News

In January –

 

 

Message from the Chair

It’s a new year and one thing you can resolve to do—and tick off right away—is to request your ballot now for the 2022 primaries and midterm elections at www.votefromabroad.org. Informing overseas voters about their right to vote and the legal requirement to request a ballot each calendar year is one of the most important things we do as volunteers at Democrats Abroad. Please don’t delay. That way, when our phone bank volunteers call you later this year, you can proudly say, “Yes. I requested my ballot back in January!” 

On January 15, we mark International Voter Registration Day! Mark your calendar and be sure to go to www.votefromabroad.org and (re-)register. Spread the word to other Americans you know and share our Facebook posts on that day. Our goal is that all DA Austria members request their ballots so they are ready to vote!  

— Richard Miller, Chair, DA Austria   

 

In This Issue —

Events: 

  • International Voter Registration Day
  • Texas Voter Assistance 
  • DA Austria Black Caucus Book Club
  • Why We Can’t Wait: Reparations Justice
  • Global Black Caucus Quarterly Meeting
  • ProDA: Film Screening and Panel Discussion

In Memory 

  • Gregory Blackley

Issues & Actions

  • DA Austria in the News
  • 2022 Election News
  • Vote in the Texas Primary Election
  • Voter Registration Outreach
  • New Year! New Elections!
  • International Voter Registration Day
  • New Jersey State Voting Bill
  • Tax Advocacy Year In Review

Save the Dates

  • Solidarity Sundays 
  • February's DAA Black Caucus Book Club

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, January 12, 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:

International Voter Registration Day

When: January 15, 2022

Time: 24 hour voter mobilisation action 

Where: global

 

Texans Abroad Voter Assistance 

When: January 16, 2022

Time:  12:00pm CET

Where: Online voter assistance (hosted by DA Germany, Berlin)

RSVP: Texas Voter Assistance Online Helpdesk

 

DA Austria Black Caucus Book Club

When: January 16, 2022

Time:  16:00pm CET

Where: Austria Online. RSVP for Zoom link

RSVP: DAA Black Caucus Book Club

 

Why We Can’t Wait: Reparations Justice

When: January 16, 2022

Time:  17:30pm CET

Where: Online. RSVP for Zoom link

RSVP: Why We Can't Wait

 

Global Black Caucus Quarterly Meeting

When: January 30, 2022

Time:  9:00am CET

Where: Online. RSVP for Zoom link

RSVP: Global Black Caucus Quarterly Meeting

 

ProDA: Film Screening and Panel Discussion

When: January 31, 2022

Time:  Panel discussion: Jan 31, 19:30pm CET; Screening: Jan 27-31

Where: Online. RSVP for Zoom link

RSVP: Scared to Debt

 


In Memory:

 

In Memory of Gregory Blackley

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent passing of a beloved community member, Mr. Gregory Blackley. A dear friend to many, Gregg, also known as Mr. B to his students at the American International School, was an enthusiastic communicator who treasured a good laugh. As a gay Black male elder, his influence extended well beyond his professional and community roles. Gregg was an active contributor to the efforts of Democrats Abroad over several years. He will be dearly missed by his family in the United States and friends here in Vienna. Rest in Peace and Power, Gregory Blackley.

– Faith, Mara, Sharon Ann, Sherri

 


Issues and Actions:

 

Democrats Abroad Austria in the News

On January 6, Democrats Abroad Austria’s communication director, Sophie Spiegelberger, appeared on Puls 24. She was part of a panel discussion on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol. Our thanks to Sophie for representing Democrats Abroad Austria so prominently in the Austria media. You can watch some highlights from her appearance on YouTube here.

 

— 2022 Election News —

Vote in the Texas Primary Election – March 1, 2022

On March 1, 2022, Texas is holding its primary to choose the Democratic candidate to represent you in the US House of Representatives. Help choose the Democratic candidates who will be on the ballot for the general election on November 8, 2022!

And you may also be able to vote to choose the Democratic candidates for Governor, Lt Governor, other state offices, and your representatives to the Texas state legislature. It depends on the category you choose when you register to vote and request your ballot:

  • If you "intend to return": You are eligible to vote in Texas state elections.
    You don't have to have a set date of return and it doesn't have to be within a set time frame, but you do need to have an intention to return at some time in the future.

  • If your “return is uncertain”: You won’t be eligible to vote in Texas state elections, but you can still vote in the federal election for the US House.

State elections are hugely important! State government is responsible for voting, and state policies regarding climate change, education, health insurance, net neutrality, student loans, and more affect us no matter where we go around the world.

READ MORE

 

Let’s Get Ready to Register!!

We are hitting the ground running and want to register as many voters overseas as possible. Please help us reach OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. Dates for voter registration tables at universities and high schools are being scheduled now.

YOUR HELP: Please share organizations and groups—sports teams, clubs, etc— that may be interested in having a voter registration table at their events or get in touch if you would like to volunteer at an event. 

Please email Raina Saul at [email protected] for more information or to volunteer.


​​New Year, New Elections! Request Your Ballot NOW for 2022!

As we enter the new year, Democrats Abroad would like to remind you to (re-)register to vote and request your ballot NOW for 2022 elections at www.votefromabroad.org

Even if you’ve voted from abroad in the past, we urge all overseas voters to (re-)register and request a ballot at the start of each calendar year. Republicans love to purge voters like you and me from the voter rolls—don’t let this happen to you in such a critical election year!

34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. Representative seats, 46 state legislatures, and 36 state governorships are up for grabs in November 2022. From voting rights to climate protection to access to affordable healthcare and education, too much is at stake to sit this one out!

