Democrats Abroad Condemns Voter Suppression in Virginia

The Virginia House of Delegates is one seat away from a 50/50 Democratic/Republican split.

Ballots sent from abroad may help decide that outcome, but local election officials in Virginia are illegally refusing to count them.

The Republican candidate for House District 28 currently leads the vote count by only 84 votes, but news reports note that the local election board has refused to tally at least 55 ballots from abroad, and more than 1,000 other absentee ballots may not have been counted yet as well.

As Julia Bryan, Chair of Democrats Abroad, stated today: “Our legal system promises that all Americans who successfully cast their ballot should have their votes counted. By not picking up overseas ballots from their post box on Election Day — ballots that arrived before the 7pm deadline on November 7 — the Stafford County electoral board has effectively, and illegally, disenfranchised our military and civilian voters abroad. There is simply no legal reason not to count these votes.”

Democrats Abroad stands firm in condemning voter suppression efforts and will continue fighting to protect all votes from abroad.

UPDATE (Nov 12): The Stafford County electoral board will hold a meeting on Monday, November 13th to decide whether or not they will count the 55 votes from abroad. We will keep this statement updated as news comes in.


Joy in the Morning! Election result news

Virginia

Ralph Northam is the governor-elect (54% - 45%!), Justin Fairfax is lieutenant governor-elect, and Mark Herring was re-elected attorney general.

Control of the Virginia House went from 66R/34D to 51R/49D, with Democrats picking up 15* House of Delegates seats just two seats shy of flipping the House to Democrats. 

  • Jennifer Carroll Foy (HD-02)
  • Wendy Goodits (HD-10)
  • Chris Hurst (HD-12)
  • Danica Roem (HD-13) (first openly transgender state legislator)
  • Kelly Fowler (HD-21)
  • Elizabeth Guzman (HD-31)
  • David Reid (HD-32)
  • Kathy Tran (HD-42) (first Asian-American woman in the House)
  • Lee Carter (HD-50)
  • Hala Ayala (HD-51)
  • Karrie Delaney (HD-67)
  • Dawn Adams (HD-68)
  • Schuyler VanValkenberg (HD-72)
  • Deborah Rodman (HD-73)
  • Cheryl Turpin (HD-85)
Thanks to ABSENTEE VOTES! there are re-counts underway in four additional Republican-held House Districts: HD 27 (R-Robinson, D-Barnett), HD 28 (R-Thomas, D-Cole), HD 40 (R-Hugo, D-Tanner) and HD 94 (R-Yancey, D-Simonds). 

* This is the largest pickup for Virginia Dems since 1899

Florida
Democrats re-elected Mayor Rick Kriseman to be the mayor of St. Petersburg.

Georgia
Democrats flipped two House districts by electing Deborah Gonzalez (HD-117) and Jonathan Wallace (HD-119). 

Massachusetts
Democrats re-elected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh.

Michigan
Democrats held Michigan’s 109th House District by electing Sara Cambensy.

Minnesota
Melvin Carter won the mayor's race in St. Paul to become the first African American Mayor. 

New Hampshire
Democrats flipped the Manchester mayoral seat by electing Joyce Craig. Joyce is the first woman to ever serve as mayor of Manchester.

Democrats flipped one seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives by electing Erika Connors to the Hillsborough County District 15 and held the Sullivan County District 1 by electing Brian Sullivan.

In total, Democrats have now flipped six seats in New Hampshire from red to blue in 2017 

New Jersey
Democrats flipped the governor’s seat from red to blue by electing Phil Murphy (55.6%-42.3%). 

Sheila Oliver was elected Lt Governor and became NJ's first African American Lt Governor.

Vin Gopal flipped New Jersey’s 11th Senate District from red to blue.

New Jersey became the 7th state in the US where Democrats control both legislative and executive branches. 

New York
Democrats re-elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.  

North Carolina
Democrats flipped 2 mayoral seats by electing Vi Lyles in Charlotte and Mitch Colvin in Fayetteville. Vi Lyles is the first-ever African American woman to be elected mayor of Charlotte, while Mitch used his strong ties to the community to flip the Fayetteville mayoral seat from red to blue. 

Washington
Manka Dhingra's resounding victory in the Washington 45th state senate race successfully flipped control of the Washington State Senate to the Democrats.

Jenny Durkan won the mayor's race in Seattle to become the first openly lesbian Mayor. 


DA Attends the DNC Meeting in Las Vegas

Democrats Abroad DNC members attended the Fall meeting of the Democratic National Committee in Las Vegas this October.  International Chair Julia Bryan (Czech Republic) and the DNC delegates Connie Borde (France), John Eastwood (Taiwan), Adrianne George (Sweden), Martha McDevitt-Pugh (Netherlands), Ken Sherman (Canada), and Orlando Vidal (UAE) represented the organization. 

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Larry Cohen Discusses Unity Reform Commission in Paris

lc2.pngOn October 28, Democrats Abroad France in partnership with Our Revolution France welcomed Larry Cohen to Paris.  Cohen is co-chair of the DNC's Unity Reform Commission (URC), and chairman of the board of Our Revolution. He reported on the URC's work, the proposals it will introduce, and their prospects to an audience of more than eighty people.

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Ralph Northam sits down with Dems Abroad

Check out Ralph Northam's video to Democrats Abroad!

