Stuttgart Chapter Chair, Germany; Global Women's Caucus Co-Chair

  • Help Stop Violence Against Women on College Campuses

    The Women's March theme for this year is “Stop Violence Against Women.”
    Our DA Global Women’s caucus will focus on achieving this goal by working through our legal system to secure equality under the law.

    But you don’t have to wait for our January 19th world-wide marches to make your voice heard!

    You can do something TODAY to help fight back against the gradual erosion of our rights that we have seen over the last two years.
    Help us to Stop Betsy De Vos from imposing terrible new rules for sexual assault survivors on US college campuses.
     You can read more about her proposal here.

    We are encouraging all our caucus members to be part of a National Women’s Law Center post card/letter-writing campaign to stop her, that ends January 28th. Please read more about it here.

    As we prepare ourselves to march in the streets on January 19th, we can a first step NOW!
     But we have only until January 28th to file comments. Your hand-written note can make a difference!

    BE THE CHANGE!

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  • Bearing Witness: Books Abroad Discusses Rape Culture and Roxane Gay's Not That Bad

    The Global Women's Caucus invites you to join us for another Books Abroad meeting on Sunday, February 3, 2019 to discuss Roxane Gay's latest publication Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture. This work, edited by Gay, is a collection of stories from people whose experiences may sound all-too-familiar.

    In her review in The Guardian, Hannah Jane Parkinson writes, "Gay notes in her introduction that she originally envisioned Not That Bad as a series of journalistically reported essays and features, genuine dispatches. Instead, the book is mostly confessional, first-person storytelling. And the storytelling is very good – observationally sharp, the writing often as vivid as bruises." In our discussion, we'll unpack these painful, but important stories and position them within the greater context of a country that allows for gender and sexual violence and often silences survivors. 

    A theme of this year's Women's March (please see the GWC website for resources and events near you) is combating violence against women with a sub-theme of pushing the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Please join us as we continue listening to these important voices and discuss real steps that we can take--like passing the ERA--to eradicate rape culture.

    Please RSVP below to receive the Webinar link

    WHEN
    February 03, 2019 at 7:30am
    WHERE
    Online Webinar
    First St SE
    Washington , DC 20004
    United States
    Google map and directions
    3 rsvps rsvp

  • published Stuttgart Chapter Elections and Events in News 2018-12-08 07:24:02 -0500

    Stuttgart Chapter Elections and Events

    We are looking forward to a  Happy Blue Year!

    The November 6th election wasn’t just a blue wave. It was a blue Tsunami!
    As the final statistics are coming in, they confirm that Democrats crushed Republicans with the largest Democratic House gain since 1974!

    And we made a difference right here in Germany!
    Many races came down to just a hand-full of votes, and our overseas ballots were the margin of victory!

    Thanks to all of you who voted in the most diverse and dynamic congress we’ve ever seen!
    But this is no time to sit on the sidelines. And 2019 is in no way an “off-year.”
    We have the momentum, and our own Democrats Abroad Stuttgart chapter is gearing up right now to keep pushing our agenda all the way to the 2020 presidential election.

    Here is a rundown on some important events and projects that you won’t want to miss:

    Chapter Chair Elections

    Friday, January 11th 2018 at 7:30 pm
    Forum 3
    Gymnasiumstraße 21, 70173 Stuttgart

    We will be holding Chapter Chair Elections on the 11th of January at our regular monthly meeting.
    All current members of our Democrats Abroad Stuttgart Chapter are welcome to come and vote in person.

    If you are interested in running, please reply to this email by January 1st stating your intention to run.
    You are encouraged to include a short statement of less than 250 words supporting your candidacy, to be published to the body on our website. If you decide to run after the first of January, you may be nominated during our meeting, but you will need someone else to second your nomination.

    Full election rules can be found here.

    If you have questions, contact Ann at DAG-Stuttgart@democratsabroad.org.

    __________

    Voter Protection Survey

    Have you filled out our Voter Protection Survey?

    Please take a minute now to let us know about your voting experience and encourage other Americans abroad to do the same by completing our very short Voter Protection Survey.

    Thank you for your help!

    __________

    Pub & Politics in Freiburg

    Wednesday, January 9th 8-10pm
    The Holy Taco Shack
    Barbarastraße 18, 79106 Freiburg im Breisgau

    Come for “Margarita Mittwoch” and stay for some good, quality conversation!

    Ring in the new year with fellow Americans in the Freiburg area, grab a drink together, and talk about all things politics!

    We also want to share news about upcoming DA events and hear your ideas for what other events Freiburg-Americans might like to participate in.

    Please note that because of the holidays, we are meeting on the second Wednesday of the month, instead of our usual first Wednesday.

    You can RSVP here

    __________

    Women’s March in Heidelberg

    Join with thousands of marchers again in Heidelberg for the third Women’s March on
    Saturday, January 19th 2019.

    We’ve come a long way this year and women are more empowered than ever before. But we’re not done yet! We will keep marching to stop violence against women and secure our equality under the law.

    Just as we did last year, we will meet at the Stuttgart Main Train Station and travel as a group to Heidelberg.
    The march in Heidelberg is expected to begin at 13:30.

    We will be sharing our travel details on our Stuttgart Chapter website and our Facebook page so stay tuned!

    See you there!

    __________

    2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Heidelberg

    Friday, February 22nd – Sunday, February 24th
    Heidelberg Center for American Studies
    Hauptstraße 120
    Heidelberg 69117 Germany

    Every year Democrats Abroad Germany gathers in person to discuss issues and plan our activities for the coming year. In addition to these discussions, we will also be electing our new Executive Committee (ExCom) in 2019.

    This event open to ALL MEMBERS! If you are curious about what we do, interested in becoming more involved, want to participate in a training, or just looking to some fun, then travel with us to Heidelberg!

