News

In November —

 

Message from the Chair

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

— Richard Miller, Chair, DA Austria



In This Issue —

Events:

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

Issues & Actions:

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

Reviews:

  • Wine Tasting Fundraiser
  • Solidarity Sundays



Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard at [email protected] to join.

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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Events: 

ProDA Monthly Meeting

When: Saturday, November 6, 2021

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

Where: Online

RSVP to attend.

 

Experienced Dems Get Together

When: Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Time: 6-8:00 p.m. 

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

RSVP to attend.

 

Black Caucus Book Club — Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

When: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Time: 6-8:00 p.m.

Where: Hybrid — TBA

RSVP to attend.

 

Thanksgiving Feast with all the Fixings

When: Thursday, November 25, 2021

Time: 6-9:30 p.m.

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

RSVP to attend.

 

Solidarity Sundays — Postcard Writing Party

When:  Sunday, November 28, 2021

Time:  4-6:00 p.m.

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

Email for address:  [email protected] 

 

Global Black Caucus — Global Meeting 

When: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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

Where: Online

RSVP to attend.

 

Happy Holidays Happy Hour

When: Saturday, December 11, 2021

Time: 6:00 p.m. 

Where: TBA in Vorarlberg

RSVP to attend.

 

Punsching for Democracy

When: Thursday, December 16, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm 

Where: Punschstand in 1010 Vienna

RSVP to attend.

 


Issues & Actions:

Set a Calendar Reminder! Request Your 2022 Ballot 

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

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

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

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

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

 

DA Voter Protection Update: 2021 Issues

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

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

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

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

DA Voter Protection Team

Read More 

 

 

No, Those Emails Are Not From Democrats Abroad!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

The IRS Can Do Better with Stimulus Payments!

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

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

– Carmelan Polce, Chair, Taxation Task Force

 

 

Open Volunteer Positions

Database Manager –  

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

Time commitment:

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

Requirements: 

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

Tasks: 

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

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

Contact: [email protected] 


Reviews:

Wine Tasting Fundraiser

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

– Richard Miller, DA Austria Chair  

 


Solidarity Sundays — Getting Real

October 20, 2021

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

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

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

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

 

 

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


In October —

 

In This Issue —

Events:

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

Message From the Chair

Issues and Actions:

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

Reviews:

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

 

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard at [email protected] to join.

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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Events: 

Experienced Dems Get Together

When: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Time: 6 pm

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

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Wine Tasting Fundraiser

When: Thursday, October 14, 2021

Time: 4 – 6 pm

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

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Halloween Happy Hour

When: Saturday, October 16, 2021

Time: 6 pm

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

RSVP to attend.

 

 

DAA Black Caucus Book Club

When: Sunday, October 17, 2021

Time: 4 pm

Where: ZOOM. 

RSVP for the link.

 

 

Salzburg Meet Up

When: Friday, October 22, 2021

Time: 5:30 pm

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

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Solidarity Sundays

When: Sunday, October 24, 2021

Time: 5:00 pm

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

RSVP to attend.



Save the Date — Thanksgiving

When: Thursday, November 25, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm

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

RSVP to attend.

 


 

Message from DA Austria Chair

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

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

 


Issues & Actions:

DAA sends flyers to Virginia voters  

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

Help us keep our member registration up to date!

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

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

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

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

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



Open Volunteer Positions

Database Manager  

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

Time commitment:

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

Requirements: 

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

Tasks: 

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

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

Contact: [email protected] 

 


Reviews:

Solidarity Sundays: Democracy State of Mind

September 26, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Slovakia Meet & Greet

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

 

2021 EMEA Regional Meeting – Setting the gears in motion

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

 

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

 


Vote in the Virginia State Elections - Nov 2, 2021

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

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

1) Register to Vote and Request Your Ballot TODAY


In September –

 

In This Issue —

Events:

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

Issues & Actions:

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

Reviews:

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

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard at [email protected] to join.

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

FOLLOW_US.png Support_us.png

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Events:

Experienced Dems Get Together

When: September 14, 2021

Time: 6 pm

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

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Photograph by Martin Katler

Bratislava Meet & Greet – In person

When: September 25, 2021

Time: 6:00pm - 9pm

Where: Los Mexikas, Františkánske námestie 8, Bratislava

RSVP to attend.

 

 

Solidarity Sundays: Democracy State of Mind

When: Sunday, September 26, 2021

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

RSVP for link.

 

 

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

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

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

RSVP for link.

 

 

DAA Black Caucus Book Club

When: Sunday, October 17

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

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

RSVP to attend.




Issues & Actions:

Introducing the All-New Phonebanking Training!