– Candice Kerestan, DA International Chair

 

International Voter Registration Day

On Jan 15, 2022 Democrats Abroad will mobilize members around the globe to (re-)register to vote and to spread the word amongst their American family, friends, and colleagues to raise awareness that overseas voters are legally required to (re-)register every election year. 

Democracy is on the ballot in 2022. Make sure your vote is counted! Go to votefromabroad.org and request your ballots for every 2022 election.

– Jen Rakow-Stepper, DA EMEA Regional Vice Chair and DA Austria, Member at Large

 

— Democrats Abroad Advocacy —

Bill to Re-enfranchise New Jersey Overseas Voters

Democrats Abroad has gotten out the vote for every state in the nation, but this year most of our major battles are for state-level voting rights, particularly in New Jersey! Depending on what they fill out on their absentee ballot request, many overseas voters in New Jersey don't have the right to vote in state elections! They used to have it before Chris Christie pushed through a change in the law in 2017. 

This needs to change. Overseas voters are stakeholders in the New Jersey government. State government is responsible for voter eligibility and voting procedures. State policies regarding climate change, education, net neutrality, and more affect us everywhere. New Jerseyan overseas voters deserve a voice at all levels of government, and State Senator Vin Gopal has introduced a bill, NJ S3761, to change that law back and enfranchise voters once again. 

Thanks to DA members this bill has passed the Assembly! Now please help us to get this bill passed in the Senate.

Please call your NJ State Senator and ask them to cosponsor NJ S3761!

– Heidi Burch, Vote From Abroad Coordinator

 

Dems Abroad 2021 Tax Advocacy Year In Review 

Thanks for your support!

It’s been an enormously active year for Democrats Abroad in the fight for tax relief for Americans abroad.  Our execution around a 5-point strategy for enacting tax reforms that provide consequential tax relief for the vast majority of Americans abroad yielded a bill in the House of Representatives that has a chance of being embraced by the Senate and passed into law. Dems Abroad is proud of our achievements and reaffirms our commitment to the goal of tax fairness for Americans abroad.  

Read on for our annual Year in Review statement and click here for a full accounting of our work in 2021 to achieve tax reform for Americans abroad. Contact the Taxation Task Force at [email protected].

Click here to sign up for the Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force Newsletter to keep up-to-date on our tax advocacy efforts.

– Carmelan Polce, Taxation Task Force Chair

 


Save the Dates:

 

Solidarity Sundays’ Next Leap

Want to help move our country past the tyranny of a radical, anti-democratic minority? We got you. 

Solidarity Sundays Vienna is preparing an exciting project for the next leap forward in our fight to fix our country. Details on the meet-up to follow as soon as it’s safe to meet in person — hopefully by the end of February or early March. Watch this spot for our roll-out announcement — and follow us on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SolSunEurope/

– Tanya Lolonis

Coordinator, Solidarity Sundays Vienna

Email:  [email protected] 



February DAA Black Caucus Book Club

To celebrate Black History month, we are going back to the classics and will be discussing Women, Race & Class, written by Angela Davis in 1981. Davis is a renowned author, political activist, academic scholar, and philosopher, who currently holds a professorship at UC Santa Cruz. Women, Race & Class is a collection of 13 essays that take a historical look at the Women’s Liberation movement in the United States from slavery to the 1960s. 

Please join us virtually on February 13 at 16:00 CET to discuss (and perhaps debate) this great piece of literature!

-Faith Herbold and Jason Means

Co-Coordinators, DAA Black Caucus

 

 

Thank you for reading the January Newsletter!

We'll see you in February.

 

 


In December –

 

Message from the Chair

Volunteering for a cause has to be one of the most meaningful actions we can do in life—especially if it is for a cause we believe in. I have done it here and there, from my church soup kitchen to local street clean-ups. But the commitment I see from the volunteers at Democrats Abroad is beyond what I have experienced. Before I became chair of DA Austria, I thought surely there was a paid staff running the show, But no—everyone, I mean every single person, is a volunteer. And in some cases, at the global level, people take a sabbatical to devote all their time to DA. On Sunday, December 5, the world marked International Volunteer Day. I want to say a big thanks to all my fellow volunteers at DA Austria and around the world for your immense contribution to our cause.

— Richard Miller, Chair, DA Austria

 

In This Issue —

Events:

  • Vorarlberg – Holiday Happy Hour
  • Vienna – Punsching for Democracy
  • ProDa – UNFINISHED BUSINESS—Nina Turner on Victories, Lessons Learned, & the Progressive Road Ahead
  • ProDa – Monthly Mondays for Your Progressive Minds

Issues & Actions:

  • Set a Calendar Reminder! Request your 2022 Ballot
  • Call for Sustaining Donors
  • Tax Relief Bill

Reviews:

  • Solidarity Sundays

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, January 12, 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:

ProDa
UNFINISHED BUSINESS—Nina Turner on Victories, Lessons Learned, & the Progressive Road Ahead

When: Saturday, December 11, 2021

Time: 3:00 p.m. CET

Where: Online

RSVP for link

 

 

Happy Holidays Happy Hour

When: Saturday, December 11, 2021

Time: 7-9:00 p.m.

