News

2019 Ballot for Election of Officers

Democrats Abroad Austria is pleased to offer electronic voting for the members of the Executive Committee in advance of the Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. While we are happy to provide this convenience, we strongly encourage you to participate in the meaningful Annual General Meeting, meet the candidates and vote in person on March 30. But if that is not possible, you can vote by proxy or electronically via the attached link below. If you choose to vote by proxy, you must provide a member your authorization in writing prior to the meeting. If you vote electronically and you also go to the meeting, please do not vote then.

At the meeting, DA International Chair and DNC Representative Julia Bryan will speak to members regarding the 2020 election plans and will be happy to take questions and comments. There will also be committee updates - come hear about activities from the previous year and plans for mobilization during this important upcoming election cycle. And as a special treat, we will celebrate the year and look forward to all the great work ahead with a wine tasting from an Austrian vineyard!

Please note, if you choose to vote electronically, you must vote by March 29, 2019, at 11:59 pm CET. You also must sign (via email) and provide your name and address on the form to have your ballot counted.

Link: 2019 Ballot for Election of Officers - Click HERE

If you have any questions, please contact us at daa.elections@gmail.com.

Nominations and Elections Committee
Democrats Abroad Austria


March's Newsletter

In this Issue:

Events:

Issues & Actions:

  • DAA 2019 Survey
  • Thanks to Tax Survey Participants
  • Call for Nominations
  • Elections Announcement

Reviews:

  • Global Black Caucus
  • SolSun

 


Events

Sunday, March 10 - International Women's Day (weekend) Women's Rights Workshop in Graz

Ladies and gentlemen alike, join us for an afternoon focused on women's rights - with information and action - in Graz. We'll be viewing a fascinating documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S., discussing and writing postcards to legislators. On-site childcare is available by prior arrangement.

Check out the welcoming, bohemian Seddwell Center, a hidden jewel near Griesplatz. Our hosts are committed to helping women and our communities, and we’re looking forward to hearing from non-Americans working to advance the status of women!

Contact Caitlin to get involved!

When: Sunday, March 10, 2019 from 2:00-5:00 p.m.

Where: Seddwell Center, Dreihackengasse 32, 8020 Graz

Contact: Caitlin Ahern • database@democratsabroad.at

RSVP: On the event page or on Facebook

 



Experienced Democrats Meet-up

Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. Join us!

When: Tuesday, March 12 6:00 pm

Where: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

Contact: John Cahill • jmcahill47@yahoo.com • 06766952766

RSVP: On the event page



Young Democrats - Drinks for a good cause

The Under 35s are gathering again, and this time it's for a good cause!
Young Democrats are getting together at VinziRast, a bar/restaurant running a charity organisation by the same name. So it is your chance to eat good food and drink and feel good about it - all profits go to the homeless!


There is plenty to talk about with the ongoings in our beloved home across the pond, political or nonpolitical, and we are happy to welcome some new faces!

Contact David for more information. We are hoping to see as many of you as possible. Spread the word and bring your friends!
In Love and Solidarity, Your Young Democrats

When: Monday, March 18,  7:30 pm

Where: VinziRast-Lokal "mittendrin", Währinger Str. 19

1090 Vienna

Contact: David Heckenberg • youngdems@democratsabroad.at • +43 664 378 2040

RSVP: On the event page



Global Black Caucus Book Club V

Another month, another transformative book! "Just Mercy: A story of justice and redemption" is a personal memoir of lawyer-turned-activist, Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson reflects upon his experiences and his clients, while offering a critique of the American criminal justice system. Some of the stories will inspire, while others will infuriate, but the book offers a poignant theme, quoted by Stevenson at his TedTalk: "We will ultimately not be judged by our technology, we won’t be judged by our design, we won’t be judged by our intellect and reason. Ultimately, you judge the character of a society...by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated." Join us at Café Phil as we explore this beautifully written book! And make sure to bring a donation to Bryan Stevenson's organization, The Equal Justice Initiative (www.eji.org).

When: Friday, March 22, 7:00 pm

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

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

RSVP: On the event page or on Facebook



2019 Annual General Meeting & Wine Tasting

Come for business –

Join fellow DA Austria members on Saturday, March 30 to recap 2018 and elect members to the 2019-2021 Executive Committee. We'll present brief reports on 2018, discuss plans for 2019 and 2020, conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws, and hold elections.

We're happy to announce that DA International Chair and DNC Representative Julia Bryan

will be speaking to us about upcoming plans at the meeting!

 

Stay for a wine-tasting & dinner –

After the business part of the meeting, fellow DAA member Laurin Seymann will share with us a few wines from his family’s vineyard, Seymanns Weinhandwerkerei. Afterwards, we’ll be moving on to Le Burger for a no-host dinner.

We hope you’ll join us! All members of Democrats Abroad Austria are welcome. Any American over 18 (by the next federal election) and residing in Austria may also join the meeting.

