News

July's Newsletter

Events

  • Global Black Caucus
  • Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties Round Two
  • Experienced Dems
  • SolSun

Issues & Actions

  • The Difference You Make
  • How Activists Spend Summer Break

Reviews

  • DAA Talks
  • Pride Parade
  • Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties Round One
  • Solidarity Sundays

ExComm Dates for August and September

Our Executive Committee meetings are normally at 7pm on the second Wednesday of the month. However, due to summer travels the September meeting will be moved:

  • August ExComm: none
  • September ExComm: Thursday, September 5

Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at for the location.


Events:

 

Global Black Caucus

We were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates is an award-winning collection of powerful essays and articles written during the Obama era that thoughtfully examine the issues of race that are still prevalent in the US today. Come join us!

– Faith Hall-Herbold, Black Caucus Coordinator and Member at Large

WHEN: Friday, July 12, 2019 at 7:00 PM

WHERE: The venue will be given along with your RSVP.

Visit this event on Facebook

 

Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties #2

It's debate time! Join us as we get together to watch and discuss the second round of debates.

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

WHEN: Wednesday, July 31 and Thursday, August 1 at 7:00 PM

WHERE: Fladerei, Hugo-Wiener Platz/Mittersteig 2a, 1040 Vienna

 

Experienced Dems

Experienced Dems is on a "Sommer Pause." We will meet again in September and I look forward to seeing each of you at that time.

–John Cahill, Experienced Dems Coordinator

 

SolSun

Solidarity Sundays is tanking energy and will be back on September 29th!

– Tanya Lolonis & Juan Cerda, SolSun Co-Coordinators

 


Issues & Actions:

The Difference You Make

There is exciting news from the latest Election Assistance Commission survey results for the 2018 mid-term elections. While there is still some analysis to be done, it really looks like the turnout from overseas was THREE TIMES as high as in the last mid-term elections in 2014. This is an AMAZING result - an increase that far outstrips any stateside growth in voter turnout. Julia Bryan, DA International Chair, mentioned that Democrats Abroad and our efforts likely accounted for close to half of all voter turnout in 2018. I would only add that we probably directly impacted 50-75% of all DEMOCRATIC votes from overseas. I'll say it again. This is amazing - for a "state party" to have such a tremendous direct impact on voter turnout. Admittedly, this was a highly visible mid-term election. But this increase is a testament to the efforts of our leadership and our amazing volunteers. However, I would be remiss (or at least I think I would be remiss) if I didn't also mention the impact of money.

We spent well over $100,000 on GOTV activities in the last two months of the 2018 election. That money went towards a range of expenditures, but I will highlight two that played a big role in last year's amazing growth: funding for our CallHub phone-banking operations; and paying for social media advertising through Facebook ads that targeted overseas Americans and in particular "liberal" potential voters. These two elements, together with all the other great GOTV activities like voter registration booths, emails, and SMS-messaging, helped drive the incredible increase in voters. Volunteers help get out the vote. And money helps get out the vote. And we need both. So I would encourage all of you to donate what you can to Democrats Abroad - and encourage everyone you know, your members, your friends wherever they are, and your family to support us. There will be more to come as to how each of you can help - and more to come, I am sure, about the amazing 2018 results. But it's good to know that we really do make a difference.

– Art Schankler, DA Co-Chair Fundraising Committee

 

How Activists Spend Summer Break

It‘s summer. It‘s hot. Your brain is short-circuiting from a diet of Policy-by-Twitter. So much to react to, so much to save, so much to do. Democrats Abroad Austria and Solidarity Sundays urge you to use the summer months to retreat, relax, and re-charge. Come fall, we need you fit and focused: we have a democracy to take back. But activists (and who isn’t one after 2016?) are restless with nothing to do. We‘ve curated a small collection of articles, podcasts, and films to keep you engaged in the conversation of democracy. Check out one or two over the summer and keep your activist muscles limber.

Podcasts:

At publication, there are twenty-three Democratic presidential candidates. Who are they? Why are they running? What do they bring to the fight for democracy? The political podcast “Pod Save America” is conducting in-depth interviews with each candidate. Download their “2020” interviews, plug in your earphones, and let candidates tell you the problems they identify in our democracy, their solutions, and why they think they can solve them. http://crooked.com/podcast-series/pod-save-america/

For an irreverent, savvy and informed unraveling of the mysteries of the Mueller investigation by a binder full of women, check out the Mueller She Wrote podcast.http://www.muellershewrote.com/

Articles:

The New York Review of Books discusses important books as an indispensable literary activity. It`s also incisive on politics. For those who take holiday relaxation seriously and pack beach reads rather than political tomes, NYRB offers good discussions of key books—without having to read them (unless you want to):

Streaming:

Robert Mueller says his report speaks for itself. Read it yet? If 400+ pages is a slog on a holiday, here’s a novel way to take in all ten counts of obstruction: A live reading (one hour) of the Mueller Report by Hollywood stars: The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts. http://lawworksaction.org/

Films:

Cope with our current political climate with comedy. We can’t promise you‘ll forget about global warming, right-wing nationalists, misogyny, racism, and homophobia, but a few laughs can restore heart and sanity for the work ahead:

National populism: To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942). Carole Lombard‘s final role is spent among a troupe of hilariously bad actors disguising themselves in order to mess with occupying Nazis in 1939 Poland.

Global warming: The Day After Tomorrow (Roland Emmerich, 2004). When this film came out, it was a far-off, apocalyptic flick. Now, it‘s a bit too real, but Dennis Quaid and a young Jake Gyllenhaal apply hotness to the battle of surviving climate change.

Donald Trump: Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956). Famous for being mentioned in the opening song of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and featuring a young and dashing Leslie Nielsen, re-watch this to remember that we are more powerful than any monster.


