At-Large Rep

  • is hosting Independence Day Celebration! 2019-06-17 16:10:47 -0400

    Independence Day Celebration!

    2019-06-17_FOJ_with_fireworks.png

    Democrats Abroad Greece
    Independence Day Celebration
    The BEST 4th of July Party in Greece!!
    -- at a new location on Athens’ South Coast --

    2019-06-17_Rubirosa_logo.png

    Thursday, July 4th - 8:00 to 11:30 pm
    Rubirosa Events/The Lohan Complex
    Leoforos Poseidonos 83B Alimos 17455
    Bus and Tram stops: Loutra Alimou
    Parking available

    Please note: THIS VENUE HAS TWO SETS OF STEPS. DAGR volunteers will be available to help individuals who need assistance to navigate the steps. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair ramp access. 

    There are two menus: 
    Menu 1 is meat friendly
    Menu 2 is vegetarian friendly
    Adult price is 20 Euros and includes a soft drink
    Child price (under 12 years) is 15 Euros and includes a soft drink

    Menu 1 Meat Friendly-Adult 20/Child 15 Euros
    Hot Dog, Hamburger, Corn on the Cob, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, 1 Soft Drink, Watermelon

    Menu 2 Vegetarian Friendly-Adult 10/Child 15 Euros
    Falafel, Veggie Burger, Corn on the Cob, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, 1 Soft Drink, Watermelon

    Cupcakes and other sweets will be available for purchase by those with a sweet tooth. Guests can purchase beer, wine and additional drinks throughout the evening.

    2019-06-17_FOJ_Venue.png

    The program will include - FIREWORKS!!! After dark!
    Plenty of Music from the USA for dancing and singing
    A Straw Poll, Fun for the Young, and the Young at Heart
    Those who arrive early can even get in some swimming at the venue’s private beach

    To ATTEND YOU MUST FILL OUT A RESERVATION FORM
    Walk-Ins make it impossible to estimate the correct amount of food so, better to reserve and cancel - Thanks!
    RSVP here

    Everyone is welcome to attend the celebration, but DUE TO US FEDERAL LAW, ONLY US CITIZENS CAN PURCHASE TICKETS. Non US-citizens may attend as the guests of US citizens.

    Democrats Abroad Greece, a US political organization, will not be able to accept your reservation if the payment for your participation is made by a NON-US citizen.

    Deadline for reservations is Tuesday, July 2nd

    If you're paying via BANK DEPOSIT:
    DEMOCRATS ABROAD GREECE (DAGR) ΑΦΜ: 997033066   Δ.Ο.Υ.: ΓΑΛΑΤΣΙΟΥ
    ΣΥΛΛΟΓΟΣ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΚΟΥ ΚΟΜΜΑΤΟΣ ΗΠΑ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ
    EUROBANK: IBAN: GR080 2600 250000 450 201 996 6842
    SWIFT/BIC CODE: ERBKGRAA

    (List your name and the event on the receipt for the deposit. Please forward a copy of your receipt by email to the address listed for the event-: mediaDAGR@gmail.com

    Questions:  please call 694 294 0720

    As soon as we receive your booking information, we’ll email you an ‘invoice’ with your total donation amount. On receipt of your deposit, we'll confirm and send you an 'e-ticket' to print and bring with you. If you are not already a member of DAGR, you also need to bring your US passport.

    If you plan to pay at the door: We will send you an email to confirm your reservation and remind you of the total to pay. Print it and bring this confirmation with you to speed things up at the door.  If you are not already a member of DAGR, you also need to bring your US passport.

    Thanks! See you on the 4th!

    WHEN
    July 04, 2019 at 8pm
    WHERE
    Rubirosa
    Leof Poseidonos 83B
    Alimos, Attica 17455
    Greece
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • published 2019 EMEA Regional Meeting! in News 2019-06-17 15:13:20 -0400

    2019 EMEA Regional Meeting!

    Great News!

    DAGR Selected to host 2019 DA EMEA Regional Meeting in Athens, Oct. 11-13, 2019

    EMEA_Fall_Mtg_Announcement.png

    Last week, DAGR was named host of the 2019 Democrats Abroad EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Regional Meeting in Athens, which will take place October 11-13. Athens’ bid won out over strong bids from Vienna and Amsterdam, and the response from our fellow Democrats throughout the region has been heartening. Folks are excited to come to Athens and partake in all that our great city has to offer! The focus of the meeting will be on preparing for next spring’s DA Global Presidential Primary and for 2020 Get Out the Vote initiatives.

    To have been selected is an honor for DAGR, and provides us with a strong platform from which to raise our profile in Greece and internationally, expand our membership, and to engage and mobilize our membership to work to ensure that we elect a Democratic President, House, and Senate (and to state offices across the country) in 2020. You’ll be hearing lots more about this event in the weeks and months to come as plans are firmed up and the itinerary is developed. The Regional Meeting offers DAGR members a great opportunity to interact with DA members from throughout the EMEA region. As you can imagine, hosting the event will require that we have a strong team of volunteers in place, so I am inviting you to volunteer to become part of our organizational team. There is lots of work to do!

    So, volunteer now to be part of our team. Drop me a line at chairdemocratsabroadgreece@gmail.com


  • published 2019 Pride The Streets Tell Our Story in News 2019-06-13 11:30:58 -0400

    2019 Pride The Streets Tell Our Story

    Equality, Freedom, Inclusion

    These were the resounding themes as PRIDE was celebrated in Athens Greece on Saturday June 8th.