    Details and registration here

    __________

    CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS- Wherever you are!

    Democrats Abroad is an all-volunteer organization. There are many jobs, large and small that need to be done to help our chapter thrive. Many of them can be done remotely and don't even take much time.

    Here are just a few ideas of ways you might consider volunteering:

    • Write articles for our website
    • Prepare a presentation for our meeting on an interesting political topic
    • Be our phone banking coordinator
    • Lead one of our caucuses or precincts
    • Help distribute our brochures at places where Americans hang out.
    • Hold a mini "activist meeting" in your own home or the neighborhood pub.

    If you would like to volunteer or would like more information, please contact DAG-Stuttgart@democratsabroad.org or update your DA profile at democratsabroad.org and be sure to check off "interested in volunteering" so that we can follow up.

    If you have other skills, other ideas, and other ways you think you can help, please get in touch with our new chair.

    It has been an honor to serve you all as chapter chair in these past years, and I look forward to continuing to work within our Stuttgart chapter and also as a DA global leader to make the political and social change we want in the world.

    With thanks and warm regards,

    Ann Hesse
    Chair, Stuttgart Chapter
    Co-Chair, Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus

    DA Germany-Stuttgart

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  • is hosting Pub & Politics in Freiburg 2018-12-08 05:24:18 -0500

    Pub & Politics in Freiburg

    Come for “Margarita Mittwoch” and stay for some good, quality conversation!

    Ring in the new year with fellow Americans in the Freiburg area, grab a drink together, and talk about all things politics!

    We also want to share news about upcoming DA events and hear your ideas for what other events Freiburg-Americans might like to participate in.

    Please note that because of the holidays, we are meeting on the second Wednesday of the month, instead of our usual first Wednesday.

    You can RSVP below

    WHEN
    January 09, 2019 at 8pm
    WHERE
    The Holy Taco Shack
    Barbarastraße 18
    Freiburg im Breisgau 79106
    Germany
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • published Manon Garcia tells it like it is in Paris in News 2018-11-26 14:50:48 -0500

    Manon Garcia tells it like it is in Paris


    MANON GARCIA SPEAKS ON WHY WOMEN VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP: CONSENT AND SUBMISSION IN AMERICAN POLITICS.

    The DAF Women's Caucus invited MANON GARCIA, a young French philosopher, specialized in feminist philosophy, and Assistant Professor at The University of Chicago, and an activist as well. She writes about “consent and submission” and has a lot to say about our U.S. political scene: Trump, Kavanaugh, and machismo in general. She rocked the packed audience.

    Follow this link to hear the audio recording of this fascinating event!

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  • published Women Make History! in News 2018-11-08 04:57:28 -0500

    Women Make History!

    Each election brings women one step closer to equal political representation. 

    Thank you to all female candidates who ran for office. We acknowledge all the effort it took to get your name on a ballot! 

    We also congratulate the women within the Democratic Party who now represent us in government! 

    Here is a list of our 122 winning female candidates, and counting! 


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  • published A Feminist Blue Wave Crashes over Washington! in News 2018-11-07 09:46:47 -0500

    A Feminist Blue Wave Crashes over Washington!

    By Ann Hesse

    Congratulations to our new women lawmakers! Hundreds of women are headed for Washington and state legislatures now. More women than ever before in history are taking power at every level of government throughout the United States of America!
    This feminist blue wave will transform the political landscape forever!

    Congratulation also to us! I wish to thank our thousands of Global Women’s Caucus members and hundreds of hard-working GWC leaders around the world for working to make this a reality! Thank you for your energy, ideas and dedication, and for helping to get out this crucial vote. This is your victory too! Savor it!

    We have worked hard and deserve to celebrate now, but we are far from finished! Support for our new women legislators cannot stop with ballots cast and elections won. In the coming days and months, let us all consider ways in which we can continue to support them as their constituents, as their sisters and as a caucus. I welcome your ideas!

    Washington D.C. is a battleground and our brave new army of smart, diverse, vibrant women lawmakers will need our back up every step of the way. We dare not abandon them on the front lines.

    Today, we celebrate! Tomorrow we continue our journey. But this time, with our own leaders at the helm and the wind at our backs we have a real chance to make our dreams a reality. Our time has come!

    - Ann Hesse, Co-chair Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus

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  • Women Candidates and Psychology: Breaking the Stereotypes

    By Catherine Maines

    The election on Tuesday is forecasted to likely see record numbers of women elected across the country, potentially surpassing the already record-high of 107 women in the current Congress. But with more women running – and winning – than ever before, even the most optimistic models show a Capitol only 23% female by this time next week. Historical and structural barriers help explain the basis of this imbalance, but there is still more to the story of why women have a harder time getting elected. Like most things, there is psychological work that can further help elucidate the continuation of this gendered inequality – with the caveat that much of the research (and somewhat consequently, this article), to its limitation, does tend to deal with gender in a mostly binary sense.

    Essentially, stereotyping works by assuming a social group has a core set of shared beliefs and character traits and depersonalizing an individual to view them as a member of their social group interchangeable from other members. Gender roles are stereotypes, but they are also norms. They go from the descriptive (“women are…”) to the injunctive (“women should be…”). Though they are not necessarily subscribed to or acted upon, people generally have a shared understanding of what they are. Because we often think and make decisions heuristically (by using rules of thumb rather than fully weighing each evaluation), these stereotyped female roles are drawn upon and reinforced. The tendency to categorize individuals into social groups (e.g. on the basis of gender) becomes particularly interesting when viewed within a social system (e.g. in US politics) in which status and power are not equally distributed between groups. Being a member of a social group which is the consistent minority – particularly one from which there is (generally) no leaving – has repercussions for conceptualizing identity.