Reviews:

 

DAA Talks with Eric Frey –

A View of America and Journalism in the Age of Trump

It was a sweltering evening on June 4th when about 30 DA Austria members and friends gathered to hear Dr. Eric Frey, Senior Editor of der Standard, discuss his perspective on current issues in the US and Austria. After a thorough analysis of the upheavals in Austrian politics, Frey moved on to what he and many Europeans are hoping the Democrats will do to make sure Trump is a one-term president. Not surprisingly, the audience had many questions and a lively question and answer period followed.

Many thanks to Dr Frey for giving his time to speak with us!

–Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

 

EuroPride 2019

We want to extend a big thank you to all those who joined the 2019 EuroPride Parade on June 15 in Vienna by marching and showing solidarity with DA Austria. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and we gathered together to show our support of LGBTQIA+ rights worldwide!

Our theme was “Love Trumps Hate” as well as “Make Love, Not Walls.” It was a blast and (not to forget) a great message! We saw much love and support from bystanders who approached us for photos, flags, and just loved seeing us out there resisting the hate and policies of the current administration.

Laura and I had the honor of planning this year’s march and we couldn’t be happier with the turn out! It was a great group of people, over 35 of all ages came out and endured the heat to show their pride together. It truly was beautiful and colorful! The “MAKE LOVE, NOT WALLS” t-shirts were a big hit, and if you would still like to get one we could make another order if we get enough people interested. Let us know.

We are especially excited and energised for next year. Plans are already in the making for a bigger, more colorful, louder, and progressive march! As always we are excited for anyone's ideas, contributions, or even help in making next year’s march a reality. You can reach us at j.eckhart@democratsabroad.at and laura.farmwald@hotmail.com. Thanks again and stay proud!

Colorfully yours,

– Joey Eckhart

 

A note from a member: Thank you Laura and Joey and everyone else who helped make Democrats Abroad Austria's participation in the Europride Parade 2019 so incredible. I'm sure many people invested countless hours and great effort before the parade even started. Consider just the t-shirts: drumming up a team, conceiving, discussing, designing, spreading the word, taking orders, placing the order, picking up the shirts, selling the shirts... but that's not all: participation registration, flyers, flags and buttons, stunning banners, signs, a cart of supplies, water spray bottles ... even refreshments and watermelon! As a gay man, I was very touched by the solidarity and support so many DA allies displayed for us LGBTIQA+ people! I had to dash off at 1:30 to get ready to sing a concert, but I left with a full heart. Thank you, Scott W.

 

Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties, Round One

Fifteen or so DA Austria members got together each evening on Thursday, June 27 and Friday, June 28 to watch the first round of the 2020 presidential primary debates. And we weren’t alone! There were over 250 watch parties in the US and another 57 organised by Democrats Abroad around the world.

The way we win is by reaching voters and organizing everywhere. That is why we’re hosting these events – so that Americans around the world can hear firsthand from the candidates on their ideas for the American people. The lineups for each night were selected through a process that ensures no candidate begins the debate calendar at an immediate disadvantage because they've been relegated to a "kids table" debate. On the first night were: Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Tim Ryan, and Elizabeth Warren. The second night’s lineup was: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.

All of the candidates attended our watch parties (see pictures). However, many candidates also accepted an invitation by Democrats Abroad and either came in person or sent a video to the Annual General Meeting that took place in May in Washington D.C. Listen to what they said to DA.

The two watch parties began with attendees trying to name all the candidates and sorting them into the two debate nights – there were many unknown’s! Then we listened carefully to what they had to say to help us learn about their positions on issues – and to fill out our buzzword bingo cards! Afterwards, there was lots of informal discussion about the candidates, both their positions and their performances.

The next watch parties will be held on July 31 and Aug 1, and September 13 & 14 (see events for details). Because of the time difference, the watch parties will always be the day after the debate. We hope you’ll join us!

–Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

 

Solidarity Sundays #25: The Green New Deal & You

Violent and frequent hurricanes. Record heat waves. Thousand-year floods. Devastating wildfires. Rising sea levels. Species decimation. Climate disruption is here, and scientists tell us we have 10 years to radically decarbonise to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. With the GOP in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, Democrats are the only party discussing how to address our near-apocalyptic crisis. What are they proposing?

Faith Hall-Herbold took Solidarity Sundays attendees through the key points of the Green New Deal. As the name indicates, the GND is inspired by FDR’s New Deal which addressed the Great Depression. The document is short and radical – short on specific policies and radical in its policy aims. It calls on the US to: (1) enact a climate change action plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030; (2) re-structure the economy with cooperation between unions, communities, business, and government; and (3) ensure justice so that coal workers, rural communities, and people of color aren’t left behind during the transition.

READ MORE

A global climate strike, expanding beyond school children, has been called for 20 September 2019. It will be followed by a global week of action: http://globalclimatestrike.net. Details on how to participate as part of Democrats Abroad Austria will be in the September DA Newsletter.

DA Austria
http://www.democratsabroad.org/


Solidarity Sundays #25: The Green New Deal & You

 

Violent and frequent hurricanes. Record heat waves. Thousand-year floods. Devastating wildfires. Rising sea levels. Species decimation. Climate disruption is here, and scientists tell us we have 10 years to radically decarbonise to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. With the GOP in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, Democrats are the only party discussing how to address our near-apocalyptic crisis. What are they proposing?

Faith Hall-Herbold took Solidarity Sundays attendees through the key points of the Green New Deal. As the name indicates, the GND is inspired by FDR’s New Deal which addressed the Great Depression. The document is short and radical – short on specific policies and radical in its policy aims. It calls on the US to: (1) enact a climate change action plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030; (2) re-structure the economy with cooperation between unions, communities, business, and government; and (3) ensure justice so that coal workers, rural communities, and people of color aren’t left behind during the transition.