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

New Training Features:

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

READ MORE

 

Introducing the 2021-2023 Global Caucus and Team Leadership

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

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

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

READ MORE

 

proDA GOTV Initiative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Bruce Murray, proDA Austria liaison, proDA Global Chair

 

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

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

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

READ MORE

 


Reviews:

Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) Global Meeting

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

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

– Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

 

July 4 Party in Vienna

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

– Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

 

July 4 Party in Vorarlberg

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

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

– Stephanie Don, DA Vorarlberg

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

 


Introducing the All-New Phonebanking Training!

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

New Training Features:

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

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

- expanded explanation of the CONFIDENTIALITY agreement you signed

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

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

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

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

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

Democratically yours, 

Heidi, Stephanie, Susan, and Stan

DA Global CallHub Team

 


Introducing the 2021-2023 Global Caucus and Team Leadership

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

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

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

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

 

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

AAPI Caucus Chair: Emily Lines 

Advocacy Coordinator: Katie Solon

Black Caucus Chair: Leedonal “Jazz” Moore 

Caucus Coordinator: Karen Frankenstein

Design Coordinator: Alyson McLean

ERA Task Force Chair: Shari Temple

Events Coordinator: Alex Rehbinder

Fundraising Coordinator: Jeffrey Nadison

GOTV AP Coordinator: Cory Lemke

GOTV EMEA Coordinator: Diego Rivas

Hispanic Caucus Chair: Onélica Andrade

Internal Communications Coordinator: Brooke Burns

IT Coordinator: Shari Temple

LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair: Bob Vallier 

Medicare Portability Task Force Chair: Heather Stone

Press Coordinator: Daniel Strieff

Progressive Caucus Chair: Bruce Murray

Reparations Task Force Chair: Antar Keith

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

Youth Caucus Chair: Miguel Madrigal

Veterans and Military Families Caucus Chair: Mike Nitz 

Voter Assistance Coordinator: Kendra Borgen

Vote From Abroad Coordinator: Heidi Burch

Women’s Caucus Chair: Ann Hesse

 


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

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

Read More


July's Newsletter

 

In This Issue —

Events:

  • July 4 Party–Vienna 
  • July 4 Party–Vorarlberg 
  • DAA Black Caucus Book Club  
  • Seattle Mayor Candidate Forum 

Issues & Actions:

  • Fourth of July Party in Vienna’s Augarten 
  • Constituent Abroad Zoom Project - Connecting Americans abroad to Congress about tax reform
  • Advocating in DC: The Benefits of Membership

Reviews:

  • Pride Parade
  • Solidarity Sundays

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard at [email protected] to join.

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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Message from the Chair

We all bring our own individual talents and passion to Democrats Abroad. Some of us are activists. Some are organizers. Some are tech savvy. Some are poets, artists, and graphic designers.

As for me, I’m a drummer.

Well, not just that, of course. But playing music is something I love, and I’d like to incorporate more music into our DA events where we can.

At my day job at SOS Children’s Villages, we have started a rock band made up of staff members. We called the band the G-Meiners, in homage to the Austrian founder of SOS, Herman Gmeiner.

So, I thought it would be cool if the musicians among us could form our own DA Austria rock/pop/funk band! We are starting off at this year’s July 4 party with a small but powerful trio, led by our own Jacki Hafellner, a professional singer/pianist/oboist from Graz, who is also founder of the Schneider vocal academy. We’ll be joined by a buddy of mine from the G-Meiners, Paul Bastos, on guitar, and I’ll be on drums (a souped-up Cajon). We decided to have a name-the-band contest at the July 4 party. An early contender is Jacki and the Bidenettes!

As an all-volunteer organization, it is great if everyone contributes their skills and energy to help us reach our goals. Next year, especially, we will need many more volunteers to support our get-out-the-vote efforts, be it at in-person voter help tables, phone banking, or elsewhere. There are many options. Please let us know what your talents are and how you might like to help. Fill out the form here

And if you want to join the DA Austria band, you are more than welcome (although, as long as I’m chair, I have dibs on the drums).

— Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

 


Events: 

July 4 Party–Vienna

When: Sunday, July 4 

Time: 12:00-4:00 p.m.

Where: In-person. Die Schankwirtschaft im Augarten

RSVP: Sold OutHosted by DA Austria

 

 

July 4 Party–Vorarlberg

When: Sunday, July 4

Time: 3:00-7:30 p.m.

Where: In-person. Schwarzbad, Lochau

RSVP to attendHosted by DA Austria, Vorarlberg

 

 

Seattle Mayor Candidate Forum July 10 at 7:00 p.m. 

