas citizens, we need to make sure that we go through the process of completing the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register and request a ballot for the handful of states that will be holding special elections for federal offices this year. We want to encourage all overseas citizens to participate in all special elections, as well as in statewide and local elections occurring in 2017.

     

    If you are a resident from any of the states and voting districts listed below, please register and request an absentee ballot today at VoteFromAbroad.org . You must complete, print out, sign and send the FPCA to your election office to ensure you will receive a ballot for the election. Please mail your voting materials early enough to account for mail delivery times .

     

    California —U.S. House, 34th Congressional District

    Special Election on June 6

    Seat vacated by the resignation of Xavier Becerra (D) when he was confirmed as Attorney General of California —concerns voters in Los Angeles County (downtown and northeast).

    Results of the Special Primary Election on April 4 mean that Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D) and former L.A. city planning commissioner Robert Lee Ahn (D) are set to advance to the runoff election on June 6.  

    • JUN  6  Voted ballot return by fax or mail (postmarked AND received by June 9)

     

    Georgia —U.S. House, 6th Congressional District

    Special Election Runoff on June 20

    Seat vacated by the resignation of Tom Price (R) when he was confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services —concerns voters in Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton Counties. Ballots will be sent beginning March 4 for those who have requested them.

    Democrat Jon Ossoff received 48% of the votes cast for the congressional race between 18 candidates. He will face Karen Handel (R) —the closest contender with 20% —in the June runoff.  

    A federal judge has ordered Georgia to reopen voter registration for the runoff election, extending the deadline to May 21, 2017.  

    • JUN 16  Ballot request by email, fax or mail by 5pm
    • JUN 20  Voted ballot return by mail (postmarked AND received by June  21)

     

    South Carolina —U.S. House, 5th Congressional District

    Special Election on June 20

    Seat vacated by the resignation of Mick Mulvaney (R) when he was confirmed as Director of the OMB —concerns voters in Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Newberry, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union and York Counties.

    Democrat Archie Parnell won the party 's nomination in the Primary Election on May 2 by a decisive margin, while top two GOP candidates will runoff in mid-May.

    • JUN 20  Ballot request by email, fax or mail by 7pm
    • JUN 20  Voted ballot return by email, fax by 7pm or mail (AND received by June 22 by 5pm)

     

    Utah —U.S. House, 3rd Congressional District

    Special Primary Election on August 14  |  Special Election on November 7

    Seat vacated by the resignation of Jason Chaffetz (R) —concerns voters in Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan, and Wasatch counties as well as portions of Salt Lake and Utah counties.

    • JUL 17  Voter registration by email, fax or mail OR
    • Back-up ballot (FWAB) can be used to register to vote if received by August 5
    • AUG 10  Ballot request by email, fax or mail
    • AUG 14  Voted ballot return by mail (postmarked AND received by August 27) OR
    • AUG 15  by email or fax by 8pm in Utah local time

     

    GUBERNATORIAL ELECTIONS IN 2017 

    New Jersey —Governor

    State Primary Election on June 6

    Incumbent Governor, Republican Chris Christie is term-limited and not eligible to run for re-election. Six Democrats are in the race for the party 's nomination to run for the November election -- community activist Bill Brennan, former U.S. treasury official Jim Johnson, State Senator (Union County) Raymond Lesniak, former U.S. ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy, State Assemblyman (Middlesex County) John Wisniewski, and Borough Council President (Tenafly) Mark Zinna

    • JUN  2  Voter registration/Ballot request for primary by email or fax by 8pm
    • JUN  6  Voted ballot return for primary by email, fax, and mail by 8pm
    • State General Election on November 7

     

    Virginia —Governor

    State Primary Election on June 13

    Incumbent Governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is term-limited and not eligible to run for re-election. The Democratic primary will decide if Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam or former U.S. Representative Tom Perriello will receive the party 's nomination for the November election.

    • JUN  6  Ballot request for primary by email, fax or mail by 5pm
    • JUN 13  Voted ballot return for primary by mail by 7pm
    • Gubernatorial Election on November 7

    5. Print, Pose, and Post –Participatein DA ’s Virtual Tax March

    June 15, 2017 is the automatic IRS filing extension deadline for Americans overseas. In order to draw attention to our taxation issues, as well as to underscore that President Trump has yet to release his tax returns to the US public, DA ’s Global Action Team is launching a social media campaign that will run throughout the month of June. All you need to do is print, pose, and post to participate!

    So, print  out the A4 poster ,  find somewhere iconic, symbolic, or downright mundane to pose  for your photo, and post  it before June 15 to:

    takeaction@democratsabroad.org , where it will be queued for the campaign 's launch via DA social media channels on the 15th.

    Alternatively, starting June 15, post the picture on our DAA   Facebook member ’s group  or send it to us at demsabroadaustria@gmail.com  and we ’ll post it on our DA website.

    D on 't forget to use the hashtags #virtualtaxmarch and #DAresists so that we can find and amplify your photos throughout the month as well!

     


     DAA Review

                  1. Taking It To the Streets:  Protest in the Time of Trump

                  by Tanya Lolonis, DA Grassroots Member

     

    Black Lives Matter, the long-running and recently dismantled Dakota Access oil pipeline protest, the Women ’s March and the March for Science, protests against transgender discrimination bills  —over the past year, and accelerating since the election, Americans are taking to the streets to oppose GOP policies. We ’ve racked up some successes:  the travel ban was blocked by judges after protests delayed its implementation and citizens speaking up at town halls killed the first Obamacare repeal and are endangering Senate passage.

     

    And Republicans are pushing back. While we follow national political developments, a flood of bills targeting protest tactics and enhancing penalties for civil disobedience are working their way through state legislatures. Bills designed to discourage the exercise of the right to assemble peacefully are being considered in over 20 states. These “represent an unprecedented level of hostility towards protesters in the 21st century ”(ACLU). Last month, the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights wrote the State Department that this legislative activity is “incompatible with U.S. obligations under international human rights law.”

     

    A sample:  a North Dakota bill to shift liability from drivers who unintentionally hit protesters to protesters themselves did not survive public scrutiny —but a similar bill has been introduced in Tennessee and bills to jail protestors who block traffic are being drafted in Minnesota and Iowa. Wearing masks and hoodies and heckling politicians in North Carolina are specific targets and in Portland there is an attempt to reclassify demonstrations as “riots.”

     

    Our first amendment assures the right of access to sidewalks, public spaces and streets, and protects the right to heckle, too. While the ACLU is fighting back in courts at home, we still enjoy the right to protest in Austria. Attending the Pride Parade is more celebration than protest, but its social and political messages are strong, clear —and protected. We invite you to join Democrats Abroad on June 17th as we march to demonstrate our support of LGBTQI rights and freedom.

     

     

     

    DPCA Election Results

    Democratic Party Committee Abroad 2017 Global Meeting

    by Keith Jacomine, Vice Chair

     

    Democrats Abroad country committees from around the world met physically and virtually in Washington DC from May 12-17  to conduct the business of the DPCA, elect new international officers, and hold meetings on Capitol Hill, advocating for issues important to Americans living overseas.

     

    The International Officers who have been elected to serve two year terms are: Julia Bryan (DA-Czech Republic) International Chair, Alex Montgomery (DA-Hong Kong) International Vice-Chair, Lissette Wright (DA-Canada) International Treasurer, Jeffrey Cheng (DA-Sweden) International Secretary and Tom Schmid (DA-Japan) International Counsel.  

     

    In addition to the election, a variety of resolutions and amendments to the bylaws were voted on, and China was admitted as our newest country committee.  

     

    Over the course of four days, attendees heard from speakers including NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, MD Congressman Jamie Raskin, a DA France alumnus, and Congresswoman Holmes-Norton of Washington DC.  Among others, Larry Cohen of the DNC Unity Reform Commission and Chairman of Our Revolution spoke about the importance of unions and progressive values, which kicked off the formation of the Democrats Abroad Progressive Caucus.  Michael Blake, the newly elected DNC Vice-Chair, spoke about the changes taking place under the new leadership of Chairman Perez and Deputy Chairman Ellison.

     

    You 'll be hearing more from our new Chair in the coming months on the DPCA 's plans for continuing to advance issues important to us: keep up the resistance to the current administration and prepare for the 2018 midterms.

     


     

    Member ’s Corner

     1. Making Resistance Easier

    by Marcy R. Fowler, Treasurer

     

    Resisting the destructive Trump agenda can be exhausting! Keeping up with the news from back home and taking the time to contact your elected officials can feel like a full-time job. Thankfully, there are many resources and tools emerging that will keep you informed and let you communicate your views from the comfort of your smart phone. Here are a couple of my current favorites:

     

    Resistbot is my new favorite way to resist during my daily commute. To start, simply text “RESIST ”to 50409 (note: this is a US number, so using standard SMS from Austria is not recommended) or message Resistbot  using Facebook messenger . The bot asks you some basic questions and then sends your letters to your elected officials via fax. The beauty of the program is its simplicity. With Resistbot, you can quickly prepare a letter and have it nicely formatted and sent automatically. As you get more experienced with the bot, additional options become available; for example, you can add your signature to the letters for a personal touch. Check out the Resistbot website  for more information.

     

    To stay up-to-date, on my way home from work I listen to The Daily podcast by Michael Barbaro of the New York Times, which features discussion of the major news items of the day with the journalists who are breaking the stories. The coverage of the recent White House scandals has been exceptional (the 24 April episode  on then-FBI director Comey was particularly absorbing), with insight into just how these incredible stories are uncovered, how the news fits into the broader context, and what it all means. You can listen to The Daily free on the NYT website  or through your favorite podcast app.

     

    If you have any tips on other tools or sources that may be of interest to Dems Abroad, please email me at RationalResistanceAustria @ Gmail.com.

     

    2. Thanks Republikanischer Club

    DA Austria Executive Committee would like to thank the Republikanischer Club for generously allowing us to use their rooms for our first DAA Talks event with Melissa Fleming on Thursday, June 8th. The day before our event, the Republikanischer Club will be hosting an event focusing on the theme of Austria ’s migration policies. Perhaps some of our German-speaking members would like to attend. Below is the information from their website .

    –Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

     

    Mittwoch, 7. Juni 2017, 18 Uhr, im Republikanischer Club:

    Menschlich, Realistisch, Fair –M ögliche Eckpunkte einer (Österreichischen) Migrationspolitik?

     

    Ein Freundeskreis engagierter B ürgerinnen (Anton Dobart, Helmut Bachmann, Christine Stromberger, Gottfried Wagner, u.a.) und der RC laden zu einer Podiumsdiskussion.

     

    Es diskutieren:

    • Max Koch (Vorsitzender SOS-Mitmensch)
    • Alev Korun (Nationalratsabgeordnete, Die Gr ünen, Sprecherin u.a. f ür Migration und Integration)
    • Josef Lentsch (Direktor NEOS Lab)
    • Mehrdokht Tesar (Sektion 8 )
    • Moderation: Martina Handler (Politikwissenschaftlerin, Mediatorin und Beteiligungsexpertin)

     

    Sind fortschrittliche Allianzen in der Politik Österreichs (der EU) denkbar f ür eine bessere, humane und realistische Migrationspolitik? 'Ideale 'Politik gibt es nicht, einfache Antworten auch nicht. Wie kann ein wirksamer politischer Dialog zwischen politischen Parteien, mit NGOs und den B ürgerinnen und B ürgern gelingen? Gibt es mehrheitsf ähige Schnittmengen, um einen Paradigmenwechsel einzuleiten? …

     

     

     

     

  • published An Interview with Melissa Fleming in News 2017-05-30 01:34:00 -0400

    An Interview with Melissa Fleming

     photo melissa_zpsubcgvesu.jpg

    by Ellen Lewis,

    Democrats Abroad Executive Committee Member

     

    The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people around the world has topped 65 million.  Just this week, more than 30 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea as hundreds fell from a migrant boat off the coast of Libya. Some 60,000 refugees are currently stranded in Greece. In South Sudan, political conflict, drought, and famine have created a dire situation, with tens of thousands fleeing to neighboring countries.

    I sat down with Melissa Fleming, Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the UNHCR, who will be speaking on June 8th to DAA members and friends on the plight of refugees. Melissa has written a book, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea, recounting one Syrian woman’s perilous and dramatic journey to reach safety and a new home in Europe.

    The statistics are mind-boggling and the individual stories heart-wrenching. Melissa’s work is informed by both and during our conversation it became clear that in her position as spokesperson for the UNHCR, she is personally driven by a compassion for and dedication to helping refugees throughout the world.

     

    EL: You’ve worked with the UNHCR since 2008. How would you compare the refugee crisis today with what was happening when you started at the organization?

    MF:  It’s much much bigger, and I think that it has been going up about 10 million a year; I have to look at the exact figure from 10 years ago, but it has just consistently gone up. The Syria conflict is a [major factor], but every year we keep announcing the new figures and it’s always the [largest] number since WWII. We also still have large numbers of Afghans, Iraqis, Somalis, refugees from South Sudan, and now the Democratic Republic of Congo as well. There are now 65 million people who are forcibly displaced; these are record numbers; the organization has continued to grow to meet the demands, the budget has increased fourfold…

    EL: Given the disproportionate number of Syrian refugees taken in by neighboring countries, such as Jordan and Lebanon, what can the UNHCR do to get the wealthier nations of Europe to show more compassion and take in their ‘fair share’?