It’s a tall order. It’s made more difficult by the fact that the fossil fuel industry is more organized than the renewable energy lobby. But Hall-Herbold identifies two reasons for hope that we can act in time: first is the sorry state of America’s infrastructure. This offers the chance for bi-partisan cooperation to repair and upgrade electricity generation, road and rail transport, and buildings. The GND emphasis on massive federal investment in clean energy is politically appealing – especially now that Democratic candidates have stopped mentioning the politically radioactive “carbon tax”.

The second opportunity resides in the youth movements demanding government action on climate change. Natural systems appear to have “tipping points” in which positive feedbacks accelerate the rush toward disasters. Loss of sun-reflecting snow and ice, for example, accelerates the pace of global warming. Our socio-economic system may be developing “good” tipping points. Alternative energy sources are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, and may initiate a rapid shift to the former. Political campaigns, too, can have outsized results. Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg inspires people to protest around the world through the amplifying effect of the internet and social media. Public support for the policies that will be necessary to transition to a low-carbon economy is critical: more young people voting, and spreading awareness of the costs of climate change hold promise of a good tipping point in the near future.

A global climate strike, expanding beyond school children, has been called for 20 September 2019. It will be followed by a global week of action: http://globalclimatestrike.net. Details on how to participate as part of Democrats Abroad Austria will be in the September DA Newsletter.

–Tanya Lolonis, Member-at-Large, Solidarity Sundays Co-Coordinator


It's Debate Time!

WATCH PARTY: FIRST DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that they will hold twelve debates in the run-up to the presidential primary. The debates will be held monthly over two consecutive nights with ten candidates on stage each evening. There are a number of requirements a candidate must fulfil to get a spot in the debate and the top tier candidates will be equally divided on each night. DA Austria will be streaming the debates at two watch parties on June 27 and 28. Note, this is the day AFTER the debate because of the time difference.

Read more

June's Newsletter

In This Issue:

Events

  • DAATalks
  • Experienced Dems
  • Pride Parade
  • Debate Night
  • Sol Sun June

Issues & Actions

  • DA Global Meeting

Reviews

  • SolSun
  • GBC
  • Progressive Pizza

 


Events

DAATalks with Eric Frey–

A View of America and Journalism in the Age of Trump

Democrats Abroad Austria is excited to welcome Dr. Eric Frey, Senior Editor of der Standard, for our next DAATalks lecture series.

US or Austria? Trump or FPÖ? Politics or journalism? With everything going on in the States and the recent upheavals in Austrian politics there will be a lot to discuss!

WHEN: June 04, 2019 at 7pm - 9pm

WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, 1010 Vienna

Entrance at Hebenstreit Restaurant (5 min. from U2 Schottentor).

 

 

Experienced Democrats Meet-Up

The June Meeting of Experienced Democrats of Democrats Abroad Austria

WHEN: June 06, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm

WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com

 

Pride Parade

2019 marks 50 years since the historic Stonewall Riots, arguably the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement, which catapulted queer activism and rights ahead. Today we see more equality and visibility than ever. However, the paradigm of progress has shifted. LGBTQIA+ rights are once again under threat in the Trump Administration and the Supreme Court. Democrats Abroad Austria stands together and proud with the 2019 EuroPride events in Vienna this June. Don’t be a bystander! We hope you will stand with us as we march for all of our right for rights!

This is the most outlandish party on the DA Austria calendar and this year Vienna is home to EuroPride, so expect a wild and wonderful day! We'll update our event page and fb page as soon as we know our start number. The parade start (#1) is at Rathausplatz/Burgtheater and goes back towards Schottentor. See the Pride Parade map for more info.

WHEN: June 15, 2019 at 11am - 4pm

WHERE: Near the University/Schottentor (exact location to be announced), 1010 Vienna

CONTACT: Joey Eckhart · lgbt@democratsabroad.at

 

 

Primary Debate Watch Parties

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that they will hold twelve debates in the run-up to the presidential primary. The debates will be held monthly over two consecutive nights with ten candidates on stage each evening. There are a number of requirements a candidate must fulfil to get a spot in the debate and the top tier candidates will be equally divided on each night. DA Austria will be streaming the debates at two watch parties on June 27 and 29. Note, this is the day AFTER the debate because of the time difference.

We'll be meeting on Thursday, June 27 at Beaver Brewery and Friday, June 28 at Kung Wu. Come early to get a bite to eat and a beer and then settle in as we listen to the wealth of talent that makes up the slate of 2020 democratic presidential candidates. 

We hope you'll join us!

WHEN: June 27 & 28, 2019 at 7pm. Come early and eat!

WHERE: June 27- Beaver Brewery, Liechtensteinstraße 69, 1090. June 28- Kung Wu Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020.

CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at

 

 

Solidarity Sundays 25:  The Green New Deal & You

The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts we have a decade to get carbon emissions under control before catastrophic climate change impacts become unavoidable. The Republican party ignores the problem. The Democratic Party claims to accept and understand it -- but does not have a plan to address climate breakdown.

Young activists have a plan:  The Green New Deal. GND refers to a massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform the energy sector and entire economy. There is immense political energy around the GND, but converting that to real results on the ground will involve a lot of political and policy engineering.

Join Solidarity Sundays and explore how the GND became a priority, what's next, and how you can help shape political priorities.

WHEN:  June 30th from 4-6 pm

WHERE:  Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna.

