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
Marcy Fowler
| Secretary, IT Coordinator
Joshua Friedman
| Counsel
See all Leaders


  • News

    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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    Global & Regional Elections and Meetings

    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.

    Among the seven bylaws that passed, one that is most consequential changed the way DA calculates the number of DPCA voting representatives per country committee. The end result is that many smaller country committees – some 80% of the CCs – will now have one additional voting representative. For DA Austria, that means our voting power goes from three to four!

    About a dozen of the 25 resolutions passed (see below), with the rest tabled for a later meeting. We also voted that next year’s global AGM will be held in-person in Costa Rica!

    A 20-hour Zoom meeting can be exhausting for attendees, but even more for those who are facilitating sessions for hours and hours on very little sleep. A huge thank you to all those who led us through the sessions on the bylaws and resolutions, as well as a big shout out to members of the outgoing International Executive Committee, especially our former Chair Julia Bryan, who was the epitome of poise, patience, and cool during the AGM. 

    Onwards, together! 

    — Richard Miller, Chair, DA Austria

     

    Bylaws and Resolutions at the Global Meeting

    At the Global Meeting, the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) body debates and votes on proposed Bylaws amendments and Resolutions. Following are the Bylaws and Resolutions that passed or were sent to committee. There was not enough time to hear all the Resolutions and another meeting will be set for the DPCA voting representatives to hear and consider them. 

    Bylaws Amendments that passed: 

    Proposal 1– Proposal to remove automatic proxies; Proposal 3 – Proposal to provide for more direct involvement by the DPCA Excom in appointments; Proposal 5 – Remove requirement to hold the DPCA Officer elections at the first meeting of the year; Proposal 6 – 2021 DPCA Vote Allocation Amendment, Proposal 9 – Remote On-line participation for quorum; Proposal 10 – Section 6.2 Election of RVC by One Vote Each for Chair and Vice-Chair; Proposal 11 – Country Committee Admission Criteria: Increasing Minimum Membership. 

    Bylaws Amendments that were referred to committee:  

    Proposal 7 – Create DPCA Representation for Non-Country Committee Members; Proposal 8 – Enable the Formation of Region Committees; Proposal 14 – Using Ranked Choice Voting within Democrats Abroad at International and Regional Levels.

    Adopted Resolutions: 

    1. To Rename the Historic Edmund Pettus Bridge for Congressman John R. Lewis; 2. Applauding Congressman Jamie Raskin and House Impeachment Managers; 5. In Support of Urgent Federal Tax Filing Relief for Americans Abroad in the American Jobs Plan (infrastructure legislation) and American Families Plan; 6. Honoring Patrick Werner, founder of Democrats Abroad Nicaragua; 10. In Support of the PRO Act; 11. In Support of H.R. 40 and the Commission to Study U.S. Reparations; 16. In Support of Medicare Portability; 21. To condemn the Arkansas Legislature for passing Anti-Transgender Legislation; 23. In Support of Non-Citizen Service Members, their Families, Deported Veterans and H.R. 1182: the Veterans Deportation Prevention and Reform Act; 24. Supporting the Military Justice Improvement Act to Protect Military Women & Men from Sexual Harassment & Assault; 26. Advocating Against Prison Gerrymandering.

    — DA Austria’s DPCA Voting Representatives: Richard Miller, Faith Hall Herbold, and Jen Rakow-Steppe

     

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    Upcoming Events

    Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 01:00 PM Vienna Time · 23 rsvps
    Steps on the Universität Wien in Vienna, Austria

    Vienna Pride Parade 2021

     

    Join Democrats Abroad Austria as we march in Vienna's 2021 Pride Parade.

     

    From Vienna Pride website:

    "This year, the parade will take place without vehicles, i.e. on foot, by wheelchair or bicycle, thus returning to its roots. All participants must comply with the COVID-19 regulations in force on the day of the parade (e.g., keeping distance, wearing a mask).

    The participating groups will gather on Saturday, 19 June 2021, from 1 p.m. near the Rathausplatz (City Hall Square).

    The Pride Parade starts at 2 p.m. and moves along the Ringstrasse in the opposite direction of traffic. The front of the parade is expected back at Rathaus at about 5 p.m..

    The final rally with speeches by activists and politicians will take place from 5pm at Rathausplatz. During the rally, there will also be the moment of remembrance, where we pause for a minute to remember those people who can no longer be with us because they have died from HIV/AIDS or have been victims of a hate crime because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

    Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 06:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) · 65 rsvps
    Zoom

    Global Virtual Pride Marathon

    Join Democrats Abroad LGTBQ+ Caucus for a day long Pride Celebration as we share our stories. View the schedule here (or below).

    Pride 2021: Sharing Our Stories / Equality Matters

    Democrats Abroad is celebrating June Pride month with a series of events, including a webinar marathon on June 20th, featuring speakers and events. 

    The webinar marathon is being organized and hosted by the DA LGBTQ+ Caucus, with the aim to educate Americans about issues impacting LGBTQ+ people and opportunities to provide greater protection through policy and legislation. A key focus will be on engaging members to share their stories. 

    Through the webinar, members will have the opportunity to learn how to effectively engage their congressional representatives to support equality legislation, including the Equality Act, which would provide protections in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs and jury service to LGBTQ+ people, and immigration reform.