    Shared cultural stereotypes are ubiquitous, but only at certain points do they get drawn upon and impact upon the ways in which people live their lives. Identity contingencies (something a person deals with because of a given social identity) affect members of minority groups by creating things they have to manage throughout the entirety of their lives – things that members of non-minority groups don’t have to consider. Female representatives working in a Congress which is 80% male often face a different set of rules which constrain behavior, requiring them to develop a set of strategies for dealing with scenarios – from unwarranted questions about their experience to unwanted sexual advances – that their male counterparts generally don’t have to face.

    Women running for office also face gendered prejudices based on cognitive incongruences between the perceived capabilities of their social group and the requirements of certain roles – meaning political leadership positions require certain abilities, these abilities don’t align with the stereotype of women, so therefore women in political leadership roles are more likely to be negatively evaluated.

    Eagly & Karau propose that a perceived mismatch between “female” and “leader” roles lead to two connected forms of prejudice: women are seen as less suitable for leadership than men, and “leadership behavior” is evaluated more negatively when it is performed by a woman. There can be a catch-22 for female politicians: leadership ability seems to be related to male traits, so female candidates aren’t evaluated as fitting the descriptive norm of a leader, and when they do achieve success they violate an injunctive norm by not embodying what we expect from women.

    We saw this play out in 2016 – in the pitch of her voice and in her signature pantsuit, Hillary Clinton consciously conformed to the pre-existing (and therefore, masculine) image of what a president “should” look like. No one questioned her qualifications for the role, but pundits and voters alike saw her as personally inauthentic and questioned the suitability of her character.

    This dichotomy can become cyclic in nature: women who want to lead might consciously downplay their feminine traits, and therefore reinforce the idea that “feminine” and “leader” identities are incongruent. And for those who attempt to hold both “female” and “leader” identities, there remains a stereotype threat: when there’s a negative stereotype associated with an individual’s identity, they will tend to underperform in a way that fulfils that negative stereotype.

    And none of these are issues that male politicians have to face.

    However, this disadvantage is dependent upon stereotypes of women, and perceptions of what leadership roles require – and both are things that we can change. If we want to change the parameters of what a “conventional politician” looks like, we can change the practice of reaching out exclusively to the “conventional voter” – and instead, expand the electorate.

    With Congress’ membership being only 20% female – and only 8% women of color – there is still a visible gender disparity in Washington. But, things are looking up. Last November, my home state of Virginia saw a record number of diverse candidates elected across the ballot throughout the state. The number of female candidates has risen enormously since the 2016 election and might increase still in upcoming cycles in fueled by the Kavanaugh nomination. And several women (Stacey Abrams, Kyrsten Sinema, Gina Ortiz Jones, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…) have made their difference from conventional “male” leadership prototypes central to their campaigns – and achieved notable success.

    “This election is the most important in our lifetime” has been over-stated by every quasi-political public figure and over-saturated social media timelines for good reason. It really looks like we’re on the precipice of change again, but it only comes if people get out of their homes (and off Twitter) and do the work to uphold the momentum and make it happen. Of the 238 women running for the House this cycle, 186 are Democrats. We’ve been the party to lead in consistently advancing the number of women in Washington, and on Tuesday we can continue the trend by electing Democrats across the ticket, throughout the country.

    • Catherine Maines

     


  • Equal Means Equal Webinar with Global Women's Caucus

    Invest a few minutes to watch this extremely informative webinar on the ERA. Here is really everything you ever wanted to know about the Equal Rights Amendment, and why it is VITAL that we get this passed right away! Watch and be inspired!



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  • published Stuttgart Chapter Election Season Events in News 2018-10-07 23:49:52 -0400

    Stuttgart Chapter Election Season Events

    We’re almost there!

    We were all inspired last week by the brave and unforgettable testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She has given us all courage and has strengthened our resolve to push even harder in these last weeks before the election. We can best honor her courage and sense of civic responsibility by voting in this crucial election, and by encouraging our friends to vote too!

    If you know anyone who still needs to register to vote, please send them off to votefromabroad.org today.

    If you have family or friends in the U.S. that still need to register to vote, send them to https://iwillvote.com/.

    __________

    Help us with one last Task!

    There is still one last important task that we’re working on ‘round the clock and ‘round the globe now, and we could really use your help. Over the next two weeks we are reaching out to our fellow members in a phonebanking effort to remind them to register and send in their ballots.
    Click here for more information on how you can help us!

    __________

    In addition to our in-person events, there are two great online events you might enjoy participating in this month:

    Take a look at what our chapter is up to:

    Checking the Balance - Democracy, at what cost?

    Wednesday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m.

    Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum Stuttgart (DAZ)

    Charlottenplatz 17, 70173 Stuttgart

    Our DA Stuttgart chapter will be at DAZ for a discussion as part of their very popular “American Days” event.

    Let‘s talk about current issues in American politics and try to find answers to significant pending questions:

    · What policies and initiatives have emerged in this topsy-turvy election cycle?

    · How far does free speech extend?

    · How can we provide protections for our environment and assure safety in our lives?

    · Are our fundamental civil rights being chipped away?

    · How can we respond to these challenges and restore political equilibrium?


    Join us to share your views!

    Please RSVP here

    __________

    Online Webinar: GLOBAL WOMEN'S CAUCUS ERA PROJECT KICKOFF WITH EQUAL MEANS EQUAL

    Please join us on Tuesday October 16 at 2PM EDT for the kickoff meeting for the Global Women’s Caucus Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) project.

    Kamala Lopez, the executive director of Equal Means Equal will be sharing information about the history and the current status of the ERA along with what needs to be done.

    Click here for more information and to RSVP

    For more background on the ERA, check out our ERA Resources here.

    __________

    Online Webinar: BOOKS ABROAD READS REBECCA SOLNIT

    Join our global feminist reading group, conducted on Webex with you right in front of your own computer screen!

