Austria

Who We Are 

Democrats Abroad is the official arm of the Democratic Party representing Americans who live outside the US. Our mission is to to provide Americans living in Austria a voice in our government and to elect Democrats by mobilizing the overseas vote.

 

Our Caucuses

We have several active caucuses that focus on specific progressive issues/groups:

  • Black Caucus
  • LGBTQ+
  • Progressive Caucus
  • Solidarity Sundays
  • Women’s Caucus
  • Youth Caucus

 

Our Activities

These range from monthly get-togethers, lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and guest speakers to political rallies and marches!  And more…

 

Are you an American in Austria? Become a DA member!

We keep you informed.

 

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DA Austria Leadership:

Richard Miller
Faith Herbold
| Vice Chair, Global Black Caucus Coordinator
Josh Friedman
| Counsel
See all Leaders


  • News

    July's Newsletter

     

    In This Issue —

    Events:

    • July 4 Party–Vienna 
    • July 4 Party–Vorarlberg 
    • DAA Black Caucus Book Club  
    • Seattle Mayor Candidate Forum 

    Issues & Actions:

    • Fourth of July Party in Vienna’s Augarten 
    • Constituent Abroad Zoom Project - Connecting Americans abroad to Congress about tax reform
    • Advocating in DC: The Benefits of Membership

    Reviews:

    • Pride Parade
    • Solidarity Sundays

     

    Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard at [email protected] to join.

    DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

     

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    Message from the Chair

    We all bring our own individual talents and passion to Democrats Abroad. Some of us are activists. Some are organizers. Some are tech savvy. Some are poets, artists, and graphic designers.

    As for me, I’m a drummer.

    Well, not just that, of course. But playing music is something I love, and I’d like to incorporate more music into our DA events where we can.

    At my day job at SOS Children’s Villages, we have started a rock band made up of staff members. We called the band the G-Meiners, in homage to the Austrian founder of SOS, Herman Gmeiner.

    So, I thought it would be cool if the musicians among us could form our own DA Austria rock/pop/funk band! We are starting off at this year’s July 4 party with a small but powerful trio, led by our own Jacki Hafellner, a professional singer/pianist/oboist from Graz, who is also founder of the Schneider vocal academy. We’ll be joined by a buddy of mine from the G-Meiners, Paul Bastos, on guitar, and I’ll be on drums (a souped-up Cajon). We decided to have a name-the-band contest at the July 4 party. An early contender is Jacki and the Bidenettes!

    As an all-volunteer organization, it is great if everyone contributes their skills and energy to help us reach our goals. Next year, especially, we will need many more volunteers to support our get-out-the-vote efforts, be it at in-person voter help tables, phone banking, or elsewhere. There are many options. Please let us know what your talents are and how you might like to help. Fill out the form here

    And if you want to join the DA Austria band, you are more than welcome (although, as long as I’m chair, I have dibs on the drums).

    — Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

     


    Events: 

    July 4 Party–Vienna

    When: Sunday, July 4 

    Time: 12:00-4:00 p.m.

    Where: In-person. Die Schankwirtschaft im Augarten

    RSVP: Sold OutHosted by DA Austria

     

     

    July 4 Party–Vorarlberg

    When: Sunday, July 4

    Time: 3:00-7:30 p.m.

    Where: In-person. Schwarzbad, Lochau

    RSVP to attendHosted by DA Austria, Vorarlberg

     

     

    Seattle Mayor Candidate Forum July 10 at 7:00 p.m. 

    When: Sunday, July 10

    Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m. CET

    RSVP for linkHosted by DA Global

     

     

    DAA Black Caucus Book Club 

    When: Sunday, July 18

    Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.

    Where: In-person. TBD

    RSVP to attendHosted by DA Austria




    Issues & Actions: 

    Fourth of July Party in Vienna’s Augarten

    For those who have RSVP’d (we need to cap the total at 100), we look forward to seeing you Sunday, July 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at Die Schankwirschaft im AugartenWe'll have live music performed by our new—and hopefully to be expanded—Democrats Abroad band (don't miss the name-the-band contest!). We will also have a raffle with prizes including some must-have goodies, like an Inauguration Day t-shirt straight from Washington DC, a Notorious R.B.G. bobblehead, and other fabulous DA collectible swag.

    Remember, Austria’s 3G rule applies. In the customary Austrian style, everyone pays the wait staff for their own food and beverage. More details at the event link on the DA website.

    See you Sunday! 

    — Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

     

    Constituent Abroad Zoom Project — connecting Americans abroad to Congress about tax reform

    The DA Taxation Task Force is organising zoom meetings in July to connect selected members of Congress to their constituents for a discussion about tax reform for Americans abroad. We are very excited to add this exciting new initiative to our multi-pronged strategy for getting tax reform for Americans abroad into legislation Congress will enact this year.  