 

Help us start the meeting on time –

We ask you to pre-register with your name, address, phone number and voting state so that your record stays current and to ensure that we have an accurate vote count. We encourage all members to pre-register, even if you're uncertain that you can make it, in order to minimize long waiting lines.

 

And if you’ll join us for dinner – 

We’ll make a group reservation for dinner after the meeting at 6:30 pm at Le Burger (Mariahilfer Str. 114, 1070 Vienna, upstairs with an elevator)a five-minute walk from the meeting location. If you'd like to be included in the reservation, please RSVP by Saturday, March 23!!  

When: Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. (doors open at 2:30)

Where: SPÖ Neubau, Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna

RSVP and Pre-Register: Please fill out this form to pre-register for the meeting and RSVP for the wine-tasting and no-host dinner. Contact Caitlin Ahern database@democratsabroad.at with any questions.

 

You can find information about the agenda, information about the proposed amendments to the  Bylaws (including copies of the current and proposed Bylaws), and directions to the AGM here.

 

 

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

How to make sense of the alphabet-soup that’s U.S. Immigration Policy today? — DACA. ICE. Wall. Chain Migration. Family Separation. Undocumented. Lawful. Caravan. Asylum. Every term is loaded.

Sunday, March 31st, Solidarity Sundays takes a deep dive into US immigration policy — what it looks like, possible remedies, which committees and politicians are working on it (or not). We’ll help you make sense of a multi-faceted issue that’s key to our core values as Americans. Join the discussion, and write an email to your Congressperson about what you want them to do (we’ll help you write it).

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

When: Sunday, March 31, 4-6 pm

Where: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

Contact: Tanya Lolonis • solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at

RSVP: On the event page or on Facebook 


Issues & Actions:

 

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 fulfill 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

 

Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

Democrats Abroad has published its 2019 research on the tax filing and financial account reporting experience of Americans abroad.  Click here to download the report entitled "Tax Filing From Abroad: Research on Non-Resident Americans and U.S. Taxation."  At this link there is a short summary of the findings. Many, many thanks to the almost 10,000 people who answered the 2019 Tax Survey.

Meetings With Congress Next Week

Next week a delegation of Tax Task Force members and others will be on Capitol Hill to share the research and resume discussions with legislators about residency-based taxation. We are asking DA members to call or write to their elected representatives in support of our recommended reforms.

This is an up-to-date campaign guide (call scripts, language for letters/emails/postcards, links to find your Congresspeople). All outreach is good outreach - in fact, it is essential for pushing for reform. Thanks in advance for your help.

Our first meeting of the week is with the sponsor of the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act, introduced on the last sitting day of the 115th Congress and proposing a switch from our current system of citizenship-based taxation to residency-based taxation. As you know from our report on the bill, it was not a perfect bill but it serves as a valuable marker that there is sponsorship in Congress for real expat tax reform - and of course it is a wonderful milestone for expat tax advocates who have been working so long and so hard pushing for change. We look forward to providing updates on the bill (the design elements need work for it to attract co-sponsors) and the plan by proponents to move it forward.  

Please send questions and comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

– DA Taxation Tax Force

 


 Democrats Abroad Austria’s 2019 Elections

 

Call for Nominations

The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to run for a position.

– Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Antje Lewis, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

 

At the Democrats Abroad Austria 2019 Annual General Meeting in Vienna on March 30th elections will be conducted to fill the following positions for two-year terms:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Counsel
  • DPCA Voting Representative (new)
  • 2 to 6 Members-at-Large - In the past Member-at-Large responsibilities have included: Salzburg Coordinator, Database Manager, Media Contact, Social Media and Member Communication, Membership Engagement, Graz Coordinator

If you would like to run for any of these positions or you would like to nominate someone for office, please send your name or the nominee’s name and a short bio directly to the Nominations Election Committee (NEC) at  daa.elections@gmail.com.  

Each nomination must be seconded, also via email to the NEC.

Please note, nominations and seconds must be received by March 13.  

READ MORE

 

DA Austria’s 2019 Election and Voting Procedures

The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to cast your ballot in the election.

– Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Antje Lewis, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

 

Important Dates:

  • February 28 Call for Nominations
  • March 13 Nominations close
  • March 17 Voting begins for those who would like to vote electronically
  • March 29 Deadline for eligible voters to become DAA members
  • Electronic voting ends
  • March 30 Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting. All ballots, including electronic ballots, will be counted and results announced by NEC

Important Change:

This year DAA will accept electronic votes. All members will receive a ballot via mail on March 17. If you would like to vote electronically, please fill out your ballot and return it to daa.elections@gmail.com no later than 23:59 CET on March 29.  

In the past, nominations were accepted from the floor at the AGM.  Because we will accept electronic ballots this year we will not be accepting nominations from the floor.

Below are the Rules Governing the Election for 2019 as excerpted from the DAA Bylaws.