Where: Online

RSVP to attend

 

Punsching for Democracy

When: Monday, December 20, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm

Where: Punschstand in 1010 Vienna

RSVP to attend

 

ProDa

Monthly Mondays for Your Progressive Minds

When: Monday, December 27, 2021

Time: 6-7:30 p.m. CET

Where: Online

RSVP for link

 


Issues & Actions:

Set a Calendar Reminder! Request your 2022 Ballot

December will be busy. So now is the time to mark January 15, 2022, on your calendar to go to Vote from Abroad to request your ballots for every election in 2022 and automatically renew your voter registration. This is required by law for Americans who live overseas and, as you know, Republicans are in a flurry to keep us from voting.

 

Call for Sustaining Donors

We greatly appreciate those of you who regularly support the work of DA Austria for our local get-out-the-vote activities. We now need people in Austria to give financial support to DA Global, which will cover the costs of our phonebanking system and other activities that are crucial to our work in 2022 and beyond. Please consider giving a recurring donation of $5,$10, or more a month to DA Global. Every dollar you give supports our work to elect Democrats who will fight to make a better life for ALL Americans. Go to https://www.democratsabroad.org/donate.

 

We have a Tax Relief Bill!!

Click here to read about the Tax Simplification for Americans Abroad Act.

It will provide consequential tax relief for the majority of Americans living abroad. This is a major achievement in the work of Democrats Abroad to lighten the burden we bear due to US taxation. But to help, the bill needs to be enacted into law THIS YEAR.

YOU can help make that happen.

Call your Representative and Senators in our Congressional CallStorm and add your voice to fight for tax relief for Americans abroad. Click here for how to call and what to say.

Questions? Contact: [email protected]

 

Give the Gift of Democracy

Having a strong digital presence will be more important than ever for finding and mobilizing voters abroad for critical races in 2022. That’s why Democrats Abroad has prioritized redesigning its website in the first quarter of 2022.

At the top of the to-do list is making our website more engaging, accessible, and user-friendly—something we know needs to be done, but which comes with a price tag of $30,000.

Help us in this longer-term investment so that we can better attract and support our online visitors—and in turn, convert site visits into activism and votes! Please chip in today at www.democratsabroad.org/website.

 


Reviews:

Solidarity Sundays: Postcard Writing Party

November 28, 2021

Solidarity Sundays’ postcard writing party was canceled due to the national lockdown—our first cancellation in four years. We return to exploring and protecting our democracy on January 30.

A personal Season’s Greetings to DA members who have attended a Solidarity Sundays meetup over the years and those who made extraordinary efforts during the pandemic. In 2021 we pivoted from resisting an antidemocratic administration to inquiring how to support our democracy. We’ve learned a great deal about how our system works. Thank you for your focus, not just on what’s broken but on what we can do to fix it. You inspire me.

With holidays approaching, I‘d love to share a podcast episode perfect for a cold winter afternoon—a conversation with fiction writer George Saunders on what it means to be kind in an unkind world (listen here).

Stay safe, friends, and einen guten Rutsch.

Tanya Lolonis

Co-coordinator, Solidarity Sundays Europe

Email: [email protected]

 

Thank you for reading the December Newsletter!

We'll see you in January, 2022.

 

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In November —

 

Message from the Chair

It may be an off election year for most of us, but our Democrats Abroad phone bankers have been hard at work making thousands of calls. We mobilized overseas voters for the California election and for the past few months have been calling DA members who vote in Virginia and New Jersey. As someone who was an active phone banker in 2020, I can attest that it is one of the most rewarding and impactful forms of activism you can do (I guess I should add, from the comfort of your own home). Yvonne Richard, our phone bank coordinator, and her deputy, Marjorie Rosenberg, have done an amazing job leading a small and dedicated team of phone bankers in Austria. Next year, we will need a bigger team, so I urge you to contact Yvonne at [email protected] and get trained and ready to go. After you get over your first call jitters, you will feel like you and your fellow phone bankers around the world are single-handedly  saving US democracy! And know what? You will be! 

— Richard Miller, Chair, DA Austria



In This Issue —

Events:

  • ProDA Monthly Meeting
  • Experienced Dems Get Together 
  • Black Caucus Book Club
  • Thanksgiving Feast with all the Fixings
  • Solidarity Sundays — Prosecco, Postcards & Politics
  • Global Black Caucus — Global Meeting
  • Happy Holidays Happy Hour 
  • Punsching for Democracy

Issues & Actions:

  • Set a Calendar Reminder! Renew your registration 
  • DA Voter Protection update: 2021 issues
  • Those emails aren’t from DA

Reviews:

  • Wine Tasting Fundraiser
  • Solidarity Sundays



Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, November 10, 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: 

ProDA Monthly Meeting

When: Saturday, November 6, 2021

Time: 3-4:00 p.m. CET

Where: Online

RSVP to attend.

 

Experienced Dems Get Together

When: Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Time: 6-8:00 p.m. 

Where: In-person. Cafe Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna 

RSVP to attend.

 

Black Caucus Book Club — Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

When: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Time: 6-8:00 p.m.

Where: Hybrid — TBA

RSVP to attend.

 

Thanksgiving Feast with all the Fixings

When: Thursday, November 25, 2021

Time: 6-9:30 p.m.

Where: In-person, 2G rules. Melker Stiftskeller, Schottengasse 3, Vienna 1010

RSVP to attend.

 

Solidarity Sundays — Postcard Writing Party

When:  Sunday, November 28, 2021

Time:  4-6:00 p.m.

Where:  In-person, 2G rules. Private home, Vienna 1080 

Email for address:  [email protected] 

 

Global Black Caucus — Global Meeting 

When: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Time: 1:00 p.m. (CET)

Where: Online

RSVP to attend.

 

Happy Holidays Happy Hour

When: Saturday, December 11, 2021

Time: 6:00 p.m. 