    They will be sending out an email announcement to constituent-members soon. Those constituents interested in attending are asked to register.

    Constituents are the keys that open doors, hearts, and minds to our issues.

    READ MORE

     

    The Benefits of Membership

    Democrats Abroad actively advocates in DC on issues affecting Amerians living abroad. Here are two recent examples that have also been picked up in major newspapers.

    — Jen Rakow-Stepper, Regional Vice Chair–EMEA, DAA Member-at-Large

     

    Vaccines for U.S. Citizens Abroad

    The DA Global Executive Committee recently sent a letter to the Office of President Joe Biden to raise awareness that many US Citizens living abroad remain unvaccinated and will be at the back of the line to receive a vaccine in their host country. The letter urged the U.S. government to take appropriate steps to ensure that vaccines are available to all of its citizens worldwide.

    The letter came about as an action from DA Thailand where many DA members are unable to be vaccinated or to return to the US to do so. The story was picked up in the Washington Post which mentions DA’s involvement. 

    Read More

     

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

    Carmelan Polce, DATaxation Tax Force Chair, wrote an open letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen on the impacts of tax policy on U.S. citizens abroad. Her Letter to the Editor was published in the New York Times. Thank you Carmelan for all the fantastic work you do on our behalf!

    Read More

     


    Reviews:

    Vienna Pride Parade 2021 

    Some 20 DA Austria members came out on a steamy Saturday to march in this year’s Vienna Pride Parade. We were expecting a more or less socially distanced parade (no trucks this year), and we all came prepared with masks (thanks to Eva Ciabbatonni for handing out rainbow-colored FFP2 masks). Ultimately, most faces—like some bodies on the parade route— were uncovered. But we happened to get the lead position in front of the second wave of marchers, allowing us to keep some distance and with the added benefit that in photos it looks like we’re leading a throng of thousands!

    A big thanks to Jessica Mijnssen for stepping in to be our lead Pride organizer, printing up our rainbow-themed Democrats Abroad t-shirts (designed by Sophie Spiegelberger) and putting together the paper flags we waved and handed out to fellow marchers.

    Why do we march each year at Pride? It means something different to everyone. We know from the past four years that the hard fought rights of the LGBTQ+ community can be taken away if we don’t elect leaders who respect and protect those rights. Pride is about joy and freedom; it is also about staying engaged to ensure that the rights of all are secure.

    — Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

     

    Solidarity Sundays:  The Paris Agreement -- Where the Rubber Meets the Road,

    June 27, 2021

    “Can I still be optimistic? Is there time to make a difference?” 

    Yes, you can, says Olivia Coldrey, a leading expert in the global transformation to clean energy. National pledges to reduce emissions are increasing, but not enough—elected representatives need to act. “Best thing you can do? Speak up, vote.” (Solidarity Sundays reminds you to register to vote at VoteFromAbroad.org!)

    The US is a key actor in the world economy. Biden is moving on clean energy faster than anyone saw coming. He set the goal of net-zero by 2050, placed climate at the center of his policies, and appointed Cabinet secretaries committed to transforming our energy sector. The world’s financiers are noticing. 

    Biden wants America—the highest per capita CO2 emitter—at the forefront of climate investment. He is pulling the US out of fossil-fuel energy projects abroad and pivoting to cleaner ones. “We’re not reading it in the paper, but fundamental developments to the financial system are underway.” The Federal Reserve, for example, has signaled support for mandatory climate disclosures by companies. Businesses relying heavily on fossil fuels would become risky for investors; the attractiveness of cleaner companies would transform the global economy. Want to know more? Read Coldrey’s PDF presentation here.

    Solidarity Sundays is exploring ways to engage with our elected officials. Calling the US from abroad is prohibitive, but Skype Credit lets you phone your senators for pennies. Find step-by-step instructions here. The Equality Act has stalled in the Senate—your senators need to hear from you.

    Have a great summer break! Solidarity Sundays goes back to work fixing democracy in September!

    — Tanya Lolonis, Member at Large DA Austria, Solidarity Sundays Co-Coordinator

     

    Thank you for reading the July Newsletter! We'll see you in September. 

     

    read more

    June's Newsletter

     

    In this Issue:

    Events:

    • Gabby Giffords–Courage to Fight Gun Violence 
    • Vienna Pride Parade 2021
    • Global Virtual Pride Marathon
    • DAA Black Caucus Book Club
    • ProDA: Biden Harris Progress Report #5
    • Solidarity Sundays
    • 4th of July Gathering in Vienna
    • Red, Wine & Blue: 4th of July Picnic in Vorarlberg 

    Issues & Actions:  

    • Introducing DAA’s new Phone-bank Coordinator Yvonne Richard
    • Auf Wiedersehen
    • GBC Book Club is Back!