READ MORE

 


Reviews

 

Solidarity Sundays 21:  How Monopolies Hurt America‘s Economy

America has a monopoly problem. Since 2008, there have been more than $10 Trillion in merger — that’s a BFD. Consolidation lies at the root of many of our most pressing economic & political problems.

When a company buys smaller companies until no rivals are left, people’s welfare suffers. Farmers struggle against agricultural conglomerates. Corporate giants in coastal cities buy out middle America‘s banks and businesses. Wages fall because employers don‘t need to compete to attract and retain workers. Profits concentrate wealth in a few hands.

Tanya Lolonis led attendees through the story of how Democrats traditionally led the fight to protect citizens from corporate power and corruption. The Reagan administration relaxed regulation enforcement to „liberate“ consumers with lower prices.

Progressive antitrust enforcement is good politics for Democrats in 2020:  regulating Big Tech, Big Pharma, and Big Oil is a pro-business, pro-liberty message that plays in almost every section of every state. No need to re-invent ourselves:  anti-monopolism re-connects Democrats with our traditional belief that economic power is political power.


Global Black Caucus Black History Open Mic Night

Members and guests gathered together at Beaver Brewery for an evening of poetry, spoken word, music and comedy to celebrate Black History Month. First, the event opened with an introduction about the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) founded by Bryan Stevenson. The EJI not only fights to exonerate the falsely accused, but has also built and supports both the Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration.

The event continued with a little comedy from Okello Dunkley and Regi Bärris. Jennifer Lusser shared her journey in finding her ancestor and challenged the rest of us, especially those who are descendants of African slaves, to find and name ours. Lisa Rosenblatt gave a beautiful presentation about swimming and how Jim Crow-era segregation and racism have limited African Americans from learning how to swim and competing in national and international swimming competitions. She also highlighted the current African American competitive swimmers and their accomplishments. Margaret Carter gave a presentation about the concept of “Time” and how it is experienced differently by different civilizations. She highlighted the many ancient accomplishments of Africans. Kriti Sharma recited excerpts from various works by James Baldwin, Audre Lorde and  Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Sherri Spelic read a thought-provoking excerpt from Tressie McMillan Cottom’s book: Thick and other Essays entitled “Obama was because Trump is.” Bruce and Renee Murray gave an acoustic guitar rendition of John Legend and Common’s song Glory and Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Antje Lewis continued with a poem by Susan Griffin entitled: I’d like to think of Harriet Tubman. To close out the show and give a nod to Women’s History Month in March, host Faith Herbold read Ain’t I a woman? by Sojourner Truth. At the end of the night, 318 Euros ($362) were raised to support the ongoing efforts and projects supported by the EJI.

Many thanks to all of the presenters and all those who attended and gave generously!

If you would like to become a supporter of the EJI, please visit www.eji.org to learn more.

 

 

Links and other Information:


February's Newsletter

In This Issue:

Events:

Issues & Actions:

  • Call for Nominations - 2019-2021 Executive Committee
  • DA Austria’s 2019 Election and Voting Procedures
  • ERA Notes
  • Medicare for All
  • Veteran's and Military Families Caucus
  • DAA Volunteer Positions

Reviews:

  • Women’s March Looks at the ERA
  • Global Black Caucus Book Club IV Review
  • Solidarity Sundays #20 Examined Gerrymandering

Events

 

Experienced Democrats

Join us for some food and conversation at our monthly meeting. All levels of experience are welcome!

WHEN: February 12 6pm
WHERE: Cafe Museum Operngasse7, 1010 Vienna
CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com· 0676 695 2766

Solidarity Sundays #21–

Tackles The Biggest Economic Problem You’re Hearing (Almost) Nothing About

Monopolies used to be a central concern of voters; now it’s called “antitrust” and is left to experts. What do monopolies do? Why are they bad? Do they affect you? Yes, if you travel by air, buy cat food, chat on social media, consume journalism, make health insurance co-payments, buy sunglasses, watch porn, or have an Amazon habit that your partner keeps on about. Is this unique to the U.S.? Pretty much. Join the Solidarity Sundays Monopoly Crash Courseand learn how the federal government went from protecting citizen welfare to consumer welfare, why this makes Americans miserable, and what remedies we have.

WHEN: February 24 4-6pm
WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8 1070 Vienna
RSVP: on the website or on Facebook

Black History Month Open Mic Night

The Global Black Caucus of Democrats Abroad Austria would like to invite you to come celebrate Black History Month by participating in our first Open Mic Night. Everyone is welcome to contribute their African or African American inspired acoustic performances, comedy, poetry, or spoken word. Interested performers can sign up in advance for a 5-10 minute slot by contacting Faith Herbold at f.hall-herbold@democratsabroad.ator come and sign up at the event. Make sure to bring a small donation to support the Equal Justice Initiative, an American non-profit organization committed to exonerating the falsely accused and reforming the criminal justice system.