CONTACT:  Tanya Lolonis · solidaritysundays@democratsabroat.at

 


Issues & Actions

 

DA’s Annual General Meeting in Washington D.C.--17 to 19 May 2019

Meeting with 125 dedicated Democrats Abroad from all over the world just a stone’s throw from the Capitol, and with 75 or more equally energized leading members, including our DA Austria Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, online is an experience I will not soon forget. Our highly principled discussion and attention to rules of order inspired me, even more so because it helped us to elect an excellent Global Team, adopt well-vetted bylaw changes, and pass progressive resolutions, including our endorsement of Medicare for All. Several Presidential candidates, including Kirstin Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Marianne Williamson, Joe Biden, and Cory Booker offered in-person or video messages. Even more Democratic Party leaders conveyed messages of confidence and encouragement as we gear up to maintain control of the House, win back the Senate, and put a Democrat in the White House in 2020! Immediately after the AGM, dozens of us spent two days visiting our representatives in targeted efforts to communicate our key messages in Congress. Now it is our turn to give it our all as the Democratic presidential debate season draws closer, campaigns at all levels of government take shape, and we continue our advocacy work for our big plate of issues!

– Bruce Murray, Counsel and Voting Representative

 

 

A Step Forward On the Road to Residency-Based Taxation

Following a series of meetings on Capitol Hill this week and last week we are pleased to confirm that Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) is partnering with Rep George Holding (R-NC02) on the development of legislation to enact Residency-Based Taxation (RBT). There's still much work to be done, but securing bi-partisan support for RBT from important members of the tax writing subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee is a critical step forward on the road to Residency-Based Taxation legislation.

What can you do to progress RBT?

The best thing you can do to progress RBT is to reach out to your elected representatives to remind them of the importance of this reform to you and your family and to ask for their support. Personal stories are the most effective. Include as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. Call, write or send electronic messages to your House member and Senators. All outreach to those counting on your electoral support is helpful. If you get a boilerplate response that scarcely relates to the message you sent, write again demanding more. If you get an interesting response that you think would be useful for us to know about in progressing our work, please send it through to us.

For more information visit Taxation Task Force. Send questions or comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

 


Reviews

 

Global Black Caucus Book Club 

The members of the GBC book club met once again at Café Phil, this time to discuss The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. James Baldwin succinctly and powerfully articulates many of the issues that are still being discussed today in a book that is only two chapters and about 100 pages long. The group spent most of the evening discussing the first chapter, which is a letter entitled "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation". Baldwin explains to his nephew the clear and nuanced historical events that have led to the current state of black oppression in the US. He also shares how he learned to cope with the many daily aggressions and stresses of being a black man in America, with the hope that his nephew would use this primer to succeed in spite of his environment. It was both logical, uplifting, but for the group, a hard pill to swallow because the events and mentalities that Baldwin discussed are still a reality. The question that hung in the air was "What can we do as Americans living abroad to change the way people of color are treated back at home"? Our answers: (1) we can acknowledge that racism still exists in America and it is present here in Austria, (2) we must take a more active role in confronting friends or family members who make racist comments, (4) we have to continue having open conversations about race and its intersection with class and gender, (5) we can continue to donate to causes that are fighting to end systemic racial discrimination because equality for the most marginalized member of our society means equality for everyone.

Due to Pride Week and all of the events in June, the GBC book club will resume in July where we will be discussing We were Eight Years in Power,  a collection of writing and essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Time and date TBD, but we hope to see you there!

– Faith Hall Herbold, Coordinator DAA Black Caucus, Member-at-Large

 

 

Solidarity Sundays 24: Death By A Thousand Cuts

Creeping normality, or death by a thousand cuts, is the way major change can be accepted as normal when it happens slowly, through incremental change. We are watching it live.

On Sunday, April 26th, LGTB Caucus leader Juan Cerda reviewed the legal status of lesbian, gay, transgender and bi-sexual citizens before and after the 1969 Stonewall Riots. In the 1960's homosexuality was essentially illegal in the US. Lesbian and gay citizens were deemed “diseased”, banned from serving in the military, viewed as security risks, and police crackdowns against gay-friendly bars were violent events. Resistance to the police raid of the Stonewall Inn led to several nights of rioting, and is cited as the first major protest against the criminalization of homosexuality.

After Stonewall, advocates challenged discrimination against LGBTQ people. A year later, the first Gay Pride march declared the desire for equality. Throughout the 1970s, activists in many states successfully overturned laws banning homosexuality. In 2003 the Supreme Court decided states could not criminalize homosexuality, and in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage. Human rights activists continued fighting discrimination in employment, education, public housing, and healthcare, as well as to reduce hate crimes against LGBTQ citizens.

With the Trump-Pence Administration, attacks against marginalized Americans are increasing, and increasingly promoted by government policy. The administration has attacked LGBTQ Americans in policy and rhetoric over 100 times since January 2017. Juan explained how the removal of Obama-era civil rights safeguards for transgender citizens exposes the cruelty of the Trump administration.

Last week, the House passed the Equality Act of 2019. The bill expands the Civil Rights Act to explicitly include protections for LGBTQ people. The Senate majority refuses to consider it. Solidarity Sundays attendees wrote postcards to their senators demanding they support S.788, The Equality Act. To urge your Senators to act against the death of LGBTQ civil rights by a thousand cuts, find their address at www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm and send them your instructions. Be brief, be polite, be an ally.

– Tanya Lolonis, Co-Coordinator Solidarity Sundays, Member-at-Large

 

 

Progressive Pizza

Thanks to the more than 20 hungry progressives who joined our Progressive Pizza event at L’Osteria on May 30! Our group included people who vote in states from New York to California, including Midwestern swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, as well as Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, and others!  We affirmed our commitment to protect the democratic achievements of our revolutionary founders and transform our society in accordance with the goals they set and we have not yet achieved. Following our high-cholesterol dinner, and with Scott Witmer in charge of our sign-up list, Raina Saul-Ganev provided information about the current Medicare for All legislative proposals in the House and Senate. We learned that HR. 1384, led by Representative Jayapal, has 110 co-sponsors and that S. 1129, led by Senator Sanders, has 14 co-sponsors including four presidential candidates: Senators Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, and Warren. Raina and others also commented on the foreseen transition to Medicare for All, its coverage and financial provisions. Our discussion was in a word--progressive! More information is available from sites like these:

The evening ended with June event information from DA Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper and thoughts about our next meeting. One option will be to consider collaborating with DA Black Caucus Chair Faith Herbold, who will lead the next Solidarity Sunday discussion on the Green New Deal (30 June). Look for more information in the DA Event Calendar. Also look for our ProDA Facebook page, which will go online very soon!

