Letter from Washington - February 26

Tom Fina, Executive Director Emeritus

One month since taking office, the sociopath in the White House is probably more famous than any other living man in history. He has reached that level because of his symbiotic relation with the media, foreign and domestic. He lives for attention and approval. Cut that off, and he is dead. The media lives for readers and viewers. Today, Trump is the narcotic that gives the media a high when its advertising income is a downer. Neither can give up the other. Yet.

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Perez elected new DNC Chair, Ellison selected as Deputy Chair

Democrats Abroad Chair Katie Solon reports from Atlanta, where Tom Perez has just been elected the new chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Keith Ellison appointed Deputy Chair.

“Today is Unity Saturday,” says Solon. “Because of our shared values, principles and purpose, we are going to leave Atlanta unified and ready to take this fight to the places we need to fight. As Tom Perez said, contrary to what the press has been reporting, during this meeting we have not focused on our divisions, but instead have focused on our issues.”

Perez is the first Hispanic elected to the Democratic Party Chair position. He served as the Labor Secretary under President Obama as well as Deputy Attorney General. His first action as Chair was to call for Ellison to be named as Deputy Chair. Ellison has served as a Congressman from Minnesota for the last 10 years.

Democrats Abroad is confident that the deep experience that Perez and Ellison bring to the DNC will take us in the needed new direction. Perez’s background in civil and voting rights, and worker advocacy, community organizations and organization management will be critical to the party, while Keith Ellison has demonstrated time and again that he knows how to win elections and speak effectively to Democratic voters.

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Watch the DNC in Action in Atlanta - Day 2

Watch the DNC in action in Atlanta on February 25. Click this post's title to view the video. #DAinATL

Katie_and_Orlando.jpg
Our Democrats Abroad DNC Members prepare to vote in Atlanta. 

 


Watch the DNC in Action in Atlanta - Day 1

Watch the DNC in action in Atlanta on February 24. Click this post's title to view the streaming video. #DAinATL

(We were excited to hear our Chair, Katie Solon, speak in favor of Resolution 33, Resolution Empowering People-Powered Politics Over Corporate Interests at the DNC. She speaks at 1:19 in the video). 


DNC Members in Atlanta for DNC Election

The world is watching as the Democratic National Committee meets this week in Atlanta to elect new leadership and to determine how the party best moves forward under the Trump administration. Democrats Abroad has eight DNC members participating in the meeting, sending us updates from the meetings and keeping us informed through email, Facebook and Twitter reports (search for #DAinATL). 

The three-day meeting will last from Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, February 25, during which time its general sessions and elections will be livestreamed on Democrats.org. Among those officer positions to be determined are Chair, Vice Chair At-Large, National Finance Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Vice Chair for Civic Engagement and Voter Participation.

"We have been awed by the diverse, deep and broad skill sets brought to the DNC officer positions by the candidates,” says Kathryn Solon, Democrats Abroad Chair. “No matter who wins these elections, we will have strong leadership as we work together for the sake of the Party and America."

Recognizing that US voters living overseas are playing an increasingly important role in elections at home, Democrats Abroad is prepared to do all it can to protect and expand overseas voting rights. This is especially important in light of current voter suppression efforts occurring across the U.S.

“Despite our losses in November and the imbalance in state legislatures and governor posts, I am more optimistic about the Party than I've ever been,” said Solon. “We have the ideas, values, principles, and leaders, and we are getting a sorely needed fresh wind.”  

Democrats Abroad DNC Members

Kathryn Solon, International Chair, ex officio member (Germany)
Arthur Schankler, International Vice Chair, ex officio member (Serbia)
Connie Borde, EMEA (France)
Ken Sherman, Americas (Canada)
John Eastwood, Asia Pacific (Taiwan)
Martha McDevitt-Pugh, Global (Netherlands) 
Orlando E. Vidal, Global (UAE)
Adrianne George, Global (Sweden)


DA rallies in Munich for Democratic Principles

Democrats Abroad in Munich, Germany came out on a cold and rainy night to send a message to Michael Pence during his visit to the Munich Security Conference this weekend.

On the evening of February 17th, DA members gathered around the Angel of Peace Monument in Munich to greet the US envoy as it made its way to restaurant  Käfer, where the annual Deutsche Amerikanisch Dinner is held for members of both Security Conference delegations.

