After two years of meeting predominantly on Zoom, we were extremely happy to gather in person for the 2022 Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Barcelona.
Barcelona leaders and nearly two dozen attendees spoke at length about the importance of this year's midterm election and -- in the context of recent news that the Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning Roe vs. Wade -- the fact that our votes matter now more than ever. We discussed how we can work together to turn out more overseas votes from Barcelona, beginning with phonebanking, registering high school and college students, and holding in-person voter registration events. We have already begun attending the American Society of Barcelona's monthly happy hours, where we talk to Americans about the importance of voting and how to use www.votefromabroad.org. More voter registration events will be held throughout the summer and fall of 2022 - stay tuned!
Vice-chair Rachel Mantiñan reviewed the plethora of online events held during the last year as part of our highly successful La Lucha Continúa series, as well as a few times that we were able to gather in person. Membership and treasurer's reports were made, and Chair Chris Reilly explained a few highlights of global activity. The meeting was adjourned and members' attention turned to eating, drinking and enjoying the beautiful spring day and the wonderful company of other DA members.
If you've missed any of our amazing La Lucha Continúa speakers this year, never fear! We have recorded the sessions. Links are below:
On January 11, 2020, DA Spain (hosted by DA Barcelona) had the distinct pleasure of hearing from Rachel Vindman (and briefly from her husband Alex as well). Rachel is an activist and plain-spoken political commentator who fights for justice and American democracy. She shared observations from her vantage point in the suburbs of Washington, DC and acknowledged that we, as Americans living abroad, have a unique perspective on the events unfolding back home. She enthusiastically encouraged all members to register to vote and to vote in every election — not just the “big” races at the top of the ballot. The problems with our democracy, she said, have been imposed from the top down – but the solutions must come from the bottom (that’s us!) up.
On March 8, we had a very interesting conversation with Texas lobbyists Bee Moorhead and Josh Houston, who tried valiantly to explain what’s going on at the Texas state legislature. Heavy-handed Republicans in control there are seriously restricting voting rights, and had the opportunity to field-test their restrictive new policies in the primary elections on March 1st. Our guest speakers went over all the recent developments, and explained what they are doing to defend Texans’ right to vote.
On March 22, we spoke with legendary election whisperer Rachel Bitecofer, founder of StrikePAC. Dr. Bitecofer was the first (and one of the few) to predict a huge blue wave in 2018. She had a serious message for us in 2022. Be sure to listen to the recording, where she makes it clear US democracy is in a "break glass" moment.
David Pepper is former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, a former councilman for the city of Cincinnati and former member of the Hamilton County, Ohio Board of Commissioners. He is also a prolific author, having published four political thrillers. In October 2021, he published the nonfiction book Laboratories of Autocracy, an urgent message to Americans about the attack from within on our democracy. In the book, he describes how the GOP has gradually, almost imperceptibly taken over the mechanics of our democratic system by winning local and state elections and then changing to rules to keep their hold on power. On April 5, 2022, David Pepper spoke frankly to Democrats Abroad Spain about the importance of knowing what's going on in your home state, being informed on the issues, and voting in every local and state election.
If the outcome of COP26 teaches us anything, it’s that people whose interests are anchored in the past are not going to help us build a better future. This is why young people must step up and get more involved at this crucial time – and why we are excited to announce the formation of the DAS Youth Caucus.
The new group is led by Hunter Baldridge, a graduate student at Saint Louis University in Madrid. If you are interested in helping out or getting involved feel free to connect with Hunter via our newly created Instagram or by email. The first order of business is to grow the caucus’s following by figuring out where students and young adults are located across Spain. With this base, the team will be putting out a call for a five-member steering committee. This committee will be responsible for developing activities, strategies and social media campaigns. Once everything is set up, the Youth Caucus will host events, register students to vote, and increase involvement of the 18-35 age range in our political system. The 2022 midterms are coming up fast, so there is no time to waste!
Annie Graul published Barcelona Dems defend women's reproductive rights in News 2021-10-03 12:14:06 -0400
On October 2, Barcelona members of Democrats Abroad and the DA Spain Women's Caucus, in collaboration with other women's groups in Barcelona, gathered at Plaza Catalunya to support the protests organized in the US by Women's March and raise our voices in defense of women's reproductive rights. A threat to women's rights anywhere is a threat to women's rights everywhere, and the uncertain future of Roe v. Wade in the US makes it increasingly evident that women and their allies worldwide must speak up and resist this attack.Read more
Annie Graul published 4th of July recap and other DA Barcelona news in News 2021-07-19 14:50:26 -0400
Barcelona chapter members had a wonderful time celebrating the 4th of July at a park on the waterfront, catching up with old friends and welcoming some new faces. It was one of our first chapter-wide in-person events since March 2020, and the excitement at seeing fellow DA members and friends was palpable. Newly elected vice-chair Rachel Mantiñán spoke about the challenges that lie ahead as we work toward the November 2022 midterms, and treasurer Hunter Roberts spoke about the importance of donating to Democrats Abroad in order to help make the magic happen again. If you have questions about donations, where the money goes and how you get more bang for the buck when you donate to DA than to candidate campaigns, please reach out ([email protected]). We are happy to provide more information about how your donations can help elect Democrats and preserve American democracy.