    MF: 86% of refugees are [taken in by] developing countries…for example, Lebanon, with a population of 4 million, has 1 million refugees; we’re saying, “Please, this tiny [country of] Lebanon can’t do this alone. Provide funding but, in addition, take some of these refugees to your countries.”

    EL: Is this also the case in parts of Africa, as with Jordan and Lebanon, in which the neighboring countries end up taking in the majority of refugees?

    MF: Yes, and of course they’re struggling themselves with their own issues and often they allow the refugees to come in [to the country], but they relegate them to a camp where they have to live in tents and they can’t work, so we really try to advocate for them.

    EL: So you go into the camps?

    MF: Oh, we run them - that’s where we’re really operational, but we also operate in towns and cities and villages. Most refugees are in towns and cities and villages and we operate everywhere. For example, in Lebanon there are no refugee camps. They refuse to allow the establishment of refugee camps for Syrians. In Lebanon, you have what are called ‘camps’ in sections of Beirut. What they don’t want are official camps, like in Jordan and Turkey – [in Lebanon] they’re basically rented pieces of land where they can pitch a tent…we supply the tents but the government wants the whole thing to be temporary. That’s why I’m always saying it’s so political. When you have so many people coming into your country, it is a hot potato political issue. The UNHCR is in the middle trying to advocate for them, not just to have a place to be sheltered but also so that their kids can go to the local school, that they have the ability to access health care and work; we don’t always succeed. Local governments, elected leaders, are responsible for their own population and they see the refugees as guests so they want to make sure that they don’t present liabilities…

    EL: On behalf of Democrats Abroad Austria, I wanted to ask you to talk a bit about the present U.S. government’s stance on refugees and the implications of the U.S. President’s policy, which does not champion the cause of refugees and which sought to order a ban on specific groups.

    MF: The U.S. is one of the leaders in taking refugees, over decades, with huge bipartisan support. When the Trump Administration came into office, one of its measures related to refugees was to cut that program in half – to 50,000. The second measure was to put a hold on refugees coming from certain countries, which includes Somalis, for example, many of whom were already screened and ready to come…so many of them are kind of waiting in limbo – Syrians [as well]. We’re hoping that the ban will be...

    EL: Is this related to the ban?

    MF: Well, they’re reviewing the resettlement screening procedures to see whether they’re vigorous enough. We’ve said there’s probably no more vetted human being coming into the United States than a refugee. It’s a two year process of vetting. It’s done partly by UNHCR but mostly by the United States and the different arms of the government, so fine if they want to review that – it’s their security – and we’re hoping that maybe they’ll [only] introduce a couple more steps but this is…

    EL: Who does the reviewing actually?

    MF: You name the arm of the U.S. government and they’re involved, from the State Dept. to the FBI to the Homeland Security (laughs) to all of the different…

    EL: And while they’re reviewing it, it’s on hold?

    MF: It is. UNHCR identifies the refugees for resettlement and they send our criteria; this means that these are vulnerable people who are not doing well in the refugee environment where they are living because they are, for example, victims of torture, women who’ve been raped, single mothers with children living in a very difficult refugee environment, kids with a terrible medical condition…

    EL: Does the UNHCR develop the criteria? They write up the criteria?

    MF: We’ve had these criteria for decades; it has been ‘our’ criteria. And the countries accepted it. I remember there’s this one child in Lebanon who had a condition where he couldn’t grow and in Lebanon he couldn’t be treated. In Syria, he was actually being treated but there was one medication he needed and he was resettled to Finland where he’s getting all the health care he needs and he’s growing again. So just sometimes that kind of simple help… it’s transformative for the refugees. For the United States it has also been… refugees form the fabric of the United States. For example, the Vietnamese are the largest refugee population, the Vietnamese boat people - those were massive resettlements and they’ve become a part of U.S. society.

    EL: Does an organization like yours, when facing an agenda like President Trump’s, feel somewhat powerless or is there some sort of mechanism that can either compensate or fight this kind of…?

    MF: Well, we look to other countries, we look to the private sector to compensate…we don’t know if the funding will be cut, we hope not, so we’re working with – we’re reaching out to the Trump Administration, we’re trying to demonstrate the importance of what we’re doing and why it’s in the U.S. interest to fund it.

    EL: Do you work a lot with NGOs?

    MF: Oh yes, we have a lot to do with NGOs, operationally - we have so many [operations], we would not survive without NGOs as what we call our implementing partners…

    EL: So does the UNHCR have political influence, does it have the ability to…?

    MF: Yes, at the national level and at the international level; we have offices in over 140 countries and we have huge operations. In Syria we have over 400 staff but in places like Jordan we have many more than that. We have [major] operations - we’re basically caring for hundreds of thousands of people. In countries like Austria we don’t have an operational role, we have more of an advocacy role, working with the government – when they introduce new laws, we see the drafts, basically to keep governments who signed up for the International Refugee Convention, to keep them in line.

    EL: Well, actually, that links to another question about the EU decision in March 2016. You’ve made the statement that the EU needs the “political will” to step up to the demands of the refugee crisis. How do you and your agency view the EU’s controversial March 2016 decision to block refugees from moving into Europe?

    MF: Well, we believe that refugees have the right to seek asylum, this is international law; however, the influx into Greece was not managed well by the EU. That resulted in large numbers of refugees going to countries like Austria and Germany and Sweden because they heard here they could get protection, they could get the chance to start over. What should have happened would have been a managed arrival of the refugees: registration centers, screening, distribution...We believe fundamentally that this is an international responsibility, refugees are an international responsibility. If you as powerful governments are unable to stop the wars, then you should be taking responsibility for the victims, and that does not only mean paying them to stay away but also being willing to take in your share. Refugees won’t also feel compelled to take these illegal routes with smugglers who are not only notorious for risking people’s lives and not caring at all but just profit-oriented…you’re basically looking at a huge crime network that is actually evil. We would prefer that governments invest in the refugees where they are and the government's support them and take their share via resettlement or student visas. For example, there are so many university students who [sadly] had to break off their university [studies], who broke off their high school studies – they’re sitting in a refugee camp having to do labor and they see no future. They can’t go back home because the war is still going on. These scholarship programs – and there are some – are transforming young people’s lives and are also investing in the future of their country.

    EL: So actually, you’re saying the ideal scenario is resettlement in the sense that you take people from where they start so that they don’t have to make these dangerous journeys and risk their lives…

    MF: Yes,there are two reasons that were cited by refugees for coming to Europe. Some of them would not have been resettlement cases. People who wanted to work or who said I want to put my kids in school. Only half the Syrian refugee children are in school and when you get to the secondary level, it’s only one in four and when you get to the university level it’s only one percent, so when they don’t see any chance of returning to Syria because the war is not being solved and they’re sitting in a place that does not provide school for their children, all of a sudden, they see Europe which…maybe there’s a dangerous journey, but once I get there…

    EL: But they wouldn’t be considered resettlement potential?

    MF: Not if they’re not considered [or classified as] ‘vulnerable’.

    EL: Vulnerable in the sense…?

    MF: Of course they’re vulnerable but not all 5 million people – there are 5 million refugees, many of whom are in a situation which is poor [but do not meet] our vulnerable criteria.

    EL: But they’ve also lost their homeland…

    MF: Yes, well in that sense, everyone is vulnerable but, realistically-speaking, we believe that 10% of all refugees should be resettled because they are vulnerable in the extreme sense.

    EL: so 90%...

    MF: But actually not even 10% get resettled; only about 1% get resettled because that’s the number of places that are available.

    EL: Wow, only 1%? And these are the vulnerable?

    MF: What you call vulnerable. And you’re right to say aren’t all refugees vulnerable but what we’re talking about are the extreme vulnerable, people who will not survive well in those neighboring countries…

    EL: Right, but in the long term, what that says is that while the war carries on and they have no home to go back to, that 90% or, more practically-speaking, 99%, are supposed to just be supported by neighboring countries ad hoc…?

    MF: Yep. It’s just that geography dictates…

    EL: Realistically, it will naturally follow that a large portion of these ‘non-vulnerable’ people will set out in dangerous circumstances…

    MF: Of course, unless you invest more – this is what we’ve always been saying: the UNHCR only gets half of the budget that we say is needed. So what gets cut? Education for the kids, decent living conditions, etc. So, if you were to invest more in these neighboring countries plus increase the level of tolerance –  if the neighboring countries of say, Lebanon and Jordan, were to see that the international community says thank you Lebanon, thank you Jordan -  we’re going to be doing infrastructure projects in your towns and cities, we’re going to start a new economic zone so that we can help your people plus the refugees in coming up with ways to stimulate the economy, start new businesses and we’re going to build schools that will benefit your children and the refugee children, then you would not have as many people saying I can’t deal with this, this is not a life.

    EL: What if a neighboring country took the same stance that many European countries take, which is that these are not our people so we won’t take them; if the neighboring countries didn’t have them, then where would they go?

    MF: And that’s one of UNHCR’s biggest roles is to advocate for borders to be open. Now those countries because of years of lack of help, years of lack of investment, they’ve pretty much closed their borders so Syrians who need to get out now have a really hard time. There’s almost nowhere to go so that’s why you have so many people displaced inside Syria.

    EL: It’s tragic. But wasn’t that forseeable on the part of the EU? There is a lack of political will. Given the Turkey Agreement and the decision about keeping the refugees in Greece or sending them back to Turkey –  wasn’t it ultimately that the EU didn’t step in ahead of time to help?

    MF: Yes, if there had been systems in place for regular processing of people, nobody would have really noticed that this was a crisis. Europe is huge.

    EL: So it really is that Europe did not…

    MF: know how to handle it.

    EL: take responsibility? Also, it wasn’t spread around. Mostly Germany and Austria – other European countries weren’t taking their share…

    MF: Well, but people weren’t coming to those countries. The mechanism was not in place. What they did in retrospect was not working very well because public opinion has turned and large numbers of people, about 50,000 refugees are stuck in Greece and they’re supposed to be relocated now under a quota system to other European countries.

    EL: Is this agreed to by the EU?

    MF: Yes, but it came into place too late. There’s a registration system now, there’s an asylum system, there’s a relocation system but there are many countries now who are not participating – the Eastern European countries aren’t taking any.

    EL: I wanted to ask you about the situation in the Mediterranean Sea and the Malta Summit - what was the UNHCR’s reaction to the decisions of the EU about refugees crossing from Libya?

    MF: We basically said that the conditions in Libya are not [acceptable] for them to handle it.

    EL: The loss of lives in the Mediterranean sea of African refugees and migrants is tragic and yet the EU wants to outsource border control to the Libyan coastguard who, again this week, has been shooting at the refugee boats. How does the UNHCR handle this situation?

    MF: Our High Commissioner just went to Libya and met with the government, visited detention centers, increased our staff there and has said to the EU that it’s not the time to establish anything; we have a hard time because of the lack of security there so it’s really hard to provide [safe] conditions for people. I mean we agree with the UN when they say let’s address the root causes more as to why people are fleeing, increase information because they’re being sold a complete pack of lies. They have no clue what the journey is like, but they also think that when they reach Europe, it is this dreamland for people leaving for economic reasons. So information needs to be put out there…many say if they had known this or that…

    EL: And the rescue operations, is the UNHCR involved in any of that?

    MF: No, we don’t do rescue but we’re involved in Italy in all of the ports of arrival, but it’s the Italian Navy and the NGOs.

    EL: Do you officially keep track of the…casualties?

    MF: Yes, we do it together with IOM.

    EL: Through your work, do you often have personal contact with the refugees themselves?

    MF: I make a point of speaking to refugees because my job is to communicate on their behalf and people are numbed by statistics, so I find it extremely important to my advocacy communications work to meet with refugees wherever I am, to listen to their stories, and to use their stories to convey their messages to a wider public. That’s why I wrote this book.

    EL: Actually, in your book A Hope More Powerful than the Sea, you tell the story of a young Syrian woman’s journey as a refugee from Syria. What difference does it make to tell personal stories?

    MF: It really makes an enormous difference…the only way you can create a bridge of empathy to others is through stories. Individual stories, in particular, of one person – it’s proven in Sociology and Behavioral Sciences – really affect people the most; they allow people to really delve into the story and to start understanding the situation but to also feel sympathy.

    EL: Actually, is it difficult sometimes to think of the number of people who are out there whose stories somehow don’t reach your organization? How do you get to them?

    MF: I do think there is helplessness. Our organization pretty much knows about all [refugees] because we do the registration of most refugees in the world.

    EL: Does the UNHCR intervene if refugees [are threatened]? For example, in Greece there were stories that on some of the islands of – when they were being held there because of the decision not to send them on, they were being mistreated by locals…

    MF: Oh, absolutely.

    EL: So, the UNHCR is present in those situations?

    MF: Yeah, I mean, we were reluctant to get involved in Greece because we thought it was an EU responsibility and this is a rich continent, but when it was clear that it wasn’t happening, we now have a team of 150 staff in Greece so we’re quite operational there. I mean the frustration is when we don’t have the means to help the people who need it. We’re constantly restrained by budget and not enough countries willing to resettle.

    EL: Does the UNHCR or do you think they can affect that…is there some way to get more active in changing the political will and the decisions of countries around the world?

    MF: Yes, well, it depends…we really analyze how governments react and if some would be completely allergic to a public campaign… most countries feel very proud and a lot of countries welcome refugees but then they don’t have the means to take care of them and things turn really difficult, so it’s very delicate. You have to be careful about how you approach it.

    EL: It’s interesting though because none of that seems to enter the realm of human rights violations by countries, of abandoning their responsibility.