    At this meeting, we'll be discussing Rebecca's Solnit's book The Mother of All Questions, a collection of essays centered around feminist storytelling. Solnit, a California native and lifelong activist, is credited with inspiring the term "mansplaining" in a 2008 essay titled, "Men Explain Things to Me," which later became a book published in 2014. The Mother of All Questions is a follow-up to that book in which Solnit further unpacks cultural misogyny and the power of a woman's story.

    Click here for more information and to RSVP

    __________

    ELECTION RE- CAP AND DISCUSSION

    Friday, November 9th 2018
    Forum 3
    Gymnasiumstraße 21, 70173 Stuttgart

    It has been a rough ride since November of 2016.

    And we are cautiously optimistic that this meeting will be a joyous one!

    But come what may, we will need to be together. To celebrate, to plan, to strategize, to discuss.

    This is a meeting you won’t want to miss!

    Please RSVP here

    __________

    LOOKING AHEAD

    Watch for additional events each month, or changes which don't always make it into our newsletter by checking our Stuttgart Chapter website and Facebook page for the latest updates on events!

    Remember that it will take ALL OF US returning those ballots in the coming weeks to really power that big blue wave we’re hoping for.

    I look forward to seeing you at one of our events.

    In solidarity,

    Ann Hesse
    Chair, Stuttgart Chapter

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  • Stuttgart Women attend Berlin Women's Caucus Workshop

    by Kelsey McLendon

    On Saturday, the 22nd of September, Democrats Abroad Women’s Caucus members from eight of the twelve Germany chapters met for a day-long workshop in Berlin. The workshop was divided into five sessions, each one focusing on a different approach to language and messaging. Together, the 33 participants unpacked words and phrases like “pro-choice,” “emotional,” and “misconduct,” before moving on to discuss the ways in which women are under attack and what we as Democrats need to focus on as we push forward.

    One participant succinctly summarized the conversation in three main points: 1) the need to create safe spaces for women and allies to hold dialogues, 2) deciding on effective political strategy, and 3) answering the question, “What do we stand for?”.

    As a group, participants recognized that Donald Trump and his administration are merely a symptom of systemic racism and misogyny. To combat the insidious cultural forces that Trump represents, Democrats must not only resist the destruction wrought by his administration, but also—and more importantly—push forward with progressive action. Participants agreed that in order to move forward successfully, we must elect more women representatives, support better voter education, and define our goals as Democrats in a clear, positive way.

    Thanks to a presentation on “women to watch,” participants were energized with a long list of trailblazing women running for office this November, and it ended with speculation on female presidential candidates for the 2020 election including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Currently, women comprise only 20% of Congress, and while women turn out to vote in much higher rates than men, the Center for American Women in Politics reports than only 63% of eligible women voters cast ballots in the 2016 federal election. Hopefully, women and members of other marginalized groups claiming a more proportional chunk of elected offices will encourage eligible voters of all genders to head to the polls.

    The final two sessions of the day asked participants to rethink commonly used phrases like “equal pay for equal work,” “the right to choose,” and “#MeToo” in order to rebrand our messaging. As one speaker pointed out, Republicans do a better job of marketing their messages to make emotional appeals while Democrats tend to over-rationalize. The last presentation of the day challenged participants to consider reframing our political dialogue. Democrats have fallen into the habit of allowing Republican leaders to define the discourse, creating our terminology in response to theirs rather than establishing our own, and then building a platform in opposition to Republican efforts rather than in the pursuit of Democratic ideals. In other words, we were reminded that we need to stand for something not just against something.

    After a day of re-examining and celebrating the cross-sectional connections that unite us as women, Democrats, and Americans, we continued our atmosphere of kinship with a big, family-style meal at a local Indian restaurant. Refueled and refocused, our minds are looking forward.

    The following books were recommended as essential reading for activists during the workshop:

    The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

    The Little Blue Book by George Lakoff and Elizabeth Wehling

    Your Brain’s Politics by George Lakoff and Elizabeth Wehling

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  • published Revisited, Refocused, Revitalized and Re-empowered! in News 2018-09-29 17:33:14 -0400

    Revisited, Refocused, Revitalized and Re-empowered!

     Germany Women’s Caucus Berlin Workshop Recap

    by Kelsey McLendon

    On Saturday, the 22nd of September, Democrats Abroad Women’s Caucus members from eight of the twelve Germany chapters met for a day-long workshop in Berlin. The workshop was divided into five sessions, each one focusing on a different approach to language and messaging. Together, the 33 participants unpacked words and phrases like “pro-choice,” “emotional,” and “misconduct,” before moving on to discuss the ways in which women are under attack and what we as Democrats need to focus on as we push forward.

    One participant succinctly summarized the conversation in three main points: 1) the need to create safe spaces for women and allies to hold dialogues, 2) deciding on effective political strategy, and 3) answering the question, “What do we stand for?”.

    As a group, participants recognized that Donald Trump and his administration are merely a symptom of systemic racism and misogyny. To combat the insidious cultural forces that Trump represents, Democrats must not only resist the destruction wrought by his administration, but also—and more importantly—push forward with progressive action. Participants agreed that in order to move forward successfully, we must elect more women representatives, support better voter education, and define our goals as Democrats in a clear, positive way.

    Thanks to a presentation on “women to watch,” participants were energized with a long list of trailblazing women running for office this November, and it ended with speculation on female presidential candidates for the 2020 election including Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Currently, women comprise only 20% of Congress, and while women turn out to vote in much higher rates than men, the Center for American Women in Politics reports than only 63% of eligible women voters cast ballots in the 2016 federal election. Hopefully, women and members of other marginalized groups claiming a more proportional chunk of elected offices will encourage eligible voters of all genders to head to the polls.