    Reviews:

    • Global & Regional Meetings 
    • Expat Taxes 101 
    • Solidarity Sundays: Moonshot

    Members Corner: 

    • The Senate Filibuster Impasse

     

    Having trouble viewing this email? You can read the newsletter online

    Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard at [email protected] to join.

    DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

     

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    Events:

    Gabby Giffords–Courage to Fight Gun Violence

    When: Thursday, June 17

    Time: 5-7:00 p.m.

    RSVP for the zoom link. Hosted by DA Switzerland

    Vienna Pride Parade 2021

    When: Saturday, June 19

    Time: 1-5:00 p.m.

    RSVP: In-Person! RSVP here

     

    Global Virtual Pride Marathon

    When: Sunday, June 20

    Time: 12 p.m-12:00 a.m.

    RSVP for the zoom link. Hosted by DA Global LGBTQ+ Caucus

     

     

     

     

     

     

    DAA Black Caucus Book Club

    When: Sunday, June 20

    Time: 4-6:00 p.m.

    RSVP for the zoom link. Hosted by DA Austria

     

     

    ProDA: Biden Harris Progress Report #5

    When: Thursday, June 24

    Time: 7-8:00 p.m.

    RSVP for the zoom link Hosted by DA Austria

    Solidarity Sundays

    When: Sunday, June 27

    Time: 4-6:00 p.m.

    RSVP for the zoom link

     

    4th of July in Vienna

    When: Sunday, July 4

    Time: 12-3:00 p.m.

    RSVP: In-person! RSVP here  

     

    Red, Wine, & Blue: 4th of July in Vorarlberg

    When: Sunday, July 4

    Time: 3-7:00 p.m.

    RSVP: In-person! RSVP here  

     


    Issues & Actions: 

    Introducing DAA’s new Phone-bank Coordinator Yvonne Richard

    DAA has a new Phone Bank Coordinator! Yvonne Richard has taken on the position of head of phone bankers. Yvonne lives in Vienna and has a lot of experience in phone banking, including being one of the top callers in the 2020 election cycle. She will be supported by Marjorie Rosenberg in Graz, who was also very active on Call Hub during the last presidential election. DAA’s phone bankers helped raise the global turnout in the crucial election that voted Trump out of the White House. Next year when both the Senate and House are at stake, our team of phone bankers in Austria will again play a crucial role in raising awareness for the midterms among American voters living overseas and helping them cast their ballots from abroad.   

     

    Auf Wiedersehen

    It’s a bittersweet goodbye to two of DA Austria’s most dedicated super volunteers who are moving back to the US in June. Dan Englund and Michael Wagner arrived on the DAA scene a few years ago and quickly became regular attendees of Solidarity Sundays, Pro DA, Pride parades, and other meetings and events. They also became invaluable super volunteers as they dedicated many hours to helping Americans register to vote at voter registration events and the Global Presidential Primary. Michael was Phone Bank Coordinator during the 2020 election cycle, and his leadership resulted in DA Austria’s wildly successful call campaign in 2020. 

    We wish you a great next chapter in your lives, and we will see you again!

     

    GBC Book Club

    Our book club is back! We're starting off with Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, a historical novel that traces the descendants of two half-sisters Effia and Esi, born into different villages in Ghana. Homegoing follows the parallel narrative lines of their descendants through eight generations, intimately portraying African and African American experiences in the aftermath of enslavement. Join our virtual meeting Sunday, June 20 at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Be sure to RSVP on the Democrats Abroad page to get the link. See you there!

     


    Reviews:

    Global & Regional Elections and Meetings

    At 3 a.m. Austria time, groggy Democrats (at least those in our time zone) logged into Zoom for the 2021 Annual Global Meeting.

    It was the second time since the start of the pandemic that the global gathering of Democrats Abroad leaders was held virtually, electing new international officers, voting on bylaws, and passing resolutions.

    But for 2021, it was decided to start the meeting at a time convenient for members in the Asia Pacific region, which is why your three voting members from DA Austria – chair, vice chair, and DPCA voting rep – needed to rise (if not shine) quite early.

    That marked the start of a 20-plus-hour online meeting over two days – May 15 and 16 – with more than 200 participants present at all times. Like a mini-session of Congress, there were presentations, speeches, motions, objections, amendments, points of order, and most of all – votes. It was truly a demonstration of just how dedicated people are to this all-volunteer organization.

    A lot was achieved. We elected a new International Executive Committee, and we can be most proud that our own Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, our former chair of DA Austria, prevailed over four challengers to be elected the new EMEA Regional Vice Chair.