    2019_Pride_Syntagma_Rainbow_-_edited.jpg

    In the city’s central square of Syntagma, with a foreground of the parliament building and a background of the Parthenon, residents came out filling the space in full color resonating the rights of equality and freedom.

    2019_Pride_Jai___Angelique_-_ABL_-_edited.jpg         2019_Pride_with_Steve_and_friends_edited.jpg      2019_Pride_-_Gals_edited.jpg

    Democrats Abroad Greece (DAGR) was there from 11 am until 8 pm with a booth, promoting equality, inclusion and freedom as well as voter registration, of which there were several inquiries. The kiosk had some funky buttons to send loud and clear messages in the heart of democracy’s place of birth. 

    DAGR Chair, Steve Medeiros, said, “What has been especially heartening and exciting during the five years that DAGR has participated in Athens Pride events has been to watch the steady growth in participation each year and the way in which our city has come to embrace the celebration. Amazing to watch out and proud Athenians come together with their fellow citizens to celebrate Pride and support and promote the rights of LGBTQ citizens in Greece. DAGR is proud to have once again been a part of this clarion call for dignity, freedom and equality for all. Though much has been accomplished, this is no time for complacency. Under the Trump administration, LGBTQ rights are again under attack across America. We must remain vigilant and keep up the fight. ”

    Volunteers gathered from early on greeting visitors to the booth and marching in the parade that took place at 6:30pm.

    2019_Pride_Parade_-_Zacky.jpg

    This year’s event was dedicated  to a well-known drag queen - “Zackie O” /Zack Kostopoulos who was brutally murdered last September in what has been labelled a hate crime.

    Athens Pride 2019 highlighted the role of “the road as a democratic area of ​​ revolution, and triumph in the face of injustice and brutality. This year’s poster, celebrating Athens Pride in its 15th year, presents emblematic moments from the history of LGBTQI.

     “On June 8, 2019, people marched across the historic streets of Athens to claim their PRIDE-freedom, equality, inclusion. But that is not enough. On every road we walk, we claim our freedom and our security from any form of abuse and violence. The street belongs to all of us equally.”, Athens Pride 2019 posted.

    For 3 minutes of Athens Pride 2019 on You Tube by Yiannis Papastathopoulos

    2019_Pride_Tom_Walsh_and_Friend_-_ABL_edited.jpg


  • published Fourth of July Celebration! in News 2019-06-05 16:02:42 -0400

  • published 2019 Pride Parade and Fest in News 2019-06-01 12:06:37 -0400

    2019 Pride Parade and Fest

     

    For the fifth year in a row, Democrats Abroad Greece will be supporting the LGBTQ community at Athens Pride 2019, which will take place on June 8, 2019, in Athens' Syntagma Square. Support for LGBTQ rights is a cornerstone of the Democratic Party platform.

    DAGR will sponsor an information and GOTV (Voter Information for US citizens abroad) booth with DA LGBTQ Caucus as co-sponsor, from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. on that day. DAGR members will also march behind the DAGR banner in the Pride parade in the evening.

    DAGR members are encouraged to volunteer to staff the booth in 2-3 hour shifts throughout the day (11-2; 2-5; 5-8), and to join us in the parade. About 20 DAGR me

    mbers joined us for last year's parade. We'd like to double that number this year.

    Interested in volunteering?: contact Steve Medeiros, DAGR Chair and DA LGBTQ Caucus member -

    Via email at: stevenmedeiros111@gmail.com or via SMS at 694-811-9121

    2018_Pride_group_Marching_with_banner_cropped.jpg


  • DAGR Chapter Promotes 'Vote from Abroad' at the Farm Fest in Thessaloniki

    peter talking with people

    DAGR Chapter Promotes VoteFromAbroad at the FARM FEST in Thessaloniki

    Volunteers from DAGR’s Thessaloniki Chapter were front and center among public service booths at the annual Farm Fest on May 12. On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, the Fest engaged toddlers with treasure hunts, provided wine tasting for adults, performed demonstrations on satellite parachutes, seismology, robotics, climate change and mounted a farmer’s market.

    Chapter Chair Peter Baiter and Chapter Representative Randall Warner spoke with over 40 individuals and shared information on how Americans living outside the country can register to vote in US elections. The VoteFromAbroad.org website allows users to declare party affiliation or not and so can be used by any eligible American voter.

    “Out of everyone we spoke with, eight were Americans, four of whom are resident in Thessaloniki,” said Baiter. “However, mainly we talked with Greeks concerned about the 2020 US elections. While they won’t be voting in the US, we hope they’ll pass the message to American citizens they know among friends and family.”

    “Of course, the information we shared was non-partisan, focused on every US citizen’s right to vote,” added Warner. “We do this as a public service, especially in non-partisan settings such as schools. And we inform anyone of any party so they can register and vote. AFS appreciated the effort.”

    Thessaloniki's renowned American Farm School was founded in 1904 by US educators. The Fest is organized each year to give the public a closer look at the AFS educational programs and Perrotis College while enjoying a range of entertainment and cultural events. This year’s event attracted some 2,500 visitors.

    playing at the Farm Fest


  • First Young Democrats Abroad Event in Athens is coming up!

    Athens Chapter

    We would like to invite you to an evening social event on the 23rd of May, 7-10pm at the Hard Rock Café, (52, Adrianou St, Monastiraki) to:

    • Briefly update you on the way forward to the elections of the 3rd of November 2020 and the events and activities planned along the way;
    • Discuss the priorities Young Dems think we should focus on for the remainder of 2019 and 2020;
    • Have some fun! - get to know each other better in a relaxed environment and put friendly faces to our names.

    We look forward to meeting you all in person!