    The final two sessions of the day asked participants to rethink commonly used phrases like “equal pay for equal work,” “the right to choose,” and “#MeToo” in order to rebrand our messaging. As one speaker pointed out, Republicans do a better job of marketing their messages to make emotional appeals while Democrats tend to over-rationalize. The last presentation of the day challenged participants to consider reframing our political dialogue. Democrats have fallen into the habit of allowing Republican leaders to define the discourse, creating our terminology in response to theirs rather than establishing our own, and then building a platform in opposition to Republican efforts rather than in the pursuit of Democratic ideals. In other words, we were reminded that we need to stand for something not just against something.

    After a day of re-examining and celebrating the cross-sectional connections that unite us as women, Democrats, and Americans, we continued our atmosphere of kinship with a big, family-style meal at a local Indian restaurant. Refueled and refocused, our minds are looking forward.

    The following books were recommended as essential reading for activists during the workshop:

    The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

    The Little Blue Book by George Lakoff and Elizabeth Wehling

    Your Brain’s Politics by George Lakoff and Elizabeth Wehling


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  • published Stop Kavanaugh! in News 2018-09-24 10:07:25 -0400

    Stop Kavanaugh!

    by Linda Gould

    I have a daughter. She is 20 and just about to enter the world as an adult. What kind of world will she be engaging in?

    America has a president who has bragged about sexual assault.

    Republican men are pushing to vote to approve a man to the Supreme Court without investigating the allegations of sexual assault against him.

    Republican women constituents are saying things like, “What boy hasn’t done this in high school?”

    Why are they so adamantly supporting this man? So they can achieve their decades long push to finally rescind a woman’s right to control her own life.

    If there is one mistake we women, democrats, liberals, feminists have made, it is that we mistook winning a battle for winning the war.

    Sixty percent of Americans support a woman’s right to choose, so we thought the courts would never overturn it. If Kavanaugh is approved, Roe v Wade will be overturned.

    We railed at the states that systematically made it difficult to impossible to retain access to health clinics for health care and abortions, but we never believed it would pass beyond a state’s rights issue. If Kavanaugh is approved, Roe v Wade will be overturned.

    We didn’t understand that our fight needed to not only continue despite the gains we made in reproductive rights, it needed to expand.

    By the time Phyllis Schlafley stopped passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, women had already begun to reap the benefits of the battles they had won, so work to pass the ERA virtually stopped. Brett Kavanaugh has sided with corporations over regular people on environmental, consumer protection and financial reform issues. If Kavanaugh is approved, many advances we have made—better pay, access to health care, family leave—are at risk of being overturned.

    The republicans are hiding the advice Kavanaugh gave to the Bush administration on torture, spying on Americans, court nominees and lobbying. They are likely hiding the fact that the man supported the very policies that stained America’s reputation in the world.

    We don’t know what will happen with this nomination. But it isn’t lost on women across the nation that it is a woman who has stepped up to challenge the man who is likely to be the deciding vote on Roe v Wade.

    A record number of women are running for office. It isn’t lost on women across the nation that it is other women who are stepping up to challenge the policies that our male politicians have implemented.

    Again, it is women who will step up with new ideas to remedy the issues that not only affect them, but all Americans. Because the policies women are striving for—equal pay, justice, better schools, access to reach our potential as individuals—will benefit everyone, even those who are willing to make excuses for men who behave badly.

    There are many more battles to come. Unfortunately, we will be fighting some of the same battles we fought decades ago and though we had won.

    The only thing you need to do is vote. Vote for democrats. Vote for Democratic women. And encourage your friends and family to vote, too.

    You, me, a new batch of Democratic women in office have the power to make the world better for all of our daughters. ( L.G.)

    And what can you do? Make a few calls! TODAY!

    Demand the FBI investigate the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh and tell your Senators to vote NO on the SCOTUS nomination.

    Click here for a simple call script you can use:

    http://www.democratsabroad.org/tiny_actions


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  • TWO WOMEN COMPETING FOR 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON STATE

    by Jude Siefker, Den Haag

    This congressional race shows just how far women have come in recent years in seeking political office. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane has represented the 5th Congressional District of Washington State since 2005. In this strongly Republican slice of Eastern Washington (Trump won by 13 points), she has never had to worry about re-election. This assurance has allowed her to rise to the rank of the top woman Republican in the House and the fourth ranked Republican overall. But, this year, she is faced with tough competition from Democrat Lisa Brown. In an open primary, held August 7, 2018, McMorris Rodgers received 47.8% of the vote to Brown’s 46.8%.

    Brown has never held national elected office but is an economist, a Washington State University professor and was the State Senate Majority  Leader. In the very rural 5th District, she is campaigning on a number of issues that appeal to farmers. One area of concern is the impact of the current administration policies on farmers. Tariffs are especially unpopular as is the administration’s withdrawal from multilateral trade agreements. Congress has also failed to pass a bipartisan farm bill. To compensate for the economic impact that all of these factors are having on farmers, the Department of Agriculture has proposed a short-term aid package. This is also unpopular with farmers because they prefer to have continued trade rather than a bailout. Due to both tariffs and weather conditions, farm income is projected to be the lowest in 12 years.

    To date, Brown has run her campaign on promoting better legislation for Congress to help farmers. She believes that Congress should encourage bipartisanship to maintain healthy trade relationships that have taken many years to develop. Although Trump has been instrumental in imposing tariffs that are ruinous for both farmers and manufacturers in Washington State, in reality, the Constitution defines the enactment of tariffs to be a role of Congress, not the executive branch. Brown seeks to return this role to Congress.

    Another important issue in Brown’s campaign is Congress’s many attempts to repeal Obamacare. This is especially significant in the rural area that she seeks to represent because many farmers, being self employed, cannot afford traditional medical insurance. In addition, the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is projected to cause many small, rural hospitals to have to close. This could be disastrous for rural areas that already tend to be under served  by existing medical centers. Brown’s campaign focuses on fixing Obamacare and other factors that diminish medical care in rural areas.

