GSC GOTV, DPCA Voting Rep, EMEA Deputy RVC

  • WEP and Americans Abroad—How To Stop It Hurting Retirement Plans

    This webinar, “WEP and Americans Abroad”, focuses on an issue which impacts on many Americans living abroad. Democrats Abroad has been working on the elimination of WEP since the early 2000s. We know in the last Congress that HR 82 Social Security Fairness Act of 2022 which would have repealed WEP did not pass. In the current Congress, HR 82 Social Security Fairness Act of 2023 was introduced in the House on January 9th 2023 by Representative Gareth Graves (Republican, Louisiana District 6). Again, we have a bill that eliminates WEP.

    The DA Seniors Caucus is currently working on WEP elimination and this webinar stems from this activity. What is WEP? Will it affect me when I retire abroad? How do I prepare for it? What if as a retired person I receive a pension from abroad as well as Social Security – how will WEP affect me?  Please attend this webinar to have answers to these important questions.

    Our guest speaker is Nancy Altman from Social Security Works and she will speak to us about WEP and answer our questions about WEP.

    About our Speaker:

    Nancy J. Altman has a forty-five year background in the areas of Social Security and private pensions. She is president of Social Security Works and chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition.
    Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed Ms. Altman to a six-year term, starting October 1, 2017, on the Social Security Advisory Board. The seven-person Board is a bipartisan, independent federal government agency established in 1994 to advise the President, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security.
    Ms. Altman is the author of The Battle for Social Security: From FDR’s Vision to Bush’s Gamble (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) and The Truth About Social Security: The Founders’ Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies, and Common Misunderstandings (Strong Arm Press, 2018). She is also co-author of Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All (The New Press, 2015). She has shared her Social Security expertise on numerous television and radio shows, including PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, and FOX News. She has published op-eds in dozens of newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
    From 1983 to 1989, Ms. Altman was on the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and taught courses on private pensions and Social Security at the Harvard Law School. In 1982, she was Alan Greenspan’s assistant in his position as chairman of the bipartisan commission that developed the 1983 Social Security amendments.
    From 1977 to 1981, she was a legislative assistant to Senator John C. Danforth (R-Mo) and advised the Senator with respect to Social Security issues. From 1974 to 1977, she was a tax lawyer with Covington & Burling, where she handled a variety of private pension matters.
    Ms. Altman chairs the Board of Directors of the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of beneficiary rights. She is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund, the Economic Opportunity Institute, Latinos for the Secure Retirement, and the Institute for America’s Future. In the mid-1980’s, she was on the organizing committee and the first board of directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

    April 01, 2023 at 10:30am
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  • Equal Rights for American - pass the Equal Rights Amendment

    The Equal Rights Amendment levels the playing field. It would benefit men and women. The ERA would create a constitutional equality principle that would hold that we can’t have laws or government practices that discriminate on the basis of sex. And that would include laws that discriminate against men. So everyone benefits. Jim Mercereau living in Spain and voting in Florida.

  • Democrats Abroad Alicante Celebrates International Women's Day

    In honor of International Women's Day Democrats Abroad Alicante decided to learn more about about the lives of our Spanish sisters. We want to raise awareness to the issues that they face in their every day lives. As Americans living in Spain we thought what better way to find out but to ask!  

    DAA has assembled an amazing group of women for an online round table discussion. Our panelists come from diverse backgrounds as educators, lawyers, advertising executives, activists, journalists, producers, directors, writers, artists, actors, interpreters, housing developers, union organizers and administrators. 

    We may come with different personal histories, but we share many things in common. Our goal is to reach out and create an international bond of friendship and sisterhood! We welcome allies of all genders. 

    Please join us to listen, learn, and raise a glass in celebration of International Women's Day!

    Monday, March 8, 2021 from 4:30-6:30pm
    Meeting ID: 998 405 3719

  • published Welcome to Democrats Abroad in Alicante in News 2021-02-25 14:48:49 -0500

    Welcome to Democrats Abroad in Alicante

    Founded in January 2020, Democrats Abroad Alicante represents an all-inclusive organization that supports the rights of all US citizens who live abroad. DA Global, DA Spain and the Alicante chapter strive to provide our members with up-to-date voting information, local and national Democrats Abroad events, and new or modified legislation that not only affects us as we live abroad but to our family and friends in the US!   We do this through our emails, Facebook Groups and soon to be Alicante chapter website.