The rally opened with the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance, and continued with chants and speeches. At least 100 strong came out in the stormy weather to stand up for what it means to be patriotic and to defend the values of the United States.

As one DAG Munich member said, “I feel less secure as an American abroad now than ever before because of our current administration. It's important that we send this message at a moment when international security policy is under discussion.” 

 


U.S. Special Elections in 2017

Upcoming deadlines:      Alabama voter registration MUST BE MAILED by NOV 27 to vote in the US Senate Special Election
Pennsylvania 18th CD dates to be published

☞ More important state races at DemocratsAbroad.org/voting_news...

Pennsylvania — State House District 133

Special Election on December 5
Pennsylvania State House District 133 (Allentown and Bethlehem areas, covering portions of Lehigh and Northampton counties) will vote for a new State representative. Overseas voters who indicate "intend to return" on your Ballot Request form can vote in Pennsylvania State Elections.

DEC  5      Ballot request received by email, fax or mail
DEC  4 Voted ballot return by mail (postmarked AND received by DEC 12, 5pm ET)

Concerned You Won’t Get Your Official Ballot in Time? VOTE NOW using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Then MAIL it back right away before the voted ballot return deadline. And remember that you still need to submit that ballot request form too. More about voting with the FWAB...

 

Alabama — U.S. Senate

Special Election on December 12
Seat vacated by the resignation of Jeff Sessions (R) when he was confirmed as Attorney General — concerns all Alabama voters.

NOV 27      Voter registration by mail (postmarked)
DEC  7 Ballot request by mail (postmarked)
DEC 12 Voted ballot return by mail (postmarked AND received by DEC 19, 12 noon CDT)

Concerned You Won’t Get Your Ballot in Time? VOTE NOW using the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (or FWAB). Then MAIL it back right away following the voted ballot return guidelines. And be sure to mail in your voter registration and ballot request form by the relevant deadline too! More about voting with the FWAB...

 

Pennsylvania — U.S. House, 18th Congressional District

Special Election on March 18, 2018
Following the resignation of Tim Murphy (R). The Democratic Party will hold their nominating convention on November 19, 2017 to choose a candidate. Dates coming soon...

 

 

Register to Vote and/or Request your Overseas Absentee Ballot

  • Go to VoteFromAbroad.org and complete the form to request an absentee ballot.
  • Print, sign and send the form to your election office to receive a ballot for the election. Many states accept scanned forms by email or fax.

No elections in your jurisdiction? Take action by joining DA's phonebanking to support Doug Jones running for U.S. Senate in the Alabama Special Federal Election.

Questions? Email us at gotv@democratsabroad.org. We'll get back to you right away!

 


DeVos Confirmation - Why We Fight

"The Trump administration and the Republican Senators who voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education today have betrayed our children and our future," says Art Schankler, Democrats Abroad Vice Chair.

"DeVos is unqualified and ethically deficient. Her views on education will make education in America worse, not better."  

DeVos' appointment is on par with other nominees: an EPA administrator who doesn't believe in protecting the environment, an Energy Secretary who knows dangerously little about the Department he is about to lead, a Treasury Secretary who made a fortune from foreclosing on working Americans, the list goes on.

Katie Solon, Democrats Abroad International Chair, issued the following statement: "We'll continue to fight for free quality primary and secondary education, as well as affordable quality higher education, and will rally behind Democrats who rightfully voted against her. We will also work hard to vote the Republican senators who supported DeVos out of office. 2018 is right around the corner and we are ready to roll."

If you haven't already, join Democrats Abroad, and we will fight together. 


Announcement: Joseph G. Green (1934 - 2017)

From the family:

It is with heavy hearts our family announces that on Friday, February 3, at Kensington Hospice, Joseph Green passed away after a year of fighting renal and bladder cancer.