Where: TBA in Vorarlberg

RSVP to attend.

 

Punsching for Democracy

When: Thursday, December 16, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm 

Where: Punschstand in 1010 Vienna

RSVP to attend.

 


Issues & Actions:

Set a Calendar Reminder! Request Your 2022 Ballot 

December will be busy. So now is the time to mark January 15, 2022, on your calendar to go to Vote from Abroad to request your ballots for every election in 2022 and automatically renew your voter registration. This is required by law for Americans who live overseas and, as you know, Republicans are in a flurry to keep us from voting. 

As the Brennan Center wrote, “In an unprecedented year so far for voting legislation, 19 states have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote.” Although “access to the right to vote increasingly depends on the state in which a voter happens to reside.” Regardless of what state you vote in, ALL Americans living overseas must register to vote in every calendar year. 

And the benefits? Your ballot will be sent 45 days before the election and if it doesn’t arrive you’ll be able to vote with the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, which is only available for overseas voters. 

Are there other benefits? Yes! You’ll save DA volunteers loads of time (and money) as they call to remind you, your family members, and friends to Vote Blue in ‘22.

So, open your calendar right now and enter VotefromAbroad.com on January 15, and you’ll be ready for the midterms!

 

DA Voter Protection Update: 2021 Issues

We are in the throes of the 2021 election season, and 2022 is just a few months away!  DA’s Voter Protection Team wants to keep you informed of some of the voter protection issues that could crop up and we need to be aware of. 

Read more to find out about signature matching, misinformation, voter roll purges, geoblocking, NIXIE issues, and more. If you or someone you know is experiencing these issues or anything else that is stopping them from voting their ballots, please write to [email protected]

During the 2020 elections, we handled over 500 cases, helping voters abroad to successfully cast their ballots. Most importantly, don’t delay in seeking help if you’re experiencing a problem and always check for confirmation that your voted ballots have been received by local election officials. Voter protection issues usually crop up unexpectedly and addressing them at the last minute risks missing the election deadline. Let’s help ensure that ALL votes are counted in 2021!

Please be sure to share this information with your networks and colleagues!

DA Voter Protection Team

Read More 

 

 

No, Those Emails Are Not From Democrats Abroad!

I don’t know about you, but my inbox has recently been awash in messages asking for donations from seemingly every Democratic candidate and left-leaning group in the US. And the fact is, I did it to myself by signing a petition or donating to a candidate at some point. But those emails aren’t coming from Democrats Abroad.

Although OTHER groups and candidates loan and give and sell their email lists, Democrats Abroad doesn't. Ever. Period. 

This has been a topic of conversation in some of DA’s channels. So former DAA Chair and current DNC member Katie Solon will again put up her hand at DNC and ASDC meetings and tell those folks that the deluge of fundraising is "breaking" email for the rest of us. 

In the meantime, make sure to stay subscribed to DA Austria emails. We’ve made a promise to only send one per month with our newsletter, which includes all the events and voting information you need! 

And we will never share, sell, or loan your address — ever. Period. 

– Jen Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria Member at Large, RVC-EMEA Region

 

 

The IRS Can Do Better with Stimulus Payments!

DA's research survey on the experience of Americans abroad accessing pandemic aid has not received a representative response from Americans in Austria. Please fill out this survey about your experience with the stimulus payments. The research will be used to pressure the IRS to provide better service and support to the Americans abroad community.

Also, on November 15 DA Portugal is hosting a webinar about the work DA is doing to persuade Congress to provide tax relief to Americans abroad in 2021 that is open to the public. 

– Carmelan Polce, Chair, Taxation Task Force

 

 

Open Volunteer Positions

Database Manager –  

Do you have an extra hour or two per week to help DA Austria with vital back-end administrative work? Are you computer savvy and personable? DAA is looking for a new Database Manager. 

Time commitment:

  • Variable, with more work during the end-of-the-year database-cleanup phase and before the Annual General Meeting, Global Primary, and presidential elections

Requirements: 

  • Nationbuilder and GDPR trainings and certification (roughly 2-hour time investment each)
  • Signed confidentiality agreement
  • Comfortable cold-calling members
  • Comfortable using a database

Tasks: 

  • Daily/Weekly: Login to Nationbuilder database to approve new members (check their files for missing information / spam / repeated members)
  • Monthly: Report to DAA ExCom on membership growth
  • Annually: Database cleanup to locate expiring members

This critical role helps DA Austria function at its best. There is so much important work to be done to get out the vote in 2022 in order to keep the House and Senate blue. Please add your skills to the team!

Contact: [email protected] 


Reviews:

Wine Tasting Fundraiser

Great wine, great conversation, a lovely home and hostess — all the ingredients for a wonderful wine-tasting fundraiser. A big thank you to Yvonne Richard for opening up her home to us, and for the organizational support from Josh Friedman. Thanks to everyone who attended, and a special thanks to DA member Nancy Lee Seymann of Seymann winery in Karlsdorf, Austria, for sharing her spectacular wines and her passion for wine making. The plan is to next year, possibly in late spring, hold another wine tasting out at her vineyard. Stay tuned. 

– Richard Miller, DA Austria Chair  

 


Solidarity Sundays — Getting Real

October 20, 2021

Solidarity Sundays took its first steps out of Zoom in October. A new group met in Paris, France, and a small group of us met up at our old Vienna haunt, Amerlinghaus. 

For those of us in Vienna, it had been a long time. Over drinks, we caught up with each others’ lives, exchanged thoughts on US politics, and shared ideas for the future. It was a very special meetup.