    To confirm your participation, please RSVP by clicking on this link by May 17th, 2019.

    Entrance is free of charge. Drinks and food can be ordered and purchased individually from the Hard Rock menu.

    Let’s get our Party rolling!


  • rsvped for Watch the Film Legalize Equality 2019-02-01 01:32:24 -0500

    Watch the Film Legalize Equality (Free)

    The Equal Rights Amendment resolution passed unanimously in Tokyo where we committed to do whatever we can to help get the ERA ratified.  See the resolution here.

    Watch the video "Legalize Equality."  This 30-minute video gives an excellent overview of the Equal Rights Amendment and why it is critical to be ratified.  

    You can watch the video until 31 December 2019.

    To receive the streaming link and password, click RSVP and you will receive an email with the information in it.

    Feel free to share the link and password to DA members that want to view it.  However, please do NOT post the link and password on the internet in any way.  Only Democrats Abroad has access for this private screening and we need to honor this special access given by Equal Means Equal and Heroica Films.  

     

     

    Additional References to learn more about ERA:

    www.equalrightsamendment.org

    www.equalmeansequal.org

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/05/31/us/equal-rights-amendment-illinois-states-trnd/index.html

     

    WHEN
    January 31, 2019 at 6pm - December 30, 2019 at 6pm
    WHERE
    Online
    65 rsvps rsvp


  • published Join our ERA Photo and Video Campaign! in News 2019-01-03 11:21:02 -0500

    Join our ERA Photo and Video Campaign!

    The Equal Right Amendment is sooooo close to being ratified!

    The Virginia general assembly starts their session on Wednesday, January 9th and the Virginia Ratify ERA team needs support right now!The Equal Right Amendment is sooooo close to being ratified!

    The Virginia general assembly starts their session on Wednesday, January 9th and the Virginia Ratify ERA team needs support right now!

    They need photos and videos of Americans living abroad who support ERA to use to win over some votes. Can you take a photo holding a sign and/or make a 30-45 second video? That would be appreciated.

    Video Guidelines:

    1. Consider wearing something or standing/seating by something that shows you are living abroad – for example a foreign newspaper, translation dictionary, map, typical item from country, or outside at a recognizable place in your country. However, don’t worry about it – just a blank wall is fine.
    2. Do NOT wear or say anything partisan. Almost all Dems support ERA so trying to win the Rep vote.
    3. Please show some passion but avoid/limit profanity.
    4. Start with “I’m an American living in GREECE”.
    5. If you live in a country that has equal rights for women in the constitution, especially if in some non-European country, mention that.
    6. If you are from one of the 13 states (AR, AL, AZ, GA, NC, SC, UT, FL, MS, MO, OK, UT, LA) that have not ratified the ERA, you may want to mention that. Note that Virginia, North Carolina, and Arizona are the top 3 targets right now.
    7. For Virginia, you may want to call out Speaker Cox since he is the current ‘gatekeeper’ that could cause it to stall and never get to the Virginia House floor.
    8. Ask for ERA support.
    9. Keep video to less than 60 seconds, ideally 45 seconds.

    If you post the video on Facebook or Instagram, please add hashtags #DAforERA and #VAratifyERA

    Send a link to the video to era@democratsabroad.org

    Text ideas:

    • I’m an American living in GREECE. I have more rights as a woman here than I do back home. Please support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Women around the world care about what happens in the United States. Please vote for the ERA.
    • I’m an American living in GREECE. 85% of the countries in the world have equal rights for women in their constitution. GREECE is one of them. I want to see my home country be one as well. Please vote for the equal rights amendment.
    • I’m an American living in GREECE. In 2018, I was happy when I learned Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the ERA. My hope for 2019 is that Virginia becomes number 38. Please support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
    • I’m an American living in GREECE. As a man, I care about women’s rights. I hope you do as well. Please pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
    • I’m an American living in GREECE. When I recently learned that the US still does not have equal rights for women in our Constitution, I was shocked. How can that be? Surely one of the 13 states that have not ratified it will all do so this year. It is 2019! It’s past time. Please vote for the Equal Rights Amendment.

    ERA Photo Guidelines

    Photo Guidelines:

    1. Make sign on A4 or 8.5x11 paper
    2. Please include on the sign “American living in GREECE” along with some support for ERA.
    3. Take photo with sign with your face showing
    4. Photos of your kids holding the sign is also good – if you are ok with the photo on the internet
    5. If you are from one of the 13 states (AR, AL, AZ, GA, NC, SC, UT, FL, MS, MO, OK, UT, LA) that have not ratified the ERA, if you could do a second sign and photo replacing “American” with your state, like Oklahoman, that would be great.
    6. Please send photo to ERA@democratsabroad.org

    Text ideas:

    • Please vote for the ERA
    • Please ratify the ERA
    • I support Women
    • I support Women’s rights
    • Equal rights for All
    • Women need equal rights
    • Women deserve equal rights
    • ERA NOW

    Create and get these posted (and forwarded) by Saturday so they can put something together for a big event in Richmond on Jan 8th. Arizona and North Carolina will be working toward the same outcome so if you miss the January 8th opportunity you can do the same for them as you can!

    So – show your support of women and equal rights by creating a photo and/or video. Send the photo and video links to era@democratsabroad.org

    #DAforERA
    #VAratifyERA


  • published Painted into the Chair's Corner in News 2018-10-31 14:15:24 -0400

    Painted into the Chair's Corner

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    Saga of the Missing Ballot

    As the saga rolls on, we’re a bit late letting you, ‘dear reader,’ in on the day-by-day, blow-by-blow. When this surfaced, the Secretary was ‘off computer’ for several days. We’d love to put it all on her, but, truth be told, we forgot to move the saga from personal Facebook to the main DA/GR news page. And yet, it’s becoming most ‘instructional.’ So, for your catch-up and edification...

