Charity Moschopoulos published DA Thess Chapter Promotes 'Get Out the Vote' at the Farm Fest in Thessaloniki in News 2019-05-15 10:08:44 -0400
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.
Charity Moschopoulos published First Young Democrats Abroad Event in Athens is coming up! in News 2019-05-06 13:37:08 -0400
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!
Charity Moschopoulos published Women's March Athens 2019 in the Guardian! in News 2019-01-19 15:11:06 -0500
Charity Moschopoulos published Join our ERA Photo and Video Campaign! in News 2019-01-03 11:21:02 -0500
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.
- 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.
- Do NOT wear or say anything partisan. Almost all Dems support ERA so trying to win the Rep vote.
- Please show some passion but avoid/limit profanity.
- Start with “I’m an American living in GREECE”.
- If you live in a country that has equal rights for women in the constitution, especially if in some non-European country, mention that.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ask for ERA support.
- 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 [email protected]
- 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
- Make sign on A4 or 8.5x11 paper
- Please include on the sign “American living in GREECE” along with some support for ERA.
- Take photo with sign with your face showing
- Photos of your kids holding the sign is also good – if you are ok with the photo on the internet
- 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.
- Please send photo to [email protected]
- 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 [email protected]
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
Charity Moschopoulos published Political Prisoner in the US? Yes - Come and see the true story in News 2018-10-10 06:33:57 -0400
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
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!
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!
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!
Thursday, Oct 04, 2018
The Exile Room, 12 Athinas, Monastiraki, Athens
€5 donation at the door
Refreshments – door prize
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
DNC Summer Meeting
Which type of Democrat are you?
- Pretty busy with ‘life’ but usually vote and try to support the Party when I can.
- Read the daily news and tweets! Frustrated! But I do what I can to change things!
- 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.
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
- Pretty busy with ‘life’ but usually vote and try to support the Party when I can.
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:
Look up your Congressperson or Senators on the gov’t websites.
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.
Print out a sign or scribble one on a piece of A4 paper.
Hold your sign and take your selfie.
Upload it to your personal Facebook timeline.
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.
Click on the “send email” or ‘contact’ link to open the dialogue box.
Fill in your voter info so they know they should worry about getting YOUR vote.
Select a ‘category.’ Note: There’s rarely one that fits what you want to say.
Type in a Subject line, e.g. “Re-unite Immigrant Families”
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!
Charity Moschopoulos published 4th of July Report from Athens and Thessaloniki Chapters in News 2018-07-16 12:20:35 -0400
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.
Wednesday, July 4
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!
Charity Moschopoulos published BBQ to Celebrate the 4th in Thessaloniki in News 2018-06-08 15:10:00 -0400
Wednesday, July 4
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 [email protected]
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
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
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
Medley of American music throughout
Meal ticket €15 – Choice of hotdog, hamburger, or vegetarian falafel plate
(Split a plate for two medium-hungry kids or feed toddlers from yours)
First beverage - your choice!
Greek-style potato salad, coleslaw and tossed green salad
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 [email protected]/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
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
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!
The luncheon meeting, held at Hermeion restaurant in Athens and online via WebEx, was quorate plus six guests. Three amendments to the DAGR Bylaws were approved by members voting at the 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM), March 4.
The more controversial amendment set in place a mechanism for dealing with ‘sexual harassment,’ including verbal bullying, among members. That is, it specifically disallows harassment based on gender among board (ExCom), volunteers and general membership and requires ExCom to deal with any complaints received. This amendment was encouraged by global DA, after passage of a similar amendment to the DA Code of Conduct. This amendment was passed with two dissenting votes.
Two other short amendments concerned dates. One tweaked the days ballots are sent in advance of an AGM/election of officers, when mail or electronic vote is used. This brings our date in line with global DA guidance. The other specified that the DAGR AGM in local election years is to be held by 31 January, starting in 2019. This is two months earlier than the previous date, March 31, which may still be observed in even-numbered years. It was proposed in order to minimize the period the bank account is ‘frozen’ at year’s end, until newly elected ‘responsible persons’ are documented to the bank. These amendments were approved unanimously.
Two guest speakers
On the program, Leonidas Gontzes, Associate Dean and instructor of History, Government & Politics, and International Relations, Empire State College, SUNY, led a lively discussion on “Who Americans Vote For Affects the Whole World!” Gontzes brought four of his students – one Greek, two other Europeans, one African – who expressed their positive impression of our transparency and member engagement.