Solidarity Sundays learned about the Democrats Abroad effort to get Americans in Austria registered for next year’s midterms. SolSunners are passionate about voting, fun, and community — so we’re throwing an in-person Postcard-Writing Party to help (details available above in Events). Join the movement to save Democracy — we’re doing it with pens and prosecco.

– Tanya Lolonis, DA Austria Member at Large, Solidarity Sunday Co-Coordinator

 

 

Thank you for reading the November Newsletter! We'll see you in December. 


In October —

 

In This Issue —

Events:

  • Experienced Dems Get Together 
  • Wine Tasting Fundraiser
  • Halloween Happy Hour
  • DAA Black Caucus Book Club
  • Salzburg Meet Up
  • Solidarity Sundays 
  • Save the Date — Thanksgiving

Message From the Chair

Issues and Actions:

  • DAA sends flyers to Virginia voters
  • Help us keep our member registration up to date!
  • Open Volunteer Positions

Reviews:

  • Solidarity Sundays: Democracy State of Mind
  • Slovakia Meet & Greet
  • 2021 EMEA Regional Meeting – Setting the gears in motion

 

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, October 13, 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: 

Experienced Dems Get Together

When: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Time: 6 pm

Where: In-person. Cafe Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna 

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Wine Tasting Fundraiser

When: Thursday, October 14, 2021

Time: 4 – 6 pm

Where: In-person. Private home (RSVP for address), 1070 Vienna 

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Halloween Happy Hour

When: Saturday, October 16, 2021

Time: 6 pm

Where: In-person. Pier 69, Hafenrestaurant Seestrasse 4, 6900 Bregenz 

RSVP to attend.

 

 

DAA Black Caucus Book Club

When: Sunday, October 17, 2021

Time: 4 pm

Where: ZOOM. 

RSVP for the link.

 

 

Salzburg Meet Up

When: Friday, October 22, 2021

Time: 5:30 pm

Where: In-person. Braugasthof Krimpelstätter, Müllner Hauptstraße 31, Salzburg 05020 

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Solidarity Sundays

When: Sunday, October 24, 2021

Time: 5:00 pm

Where: In-person. Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1080 (RSVP for details)

RSVP to attend.



Save the Date — Thanksgiving

When: Thursday, November 25, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm

Where: In-person. Melker Stiftskeller, Schottengasse 3, Vienna 1010

RSVP to attend.

 


 

Message from DA Austria Chair

Time is flying by and soon 2022 will be here! But there are key elections this November in New Jersey and Virginia, and Democrats Abroad Austria has been active in getting out the vote for those statewide elections. Our phone bankers have been busy calling overseas voters from those states and we sent out postcards to voters as well. And let’s take a victory lap for the outcome of the recall election in California—DA was in the thick of that battle too. Thank you to our volunteers! 

A big part of getting ready for 2022 is ensuring our database of DA Austria members is up to date. Without good email addresses and phone numbers, we cannot effectively support our members and get out the vote. We are looking for a new Database Manager (see more below) who can do valuable work such as welcoming new members when they join, ensuring our database is kept current, and reporting on results at our monthly meeting. If interested, please send an email to Richard at [email protected].     

 


Issues & Actions:

DAA sends flyers to Virginia voters  

Many thanks to Yvonne Richard, DAA Phone Bank Coordinator, for organizing flyers to be sent to nearly 70 Virginia voters living in Austria. Overseas voters from Virginia must return their ballot by post, so time is running short for the November 2 election. Democrats Abroad has proven itself to provide the margin of victory in close races, such as Georgia and Arizona in 2020. That’s why DA Global invested to ensure that Virginia voters living abroad received voting information by post, text, and online! 

Help us keep our member registration up to date!

A clean database means our phone bank volunteers are able to reach more members to help them vote.

A clean database means your donations aren’t wasted on unnecessary postage.

A clean database means you’ve RSVP’d for an event sometime in the last four years! 

Please take a look at the many exciting events and webinars happening throughout Democrats Abroad, such as the October 13 webinar with US Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida on women’s rights and winning in 2022 https://www.democratsabroad.org/da_speaks_with_rep_lois_frankel_on_women_s_rights_winning_in_florida_in_2022

Your RSVP lets us know you’re still in Austria!



Open Volunteer Positions

Database Manager  

Do you have an extra hour or two per week to help DA Austria with vital backend administrative work? Are you computer savvy and personable? DAA is looking for a new Database Manager!  

Time commitment:

  • Variable, with more work during the end-of-the-year database cleanup phase and before the Annual General Meeting, Global Primary, and Presidential Elections

Requirements: 

  • Nationbuilder and GDPR trainings and certification (roughly 2 hours’ time investment each)
  • Signed confidentiality agreement
  • Comfortable cold-calling members
  • Comfortable using a database

Tasks: 

  • Daily/Weekly: Login to Nationbuilder database to approve new members (check their files for missing information / spam / repeated members)
  • Monthly: Report to DAA ExCom on membership growth
  • Annually: Database cleanup to locate expiring members

This critical role helps DA Austria function at its best. There is so much important work to be done to get out the vote in 2022 in order to keep the House and Senate blue. Please add your skills to the team!

Contact: [email protected] 

 


Reviews:

Solidarity Sundays: Democracy State of Mind

September 26, 2021

“Republicans are not fighting the Reconciliation bill. They’re fighting other things—critical race theory, vaccines. They’re not attacking this bill because it’s insanely popular.” -- Julie Bordeau-Alderman

Each month, Solidarity Sundays takes a deep dive into an issue confronting our Democracy and takes an action to help. This month, we looked at the states. Julie, a progressive activist and political researcher, surveyed the outlook for Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.