WHEN: February 26 at 7:30-10:00pm
WHERE: Beaver's Brewing Company Vienna 1070
Google map and directions
RSVP: on our website


Save the Date!

International Women's Day (weekend) Women's Rights Workshop in Graz

Ladies and gentlemen alike, save the date to join us for an afternoon focused on women's rights - with information and action - in Graz. We'll be viewing a fascinating documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S., discussing and writing postcards to legislators.

Stay tuned for more details or contact Caitlinto get involved!

WHEN: March 10 at 2:00-6:00pm
WHERE: TBD, Graz
RSVP: Caitlin Ahern • database@democratsabroad.at

2019 Annual General Meeting & Wine Tasting

Come for business –

Join fellow DA Austria members on Saturday, March 30 to recap 2018 and elect members to the 2019-2021 Executive Committee.We'll present brief reports on 2018, discuss plans for 2019 and 2020, conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws, and hold elections.

Stay for a wine-tasting –

After the business part of the meeting, fellow DAA member Nancy Lee Akinci Seymann will share with us a few wines from her family’s vineyard, Seymanns Weinhandwerkerei.Afterwards, we’ll be moving on to Le Burger for a no-host dinner.

We hope you’ll join us! Please RSVP for the meeting hereand for the dinner on the RSVP button below. All members of Democrats Abroad Austria are welcome. Any American over 18 (by the next federal election) and residing in Austria may also join the meeting.

Help us start the meeting on time –

Please contact Caitlin Ahern to pre-register for the meeting by email. 

Include your name, address, phone number and voting state in your email so that your record stays current and ensure that we have an accurate vote count. We encourage all members to pre-register, even if you're uncertain that you can make it, in order to minimize long waiting lines.

And if you’ll join us for dinner – 

We’ll make a group reservation for dinner after the meeting at 6:30pm at Le Burger (a five-minute walk from the meeting location). If you'd like to be included in the reservation, please RSVP on this site by Saturday, March 23!!  

You can find information about the agenda, information about the amended Bylaws (including copies of the current and amended Bylaws), and directions to the AGM here.

WHEN: March 30 at 3:00-6:00pm
WHERE: SPÖ Neubau, Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna
RSVP: Caitlin Ahern • database@democratsabroad.at

Issues & Actions:

Call for Nominations -

Democrats Abroad Austria Executive Committee Elections 2019

The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to run for a position.

– Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Bill Holaday, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

 

At the Democrats Abroad Austria 2019 Annual General Meeting in Vienna on March 30th elections will be conducted to fill the following positions for two-year terms:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Counsel
  • DPCA Voting Representative (new)
  • up to 6 Members-at-Large - In the past Member-at-Large responsibilities have included: Salzburg Coordinator, Database Manager, Media Contact, Social Media and Member Communication, Membership Engagement, Graz Coordinator

If you would like to run for any of these positions or you would like to nominate someone for office, please send your name or the nominee’s name and a short bio directly to the Nominations Election Committee (NEC) at  daa.elections@gmail.com.  

Each nomination must be seconded, also via email to the NEC.

Please note, nominations and seconds must be received by March 13.  

READ MORE

 

 

DA Austria’s 2019 Election and Voting Procedures

The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to cast your ballot in the election.

– Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Bill Holaday, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

 

Important Dates:

February 28 Call for Nominations

March 13 Nominations close

March 17 Voting begins for those who would like to vote electronically

March 29 Deadline for eligible voters to become DAA members; Electronic voting ends

March 30 Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting  

All ballots, including electronic ballots, will be counted and results announced by NEC

Important Change:

This year DAA will accept electronic votes. All members will receive a ballot via mail on March 17. If you would like to vote electronically, please fill out your ballot and return it to daa.elections@gmail.comno later than 23:59 on March 29.  

In the past, nominations were accepted from the floor at the AGM.  Because we will accept electronic ballots this year we will not be accepting nominations from the floor.

Below are the Rules Governing the Election for 2019 as excerpted from the DAA Bylaws.

READ MORE

 

Understanding the Equal Rights Amendment

What is the ERA?

The ERA is a proposed constitutional amendment which would add the following constitutional guarantee: “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

The first proposal ever created that called for gender equality harks back to the 1920s. The above text is from the version created in 1972, which was approved by Congress.

– Compiled by: Alma Stankovic, J.D. January 1, 2019

READ MORE

 

 

Medicare for All

The Democratic Party endorses Universal Health Care.  Among those who have striven to achieve this goal are Senator Bernard Sanders and the 16 cosponsors of S.1804-Medicare for All Act of 2017, as well as former Representative John Conyers and the 124 cosponsors of H.R.676-Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.  This past summer Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Keith Ellison, and Debbie Dingell also initiated the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus, which now boasts 70 members.  The Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad(ProDA), too, is supporting Medicare4Allwith a variety of initiativesto strengthen the mass mobilization for H.R.676 in February.