    McMorris Rodgers, of course, supports the policies that are diminishing Trump’s popularity with the major base in her district—farmers.
    The record shows that she has backed his agenda 97.6 % of the time. Despite Trump’s growing unpopularity, McMorris Rodgers has the advantage in fund raising. She started with money left over from her 2016 campaign and has raised $3.7 million to Brown’s $2.2 million. Much of her war chest has been the result of Citizens United.

    Despite McMorris Rodgers’ obvious financial advantage, Brown is  expected to stay in close competition if not to pull ahead as Election Day nears. Both are expected to focus on trade deals and tariffs because Washington is purported to be the most trade dependent state with 40% of jobs being dependent on trade. Because of her record of supporting Trump’s policies, voters may not trust McMorris Rodgers to take any effective action to bolster trade. This should give Lisa Brown a definite edge.

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  • published Stuttgart Chapter News and Fall Events in News 2018-08-21 04:01:26 -0400

    Stuttgart Chapter News and Fall Events


    We salute our Volunteers!

    Thanks to all of you who turned out for the Political Pride Parade in Stuttgart last month. We made face-to-face contact with hundreds of people, had a blast, and really raised our profile.

    Thanks also to all our fabulous, hard-working volunteers scattered throughout Baden-Würtemberg. We are so lucky to have precinct captains, caucus leaders, event organizers, phonebanking champions, and so many others working on the frontlines and behind the scenes.

    We applaud your activism and your spirit!

    _________________________________________________

    Please take a look at what’s coming up next for our chapter and how you might become one of our wonderful volunteers:

    Be a Stay-At-Home Activist!

    As activists, we know how crucial the November 6th Mid-term election is.
    Every glance at the news brings new outrage and feelings of despair.
    We also know that the best way to combat that helpless feeling is to do something to fight back. That’s why we volunteer!

    But you don’t have to lead the whole parade to be an activist!
    Each of us can do our small part and we can start right now. Today!

    We can reach out to each other!

    Democrats Abroad Germany is making an extra push right now to have our members personally reach out to fellow members and remind them to register to vote. Some of our wonderful Stuttgart chapter volunteers have already made dozens of calls!

    You too can join our phonebanking initiative!

    DA uses an online system that lets you make no-cost calls from your computer. There is even an on-screen script for you to use.

    Please click here for a step-by-step guide on how to get started.

    Please do give it a try and help to power the blue wave that will transform Washington in November!

    _________________________________________________

    Activism starts with your own vote!

    If you still need to register, go to Votefromabroad.org today!
    If you are already registered, it doesn't hurt to check your registration at https://iwillvote.com/.

    This election is extremely important. Don’t miss it!

    _________________________________________________

    „Democrats Abroad Day” Celebration

    Friday, September 7th at 7:00 p.m.
    Paulaner am alten Postplatz
    Calwer Str. 45, 70173 Stuttgart

    Help us celebrate the first-ever worldwide Democrats Abroad Day!

    Our meeting will be dedicated to YOU, our members!
    We have marched and stood vigil together, call-stormed, phonebanked, registered voters, and participated in hundreds of virtual and in-person events. Let’s pause for a moment to show our pride, connect with each other, re-affirm what we stand for, pat ourselves on the back and have a little fun before we enter the election homestretch.

    Wear all your DA gear, T-shirts and Buttons! Do you still have your favorite march signs? Bring them! We will be taking lots of pics to post the next day for the official “Global Virtual Democrats Abroad Day Party” on September 8th!

    And we’d especially love to see some new faces! All curious Americans are welcome. Just stop by, have a drink, and get to know us.

    Please do RSVP here!

    See you there!!

    _________________________________________________

    Pub & Politics in Freiburg

    Wednesday, September 5th 8-10pm

    The Holy Taco Shack

    Barbarastraße 18, 79106 Freiburg im Breisgau

    Come for Margarita Mittwoch and stay for some good, quality conversation.

    This is your chance to meet other Americans in the Freiburg area, grab a drink together, and talk about all things politics!


    We also want to share news about upcoming DA events and hear your ideas for what other events Freiburg-Americans would like to participate in.

    You can RSVP here

    _________________________________________________

    Stuttgart Women’s Caucus goes to Berlin!

    Join us in Berlin for an all-day workshop that will help to re-focus, re-vitalize and re-empower us all for the fight ahead!

    The Women’s Caucus is for everyone who cares about equality.
    We want to see men and women working together at this event!

    Learn more about the event and RSVP here

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    Checking the Balance - Democracy, at what cost?

    Wednesday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m.

    Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum Stuttgart (DAZ)

    Charlottenplatz 17, 70173 Stuttgart

    Our DA Stuttgart chapter will be at DAZ for a discussion as part of their very popular “American Days” event.

    Let‘s talk about current issues in American politics and try to find answers to significant pending questions:

    · What policies and initiatives have emerged in this topsy-turvy election cycle?

    · How far does free speech extend?

    · How can we provide protections for our environment and assure safety in our lives?

    · Are our fundamental civil rights being chipped away?

    · How can we respond to these challenges and restore political equilibrium?


    Join us to share your views!

    _________________________________________________

    LOOKING AHEAD

    Watch for additional events each month, or changes which don't always make it into our newsletter by checking here on our Stuttgart Chapter website and Facebook page for the latest updates on events!

    I look forward to seeing you at one of our events.