    Looking Back to Day 1

    The final GetOutTheVote (aka GOTV) surge has been full-on for over 2 months now. While phone-banking was understaffed here in Greece, volunteers from other countries called our members. And we made up our deficit with a fulsome Study Abroad outreach, a test of SMS reminders, 3 events where we also registered the late ones, and emails exhorting members to get registered and request ballots. There was also the nightly ‘widget’ duty, changing the Countdown “Days to Election” banner on the Facebook pages.

    Jai Salvador and I are widgets. Habitual widgets.

    From mid-October, we exhorted DAGRs to ‘track your ballot.’ After helping several members sort out how to do that, I realized I hadn’t tracked mine. That was Friday, Oct 26. Make note of the date.

    My Ohio ballot was sent to me on 21 September. We had an Athens film night to organize for Oct 4. Once that was past, I finally printed the ballot, voted it, and played Kindergarten Cop, cutting, pasting, and taping the odd sized envelope parts into place on real envelopes. (Not an easy job with those little plastic scissors!)

    As every year, I murmured a pseudo-prayer that the Franklin County BOE staff would be able to slice it open without industrial shears and blow-torches. (With equal fervor, I pray someday they’ll come up with a sizing/printing system that does not require trim-paste-stuff-tape-initial ad nauseum. But then, why would the Ohio GOP trifecta want to make absentee voting easy?)

    Then I let it ‘age’ until I was next due to go out of the house and near a post office. At a month shy of my 74th birthday and 3 years past finally hanging up the old motorbike, I plan my itineraries and the likely taxi fare to complete them so that I’m only ‘forced to put on make-up’ half of each week’s computer-working days. I hope that makes sense. It does to me.

    Consequently, it was a week after film night that I had to meet Vice Chair Steve Medeiros and Treasurer Nick Loisos for a planning and coffee session within walking distance of a post office. That was October 11. Bye bye, ballot, and fair thee well!

    I sent it, as I always have, by registered mail, in case I ever had to track it. Registered mail sometimes takes a bit longer than surface mail, but the Hellenic Post clerk assured me that 7 working days was about normal.

    When I got home, I’d have done well to have looked at the post-it note on my fridge door since January 2017: “THIS IS NOT NORMAL!”

    So now, as I noted earlier, after answering members’ queries about voting matters, I cut bait and got to my own. The Ohio Secretary of State’s ballot tracker asks for your county. Select from the drop-down menu and you get the county, and they ask for your PIN (which they sent by email the day before the ballot). I duly typed in the particulars 15 days after sending it and was shocked to see it hadn’t arrived in Columbus yet!

    Next stop was the ELTA (acronym for Hellenic Postal Service) website’s track/trace facility. There, you type in the registration number from your receipt and it gives you a chart of each step of the journey. Let me share it here, because it was simply gob-stopping.

    Contrary to the contrarians who delight in blaming the Greeks, it appears the Hellenic Post was totally efficient. By evening, the envelope had gone from Athens to the airport. And by the next day, it had arrived in the US. At the ‘Inward exchange’ station, whatever that is.

    The curious part is why, after arriving there, was it sent back to a similar ‘inward exchange’ site. In Hungary. Hungary?? You’ll forgive the exclamation: WTF?!

    by Karen Lee, DAGR Chair, 2015-7, 2017-9 more or less

    Saga of the Missing Ballot CONT....

    Looking Less Back, Day 2 and 3

     

    Once you find out something’s gone awry, you naturally want to fix it and then go fix dinner. So, the news that my ballot was on extended leave, in Hungary, set the plan for Saturday. A work-around would be found!

    Sometimes the laws of man and nature get in the way. This time, nature was cooperating. But, Saturday and Sunday bogged down. The ELTA customer service phone operates by man’s laws and man will have the weekend off.

    Frustrated, I sent a synopsis to our global GOTV co-chair, Heidi Birch. She added mine to the handful of reports HelpDesk had received. Apart from a few ‘returns to sender’ from NY state, nothing massive had emerged. Still, people don’t always report problems; they either solve them or give up trying.

    There’s always Facebook. An ‘I voted’ graphic download had just come in email from GOTV, so on Sunday I put it up on my personal timeline. It drew a ‘whooHOO!’ from our global chair, Julia Bryan, the perfect segue for my tale of woe: ‘But it didn’t ar-RI-ive!’

    My Fb posts are fairly bland. Consequently, I’m used to drawing a scant few likes, the odd thumbs up, and a pithy comment from my ex-sister-in-law in Florida.

    [sidebar] The only time I’ve drawn a long thread of exchanges was when a flaming Dem-baiter spewed out snowflakes and libtards. It may have been a bot assuming a stolen identity. The name was known as a real person here in Greece. Butter-wouldn’t-melt restraint and polite questions rewarded with the actual long list of what ‘they’ keep saying Trump has accomplished. Most have been averted by court injunctions. Talking points for 2020, a keepie! [/sidebar]

    Imagine my surprise when the ‘didn’t arrive’ post drew out a number of comments. A few had advice on what to do next. Most were from hopeful voter friends who’d sent their ballot. Now they were motivated to see if it had arrived.

    Best advice, of course, is when the regular ballot has not arrived OR has not been received back by the LEO, we should vote the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot, the FWAB. The main pitfall here is getting distracted by whether to pronounce it FWAYAB, FWAWB, F-WAB, or F-W-A-B. But that’s another story.