"Virginia voters: Have you sent in your absentee ballot for 2017? Now’s the time!" If you’re registered to vote in the Commonwealth, you may have gotten that very call from a DA volunteer. 

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Report and Update: Support Tax Reform for Americans Abroad

Democrats Abroad is pleased to announce the publication of our 2017 Non-Resident Taxation Research report, Can We Please Stop Paying Twice? – Reforming the U.S. Tax Code for Americans Abroad.  The report provides data and testimony from Americans abroad on their experience filing from abroad and underscores the need for urgent reform to the tax code.   If you support tax reforms to exempt Americans living abroad from filing returns to declare income earned abroad then it is time to make your voice heard

We refer you to the Tax Reform For Americans Abroad Campaign in a Box  and urge you to use it to tax action right away!  The time is NOW to call, email or write your members of Congress and the leaders serving on the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways & Means Committee, using the language in the Campaign, and ask for their support for Residency Based Taxation.

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Congress Working on 2017 Tax Reform

The tragedy in Las Vegas, the on-going suffering of those in hurricane-affected areas of the US and the president’s various taunts may have distracted you from what’s happening on Capitol Hill these last 2 weeks, but be assured that the GOP leaders of the Congress have been busy selling their tax plan and moving their budget resolution through critical votes.  In order to manage dissent in their caucus they have been slow-dripping details of the proposal.

The average American may be distracted from it but you can be certain that the legions of corporate lobbyists have been anything but absent during these critical days of budget and tax code horse-trading.

The tax policy wonks haven’t seen enough to proclaim it decisively, but they are saying that Congress has so far fallen short of the president’s demands that tax cuts focus on the middle class and not the wealthy.  (We’re shocked, right?)

Tax Reform for Americans Abroad

We Americans abroad have a special set of concerns we’d like to lay in front of Congress whilst the details of the tax reform package have yet to crystallize.  We know from the approximately 4,500 responses to our survey of non-resident American taxpayers completed last month that there is enormous support for a radical change to the way the tax code treats non-resident taxpayers;  84% of respondents told us they support a switch from the current system of Citizenship-Based Taxation to Residency-Based Taxation (RBT) to resolve the many problems they are caused by a tax code that discriminates against them for being non-resident citizens.  As is explained in our RBT Frequently Asked Questions, under RBT Americans living outside the U.S. would continue to declare income generated in the U.S. but would be exempted from reporting to the Internal Revenue Service the income they generate in their country of residency.

TAKE ACTION NOW

If you are a supporter of RBT the time to take action is NOW.  Please open our Taxation Reform for Americans Abroad Campaign in a Box and use it to reach out to Congress TODAY! 

Share the Campaign in a Box and the Can We Please Stop Paying Twice? report with your network of Americans abroad and encourage them to do the same.

Please forward your questions and comments to TaxationTF@democratsabroad.org.

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To find out more about the latest Taxation Task Force work, including the latest reports and Tax Advocacy Webinar recording, head over to the Taxation Task Force Blog.


Mass Shooting in Las Vegas

Tom Perez, head of the Democratic Party, released the following statement in response to last night’s deadly shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada:

“This morning, America woke to news of the worst mass shooting in our history. Our hearts are with the people of Las Vegas and all those affected by this despicable act of terror. In the coming days, we will surely learn of the heroism of ordinary Americans and selfless first responders who risked their lives to save others. We will be reminded that the courage of the American people will always outlast the cruelty of cowards. As Americans, we cannot give in to fear or hatred. We must be united against all those who perpetrate such terror, and do everything we can to ensure that vicious attacks like this become a thing of the past.”

"Democrats Abroad mourns the massacre victims from the Las Vegas shooting. They are our brothers and sisters, family and friends. We are shocked to the core by this horrible destruction caused by one man and his access to weapons designed solely for murder," stated Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad. 

"We vow to join Perez's pledge and raise our voices to help ensure US citizens never suffer such an attack again. There is much that we can do to fight for sensible gun legislation, and there is no time like now to begin."


Democrats Abroad Endorses Medicare for All Bill

Democrats Abroad endorses the "Medicare-for-All" bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on September 13th by Bernie Sanders and co-sponsors including Sens Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.

"The ‘Medicare-for-All’ bill is currently the best route to attaining the goal of universal healthcare and as such we endorse it." stated Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, on behalf of the International Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad. "We invite those who favor other routes to put forward ideas that are as practical and thorough in attaining coverage for all.”

As Sanders explained in The New York Times Wednesday, the bill would mean that “every family in America would receive comprehensive coverage, and middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program.”

The endorsement from Democrats Abroad is the most recent push in support for Universal Healthcare from the organization, which has consistently maintained a stance that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Americans around the world have advocated for an affordable healthcare solution for residents in the United States similar to what many have experienced first-hand overseas.

"We consistently hear stories of 'healthcare refugees' - Americans abroad who can't return to the States because their health care would be cost prohibitive back home," added Bryan. "Healthcare should be a given, not a question mark, and it's time for U.S. policies to reflect that."


How Democrats Abroad Spent Our Summer Vacation

Over the past few months, Democrats Abroad has taken on the DNC’s “Resistance Summer” campaign by organizing events to enroll new voters, activate our membership base and ready Americans around the world for the work ahead.

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Americans Around the World Unite Against Hate

We call on Americans around the world to stand vigil tonight against the hatred of white supremacists, to show solidarity with Americans who believe we are, all of us, equal.

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