An unexpected bonus was a visit by Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas P. Raptakis, on his way back from the Delphi Economic Forum. After brief remarks on state politics and Dem prospects November, he fielded questions and comments. Raptakis sits on the Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee and is vice chair of the Rhode Island Senate Committee on Special Legislation & Veterans' Affairs.
Notes for next year
Overall, this was a warm, lively – and tasty – Sunday luncheon. Is Sunday preferable to a weeknight? Feedback is needed. Our WebEx connection was slightly better than last year’s, but still had audio problems. These arise from connecting our limited equipment into (random) venues’ systems, distance to WIFI hubs, as well as possible interference from nearby WIFI. Dedicated equipment may be a solution. The goal is to make the AGM available and convenient, so as many members as possible can participate!
Charity Moschopoulos published Women’s March on Washington in Athens: January 21st in News 2018-04-17 23:38:20 -0400
A SIMPLE MARCH THAT SNOWBALLED INTO A MOVEMENT
A few hundred or so participants gathered on the steps of historic Constitution Square in central Athens Greece with a backdrop of the parliament building to celebrate the anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington 2018 on Sunday, January 21st.
A handful of speakers made statements, read poetry and offered inspiration. Many participants wore black, showing solidarity for the #metoo movement. The march in Athens was co-organized by Democrats Abroad Women’s Caucus and the Women’s March Athens, an independent group of international and Greek residents.
Coming together across seven continents – and in Greece – participants took a stand for a world that is equitable, tolerant, just and safe for all; January 21st, marked the one-year anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.
Last year, in the largest joint demonstration in history, women and men, of all backgrounds, ages, and races, came together, 5 million strong. The Women’s March on Washington became an organic groundswell the day after the 2016 election, when a grandmother in Hawaii proposed to 40 of her friends to go march in Washington, D.C. The issues they raised, however, were not limited to the US, and the idea quickly grew into a movement with “sister marches” across the US and around the world.
The march was a proactive international movement to defend women's rights and those of others in response to the rising rhetoric of far-right populism around the world. The march is committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion.
In Athens, the 2018 Women’s March began at 4 p.m. in Syntagma Square. The broad 2018 theme was “Look Back, March Ahead,” focusing on human rights. Globally, Democrats Abroad followed a theme of “March to the Ballot Box” and efforts to encourage Americans outside the US to register and vote.
Athens organizers decided on “Together We Rise” to emphasize the common interest Greeks and foreigners, women and men, have in a world in which the human rights and dignity of each person are protected and our planet is safe from destruction.
Karen Lee, Chairperson of DAGR, co-organizers of the march, said, “Blatant misogyny sent American women into the streets last year. This year, it’s determination that drives us. I think women everywhere have seen how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. But we’re awake now, we’re talking, engaging, informing ourselves. When women have full parity, others get it, too. So, today, we march in solidarity for human rights for all; tomorrow, we vote. And then we do it again the next year. We’re not going back.”
Maria Kostaki, of Women’s March Athens, said the local slogan, “‘Together we Rise,’ reminds everyone that it is up to us to do our part….and make our voices heard as one.”
Kostaki added, “Last year, shocked by what the election of Donald Trump meant for the world, I scrambled to organize the sister march of the Women’s March on Washington here in Athens. This year, I continue to participate because one single protest does not make a movement, it does not create change. The effort is ongoing, constant, even when we are not gathering in protest to voice our demands as humans. My aim is to get more of the Greeks to join us this year, as this is not about the United States, it’s about women’s rights, human rights, all over the world.”
Several speakers addressed the crowd on the steps of Constitution Square before they took the march to streets, chanting, waving banners and holding signs high in the air.
Charity Moschopoulos published DAGR Elects Treasurer in January Special Election in News 2018-04-17 23:00:00 -0400
A vacancy in the office of the Treasurer for Democrats Abroad Greece (DAGR) in early November of 2017 mandated a special election. Members of DAGR were notified according to protocol of a special election, held electronically.
In early January, Nicholas Loisos, who has served as both a writer for articles published in DAGR’s newsletter, as well as IT aficionado for WebEx and any number of computer issues requiring expertise, easily waded into the office of Treasurer. Numbers and computing are his forte, so he was a natural.
Navigating numbers and his quest to finalize establishing a Greek bank account became priorities. To date, DAGR has an official bank account with Eurobank so that members can easily conduct financial transactions on-line or via the bank in person. This will make events so much more streamlined for all the members as payments can be made in advance for events as opposed to waiting in line to make a cash exchange. And receiving donations will be much more easily enabled!