    MF: Well, if it’s at a border, then it is against international refugee regulations – if you push people back into a war zone, it is against the International Refugee Convention.

    EL: How important is the role of communications in making a difference to the refugee crisis?

    MF: I think it’s hugely important because, first of all, it’s a population of 65 million, most of them don’t have their own voice and they are without their country, without their language, they’ve often lost the most important things in their lives, so they really need people to speak for them…and with [xenophobia on the rise], communications plays a huge role in building empathy and trying to change the narrative.

    EL: On a positive note, just this month the world’s first solar farm in a refugee camp has switched on, providing renewable energy to 20,000 refugees living in northern Jordan. Can you tell us more about the project and others like it? How did this partnership between the Ikea Foundation and the Agency come about?

    MF: We’ve been trying to use ecological ways and sustainable ways of housing refugees and electricity costs at a refugee camp in the desert are enormous – we knew this from other camps. We live kind of hand-to-mouth with our budgets so it’s often – we get the money we spend and an investment like this needs a company or a foundation like the Ikea Foundation to help us finance the infrastructure.

    EL: You’ve been there?

    MF: Yes, I’ve been there and it’s hot during the day, it gets pitch dark at night and when it’s hot, you want to turn on a fan, you want to drink a cold drink…and now they’re able to do that and at night the kids can study by light and now people are out and they have little restaurants, so it really makes an enormous difference. The costs – the upfront costs – were a lot, but the cost of running the camp now and the electricity grid in the camp is so much less than in the other camp in Jordan. [Ideally], we don’t like refugee camps. We prefer refugees to be integrated into the cities, to go to local schools…it’s undignified [to remain in a camp]. Refugee camps should be used for emergencies and be temporary. You’re separate from the population, you’re living in an isolated situation, there’s no economy. We reluctantly build refugee camps, but we rely very much on the government, what the government is willing to do.

    EL: Just personally, how hard is it for you emotionally and personally – obviously you have the happy ending stories but there’s just plenty of the news that you have to keep putting out there that is so tragic. Do you take it in much?

    MF: I think we all have mechanisms but it does affect me a lot. In particular with Doaa’s story because the more I unraveled it, the more tragic it became and I kind of took in her…it’s almost like a secondary trauma that you go through. There’s always a sense that you wake up in the morning or you go to bed at night and you’ve never done enough because the problem is so massive.


  • posted about The Democrats Abroad Austria May Newsletter on Facebook 2017-05-07 13:59:36 -0400
    The Democrats Abroad Austria May Newsletter

    The Democrats Abroad Austria May Newsletter

     

     

    In this May 2017 issue

    >Upcoming Events

    Issues and Actions

    DAA Review

    Members’ Corner

     

    Upcoming Events

    1. Young Dems Pub Night May Edition with 80's karaoke

       photo 33b1c31c-3ecb-442f-a3a0-8971412b5f42_zpswgigvgwg.jpg

      You can check out Beaver Brewing Company"s Facebook event here. 

      Democrats Abroad will have their own table reserved.

      RSVP Via Facebook is also possible.

      WHEN
      Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
      WHERE
      Beaver Brewing Company
      Liechtensteinstrasse 69
      Vienna, VIenna 1090
      Austria
      Google map and directions
      CONTACT
      Ashely Arreola · ashley_arreola@yahoo.com · +436503749481

    2. Solidarity Sunday #4 Grow Your Protest Rainbow Parade Outreach

       photo solsunvienna 4 small_zpseq13hmic.jpg

      We’re preparing to take our PROTEST to the streets, and we’re going to do it right. Join us on May 28 as we gear up our outreach for the Rainbow Parade in June.

      • We’ll forge plans to organize a peaceful, legal and powerful action.
      • Come learn ways to get involved helping LGBTIQ refugees.

      Why should you act now? The Republican Party and Trump are building a wall of RE-DISCRIMINATION against LGBT people.

      • Trump has already revoked federal contractors’ duty to prove non-discrimination, affecting millions of LBGT employees.
      • Republican congresspeople are concertedly urging Trump to sign the executive order on "religious freedom (to discriminate)" that has been waiting in the wings since February.

      The issues of marriage and immigration rights loom darkly. Get creative. Get targeted. Let's make sure Democrats Abroad has a stronger presence than ever this year. Never again Love Exiles!!!

      RSVP via Facebook Event Here 

      WHEN
      Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 04:00 PM - 04:00 PM
      WHERE
      Amerlinghaus
      Stiftgasse 8
      Vienna 1070
      Austria
      Google map and directions
      CONTACT
      Antje Lewis · solsun@gmx.at

    3. DAA Talks Melissa Fleming on the Plight of Refugees

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      We are pleased to announce that Melissa Fleming, Head of Communication and Chief Spokesperson at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), currently working as Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General, and author of A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA will address DAA members and friends.

      At the UNHCR, Melissa has led a media team to bring the news and stories of the world's sixty million refugees and displaced people to the public. Her discussion will highlight the stories of human suffering and resilience she has witnessed on a daily basis and bring to life the story of Doaa al Zamel, a young Syrian woman who was one of the few survivors, together with the baby she saved, of a boating disaster that killed over five hundred men, women and children who were attempting to reach the safety and promise of Europe.

      Melissa has recently written a book, A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA, published by Flatiron, which details Doaa's journey from her war-ravaged country of Syria to her exile in Egypt to her nightmare on the Mediterranean Sea and finally to her new home in Sweden. The refugee crisis is one of the most pertinent topics for discussion right now. We thank Melissa for agreeing to speak with us.

      Here is a recent review of Melissa's book from The New Yorker: Written by an official in the U.N.’s refugee agency, this deeply affecting book recounts the story of a young Syrian, Doaa al Zamel. In 2011, as a shy, stubborn fifteen-year-old, she demonstrated against the regime; after fleeing to Egypt, she stitched bags in a burlap factory, hoping to get to Europe. In September, 2014, she was pulled from the Mediterranean, parched and delirious, with two small children clasped to her chest. She’d been afloat for four days, after a boat smuggling her to Europe sank, killing five hundred other passengers, including her fiancé. Fleming brings a moral urgency to the narrative. Doaa is now safe in Sweden, but Fleming pointedly asks, “Why is there no massive resettlement program for Syrians—the victims of the worst war of our times?”

      Please join us for an evening that focuses on one of the human tragedies of our day…when we become better and more personally informed, we are also perhaps better prepared to help! Go to Melissa Fleming's Linked in page for further biographical information on Melissa Fleming. 

      WHEN
      Thursday, June 08, 2017 at 06:30 PM - 08:30 PM
      WHERE
      Republikanischer Club
      Rockhgasse 1
      Vienna 1010
      Austria
      Google map and directions
      CONTACT
      Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · demsabroadaustria@gmail.com

    4. It’s just Absolutely Fabulous! Join us June 17th for Vienna's Pride Parade

      DANCING IN THE STREETS, FEATHERS, BEADS & MASKS WHAT MORE DO WE NEED TO HAVE A BLAST AT THIS YEAR’S VIENNA'S PRIDE PARADE!

       photo PP2017_zps7h7k9jv2.jpg

      Join Democrats Abroad Austria as we march and dance at this year’s Vienna Pride Parade. Although the Pride Parade begins at 14:00 on Saturday June 17th, participants planning to join the Democrats Abroad Austria contingent in the parade should meet in Rathausplatz at 1:00 p.m. (exact line-up location is TBD). Participants may simply join the group at the beginning of the parade route, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged. 

      Our parade group is open to all. We urge participants to bring signs—the more colorful and creative the better —and we encourage participants to wear colorful costumes (feathers, beads, masks, fairy tale character, glitter). 

      You can RSVP for this event using one of the methods below:

      1. RSVP at the Democrats Abroad website
      2. Email Juan
      3. Use Facebook (For current Democrats Abroad Austria Facebook Group members) 
      WHEN
      Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM
      WHERE
      Rathausplatz
      Vienna 1010
      Austria
      Google map and directions
      CONTACT
      Juan Cerda · juandcerda@gmail.com

     

    Issues and Actions


    There’s a Whole Big World Out There!

     

    Have you ever wondered what Democrats Abroad is and does outside of the borders of your local group? You know that we help Americans register to vote, and you’re probably aware that there is more to DA than just your chapter – after all, there are 41 country committees with members in 190 countries on 5 continents. But it’s been amazing to find out just how far DA reaches!

    Did you know Democrats Abroad is considered a “state” by the DNC? Despite being spread across the globe, our members are our population – the more members we have, the more delegates we get, and the more our concerns are heard. 

    To this end, DA has task forces such as FATCA, Medicare Portability, Residence-Based Taxation, and others that promote topics that are important to all Americans living overseas. There are also issues and constituencies that are represented through our caucuses and councils. The LGBT, Youth, and Women’s caucuses are established while others, such as the Hispanic Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, and the Veterans and Military Families Council, are still in formation. All of them are eager to hear from you!

    The other day, JFK’s iconic words were brought to mind when someone remarked that it’s one thing to be a member but much more satisfying to be involved. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” is a good parallel to participation in DA – that “aha” moment when one realizes that the organization is made up entirely from members who have chosen to participate.

    The subject is timely because DA global leadership elections will be happening in Washington, D.C. from May 12-15. The new international Executive Committee, as well as the Regional Vice Chairs, representing the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa, will be elected. Attending DA members will also knock on the doors of our Representatives and bring the issues that matter to us home to them.

    This year, the five door-knocking topics are: Overseas Voting Rights (especially for US citizen children born abroad), FATCA, Residence-Based Taxation, Maintaining/refunding the Election Assistance Commission, and State Department budget cuts, which will affect funding for American Citizen Services, education exchange, and USAID. Last weekend our grassroots group wrote letters to be hand delivered – you can still send one to us and add it to the pile!

     Now you know DA does a whole lot more than its vital task of getting out the vote. So the next time you’re feeling discontent, disconnected or -- better yet -- inspired, we hope you’ll write a letter, join a caucus, or stop by a local event and say hello, because you are Democrats Abroad, and together we reach across borders. 

      


    FATCA & FBAR: Two Big Headaches for Americans Abroad


    Note: This article is reprinted from the Jan 2015 DA Germany newsletter. For up-to-date information and the latest details on the FATCA/FBAR click here

    After years of discussion, the majority of Americans living abroad may have heard about or found themselves affected by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Report of Foreign Banks and Financial Accounts (FBAR). While the initial intent was to smoke out rich tax evaders in foreign tax havens, for the average American citizen living abroad it has created unintended negative consequences that critics say far outweigh any intended benefits. The effects on ordinary Americans who engage in normal financial activities such as participating in a company pension plan or starting a small business can be severe in some circumstances.

    FATCA and FBAR have been on the statute books for years, even if many of us were unaware of it, and thus non-compliant. If in the past tax “experts” discreetly hinted that if non-filing Americans abroad kept a low profile, they might never be “discovered,” this is no longer extremely likely. In 2014, under new bilateral agreements, foreign banks were asked to identify account holders that could be “US persons” (citizens or green card holders). Many DA members subsequently have received letters from their banks asking for information. Usually, a form W-9 “Request for Taxpayer Identification and Certification” is enclosed. This  is then forwarded by the banks to a proxy of the IRS, as the German government, among others, felt uncomfortable with forwarding information directly to the US tax collector.

    There are many important things to know when trying to come to grips with what FATCA and FBAR mean. The good news is that the draconian penalties applied by the IRS to those participating in earlier amnesty programs have been dropped in favor of a “simple” explanation of why the person has not filed. Under a new “streamlined procedure,” those wishing to become compliant can do so by submitting US tax returns for the past three years and FBARs for the past six. The bad news is that those who do not complete the streamlined procedure before being found by the US will still face penalties – even if not as severe as in the past.

    In a nutshell: A far larger proportion of Americans will be affected by FBAR than the wider-reaching FATCA, which concerns only those residing overseas with assets exceeding $200,000 (single filers) and $400,000 (joint filers). US citizens living abroad are required to file an FBAR with their US tax returns – every year – if they have an interest in any financial account, including bank, securities or other types of account, in a foreign country, provided the aggregate value of these accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year. In addition, a person with signature authority over a foreign bank or financial account must also file an FBAR annually.

    As compliance with any of the rules involves more than just listing income and other assets and calculating the foreign tax exemption, those who can afford to would be wise to hire a tax preparer, preferably a certified public accountant (CPA) registered with the IRS. This can cost upwards of €1,000 for the three tax returns and six FBARs. Democrats Abroad does not keep an official list, but those seeking names and addresses can contact this email address from DA Germany: DAG-FATCA@DemocratsAbroad.org

    Since FATCA and FBAR came into effect, a dedicated Democrats Abroad task force has been working with the IRS and the US Treasury Department to address the financial reporting burden the legislation imposes on Americans living and working abroad.


    Aloka Barthel, Media Contact – DAG-Press@DemocratsAbroad.org (2015)

    Dede Williams, Communications Team – DAG-FATCA@DemocratsAbroad.org (2015)

     

     


     

    DAA Review

     

    March for Science

    By Danny LoCascio

     

    Democrats Abroad Austria participated in the recent March for Science held on Earth Day, April 22. About 25 DAA members carried the American flag and a DAA banner as they marched alongside scientists, students, professors, and people from all walks of life - expats and Austrians alike.