– Bruce Murray, ProDA Liaison


DA on Capitol Hill in DC

June 15 is tax day for Americans living overseas and DA has been on Capitol Hill this week talking with our Representatives about issues important to Americans living abroad – including Residency Based Taxation. 

Read more about it here.

Read more

May's Newsletter

 

In this Issue:

Events

Issues and Actions

  • In The News – DA 2020 Presidential Primary
  • Running for Democracy!

Reviews

  • Solidarity Sundays: The Candidates (So Far)

Members‘ Corner

  • Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen


Trouble viewing this in email? View this in a browser.

 


Events

Salzburg Meet-Up

Join us at our next Democrats Abroad Meet-Up for members and guests living in the Salzburg area! This is a chance to connect with fellow expats and discuss current events. Please BYOB and no RSVP required. We're looking forward to meeting you!

WHEN:  May 10, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm 

WHERE:  The English Center, Haunspergstraße 37A, Salzburg 5020

CONTACT: Mary Beth Kollert · mary.b.broadwater@gmail.com

 

 

Global Black Caucus

Come join us at Cafe Phil on Friday, May 10th at 7pm, where we will discuss The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin. Please make sure to read the book so that we can all have a great discussion!

WHEN: May 10, 2019 at 7pm - 10pm

WHERE: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorfer Str 10-12, Vienna 1060, Austria

Google map and directions

CONTACT: Faith Hall Herbold · gbc@democratsabroad.at

 

 

Experienced Dems

Join us at the May Meet-up of Experienced Democrats. All ranges of experience are welcome!

WHEN: May 21, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm

WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

Google map and directions

CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com 

 

Solidarity Sundays 24:  Death By A Thousand Cuts

The Stonewall Riots 50 years ago catalyzed modern LGBT political activism. Widespread political awareness and pressure led to the repeal of oppressive laws, lifted bans on civil service and military employment, and won civil rights protections for LGBT individuals.

Solidarity Sundays kicks off Pride Month with a look at the LGBTQ civil rights movement and its achievements, and how these hard-won rights and protections are being erased and eliminated by the Trump Administration.

WHEN:  Sunday, May 26 at 4pm - 6pm  

WHERE:  Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

DAA Facebook Group

CONTACT:  Tanya Lolonis · solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at



DAATalks – A View of America and Journalism in the Age of Trump

Democrats Abroad Austria is honoured to welcome Dr Eric Frey (der Standard), MEP Eugen Freund (EU Parliamentarian), and Dr Raimund Löw (FalterPodcast) for our next DAATalkslecture series on Thursday, June 13.

WHEN: June 13, 2019 at 7pm - 9pm (doors will open at 6:30pm)

WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, 1010 Vienna

Entrance at Hebenstreit Restaurant (5 min. from U2 Schottentor).

Google map and directions

CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at



Stand Together and Proud at the 2019 Pride Parade

Despite the fact that a 2020 candidate is a married gay man, fifty years after Stonewall LGBTQ rights are still under threat in the Trump administration and the Supreme Court. DA Austria stands together and proud with the 2019 EuroPride events in Vienna. Don't be a bystander. We hope you will stand with us as we march for all of our rights.

This is the most outlandish party on the DA Austria calendar and this year Vienna is home to EuroPride, so expect a wild and wonderful day!

WHEN: June 15, 2019 at 11am - 4pm

WHERE: Exact location to be announced. Vienna 1010

Google map and directions

CONTACT: Joey Eckhart · lgbt@democratsabroad.at

 


Issues & Actions

 

Democrats Abroad Calls on Overseas Americans to Participate in 2020 Presidential Primary

DA makes push to reach historically underrepresented minority groups

WASHINGTON, May 03, 2019 – Democrats Abroad, the largest organization for Americans living overseas and the official arm of the Democratic Party for the millions of Americans living outside the United States, today announced the adoption of its 2020 Delegate Selection Plan.

The Delegate Selection Plan outlines how Democrats living abroad can participate in the presidential primary process and takes its place alongside plans from all other state Democratic parties. Key elements include rules and processes for the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary (March 3-10, 2020), and how delegates will be selected to represent Americans abroad at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

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Running for Democracy!

Democrats Abroad made a tremendous effort in 2018 to Get Out The Vote (GOTV), especially through its use of phonebanking – DA Austria had the highest success rate of any country committee, with 53% of our membership using VFA! – Our wonderful volunteer phonebankers don't get paid, but the system we use for phonebanking as well as the platform we use generally to run this organization cost money. In order to prepare for our GOTV efforts for the 2020 election, please consider sponsoring a runner to benefit DA Global’s fundraising effortin this year's "Running for Democracy" half-marathon and 10K run in Mannheim on May 11th. Here's the linkfor more information and to pledge.

 


Reviews

 

Solidarity Sundays:  The Candidates (So Far)

FEC donor statistics indicate an engaged Democratic base isn’t worried by a drawn-out primary. Several DAA members who are keeping an early and close eye on the 2020 race participated in a lively Solidarity Sundays event on April 28th. Led by Progressive Caucus members Bruce Murray and Scott Witmer, the group brainstormed qualities, experience, and aspects of character they are looking for in the candidate to run against Donald Trump. It turns out that people had been thinking a great deal about this and had a lot to say:  it was challenging to keep the meeting under 2 hours.