    Democratically yours,

    Ann Hesse
    Chair, Stuttgart Chapter

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  • Meet Mary Barzee Flores, Florida Congressional Candidate

    Democrats Abroad will be talking online with Florida Congressional candidate Mary Barzee Flores on Tuesday August 28th at 1:30 p.m Eastern. RSVP for the call to get the link right here

    And read on to learn more about her! 

    by Clara Dessaint

    A Miami native and dedicated public servant, Mary Barzee Flores is running for Congress in Florida’s 25th District. As an economic opportunity promoter and pro-choice healthcare advocate, Mary is espousing an inclusive progressive platform, with priorities ranging from gun violence and criminal justice reform to immigration and education.

    Mary’s experience is as varied as her focus areas. After obtaining her Bachelors in music at the University of Miami, Mary pivoted to social justice, earning her JD at her alma mater’s School of Law. A brief stint in private practice then led to a 12-year career in Miami’s Federal Office of the Public Defender.

    In 2002, Mary ran for an open judgeship on the Florida Circuit Court and was elected without opposition. After an 8-year tenure, which saw her preside over more than 100 jury trials and a dozen bench trials, Mary retired from the court and returned to private practice.

    In 2015, President Obama nominated Mary to serve as federal district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Despite having recommended her himself, Marco Rubio blocked Mary’s nomination and she was never even given a Senate hearing.

    A proven champion for South Florida working families, Mary lives in Coral Gables with her husband and their two children.

    Visit her website here


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  • published Finding the Final Stage of Political Grief: Hope in News 2018-08-13 04:03:20 -0400

    Finding the Final Stage of Political Grief: Hope

    By Clara Dessaint

    clara_2.jpg

    Being a Democrat Abroad since November 8th, 2016 has not been easy. In the oft-described time warp brought on by the Trump administration, the day Hillary Clinton came so very close to shattering the glass ceiling – one she had been steadfastly making fissures in for decades – feels like both yesterday and light years away.

    Much has happened in American politics since her magnanimous concession speech, most of it twisting the United States into a purveyor of discord rather than a bastion of freedom, acceptance and opportunity. Coming to terms with it all has been a true grieving progress but, fitting with our new distorted reality, the stages of grief have been anything but linear.

    Denial rolled in fast and, no doubt emboldened by distance, took months to recede, marrying itself nicely with bargaining. From “of course Jill Stein’s recount efforts will rectify this madness” to “the Electoral College will vote its conscience instead of its party” every possible, overly idealistic ‘out’ was nurtured.

    Anger and its partner-in-crime depression followed in unrelenting waves. When the Muslim ban was issued and then more recently ratified by the Supreme Court. When migrant children were heartlessly separated from their parents at the border and sent into a gratuitous and cruel bureaucratic limbo that has yet to be untangled. When the Trump administration attempted to water down a World Health Organization resolution on breastfeeding to benefit formula companies and now seems poised to further limit women’s choices over their bodies through another Supreme Court appointment…

    Emotional-tsunami-inducing CNN notifications are too many to list and too complex to neatly box into Kubler-Ross’ model for loss. Indeed, political grief is a no man’s land of its own, where fear, embarrassment and bewilderment co-mingle with the jumbled first four stages while the fifth – acceptance – oftentimes seems completely out of the question.

    Somehow though, even as each week in the Trump White House is deemed worse than the previous, hope – the message that brought President Obama to victory twice and which he recently reminded Democrats to espouse – is omnipresent.

    There is hope in the grassroots primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in the historically unparalleled number of women running for office, and in the slow but steady indictments emerging from Robert Mueller’s office. There is hope too in late-night hosts’ marked dedication to calling out, however humorously, Trump’s travesties as they occur and in the brilliantly biting words of NY Times columnist Charles Blow and Pod Save America host Jon Favreau, to name but a few. From the Women’s March to the March for Our Lives and the Families Belong Together rallies, there is hope in the international activism that most recently floated a Baby Trump above Parliament Square and thereby dissuaded the man himself from visiting London.

    Essentially, there is hope in the People’s ability – around the world and across all demographics – to speak truth to power, to take to the streets and phone lines alike to demand better. Let’s keep post offices abroad busy this November and vote out those who don’t listen.

    Photos taken at the London Women’s March on January 21st, 2017. 


  • The Women of DA: An Ode to the Women Who Have Shaped Me

    By Linda Gould

    I had a conversation recently that shook me to my core.

    It was a normal conversation about politics that progressed to a one-sided shouting match. I was the calm one but defended my criticisms of Trump and what I consider to be black-hearted conservative policies. Then, the person asked me, “Why do you even care? You don’t even live in America.”

    God, I wish I had $10,000 for every time I was asked that question. But I calmly answered. “Because I have kids who are going to have to live in the world we are creating, because my husband and I would like to move back to the US someday, and because I love my country and want what’s best for all Americans. Because I’m American.”

    “That’s debatable,” was the response from someone I know well (or thought I did) and respect, even though we disagree politically. From someone who I always thought respected me.

    It felt like an earthquake. Like when the ground that has always been there to support you suddenly jerks and jolts and knocks you off your feet and tosses you around.

    A few other hurtful insults were thrown at me, criticizing me for my liberal beliefs, with the result that I have spent significant time recently reflecting on how I developed from a Reagan-voting, military-loving, individualism-touting, bootstrap-raising, my-way-or-the-highway bullying, I-deserve-all-I have white woman to the compassionate and passionate liberal that I am today. I was raised conservative, but conservatism is as antithetical to me today as it was appealing when I was young. What changed me?

    The amazing women who have been part of my life.