    Over the 2020 election cycle Democrats Abroad had over 18,000 volunteers from across the globe that were critical in the victory to win back the presidency, regain the Senate and retain the House majority.  DA Alicante played its role in that effort.

    Our chapter members volunteered in many of the DA Global and DA Spain efforts that helped swing the election. To name a few…..

    Ø  We had the largest Spain phone banking team that helped make 300,000+ calls to DA Global members

    Ø  Developed “Why I Vote” stories that were part of a digital ad campaign targeted across the EU that increased voter registration, ballot request and returns

    Ø  Participated in the GOTV military campaign in Roto Spain

    Ø  Developed and continue to maintain the Our Voices, Our Future youth and issue based campaign through various social media platforms to energize and give a voice to those who live abroad

    Ø  Developed and executed a banner ad media strategy that reached 25 major news networks across the world that yielded record breaking voter membership, voter registration, ballot request and returns.

    Ø  Assisted in stateside races and donated to campaigns

    Community Engagement

    Due to Covid 19 there are still no in-person activities.  We are currently developing new online events that we hope will interest you.  In addition, we keep our members up to date on any DA Global or DA Spain (national) events. 

    We are always looking for new and interesting ideas to engage our members!  If you have any ideas please don’t hesitate to let us know. 

    We hope in the near future to start having some fun in-person events. We are looking forward to meeting all of our members at these events.

    2022 Midterm Elections

    The closer we get to these elections, the more we will be looking for volunteers. We hope you will help so that Democrats can maintain or increase their majorities in the House and Senate. 

    Your DAA Executive Committee

    Mary Elms, Chair

    Daniel Garcia, Vice Chair

    Brett Specter, Secretary

    Robin Kaplan, Treasurer


    Feel free to contact us anytime at: [email protected] 

    If you haven’t done so, please join our Facebook group

    Sincerely, your DAA Executive Committee

  • published International Women's Day in News 2021-02-22 04:02:09 -0500

    International Women's Day

    International Women's Day is a celebrated on March 8th around the world.  It is a special day on the calendar for much of Europe and in countries around the world, but is often unfamiliar to many Americans.  

    A huge milestone was achieved for American Women on Inauguration Day when the first woman was sworn is as Vice-President of the United States.    

    We will have an online celebration to toast Kamala in her new role.  America will finally have not one, but two women in highest positions of power in the United States.


  • Democrats Abroad Spain Leadership Elections March 20th Seeking Candidates

    Dear DA Spain Members:

    We won! Biden and Harris are in the White House and the Georgia election was a success—thanks in no small part to your votes and efforts.

    Now it’s time to continue with Democrats Abroad Spain’s own election, to be held March 20th, 2021. The past four years have shown what we as a group are capable of doing when we all contribute and work together as a team, under enthusiastic and dedicated leadership.

    Democrats Abroad is a 100% volunteer-run organization, and we need you to help keep the gears turning for the next two years as we build up to a crucial midterm election – which Democrats cannot afford to lose – in 2022.

    We encourage you to consider running for office; it’s a great way to get involved in democracy, meet new people and, most importantly, contribute to the Biden-Harris administration’s success by building support among Americans in Spain.

    Any DA Spain member can run for office! Multiple positions must be filled in this election.

    The deadline for submission of your candidacy is midnight March 3rd EST.

    Please click here to complete the candidacy application.  

    Democrats Abroad welcomes diversity.  The Chair and Vice Chair must be of opposite genders.

    The Voting Reps delegation is also required to be gender balanced.  

    You are welcome to place your name in nomination for either chair or vice chair to help us achieve our diversity objectives. 


    Read more

  • published Ballot Return by Courier in News 2020-10-14 03:40:15 -0400

    Ballot Return by Courier

    Thanks to the footwork of a Democrats Abroad Belgium member in the European Capitol we now have access to a special offer from FedEx for US voters.

    You will need to open an account with a local credit card.

    This is a 100% online procedure, like a purchase on Amazon.  Calling FedEX negates the online new account special price. 

    Read more

  • Ballot Return Envelopes for use in Correos or Diplomatic Pouch

    Since 20 states still require ballots to be returned by mail, we are helping out by providing election mailing envelopes for use in Correos with postage, or the Diplomatic Pouch to U.S. Mail. 

