Fight for Healthcare

Healthcare is under attack again as Senate Republicans try to force through the Graham-Cassidy bill - a last minute effort to repeal ACA. This week’s DA tiny action provides talking points to use to call your Senators and ask that they vote against the bill. Hats off to DA Mexico for their help on this action and our best thoughts as Mexico recovers from the earthquake yesterday.

Almost 200 people have sent in their universal healthcare stories so far by email and the website, but we need to double that number to make a big impact in DC.

Our Spanish translation efforts are getting a big boost thanks to a new system Alex Montgomery has set up for us to work with – CrowdIn – a site that makes translating content a crowd project, easily accessible for volunteers. Interested in translating a few lines yourself? Please get in touch with Ana Blackstad, Hispanic Caucus chair, who is managing this wonderful project (and doing many translations herself!).

The Senator Elizabeth Warren 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 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! Please note that as she is in election season, her team has asked that we not circulate the video of the webinar.  

Our next webinar is a Taxation Q&A by our own Carmelan Polce. She’ll be hosting the session on September 29th at 9am DC time. We’ll send out a global email about the event on Monday, but do add it to your calendars now!

Save the Date

  • (Inter)National Voter Registration day – September 26, all day
  • Taxation webinar with Carmelan Polce – September 29, 9am DC time
  • "Give to Win" Fundraising Month for DA - kick starts October 9

Support the EPA's Clean Power Plan

Have you signed up for Elizabeth Warren’s talk this Sunday? Take a second and RSVP now if you haven’t.

In other news, our thoughts are with our families and friends recovering from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose. We all have favorite charities to give to, so I won’t send another list. If you have a moment though, consider working on the DA tiny action of the week: please call Congress and ask that they support the EPA's Clean Power Plan. If Fox News asks - no, it is not too early to talk about climate change.

Speaking of which, if you missed last Friday’s webinar on climate change with Karla Raettieg from the League of Conservation Voters, definitely check it out. Karla is a very knowledgeable speaker and talked to us about several ways Americans abroad could help make a difference back in the US on this important topic.

Interested in hearing how other country committees spent their summer (and what they did with all of those postcards?) Check out Aloka Barthel’s story on our news feed about a few of the Resistance Summer postcard grant participants.

Have you noticed a spate of DA ads popping up on Facebook? Please share and comment on them freely! The Comms team has troll watchers working to keep the troll commenters (Russian bots?) down; positive comments and lots of sharing are most welcome.

 Save the Date

  • Online vote on the Resolution Proposing the Adoption by the Democratic Party of a "Compact with the American People For Election Reform – September 15 (over a 24 hour period)
  • Elizabeth Warren webinar – September 17, 9:30 am DC time
  • Taxation webinar with Carmelan Polce – September 22, 9am DC time
  • (Inter)National Voter Registration day – September 26, all day

Wrapping up Resistance Summer

This week marks the close of Resistance Summer. Many thanks for all of your efforts to make the summer a success - attending events, helping DA expand our membership, and more! We are in the process of writing up a full report for the DNC summarizing all of these wonderful actions over the summer.  

To wrap up the summer, we have one more Resistance Summer Speaker Series event coming up tomorrow. During the call we'll be discussing climate change with a guest speaker from the League of Conservation Voters. The webinar starts at 9am EST this Friday, September 8th. RSVP today and send in any questions you'd like to ask too. 

The Taxation task force, led by Carmelan Polce, this week released a survey for Americans abroad taxpayers. With more than 3000 participants already, the survey is getting mentions across the internet. Please help keep the momentum going by sharing it on your facebook page. Do participate – the more data we have the more powerful our message back in the States will be during these next few critical weeks as Congress works on tax reform. 

A shout out also to the Congressional Contact team! They responded to DACA news with a comprehensive set of DACA scripts to use when emailing Congress about DACA. Please do contact your Congressional reps and share these scripts too.

Elizabeth Warren will be speaking on September 17th at 9:30am EST. RSVP today.