Bruce and Scott surveyed sources people can use to evaluate candidates – from campaign websites to Wikipedia, media outlets to issue-based organizations that rank candidates on policy. People exchanged media and polling sites they trust. Bruce and Scott encouraged a systematic approach to prepare for June’s Presidential debates.

While the race to replace Trump stokes enthusiasm, the GOP is waging a comprehensive effort to dilute democratic votes in 2020. They are attempting to re-draw congressional districts with census changes and gerrymandering, and are introducing bills criminalizing voter registration workers. Registering Democratic voters is more important than ever.

Tanya Lolonis explained how phonebanking played a key role in the historic turnout of Democrats Abroad voters in 2018. DA’s Phonebanker Extraordinaire, Andreas Beckman, shared his phonebanking experience and the pleasure of connecting with members. With so many hurdles being thrown up for voters, DA is committed to registering as many members as possible so they can participate in the 2020 elections. Solidarity Sundays and DA Caucuses will be organizing phonebanking parties to make it fun and easy to call Democrats around the globe. Help mobilize the Resistance -- watch this spot for details.

 

 


Around Town

 

 

Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

WHEN: Thursday, 09. May, 7pm

WHERE: Judenplatz, 1010 Vienna

Free Entry

No seating available

»The work of memory is in the present. In our century, a place such as the Judenplatz is not simply a square within a city, but a site that might be viewed from a distance, anywhere in the world, through technology. Jews were once taken from Vienna to be murdered, and that crime cannot be undone. Yet we can bring those who wish to learn from that history to Vienna, to this place.

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April's Newsletter

DA Austria’s 2019 Survey

Are you satisfied with DAA? What do you think we should be doing? Please take a few minutes to help DA Austria’s Executive Committee better fulfil your wishes and expectations in the next two years. The questionnaire will take just about five minutes of your time and will be invaluable for us. Please fill it out here! Thank you for your participation!

– DAA Executive Committee

 

In This Issue:

Events

Issues & Actions

  • Announcing 2019-2021 DAA Executive Committee
  • Progressive Caucus
  • 2020 Delegate Selection Plan Open for Public Comment
  • Running for Democracy!
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office Closures

Reviews

  • Global Black Caucus
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Solidarity Sundays
  • Graz – Women's Day

Members Corner

  • Peace Puzzle
  • Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

 


Events:


Experienced Democrats Meet-up

Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. Join us!

When: Tuesday, April 9, 6:00 pm

Where: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

Contact: John Cahill • jmcahill47@yahoo.com • +43 676 695 2766

 

Salzburg Meet-Up

Join us at our next Democrats Abroad Meet-Up for members and guests living in the Salzburg area! This is a chance to connect with fellow expats and discuss current events. Please BYOB and no RSVP required. We're looking forward to meeting you!

When: Friday, April 12, 7:30 pm

Where: Haunspergstraße 37a, 5020 Salzburg

Contact: Mary Beth Kollert • mary.b.broadwater@gmail.com

 

Solidarity Sundays 23: The Candidates (So Far)

They have Exploratory Committees and Campaign Committees, they‘re raising money and wooing activists, they’re visiting diners and schools and churches and union halls, and their number is ... hard to keep track of. They are the growing list of Democratic candidates vying to put Donald Trump to bed in 2020.

Ahead of the first primary debates June 26 & 27, Solidarity Sundays goes past the Vanity Fair profiles and soft-focus videos to break down what you need to know: where do they stand on key issues? What do they offer in terms of youth vs experience? Who appeals to middle state voters vs coastal voters? We‘re not advocating for any one candidate: we aim to equip you to find yours and be able to articulate why. Join the discussion April 28th and practice democracy with coffee, cookies, and civics. Go to our Facebook Page for full details and to RSVP: https://m.facebook.com/events/2287321898041907?ref=page_internal&_rdr

The 3 C’s — Coffee, Cookies, and Civics —

When: Sunday, April 28, 4-6 pm

Where: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

Contact: Tanya Lolonis • solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at

 

Global Black Caucus Book Club Vl

Come join us at Cafe Phil on Friday, May 10th at 7pm, where we will discuss The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin. Please make sure to read the book so that we can all have a great discussion!

When: Friday, May 10, 7:00 pm

Where: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorferstraße 10-12, 1060 Vienna

Contact: Faith Herbold • f.hall-herbold@democratsabroad.at• 0660 2776485

Visit us on Facebook!

 


Issues & Actions:

 

Your 2019-2021 Executive Committee Team

Democrats Abroad Austria is thrilled to announce our 2019-2021 Executive Committee! It’s a great group of committed and energetic leaders. We hope you’ll join us at one of our monthly Executive Committee meetings (2nd Wednesday of the month) or by helping out at an event. It’s going to take more than a village to win the White House in 2020 and we’re starting now!

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The Progressive Caucus is up and running!

ProDA is the “youngest” Democrats Abroad caucus. Its doors are wide open for Democrats of all ages!

Who We Are

The Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad works proactively to transform the United States into a society rooted in economic fairness, as well as social, racial, and environmental justice, particularly for the most vulnerable among us. We seek increased inclusion, fairness, accountability, and transparency in our domestic political processes. We support international cooperation, mutual respect, and peaceful methods of conflict resolution.

– Bruce Murray, ProDA Founding Member

READ MORE

 

2020 Delegate Selection Plan Open for Public Comment

Democrats Abroad's 2020 Delegate Selection Plan is now online for a public commenting period from March 8 to April 8, 2019.

https://www.democratsabroad.org/2020dspcomments

 

Running for Democracy!