    The march was just one of more than 500 satellite marches in solidarity of the March for Science in Washington, D.C.  Millions marched around the world to demonstrate in support of science, but also in protest of the recent decisions made by Donald Trump regarding science. "He has thrown a wrecking ball at institutions like the Environmental Agency," one member stated.  “He has appointed climate change deniers to his cabinet. He has publicly described climate change as a hoax. It's like putting an arsonist in charge of extinguishing a fire which they started, and we're all living in the burning house."

    Scientists are now worrying about government funding for research desperately needed to undo the ravages that the misuse of science has caused.  And people all over the world are worried that climate change will continue until it is irreparable, if it isn't already. 

    The march originated at Sigmund Freud Park, where people gathered, met up with friends, and got the feel of the march.  Democrats Abroad Austria set up a table for voter registration. Although rain was forecast at precisely the time of the march, it held off until the end to everyone's relief.  At Sigmund Freud Park, there was a DJ, interviews with scientists and live music provided by Danny Chicago, who performed Bob Dylan's "The Times They are a Changin" and his own socially influenced song "Runaway Train"

    DAA Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper commented, “The organizers had posted a map with the scientific landmarks along the route and our new treasurer, Marcy Fowler, gave us her professional insights about the Iran nuclear deal as we passed by Palais Coburg, where the talks were held. Another DAA member, Lizzie Stevens, was a part of the TBA21 artwork, Jiboia (King Boa), by Ernesto Netos. Everyone had a good time for an important issue.

    The march began at 2 pm and wove its way through the first district and back to the ring at Maria Theresien Platz. The entire march took roughly 90 minutes. There were hundreds of distinguished Austrian scientists who gave their signed support to the march and many of them could be seen marching in the crowd. 

    Several highly respected scientists in the Austrian scientific community gave speeches in support of science such as Vice-President of the Universities' Conference and Rector of the Vienna University of Economics Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger and former President of the European Research Council (ERC) Helga Nowotny.

    Two DAA members, Casey Miller and Danny LoCascio, were part of the original organizational committee. The initial organizers were Robin Gleason and Olivia Fischer, and original members included Monica LoCascio, Laura Silverstein, Sabine Montagnon and David Heuser.  The organization was later turned over to Oliver Lehmann and his support team of Petra Eckhart, Emilie Kleinszig and Claudia Spitz, and the original committee stayed active through the end of the march.

    The demonstration size was estimated within the 2500 range.  It was a positive crowd with great energy, enthusiasm and a healthy mix of sending an important message while keeping a good sense of humor. The signs being carried were a varied mix of grim messages, clever science puns, angry sentiments, inspirational quotes and takeaway phrases. 

    After the march, twelve members of DAA met up at Halle to rest their feet while enjoying refreshments and conversation.

     If you would like to see follow-up events and activities go to the main March for Science link.

     


    Solidarity Sunday #3:  Pens Out Against FATCA & Tax Reporting Hell


    Our third Solidarity Sundays Vienna event on April 30 helped to enact change - even if we didn’t manage to get Trump to disclose his tax returns. We did, however, produce an armful of cards urging our legislators to reform the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). More than 60 cards from Vienna will be hand-delivered by Democrats Abroad activists in mid-May as part of their Congressional Door Knock. And our writing action is inspiring other Democrats Abroad groups to follow suit!

    All in the nick of time: after years of legislative inaction, something started moving last week. Americans Abroad Caucus Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill to reform FATCA. The Overseas Americans Financial Access Act aims both to ease the reporting burden from abroad, and to allow us again to easily open bank accounts in the countries in which we’re living and working.

    Despite the long weekend, several of us gathered for good coffee and discussion, and our activism is helping to move an important political question forward. Join us for the next Solidarity Sundays Vienna event on May 28 to learn about planning peaceful, legal and powerful street action, and to support DA’s participation in this year’s Pride March. All info can be found on our Facebook page here as well as here.

     


     

    Member’s Corner

    Welcome, New Democrat!

    Congratulations to DAA Member-at-Large and Database Manager, Caitlin Ahern, on the birth of her son Benjamin on April 8th. She is thrilled to be raising another tiny Democrat in this very parenting-friendly country!

     

     

     


  • posted about The Democrats Abroad Austria April Newsletter on Facebook 2017-04-06 01:38:14 -0400
    The Democrats Abroad Austria April Newsletter

    The Democrats Abroad Austria April Newsletter

    • Upcoming Events

      • Young Dems Pub Night Thursday, April 20
      • March for Science Saturday, April 22
      • Solidarity Sundays #3 Sunday, April 30
    • Issues and Actions

      • Looking Forward, Stepping Up: DAA is Taking Action
      • Solidarity Sundays Vienna: Persist Persistently
      • Round-up on “DREAMers”: Issues and Interview with Juan David Cerda
      • DA FBAR/FATCA Task Force Report: 15 April Filing Date!
      • DA’s new “Global Action Team” (GAT)
    • DAA Review

      • Annual General Meeting 2017:
      • Re-cap by Outgoing Chair
      • Post-AGM Get Together
      • AGM Questionnaire Results
      • A Fun Political “Sudoku Quiz”
      • “Growing the Grassroots”: Solidarity Sundays Vienna #2 on “DREAMers”
    • Members’ Corner

      • Popular Political Podcasts—All for free!
      • Rational Readers Club

     

    Upcoming Events


     

    The Young Democrats Abroad Pub Night in April

     

     photo beaverbrewingco_zpsefvdnofl.jpg

    It seems like a lot of members are taking a hiatus from drinking during Lent, so our next pub night will be the first Thursday after Easter, so there'll be no excuse not to come and join us!

    Beaver Brewing Co. is also dog-friendly, so you can bring your little friends as well.

    *Disclaimer: Contrary to some belief, Democrats Abroad cannot treat us to our monthly pub nights, so please be sure to pay your complete tab at the end of the night! Thanks in advance ;-)

    If you prefer to RSVP via Facebook, you can!
    WHEN
    Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
    WHERE
    Beaver Brewing Company
    Leichtensteinstrasse 69
    Vienna 1090
    Austria
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT
    Ashley Arreola · ashley_arreola@yahoo.com · +436503749481

     


     

    March for Science

     

    JOIN DAA AS WE PARTICIPATE WITH OTHERS AROUND THE GLOBE IN THE MARCH FOR SCIENCE!

    Albert_Einstein-2.png

    We’ll be easy to spot with an American flag, our DAA signs, and we’ll be getting creative as well!

    Science is grounded in facts and substantiated arguments. Science and technology are the biggest contributors to the prosperity of society via education and health care. Much remains to be done to reduce existing global inequalities. Considering the enormity of the challenges our world will face in the near future, we need solutions that can only be realized and implemented by a science-based society.

    The current political climate, not only in the United States but also abroad, gives us cause for concern. The falsification and denigration of facts for ideological purposes threaten not only science, but also the basis of democracy.

    We call upon you to protect, strengthen, and celebrate the democratic foundations of science. We are not alone in this mission: 400 near-simultaneous demonstrations the world over prove that science and society are both willing to work towards an open-minded future.

    WHEN
    Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM
    WHERE
    Sigmund-Freud-Park
    Vienna 1090
    Austria
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT
    Oliver Lehmann · team@sciencemarchvienna.at

    SOLIDARITY SUNDAYS VIENNA #3: CITIZENS ABROAD AND TAXATION

     photo 4301d5b9-fb12-4007-a9f9-1e3f3ac9c01a_zpspvab5fsa.png

    FATCA Schmatka? Do we as citizens abroad care about residence-based taxation?

    • How to change overseas tax misery by getting Congress to vote in our and the nation's interest!
    • Action! … Dear Honorable …We’re going to write the kind of letter to our elected representatives that gets us a reaction. Our Democrats Abroad colleagues are going door-knocking on Capitol Hill and will put your letters right into the hands of your elected representatives.
    • PS Keep your eyes on the Dems Abroad website for FATCA deadline infos!

    You can RSVP via Facebook if you prefer!

    WHEN
    Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 04:00 PM - 04:00 PM
    WHERE
    Amerlinghaus
    Stiftgasse 8
    Vienna 1070
    Austria
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT
    Antje Lewis · solsun@gmx.at

     

    Issues and Actions


     

    Looking Forward, Stepping Up

    By Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

     

    It goes without saying that the 2016 US presidential election was a shock to pretty much everyone. While most of us still have the “what if” soundtrack replaying in our heads, a number of things have become clear since Trump’s inauguration on 21 January 2017. First and foremost, we, as citizens, not only stand up for our beliefs, we also get involved, we get organized, and we get active. So, regardless of the threat to our democracy that many of us perceive, we’ve proven that our voices can be heard.

     

    This is why I’m excited and looking forward to my coming term as Chair of Democrats Abroad Austria.

     

    Read more …

     


    Solidarity Sundays Vienna: Persist Persistently

    By DAA Grassroots

    Persist Persistently! Here’s how.

    Mark your calendars: last Sunday of the month, 4 pm in Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna.

    Every meeting has a topic and a real, live action. Get up on the issues, have some fun, do some good.

    We’re an open group, you can come with no strings attached, or you can attach strings and help out :-) Fire off an email: solsun@...

    Check us out + share: https://www.facebook.com/solsunvienna/

    We have an event planned for the last Sunday of every month this whole year!! 

    View the Solidarity Sundays Schedule for May - November 2017

     


    Round-up on “DREAMers”: Issues and Interview with Juan David Cerda

    By Adrea Mach, Member-at-Large

      photo juancerda_zps471079db.jpg

    “Who’s a ‘DREAMer’?” you may ask. Maybe you know one; maybe you even were/are one. Time to find out. Even if not, what does this have to do with you, DAA and Trump’s anti-immigration America?

     

    Read more …


     

    The Democrats Abroad FBAR/FATCA Task Force Report – March 2017

    Democrats Abroad works hard for all Americans Abroad on a number of issues and on FATCA/FBAR in particular. As you may have become aware of over the past few years, Americans with accounts in foreign financial institutions with a total balance across all accounts at any point during the year of US $10,000 or more need to file a FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report) Form 114. This year, for the first time, the form is due for submission on 15 April, as opposed to 30 June as it has been in the past.

    As Carmelan Polce, the Singapore-based Chair of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) wrote to the DPCA Leadership on 24 March 2017: “I appreciate it has been six months since you had an update from the FBAR/FATCA Task Force, but we’ve all had rather larger, more pressing fears and concerns to contemplate since last fall … and there hasn’t actually been much to say until now.” But now there IS—and the contents of this report are important for YOU as tax-paying Americans abroad. “You may be asked about FATCA and the Trump Government, so we hope these notes will help you to form answers.”

    View the full report here.

     

    READ MORE...


    DA’s new “Global Action Team” (GAT)

    On Sunday, March 26, in the context of our new “Solidarity Sundays”, Katie Solon, Democrats Abroad International Chair, gave an update on global outreach strategies and initiatives. Citing the growing ranks of active Dems Abroad—up by 10,000 members since the November 2016 election—she said that the new buzzword is the “Global Action Team” or “GAT”. The four action priorities are:

    1. Sharing resources
    2. Networking
    3. Bubble-up ideas on “global post-it” notes
    4. “Globalizing” 2-3 national events this year (e.g. the highly successful “Women’s March on Washington” in January that was replicated not only in US but around the world.

    A GAT Leadership Team is being developed and there are also several Global Caucuses:

    • The Women’s Global Caucus
    • The LGTB Global Caucus
    • The Young Dems Global Caucus, are currently recruiting country chairs and new members.

     New global caucuses are welcomed, Katie said, and the “hurdles” to create one are very low and easily surmountable. More details and Best Practices on WIKI and the Democrats Abroad website.


    DAA Review


     

    March 2017 DAA Annual General Meeting Re-cap

    By Vice-Chair, Keith Jacomine

    On March 18th members of DA-Austria met for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to review the previous year’s business activities and elect a new Executive Committee.

    The evening started with a business review by outgoing Chair, Keith Jacomine, and Vice-Chair, Ashley Arreola. The Chair's presentation focused on the sizeable growth in membership over the past year, the increased level of volunteerism amongst members, DAA’s financial and leadership support to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad—plus our members’ emboldened political activism. The Vice-Chair‘s presentation focused on member engagement and the numerous events, ranging from social to political orientation, that were staged over the year 2016 to keep members active and aware.

    Read more...

    POLITICAL SUDOKU- A “Mary Ann and Keith’s Quiz Special” by Democrats Abroad Austria on Scribd


     Post-AGM Dinner and Get-Together

    By Ellen Lewis, Secretary

     

    Political meetings are best digested with tasty food and a good glass—or more—of wine. Following the AGM, members enjoyed a bit of wine and tapas onsite before heading en masse to dinner at the nearby “Brickmakers Pub and Kitchen” where we had the chance to socialize with DA-A friends and get to know new people. Engaging conversations ranged from political to personal, and it was particularly refreshing to have such a mix of young and not-so-young!

    There was a spontaneous invitation to continue the merrymaking at Yvonne Richard’s apartment and those of us who did had a great time. Bonding over DAA politics, especially in the present climate, fosters both activism and camaraderie! 


    Results from the AGM and Online Questionnaire

    By Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

    I’ve long had an open question in my mind about whether our efforts at DAA are actually reaching their intended targets. Therefore, I took the opportunity of the AGM to put together a questionnaire (which was also available via an online survey) to ask members their opinions about what we were doing and how we were doing it.

    Altogether, 110 members responded within a few days and the results have made us rethink some of our approaches. A total of 85% of responding members receive their news from the emailed DAA newsletter. Thus, thanks to member-at-large, Adrea Mach, look forward to a newsletter that is both bigger and more substantive.  