It will be challenging. Gerrymandered maps and new voter suppression laws have put Democrats’ slim House majority in danger. But stellar candidates in every race, together with a very popular agenda, offer substantial opportunities.

Julie pointed out two kinds of messaging that can cut through GOP disinformation—reasons to vote against and reasons to vote for something. Democrats need both. Negative arguments play up the dangers if the other side is in charge. “Don’t let us become Florida!” worked in the California Recall election and will resonate in other states, too. And the Texas abortion ban is animating the swing voters who delivered victories in 2018 and for Biden in 2020.

Positive messaging talks up the Administration’s accomplishments. Two achievements that poll well are money in wallets, with the Child Tax Credit, and vaccines delivered to every American who wanted one.

Solidarity Sundays explored Senate dysfunction in March. Yvonne Richard, DA Austria’s Phonebanking Coordinator, invites you to take action to expand our Senate majority to overcome legislative paralysis and help Biden’s agenda. The most impactful thing you can do? Help Americans living abroad to vote.

“Conversations translate to votes,” she said. Phonebanking is easy to learn and to fit into your schedule, is done from home, and costs you nothing. Contact Yvonne and be part of the movement to deliver the Senate for Democrats.

 

 

Slovakia Meet & Greet

DA members in Slovakia turned out for a Meet & Greet event in Bratislava on September 25. We enjoyed some Mexican food (and margaritas) at Los Mexicas, in honor of our organizer, Estela Landeros, who was born in Mexico. Estela has kindly agreed to be our point person for our GOTV efforts in Bratislava next year. We discussed ways to reach more Americans in Slovakia to boost our membership. Also, it was great to meet (in person) Aaron Fishbone, who did an amazing job leading DA’s global communications team in 2020. Thanks also to Victor and David for attending! We look forward to further events next year in Slovakia.

 

2021 EMEA Regional Meeting – Setting the gears in motion

DA members from across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa met online from Oct. 1 to 3 to help us gear up for getting out of the vote in 2022. We started to work on a regional strategy calendar so we have an overview of what needs to be done over the year in terms of GOTV, fundraising and member recruitment, etc. We also had a preview of our GOTV Rap, performed by your DA Austria chair. Some meeting highlights were talks by special guests DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland’s 8th district, and Rep. Grace Meng of Queens, New York. Kudos to our own Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, EMEA Regional Vice Chair, for organizing a smooth and productive event! From the word cloud above, you see that we’re raring to go.

 

Thank you for reading the October Newsletter! We'll see you in November. 

 


Vote in the Virginia State Elections - Nov 2, 2021

KEEP VIRGINIA BLUE! TURN OUT TO ELECT DEMOCRATS FOR GOVERNOR, LT. GOVERNOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND STATE HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Virginia has made remarkable progress under a Democratic governor and legislature -- and now we’re counting on you to help keep Virginia blue this fall! Virginia state elections for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and House of Delegates take place on November 2, 2021.

1) Register to Vote and Request Your Ballot TODAY


In September –

 

In This Issue —

Events:

  • Experienced Dems Get Together
  • Bratislava Meet & Greet – In person
  • Solidarity Sundays: Democracy State of Mind
  • Save the Date! EMEA Regional Meeting Oct 1-3
  • DAA Black Caucus Book Club in October

Issues & Actions:

  • Introducing the All-New Phonebanking Training!
  • Introducing the 2021-2023 Global Caucus and Team Leadership
  • ProDA GOTV Initiative

Reviews:

  • Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) Global Meeting
  • July 4 Party in Vienna
  • July 4 Party in Vorarlberg

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, September 8, 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:

Experienced Dems Get Together

When: September 14, 2021

Time: 6 pm

Where: In-person. Cafe Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Photograph by Martin Katler

Bratislava Meet & Greet – In person

When: September 25, 2021

Time: 6:00pm - 9pm

Where: Los Mexikas, Františkánske námestie 8, Bratislava

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Solidarity Sundays: Democracy State of Mind

When: Sunday, September 26, 2021

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

RSVP for link.

 

 

EMEA Regional Meeting — All Leaders & Volunteers Are Welcome to Join!

When: Friday-Sunday, October 1-3, 2021

Time: Saturday: 10:00-6:00 p.m. CET

RSVP for link.

 

 

DAA Black Caucus Book Club

When: Sunday, October 17

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

Where: Cafe Phil. Gumpendorferstr 10-12, Vienna 1060

RSVP to attend.




Issues & Actions:

Introducing the All-New Phonebanking Training!

The November 2 elections are coming up quickly! We’ll begin our 2021 calls to Virginia and New Jersey members for their gubernatorial and state legislature and to our Ohio voters in two congressional districts on September 6th.

New Training Features:

  • optional PRACTICE CALLS available 24/7 to friendly practice volunteers, helping trainees feel more comfortable before attempting a first call
  • demonstration VIDEOS are now incorporated into the training presentation, showing a call, revising data, adding a new mobile number, etc.
  • expanded explanation of the CONFIDENTIALITY agreement you signed
  • an open-book QUIZ on the calling essentials to better prepare new callers
  • expanded resources for caller SUPPORT, caller groups, and engagement

READ MORE

 

Introducing the 2021-2023 Global Caucus and Team Leadership

International Chair Candice Kerestan and the DPCA ExCom ran on a commitment to make Democrats Abroad a more understandable and accessible organization.