Our next gathering, still in the works, will be a movie viewing at an outdoor venue. Date and movie title will be announced soon, but plan loosely on a late September event. We will also be starting a postcard campaign this fall, and will be putting out a call for volunteers to print, color, address and stamp postcards to be mailed in early 2021, reminding DA members that they need to re-register every election year.
Finally, if you are not already a member of the DA Barcelona Signal group, please take a moment to join so you can stay on top of all the latest news and conversations. Click here to join.
Annie Graul published Barcelona chapter elects new leaders for the 2021-2023 term in News 2021-05-16 15:40:35 -0400
From the Nominations and Election Committee:
During the DA Barcelona annual general meeting, held May 15, 2021, the results of the Barcelona chapter election were announced. Elected leaders for the next two years (2021-2023) will be:
Chair: Chris Reilly
Vice Chair: Rachel MantiñánSecretary: Annie GraulTreasurer: W. Hunter RobertsThanks once again to all who participated!
Annie Graul published Run for something! DA Barcelona elections for the 2021-2023 term in News 2021-04-08 16:10:53 -0400
Elections for new 2021–2023 DA-Barcelona officers are coming up fast, as the current terms of office are drawing to a close. This is your chance to participate in your local chapter of Democrats Abroad!Read more
Democrats Abroad Spain (DAS) is holding Executive Committee (excom) elections for the 2021-2023 term and we need your vote!
Our organization depends on the participation of the members as we renew our group for the continuing struggle for a better USA and a better world through democratic political engagement. Please help select the new Democrats Abroad Spain leadership committee of Chairperson, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Counsel, and 4 Voting Representatives.
This will be the first time we will organize our DAS chapter elections purely online. Ballot emails (actually an email with a link to an online voting site) were sent out on March 5, 2021. If you think that you did not receive this email, please follow the instructions below.
Annie Graul published Make your inauguration cocktail and raise a toast with DA Barcelona! in News 2021-01-20 04:16:39 -0500
The Kamala Inauguration Kocktail is a perfect blend of carefully selected ingredients that will ease the transition into a new administration.
Annie Graul published Press release: Democrats Abroad Barcelona Election Night Virtual Party in News 2020-10-31 16:12:55 -0400
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2020
The press is welcome to enter the Zoom event at 11pm and will be conducted to a Press Break Out Room where their questions will be answered by Democrats Abroad Representatives. After the 20 minute Press Session, members of the press are invited to join us for the rest of the party program.
The Zoom link for the event will be provided by Democrats Abroad to press members who RSVP via email to [email protected] identifying themselves clearly as Press, Name of journalist, and Name of Newspaper, Radio, etc.
Annie Graul published Nota de prensa: Democrats Abroad. Evento virtual NOCHE DE ELECCIONES in News 2020-10-31 15:51:17 -0400
PARA DISTRIBUCIÓN INMEDIATA. 1 de noviembre de 2020
Se invita a la Prensa a participar en este evento por ZOOM! a las 23 horas. Habrá un "Press Break Out Room" donde representantes de Democrats Abroad contestarán las preguntas de la Prensa . Después de esa sesion de unos 20 minutos los periodistas están invitados a unirse con nosotros al resto del programa. Hay que reservar identificándose como Miembro de la Prensa, Nombre, y Nombre de su Periódico, Radio, etc. por medio de un email a [email protected]
Annie Graul published RSVP Today for DA-BCN's Election Night Virtual Party! in News 2020-10-28 17:17:15 -0400
Annie Graul published Els Democrats a Barcelona segueixen impulsant el vot fins al dia de les eleccions in News 2020-10-26 05:40:02 -0400
BARCELONA – 26/10/2020Read more
Annie Graul published Los Demócratas España siguen impulsando el voto hasta el día de las elecciones in News 2020-10-26 05:37:35 -0400
Barcelona – 26/10/2020Read more
Annie Graul published Democrats Abroad Spain Continues Vote Drive Through Election Day in News 2020-10-26 05:32:09 -0400
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [26 OCT. 2020]Read more
Annie Graul published 20+ Reasons to RSVP for DA BCN's Election Night Virtual Party in News 2020-10-21 14:24:45 -0400
WHEN: November 03, 2020 at 8:30 PM - 2:00 AM (CET)
WHERE: Zoom links sent to those who RSVP here.