    Read more...

    DAA Questionnaire by Democrats Abroad Austria on Scribd

     


     Growing the Grassroots: Solidarity Sundays #2 on “DREAMers”

    On Sunday, March 26, a good dozen members—including a surprise appearance by DA International Chair Katie Solon—and interested visitors gathered together for the second Solidarity Sunday at Vienna’s Amerlinghaus (Stiftgasse 8, 1070), which will now be this action’s permanent monthly meeting site. SolSun founding organizers Juan David Cerda, Antje Lewis and Tanya Lolonis steered this energizing event.

    Read more...

     


     

    Members’ Corner

    Here are a few events and items that may be of interest to DAA members.

     

    Popular Political Podcasts—Informative, Fun, and all for Free!

    By Tanya Lolonis, Member and Grassroots Activist

    Today’s fusion of media and politics, as well as media as a platform for politicians and movements, makes podcasts a terrific medium for exploring—and resisting—the Trump era. Some of the best discussions on U.S. politics are streaming through your speakers and headphones right now! Three standouts (all free on iTunes):

    Read more...

     


  • posted about Looking Forward, Stepping Up on Facebook 2017-04-04 16:05:45 -0400
    Looking Forward, Stepping Up

    Looking Forward, Stepping Up

     

    By Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair 

    It goes without saying that the 2016 US presidential election was a shock to pretty much everyone. While most of us still have the “what if” soundtrack replaying in our heads, a number of things have become clear since Trump’s inauguration on 21 January 2017. First and foremost, we, as citizens, not only stand up for our beliefs, we also get involved, we get organized, and we get active. So, regardless of the threat to our democracy that many of us perceive, we’ve proven that our voices can be heard.

    This is why I’m excited and looking forward to my coming term as Chair of Democrats Abroad Austria. 

    The critical issues that are keeping thousands of activists busy in the US and across the globe are the very same issues, actions, and events that are generating a new wave of members to become actively involved in DAA and will enable Democrats Abroad to help take back the Senate and turn Congress blue in 2018.

    Directly after the November 2016 election, DAA couldn’t just sit still so, instead, we stepped up and responded in the best ways we knew: we organized a vigil; we joined in with and supported Caroline Kirkpatrick, who organised the “Women’s March on Washington” here in Vienna; and we gave our whole-hearted suport to the newly formed DAA Grassroots activists and started working on their monthly Solidarity Sundays. We’re investing a LOT of energy!

    Over the coming two years, my goal as DAA Chair is to build on that energy and move it towards, not just the ExComm, but encouraging each and every one of us to take one step up. If you registered to vote from abroad, help us now to register others to vote for the 2018 mid-term elections. If you went to an event before, now help organize one. If you thought something wasn’t working right, then step up and help change it for the better. If each and every one of us takes just one little step up to the next higher level of participation, come November ‘18, we will have generated a Democrats activists’ storm–let’s make it a Category 5!

    The new Executive Committee looks forward to meeting and working with many volunteers over the next few years! We would also sincerely like to thank our retiring board members, Mary Ann Balko-Koch, Stanley Hale, Christian Gauster, Eva Ciabattoni, and Fred Robinson for all their enthusiasm, hard work and commitment over the past years.


  • posted about Round-up on “DREAMers”: Issues and Interview with Juan David Cerda on Facebook 2017-04-04 15:58:36 -0400
    Round-up on “DREAMers”: Issues and Interview with Juan David Cerda

    Round-up on “DREAMers”: Issues and Interview with Juan David Cerda

    By Adrea Mach, Member-at-Large

    “Who’s a ‘DREAMer’?” you may ask. Maybe you know one; maybe you even were/are one. Time to find out. Even if not, what does this have to do with you, DAA and Trump’s anti-immigration America? 

     photo juancerda_zps471079db.jpg

    “I’m one of those ‘bad hombres’—those Mexican guys Trump loves to bash,” says Juan David Cerda, an American of Mexican descent. “But I had the fantastic good luck to be born in the US—in a small agricultural town in the Central Valley of California. So I actually started out life as an American citizen, NOT as a DREAMer. I'm even more fortunate to come from a family that encouraged me to follow my dreams and to take risks.  

    My mother, Rosalina, was a risk taker. Born in Mexico, at age 16 she illegally waded across the Rio Grande River to Texas with only one sandal— the other one got lost on the way. So happy to have arrived, she made her way to California, slaved away as migrant field worker in the unrelenting heat during the summers and met David, her husband, my dad, who had been born in Texas and thus was legal. They fell in love, got married and the rest—including my two younger siblings—is current history.

    My mother enrolled herself in a night school program to learn English, received her GED, went on to college, and now works at a pre-school. She also earned her American citizenship. I still remember, when I was about ten, helping her study for the civics exam with questions like: ‘How many members does the House of Representatives have?’ I’ll bet not even everybody born in the States knows the answer to that one. [435 is the answer.]

    My father David, a mechanic, taught me the meaning of hard work and never to give up. I'm the first in my family to earn a master's degree; my sister is a teacher; and my younger brother is studying for a PhD. My parents did right by us.

     Back then in the 1980s, they were both members of United Farm Workers Union under Cesar Chavez [Latino American civil rights activist in the California of the 1970/80s]. I grew up with that stuff in my backyard. Fighting for common decency. And passing on the benefits, both economic and emotional, to others, trying to realize their own dreams.”   

    What a great personal story to bring “DREAMers” issues to life!

    Juan now works at an international organization in Vienna. 

    The DREAM Act”—short for “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act—is focused on documented immigrant children. This US congressional bill was first introduced in 2001 with the goal of granting legal status to young people brought to the United States as children, stayed and attended school there. Although several versions of the bill have been introduced in Congress since 2001, it has yet to pass both houses and be enacted into law.

    Although the term “DREAMer” originally took its name from the above congressional bill, it clearly has a double meaning: do America’s undocumented youth dare to dream of a better future? For recent details, check out http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/01/05/unauthorized-immigrants-covered-by-daca-face-uncertain-future/

    Meanwhile, in 2012, Obama enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), allowing illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. since 2007 and arrived under the age of 16 to receive work permits, access to welfare, and protection from deportation. More than 750,000 illegal immigrants are covered by the policy and 1.1 million would be eligible. Trump’s campaign trail promise to “immediately terminate Obama’s illegal executive amnesties” has NOT been put into action yet ... but it could at any moment. Ending DACA would be as simple as signing a new Executive Order. And we all know how much Trump enjoys doing that. 

    That’s why we’re writing to the “movers and shakers”—from congressional representatives to local sheriffs to editors of local newspapers. Every letter carries its clout! See the post about Solidarity Sunday Vienna #2 for more. 

     


  • posted about The Democrats Abroad FBAR/FATCA Task Force Report on Facebook 2017-04-04 15:47:05 -0400
    The Democrats Abroad FBAR/FATCA Task Force Report

    The Democrats Abroad FBAR/FATCA Task Force Report

    Democrats Abroad works hard for all Americans Abroad on a number of issues and on FATCA/FBAR in particular. As you may have become aware of over the past few years, Americans with accounts in foreign financial institutions with a total balance across all accounts at any point during the year of US $10,000 or more need to file a FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report) Form 114. This year, for the first time, the form is due for submission on 15 April, as opposed to 30 June as it has been in the past.

     

    As Carmelan Polce, the Singapore-based Chair of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) wrote to the DPCA Leadership on 24 March 2017: “I appreciate it has been six months since you had an update from the FBAR/FATCA Task Force, but we’ve all had rather larger, more pressing fears and concerns to contemplate since last fall … and there hasn’t actually been much to say until now.” But now there IS—and the contents of this report are important for YOU as tax-paying Americans abroad. “You may be asked about FATCA and the Trump Government, so we hope these notes will help you to form answers.”

    For the full report go to http://www.democratsabroad.org/fbar_fatca_task_force_report

     

    Here are the highlights of the report in a nutshell:
    • Democrats Abroad continues to support Residency-based Taxation and believes the proposal that has the best model will entail both fees and penalties for exercising the reporting exemption and be revenue neutral.
    • FBAR is due on April 15, 2017 as opposed to June 30, 2017 as it has been in the past, although supposedly there is a six-month automatic extention. DAA does NOT give tax advice–you must check with your tax advisor or FinCen’s website for the filing due date.
    • Many Americans living abroad know nothing of their obligation to report to the IRS the earnings they make in their country of residence. 
    • Double Taxation: Many areas of the tax code were developed without due consideration for the impact they would have on Americans residing abroad. 
    DPCA welcomes your comments and commitment to their efforts. To get involved in this important issue visit:

  • posted about 2017 Democrats Abroad Annual General Meeting Review on Facebook 2017-04-04 15:36:47 -0400
    2017 Democrats Abroad Annual General Meeting Review

    2017 Democrats Abroad Annual General Meeting Review

    By Vice-Chair - Keith Jacomine

    On March 18th members of DA-Austria met for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to review the previous year’s business activities and elect a new Executive Committee.

    The evening started with a business review by outgoing Chair, Keith Jacomine, and Vice-Chair, Ashley Arreola. The Chair's presentation focused on the sizeable growth in membership over the past year, the increased level of volunteerism amongst members, DAA’s financial and leadership support to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad—plus our members’ emboldened political activism. The Vice-Chair‘s presentation focused on member engagement and the numerous events, ranging from social to political orientation, that were staged over the year 2016 to keep members active and aware.

    After wrapping up the AGM’s business agenda, the floor was opened to audience participation. What followed was a spirited discussion of DA’s overrall role in the Democratic Party and many members’ desire for it to take on a more grassroots, progressive orientation. The discussion ended with an agreement that, regardless of which “flavor” or persuasion one is on the Democratic Party spectrum, we must all work together to beat the Republicans. 

    Post-discussion, it was time for the 2017-2019 Executive Committee elections. While the ballots were being tabulated, Chair Keith Jacomine and Member-at-large, Mary Ann Balko-Koch, entertained members with a politically oriented Trivia Quiz: "Real or Fake Headline/Who Said It Quotes" with the top winners walking away with "valuable" prizes. Since this is perhaps not so “trivial” after all, if you would like to test your knowledge, you can find the Quiz right here! 

    Following the announcement of the vote results, the new Executive Committee was introduced. They are:

    Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper

    Vice-Chair Keith Jacomine

    Treasurer Marcy Fowler

    Secretary Ellen Lewis

    Counsel Bruce Murray

    At Large: Caitlin Ahern

    Ashley Arreola

    Adrea Mach

    Matthew Stevens

     

    Our newly elected Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, then presented the priorities, focusing our efforts over the coming two years (2017-2019) to work on the issues we care about and use our work to rally voters to the polls for the 2018 mid-term elections. She closed her presentation with a call to “Be Active! Volunteer for an issue you care about! Get involved!” 

    Thanks to all the members and volunteers who have tirelessly given of their time and energy this past year. If you'd like further information on what was discussed at the meeting, please email Ellen Lewis, DAA Secretary at ellenlewis2@gmail.com

     


  • published Results from the AGM and Online Questionnaire in News 2017-04-04 15:20:18 -0400

    Results from the AGM and Online Questionnaire

    By DAA Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper

    I’ve long had an open question in my mind about whether our efforts at DAA are actually reaching their intended targets. Therefore, I took the opportunity of the AGM to put together a questionnaire (which was also available via an online survey) to ask members their opinions about what we were doing and how we were doing it.

    Altogether, 110 members responded within a few days and the results have made us rethink some of our approaches. A total of 85% of responding members receive their news from the emailed DAA newsletter. Thus, thanks to member-at-large, Adrea Mach, look forward to a newsletter that is both bigger and more substantive.

    The survey also gave us a better idea of what kind of events members have attended, been popular in the past, and what types of events members would like to see take place in the future–think political actions and events and quarterly meet-ups!

    Finally, out of 110 respondents to the DAA survey, almost half replied that they would like to help, but weren’t sure exactly what they could do, while twenty-nine said they would like to help with a specific issue, and another thirteen members sent their name and email saying, “Call Me”. That is a really enthusiastic response!

    Overall, since the election, 11,000 members have raised their hand to volunteer to Democrats Abroad. DAA Excomm would like to thank everyone who responded to the survey and especially those of you who have stepped up to volunteer your time!

    Click below to view the questionnaire results in full.

    DAA Questionnaire by Democrats Abroad Austria


  • posted about Growing the Grassroots : Solidarity Sundays Vienna #2 - on "DREAMers" on Facebook 2017-04-04 12:54:38 -0400
    Growing the Grassroots : Solidarity Sundays Vienna #2 - on "DREAMers"

    Growing the Grassroots : Solidarity Sundays Vienna #2 - on "DREAMers"

    On Sunday, March 26, a good dozen members—including a surprise appearance by DA International Chair Katie Solon—and interested visitors gathered together for the second Solidarity Sunday at Vienna’s Amerlinghaus (Stiftgasse 8, 1070), which will now be this action’s permanent monthly meeting site. SolSun founding organizers Juan David Cerda, Antje Lewis and Tanya Lolonis steered this energizing event.

    Juan, our guest speaker, brought the issues of “Dreamers” to light with moving, insightful personal stories (See “Round-up on “DREAMers”: Issues and Interview with Juan David Cerda” for details). We heard about the so-called “DREAM Act”—the acronym for the “Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act—a US congressional bill first introduced in 2001 aimed at stepwise granting of legal status to undocumented minor immigrants, allowing them educational opportunities and potentially paving the way to permanent residence and American citizenship.