Nick is a native of New York, a California voter but has lived, studied and worked in a variety of locales in the USA and Europe. He presently resides in Athens full-time.
Democrats Abroad GreeceAthens Chapter
will be celebrating Thanksgiving on Sunday November 26th
It’s FALL, y’all! And that means it’s time to
enjoy indoor time with friends over great food
and maybe even “talk a little turkey!”
Guest Speaker: Sophia Kouvelaki
Executive Director, The Home Project, Athens
Providing housing and services
for unaccompanied minors who are refugees
Holiday Recipe Contest Winner TBA – Have you sent yours in yet?
Turkey-of-the-Year pick is preparing for plucking
Friends and family are welcome to this holiday that celebrates immigration so beautifully with thanks and appreciation for bridging cultures. Bring Yiayia and Papou, the kids and your Greek friends as well. No time like the present to be inclusive by example.
The menu is full of delightful dishes and the program will tickle your turkey bone!
Served Family Style the menu includes: homemade breads, green salad with pomegranate walnuts, turkey with pine nut dressing, (vegetarian option—Spanakopita), sweet potato puree, scalloped corn and cranberry sauce, red or white wine in a carafe for 4, soft drinks, and pumpkin pie with raisins.
€25 per person, including VAT
Tips will be collected separately.
15 Pandrosou and 7 Mnisikleous
PLEASE RSVP by Wednesday, November 22nd 9 pm
Just complete the RSVP form and hit the Submit button at the bottom.
Payment for your party will need to be made in cash, at the door by any member of your group with a US passport. AthChap has worked out a speedo sign-in to minimize delays!
Holiday Recipe Contest – Deadline Friday!
Well-known cookbook author Diana Farr Louis is standing by to help choose the winners. The recipe contest deadline is coming up soon—November 17th. Submissions are being accepted, in these categories: soup, salad/appetizer, entrée, side dish, dessert. Send to Marion Kavallieros or Ted Theo at the emails below. [email protected], [email protected].
Make a Day of It!
There are Holiday Happenings all over Athens on the 26th—the AWOG Bazaar is on from 11 am until 7pm at the War Museum as well as the Anglican Bazaar at Zappeion. The DAGR Thanksgiving Luncheon will make for a delicious break between bazaars!
Charity Moschopoulos published Points for Resistance Summer Postcards - 2017 in News 2017-07-19 03:26:37 -0400
This summer has been slated for resistance activities in the US and around the world that are both serious and fun to put on and do.
The DNC is helping Dems Abroad global to help our country committees print and distribute postcards for our members to send to Senators and Representatives.
These are distributed free of charge, though from 4th July and on, you’ll have to buy your own stamp. A donation toward future efforts will not be refused. :)
Senators at https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
Representatives at http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Search further for regional offices that may be less busy and more effective.
Size your stamp first! Then, address your card
Post card ‘uncovered’ to US costs €.80. Some stamps, e.g. Theodorakis, are huge.
Post card in an envelope to US costs €.90 and may be impounded to search for ‘contaminents.
Write your message
Be brief. They won’t read your ‘prose’ very carefully. But do make your point, e.g.:
- · Hands off Obamacare!
- · Medicare for ALL!
- · Protect our National Monuments!
- · NO tax cuts for the wealthy!
Keep an eye out for breaking legislation. Send a card. You’ll feel better for it!
THIS WEEK: Healthcare is still very much ON THE TABLE!
It is likely the GOP will try to push through the vote in the Senate that was delayed before the holiday break. Any delay in passing the atrocious AHCA legislation means that their equally bad “fund the rich” tax package will also be delayed. In the best of possible worlds, AHCA will die entirely and we can look at healthcare proposals that actually help American families live a productive life, free of pain and the worry of not being able to care for loved ones. Here’s the main picture.
For all men, women and families.
- · The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 14 million more people would be uninsured in 2018 under the new plan than under current law.
- · By 2026 the number of uninsured would reach 51 million Americans. While the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has made strides to cover more Americans, it is estimated that 28 million would still not have health insurance in 2026. Either way, we have a long way to go.
- · Many believe that it is time to explore other options for how we provide healthcare in the United States. National Nurses United and The Sanders Institute have published a paper that speaks to the current state of healthcare in the US and explores the option of a Medicare-for-all single payer system. We may not all agree, but it is an option to consider.
From DA Women’s Caucus, the main issues re women’s health.
Healthcare is key to women’s well-being and economic stability.