    Program

    Time Title Speakers

    05.30 EDT

    11.30-12.00

    Let's talk about AAPI queer identity through a  discussion of Alice Wu's film The Half of It! A Netflix original movie, The Half of It received rave reviews from critics and tells the story of teenage Ellie Chu, who writes letters to her crush on the behalf of her classmate Paul in a queer retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. As Paul and Ellie's friendship grows, the film explores the isolation of the intersection of queer and immigrant identity as well as the meaning of friendship.

     

    Anya Leonhard

    06:15 AM EDT

    12:15 -13:15 CET

    Supporting transgender youth

    Join DAUK LGBT Caucus as we host a discussion on trans youth healthcare policy with Mermaids UK Legal and Policy director Lui Asquith (they/them)! We will discuss how gender affirming healthcare can greatly improve the lives of trans and non binary children and teens, as well as the policies that threaten to to take these treatments away. Following the presentation, Lui Asquith will be responding to preprepared questions in a Q & A!

     

    Mermaids UK is Non-Profit working to support transgender, non binary and gender diverse children, young people and their families since 1995. Their support helps transgender youth and their families advocate for themselves with healthcare and education services, as well as helping trans youth to cope with mental and emotional distress, improve self esteem and learn social skills. They also regularly work with teachers, GP’s and social services to improve awareness, understanding, and policies with regard to trans youth.

    Mermaids, UK

    With Brian Westley and Caroline Ruchonnet, DAUK

    7.00 AM EDT

    13.00-13.15



     

    Welcome to:  Pride Marathon  Sharing Our Stories   

    Kicking off the day long event by: 

    Co-Chair Martha McDevitt-Pugh




     

    7:30 AM EDT

    13.30-14.45

    Between two stigmas: the intersection of being LGBTQ+ and an immigrant

     

    Co-sponsored by DA Hispanic Caucus

     

    Moderator: Juan Cerda

     

    Speakers: Departed Dreamers Tawheeda Wahabzada, Jason and Monsy; DACA applicant Yari; Nicole Salgado author of Amor & Exile; Randall Emery of American Families United; Immigration lawyer and former DemsAbroad DNC Representative Bob Bragar

     

    Invited: Jose Antonio Vargas of Define American

    08:45 AM EDT

    14:45-15:00 CET

    Short films (at various points during the day)  

    09.05 AM EDT

    13.05-15:20 CET



     

    Pulse Tribute

     

    09.30 AM  EDT

    15:30-16:30 CET 

    State legislation landscape and the Equality Act

    Moderator: journalist Fred Kuhr, DA Canada

    State equality organizations:

    -Nadine Smith, Equality Florida

     

    Shawn Gaylord, Executive Director, Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus

     

    Earl Fowlkes, Chari DNC LGBT Caucus

    10:30 AM EDT

    16:30-16:55 CET

    Making change: how to share your story with Congress. How to make an impact with legislators. For LGBTQ+ members and allies

    Brian Westley, DAUK LGBTQ+ caucus

    Video from Stephanie Randall

    11:00 AM EDT

    17:00-18:30 CET

    Films that changed history: Edie & Thea

    Documentary filmmaker Susan Muska (Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement; The Brandon Teena Story). Susan will be introduced by Lisa Berger, a documentary filmmaker and researcher and member of DA Spain.
    01:00 PM EDT 19:00-20:00 CET Family Friendly: Drag Story time for kids.  Fay Slift + Fluffy Soufflé

    2pm PM EDT

    20.00-20.30 CET

    Queer as Verse : Poetry Competition

    Poets:

    Diane Haven:  “The Rainbows” and “It is Raining”

    Scott Chase: “The Other”

    Britt Farbo The New Reconstruction:

    “A Canticle forSt.Hogates in theTime of Hope & Optimism”

    “Stoop of the Peterson” and “Jubillee”

    Hosted by:

    Betsy Ettore



    02:30 PM EDT

    20:30-21:30 CET

    Spoken word performance

    Toronto Queer Arts youth social justice group

    03:30 PM EDT

    21:30-22:00 CET

    The power of our stories

    Amos Lim, Community Advocate, Economic Justice Program, Chinese for Affirmative Action (San Francisco), co-founder, Out for Immigration.

    Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado, their sons Jashley and Joriene Mercado, on their family’s journey, Shirley’s experience from asylum seeker to her testimony at the Senate Judiciary Committee on same-sex immigration

     

    Pending - speakers on legislation

    HR 2920 - American Families United Act (Randall and Edgar)

    S. 348 - U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021

    HR 6 - American Dream and Promise Act of 2021

     

    LGBTQ+ Caucus

    04:30 PM EDT

    22.30 23.40-CET

    The aging LGTBQ+: Screening of Gen Silent

     

    Gen Silent is an award-winning documentary that follows six LGBT older adults in Boston, Massachusetts over a year as they navigate the paid and unpaid care system. Gen Silent discovers how oppression in the years before Stonewall still affects generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with feelings of distrust and dangerous isolation. As we witness the challenges that

    these men and women face, we also see hope as each subject crosses paths with an impassioned professional trying in their own way to change an entire care industry.

     

     

    Hosted by Shari Ritter, RN

    Case Manager Healthcare Agencies

     

    5:40PM EDT

    23.40-23.56 CET

    Closing Remarks