Over the last few weeks, the International ExCom conducted a call for applications for global committee and caucus leadership positions. In total, they received over 70 extremely impressive applications. They were truly inspired not only by the amount of skills, passion, and creativity within our membership but also by the fact that so many people are willing to share these with us.

DA Austria would also like to congratulate Bruce Murray, our former Counsel and DPCA Voting Representative, on his appointment as Chair of the Progressive Caucus. Congratulations Bruce!

READ MORE

 

proDA GOTV Initiative

Our road to success in 2021, 2022, and beyond will be paved by all of us working harder than ever. We worked so hard to win the opportunity to build back better. Now we must do exactly that by:

  • implementing bold legislation to strengthen our physical and human infrastructure
  • addressing our climate change crisis effectively in the process
  • highlighting our accomplishments to get out the vote.

While laying the legislative groundwork for our success, it is time to take the next steps to get out the vote. In addition to heeding our Democrats Abroad calls to action, please consider participating in initiatives like the Vote Forward letter-writing campaign.

Its current campaign focuses on Virginia: send letters to encourage Democratic-leaning registered voters in Virginia to request their absentee ballots in advance of the election in November. We can help protect Virginia's Democratic trifecta this year by encouraging Democratic-leaning voters in Virginia to request their absentee ballots.

  • Please use this Vote Forward link to sign up and adopt 20 letters now.
  • Place your completed letters in one large envelope and send it to me by September 7th
  • Bruce Murray, Neuwaldeggerstr. 16/2/6, A-1170 Wien

I will stamp and carry the letters to the United States where I will mail them on September 17. Please let me know if you have questions/suggestions at [email protected]

Let's build back better and get out the vote!

– Bruce Murray, proDA Austria liaison, proDA Global Chair

 

DA work to get Tax Relief into the Budget Reconciliation Bill - you can help!

GREAT THINGS are happening in our work to get tax relief into the Budget Reconciliation Bill. These are things you should know about DA's tax advocacy work.

  1. On September 2,2021 Democrats Abroad published research on the experience of Americans abroad who own small businesses dealing with GILTI Tax. You can download it here. For many the tax and the enormous tax compliance complexity and cost have been devastating. We are working hard to get a GILTI Tax exemption into the Budget Reconciliation Bill.
  2. The research was completed just in time to be used in a statement we submitted in response to the Senate International Tax Framework discussion draft. They strengthen our arguments in support of a GILTI tax exemption for American business owners abroad. Download our Senate submission here. We are scheduling meetings with House Small Business Committee members this month and this work will feature prominently in those discussions.

READ MORE

 


Reviews:

Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) Global Meeting

Democrats Abroad approved two important amendments to its charter that will give more overseas Americans a greater say in DA. At our August online Global Meeting, DPCA voters (Austria has three voting members) approved an amendment that allows for the creation of DPCA representation for non-country-committee members. We also approved an amendment that creates transnational committees, meaning regions such as the Caribbean or parts of Africa can unite to form a committee (up to now, DA has only allowed country committees, not regional ones). Both of these amendments will give more DA members representation and a vote in DA Global matters. Speaking of greater representation, at the global meeting DA Kenya received approval as a new country committee – the second in Africa!

A number of resolutions were taken up as well at the meeting. Two controversial resolutions addressed U.S. foreign aid to Israel and the human rights of the Palestinian people. Although many people agreed with the sentiment behind these resolutions, they noted that the DA charter does not allow us to speak out as a body on foreign policy matters. DPCA voting members voted to postpone those two resolutions indefinitely. If you have questions about the meeting, please email: [email protected].

– Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

 

July 4 Party in Vienna

Thanks to everyone who came out for our ‘Feel the Freedom’ Fourth of July party in Vienna! Some people traveled quite a distance, like from Amstetten, Graz, and even Slovakia! We had live music from Jacki and the Bidenettes led by DAA’s own Jacki Hafellner. Congrats to our raffle winners (the Notorious R.B.G. bobblehead found a good home) and thanks to those who participated in the name-the-band contest. The winner by audience applause: ‘Rage Against the Voting Machines’ with the runner up ‘Get out the Note.’ We sent a group cheer to Democrats Abroad Kenya which officially became a country committee. Thanks to all for the fun and good spirit!

– Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

 

July 4 Party in Vorarlberg

Democrats Abroad in Vorarlberg celebrated the 4th of July with a delicious potluck in beautiful Bregenz. Despite a last-minute location change due to unruly weather, our members enjoyed a lovely evening discussing everything from politics and religion, to food, traveling, and cults of personality. We welcomed some new guests from other local expat groups and talked about how we could reach out to more Americans. Now, after a summer of traveling, trips back home, and meet-ups with old and new friends, we’re looking forward to starting up again in the fall and making plans for the upcoming midterm elections!

Find out about upcoming events in Vorarlberg on the DA website or DA Vorarlberg’s Facebook Group!

– Stephanie Don, DA Vorarlberg

 

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


DA work to get Tax Relief into the Budget Reconciliation Bill - you can help!

GREAT THINGS are happening in our work to get tax relief into the Budget Reconciliation Bill.  These are things you should know about DA's tax advocacy work.