    READ MORE


    Expat Taxes

    June 15 is the tax filing deadline for Americans abroad. To help you get prepared, Democrats Abroad Austria hosted a 90-minute webinar in May titled Expat Taxes 101. It was a super informative session with two amazing guest panelists: Nathalie Goldstein of MyExpatTaxes, and Katelynn Minott of Bright!Tax. They covered everything from the basics of tax filing and getting your stimulus payments (if you haven’t already), to the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) and the IRS’s amnesty program for those who may be behind in their filings. 

    If you missed it and would like a recording, please make at least the minimum donation for our global get-out-the-vote efforts in 2022 by clicking here, and then send your request to Richard Miller at [email protected].

     

    Solidarity Sundays:  Moonshot 

    May 30, 2021

    Solidarity Sundays looked at a critical, little-understood aspect of the Biden project. His infrastructure plan aims to transform America's economy and society. We talk about what the proposals contain, how much they will cost, in what shape they will pass — if they will pass at all. But what happens after the legislation becomes law may be the most consequential part of all.

    Elaine Kamarck, Harvard professor and seasoned White House advisor, addressed the question, why do modern presidencies begin in hope and end in disappointment? Her answer:  presidents enter office with little understanding of the massive government they're supposed to run.

    Inexperience can cripple an administration. Consider Bush and the Iraq War, his response to Katrina, and the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website. These failures ended hopes of progress on important policy issues. Worse, they eroded trust in the ability of government to solve people's problems. Donald Trump leveraged this disillusionment to vault to the Oval Office. 

    Dr. Kamarck credits Trump's cluelessness about the federal government as the reason it remains intact. Biden, by contrast, understood how to harness the government's capacity to tame the pandemic. If he creates infrastructure jobs before the midterms, she predicts a good outcome for Democrats. You can get Dr. Kamarck's book, "Why Presidents Fail -- and How They Can Succeed Again" here.

    Solidarity Sundays explored trolling, the Republican political strategy of the internet age. Each day, Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Greene intentionally bait liberals into online fights. And the engagement is a trap:  every time liberals fight with someone in the comments section or dunk with a Quote Tweet, algorithms push the offensive post into the feeds of more people. Read an excellent explanation of this GOP strategy — and how to outwit the algorithm — here.

     


    Members Corner:

    The Senate Filibuster Impasse   

    Over the past decade, the Senate filibuster rule has ground essential Senate legislation to a virtual halt. In the last session, only four percent of proposed Senate legislation was brought to a vote (govtrack.us/congress). The minority party, whether Democratic or Republican, uses this tactic to indefinitely prolong legislative consideration or debate, which often results in no debate at all. All filibusters, however, are not the same. Rule of thumb estimates indicate that over the past decade, Democratic legislation had more popular support from all voters than was the case for proposed Republican legislation. Hence, Joe Biden could claim that the recent passage of the Covid-19 Relief Package had bipartisan support, even though Senate Republican members were uniformly opposed.

    To defeat the filibuster maneuver and to actually bring legislation to a vote, a 3/5 majority or a 60 senator vote is required to close debate. The high threshold should prompt Senate members to negotiate across the aisle and reach legislative compromise. Such compromise, however, has been overtaken by party interest.  Popularly supported and essential legislation languishes and often dies as a result of  unprecedented filibuster use.

    READ MORE

     

    Thank you for reading the June Newsletter!

     

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    Upcoming Events

    Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 08:00 AM through August 22, 2021 Time · 116 rsvps

    August 2021 Global Meeting

    Democrats Abroad will hold our follow-up August 2021 Global Meeting entirely online.
    The meeting will be held across the weekend of August 21-22.

    Day 1 - August 21

    Time - EDT Time - CET Time - HKT Time - UTC
    Check-in 08:00 AM 14:00 PM 20:00 PM 12:00 PM
    Meeting start 08:30 AM 14:30 PM 20:30 PM 12:30 PM

     

    Day 2 - August 22

    Time - EDT Time - CET Time - HKT Time - UTC
    Check-in 08:00 AM 14:00 PM 20:00 PM 12:00 PM
    Meeting start 08:30 AM 14:30 PM 20:30 PM 12:30 PM

    Democrats Abroad Global Meetings are possible thanks to participant donations. You will be redirected to the donation page after you RSVP.

    ** If you are not logged into your Nation Builder account, please make sure you enter your NationBuilder email for the RSVP.

    Links to the meetings will be emailed to all RSVPs during the week of August 9th. The tentative agenda is here

    Click Here to donate in support of the Global Meeting and DA's GOTV activities.

    Click Here to donate to the Travel Fund for the 2022 Global Meeting.