    Actually voting FWAB is fairly easy. I went to https://www.fvap.gov/fwab-privacy-notice and filled in my voter ID info, one more time. And saved it to pdf to be printed after I’d bought ink cartridges. Why is the printer always out of ink when you need it most?

    As Day 3 and the hamstrung weekend faded into midnight, I updated our Fb Countdown banners (aka cover pix) and made lists for a productive Monday when shops reopened.

    by Karen Lee, DAGR Chair, 2015-7, 2017-9 more or less

     


  • Political Prisoner in the US? Yes - Come and See the True Story

    Don_S_Poster_-_banner.jpg

    Atticus vs The Architect:
    The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman

    Thursday, Oct 18 - 7:00 pm
    Exile Room, Athinas 12, 3rd floor, Athens
    DAGR members and guests
    Wine and chat afterwards
    Donation €5

    Political witch-hunt Prosecutorial misconduct - Appeals denied - A decade in prison
    It really happened, IN AMERICA, in the 21st century!
    And it could happen again!

    Don Siegelman is the former Governor of Alabama, Lt. Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State - an extremely popular Democrat in a deep red state. Since certain rogue Republicans could not beat him fairly through the election process, a cadre of corrupt national and local GOP operatives put on a show trial and in 2006, convicted him of "bribery." The acts for which they convicted him are commonly performed by politicians - including President Obama and President Trump - everyday.

    However, Don Siegelman served as "America's # One Political Prisoner" in the Federal Bureau of Prisons until February 8, 2017 when he was released to home confinement through the Early Release program. He will be on probation until 8.9.2020.

    The Siegelman experience shows what can happen when the courts are stacked and collude with political interests to further their goals. A particularly timely film, after the recent SCOTUS confirmation sideshow!

    Siegelman_3.jpg

    The documentary is available for link rental, download or DVD from Amazon or, to directly benefit the Siegelman defense efforts incurred over 12 years of appeals.

    Come and watch this important film with us!


  • published Special Screening of The Post in News 2018-09-30 15:49:14 -0400

    Special Screening of 'The Post'

    A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government. —Twentieth Century Fox

    Join DAGR members and guests for this award-winning tribute to a high point in US journalism. This struggle set the tone and determination WaPo would show once again when they broke Watergate.

    DAGR encourages women everywhere who, like WaPo’s chief, are finding their own strength in the struggle. It seems fitting that we also take this occasion to celebrate her 95th with our Honorary Women’s Caucus Chair, Margarita Papandreou. Happy Birthday!

    The Post

    Thursday, Oct 04, 2018
    19:00 (7pm)
    The Exile Room, 12 Athinas, Monastiraki, Athens
    €5 donation at the door
    Refreshments – door prize


  • published Cocky Complacency in the Mid-Terms in News 2018-09-17 09:12:59 -0400

    Cocky Complacency in the Mid-Terms

    I have done what I am supposed to do.

    I don’t need to do any more.

    Don’t bug me; I am busy.

    So, you followed all the links, got yourself registered to vote in your local precinct, received a confirmation e-mail, have been checking your status and awaiting your ballot -- be it an e-ballot, an emailed ballot to be printed and mailed, scanned or an actual paper ballot received through snail-mail. The only thing left to do really now is VOTE and send in the ballot on time. Right?

    Yes and no. You may have done everything right for your vote. Have you assisted others in getting registered, getting fired up, getting friends and acquaintances who have the right to vote in the game? Maybe you’re shy and you don’t like to push people on their politics, but this isn’t pushing an agenda of right, left or center. It is encouraging everyone who has the right to vote to do so -- you can’t get more American, patriotic or non-partisan than that.

    You have a couple of expat friends who speak incessantly of US Politics and at this point you are fed up, because you have done what you were supposed to do and when the ballot arrives, you will do so then as well. You have convinced your adult children to register, your second cousin and Kyria Katina, who lives next door to the mini-market, who lived in the States for 20 years, before she and her husband retired in Greece.

    It is easy to get complacent because you did what you were supposed to do. It is also easy to get cocky today as we have watched Manafort flip and it looks like the man who was elected by the Electoral College may soon find himself out of the Oval Office. When all the allegations directed toward him are being proven via sworn testimony or tape recordings, it seems that “Game Over” will soon be flashing on screens across the world and Pence will be sworn in as the 46th. (Not that this is a victory, but at least 45 will be out, no longer able to steer the entire globe on crash course.)

    We can’t be complacent now, especially now. This is the time when we show our might -- we must keep talking about what is happening at home because if we don’t, the worst of it is bound to wash up -- literally or figuratively -- on Greek shores. We still have a full month to make sure anybody that can be registered, is registered to vote. We have to remind them to track their ballots. We have to keep talking to our uncommitted as well as our Republican friends. We have to keep pushing if the blue wave is to wash over the 2018 midterms. By nature, a wave is powerful and forceful and pushes aside what gets in the way. And that is who we have to be as Dems -- the embodiment of that wave.

    We felt that power after Parkland -- those beautiful teenagers had more guts and gumption than a hundred senior senators - they lit fires under us, made us take to the streets and say -- this must end. These midterms can make the difference between a legislative body that is willing to stand against the deep pockets of the NRA and say -- No More. Gun regulation is going to happen so that every citizen feels safe. No more mass shootings with automatic weapons, no more deaths dealt from demons with delusions of grandeur and access to firearms.