    Hundreds of postage-prepaid ballot return envelopes have been strategically placed around Barcelona and environs, so if you want to use one, swing by:

    • Benjamin Franklin International School, c/ Martorell i Peña, 9, Sant Gervasi (ask for Martha Correa)
    • American School of Barcelona, Carrer Jaume Balmes, 7, Esplugues de Llobregat (ask for Bronwyn)
    • Bakinge Bakery, c/ Ramis, 20 (Plaça John Lennon) Gràcia
    • Hibernian English Bookstore, c/ Montseny 17, Grácia
    • Taste of America, c/ Balmes, 322 or c/ Aragon, 231
    • Eroica Caffé, c/ Consell de Cent 350
    • Come In Book Store, c/ Balmes 129 bis (esquina Roselló)


    Envelopes have been strategically placed around the Comunidad de Madrid:

    The Roll Madrid Restaurant c/ Amaniel, 23.  28015

    The Toast Café Malasaña c/ San Vicente Ferrer, 33.   28004

    The Toast Café Chamberi  c/ de Fernando El Católico, 50.  28015

    The Cookie Lab. c/ del Serrano, 23     28015

    The Cookie Lab Malasaña  c/del Pez 16.    28004

    Taste of America Serrano c/ del Serrano, 149      28015
    Taste of America Chamberi Pso de San Francisco de Sales, 3     28003
    Taste of America Rastro c/ del Casino, 26     28005
    Taste of America Chueca c/ San Marcos, 20      28004

    Taste of America Alcobendas Av. Olimpica, 22    28100
    Taste of America Pozuelo Av. de Europa, 23      28224
    Taste of America Majadahonda Av. de España, 20.   28220


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  • published Global Presidential Primary in Spain in News 2020-01-25 15:16:17 -0500

    Global Presidential Primary in Spain

    Don’t miss your chance to vote in person this presidential year! Join Americans around the world and participate in this year’s Global Presidential Primary through Democrats Abroad. Voting in the Primary gives you the chance to help determine the presidential candidates our delegates will vote for in the Democratic National Convention. Details below.

    Democrats Abroad has just a few requirements for voting in the primary:

    • Be abroad and be a U.S. citizen
    • Be a member of Democrats Abroad
    • Be 18 as of November 3, 2020
    • Not have voted, or plan to vote, in any other 2020 state presidential primary

    Democrats Abroad Spain will host 8 in-person Voting Centers in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.  The kick off for all these events will be on March 3 which is Super Tuesday in the U.S.

    If you don't live near any of our in-person Voting Centers we have you covered.  You will be able to vote by email or even snail mail.  Every member of Democrats Abroad Spain will receive an email on February 18th describing your voting options.  It will also have your member ID  shown in the email.  You'll need that to complete your ballot. 

    The Global Presidential Primary is a key component in the process of selecting delegates for the Democratic National Convention in July, which will be hosted in Milwaukee WI this year.   Democrats Abroad sends 21 delegates to the national convention.  They will be pledged to candidates  that have won at least 15% of the vote across the globe. 

    Here's where you can cast your ballot at voting centers in Spain:


    Tuesday, March 3
    ESERP Business School  Carrer de Girona, 24  08010 
    4PM  to 9:30 PM

    Saturday, March 7
    Restaurante El Foro Carrer de la Princessa, 53 08003 
    10:00 AM to 8:00 PM


    Tuesday, March 3
    The Village Tap Room  calle Martin de los Heros, 28 28008
    6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

    Saturday, March 7
    The Village Tap Room  calle Martin de los Heros, 28 28008
    11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

    Sunday, March 8
    The Village Tap Room  calle Martin de los Heros, 28 28008
    5:00 PM to 8:00 PM


    Tuesday, March 3
    Les Roques Restaurant Bar c/ Vinatea, 22 46008
    12:00 PM to 4:00 PM    5:00 PM -8:00PM

    Wednesday, March 4
    Universidad Politecnica Valencia Edificio 4P
    Centro de Lenguas, 1st Floor
    11:00 to 3:00 PM

    Saturday, March 7
    Les Roques Restaurant Bar c/ Vinatea, 22 46008
    4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

    Ballot Assistance Events

    These events are to assist members of Democrats Abroad to participate in the Global Primary or to join Democrats Abroad.  A ballot is provided to the member who is then responsible for completing the ballot and returning it for tabulation.  We can assist in showing the member how it can be returned by email as an attachment, or returned by mail to the voting warden in Spain or the Tabulation Center in Prague. 