Democrats Abroad made a tremendous effort in 2018 to Get Out The Vote (GOTV), especially through its use of phonebanking – DA Austria had the highest success rate of any country committee, with 53% of our membership using VFA! – Our wonderful volunteer phonebankers don't get paid, but the system we use for phonebanking as well as the platform we use generally to run this organization cost money. In order to prepare for our GOTV efforts for the 2020 election, please consider sponsoring a runner to benefit DA globals fundraising effort in this year's "Running for Democracy" Half-Marathon and 10K runs in Mannheim on 11th May. Here's the link for more information and to pledge.

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office Closures

Last month the Trump administration announced its intention to close the more that 20 USCIS offices outside the U.S.

Officials in these offices process applications for visas, adoptions, green card abandonment and more. The proposal is for these services to be instead provided by embassies and consulates. The affect will be the lengthening of already intolerably long processing wait times, causing multi-National families to become separated.

DA wishes to profile the harm this policy could cause Americans abroad and recommend changed. A small team (including an immigration lawyer) is in place but requires the support of others with immigration law expertise to articulate DA’s position, prepare a letter to elected officials and others, draft a one-pager for the May Door Knock and a Resolution to be considered at the May global meeting in Washington DC.

Please contact me urgently if you can contribute to this work.

– Carmelan Polce, New York and Australia • carmelanpolce@gmail.com

 


Reviews:

Graz International Women’s Day Workshop

On Sunday, March 10th, we gathered at the cozy Seddwell Center over cupcakes and tea for a fascinating afternoon learning about the Equal Rights Amendment and discussing strategies for improving the situation for women - with guests from Austria and our host from New Zealand! We viewed the film Legislating Equality, discussed the best ways that we in Austria can promote women’s rights, and wrote postcards to legislators in Arizona who have been attempting to hold ERA legislation hostage. At the end we took a picture using the International Women’s Day hashtags #BalanceforBetter. We look forward to more actions in Graz this year!

–Caitlin Ahern, Member-at-Large, Graz Coordinator

 

Global Black Caucus Book Club V

Democrats Abroad members enjoyed a light dinner at Cafe Phil before digging into the New York Times bestselling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemptionby Bryan Stevenson. Excitement about the democratic candidates overshadowed the discussion of the book, but nevertheless, the group persisted. The group discussed the stories of the individuals that Stevenson and his dedicated legal team had helped by freeing them from lengthy prison sentences and even saving them from death by state sanctioned execution.

– Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large, DAA Black Caucus Coordinator

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DAA’s AGM – Business and Fun!

Despite being a beautiful spring day, more than forty dedicated DA Austria members and numerous guests gathered on Saturday, March 30 in Vienna for DAA’s Annual General Meeting and the election of our 2019-2021 Executive Committee. We were honored to welcome International Chair Julia Bryan as our guest speaker and also that Katie Solon, former International Chair, former DAA Chair and current DA Germany Voting Representative, as well as Merrill Oates, Current DA Hungary Chair, were able to join us!

The various Chair, Treasurer and Auditors’ reports showed that DA Austria is an active and growing organization. We were able to cover costs incurred by our many events and demonstrations in 2018 through the generosity of our sustaining donors, a fundraiser, and swag sales. The number of US citizens in Austria who used the Vote From Abroad website to request their ballots was 116% of DA Austria's membership, and 53% of DA Austria's members used the service the highest of any country committee. In terms of VFA use, DA Austria ranked 5th among all country committees globally - as Julia said, "These are outstanding results!"

During the meeting members passed amendments to our Bylaws that bring them into compliance with new DA rules and our Austrian Vereinsstatuten, and voted for DAA’s new executive committee (see article Your 2020 Team!). The electronic voting, which took place for the first time, was a huge success – doubling the number of members who voted in our election.

After the business was done, the meeting was adjourned and the fun began. Member Laurin Seymann guided us through a tasting of wines from Seymann's Winecrafting, his family’s vineyard, and Walt and Jane Schwarz shared their Peace Puzzle project with us. We all got busy trying to find those positive words that are so hard to locate in today’s political discourse while enjoying a glass of delicious wine.

Thank you to everyone who attended and especially those who traveled from Graz, Salzburg, Linz, Prague, Budapest, and Germany to join us, as well as to the volunteers who helped at the event to make it run smoothly!

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

 

Solidarity Sundays #22: What’s Immigration Reform Look Like?

On a sunny March 31st afternoon, Juan Cerda led attendees through a comprehensive look into the history of immigration policy, beginning with Article 1 of the Constitution bestowing power on Congress to regulate naturalization and immigration. Over time, presidential power has carved out a growing role: before the current President tried closing borders at airports and down south, President Obama wielded presidential power to establish DACA. So powerful are executive orders that courts ruled in 2018 that President Trump‘s executive order to end Obama‘s DACA executive order is unlawful; only an act of congress can supersede it.

READ MORE

 


Members Corner

 

The Puzzle Project

Annual General Meeting attendees had the opportunity to field test Jane and Walt Schwarz’s challenging Peace-Puzzle at the meeting. They’ve improved the colors thanks to our feedback. The puzzle (the help sheet, password=sos and the solution password=easy) are in the links for those of you who would like to take on the challenge. Be forewarned – finding peace isn’t easy!

 


Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

»The work of memory is in the present. In our century, a place such as the Judenplatz is not simply a square within a city, but a site that might be viewed from a distance, anywhere in the world, through technology. Jews were once taken from Vienna to be murdered, and that crime cannot be undone. Yet we can bring those who wish to learn from that history to Vienna, to this place.