    Yes, it is easy to slip into cocky complacency -- but don’t. A democratic future for the globe is dependent on all of us being hands on and not sitting back and letting somebody else do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               -- by Stacey Harris-Papaioannou

                          “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” -- Plato

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  • published Which Type of Democrat are You? in News 2018-08-27 11:52:38 -0400

    Which Type of Democrat are You?

    DNC Summer Meeting
    Which type of Democrat are you?

    1. Pretty busy with ‘life’ but usually vote and try to support the Party when I can.
    2. Read the daily news and tweets! Frustrated! But I do what I can to change things!
    3. Really fascinated by the Party’s inside workings.

    Most of our members probably fall in the first group. However, the Trump reign has moved a lot of folks to join the activists in the 2nd group.

    And then there’s that handful of ‘political addicts’ who also involve themselves in the inner workings of the Party. That includes the DAGR Chair and Vice Chair, our voting members of DA, who have to attend the meetings.

    And then there are the pundits, the TV analysts, the talk-news hosts. Their bread and butter is controversy. The inner workings of all parties are grist for the daily headline mill, but they’ve had particular fun predicting the fracturing and demise of the Democratic Party since November 2016.

    The social media echo chamber picks up the theme. McDonalized blog louts (soft trolls) love the negative news, picking up a sleek phrase from their latest twitter feed: Dem duplicity, Dems depleted, Dems at loggerheads, Dems doomed! They think it makes them look sophisticated. No ‘my party right or wrong’ for them!

    Sorry, guys! But the Democrats do self-correct. We’ve been working hard on this one ever since the fiasco of 2016. And here’s a major result. Predictions to the contrary, the DNC Summer Meeting this past weekend in Chicago:

    • Reduced the number of automatic/unpledged aka super delegates by 60%
    • Limited their votes for the presidential nominee to the second ballot at the Convention (unless those votes match the popular vote of their constituency).

    While this will not change the 2016 outcome nor the anger in some quarters over how that was achieved, it will affect the 2020 selection process. OUR votes in the primaries will not be offset by deals made ahead of time by party leaders.

    The Saturday plenary meeting was extended by 2 hours to accommodate more debate. And some of that debate was heated. At the end of the day, realizing the Unity Reform Commission (URC) recommendations were going to pass, the opposition conceded and the package of reforms was passed by acclamation. (unanimously)

    In the ‘big tent’ that is the Democratic Party, unity is seen as the underlying need. Our message is clear. It’s called The Platform. And our way to passing that message into law is winning elections with renewed emphasis on transparency, inclusion and grassroots organizing.

    If you want to know more detail about how it works, what it was in the past, how it’s changed, try these 4 short articles from DemList Daily that cover the process as it moved forward.

    Oct 26, 2017 – Who IS the DNC? And What Did They Vote in the Winter Meeting?

    Dec. 11, 2017 – Recommendations of the Unity Reform Commission

    March 13, 2018 – The Old Way and the New (Maybe) Way (Superdelegate details)

    Aug. 24, 2018 – The Plenary’s Decision

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  • published A Selfie is Just a Mini Billboard in News 2018-07-16 12:57:15 -0400

    A Selfie is Just a Mini Billboard

    Of what use is a photo of yourself holding a sign? Well, it IS a message! And it’s a fast way to send that message. You send friends pictures from the beach, with your family, of your latest grandkid. Why not send one to your elected official?

    It’s just a mini billboard and a lot cheaper than those big ones along the Interstate! You don’t even have to send $3 to help us put it up!DAGR tried something new at the 4th of July celebration in Athens … the Selfie Helper. As noted below, sending a selfie is a piece of cake for some phone owners and alien turf for others. So, we asked a volunteer to stand by to help the selfie challenged. The goal was to carry on from a virtual presence on June 30 “Families Belong Together” action. And to learn.

    The ubiquitous mobile phone ... a recorder of history, a news camera, to amplify official versions or add substance to claims of mistreatment. From traffic stops to paragliding, the camera tells it all.

    When phone designers added a second camera pointed back at the user, the selfie took off! Selfies started out as a lark, one more way to say ‘Kilroy is here, and I’m Kilroy!’. Then the afficianodos began to find more serious uses of this instant sharing facility.

    Selfies as a Dems Abroad tool
    DA’s tech-savvy leadership has encouraged selfies and virtual messaging. On a social media page, they’re a visual ‘list’ of supporters. Put together in a montage, hundreds of them together form a virtual march from all around the world. The virtual amplifies the live protests and official statements sent to the party lawmakers.

    Some country committees have been represented better than others, depending on savvy, connectivity, and knowledge of which link to send their selfies to. But, before each major event, there seems to be a welter of hashtags and addresses that might or not land the photo where someone else can pick it up and include in a montage..

    This is especially so if the protest is launched by another group, or coalition in which DA takes part. Everybody’s got a hashtag in the game. Where do I see myself after the event? The fog of addresses is clearing slowly, but for those accustomed to more traditional letters, calls and now emails and petition clicking, the key question is whether anybody cares about a selfie.

    Who can get a Selfie?
    Selfies aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. And you can’t send them to all politicos. But DAGR Vice Chair Steve Medeiros and Athens Chapter Chair Marion Kavallieros did a bit of digging and found some promising possibilities.

    They started with the “Indivisible” proposition that the message should be sent to one’s own Congressman and Senators. They’re all listed in government websites. Each one has an email option for contact. Easy, right? Um, nope! Unfortunately, the dialogue box only accepts written messages, typed or pasted in.

    Steve discovered a web facility that would send a selfie directly to your designated public official. A perfect solution, but, it’s only set up for stateside users. He wrote off to them to suggest they expand their service abroad. They haven’t written back. Yet.