At the same time, other Democratic leaders favor more incremental steps, proposing expansions of the Affordable Care Act. As POLITICOreports: “That spectrum includes Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)'s bill allowing patients to buy into Medicare starting at age 55 and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Michael Bennet (D-Co.)'s plan to create a Medicare-style public option to compete with private insurers on up to bigger revamps, like Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)'s expansion of Medicare eligibility to nearly all Americans. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) would let everyone purchase Medicaid.”

The Discussion about how best to proceed certainly will continue in the coming months, especially in the context of selecting the next Democratic presidential candidate. We recommend following and participating in the discussion. Stay tuned!  

– Bruce Murray, DA Counsel and ProDA member

 

Veterans and Military Families Caucus

The VMF Caucus is up and running and we’re looking for members to join our Steering Committee. Contact usif you’re a veteran or a family member of a veteran and interested in joining us!

– VMF Caucus: Anna Marie, Michael L, Michael R, Donald, Eric, John, and Raymond

 

DAA Needs Your Help

There is a lot to do before 2020 and we need volunteers to help us gear up for the biggest Get Out the Vote effort ever. Regardless if you can spare a few hours a week or an hour a month, we have something you could help out on. Ready and willing? Contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.atfor a full description of the positions.

Currently needed volunteer positions:

  • Research Position  
    • track and notify when US politicians or notables are in Vienna (2hrs/month)
  • Media Contact Coordinator (1hr/wk)
    • Should demonstrate verifiable experience and/or training in the fields of Media, Press and/or PR.

 


Reviews:

Women’s March Looks at the ERA

The Women's Wave workshop brought a wave of women and men to the Amerlinghaus on the afternoon of the global Women's March.

After a rousing and competitive trivia round, everyone settled in and watched the documentary film "Equal Means Equal," which detailed the history of women fighting for equal rights and protection under the law through the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Thirteen states have not ratified the ERA, which was introduced by Alice Paul in 1923.

 

READ MORE

 

 

Global Black Caucus Book Club IV Review

The members of the Global Black Caucus gathered at Café Phil for their monthly meet-up, this time with a smaller, more intimate group. The book How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective,edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, was a compilation of a series of interviews by the founding members of the Collective and contemporary black activists. There was something in this book for everyone - whether they were a newcomer to feminism or had been a part of the feminist movement for quite some time. Even within this small group, everyone had different views on feminism and the influence that the Combahee River Collective had on black, radical and mainstream feminist movements present today. One thing is certain: if we are going to move forward, we need everyone – in places of power and privilege, in the margins, and from all walks of life – at the table.

– Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large

 

Solidarity Sundays #20 Examined Gerrymandering --

Plus Democrats’ Number One Priority This Congressional Session

Attendees took turns learning about civic issues to share with, and empower, fellow Americans. On January 27th, Solidarity Sundays member David Heckenberg took us through the history of congressional redistricting. We learned where it got the name “Gerrymandering”, and how phrases that sound like a rap song -- cracking, packing, andkidnapping-- are widespread tactics for stealing elections. He explained how the citizenship question for the 2020 census could impact redistricting, and which organizations are fighting the administration about its inclusion in the census.

Tanya Lolonis took us through House Resolution 1-- the 571-page Magnum Opus legislation introduced to begin the new Democratic Congress. Top priorities are introduced first -- hence its number, ”1” -- and the Resolution has three aims: ending the dominance of money in politics, putting teeth back into ethics laws, and making it easier to vote. Without GOP support in the Senate, it is unlikely to become law, but is important for two reasons: first, HR 1 broadcasts that the new majority will emphasize voting rights in this Congressional session. Second, it lays the foundation to restore the Voting Rights Act, the gutting of which by the Supreme Court in 2013 initiated our current era of voter suppression.


Review: Women’s March Looks at the ERA

The Women's Wave workshop brought a wave of women and men to the Amerlinghaus on the afternoon of the global Women's March.

After a rousing and competitive trivia round, everyone settled in and watched the documentary film "Equal Means Equal," which detailed the history of women fighting for equal rights and protection under the law through the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Thirteen states have not ratified the ERA, which was introduced by Alice Paul in 1923.

After the film, Dardis McNamee, the Editor in Chief and Publisher of METROPOLE Vienna in English, spoke to the group and combined her personal experiences with historical perspectives on feminism and equal rights. McNamee explained that the issue of gender equality strikes at the heart of every home, relationship and family. It creates a war within women because they feel they don't want to hurt the people they love. This is mainly because of the myth that equal rights for women is a zero-sum game, where it is perceived as personal abandonment in a husband and wife relationship. She had perceived early on that the fight for women's rights would take longer than the fight for equal rights for African Americans.

She stressed that the only way to discuss this issue and gain our rights is to approach our loved ones with compassion by listening to their concerns, fears, and anxieties. Along with compassion and a listening ear, McNamee also urged the predominantly female audience to use "humor as ammunition," because sometimes that is one of the only ways we as women can get through the daily struggles we face.