- · Repealing the Affordable Care Act will disproportionally impact women, particularly low to moderate income women and women of color.
- · The repeal bill would eliminate critical protections in the Affordable Care Act that prohibit discrimination against women in the provision of health care.
- · Insurers would no longer be required to provide women coverage for services such as maternity care and they would be allowed to charge women more that coverage if they do offer it.
- · And it will erode women’s access to reproductive healthcare by dismantling no-copay birth control and defunding the organizations that provide this care.
DAGR is distributing Resistance Summer Post Cards to key volunteers around the country. If you’d like to get a few (20) to write or share with any Americans you know, just ask your Chapter officers or send a note to the Secretary.
Charity Moschopoulos posted about ICYMI -- DAGR at the Concordia Europe Summit on Facebook 2017-06-14 13:04:50 -0400ICYMI -- DAGR at the Concordia Europe Summit
Concordia Europe Summit and DAGR
Last week, June 6-7, DAGR Treasurer Alec Mally, retired Greek diplomat Dimitris Tsikouris, and I attended the two-day Concordia Europe Summit. Our invitation came not without some effort and most particularly that of DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake. His willingness to help was a result of the effort our global leadership has made to put DA on the DNC radar.
Finding sustainable, long-term responses to refugee flows around the world was the focal point. Cooperation, particularly trans-Atlantic, and support for international institutions that promote that cooperation were pointed to as essential.
Greece was chosen as the setting for this first Concordia event in Europe because of the particularly heavy refugee aide burden the country has shouldered in the midst of its own economic crisis. Also, note that the Logothetis family, central to Concordia founding and support, is proud of its Greek heritage.
Initially, we wanted to be at the Summit to greet former Vice President Joe Biden. Well, we managed to sit in the same room. Mr Biden was whisked in and out, on a tight schedule. There were no selfies with the V-POTUS! What we got instead was a crash-course in what can be done to make the world a better place … as well as quite a few people wondering if Mr Biden might not be persuaded to run in 2020.
Alec covered Mr. Biden’s remarks for New Europe magazine, “Concordia European Summit: Joe Biden tries to contain Trump’s transatlantic shockwaves”. He said there were so many great quotes, it was hard to decide, but here’s a sampler:
Vice President Biden’s remarks were clearly intended to calm European fears of precipitous American disengagement from the world under the Trump Administration, as well as to address some specifics of the U.S.-Greece relationship, both recurring themes of the Concordia European Summit:
--A strong Greece is essential to U.S. security. The same rationale President Harry Truman used in 1947 when requesting aid for Greece and Turkey applies today. Quoting Truman: “The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms.”
--President Truman did not refer to charity or moral superiority when he asked Congress to allocate aid to Greece, it was a case of self-interest to protect the welfare of the United States over the long haul, and it worked.
--Biden said the U.S. needs Greece back on its feet, and on a sustainable footing which will allow for job creation. “That requires debt forgiveness, in my view.” (No further elaboration)
--On challenges in the region: Biden believed a Cyprus solution is tantalizingly close.
You can read the rest of the article at New Europe. Be sure to include #Concordia17 in shares and tweets.
On to the Conclusion
While prepared to be skeptical of the emphasis on P3 (public-private partnership), I was pleasantly disappointed. Rather than profit, the emphasis was on duty, service and best practices. George Logothetis, summed it up, straight from the heart, without notes or teleprompter. Watch the livestream; his eyes never leave the audience.
It’s going to take some time to sort out everything I heard, and I will be reviewing the recorded livestream. It’s recommended if time permits. Mostly very agreeable, a few points less so, but thought-provoking – and encouraging – throughout.
by Karen Lee, DAGR Chair
Concordia Live Stream
These videos are of whole sessions, each about 4 hours long. Allow time for them to load and buffer and then use the slider to skip to parts you may want to watch.
Afternoon Session (4 hrs 53 mins)
Video w/out sound starts at about 16 min
Meeting opens at 26 min, video about Concordia, remarks by founders
Remarks by President Provopoulos at 37 minutes, interpreter’s voice.
Morning Session (4 hrs 15 mins)
Video w/out sound starts at about 15 min
Meeting convened at 26 mins
Former V-POTUS Biden is introduced by Mike Manatas at 29 mins
George Logothetis stirring speech at 39 mins
Round-table on future of Europe at 1:54:00
Afternoon Session (4 hrs 15 mins)
Video w/out sound starts at about 7 min
Archibishop Bartholomew introduced at about 8 mins
PM Tsipras closing address (interpreters voice) at about 3:36:00