Austria

Welcome to Democrats Abroad Austria!

DAAT is the official arm of the Democratic Party for U.S. citizens living in Austria and part of a global network that assists Americans living abroad to register and vote. We are an entirely voluntary organization and welcome your expertise and participation!

Through a range of activities and events throughout the year, we work hard to represent and connect our diverse and active membership. Our participation in the Women’s and Science Marches and, in particular, our monthly grassroots Solidarity Sundays meet-ups have helped us build and expand a welcoming community of compatriots. The DAATalks guest speaker series aims to provide a tri-annual platform for interesting discussions on topical events. DAAT recently hosted Melissa Fleming, UNHCR Communications Director and author of the best-selling book, A Hope more Powerful than the Sea and NYTimes best-selling author, Timothy Snyder, who spoke to us about his most recent book, On Tyranny. Finally, social events, such as our monthly Young Dems Pub Nights, annual Thanksgiving Dinner, Fourth of July party, participation in Pride Parade, and FUNdraising concerts and events guarantee that we also have a good dose of fun. 

Democrats Abroad supports all Americans abroad in registering to vote and casting their ballots from overseas. These get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts are at the heart of our political activity, and we rely on volunteers to ensure our members and friends are enfranchised every election, every year. Our absentee votes have been decisive in numerous elections across the U.S.! Together with other DA country committees from around the globe, we're making the specific issues, which are faced by overseas Americans, known on Capitol Hill. 

If you're not yet a member, you can join in just two minutes - under the Join tab above. You’ll receive our monthly newsletter with current issues and actions, events, and reviews. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

We look forward to meeting you at a DAAT event soon!

DA Austria Leadership:

Brett Carnito
| Secretary
Marcy Fowler
| Treasurer
Bruce Murray
| Counsel
See all Leaders


  • News

    JANUARY'S NEWSLETTER

    In This Issue:

    Events:

    • Bylaws Committee Meeting
    • Global Black Caucus Book Club lV
    • #Women’s Wave
    • SolSun 20: Choosing Your Voters
    • Save the Date! Annual General Meeting
    • Experienced Dems will meet again in February

    Issues & Actions:

    • Florida Prison Right’s Restoration

    Reviews:

    • Global Black Caucus
    • Hindsight is 2020!
    • Vienna Punsch Recap
    • Women’s Caucus Launch with RBG

     


    New Year's Message:

    Looking Back & Looking Forward –

    What a year!

    You helped make our outrage with the current administration heard and joined us on a freezing January day for the Women’s Rally, marched through Vienna’s streets with March for Our Lives in solidarity with the Parkland students, and stood in front of the US consulate in protest of migrant children being separated from their parent(s) at the US border.

    You contributed your energy and talents and participated in lively monthly Global Black Caucus book club discussions, joined meet-ups of both Young and Experienced Dems to talk politics with like-minded company, initiated the DAA’s Women’s Caucus with an RBG film night, showed pride at the Regenbogenparade, increased your understanding of the critical topics confronting our nation and with Solidarity Sundays took action to affect change.

    You were instrumental in helping DA Austria finance all of our GOTV and membership development activities and made a generous one-time contribution, became a sustaining donor, and joined us at a fundraiser.

    You helped create the highest overseas voter turnout ever and registered Americans at rock concerts, movie theatres, comedy clubs, baseball games and study abroad programs in Graz, Salzburg, and Vienna, created a film in Vorarlberg, made thousands of calls to make sure DA Austria members had registered to vote and sent in their ballot, and wrote hundreds of postcards to our representatives and members.

    You voted.

    It felt like a wish upon a star last January when DA Austria hoped to generate the biggest ever turnout of overseas voters for Democratic candidates in elections across the country, and thanks to each and every one of YOU that wish came true!

    Why stop now? In 2019 we’ll be laying the foundations for electing a new president and advocating for the rights and interests of overseas Americans. I hope you’ll continue to support us along the way.

    In the name of the entire Executive Committee, DA Austria Wishes you a happy and healthy 2019!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

    In order to avoid email clutter, DAA is making a strong effort to include all the information you need to stay up to date in our monthly newsletter. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Also check out our website and Facebook page for the latest news.