     

    After wide-ranging discussions on America’s public perceptions of “DREAMers”—from young refugees in need of support, education and protection to “criminals” to be immediately and en masse—we moved to “What can WE—ourselves American ‘migrants’ abroad—do to help our homeland counterparts?”

     

    “Contact your Congressional Representative, Senator or locally elected Sheriff!” and “Write a Letter to the Editor of your voting district newspaper!” was Tanya’s answer. She provided us not only with letters-to-the-editor writing tips and a sample letter but also the comprehensive website—http://www.50states.com/news—to pinpoint the contact details of newspapers in our previous hometowns and/or current voter registration cities. Our “homework” was to:

    1. Look up the media channels.
    2. Identify a current “hot” political issue there—“DREAMers” or another burning issue.
    3. Draft/share your “LTE” letter with solsun@gmx.at.
    4. SUBMIT it per email to this news outlet or congressional or sheriff’s office within a week maximum! And, of course, if your “LTE” gets published, Bravo! Let us know what kind of feedback it produced!

     

    After a brief DA global update by Katie Solon, we focused on our own SolSun thematic priorities for the coming months. Everyone was invited to propose topics, actions and hands-on help.

     

    For those of you unable to attend these motivating “Solidarity Sundays” in person, our monthly DAA Newsletter will also do its part by previewing upcoming SolSun topics and reporting on their outcomes and follow-up channels, thus expanding our outreach. For queries or inputs, please contact solsun@gmx.at.

    Join us at Solidarity Sundays Vienna #3 on April 30, 2017.


  • posted about Member's Corner on Facebook 2017-04-04 12:32:10 -0400
    Democrats Abroad Austria - Member's Corner!

    Member's Corner

    Popular Political Podcasts—Informative, Fun, and all for Free!

    By Tanya Lolonis, Member and Grassroots Activist

    Today’s fusion of media and politics, as well as media as a platform for politicians and movements, makes podcasts a terrific medium for exploring—and resisting—the Trump era. Some of the best discussions on U.S. politics are streaming through your speakers and headphones right now! Three standouts (all free on iTunes):

    • Pod Save America is the ideological home of the resistance. Four former members of President Obama’s inner circle - Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor - enlist journalists, politicians and activists to discuss politics, the press, and the Trump presidency. Barack Obama’s last interview as president was here, and Tom Perez and Keith Ellison both featured in the run-up to the DNC election. Consistently at the top of iTunes podcast charts in the U.S.
    • With Friends Like These is the cyber-space where political columnist and culture critic, Ana Marie Cox, conducts open, in-depth conversations with liberals and conservatives about what divides us. It’s billed as “a show about listening instead of arguing” and is a good place to get ready for those hard conversations with Trump-supporting family back home. 
    • Vox’s The Weeds is where wonkish journalists Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff and Matt Yglesias tackle complex, weighty topics — perfect if you want to use your daily commute or run to understand Obamacare, the history of U.S. immigration policy, or SCOTUS (i.e. the Supreme Court of the United States). Billed as the podcast for people who “love thinking about health care, economics and zoning.” 

    For further details, please contact Tanya at tanya.lolonis@mac.com.

     


    Rational Readers Club

    By Marcy Fowler, Treasurer

     

    The Rational Readers Club of Vienna will be meeting on April 15 to discuss Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism. And since we're meeting on Tax Day, we’ll also talk about current issues related to transparency in government. We’ll share tips on effectively calling our government officials and then will try out our enhanced skills by making calls to demand that Trump release his tax returns. 

    Details: Saturday, April 15 at 11:00 am at Café Phil (Gumpendorferstraße 10-12, 1060 Vienna). We would enthusiastically welcome new book club members--please just contact us in advance at RationalResistanceAustria@gmail.com.

    We’ll be meeting again in May (details TBA) to discuss our next book, The Captive Mind, by Czesław Miłosz.


  • published Democrats Abroad Austria March Newsletter in News 2017-03-05 13:59:39 -0500

    Democrats Abroad Austria March Newsletter

    In this March 2017 issue:

    1. Upcoming Events

      1. 2017 Annual General Meeting and Elections – March 18

      2. Solidarity Sundays Vienna #2 – March 26

    2. Issues and Actions

      1. Grassroots Grow Roots

      2. Reflections from the Outgoing DAA Chair

    3. DAA Review

      1. Solidarity Sundays #1 in Support of Planned Parenthood

      2. Graz Meet-Up – Afternoon of Action

          4. Member's Corner

      1. International Women’s Day/A Day Without Women – March 8
      2. April 15 Join Trump taxes call-in  http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/tax-day-trump-protest-democrats-235064.
      3. April 22 Science March 

     

    1. Upcoming Events

      • 2017 Annual General Meeting and Executive Committee Election

    Please join fellow DA Austria members on Saturday, March 18th to recap a very eventful 2016 and elect members of the Executive Committee.

    JOIN US:
    Date: Saturday, March 18, 2017

    Time: 3:30 - 5:30 pm (doors open at 3:00 pm)

    Place: SPÖ Neubau, Lindengasse 64 (ground floor), 1070 Vienna

    Contact: Mary Ann Balko-Koch, mab22koch@gmail.com

     

    Please pre-register for the meeting by clicking here to contact -> Mary Ann Balko-Koch (mab22koch@gmail.com).

    Include your: Name, address, phone number and voting state in your email to her so that your record stays current. This will help us start the meeting on time and ensure that we have an accurate vote count. We encourage all members to pre-register, even if you're uncertain that you can make it, in order to minimize long waiting lines.

    We are making a group reservation for dinner after the meeting at 6pm at The Brickmakers, Zieglergasse 42 (a five-minute walk from the meeting location)  http://www.brickmakers.at. If you'd like to be included in the reservation, please inform Mary Ann when you pre-register.  We need to tell the restaurant how many we will be, so we’d appreciate your pre-registration by Saturday, March 11 if you plan to join us for dinner!  

     

      • Solidarity Sundays #2: Action for DREAMERS & Team-building for Future SolSuns
    Time: Sunday March 26, 4-6pm 
    Place: Central Vienna, address TBA
    Contact: solsun@gmx.at 
    DAA Grassroots brings you yet another fun and informative action event! 
     
    On the last Sunday of every month in 2017, we are organising a “Solidarity Sundays”– a short, late afternoon devoted to one high-priority issue for Democrats.
     
    Our volunteer team for March 26 invites you to take action for DREAMERS. We'll address the current wave of deportation of undocumented immigrants and write letters to the editor of our hometown papers–the most-read page of any paper and a great place to advocate. Our team will help you find the address of your local papers, and have advice and sample texts at hand, plus a printer for you to use. Make your voice heard!
    Parallel to this action, we are going to choose topics for our future SolSuns. It’s your chance to suggest and adopt a topic and work with our Grassroots  mentors to make a Solidarity Sundays come alive. Be part of the Resistance! Check the democrats.abroad.org/at  events page and keep an eye on the DAA Facebook page for location information. 



    2. Issues and Actions

      •  Grassroots Grow Roots

    In the aftermath of the election, three DAA members, Antje Lewis, Tanya Lolonis, and Juan David Cerda, banded together to “Make America Safe for Democracy Again!” They set themselves the challenge of activating Democrats Abroad members and U.S. ex-pats in Austria, and to have fun while doing it. Since November, Grassroots of Democrats Abroad Austria Caucus has developed a format and a growing list of ideas to turn frustration into action. 

    In the spirit of the activist groups Indivisible and Solidarity Sundays, Solidarity Sundays Vienna plans monthly meet-ups to target a specific issue or non-profit organization under threat by the Trump Administration and the Republican-controlled houses of Congress. 

    The goal of this grassroots effort is to build a community of activists in Austria. The ideas and energy that the group generates reflect a participatory approach: DAA members are encouraged to propose an issue to target and the Caucus will help you organize your action or event. 

    What issue do you wish to support? Join us! We’ll support you in constructing events that educate and activate, whether it be contacting our representatives, conducting teach-ins or read-ins, skywriting, or marching. Contact Tanya, Antje, or Juan to get the wheels in motion for a Solidarity Sundays Vienna action you’d like to see. Grassroots of DAA Caucus wants to hear from you: we know you have LOTS to say!

     

      • Reflections from the Outgoing DAA Chair, Keith Jacomine

    Four years ago at the March Annual General Meeting, I was elected Chair of Democrats Abroad Austria. My, how time has flown by.  Over the past four years, we have seen the highs of the second term of the Obama presidency and the beginning of the nightmare of the Trump Administration. Could the contrast be any greater?

     

    In looking back over this time, I'm proud of our many accomplishments: in both the midterm and presidential elections volunteers made thousands of phone calls to encourage members to vote and provide support on casting absentee ballots; we ran a very successful global primary where over half of our members cast a ballot; and we increased our membership significantly over that period. And it wasn't just hard work and no play – DAA became more active in the expat community and increased member engagement through social outings such as Fourth of July and Thanksgiving events, participation in the Pride Parade, wine tastings, theatre events, and Young Dems Pub Nights.

     

    For all their help and support in making the past four years a success, I'd like to thank our many volunteers and my fellow members of the Executive Committee: Vice-Chair Ashley Arreola; Council Chris Gastner; Secretary Eva Ciabattoni; Treasurer Fred Robinson; and Members-At-Large Stanley Hale, Caitlin Ahern, Mary Ann Balko-Koch and Matt Stevens.  

    While some of the Excom members are running to retain their positions, both Ashley and I are not seeking reelection in our current capacities due to term limitations. Additionally, two of our long-serving Executive Committee members-at-large, Stan Hale and Mary Ann Balko-Koch, have chosen to retire at this time. I'd like to give Ashley, Stan a Mary Ann a special thanks.  

     

    Ashley has been an invaluable co-conspirator during my tenure as chair. She provided youth and vigor to the group and brought a fresh can-do approach to our discussions. Ashley is also directly responsible for creating the Young Dems group in Austria and getting them together for monthly outings.  

     

    Stanley joined DAA as Media Contact in 2006 and served until 2017, and also for many years formatted and dispatched the newsletter. Stan says one of his unforgettable experiences as our media contact was the early breakfast on Wednesday, November 5, 2008, at the Lion Rampant pub in the 19th district with a group of delirious expats who had spent the night following the election results with live CNN streaming and the never-ending stream of journalists who interviewed him in German. We thank Stan for his many years ensuring that we, our positions and Democratic candidates are favorably represented in the press.  

     

    Mary Ann has been on the Executive Committee since 2010 and is responsible for membership and our member data base.  Through Mary Ann's hard work and dedication, our membership data base has consistently been ranked as one of the cleanest and most accurate in all of Democrats Abroad.  The accuracy of our data base and the resulting verified membership is important for things such as the number of votes our country committee gets to cast for some Democratic Party Committee Abroad business matters.  I say this partly in jest but it's an accurate statement: I've known Mary Ann to spend countless hours emailing, writing or calling unverified members in an effort to ensure that they still reside in Austria.  Since I became chair, Mary Ann has been my first call if a question arose that I couldn't answer.  I thank her for her time, commitment and friendship during the past four years.  

     

    Knowing our slate of candidates who have so far tossed their hats in the ring, I am confident and optimistic that Democrats Abroad Austria will continue to be an active and vital organization in these challenging times and that DAA will continue to fight for democratic and progressive ideals – and we will work our asses off to get Democrats elected in the 2018 midterms and win back the White House in 2020.

    Thank you again for giving me the honor to serve as chair. It's an experience I will cherish forever.

    Sincerely,

    Keith M. Jacomine

    Democrats Abroad Austria Chair 

     

     

    3. DAA Review

      • Solidarity Sundays #1 in Support of Planned Parenthood

    On Sunday, February 26, more than thirty members and non-members joined us at Die AU for the very first Solidarity Sundays Vienna. Thanks to the efforts of DAA members Allison Gutscher and Lizzie Stevens it was a HUGE success!

     

    We watched a short film about the history of Planned Parenthood, discussed ideas for future actions, and listened to some great songs performed by Danny Chicago. It was a family affair and everyone did a lot of writing.  On Monday, more than 100 postcards were sent by DHL to the States to be mailed with the USPS to our senators and members of Congress. Thanks to everyone who did their bit to make this event successful!

     

    Join us at Solidarity Sundays Vienna #2 on March 26. Details TBA on our Facebook page, #SolidaritySundaysVienna. There is a lot of solidarity out there – we garnered 216 likes on the main Solidarity Sundays FB page! For more information about the threat to Planned Parenthood go to #IstandwithPP.



      • Graz Meet-Up: Day of Action

    On Friday, February 17th, a few motivated Dems braved the rain to meet up in Graz and brainstorm actions to take from “the Green Heart of Austria”. We composed a list of helpful links and resources, which is shared on the Democrats Abroad in Graz Facebook group (please join if interested!). If you’d like a copy of the document, or to stay in touch if not on Facebook, contact Caitlin Ahern at caitlin.ahern@gmail.com.

     

    4. Member's Corner 

      • International Women’s Day / A Day Without a Woman – March 8 

    In celebration of the International Day Without a Woman, and in support of all women around the world, our friends at the Rational Readers Club of Vienna will not be working on March 8. Instead, we will be meeting to discuss The Rebel by Albert Camus, recent events related to intersectional feminism, and the Indivisible Guide (https://www.indivisibleguide.com/).