When: Thursday, May 9, 7pm

Where: Judenplatz,1010 Vienna

Free Entry, No Seating

READ MORE


Global Black Caucus Book Club V

Democrats Abroad members enjoyed a light dinner at Cafe Phil before digging into the New York Times bestselling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemptionby Bryan Stevenson. Excitement about the democratic candidates overshadowed the discussion of the book, but nevertheless, the group persisted. The group discussed the stories of the individuals that Stevenson and his dedicated legal team had helped by freeing them from lengthy prison sentences and even saving them from death by state sanctioned execution. The overarching story of Walter McMillian, who was falsely accused and sent to death row, was interwoven throughout the book. The sense of injustice increased as the group discussed the major factors Stevenson identified that have contributed to the large number of incarcerated Americans, including a lack of mental health services, the for-profit prison system, racial discrimination and poverty. Walter was eventually freed, but he would never be the same after losing six years of his life for a crime he had not committed. Even though the book concluded with Walter’s untimely death, the group was reminded that for every injustice, there are people like Bryan Stevenson and his staff at the Equal Justice Initiative who are working to bend the arc towards justice.

Come join us at Cafe Phil on Friday, May 10th at 7pm, where we will discuss The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin. Please make sure to read the book so that we can all have a great discussion!

– Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large, DAA Black Caucus Coordinator


Solidarity Sundays #22: What’s Immigration Reform Look Like?

On a sunny March 31st afternoon, Juan Cerda led attendees through a comprehensive look into the history of immigration policy, beginning with Article 1 of the Constitution bestowing power on Congress to regulate naturalization and immigration. Over time, presidential power has carved out a growing role: before the current President tried closing borders at airports and down south, President Obama wielded presidential power to establish DACA. So powerful are executive orders that courts ruled in 2018 that President Trump‘s executive order to end Obama‘s DACA executive order is unlawful; only an act of congress can supersede it.
Juan explained how immigration policy has been shaped by Pull-Push forces. Economic need — the Gold Rush, seasonal agricultural work, labor shortfalls during world wars — has pulled waves of undocumented immigrants to America since the mid-19th century. When economic fortunes waned, McCarthyite anti-communist paranoia grew, or servicemen returned from wars, the government pushed back against immigrant flows with quotas or deportation action. In 1954, Operation Wetback rounded up and deported over one million people. What’s happening today has happened before.

The last immigration reform, under President Reagan in 1986, granted amnesty to nearly 3 million undocumented immigrants. Since Congress has stalled on updating US immigration policies, presidents have asserted their prerogative to address aspects of the problem. Obama used executive power to award work permits to immigrants brought to the US as children; Trump used executive power to reverse it, and to declare the current National Emergency.

Until Democrats take back both the Senate and White House, Juan foresees a continuation of stop-gap executive orders in place of comprehensive immigration reform. It is estimated there are currently 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in America today.

Tanya Lolonis reviewed best practices for identifying and contacting your legislators on this — and other — issues. Attendees shared experiences and strategies communicating with representatives, and a reference sheet with useful links was shared. Anyone who would like a copy can contact Tanya at solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at.

– Tanya Lolonis, Member-at-Large, Solidarity Sunday Co-coordinator


The Progressive Caucus is up and running!

ProDA is the “youngest” Democrats Abroad caucus. Its doors are wide open for Democrats of all ages!

Who We Are

The Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad works proactively to transform the United States into a society rooted in economic fairness, as well as social, racial, and environmental justice, particularly for the most vulnerable among us. We seek increased inclusion, fairness, accountability, and transparency in our domestic political processes. We support international cooperation, mutual respect, and peaceful methods of conflict resolution.

We Believe in

  • Medicare for all, debt-free college, and a livable minimum wage;

  • a Green New Deal to create new jobs while fighting climate change;

  • ending mass incarceration and police brutality;

  • common-sense gun safety legislation;

  • humane immigration practices and honoring the right to asylum;

  • fundamental campaign finance reform to ensure all politicians are beholden to their constituents, not lobbyists, corporations, and the wealthiest 1%;

  • increased inclusion, fairness, accountability and transparency in the Democratic Party;

  • international cooperation, mutual respect, and peaceful methods of conflict resolution;

  • continued introspection and transformation as progressive ideals evolve.

Our Principles and Methods

Politics of inclusion: We stand on the bedrock of compassion and empathy, unequivocally committed to the belief that whatever affects any one of us, affects all of us. This commitment moves us to honor our human commonality in the pursuit of justice to end suffering and oppression. Wherever we confront it, we must supplant the power dynamics of exploitation, injustice, manipulation, and oppression with systems of shared power distribution, enabling and empowering the disenfranchised. We strive for community healing and community-driven decision making. To achieve these goals, we nurture cooperation, demand mutual and shared accountability, and condemn the cycle of abuse, perpetuated by toxic power structures.

Progressive realism: Our work takes place at the intersection of ambitious ideals and the circumstances of reality. We reject the notion that progressive change is unrealistic. It is entirely plausible when we demand attention to the complete range of possibilities that transcend the status quo. At times compromise is necessary, however we will not be compromised in the process.

Dedication to Democrats Abroad: We are dedicated to the work of Democrats Abroad and, where feasible, eager to lead it. Like our other caucuses, we unite behind critical issues which define--and marginalize--specific identity groups. These issues often are not captured by traditional identity politics. We seek to ally our progressive goals with those of all democrats, reaching out to the wider community in support of the issues we promote. In this way we strive to recruit for Democrats Abroad among independents and others who share our perspective.

Our uniting principle: It is our uniting principle and challenge to strive unerringly for progressive change and greater unity globally, respecting the value of our differences in our shared struggle.


Like and follow us on Facebook: @prodacaucus

Join ProDA: https://www.democratsabroad.org/pc

Look for a ProDA Austria launch event in our DA social media very soon!

  • Progressive Pizza
  • Turning “Vice” into Virtue
  • Surveying Presidential Candidate Platforms

Submitted by Bruce Murray (ProDA founding member)