Kito Alvarez published Democrats Abroad Australia asks all Australians to get an American to Vote! in News 2018-03-18 10:58:45 -0400
In honour of the 17 people senselessly gunned down at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the US’ most recent mass shooting, high school students all across America will be marching for their lives on 24 March 2018. Students across America have already walked out of schools in protest, calling on politicians for sensible gun reform legislation, taking a stand against the powerful gun lobby. The March for Our Lives movement is in full swing.
Enough is enough!
We, as Democrats living in Australia, can no longer continue to enjoy sensible gun laws and access to universal healthcare, while our fellow Americans back home are under constant fire.
We must act to change what we cannot accept. We must exercise our right to vote and ensure our fellow citizens living abroad do so as well.
We must ensure every American who is eligible to vote is informed, empowered and exercises their right to vote in this year’s federal elections. This year, America will elect 435 House of Representatives, 34 Senators, 36 Governors, and thousands of others to state and local positions. In many cases, votes from abroad will be the margin of victory, which means it's more important than ever to ensure overseas Americans vote.
On 24 March 2018, high school students back home will march in every major US city, while solidarity rallies and candle light vigils will be held in major cities across Australia. To coincide with this event, we will launch our 2018 GOTV campaign Tell An American to Vote!
We will not only attend these rallies and vigils, but we will also reach out to Australians in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney asking them to tell their American friends, workmates and acquaintances to vote in this year’s election by requesting their ballot at votefromabroad.org. While this service is provided by the Democratic Party, the ballot application request form is non-partisan. This service is available to all eligible American voters.
What you can do
· If you’re an American living in Australia or anywhere overseas, request your ballot at votefromabroad.org. Spread the word and tell all your American friends living abroad. You can also become a member at democratsabroad.org/join to connect with Democrats living in your state, city or region. You will be kept up to date with your state’s voter and registration deadlines. Membership is free.
· If you’re an Australian, please tell your American friend, workmate or acquaintance to request their ballot at votefromabroad.org. Spread the word, tag them, and send them the link to our page.
· If you want to be more involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What a great turnout we had at our most recent chapter meet-up on 20 February! It was excellent to see many new faces and have great engagement from everyone. We paired up to share our plans on how we're going to vote this year and we helped those who haven't yet requested their absentee ballots by going to votefromabroad.org.
Our main discussion centred on our GOTV efforts for the midterm elections. As a result, the following three committees were formed:
1. GOTV Events and Information Committee—the purpose of this committee is to identify events with a potentially high density of Americans and send a group of volunteers to recruit new DA members, provide GOTV information and printed material. Examples of events could centre around the Fourth of July, Obama’s visit and Clinton’s visit.
2. GOTV Marketing and Media/ Social Media Committee—the purpose of this committee is to produce a coordinated marketing strategy for our GOTV campaign activities including, but not limited to slogans, graphics, print material, social media ads and press releases.
3. GOTV Calling Campaign Committee—the purpose of this committee is to organise volunteers to take part in a calling campaign in the months leading up to the mid-term elections around September and October using the DA-funded phone banking service through Call Hub.
For more information or if you’d like to volunteer to be a part of any of these committees, please email our NSW Chapter State Secretary Rebecca Turnbow at email@example.com.
Mark your calendars for our next Chapter Meet-Up at 6:30pm, on Tuesday, 20 March at the Aurora Hotel in Sydney.
Kito Alvarez published From Sydney with Love. #DAresists #Medicare4all in Healthcare Stories 2017-10-12 13:42:16 -0400
Kito Alvarez published Sue Barrell elected Queensland Chapter Chair in News 2017-06-28 18:28:45 -0400Queensland Democrats elect Sue Barrell (centre) as Chapter ChairQueensland had its state chapter AGM on Sunday, June 25 at the Pig n Whistle in Brisbane. While only five people attended in person, we had many more vote remotely, and Sue Barrell was elected Chair unanimously. We spent a couple of hours discussing the parlous state of US governance, and how we can increase both membership and voter participation for the 2018 midterm elections. Since Queensland, unlike perhaps other states, has significant membership outside the capital city, we also discussed the formation of satellite subchapters, perhaps on the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and far North Queensland. I'm sure Sue will have a lot more to say in the coming weeks and months.Thanks to all who participated, and stay tuned -- we're energised and ready to go!Lisa Lombardi,DAA Legal Counsel & QLD Chapter Member
Steve Knuth and Marla Minow (lower left corner), elected as new leaders by NSW chapter members
Both hailing from Chicago, Marla Minow and Steve Knuth have been unanimously elected to lead the NSW Chapter of DA Australia as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. Marla brings several years of experience to DA having served in leadership roles previously. She believes that Democrats have become complacent, "I recognise that when the Democratic Party was in power I was very inactive and that now that we have lost the White House, both houses of congress and governorships across the country that I want and need to be in action and a force for change." Balancing out the leadership team, Steve decided to run because he wanted to get more involved in reaching out to like-minded people who can work together to strengthen DAA NSW and attract more members. "If you've never been involved, there's never a good time like now to start."
Kito Alvarez published Thomas Lopez elected Victorian Chapter Chair in News 2017-06-26 11:54:42 -0400
Thomas Lopez speaking to members as outgoing leader Ersie Burke listens
At its annual general meeting, held on 25 June, the Victorian Chapter of Democrats Abroad Australia elected a new chair to continue the fight for everyday working-class Americans in the Trump era. Election officer Phil Kowalski declared a unanimous vote in favor of Thomas Lopez among all ballots cast.
Originally from California, Thomas is a US Army veteran and has lived in Australia since 2015. Those not previously familiar with the new chair had ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss how to become more involved with DA as members remained at the venue for several hours post-election.
“I look forward to working with each and every one of you to turn the tide against Trump’s terrible policies and his disastrous vision for America,” Thomas said. “With some hard work and dedication, we can take back the House in 2018.”
With Trump’s continuing controversial statements, racist policies, and conflicts of interest, Thomas’ comments are in line with the DNC’s recently launched Resistance Summer organizing initiative. There was also meaningful discussion between chapter members on ideas for upcoming meetings, activities, and the need to continue reaching out to Americans living in Victoria and encouraging them to vote from abroad.
The chapter’s meeting also marked a meaningful farewell to Ersie Burke and Chris Stueckle, the outgoing leaders from Melbourne who previously served DA both locally and as national officers. Despite having contributed countless hours of work on behalf of DA Australia, Ersie and Chris vowed to remain politically active and to support Thomas when they can.
Democrats in Victoria were re-energized with motivation. Ersie confirmed her eagerness in hoping to see a renewal of political activism within the membership. “I'm so happy and relieved that someone as wonderful and enthusiastic as Thomas is the new Chair. He’s smart and savvy, a breath of fresh air. I know he’ll be an outstanding Chair,” she stated.
Thomas and the elected chairs from other Australian chapters will next join the national leadership as members of the executive committee. As Victoria’s sole representative to the executive committee, Thomas has stated that his priorities will include focusing efforts on getting members to exercise their right to vote in upcoming special elections, making preparations for the 2018 congressional mid-term elections, and working to make the Victorian chapter a place for all Democrats to come together and engage in sharing ideas.