Save the Date

  • Environmental webinar – September 8, 9:00 am EST
  • Informal discussion of the Resolution Proposing the Adoption by the Democratic Party of a "Compact with the American People For Election Reform" – September 12
  • Online vote on the above resolution – September 15 (over a 24 hour period)
  • Elizabeth Warren webinar – September 17, 9:30 am EST
  • (Inter)National Voter Registration day – September 26, all day

Labor Day News

This Labor Day weekend, committees have planned more than a dozen events to celebrate the season and prepare for next year. A big shout out to Germany, whose chapters are hosting six!

As part of our Labor Day action outreach, we’ll be sending out a global email tomorrow (Friday the 1st) with lots of ways for you to get active as September begins.

Look for a follow up email about specific volunteer opportunities on Monday to all volunteers.

The Resistance Summer Speaker series continues next week. This time we'll be discussing climate change with guest speakers from the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club on Friday, September 8th at 9 am EST. Details coming very soon. 

If you didn’t have a chance to attend the excellent Immigration webinar with Nick Steiner and Jay Jimenez from the ACLU, you can view the video here.

 

Save the Date
Environmental webinar – September 8, 9:00 am EST
Elizabeth Warren webinar – September 17, 9:30 am EST
(Inter)National Voter Registration day – September 26, all day


Elizabeth Warren scheduled to speak to DA

Happy news from the U.S. - Elizabeth Warren has generously agreed to join us on a call on September 17th at 9:30 am EDT to speak to our members and help DA raise money. We will be sending out invites this week as well as house party helpful hints, but please save the date now. 

Our Resistance Summer webinar series continues this week with a Q&A session with the ACLU’s Nick Steiner. Nick will be speaking about the Muslim/Travel Ban, the “Wall”, deportations,the RAISE Act, and what we can do to help resist the administration's immigration policies. RSVP today for the link.

This seminar follows in the footsteps of last Friday’s Voter Rights webinar with Tom Hicks at the EAC. Hundreds of Americans abroad joined in on zoom and Facebook live for a lively round of discussion. If you missed the webinar, no worries – you can watch it here.


Remembering Charlottesville

Silence is no longer acceptable. We know this, every one of us. We have held vigils this week to mourn the death of Heather Heyer, to push back against the hatred of racism and the white supremacist movement, creating a massive unified front of members willing to stand up and publicly proclaim what they believe.

Now we must turn our energy and anger into action, pushing legislation that combats racism, doubling down on our get out the vote efforts, and joining with the Democratic party in a call out to Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump’s hate filled rhetoric.

This weekend the GOTV Team is kicking off phone banking campaigns for VA and NJ. In our calls we will be asking voters to request their ballots, and then call their representatives and senators and ask them to condemn Trump’s actions.

The Comms team is rolling out a global social media campaign today and tomorrow with a similar call to action message to all of our members. For anyone with Democratic representatives, we urge you lucky folk to join Tom Perez in a shout out to RNC Chair McDaniel, asking that the Republican party stand up to Trump. We will Rise and we will Organize.

This Friday, August 18 at 2pm EST, EAC Commissioner Tom Hicks will join us in a webinar to talk about Voter Rights and how we can work to combat voter suppression. Please RSVP today if you haven’t already.

Getting out the vote also means expanding our voter outreach, and our Data team is hard at work gathering 2016 voter data from all 50 states. This data is not free though, so please consider sponsoring your state’s data. If you are interested in the possibilities of being sponsor for your state, please contact the fundraising team.


Kicking off the DA Speakers Series

Despite the tensions of this week, the conflicting rhetoric from the White House, and North Korea’s response, I applaud you all for keeping your eye on the ball and for your tremendous work this summer as we prepare for next year and do all that we can to make sure such an administration does not come to office again.

This week we kicked off a series of webinars on issues that concern Americans abroad, and we are happy to see the great response so far. Our first event will be an issues webinar by our very own Martha McDevitt-Pugh (LGBTQ Caucus chair), who is holding a Q&A session online about LGBTQ civil rights, how they are threatened right now and what we can do to help. The Q&A will be both on Zoom and facebook live, so if you have any trouble logging on, or just want to dip in for a few minutes head to our facebook page and join in.