    Of course it’s not that simple—no one who travels to foreign countries, attends university, reads extensively, has an astute partner, and lives abroad remains unchanged. But when I think about the moments that literally shifted my behavior or way of thinking, they were connected to some woman in my life:

    A boss, the first who cared about me as a person and not solely as an employee, who challenged my views on marriage and motherhood, and shared her feelings of loneliness as she grew older without a companion; my friend who showed me there was humor to be found in the frustration of raising kids, and if you didn’t tap into that humor, your children would suffer; another friend who was betrayed in the worst way but stood strong and fought for her future when it would have been so much easier to crumble; a colleague who pointed out my hypocrisy by asking a simple question, “How is your viewpoint less ideological?”; my female colleagues and now friends who supported each other when a misogynistic manager bullied and abused us while the male management did nothing; the role-model mothers in my community who patiently dealt with temper tantrums, unreasonable demands, and teenage snark; friends, family and colleagues who taught me how to be a friend, to open my mind to new possibilities, to listen, to understand that privilege is as much responsible for my success as my own efforts, and most importantly, to reflect on and challenge my own views, then to change them if they didn’t meet that challenge.

    None of these women were aware at the time that they were influencing me. They didn’t see themselves as models of human behavior with a mission to change someone’s worldview. Heck, I didn’t know how much they were influencing me. It took that face-slapping comment from a friend for me to reflect on and see how by simply being authentic and open, they helped mold a better human, a better citizen.

    When you look at history’s list of heroes, so few are women. We rarely get the glory for our accomplishments. Yet our influence reaches deep into our societies. We are accomplished in our own right and inspire others to achieve. So many of our reactions and conversations appear to be insignificant moments that drift into the ether, but they actually resonate years later in the behavior of our children, friends, strangers, and even ourselves. Our routine moments take on a life of their own when someone sees them as a way of coping with difficulties. Our day-to-day life is the ultimate example of soft power.

    But we also aspire to more. Some of us want to play a stronger role in our government and businesses. And because we are women, we are told by other women to support each other. Madeline Albright famously said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

    Hell aside, we SHOULD be helping each other. It is unfathomable to me that it was a woman who stopped the Equal Rights Amendment. I’m still furious that women helped elect a misogynist racist to the highest political office. And it is women who are often the most vicious critics of female celebrities, politicians and neighbors. They are a minority, but their power has been accentuated because so many of us have NOT been politically engaged. Now we are. But marches and protests are not enough.

    We need more women in office. Run for office. Support a candidate. Vote.

    The conversation I experienced was like an earthquake. So, too, was the election of Donald Trump. But like after every earthquake, there is a time for rebuilding. For making what was destroyed better, stronger, more resilient.

    We need more women in office. Run for office. Support a candidate. Vote.

    There is a record number of women running for office this year. Not all deserve your vote (some are like Phyllis Schlafley who would take away our rights), but they all deserve your attention. I’m a Democrat and hope that every woman elected this year has a (D) after their name. But it is also important to keep in mind that it was two Republican women—Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski—who stood against their Party and voted to keep the Affordable Care Act, who are on record for being against overturning Roe v. Wade. Don’t support a woman candidate because she is a woman; support her because her actions will influence others to be strong, tolerant, compassionate, and engaged.

    Yes, we influence with our soft power. But we can have an even stronger influence on our families, fellow Americans and country.

    To do that, we need more women in office. Run for office. Support a candidate. Vote.

    Vote. Vote. Vote.

    Linda Gould

    Author ofThe Diamond Tree
    http://thediamondtreebook.weebly.com

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  • published The Women of DA: Thoughts on being a Dual Citizen in News 2018-07-23 03:54:43 -0400

    The Women of DA: Thoughts on being a Dual Citizen

    By Deborah Gorham

    I’ve lived in Canada—in Ottawa Ontario-- since 1965 and I’ve been a Canadian citizen since 1968. I’m now 81 years old and I’ve lived here most of my adult life. And yet, I find myself feeling more and more American. It’s not that I don’t like Canada. I respect Canada and enjoy many things about living here. But I miss the United States. I was born in New York City, in Manhattan, and, in 1956, came to Canada to attend McGill. After McGill, I ended up staying here, and I remained here even after my first husband and I split up. By then I had a position as a faculty member at Carleton University here in Ottawa, and I had received tenure. I enjoyed my Carleton career. I was a “pioneer “ in Women’s History and Women’s Studies. Hard work, but such fun.   

    So why do I feel more American than Canadian? Well, partly it’s New York itself. Manhattan is not a typical American place, but it is so special, and it is definitely my home. I tell myself the Manhattan of 1955 is what I miss, and that’s long gone. Still, every time I return for a visit, I love being there, even though the city is now overwhelming to me: noisy, crowded, even frightening. It’s exciting, in a way that Montreal and Toronto, great cities that they are, are not, at least not for me. Maybe it’s just that I am appalled by President Trump, in the way only an American can be? Maybe homesickness is just part of growing old?

    If I moved back to the United States, even to Manhattan, no doubt I would miss Canada!

    Candidates I’m concerned about? I vote from Wisconsin. I do hope that Senator Tammy Baldwin wins re-election.

    Deborah Gorham
    Distinguished Research professor
    Department of History
    Carleton University
    Ottawa, Canada


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  • published STOP BRET KAVANAUGH’S SUPREME COURT NOMINATION in News 2018-07-21 07:47:53 -0400

    STOP BRET KAVANAUGH’S SUPREME COURT NOMINATION

    In the midst of recent political shock waves, Donald Trump’s abhorrent choice of Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh seems to have slipped way down in our priorities and is beginning to sound like a fait accompli. We can’t lower our guard!

    Kavanaugh is the enemy of everything we stand for as women (and men). And yet swing vote Republican Susan Collins – who knows better - says he’s “clearly qualified.” Kavanaugh’s record is disturbing: enemy of Roe v. Wade, unions, environment, affordable care, and against US presidents being subject to criminal investigation while in office.

    Trump should not be allowed to choose a Supreme Court justice until Mueller clears him.

    Tell this to your Senators and be sure to call Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), 202-224-6665 and Susan Collins (Maine) 202-224-2523 who could prevent the nomination from getting through the Senate. Both women Senators sound like they’re caving and need to be contacted.
    Keep saying No to this outrage.

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