    Events:

     

    Bylaws Committee Meeting

    The Democrats Abroad Austria (DAA) Executive Committee has constituted a bylaws committee to revise its bylaws in preparation for the DAA Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. The members are as follows:

    • DAA Counsel, Bruce Murray, Committee Chair
    • DAA Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper (ex officio)
    • DAA Secretary, Brett Carnito
    • DAA Treasurer, Marcy Fowler
    • DAA Member-At-Large, Matt Stevens

    The meeting is open to all DAA members.

    WHEN: January 7, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm
    WHERE: Cafe Eiles, Josefstädterstraße 2, Vienna 1080
    CONTACT: Bruce Murray · counsel@democratsabroad.at

     

    Global Black Caucus Book Club IV

    Book: How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    Come join us as we review and discuss "How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective" edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. The Combahee Collective were a group of radical black feminists that emerged during the 1960's and 70's. The leaders of this group as well as contemporary activists reflect and discuss how black feminism has been instrumental in shaping today's social and political movements. We hope to see you again at Cafe Phil in the new year!

    (Our next book in February will be "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson.)

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: January 18, 2019 at 7pm - 10pm
    WHERE: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorferstraße 10-12, Vienna 1060
    CONTACT: Faith Hall-Herbold · f.hall-herbold@democratsabroad.at

     

    Womens March 2019 –

    The Equal Rights Amendment : “My Rights– on Pause for 75 Years”

    A wave of women will be sworn into Congress this month, but did you know that women still don’t have constitutional protection of their rights? Unbelievably, the law that was passed by Congress in 1972 has not yet been ratified. Only one more state is needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Now, 47 years later, it has a viable chance of being passed, which is why now is the time to increase awareness and demand full constitutional equality for women!

    Over the weekend of January 19-20, 2019, DA members will be joining numerous groups in marches, vigils, and rallies for another Women’s March.

    The theme this year is “Stop Violence Against Women.” Democrats Abroad Austria will join the DA Global Women’s caucus and the Equal Means Equal organization and focus on achieving this goal by working through our legal system to secure equality under the law.

    While we’ve held a march and a rally the last two years, we'll be bringing it indoors on January 19 and will host a screening of the NYT Critics’ Pick Legalize Equality to help get the conversation going about the importance of the ERA. After the film we’ll discuss the issues and write postcards to the governors and/or attorneys general of the states that have not yet ratified this critical amendment.

    Join us this on January 19 as Democrats Abroad Austria once again puts our words into action!

    Some members from Graz are planning to travel to Vienna together for the event. Please contact Caitlin Ahern (database@democratsabroad.at) if you're in Carinthia or Styria and would like to travel together!

    Specific ERA podcast episodes: “The Equal Rights Amendment in 2018” by The 1A from NPR and “Equal Rights Amendment” by Unladylike

    WHEN: January 19, 2019 at 2pm - 5pm
    WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070
    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at

     

    Solidarity Sundays Vienna #20: Choosing Your Voters

    Confidence in the integrity of American elections is slipping, and partisan gerrymandering plays a big role. In the new year, learn how politicians manipulate district lines to give their party a share of seats grossly at odds with election results.

    On January 27th Solidarity Sundays sheds light into the dark art of gerrymandering, akacheating. We’ll look at The Great Gerrymander of 2012, learn which states account for most of the partisan bias and review statistical tools a judge might apply to measure the partisanship of a gerrymander. We’ll look at grassroots, citizen-led efforts to reform redistricting and what they tell us about the appetite – and potential – for reform.

    You won’t sit passively in this session. Bring your laptop– you’ll be contacting your new (or re-elected) Congressional representative and asking them to support democratic reform efforts in the House. Don’t know who your representative is? We’ll connect you.

    – Tanya Lolonis, Member-at-Large, SolSun Co-Coordinator

    Join the fight to save democracy -- we arm you with coffee, cookies, and civics.

