by Mickey Farrance - DAF GOTV Coordinator
As Americans living abroad, we feel both connected and disconnected from American politics. Many of us vote, at least every four years when the Presidential elections roll around. But paying attention to what’s happening in American politics in between election cycles...maybe not so much.
Until Donald Trump was elected President of the United States on November 8, 2016
...And, everything changed.
The anger that many of us felt was channeled into action to elect Democrats at every level of the government. Much of this activism has taken place stateside. But not all!
Progressives living abroad have been galvanized into action as well. We contributed - in a number of concrete ways - to help propel the 2018 Blue Wave where Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and achieved many firsts in the election of a diverse caucus of Democratic leaders.
This series of posts is about Activism from Abroad. We are Americans living abroad, like you. And we want to share with you the tools that we have used and found to be effective and user-friendly.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
We are not helpless. We do have power and we can take positive action in participatory democracy. Engaging in the democratic process today, in the age of Trumpism, is more important than ever before.
There are a number of ways you can help make a difference, and you can do it wherever you live… including from the comfort of your home! While you do your part from abroad, you can be sure that you are part of a larger, coordinated effort to flip the Congress, win back the White House, and make our elected officials pay attention to their constituents!
In each of the blog posts in our Activism from Abroad series, we’ll feature tools that you can use strategically to either Get Out the Vote (GOTV) or to hold your Members of Congress (MoC’s) accountable. Here is a list of the actions that are (or will be) included in this series. Click on the title to read the full article.
- to US-based registered Democrats for specific Democratic candidates’ campaigns to encourage registered Democrats to sign up to Vote by Mail, avoiding election-day problems like long lines, limited hours and inconveniently located polling places.
- (Coming soon!) to overseas registered Democrats to remind them to register to vote, to participate in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary, and to vote in November 2020.
Make scripted calls to overseas voters to remind them to register to vote and to request their absentee ballot.
Use your computer to text messages to US-based voters - for free - to reach out to likely and registered Democratic voters for specific Democratic candidates’ campaigns.
Reach out to US-based voters:
- to encourage registered Democratic voters to Vote by Mail
- to encourage unregistered but likely Democratic voters to register to vote.
Registering to vote is not always top of mind. If you want a little nudge, Pledge to Reg is right for you. The Pledge to Reg website has been created to assist voters who live abroad to be sure that they register to vote in the critical 2020 elections! And, it is a great way to spread the word among friends and family...including students studying abroad!
Send messages quickly and easily to hold your own Members of Congress accountable by contacting them about the issues that you care about. Because when they are elected to office, they have a job to do - for the best interests of their constituents and for the country.
Living abroad means that we can’t participate directly in town halls, canvassing, and other live actions. But you know what? There are actually plenty of opportunities to volunteer to help win the White House, hold the House, and flip the Senate. Click on this link to find out about volunteer opportunities with Democrats Abroad.
You can participate in any (or all) of these activities in your PJs and bunny slippers at home, or in a sociable group sharing laughs.
TWO THINGS ARE CLEAR:
- Every single vote is critical! More races are being determined by narrower margins. At a national level, it is sometimes a few hundred votes that determine whether a seat is red or blue. State-level races have come down to one vote, or even the flip of a coin!
- When Democrats show up, we win.
So, please take part in Activism from Abroad!
We are also interested in what actions you have already taken and what suggestions, other information, and advice you have to offer. Let us know!
About Mickey Farrance:
Mickey Farrance was a politics-adjacent American ex-pat in France until relatively recently (The Day the World changed: election day November 2016) after which she became a pissed-off elder. Since then she has established 2 Indivisible Groups in France and built a network of American political activists across Europe. She joined Democrats Abroad in 2017 when Indivisible Grenoble and DA Grenoble merged, taught (and nagged) dozens of people why and how to contact their congresscritters, and helped propel the Blue Wave in 2018 with GOTV activities (voter registration, voting follow-up). This year she has signed up to Go Bigger, coordinating GOTV action across France.
Mickey works at a French software company in Grenoble, landing there after a career in aerospace engineering for NASA back in the United States. She had wanted to try living abroad since French and German classes in high school, and finally made it happen just before George Bush was appointed President of the United States by the US Supreme Court in 2000.
About Helen Stickler:
Ms. Stickler is an art director/producer/director. She repurposed vintage Soviet matchbook art into pro-Democratic political memes for the 2018 midterms and continues to support progressive issues, #VoteBlue, #GOTV, and Democrats in her work. Her memes strongly reflect a woman's point of view in today's political landscape.
We would like to extend our deep thanks to Helen Stickler for giving us permission to use her designs for this series.