Joe is survived by his wife of 60 years, Rhoda Green, and his sons, Michael Neil and Marc Steven.  Joe also leaves behind his daughter-in-law Arlene Hazzan Green, and three grandchildren, Stephanie Rachel Green, Renee Jordan Green, and Doran Sergei Hazzan Green; his sister- and brother-in-law, Bonnie and Paul Friedman; brother Harry Green; nieces Debbie, Leslie and nephew Don Green, and nephews Steven and David Friedman.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Joe received his Ph.D in Dramatic Theory and Rhetoric from Indiana University in 1964 and his BA in Theatre from Temple University, Philadelphia, in 1956.  Joe taught at The University of Louisville, Indiana University South Bend, and Hunter College, before coming to Toronto’s York University in 1968. Subsequently, he became a proud Canadian citizen.  He served as Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, from 1973 until 1980, working to establish the departments of Visual Art, Dance, Film, Music and Theatre, as well as The York Winds Ensemble and the York Theatre Review.

Joe brought onto the Faculty numerous Canadian icons, including Mavor Moore (“Mr. Theatre”), while also establishing the York Performance Artists Series at Burton Auditorium, showcasing artists Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alan Ginsberg, Tom Wolfe and Henry Moore, to name but a few. Many of Joe’s former students and faculty appointments have gone on to fill important positions in Toronto, across Canada and beyond.

Green helped found, and served as Director of, York's MBA Program in Arts Administration and later served as Chair of the Board of Directors of CulTech Collaborative Research Centre. He has served as a consultant for the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, New York State Council on the Arts, the American Theatre Association and the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Joe also developed the initial proposals for the York Master of Fine Arts degrees.

When he took early retirement in 1994, Joe held the rank of full Professor in the Faculties of Fine Arts (Theatre), Arts (Humanities) and Administrative Studies (Policy and Strategy). In addition to his academic career, Joe was producer of many stage and TV productions. Notably, he developed, along with Gordon Hinch, the mini-series Glory Enough for All, which won a record-setting nine Gemini awards.

As Chair of Democrats Abroad (Canada), and international Voter Registration Chair, Joe worked to bring in the democratic vote to Americans across the globe. For his local community, he served on the boards of the Toronto Garden District Residents’ Association, and the Canadian Senior Artists’ Resource Network.

Joseph’s last legacy was the CBC interview: Joe Green Speaks of Life, Death andLove (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tX4UuIvT4DI ).

Joe inspired many people with the grace, acceptance and openness he displayed while facing life’s final stages. He passed peacefully, with his family at his side.

We will be eternally grateful for the extraordinary care and compassion of doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers at Kensington Hospice, which allowed Joe to live in comfort for many more months than expected.  

Funeral service:

Sunday February 5th, 2017, 11:00 am, at

Benjamin’s Memorial Chapel, 2401 Steeles Ave. West, Toronto.

 

Graveside service will follow at

The Toronto Necropolis, 200 Winchester Street in Riverdale, Toronto.

 

Shiva will take place, at the residence of Rhoda Green

130 Carleton Sreet., suite 509 (please check in with security), on

Sunday (4pm to 8pm), Monday and Tuesday (2 – 4 and 7 – 9pm), and

Wednesday (7 – 9pm)

 

Details can be found, Saturday evening, on Benjamin’s Joseph Green memorial page: http://bit.ly/2jL7dXB

 

Joseph and Rhoda would appreciate donations be made, in lieu of flowers, in Joe’s memory to:

 

Kensington Hospice

38 Major Street, 

Toronto, ON M5S 2L1 

416-963-9640 ext. 1400

(www.kensingtonhealth.org)

 


Democrats Abroad stands with airport detainees and protesters

Democrats Abroad stands with the people being detained at international airports in Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, JFK, and Dulles, and with protesters at airports around the the US.

"This executive order signed by President Trump discriminates against people based on religion and ethnic background and violates America's fundamental values and principles enshrined in the Constitution," states Katie Solon, Democrats Abroad International Chair.

"We resist this un-American and counterproductive action and stand together for freedom, tolerance, and an immigration policy that reflects American interest and values."

"We are proud of our members who have been offering their homes around the world to stranded travelers who are not being allowed to enter the US following the President's announcement."

"Democrats Abroad members joined millions of people around the world the past week to march against such disturbing policies and stand up for democracy and human rights. We will continue to fight and encourage Americans around the world to join with us with continued actions."

Follow our Twitter feed and help mobilize support for people unable to travel to the US due to the ban. #porteouverte