    Ballot Assistance Centers will be able to provide assistance is requesting an absentee ballot using


    Saturday, March 7
    Nidus 39   Calle Bisbe Maura, 37   07005

    11:00 PM to 14:00PM


    Thursday, March 5
    The Merchants Pub Calle Canalejas, 12   41001
    7:00 PM to 10:00PM


    Thursday, March 5
    Big Al's -Sitges   carrer de Francesc Gumà, 21  08870
    8:00 PM to 10:00PM

    Saturday, March 7
    Big Al's -Sitges carrer de Francesc Gumà, 21  08870
    1:30 PM to 4:00PM


    Tuesday, March 10
    Sip and Wonder Coffee House   Carrer Poeta Campos Vasallo 8-10   03004 

    2:00PM to 6:00PM


  • American Resistance of Sevilla hosts a Democrats Abroad Voter Registration Training

    It was a cool rainy Wednesday evening in Sevilla but about 25 folks turned up at a voter registration training program at The Merchant.  The American Resistance in Seville which like so many post-Trump groups around the world has continued the momentum for three plus years.  When we arrived they decorated the space with banners, posters and wall games. In this creative atmosphere over the course of 80 minutes we had the chance to review the principals of voter registration and answered a lot of questions along the way.  

    This tuned in group of folks are ready to help others get their absentee ballots.  Many thanks to Elizabeth Bond, Kathy Sherretts, and Karen McCann.  It was great to meet someone who reached out to say it's time for a chapter in Sevilla.  The day before this event, another member had reached out and we were able to meet the very next evening.

    There is interest in a Voter Assistance Center the week of Super Tuesday.  Could be the beginning of getting something going in Andulucia.


  • published Sitges wants in! in News 2020-01-24 13:50:51 -0500

    Sitges wants in!

    Sitges is so much more than one of the a loveliest beach towns in Spain.  It is also home to many expats, including many Americans.  

    Andrea Host-Barth and Karl Barth of Sitges don't want to sit on the sidelines in such an important election year.  These Sitges activists reached out to Chris Reilly chair of the Barcelona Chapter to see what they could get going.  

    They are planning to do a Voter Assistance Center in late February or early March.  The idea is to assist folks with voter registration or obtaining their absentee ballot.  This time period coincides with the Global Presidential Primary so they can help anyone who wants to participate remotely.   If you are interested in learning more please contact Chris at [email protected]

    Democrats Abroad Spain is interested in helping Americans in your town to get their Absentee Ballots.  The  online application is set up for overseas voters. 

     If you want further information please let us know at:   [email protected]


  • published Alicante Gets Ready to Vote in News 2020-01-24 13:04:09 -0500

    Alicante Gets Ready to Vote

    The Mediterranean coast is seeing a steady growth in new Democrats Abroad Spain members.  

    After forming a chapter in Valencia about three years ago, it has experienced a huge spike in growth as more expats in Valencia hear that it exists .  In the past year the dynamic Valencia Chapter was drawing up members from as far away as Altea routinely,  and participation at special events by  few others from the Alicante area.  Valencia Chapter chair Richard Meherer decided it was time to see what kind of interest could be developed.   With the help of Robin Kaplan (Altea) and Brett Specter (El Campello)  an invitation was sent out to people they thought might be interested.  15 Americans RSVP'd and turned up for a delicious lunch at Stixx in Playa San Juan in Alicante on Saturday January 18th.  

    Richard introduced Democrats Abroad to the group and the upcoming activities planned in Valencia,  including the Global Presidential Primary.  Jim Mercereau chair of Democrats Abroad Spain reviewed the process of getting an absentee ballot through  and previewed the Global Presidential Primary.  

    It was clear that there was a hunger for good information and an interest in sharing time together as Democrats.  If your area is interested in getting active with Democrats Abroad please let us know at [email protected]


  • published Special Elections coming up! in News 2020-01-17 07:26:45 -0500

    Special Elections coming up!

    Upcoming 2019 Special Elections

    If you are from one of the states listed below please click the link to learn if you need to vote. If you are getting Democrats Abroad emails you probably already received this information directly from the Global Democrats Abroad Get Out The Vote team.

    North Carolina is conducting 2 Special Elections: NC-3 and NC-9 the elections are Sept 10 If you are from NC please click the link below.

    These states will have General Elections on Nov 5th: Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia.

    If you have not heard from your local election official, now is the time to request your absentee ballot at: These state and local races are very important. With the upcoming 2020 Census there will be a realignment of voting districts. The party that controls the state legislature and governorship also has the opportunity to gerrymander at will. When we vote for Democrats we can control the outcomes in states like Virginia and New Jersey. Kentucky and Mississippi are special situations but it is still imperative to vote.