    And then, it hit them. Facebook.
    In FB Messenger, you can upload a photo. Save it to your computer or phone Internet app, and upload it to a message. Do all congresspersons have Messenger service? No. But a lot do. And each of us only has to check three officials. Ours.

    You can probably do this in Twitter and Instagram, too. The team just didn’t have time to get that far before the fireworks went off. Stay tuned. For now? Instructions below.

    For the camera-confident, Go For It!
    if you’re good with your camera and have some confidence with ‘posting selfies,’ here’s what you do:

    1. Look up your Congressperson or Senators on the gov’t websites.

    2. Drop their full name into Facebook search box. They may have more than one page. Look for one with a Message link. If they have one, you’re good to go.

    3. Print out a sign or scribble one on a piece of A4 paper.

    4. Hold your sign and take your selfie.

    5. Upload it to your personal Facebook timeline.

    6. Then Share it via Facebook Messenger to each congresscritter you’ve found.

    If you use Twitter, you can try the same method as for Facebook. Your elected officials may accept photos. If they do, tweet them a selfie with message!

    Text Messages … Say It With Words!

    Some elected officials don’t have Facebook or Messenger or a Twitter feed. If not, or if you’re not up to selfies, you can use the old-fashioned written word.

    Almost all congresspersons have a ‘contact me’ link in their government listing. Find your three (one congressperson, two senators) at these two sites:

    1. Click on the “send email” or ‘contact’ link to open the dialogue box.

    2. Fill in your voter info so they know they should worry about getting YOUR vote.

    3. Select a ‘category.’ Note: There’s rarely one that fits what you want to say.

    4. Type in a Subject line, e.g. “Re-unite Immigrant Families”

    5. Type your message in the box. It can be quite short, or longer and heartfelt. But it should be clear, e.g. “The zero-tolerance immigration policy keeps kids in jail, with or without their families. Please do all you can to reunite families IMMEDIATELY, release families from detention, and then work for a sane, humane, effective immigration policy in compliance with international standards of human rights.”

    Most officials now ask for a US phone number. If you don’t have a US phone, borrow one. (First, ask your friend, agent or relative for permission … and which number they keep only for telemarketing and nuisance calls.)

    Or go to voice communication
    The links above for Senate and House also have the phone numbers for their DC offices. If hometown offices are not listed, and you want to call during a holiday break, click on their website address. There may be several offices for a senator across the state. Most congresspersons have just one. Find these numbers in the personal websites.

    Long distance to the US used to be expensive. If you have a flat-rate calling arrangement, it may cost the same as a local call now. If not, use calls for the most urgent matters you want to weigh in on. Be prepared with your information and talking points. Keep it short.

    These calls ARE counted by staffers. So are the messages left for some lawmakers. They’re definitely worth the effort!

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  • 4th of July Report from Athens and Thessaloniki Chapters

    Watching the Fireworks in Athens

    Prompt: DAGR has an Athens Chapter and a Thessaloniki Chapter.
    Response: Oh, has it got TWO chapters, then?
    ~ paraphrasing the Grivas companion to Access to English, Book 2, Oxford Univ. Press...

    Thessaloniki Chapter drew a good turnout for its 2nd year in a row. The northern celebration is smaller than Athens, less scripted, supported by potluck offerings and more open to simple socializing with a strong shot of political discussion. This year, ThessChap reports the focus was on how they’ll Get Out The Vote in the north lands. Under consideration is lending support to registering the healthy contingent of Study Abroad students expected to arrive in September.

    Kudos to ChapChair and Rep, Anna Vasilliou and Peter Baiter, for the BBQ put on in Peter’s garden. And thanks to Dimitris Chriss for the donated portion of Vergina Beer and Tuvunu to ThessChap as well as AthChap.

    AthChap traditionally has a much larger event, primarily because DAGR was started in Athens, and grew word-of-mouth, friend-to-friend for a decade or so before ThessChap was formed. That’s okay, and tomorrow ThessChap will double and other city chapters will spring up. Disclaimers aside … on to Athens.

    Over 130 Athens Chapter members, friends, family and young ones, gathered at ENOA again this year for food, fun and and fireworks to celebrate the nation’s birthday.

    Grim realities that made some feel less than celebratory were put to work. Don’t like what you see? Change it! (BTW, have we mentioned Register, Vote, November?) This is what Democracy looks like!

    Selfies and a petition to replace 45’s brutal, pandering-to-base, zero-tolerance immigration policies with effective, humane practices set the theme. The petition is to be sent on to DA global, hopefully to be passed on to DNC. If you’d like to add your John Hancock, reply on this email and we’ll get it to you.

    The political message was reinforced by the flower-bordered Wall piñata, and small Dems bashed it to pieces. It wasn’t easy! But the rewards were many! Let the children inspire us!

    We had great support this year from Omar Alshamy and the ENOA kitchen and grounds crews. Again, we had solid help from our accounting firm, CompuTax, in filing and pushing through one of two VAT exemptions offered to non-profit associations by the Greek Tax Service.