Next to speak was Laurie Richardson, Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Vienna and UN Liaison for FAWCO. She began with some interesting statistics, most surprisingly that out of 197 countries with a constitution, 18 have no provisions about equality or non-discrimination based on sex. She also cited data from the World Economic Forum about the nations with the lowest gender equality gap, with Scandinavian countries dominating the top of the list, but also some surprises. The most chilling information she shared with us is that the United States has signed, but refused to join, not only the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), but also other key UN conventions including on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and on Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She stated that the main reason the US has hesitated on such important conventions was the excuse that it would violate the rights of each individual state (i.e. federalism). She encouraged everyone to petition their state to adopt and join these conventions at the state level.

For the final portion of the workshop, the group wrote postcards to the states of Virginia and North Carolina urging the leadership to vote to ratify the ERA.

The organizers hope that the Women's Wave and the #MeToo movements will continue to fight for gender equality and hold our leaders accountable to addressing all social, economic and health issues surrounding women. Perhaps the Women's Wave and the Blue Wave will be enough to stem the tide of sexism in the US and result in lasting change in 2020 and beyond.

To learn more about the ERA and what you can do to make sure it gets ratified, please visit: http://equalmeansequal.com/

For more information on what UN Women does, visit: http://www.unwomen.org

– Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large




DA Austria’s 2019 Election and Voting Procedures

The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to cast your ballot in the election.

– Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Bill Holaday, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

 

Important Dates:

February 28 Call for Nominations
March 13 Nominations close
March 17 Voting begins for those who would like to vote electronically
March 29 Deadline for eligible voters to become DAA members
Electronic voting ends
March 30 Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting
All ballots, including electronic ballots, will be counted and results announced by NEC

 

Important Change:

This year DAA will accept electronic votes. All members will receive a ballot via mail on March 17. If you would like to vote electronically, please fill out your ballot and return it to daa.elections@gmail.com no later than 23:59 on March 29.  

In the past, nominations were accepted from the floor at the AGM.  Because we will accept electronic ballots this year we will not be accepting nominations from the floor.

Below are the Rules Governing the Election for 2019 as excerpted from the DAA Bylaws.

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Call for Nominations - Democrats Abroad Austria Executive Committee Elections 2019

The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to run for a position.

– Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Bill Holaday, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

 

At the Democrats Abroad Austria 2019 Annual General Meeting in Vienna on March 30th elections will be conducted to fill the following positions for two-year terms:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Counsel
  • DPCA Voting Representative (new)
  • up to 6 Members-at-Large
    In the past Member-at-Large responsibilities have included: Salzburg Coordinator, Database Manager, Media Contact, Social Media and Member Communication, Membership Engagement, Graz Coordinator

 

If you would like to run for any of these positions or you would like to nominate someone for office, please send your name or the nominee’s name and a short bio directly to the Nominations Election Committee (NEC) at  daa.elections@gmail.com.  

Each nomination must be seconded, also via email to the NEC.

Please note, nominations and seconds must be received by March 13.  

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Understanding the Equal Rights Amendment

What is the ERA?

The ERA is a proposed constitutional amendment which would add the following constitutional guarantee: “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

The first proposal ever created that called for gender equality harks back to the 1920s. The above text is from the version created in 1972, which was approved by Congress.

How does it become law?

Under Article 5, any constitutional amendment has to be approved by Congress by a supermajority of 2/3 of both chambers as well as be ratified by the legislatures of at least 3/4 of all states. Today this means 38 states.

– Compiled by: Alma Stankovic, J.D.

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JANUARY'S NEWSLETTER

In This Issue:

Events:

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

Issues & Actions:

  • Florida Prison Right’s Restoration

Reviews:

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

 


New Year's Message:

Looking Back & Looking Forward –

What a year!

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

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

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

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

You voted.

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

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

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

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

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


Events:

 

Bylaws Committee Meeting

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

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

The meeting is open to all DAA members.

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

 

Global Black Caucus Book Club IV

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

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

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

Visit us on facebook!

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

 

Womens March 2019 –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Solidarity Sundays Vienna #20: Choosing Your Voters

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

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

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

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

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

Visit us on facebook!

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

 

Save the Date! 2019 Annual General Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I look forward to seeing you at our 2019 AGM!

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria, Chair

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

Issues & Actions:

 

What the Prison Rights Restoration Initiative Means for an Exiled Floridian

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

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

READ MORE

 


Reviews:

 


Global Black Caucus

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

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

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

– Faith Hall-Glenn, Member-at-Large

 

Midwest Midterm Progressive Bikeathon: Hindsight is 2020

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

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

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

– Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel

 

Women’s Caucus Launch with RBG

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

– Antje Lewis, DAA Member

 

 

Spittelberg Punsch Re-cap

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

– Ashley Arreola, DAA Young Dems Co-Coordinator


What the Prison Rights Restoration Initiative Means for an Exiled Floridian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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December Newsletter

Graz_Xmas.jpg

In this issue:

Events:

  • Hindsight is 2020!
  • Experienced Democrats Meet-Up
  • Annual Punsch Get Together @ Spittelberg
  • Graz Glüh-Wein Evening

Issues & Actions:

  • GOTV Statistics
  • Progressive Bikeathon

Reviews:

  • Election Parties in Vienna & Graz
  • Thanksgiving & Great Aunt Sally’s Stuffing Recipe
  • Solidarity Sundays & 2018 Midterm Recap

Members Corner:

  • Viel Mehr für Alle: Charity Auction

Events

bikeathon.jpg

Hindsight is 2020

Join us for our “Hindsight is 2020” rally!

