News

May's Newsletter

 

In this Issue:

Events

Issues and Actions

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

Reviews

  • Solidarity Sundays: The Candidates (So Far)

Members‘ Corner

  • Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen


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Events

Salzburg Meet-Up

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

WHEN:  May 10, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm 

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

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

 

 

Global Black Caucus

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

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

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

Google map and directions

CONTACT: Faith Hall Herbold · gbc@democratsabroad.at

 

 

Experienced Dems

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

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

WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

Google map and directions

CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com 

 

Solidarity Sundays 24:  Death By A Thousand Cuts

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

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

WHEN:  Sunday, May 26 at 4pm - 6pm  

WHERE:  Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

DAA Facebook Group

CONTACT:  Tanya Lolonis · solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at



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

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

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

WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, 1010 Vienna

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

Google map and directions

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



Stand Together and Proud at the 2019 Pride Parade

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

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

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

WHERE: Exact location to be announced. Vienna 1010

Google map and directions

CONTACT: Joey Eckhart · lgbt@democratsabroad.at

 


Issues & Actions

 

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

DA makes push to reach historically underrepresented minority groups

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

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

READ MORE

 

Running for Democracy!

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

 


Reviews

 

Solidarity Sundays:  The Candidates (So Far)

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

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

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

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

 

 


Around Town

 

 

Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

WHEN: Thursday, 09. May, 7pm

WHERE: Judenplatz, 1010 Vienna

Free Entry

No seating available

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

READ MORE


April's Newsletter

DA Austria’s 2019 Survey

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

– DAA Executive Committee

 

In This Issue:

Events

Issues & Actions

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

Reviews

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

Members Corner

  • Peace Puzzle
  • Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

 


Events:


Experienced Democrats Meet-up

Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. Join us!

When: Tuesday, April 9, 6:00 pm

Where: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

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

 

Salzburg Meet-Up

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

When: Friday, April 12, 7:30 pm

Where: Haunspergstraße 37a, 5020 Salzburg

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

 

Solidarity Sundays 23: The Candidates (So Far)

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

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

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

When: Sunday, April 28, 4-6 pm

Where: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

Contact: Tanya Lolonis • solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at

 

Global Black Caucus Book Club Vl

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

When: Friday, May 10, 7:00 pm

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

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

Visit us on Facebook!

 


Issues & Actions:

 

Your 2019-2021 Executive Committee Team

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

READ MORE

 

The Progressive Caucus is up and running!

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

Who We Are

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

– Bruce Murray, ProDA Founding Member

READ MORE

 

2020 Delegate Selection Plan Open for Public Comment

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

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

 

Running for Democracy!

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

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office Closures

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

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

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

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

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

 


Reviews:

Graz International Women’s Day Workshop

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

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

 

Global Black Caucus Book Club V

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

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

READ MORE

 

DAA’s AGM – Business and Fun!

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

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

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

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

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

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

 

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

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

READ MORE

 


Members Corner

 

The Puzzle Project

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

 


Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

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

When: Thursday, May 9, 7pm

Where: Judenplatz,1010 Vienna

Free Entry, No Seating

READ MORE


Global Black Caucus Book Club V

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


The Progressive Caucus is up and running!

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

Who We Are

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

We Believe in

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

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

  • ending mass incarceration and police brutality;

  • common-sense gun safety legislation;

  • humane immigration practices and honoring the right to asylum;

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

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

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

  • continued introspection and transformation as progressive ideals evolve.

Our Principles and Methods

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

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

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

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


Like and follow us on Facebook: @prodacaucus

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

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

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

Submitted by Bruce Murray (ProDA founding member)


Announcing the 2019-2021 DAA Executive Committee

Congratulations to Democrats Abroad Austria's 2019-2021 Executive Committee! l to r: Brett Carnito, Caitlin Ahern, David Heckenberg, Fred Robinson, International Chair Julia Bryan, Tanya Lolonis, Bruce Murray, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, and Faith Hall Herbold – missing: Keith Jacomine and Marcy Fowler. #DA2020

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

2019-2021 DA Austria Leaders –

Executive Committee:

Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper

Vice Chair Keith Jacomine

Secretary Brett Carnito

Treasurer Marcy Fowler

Counsel Bruce Murray


DPCA Voting Representative:

Bruce Murray


Members-at-Large:

Caitlin Ahern

David Heckenberg

Faith Hall Herbold

Fred Robinson

Tanya Lolonis


Other Groups & Caucuses:

Black Caucus – Faith Hall Herbold

Experienced Dems – John Cahill

Hispanic Caucus – unoccupied

LGBT – Juan Cerda

Progressive Caucus (ProDA) – Bruce Murray

Solidarity Sundays – Tanya Lolonis, Juan Cerda

Women’s Caucus – unoccupied

Youth Caucus – David Heckenberg

Veterans and Military Families Caucus - unoccupied


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