    Still, success depends on hard-working volunteers. So a round of applause for:

    Early planning: Nikki Fellouris, Marion Kavallieros, and ExCom. Sign-in and ticketing: Charity Moschopoulos, Nick Loisos, Anna Haughton, Stacey Papaioannou. Decorations: Marion Kavallieros. Food Service: Steve Medeiros, Fern Velentzes, Jimmy Katsinis, Zoe Loukopoulos. Beverage Service: Kristin, Iannis and Annalie Zissis. Microphone: Kate Wattles. Promotions: Christina Manning. Selfies Help: Karine Ancelin. Piñata and Lemonade: Sarajane Leone, Charity Moschopoulos, Jai Salvador, Elizabeth Fullerton, Popi Stratis, Kristin Zissis, Annalie Zissis, Karen Lee. Piñata bashing mgrs: Jai Salvador, Christina Lewis, Emma Hensley. Annalie Zissis (capped the final blow!) Declaration History: Vasilios Gikas; read by Steve Medeiros. Declaration Text: read by Emma Hensley. Pyrotechnics: Brady Kiesling and 2 brave young guests of John Lewis. Donations: Site rent, fireworks, beer and mountain tea, lemonade, ice, watermelons, cupcakes, zucchini bread, DJ/playlist and singer, piñata materials, plus €60 in cash donations.

    Again this year, we put up a feedback form for AthChap attendees and want to thank the 17 who have taken time to share thoughts and suggestions for next year.

    More photos on Democrats Abroad Greece and Democrats Abroad Greece-Thessaloniki Facebook pages.

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  • published 4th of July Celebrated in Athens! in News 2018-06-08 15:12:01 -0400

    4th of July Celebrated in Athens!

    Athens:
    Wednesday, July 4
    8-11 p.m.
    ENOA on the Elliniko beach

    Fav menu with new twists, new buttons, silent auction, snappy program. Piñata and fireworks. Burgers, dogs, vegan falafel; beer, wine, soda. Fresh LEMONADE makes a come-back! And same reasonable prices as last year: Adults €15 includes dinner and first beverage! Kids-under-12, €10 full fare. A la carte available. 

    Details with RSVP link and ONLINE pre-sale will be in next week’s invitation. Watch for it in your inbox!

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  • published BBQ to Celebrate the 4th in Thessaloniki in News 2018-06-08 15:10:00 -0400

    BBQ to Celebrate the 4th in Thessaloniki

    Thessaloniki:
    Wednesday, July 4
    8-11 p.m.
    BBQ in Peter’s garden in Pilea

    Casual -- read, political -- chat around the grill. Peter gets the dogs. A Vergina friend sends the suds. Potluck salads, hot dogs and desserts while seeing old friends and meeting new ones. 

    RSVP by noon, Monday, July 3

    NB: If you have friends who aren’t members but who would like to be, we’ll have forms they can fill out and/or information about how to join online. It’s a good idea to have them bring their US passport!

    For general information:
    Email Info-GR-Thessaloniki@democratsabroad.org
    OR
    Call Chapter Chair Anna Vassiliou at 694 421 5298 or Chapter Rep Peter Baiter at 694 743 8773

    Join us for a wonderful Fourth of July!

    Anna and Peter

    For Democrats Abroad Greece Thessaloniki Chapter 2017-19

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  • published 4th of July Celebrated in Greece! in News 2018-06-08 13:18:42 -0400

    4th of July Celebrated in Greece!

    U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY

    Celebrate at the Beach!
    With Democrats Abroad Greece (DAGR)
    Athens Chapter

     

    INVITED:  All American citizens in Greece, family and friends of any nationality

    DATE:     Wednesday, July 4, 2018

    TIME:      8:00 to 11:00 pm (20:00 to 23:00)

    PLACE:  Nautical Club of Egyptian Greeks (ENOA), Ellinikon

    See directions, map link below

    FOJ_2017_nlezu3.jpg

    RSVP by noon, Monday, July 2! 

    Gate opens at 8 - Food service begins at 8 - Fireworks at 10:00 - Dancing till drop or 11-ish

    Early swimming option and beach volley

    Voter Registration and Ballot Request Assistance!!

    Pinata and face painting for the young (at heart)

    Table competition - Snarky State-by-State Challenge

    Straw Poll - Top 2018 Issues

    Young Dems meet-up for tweens to 20s

    Silent Auction

    Medley of American music throughout

    Fireworks!

    Donation:

    Meal ticket €15 – Choice of hotdog, hamburger, or vegetarian falafel plate

    (Split a plate for two medium-hungry kids or feed toddlers from yours)

    Includes:

    First beverage - your choice!

    Corn-on-the-cob

    Greek-style potato salad, coleslaw and tossed green salad

    Watermelon

    Extras: 2nd-3rd-nth drink: beer, wine, €2; our famous lemonade, mountain tea, soft drinks, €1

    NB: Donations may only be received from US citizens. Please bring your US passport!

    For general information:

    Email us at Info@democratsabroad.org/gr

    Join us for a wonderful Fourth of July!
    Democrats Abroad Greece, Athens Chapter  

    …………………………………………………………….

    How to Get There: (look for the over-road footbridge!)

    By Car – Seawards off Leoforos Poseidonos at 2nd Agh. Kosmas tram stop (left between 2nd and 1st Agh. Kosmas bus stops to loop back, if coming from Sounion).
    Follow the winding road almost to the end (Akrotiri). Parking!

    And let us know if you need or are willing to form a carpool!

    By Bus – 2nd Agh. Kosmas bus stop. Walk down the winding road toward the sea.

    By Tram –2nd Agh Kosmas tram stop. Metro connects with tram near Syntagma and at several other stations along the route.

    Map on ENOA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/ENOA/201331406586376

    DA Greece
    http://www.democratsabroad.org/

     

     

    Thessaloniki:
    Wednesday, July 4, 2018
    8-11 p.m. 
    BBQ in Peter’s garden

    Casual -- read, political -- chat around the grill. Peter gets the dogs. A Vergina friend sends the suds. And potluck salads and desserts seem unstoppable. Watch for the invitation with details, next week in the inbox!

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