Reminisce with us about what we accomplished to make the Bikeathon a success! Listen to those of us who left some skin on the road share stories and insights about our GOTV adventures at these milestones and at many more notable stops along the way:

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

We will ask for your Midterm insights, too, as we prepare for our continuing work on that future we can really believe in! Last and by no means least, Danny Chicago will perform some of the Bikeathon's greatest hits!

– Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel

WHEN: December 8, 2018 at 1pm - 3pm
WHERE: Beaver Brewing Company, Liechtensteinstraße 69, Wien 1090
Google map and directions
CONTACT: Bruce Murray · bamurray54@gmail.com


expdems_qnhcoi.jpg

Experienced Democrats Meet-Up

Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. All ages and levels of experience are welcome!

WHEN: December 12, 2018 at 6pm - 8pm
WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, Wien 1010
Google map and directions
CONTACT: John Cahill · mcahill47@yahoo.com· 06766952766

 

Annual Punsch Get Together @ Spittelberg 

DA Austria members will be getting together at the African Root Punsch Stand at Spittelberg Market on Thursday, December 13th to share in some holiday cheer. We hope you'll stop by to mull over plans for the new year over a glass of mulled wine!

WHEN: December 13, 2018 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
WHERE: Spittelberggasse 18, Vienna 1070
Google map and directions
CONTACT: David Heckenberg · david.heckenberg@gmail.com · +43 664 378 2040

 

Glühwein Evening

It's that time of the year again - the time when we have an excuse to drink in public! Glühwein season is almost upon us, so we invite you to come out and enjoy the last bit of this successful DAA year with us. We'll meet up at the Glühweinstands close to the Don Camillo restaurant and start earlier for those who want just swing by for a round after work - when the night ends depends on you! :D Hope to see you all there!

Visit the event on Facebook!

WHEN: December 18, 2018 at 5pm - 10pm
WHERE: Franziskanerplatz, Graz 8010
Google map and directions
CONTACT: Aryo Winterblack · Agrestis@live.com

 


Issues & Actions

 

DAA's Get Out The Vote Statistics

Congratulations to all our voters and volunteers for helping win back the House and keep Democrats in crucial seats in the Senate as well as governorships and state legislatures! Here in Austria we did a spectacular job reaching and registering members. In fact, 1,393 absentee ballot requests - from both DA members and non-members - came through VoteFromAbroad.org in Austria alone. We could confirm directly with 53% of our members that they voted by absentee ballot (and we trust that there are many more we couldn’t reach)! Compare this to a national voter turnout rate of 48% this year. Our tireless volunteers made phone calls, sent text messages, hand-wrote postcards, set up registration tables and chased down random strangers with American accents to spread the word and help people request their absentee ballots. Now our eyes are on 2020 and we have more strategies for getting out the vote. We hope you’ll be ready to help when the time comes!

– Caitlin Ahern, DAA Database Manager, Member-at-Large

 

 

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Progressive Bikeathon

From mid-September to election day, DAA Counsel Bruce Murray, assisted by volunteers from Democrats Abroad Austria, Progressive Democrats Abroad, Our Revolution Austria, and others, cycled over 850 miles from Wisconsin through Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and on to Pennsylvania. He and other Bikeathoners interacted with Democratic candidates, leaders, activists, and voters both urban and rural. Via radio, concerts, rallies, canvassing, phone-banking, social media, and yes, cycling, we Bikeathoners contributed to the ripples of our Blue Wave!   

– Bruce Murray, Counsel

 


Reviews

Midterm Parties in Graz & Vienna -  

election_night_2018_Bruce.jpg

We Made the Wave! More than 65 DA Austria members and a number of interested Austrians got together on Election Night to watch the exit polls and cross our fingers for a blue wave.

Biker Bruce skyped in from Pittsburgh, from the parental home of fellow DAA member Dawn Gartehner, whose parents generously hosted Bruce at the end of his more than 800 mile bike ride through the midwest.

A panel of special pundits – Keith Kornacki , Faith I am Joy, and (San) Andreas Fault (because CA Orange County shook up the state and went blue), also known as Keith Jacomine, Faith Hall Herbold, and Andreas Beckmann – accompanied us through the evening with a quiz and prizes.