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: January 27, 2019 at 4pm - 6pm
    WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070
    CONTACT: Tanya Lolonis · solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at

     

    Save the Date! 2019 Annual General Meeting

    Please join fellow DA Austria members on Saturday, March 30, 2019 to recap a very eventful 2018 and elect members to the executive committee.We'll present brief reports on 2018, discuss plans for 2019 and conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws.

    Refreshments will be served during the meeting and there will be a no-host dinner afterwards for everyone who would like to join. 

    All Democrat Abroad Austria members are welcome. Any American over 18 (by the next federal election) and residing in Austria may also join the meeting.

    Your participation, activism and donations have made Democrats Abroad Austria a strong and vital organization over the past sixteen years. In 2019 we’ll continue working to strengthen the voice and the vote of all our members.

    Remember, Americans living overseas must request their ballot each calendar year. Do it here at Vote From Abroad.

    RSVP: Please pre-register for the meeting by contacting database manager Caitlin Ahern by email or by calling 0650-312-5572. Include your name, Austrian address, phone number and US voting state in your email to her so that your record stays current. This will help us start the meeting on time and ensure that we have an accurate vote count. We encourage all members to pre-register, even if you're uncertain that you can make it, in order to minimise long waiting lines.

    Links to information about the Agenda, copies of the current and Amended Bylaws, Voting and Proxies, and directions to the AGM will be included in the newsletter and on our website in February.

    Want to get more involved? If you are interested in running for a position on DAA's Executive Committee, we encourage you to join us at one of our upcoming ExCom meetings at 7pm on January 9, February 20, or March 13. Please contact Jennifer Rakow-Stepper for the meeting location.

    I look forward to seeing you at our 2019 AGM!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria, Chair

    WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 2pm - 5:30pm
    WHERE: TBA, Vienna
    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at
    RSVP: Caitlin Ahern · database@democratsabroad.at

    Issues & Actions:

     

    What the Prison Rights Restoration Initiative Means for an Exiled Floridian

    Great, I can now vote for the first time in my forty years on this earth.

    In the mid-term election Florida voters decided to approve a constitutional amendment and allow those formerly convicted of crimes (except murder and sexual offenses) to vote for the first time. This achievement ‘long-in-waiting’ was on the ballot as a ‘initiated constitutional amendment’ and approved 5 million to 2 million opposed. Florida was holding out on laws changed by all other states.

    READ MORE

     


    Reviews:

     


    Global Black Caucus

    The Global Black Caucus met up for their third book club in late November at Café Phil. The number of people who RSVP’d for the event was four, but unexpectedly 12 people showed up to discuss the book entitled: White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in Americaby Nancy Isenberg. The title alone can turn heads and it shows how negative the phrase “white trash” is in today’s culture. The discussion started where Isenberg began: the early establishment of the American colonies and the misconception that these were only people seeking personal and religious freedom. In reality, early America was used as a dumping ground for those deemed a burden to European society. The group talked at length about how politicians and the rich have manipulated poor white Americans in the past and how the very same tactic of tapping into racial and economic anxieties continues today. It will be interesting to see how these issues play out in the 2020 election and beyond, but perhaps learning the truth about our past will help inform, and maybe even change our future.

    Come join us for our next two book clubs where we will discuss the following books: January 18th- How We Get Free: Black feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and February TBD- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

    Please remember to RSVP for this event so a table can be reserved properly!

    – Faith Hall-Glenn, Member-at-Large

     

    Midwest Midterm Progressive Bikeathon: Hindsight is 2020

    On December 8th, Vienna volunteers and followers of the Midwest Midterm Progressive Bikeathonmet at the Beaver Brewing Company. We reminisced about what we accomplished to make the Bikeathon a success. We also listened to those of us who left some skin on the road and shared stories and insights about our GOTV adventures at these Midwest milestones (and at many more notable stops):

    • Champaign, Illinois
    • State Capitol in Madison
    • Wishbone Cafe in Chicago
    • Democratic Headquarters in Hammond
    • Cass Corridor in Detroit
    • Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus in Cleveland
    • Bakery Square Democratic headquarters in Pittsburgh

    While sharing Midterm insights, we prepared for our continuing work on that future we can really believe in. Hindsight is 2020! Last and by no means least, Danny Chicago performed some of the Bikeathon's greatest hits!

    – Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel

     

    Women’s Caucus Launch with RBG

    On December 20 some 20 Dems Abroad in Austria met at the historic Gartenbau Kino to watch the epic film "RBG Ruth Bader Ginsburg" together. That RBG herself is epic (!), we already knew, but to see her life and her legal work for women's rights roll by in the course of a film was highly impressive. It revealed what went on behind the scenes as a lot of us (ahem) mature Dems were growing up. Also, it was entertaining and inspiring to see RBG's strength, discipline and sense of humor. Many of us followed up by hanging out in the movie theater's bar, keeping their staff from going home for quite a while! May Ms Ginsburg recover well and fully from her current health challenges. We really need her.

    – Antje Lewis, DAA Member

     

     

    Spittelberg Punsch Re-cap

    Thanks to all who joined us for a Christmas "Punsch" at Spittelberg on Dec. 13th. It is always nice to see new faces as well as greet those familiar ones that we haven't seen in a while! We also welcome our newest addition to Austria as our former Vice-Chair Ashley Arreola gave birth on Nov. 24th to a healthy girl. Welcome Léona Marley Rogez. The embassy here made sure to give her an American flag to show her patriotism, so you can see she is already embracing her American roots as well as the Austrian culture by joining us at the Christmas market. Young Dems would like to wish all Americans in Austria - young and old - a happy new year

    – Ashley Arreola, DAA Young Dems Co-Coordinator

    read more

    What the Prison Rights Restoration Initiative Means for an Exiled Floridian

    "I might not seem the typical person to be affected by The Prison Rights Restoration Initiative."

    Great, I can now vote for the first time in my forty years on this earth.

    In the mid-term election Florida voters decided to approve a constitutional amendment and allow those formerly convicted of crimes (except murder and sexual offenses) to vote for the first time. This achievement ‘long-in-waiting’ was on the ballot as a ‘initiated constitutional amendment’ and approved 5 million to 2 million opposed. Florida was holding out on laws changed by all other states.

    It might not seem a big deal compared to the global warming, election rigging, or even gun rights crisis at the top of the hill in Washington, but for me and 1.4 million new voters from Florida it’s life-changing. With this many new voters, those with care for our future — including rehabilitated offenders — can start affecting policy towards safer streets, fairer elections and a cleaner environment.

    To put the amendment into context, Florida, until Nov. 7th 2018, prevented over 1.4 million people from casting their ballot because of prior offenses. This was not a “crime prevention measure” as its few proponents would have you believe, but a symptom of the much bigger problem of voter suppression. Gerrymandering, social media rigging and closing voting centers early are potentially more egregious than preventing former offenders from exercising their citizens’ rights to vote, and these things are still happening en force thanks to the GOP.

    The Guardian reports that across the United States over six million people cannot vote due to criminal convictions. But nowhere showed this disfranchisement better than Florida, a major swing state that has gone Republican over the last years. It was due to mass civic engagement, including the hard work of Democrats Abroad phone volunteers and social media campaigns, that made this historic change possible.

    I might not seem the typical person to be affected by The Prison Rights Restoration Initiative. I’m a white, middle-class, well-educated expat. Over the last 15 years I’ve earned three master’s and a doctoral degree, built diverse education programs across three continents ranging from classical music to medicine to critical thinking and academic skills for university students. All abroad. I spend my time as a devoted father, friend and social entrepreneur, CEO of the Advanced Language Institute, and as an ambassador for the great things Americans bring abroad, like leadership, friendliness, good business practice and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

    read more
    See all posts

    Upcoming Events

    Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 04:00 PM · 4 rsvps
    Amerlinghaus in Vienna, Austria

    SolSun20: Choosing Your Voters

     

    Take a deep-dive into the dark art of Gerrymandering. Take action, too. Supported by coffee and cookies, we'll email our Congress(wo)men in support of HR1, the Magnum Opus bill to strengthen US democratic institutions & traditions.

    Visit us on Facebook!