    We welcome anyone who would like to join us--please just contact us in advance at RationalResistanceAustria@gmail.com. We will be meeting again in April to discuss our next book, Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, and would enthusiastically welcome new book club members.

    Details: Rational Readers Club of Vienna will be meeting Wednesday, March 8 at 11:30 am at Café Phil (Gumpendorferstraße 10-12, 1060 Vienna), and will be wearing red in solidarity with women around the world. Please contact RationalResistanceAustria@gmail.com to RSVP or to inquire about joining the book club. In addition, there are many events planned in Vienna for International Women's Day. Please click here for a comprehensive listing


  • published Grassroots Grow Roots in News 2017-02-13 06:11:32 -0500

    Grassroots Grow Roots

    In the aftermath of the election, three DAA members, Antje Lewis, Tanya Lolonis, and
    Juan David Cerda, banded together to “Make America safe for Democracy Again!“
    They set themselves the challenge of activating Democrats Abroad members and U.S.
    ex-pats in Austria, and to have fun while doing it. Since November, Grassroots of
    Democrats Abroad Austria Caucus has developed a format and a growing list of ideas
    to turn frustration into actions. 
    In the spirit of the activist groups Indivisible and Solidarity Sundays, Solidarity
    Sundays Vienna plans monthly meet-ups to target a specific issue or non-profit
    organization under threat by the Trump Administration and the Republican-
    controlled Houses of Congress. 
    The goal of this grassroots effort is to build a community of activists in Austria. The
    ideas and energy that the group generates reflect a participatory approach: DAA
    members are encouraged to propose an issue to target and the Caucus will help you
    organize your action or event. 
    When DAA members Allison Gutscher and Lizzie Stevens said that they’d like to
    organize a postcard writing action for Planned Parenthood, the Grassroots Caucus
    brainstormed with them and offered practical assistance to help them make it
    happen. The very first Solidarity Sundays Vienna is set for Sunday, February 26!
    (details below) And on Earth Day, April 22nd, DAA member Danny LoCasio – Danny
    Chicago – is coordinating our participation in the March for Science Vienna. 
    What issue do you wish to support? Join us! We’ll support you in constructing events
    that educate and activate, whether it be contacting our representatives, conducting
    Teach-ins or Read-ins, skywriting, or marching. Contact Tanya, Antje, or Juan to get
    the wheels in motion for a Solidarity Sundays Vienna action you’d like to see.
    Grassroots of DAA Caucus wants to hear from you: we know you have LOTS to say!

  • Democrats Abroad Austria February 2017 Newsletter

    In this February 2017 issue:

    1. Upcoming Events

      1. Vienna Young Dems Pub Night - Feb. 24th

      2. Salzburg Meet-Up – Feb. 24th

      3. Graz Meet-Up - Feb. 17th

      4. Solidarity Sundays Vienna #1 - Feb. 26th
      5. Save the Date: Annual General Meeting – March 18th

    2. Issues and Actions

      1. Call for Nominations - Democrats Abroad Austria Executive Committee Elections 2017

    3. DAA Review

      1. Candlelight Vigil at US Embassy

      2. Women’s March on Washington – Vienna

      3. Special thanks to the AIBC - Vienna

     

    1. Upcoming Events


    1. Vienna – Young Dems Pub Night – February 24

    dems commit


    Young Dems pub night is back! It's been a while since we have gotten together, so we hope to reunite as well as welcome all the new people that have joined lately. We have a reservation for 10 people at 7PM in the non-smoking section at the same location we held our election night party. Our very own Doug Andrews will also be playing LIVE at 8:30PM, so some of us may stick around a little longer to listen to him. Please RSVP if you can via the website or our Facebook event. For questions, contact our DA Vice Chair at ashley_arreola@yahoo.com

    JOIN US:
    Date: Friday, Feb. 24th

    Time: 7:00 p.m.
    Place: The Golden Harp Landstraße, Erdbergstraße 27, 1030 Vienna
    Contact: Ashley Arreola, ashley_arreola@yahoo.com

     


     


    2. Salzburg Monthly Get-together 

     

    Our next meeting will be Friday, February 24 at The English Center at 17:30. Members and friends are welcome. So please give Mary Ann a quick call at +436645923408 (or send a text) to let her know you are coming.

    Note: This will be our last meeting! If anyone would like to take over the Salzburg meetings, please contact Mary Ann!


    JOIN US:
    Date: Friday, Feb. 24th
    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Place: The English Center, Haunspergstrasse 37A, 5020 Salzburg  
    Contact: Mary Ann Balko-Koch 0664 59 23 408

     


     

     

    3. Graz Meet-Up – Day of Action February 17th at Bar28 4:00pm to 6:00 pm

    The Women’s Week of Action happens to coincide with our semester break, so we are planning an afternoon of action in Graz either before or after – let’s take some time to sit down and brainstorm actions we can take from Austria’s second city. We’ll have laptops and phones ready to make calls and contact our representatives. Date and location is at Bar28 – please contact Caitlin Ahern caitlin.ahern@gmail.com, +436503125572, if interested!

     


    4. Join Grassroots of Democrats Abroad Austria as we stand with Planned Parenthood at our first Solidarity Sundays Vienna event.


    Planned Parenthood is under attack like never before. Congress is gearing up to block millions of patients from accessing birth control, cancer screenings, and other care at Planned Parenthood, which will hit low-income folks and people of color the hardest. We must act now.

    Who we are
    As Americans in Vienna, living abroad has left many of us feeling disconnected from the actions being taken by our fellow Americans in the US. That’s why Grassroots of Democrats Abroad Austria is starting a Vienna chapter of Solidarity Sundays with regularly scheduled events focusing on issues that matter. We invite you to join us in building a community of activists here in Vienna.

    At our first Solidarity Sundays Vienna event we will be getting personal by decorating and writing postcards to our government representatives to express our deep concern about the imminent threat to Planned Parenthood and women’s reproductive rights across the globe.

    The event will kick off with a speaker (to be announced), followed by introductions on why we are inspired to fight for Planned Parenthood and how the organization has impacted us personally. Then it’s time to get busy writing and decorating our postcards. The event will close with a few songs from Democrats Abroad Austria’s very own Danny Chicago.

    Not American and still want to get involved?

    You are more than welcome to participate! Following the #IdesofTrump action in the US to flood the White House mailbox on March 15th , we will also be writing and mailing pink slip postcards directly to Donald Trump to express our opinions of his policies on women’s reproductive rights.

    What to bring?

     

    • We will provide postcards and pens.
    • 50 cents per postcard to cover postage (Estimate 2 euros for 3 cards to representatives and 1 to Donald Trump). We will be sending all postcards in a package to the US, which will be mailed from there to save on costs.
    • Cash for food and drinks provided by die Au
    • Craft items (markers, glitter, etc.) for those who want to get extra creative with your postcards
    • Pussy hats

    Planned Parenthood

    Where: Die Au

    When: February 26th 4:00pm to 6:00pm 


    Please RSVP to this event on Facebook so we can gauge how many participants to expect.
    For more information on how to get involved and support Planned Parenthood, please visit their PP Action site.
    This event is hosted by Grassroots of Democrats Abroad Austria.

    For questions about the event, please contact Allison Gutscher or Lizzie Stevens

     

     

     


    5. Save the Date: Annual General Meeting – March 18th

    Please save the date for our Annual General Meeting on March 18th in Vienna. Location and time TBA. See below for information on the elections held during the meeting.

     


     

    2. Issues and Actions

    1. Call for Nominations - Democrats Abroad Austria Executive Committee Elections 2017

    Democrats Abroad Austria will hold its 2017 Annual General Meeting in Vienna on March 18th.  At the meeting, elections will be conducted to fill the following positions for two-year terms:

    •    Chair

    •    Vice-Chair

    •    Treasurer

    •    Secretary

    •    Counsel and

    •    up to 6 Members-at-Large

    The job descriptions for the members of the DAA Executive Committee can be found below.  If you would like to run for any of these positions, please send your name and a short bio to the Nominations Committee by February 14, 2017. Send to: mcjac98@gmail.com with a copy to eva_ciabattoni@yahoo.com

    A list of candidates and bios will be sent to all members – with the official announcement of the meeting on February 18th. Nominations will also be taken from the floor at the AGM.

    Best regards,

    Kate McGrath and Eva Ciabattoni

    2017 Democrats Abroad Austria Nominations Committee

    DAA Executive Committee Job Descriptions

    From the DAA Bylaws:

    Article V: Officers

    The Officers of the organization shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Counsel. The Vice-Chair shall be of the opposite sex of the Chair.

    Article VI: Chair

    The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the organization, shall call and preside at all meetings of members and of the Executive Committee, and shall have responsibility for all activities approved by the Democrats Abroad Austria Executive Committee. The Chair shall sit ex-officio on all committees of the organization including Standing Committees, with full voting privileges.

    Article VII: Vice-Chair

    In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall call and preside at meetings of members and of the Executive Committee. The Vice-Chair shall have such other duties as the Chair shall define, such as chairing Standing or Ad hoc Committees.

    Article VIII: Secretary

    The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings and all files and administrative records of the organization. All such records shall be open for inspection by members.

    Article IX: Treasurer

    The Treasurer shall manage the finances of the organization, maintain its financial reports to members and make and maintain such financial reports as may be required by law (including without limitation the laws and regulations of the United States and of the individual states applicable to political parties and contributions to them). All such records shall be open for inspection by members. The Treasurer will co-sign with another Executive Committee member on the Democrats Abroad Austria bank account. With advice from the Executive Committee, the Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget to be approved by the Executive Committee. The budgetary year will begin and end near the date of the Annual General Meeting.

    Article X: Counsel

    The Counsel shall be available for consultation by the Committee or its Officers on legal and procedural questions relating to Democrats Abroad Austria and its activities. If no Counsel is available, Democrats Abroad Austria will rely on the DPCA International Counsel.

    Duties of the Members-at-Large are not spelled out in the Bylaws; rather they are self-selected in consultation with the Executive Committee. Current Members-at-Large have taken on a variety of responsibilities including:

    *Salzburg Coordinator

    *Database Manager

    *Media Contact

    *Social Media and member communication

    *Membership engagement

    *Graz Coordinator




    3. DAA Review

     

    1. DA Austria's Candlelight Vigil

    Since the election, many of us have all been in a state of shock, disappointment & angst. On Friday, Dec. 2nd, some of DA Austria's members gathered in front of the U.S. embassy in Vienna to hold a candlelight vigil in order to let the world know that we believe in diversity, stand up for civil rights and will continue to fight against hate and for human rights. Candlelight vigils and similar protests like this are being held across the world from Hungary to Japan to Guatemala in solidarity of the Women's March in Washington, and this was just the first of many that DA Austria will participate in. It was a very nice evening filled with great ideas as to how we as citizens can stay involved from abroad, because it is so very important to unify and overcome the hateful and discriminatory rhetoric that is coming from the White House right now. It is moments like these that we are reminded that it is crucial to continue to fight for the values of justice and liberty that we as a nation believe in. We were honored to hear the personal stories of members and were happy to provide a place of comfort for Americans to come and express their feelings and ideas. We were also proud to present our new DA Grassroots Movement in Vienna, so please let us know if you are interested in getting involved. Contact Tanya Lolonis at tanya.lolonis@mac.com.

     

    To check out photos from the evening, see our Facebook photo album.

    At the Vigil, member Robbie Ierubino read a poem he composed expressing his feeling about the election results:

     

    We the united

    We the families

    We the individuals

    We the native

    We the foreign-born

    We the religious

    We the free

    We the oppressed

    We the young

    We the forgotten

    We the divided

    We the heartbroken

    We the citizens

     

    We the Americans

    Are different than you think

    We the people



    2. Women’s March on Washington – Vienna

    On January 21st, Americans, Austrians and people from all over the world took part in the Women's March in Vienna. At the march, Brigitte Hornyike of the Austrian Fraurenring spoke, followed by DA member Laura Rockwood. Despite the -8 degree temperatures, it was estimated that 1,500-2,000 people marched together from Karlsplatz to Stadtpark. After marching, women from One Billion Rising performed their internationally known dance, Break the Chain, and DA member Danny LoCascio performed “These Times They Are a Changin'” by Bob Dylan.

     

    Following the march, the lead organizers of the Women's March on Washington and Women's March Global have continued their efforts to make change in the US and around the world. The Women's March on Washington released an action plan titled 10 Actions/100 Days. This action plan holds ideas in which Americans abroad, as well as those in the States, are able to take part. Members of DA have also been meeting together to talk about what we can do about the issues happening in the States while living in Austria. It is wonderful to see the new excitement and energy towards activism here in Vienna following the march. Let's keep it going!

     

     

    3. Special thanks to the AIBC - Vienna

    We would like to thank the AIBC for the use of the baseball field at the Prater for our very successful 4th of July picnic and softball game. Everyone had a great time and we strongly encourage those interested in volunteering to check out their needs for the upcoming season here!


  • Democrats Abroad Austria November 2016 Newsletter


    In this November 2016 issue:

    Upcoming Events

    • Vienna Election Night Party – November 8
    • Graz Post-Election Dinner – November 9
    • Salzburg Meet-Up – November 25
    • Democrats Abroad Austria Thanksgiving Dinner

    Issues and Actions

    • Get Out the Vote
    • Order your Clinton/Kaine Stronger Together T-Shirt Now!