The GOTV team is in the process of putting together a phone banking campaign for NJ and Virginia voters. We’ll be running a Weekend of Action calling campaign over the weekend of August 18th. Any caller that logs more than 30 calls wins a sample of the famous DA Donkey bag. The Weekend of Action is a DNC action and we need to promote and encourage phone bankers across our regions and country committees, so please consider sharing with your friends!


Defending Immigrants

Yesterday Trump announced his support for a bill that would cut legal immigration to the US in half within a decade. Heartless, once again, comes to mind when describing the bill's sponsors and their insensibility to the effect of this bill on the many American citizens and legal aliens who would suddenly not be able to bring their families into the United States. These citizens include us.

America was not built on ethnic purity tests, and we will not stand for xenophobia thinly disguised as immigration reform. We’ll be sending out a statement tonight regarding this legislation. If the bill continues to gain momentum, we will roll out a global campaign to mobilize membership. Stay tuned.

Speaking of...if you’re following leadership listserve these days you might be asking yourself – why is this legislation an issue that the Excom is focusing on, and how did they choose it?

Our response to the bill is based on several factors: 1. the bill directly subverts one of the key planks that DA supports in our platform – immigration reform. 2. it directly affects many of our members and other Americans abroad. 3. it is news NOW.


Healthcare Saved

Did you watch the healthcare vote late last night? I missed the live votes, but was thrilled by the results, and inspired by the speeches. Check out Senator Hirono’s moving speech for your own inspiration today. Many thanks again to the leaders and members who called and protested around the world. 

Yesterday, as part of our healthcare campaign push, we launched this summer's membership growth program. The gist? Sign up 5 new members and we'll celebrate by sending you DA's own donkey tote bag. The bag was a big hit, and it's been fun to watch the new members roll in. If you have a moment, take the time to send your link to any US friend abroad who isn't yet a member and earn yourself a tote bag too.  

A big shout out to our partners over at Indivisible, who listened to our requests and tweaked their calling system so that Americans abroad could call in to West Virginia voters for free, urging them to encourage their senators to vote against the repeal bills. We are working with Indivisible to ensure this feature is replicated in the future. If it is, we will be advertising it widely!


July 20 - Resistance Wins

This week’s news from Washington points out the power of resistance – thanks to thousands of voices raised against the Senate health care bill, Mitch McConnell backed away from calling a vote on it. Many of those voices were ours and I am very thankful to everyone who contacted Congress about AHCA and how it would affect Americans abroad and our families and friends back home.

Republican senators don’t seem interested in learning from their mistakes though, so we will continue in our efforts to push against their health care agenda – especially as the Senate threatens to vote on a repeal of ACA next week. More soon on our next health care initiative!  

Next week we’ll be rolling out our Resistance Summer membership growth program, designed to grow membership this year so we can better get out the vote next year! We will be asking every DA member to reach out to at least five American friends abroad and help them join Democrats Abroad. Anyone who signs up five new members earns a shout out on the DA website. High flying membership all-stars who bring in 25 new members or more earn a DA Resists t-shirt, and special prizes go to regional winners.

For all of you avid Get Out the Vote (GOTV) volunteers, now is the time to send in your comments on the latest version of the FPCA form. The Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) team is being very responsive so it’s definitely worth taking the time to review and consider suggestions. Any feedback, please send to gotv@democratsabroad.org and we will compile and send it in. 

The Senate Finance committee has just recently sent out a call for recommendations regarding tax reform. Our taxation task force responded this week with an in-depth document spelling out the difficulties for Americans abroad. For a summary and a link to our submission check out this article on the DA site

The DA France rally during Trump’s visit to Paris last week provided another great example of a country committee rallying for Democratic issues during a Trump trip abroad. We also love how DAF partnered with PAGE and Indivisible. Working together makes us all stronger. If you know a partner group that would be interested in working with us, get in touch and let us know. 

Thank you for all that you do.