    Latest Voting Info: on how to get your ballot.

    WARNING As you are aware this administration has an aversion to international agreements. One such agreement is the Universal Postal Union which was founded in 1874 and is the framework of how mail moves around the world. After giving notice last year we're probably out of the UPU on October 17th this year. That means other postal services will not accept mail to or from the USA routed through the USPS.

    It is not clear what effect this will have on mail sent through the embassy of the consular services as they also move mail through postal systems in special diplomatic pouches. If you are mailing back a ballot for elections this year take notice and act quickly, or plan on returning your ballot by a courier service. More to come as the situation is finalized. We should be thankful it is happening now and not last year or next year.


  • published Update on Democrats Abroad Spain activities in News 2020-01-17 07:20:16 -0500

    Update on Democrats Abroad Spain activities

    There is so much going on at Democrats Abroad and DA Spain. Unfortunately most of it is not on the dashboard of our members. 

    The past few months have been like a whirlwind at DAS. DA national and the chapters each conducted Annual General Meetings with biennial elections for leadership positions. Madrid and Barcelona have new chairs with Samuel Mattern and Chris Reilly heading up these chapters, both of which are celebrating 15 years of Democrats Abroad in their communities. Founding Valencia Chapter Chair Graham Tyner starts his second term with a new team powering our fastest growing chapter.

    We welcome and thank all those who volunteer their skills and time to make the organization work. Volunteers are key to our efforts as we move into this critically important election year. I am happy to report that we have folks in positions for communications to get out our message and build awareness. Many folks have trained on sending out emails, creating events, updating news and managing our membership lists. Our presence on social media is successfully reaching new and existing members. Our national and chapter teams are all contributing with messages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    The messaging in the end has the overarching goal of finding US citizens and helping them to register to vote, if they aren't already, and to be sure they request their absentee ballot in the year of a federal election.

    After two debates it is safe to say we are well into the primary season. Over the years DA members in our chapters have come to expect an opportunity to view and discuss the primary debates. These events tend to grow as we move closer to the Global Presidential Primary (more below) which coincides with Super Tuesday in the US.

    We are interested in starting small groups in areas where we don't have chapters, but where folks want to meet and network with other Democrats. If you are interested please drop me a line at [email protected] We are also looking for volunteers to help us with phone banking. This low-key call is almost always welcomed by our members and has proven to be the most effective way to remind members to request their absentee ballots. A recent review of data from the National Election Commission found that overseas voter participation has increased in numbers never seen before. We think that it has everything to do with our well organized phone banking efforts in 2016 and 2018. We grew participation by 300% in midterm 2014 to 2018.

    2020 is right around the corner and with the electoral college kind of stacked against us, we have to get out the Democratic vote. Looking back on 2016 we lost the electoral college in three swing states by less than 70,000 votes among the millions of ballots cast in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Nationwide the Democrats won the popular vote by over 2,800,000 votes. We will be making every effort to reach voters in those swing electoral college states and where we can flip a Republican senate seat. We can do this, but we need to get every vote out and make sure they are counted. Are you all in?

    You will be asked in early January to request your absentee ballot for the 2020. It is important to do this early, so if your local election official has removed you from the voting rolls, you have time to get the problem rectified. In states where Republicans hold the reins of power, they sometimes hold on to them by purging folks who haven't voted in awhile. You might recall the problem that came to light in Georgia in the last election. You need to monitor your personal situation early and be sure you get to vote. If you're in doubt, reach out. We know how to help.

    We recommend: to generate the Federal Post Card Application which every state is required to recognize and process under the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. (UOCAVA) Use this form rather than a state issued form because it assures your ability to vote in all federal elections (president, senators, and congresspersons) during the year the request is submitted. Often state issued absentee ballot requests are only for a single election. UOCAVA ballots must be sent out 45 days prior the election, by law when using a FPCA.

    Democrats Abroad is getting to be known as the "margin of victory" around the DNC. Overseas votes are counted after those cast in person and make the difference between winning or losing a congressional or senate seat in close elections. I remind you we won back 40 seats in the House, many were by 1% or less. Our votes are the margin of victory.

    Many thanks and lets do all we can to flip the Senate and take back the Presidency in 2020.

    Jim Mercereau 


Are you registered to vote? Register and request your absentee ballot at: Former Chair, DA Spain