    DAA Review

    • Rockin’ the Vote for Hillary Fundraiser Recap

     


     

    Vienna Election Night Party – November 8


         The event everyone has been waiting for! Just like we did four years ago, we will watch the election results come in at The Golden Harp Irish Pub in Vienna's third district near the U-Bahn station Rochusgasse.

    For DA members, doors will open at 8PM downstairs. We will have an early bird special with performers on stage for you as well.

    At 11:30 PM, we will make our way upstairs where the entire bar will be reserved for this event. Doors will be open to the public at 11:30, and you must show this Facebook invitation at the door. There is no entrance fee, but a minimum of one beverage per guest is required.

     

    Members, please RSVP to the Facebook event (https://www.facebook.com/events/1845747322337226/) or send an e-mail to ashley_arreola@yahoo.com with your name and number of guests if you plan on coming prior to 11:30.
    Further details:

    Early bird special ‘till 10PM:
    Hamburger/veggie burger + Zipfer 0,5 vom fass = €10,50 Cheeseburger + Zipfer = €10.90
    Double cheeseburger (2 patties) + beer = €12.30

    *This will only be available downstairs

    Performers

    American folk singer from Wyoming Doug Andrews
    http://www.doug-andrews.net/

    Stand-up comedian Okello Dunkley from Brooklyn, NY
    https://www.facebook.com/events/311381329234728/
    http://www.dslrworkshops.com/

    JOIN US:

    Date: Tuesday, November 8

    Time: 8:00 p.m. all night long!
    Place: The Golden Harp Landstraße, Erdbergstraße 27, 1030 Vienna
    Contact: Ashley Arreola, ashley_arreola@yahoo.com



     

    Graz Post-Election Dinner – November 9

         We Dems in Graz are psyching up for election night, but we also need our precious sleep – that’s why we’ll meet to celebrate the results the next day, Wednesday, November 9th at Sägewerk off of Kaiser-Josef-Platz. Join us for dinner and drinks! (We’ll be in the non-smoking room at the back.) Please RSVP on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/682663735245645/) or to Caitlin 0650/312 5572 so we can have a general head count in advance. Looking forward to celebrating with you!

     

    JOIN US:
    Date: Wednesday, November 9

    Time: 7:00 p.m.
    Place: Sägewerk, Schloegelgasse 1, 8010 Graz (corner of Kaiser-Josef-Platz)  
    Contact: Caitlin Ahern, 0650/312 5572

     

     

    DAA Salzburg Monthly Get-Together

        Our next meeting will be Friday, November 25, 2016, at The English Center at 17:30. Members and friends are welcome. So please give Mary Ann a quick call at 0664 59 23 408 (or send a text) to let her know you are coming.

    JOIN US:
    Date: Friday, November 25
    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Place: The English Center, Haunspergstrasse 37A, 5020 Salzburg  
    Contact: Mary Ann Balko-Koch 0664 59 23 408

     

    Democrats Abroad Austria Thanksgiving Dinner

    On Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 24th at 7PM, we invite our Democrats Abroad friends and family in Vienna to come to the table and be thankful that the election is finally over. We are hoping to have much to be thankful for this year.


    We have once again made reservations for 50 at OTTO Biergasthof in the 12th district. It's the same nice cozy place like last year, and they will be serving pumpkin soup, turkey, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans with bacon, red kraut, stuffing (Semmelknödl) and apple strudel family style. €25 for adults & €15 for kids 12 and under covers a 3-course turkey feast. Homemade pumpkin pies are as always welcome. We request that you pre-purchase your tickets by transferring the fee to our Democrats Abroad Austria bank account. Please also RSVP to this event by sending an email to our DAA Treasurer Fred Robinson at fred@frederarch.com and let him know how many guests you are bringing.

    Please transfer €25 times the number of guests you will bring to the Democrats Abroad Bank Austria account:
    IBAN: AT27 12000 50390623001

    All friends and family are welcome, but you can only transfer the money from an American citizen's account (Of course it can be from an Austrian bank since this is our Austrian DAA account).

    If we reach our 50 person limit, you can still attend the event and order regularly from the menu. Please call Ashley Arreola +436503749481 if you have any further questions. Link to Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/888426504627056/

    Date: Thursday, Nov. 24th, 2015

    Time: 7PM

    Place: OTTO Biergasthof
    Altmannsdorfer Strasse 101, 1120 Vienna, Austria

    http://www.biergasthof-otto.at/

     

     

     Get Out The Vote Activities

          DA Austria has been busy rallying our members to make sure they request their ballots and vote.  A team of about twenty-five phone banking volunteers have made close to 600 phone calls to members across Austria reminding them to go to votefromabroad.org to request their ballots.  Their hard work will be celebrated with a thank you party after the election.  A special thanks goes to Mary Ann Balko-Koch for overseeing our phone banking efforts and recording the results of all our calls. 

     In addition to rallying our existing members, volunteers also staffed voter registration events at various schools, pubs, meet-up, etc. in Vienna, Salzburg and Graz.  A big thanks to all for helping us elect Hillary Clinton the next president on November 8th.

     


     

    Order your Clinton/Kaine Stronger Together T-Shirt Now!

         Show your support for the Clinton/Kaine team by wearing a limited-edition Democratsabroad.org Stronger Together t-shirt.  They can be purchased at the upcoming election night parties or be ordered by mail.  If you'd like one, please email the number and sizes you'd like to daaustriaevents@gmail.com and we'll work out delivery details.  Each t-shirt costs €10.

     

    Rockin’ the Vote for Hillary Fundraiser Recap

    A big thank you to everyone who came to the Schwarzberg on October 8th for our Rockin’ the Vote for Hillary fundraiser. As Joey Green said afterwards, “Wow! What an evening!” 

    Not only did the Joey Green Band get everyone rockin’ and, with a little help from our friend Danny Chicago, dancing, but Okello Dunkley from Vienna’s Funniest Stand-Up Comedy entertained us with a routine superior to any jabs from Trump heard at the Al Smith dinner last week, and Doug Andrews performed some pretty spectacular stuff on his guitar–both Okello and Doug will be at the election night party, so be sure not to miss them!

    The evening also included a whole slew of raffle prizes thanks to donations by Beaver Brewing Company, English Lovers, Metropole, Kate McGrath with Oktoberfest tickets, Stylish Shutter, Vienna’s Funniest Stand Up Comedy, Open House Theatre, Wien Gin, and the Golden Harp.

    This was clearly the best party in the hood. Both the Kurier and ORF were covering the event and we were honored to have DA International Chair Katie Solon, DA International Vice Chair Art Schankler, and DA Hungary’s Chairperson Merrill Oates join us for the evening.

    Thanks to all of our supporters, DAA made more than €2,500 for the DPCA’s Get Out The Vote effort!

    See you at the victory party on November 8th!


  • donated 2016-10-03 15:46:25 -0400

    Event Payment

    Make a supporting donation to Democrats Abroad and join us for a live video conference call and Q&A session with top Clinton Campaign staff to get the latest insight into the status of the race, and learn where the last pushes are needed to win.

    Donating: $15, $25, $45, or $500 will enable you to join this update briefing call

    Donate

  • published Democrats Abroad August Newsletter in News 2016-08-15 18:17:07 -0400

    Democrats Abroad August Newsletter

      1. Request Your Absentee Ballot Now!
      2. Phone-A-Friend Membership Drive.

     

    UPCOMING EVENTS

    1. Young Dems Pub Night and Voter Registration at Summerstage - August 18

         For all of those left in the city this August and who have also been wanting to finally join or bring a friend, here is your chance! We will be at the Summerstage at Roßauerlände with a laptop, so that you can get registered to vote for the election in November. You can also register to vote now by visiting www.votefromabroad.org (Reminder – you must reregister to vote EVERY year!)

         See you next Thursday at the Summerstage. The table is reserved under Democrats Abroad. Call Vice Chair Ashley Arreola if you have trouble finding us at +436503749481.

    Looking forward to getting together again!

    JOIN US:

    Date: Thursday, August 18

    Time: 7 pm

    Place: Summerstage, Roßauerlände, 1090 Vienna

    Contact: Ashley Arreola, +436503749481

     

    2. Young Dems Pub Night & Voter Registration at Beaver Brewing Company – September 8

         Located just around the corner from the American Embassy, come and throw one back with us at the Beaver Brewing Company. We’ll have a laptop for anyone who needs help registering to vote!

    Young Dems Meetup at Beaver Brewing Company

         The table is reserved under Democrats Abroad. Call Vice Chair Ashley Arreola if you have trouble finding us at +436503749481.

     

    JOIN US:
    Date: Thursday, September 8

    Time: 7 pm

    Place: Beaver Brewing Company, Liechtensteinstrasse 69, 1090 Vienna

    Contact: Ashley Arreola, +436503749481

     

     

     

     

    3. Salzburg Monthly Get-Together – September 16

    Our next meeting will be Friday, September 16 at The English Center at 5:30 pm.

    Salzburg Meetup

    Members and friends are welcome. So please give Mary Ann a quick call or text at +436645923408

    JOIN US:
    Date: Friday, September16
    Time: 5:30 p.m.
    Place: The English Center, Haunspergstrasse 37A, 5020 Salzburg  
    Contact: Mary Ann Balko-Koch +436645923408



     


    4. Graz Debate Watch Party at Café Mitte – September 27

    The first presidential debate will be exciting - and certainly entertaining! Join us the following evening to watch some of the debate together and discuss what we've seen over drinks and dinner!

    Graz Debate Watch Party

    RSVP on Facebook (Democrats Abroad in Graz – Debate Watch Party)

     

    JOIN US:
    Date: Tuesday, September 27

    Time: 6:30 meeting time, 7 pm viewing

    Place: Café Mitte, Freiheitsplatz 2, 8010 Graz

    Contact: Caitlin Ahern, +436503125572




    5. Vienna Debate Watch Parties at Beaver Brewing Company – September 27

    The presidential general election is nearing, and we are anticipating a lively reaction to the presidential debates! Space is limited, so please RSVP. We'll meet at 6:30 for those that want to grab a bite to eat, and we'll begin the viewing at 7 PM. You're not going to want to miss this!

    RSVP on Facebook (First debate watch party)

    JOIN US:

    Date: Tuesday, September 27; Mon

    Time: 6:30 meeting time, 7 pm viewing

    Place: Beaver Brewing Company, Liechtensteinstrasse 69, 1090 Vienna

    Contact: Ashley Arreola, +436503749481

     

    6. Austria Fundraiser: Rockin’ the Vote for Hillary – Saturday, October 8

    Donate to Democrats Abroad and BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

    Rockin' the Vote for Hillary

         Join us! It’s going to be a wonderful evening of music and fun to get out the vote exactly one month before Election Day. The Joey Green Band, along with special guests Celina Ann and Danny Chicago, will be performing. Best of all, the proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) to help put Democrats back in control of both houses of Congress, keep the White House, and fill the Supreme Court vacancy and other vital posts! So come on out for an evening of rock & roll, funk, soul, blues, and swing with Democrats Abroad Austria and three of Vienna’s quintessential “American” performers.

         Tickets are limited! Order your tickets in the space below and pay by making a donation to Democrats Abroad.

    Tickets: Patron: €45 in honor of the 45th President! Includes a button!

    Regular: €25

    Student: €15—with a valid student ID at door

    Photo ID is required for all guests.

    JOIN US:
    Date: Saturday, October 8

    Time: 7:30 pm – 2 am

    Place: Schwarzberg Club, Schwarzenbergplatz 10, 1040 Vienna

    Tickets: Patron: €45 in honor of the 45th President! Includes a button!

    Regular: €25

    Student: €15—with a valid student ID at door

    Photo ID is required for all guests.

    Contact: Jennifer at daa.concert@gmail.com



    ISSUES AND ACTIONS

     

    1. REQUEST Your ABSENTEE BALLOTS Now!!!

    Dear Member (plus American friends and family),

         For those of you who have not yet registered/requested an absentee ballot for the November elections, please go to www.votefromabroad.org  now! The site is user friendly and will walk you through the process for your state. You do NOT need to be a registered Democrat to use this site.

         For those who have already requested their ballots, THANK YOU!! (Note: States are required to send ballots to overseas voters 45 days before a general election. As soon as you receive your ballot, vote and return it.)

         Please feel free to pass on this website to any American living overseas who wants to vote in November. This site is non-partisan and one doesn't need to be a member of Democrats Abroad to use it.

         Best regards,

    Mary Ann Balko-Koch

    Democrats Abroad Austria Database Manager

    +436645923408



    2. Phone-A-Friend Membership Drive

          Do you have American friends living in Austria who haven't yet registered to vote or aren't yet members of Democrats Abroad Austria? If so, give them a call and urge them to register to vote by going to votefromabroad.org, where they can request their absentee ballot for the upcoming election and also become a member of DA Austria.

         Once you've made the referral, send an email to daaustriaevents@gmail.com telling us who you've referred, and your name will be entered into our Phone-A-Friend Membership Drive raffle.  The membership drive runs from August 15th through September 27th. Each time a friend referral is made and registered at the above email, the referring member’s name will be placed in the hat to win one of three "valuable" prizes.

         The winners’ names will be drawn at the Vienna Debate Watch Party on September 27th at the Beaver Brewing Company. The grand prize winner will receive two tickets to our Rockin' the Vote for Hillary concert on October 8th. Second place will receive a special, limited-edition Clinton/Kaine Stronger Together T-shirt.  Third place will receive a keepsake campaign button of his/her choice.

         So start dialing so we can help elect the next Democratic president and keep the White House out of the small-fingered hands of Donald Trump!