There are many ways to follow what transpires at the polls on the evening of November 3rd, but we think our virtual Election Night Party is one of the best. Over 20 whipsmart people - some local, some not - signed up to speak, sing, and lead sparkling conversations. Democrats Abroad Barcelona is incredibly grateful for their contributions and thrilled to share who they are, what they do, and what you can expect from them during the party.Read more
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Annie Graul published Volunteers needed! Do your part to help Democrats win in 2020! in News 2020-02-09 14:07:56 -0500
Democrats Abroad will hold its Global Presidential Primary the first week of March, with two opportunities to vote in person in Barcelona on Tuesday, March 3rd, and Saturday, March 7th. These events will be held at ESERP business school (Tuesday, 4:00 to 9:30 p.m.) and Restaurante El Foro (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.).
**We are in need of volunteers for the local primary events**
These are the kinds of tasks volunteers will be doing on the in-person voting days:
Helping set up, decorate and open the voting center
Greeting and directing voters to where they need to go based on their needs
Helping voters with same-day voter registration in their U.S. state if necessary
Helping voters to join Democrats Abroad to be eligible to vote in the primary if necessary
Verifying voter eligibility
Handing out ballots and recording who has voted
Assisting voters in filling out their ballots and providing any information they need
Selling merchandise to raise money to cover chapter expenses (for example, ballot printing, courier charges for sending ballots to DA Europe)
Watching children in the kids’ area while their parents are voting
Running errands (for example, going to the copy shop if we run out of printed ballots)
Counting and scanning ballots after voting is finished
Preparing ballot packages for sending to Prague
Closing the voting center
Voting hours on the two days will be divided into shifts of approximately three hours.
Tuesday, March 3: 3:00 - 6:30 / 6:00 - 9:30*
*after 9:30, ballot counting and scanning starts
We have around 10 shifts to cover
Saturday, March 7: 9:00 - 12:30 / 12:00 - 3:30 / 3:00 - 6:30 / 6:00 - 8:00*
*after 8:00 ballot counting and scanning starts
We have around 30 shifts to cover
If you want to help with this important work, send an email to [email protected], indicating the days and hours you are available so that we can put you on the volunteer list and send you further information. Volunteers will receive training. As a bonus, it’s a great way to learn how elections work.
Non-citizens can also serve as volunteers for roles that do not involve contact with ballots or voter data.
Additionally, in the lead-up to this year’s elections, Democrats Abroad needs volunteers to do phonebanking, i.e. calling fellow DA SPain members and making sure they have the information they need to vote in this year’s elections. Phonebanking is something you can do at home on your computer when it is convenient for you. Your only expense is your volunteer time. You can sit down at your computer, sign in to the tool (Call Hub) and start making calls, using the script provided. If you are interested in helping out in this way, go to www.democratsabroad.org, sign in with your email address and password, then click on TAKE ACTION and choose the first option: Phonebank. Be sure to let us know you’re participating in this campaign so we can say “thank you!”
At the risk of sounding cliche, the 2020 general election is indeed going to be the most consequential election of our lifetimes. Donald Trump, through his ignorance, narcissism, greed and corruption, – and governing the country in the style of a mafia Don – has done irreparable damage to the U.S. and the world in less than 4 years. We have just over 10 months to set things right again.
Here in Barcelona – permanent or semi-permanent home to an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 U.S. expats, and temporary home to a steady stream of interns and college students studying abroad – your local DA chapter is doing its part to unTrump the world. Since last summer, we have hosted a series of events to watch seven Democratic presidential primary debates together. The most recent was held January 15th at the Eroica Caffè and had the best attendance yet. We are not sure if that’s because the race is heating up, due to excitement and curiosity about the new venue, or because Trump has now been impeached, but in any case, about 35 people showed up to watch the debate. Many stayed afterward to hear from Iowa native Charles Friedman, who explained how the caucus system works in that state, as well as his thoughts about what might happen next summer if there is a brokered convention [if you are interested in receiving one of his handouts, send an email to [email protected]]. Several more debates will be held in the months ahead, so watch this space for announcements.
Chapter members have also been busy this month visiting college study-abroad programs in Barcelona and registering students to vote while they are here. So far, we have spoken with students from Arcadia, Boston College and University of Chicago. There are dozens of these programs located in Barcelona and we need volunteers to help reach out to students. If you are available on a regular or sporadic basis, please let us know.
Coming up next, we will join Barcelona en Comú and Women’s March Barcelona in a panel discussion following a screening of the documentary film Knock Down the House, the inspirational story of four progressive young women (including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) who ran for Congress in 2018. Please join us for this exciting opportunity on Thursday, January 23 beginning at 6:30 p.m.
On February 18th, Democrats Abroad members will get an email invitation to participate in the Global Presidential Primary to choose Democrats Abroad delegates to the National Convention. This email will include all the information you need to vote online. However, if you live in or near Barcelona or are able to travel there, we will be holding two separate events for in-person voting on Tuesday, March 3 (Super Tuesday) and Saturday, March 9. Watch for further info in your email, this page, and on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).