  1. On September 2,2021 Democrats Abroad published research on the experience of Americans abroad who own small businesses dealing with GILTI Tax.  You can download it here. For many the tax and the enormous tax compliance complexity and cost have been devastating.  We are working hard to get a GILTI Tax exemption into the Budget Reconciliation Bill.  
  2. The research was completed just in time to be used in a statement we submitted in response to the Senate International Tax Framework discussion draft.  They strengthen our arguments in support of a GILTI tax exemption for American business owners abroad.  Download our Senate submission here. We are scheduling meetings with House Small Business Committee members this month and this work will feature prominently in those discussions.
  3. We are organising Zoom meetings for Constituents abroad of key members of the House and Senate this month.  The Tax Talk Zooms we hosted in July were enormously helpful to us generating support for a filing modification for Americans abroad for the Budget Reconciliation Bill. (Details here.) We are working on legislative language now and it is very exciting. 

DA members globally have been invited to participate in these important constituent meetings.  But they only get an invitation if we know what district they vote in.  Please share this link to make your members aware of this project and encourage them to log in to the DA website and update their member data so we don't miss messaging them when a meeting with their Rep or Senator has been arranged.

  1. As always, we ask that those interested in tax reform for Americans abroad use this Guide to call or write to their members of Congress and demand relief.  Please share it as much as you can. Tax reform will happen when enough Americans abroad reach out to their elected representatives and demand it.
  2. There's lots to share with DA members about the work we are doing to get tax relief for Americans abroad into the 2021 Budget Reconciliation Bill.  If you are interested in having the Taxation Task Force  present our tax advocacy work in a zoom event for DA Austria members, please let Richard know at [email protected].
  3. Lapses in U.S. tax compliance are common amongst Americans abroad because 1) filing is so complex, 2) professional tax return preparation can be very expensive and 3) IRS support to Americans abroad is woefully inadequate and has been for a long time.  

Democrats Abroad knows that many Americans abroad who are not up to date with their U.S. tax filing harbour serious levels of fear and distress.  It makes them anxious and reluctant to engage with any US government services, including voting in federal elections.  They would like to become compliant but don't know where to begin.  Dems Abroad is planning a webinar aimed at Americans abroad who are not U.S. tax compliant but would like to understand how to become so.  Please look out for messaging about the Webinar to be scheduled in the months to come.

Thanks for your support.  Send questions or comments to [email protected].

— Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

 


Introducing the All-New Phonebanking Training!

The November 2 elections are coming up quickly! We’ll begin our 2021 calls to Virginia and New Jersey members for their gubernatorial and state legislature, and to our Ohio voters in two congressional districts, on September 6th. 

New Training Features:

- optional PRACTICE CALLS available 24/7 to friendly practice volunteers, helping trainees feel more comfortable    before attempting a first call

- demonstration VIDEOS are now incorporated into the training presentation, showing a call, revising data, adding a new mobile number, etc.

- expanded explanation of the CONFIDENTIALITY agreement you signed

- an open-book QUIZ on the calling essentials, to better prepare new callers

- expanded resources for caller SUPPORT, caller groups, and engagement

If you can still remember your first training and are curious to see the improvements, or if you'd like a refresher that will answer some of the questions you’ve had in the past and perhaps had to solve for yourself, please sign up for one of our global phonebanking training sessions. 

Go to www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking_training and choose the session that’s most convenient for you. (The page will prompt you to sign into your DA account.)

Are you ready to call? We’d be pleased to see you at a training session, and DELIGHTED to have you on the phones for 2021. 

Democratically yours, 

Heidi, Stephanie, Susan, and Stan

DA Global CallHub Team

 


Introducing the 2021-2023 Global Caucus and Team Leadership

International Chair Candice Kerestan and the DPCA ExCom ran on a commitment to make Democrats Abroad a more understandable and accessible organization. 

Over the last few weeks, the International ExCom conducted a call for applications for global committee and caucus leadership positions. In total, they received over 70 extremely impressive applications. They were truly inspired not only by the amount of skills, passion, and creativity within our membership, but by the fact that so many people are willing to share these with us. 

DA Austria would also like to congratulate Bruce Murray, our former Counsel and DPCA Voting Representative, on his appointment as Chair of the Global Progressive Caucus. Congratulations Bruce!

– Jen Rakow-Stepper, RVC-EMEA , DPCA ExCom Member

 

The International Chair and ExCom were pleased to announce the following appointments: 

AAPI Caucus Chair: Emily Lines 

Advocacy Coordinator: Katie Solon

Black Caucus Chair: Leedonal “Jazz” Moore 

Caucus Coordinator: Karen Frankenstein

Design Coordinator: Alyson McLean

ERA Task Force Chair: Shari Temple

Events Coordinator: Alex Rehbinder

Fundraising Coordinator: Jeffrey Nadison

GOTV AP Coordinator: Cory Lemke

GOTV EMEA Coordinator: Diego Rivas

Hispanic Caucus Chair: Onélica Andrade

Internal Communications Coordinator: Brooke Burns

IT Coordinator: Shari Temple

LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair: Bob Vallier 

Medicare Portability Task Force Chair: Heather Stone

Press Coordinator: Daniel Strieff

Progressive Caucus Chair: Bruce Murray

Reparations Task Force Chair: Antar Keith

Tax Task Force Chair: Carmelan Polce (2021) / Rebecca Lammers (2022)

Youth Caucus Chair: Miguel Madrigal

Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair: Mike Nitz 

Voter Assistance Coordinator: Kendra Borgen

Vote From Abroad Coordinator: Heidi Burch

Women’s Caucus Chair: Ann Hesse

 


Let's Get GILTI Tax Relief This Year. Congress needs data. Take this survey.

Let's get GILTI Tax relief into legislation this year.  Congress needs data on Americans abroad who have small businesses hit by GILTI Tax.  If you are an American living abroad with a small to medium size business registered as a company in the country you live in please click here to do this GILTI Tax survey.  Thank you!

Read More