Signs for a wave were good as the last round was called in the wee hours. The wave has been building ever since and Democrats had an astounding voter turnout. Thank you for being a voter! 

Graz Post-Election Dinner On November 7th, we Styrian Democrats awoke to good news, and the day continued to improve. We were thrilled to meet at The Pub on Mariahilferplatz for mojitos, beer and Tex-Mex food to toast the many victories – including the historic number of women candidates and winners – of the 2018 midterms. We welcomed a few new members and are planning monthly get-togethers to follow. Stay tuned!

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair (Vienna) and Caitlin Ahern, DAA Database Manager, Member-at-Large (Graz)

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A Thanksgiving for Giving Thanks

Democrats Abroad Austria welcomed 88 members and guests to our sold out Thanksgiving dinner on November 22 under the 600 year old arches of the Melker Stiftskeller in Vienna’s first district.

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With good company – and 40 seats in the House and a lot of state legislative and governorship wins to be thankful for – we enjoyed a raffle drawing and were well fed with five turkeys (big thanks to Carrie and Fred!), lots of sides, homemade cranberry sauce, a peculiarly Austrian twist on my Great Aunt Sally’s Thanksgiving stuffing (folks asked for the recipe, so it's included below), and an amazing assortment of homemade pumpkin pies and desserts. Thanks to all who brought a dessert to share!

Young Andreas Nighswander was thrilled to win the grand prize!  

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

 

Great Aunt Sally’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Sharing the recipe because many asked. Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Italian sausages (Salsicci) – removed from the casings and chopped in bite-sized pieces 
  • 2 onions –  finely chopped
  • 1 bunch celery – finely chopped
  • 3-4 very stale baguettes or white bread – torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 500 g butter
  • 1 cup raisins – soaked in sherry
  • 1 cup pecans – chopped
  • 1 cup parsley – chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs – thyme, oregano, sage

stuffing_after.jpg

Instructions:

melt butter in pan

add pecans, lightly brown, strain, remove and set aside

sauté celery, onions and herbs in butter, remove and set aside

brown Italian sausages in butter, remove and set aside

mix ingredients together in a large baking pan. In case the mixture is too dry, pour some chicken broth and butter on top. The mixture should be chunky and loose in the pan – notlike a Knödel.

Bake at 180° C for 20 minutes or until heated through and golden brown.

 

 

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Solidarity Sundays Vienna #19:  2018 Midterm Recap

On November 25th, Solidarity Sundays activists held a marathon session reviewing the crowning achievement of 2 years’ work: Democrats retaking the House and electing the most diverse Democratic caucus ever.

Juan gave us a look under the hood atwhat made victory possible– notably, women turning further away from the Republican Party, and the record-breaking 8.8 million vote lead over Republicans. He reviewed propositions that scored victories throughout the nation, which included impressive wins for redistricting and voting rights. The popularity of progressive propositions points to Medicare expansion as a new frontier for ballot initiatives.

Bruce Murray shared insights from his Cycling For Sanitybike tour through the Midwest.On two wheels, Bruce explored Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the weeks leading up the Midterms. He met voters, activists and politicians, pitched in to help with community projects and attended rallies where politicians led everyone to the polls. Hear about the fun and get inspired about our country’s capacity for self-renewal at the “Hindsight Is 2020” event on December 8th.

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No sooner did Democrats learn that we did, indeed, deliver a Blue Wave, than we started talking about how to repeat it in 2020. Tanya reviewed structural factors that kept so many races tighton a day when 6 million more Americans voted for a Democrat over a Republican to represent them. She demonstrated how gerrymandering distorts the votes in 5 states, and how weakened voting rights and lax political spending rules make it hard to translate Democratic votes into power. These obstacles won’t disappear, and we must surpass this year’s turnout to assure victory in 2020. Attend a Solidarity Sundays meeting in 2019 and help achieve that.

Tanya Lolonis, SolSun Coordinator, Member-at-Large

 


Members Corner

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A Present with a Purpose

Do you remember meeting Pari and Abdiwahab at our DAATalkwith Melissa Fleming?

The team from ‘[HOME] is where your heart is’ – a refugee project based in Vienna with a focus on integration through socialization, psychological health education and social wellbeing – is holding a charity auction from the beginning of December until the 9th. A whole bunch of talented local designers have donated their beautiful creations to the cause, and all of the pieces will be auctioned off between these dates on Facebook. All of the proceeds will go to increasing care for refugees, as well as volunteers.

Just log on, click through the event from the comfort of your home, and type your bid as a comment under the pic of the piece you like. its that easy! Follow the piece, and make sure no one outbids you! Let the games begin!

And know that every euro goes towards the refugee project - a present with a purpose is exactly what the holidays should be about, especially in these negative times! They are also selling wonderful wine donated from the local winery collective Pannobile. Get in touch for more info! home@vielmehr.at

Charity Auction for Refugees – Vielmehr als ein Geschenk! - find  the event on Facebook!