When: Sunday, July 10

Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m. CET

RSVP for linkHosted by DA Global

 

 

DAA Black Caucus Book Club 

When: Sunday, July 18

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

Where: In-person. TBD

RSVP to attendHosted by DA Austria




Issues & Actions: 

Fourth of July Party in Vienna’s Augarten

For those who have RSVP’d (we need to cap the total at 100), we look forward to seeing you Sunday, July 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at Die Schankwirschaft im AugartenWe'll have live music performed by our new—and hopefully to be expanded—Democrats Abroad band (don't miss the name-the-band contest!). We will also have a raffle with prizes including some must-have goodies, like an Inauguration Day t-shirt straight from Washington DC, a Notorious R.B.G. bobblehead, and other fabulous DA collectible swag.

Remember, Austria’s 3G rule applies. In the customary Austrian style, everyone pays the wait staff for their own food and beverage. More details at the event link on the DA website.

See you Sunday! 

— Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

 

Constituent Abroad Zoom Project — connecting Americans abroad to Congress about tax reform

The DA Taxation Task Force is organising zoom meetings in July to connect selected members of Congress to their constituents for a discussion about tax reform for Americans abroad. We are very excited to add this exciting new initiative to our multi-pronged strategy for getting tax reform for Americans abroad into legislation Congress will enact this year.  

They will be sending out an email announcement to constituent-members soon. Those constituents interested in attending are asked to register.

Constituents are the keys that open doors, hearts, and minds to our issues.

READ MORE

 

The Benefits of Membership

Democrats Abroad actively advocates in DC on issues affecting Amerians living abroad. Here are two recent examples that have also been picked up in major newspapers.

— Jen Rakow-Stepper, Regional Vice Chair–EMEA, DAA Member-at-Large

 

Vaccines for U.S. Citizens Abroad

The DA Global Executive Committee recently sent a letter to the Office of President Joe Biden to raise awareness that many US Citizens living abroad remain unvaccinated and will be at the back of the line to receive a vaccine in their host country. The letter urged the U.S. government to take appropriate steps to ensure that vaccines are available to all of its citizens worldwide.

The letter came about as an action from DA Thailand where many DA members are unable to be vaccinated or to return to the US to do so. The story was picked up in the Washington Post which mentions DA’s involvement. 

Read More

 

Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

Carmelan Polce, DATaxation Tax Force Chair, wrote an open letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen on the impacts of tax policy on U.S. citizens abroad. Her Letter to the Editor was published in the New York Times. Thank you Carmelan for all the fantastic work you do on our behalf!

Read More

 


Reviews:

Vienna Pride Parade 2021 

Some 20 DA Austria members came out on a steamy Saturday to march in this year’s Vienna Pride Parade. We were expecting a more or less socially distanced parade (no trucks this year), and we all came prepared with masks (thanks to Eva Ciabbatonni for handing out rainbow-colored FFP2 masks). Ultimately, most faces—like some bodies on the parade route— were uncovered. But we happened to get the lead position in front of the second wave of marchers, allowing us to keep some distance and with the added benefit that in photos it looks like we’re leading a throng of thousands!

A big thanks to Jessica Mijnssen for stepping in to be our lead Pride organizer, printing up our rainbow-themed Democrats Abroad t-shirts (designed by Sophie Spiegelberger) and putting together the paper flags we waved and handed out to fellow marchers.

Why do we march each year at Pride? It means something different to everyone. We know from the past four years that the hard fought rights of the LGBTQ+ community can be taken away if we don’t elect leaders who respect and protect those rights. Pride is about joy and freedom; it is also about staying engaged to ensure that the rights of all are secure.

— Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria

 

Solidarity Sundays:  The Paris Agreement -- Where the Rubber Meets the Road,

June 27, 2021

“Can I still be optimistic? Is there time to make a difference?” 

Yes, you can, says Olivia Coldrey, a leading expert in the global transformation to clean energy. National pledges to reduce emissions are increasing, but not enough—elected representatives need to act. “Best thing you can do? Speak up, vote.” (Solidarity Sundays reminds you to register to vote at VoteFromAbroad.org!)

The US is a key actor in the world economy. Biden is moving on clean energy faster than anyone saw coming. He set the goal of net-zero by 2050, placed climate at the center of his policies, and appointed Cabinet secretaries committed to transforming our energy sector. The world’s financiers are noticing. 

Biden wants America—the highest per capita CO2 emitter—at the forefront of climate investment. He is pulling the US out of fossil-fuel energy projects abroad and pivoting to cleaner ones. “We’re not reading it in the paper, but fundamental developments to the financial system are underway.” The Federal Reserve, for example, has signaled support for mandatory climate disclosures by companies. Businesses relying heavily on fossil fuels would become risky for investors; the attractiveness of cleaner companies would transform the global economy. Want to know more? Read Coldrey’s PDF presentation here.

Solidarity Sundays is exploring ways to engage with our elected officials. Calling the US from abroad is prohibitive, but Skype Credit lets you phone your senators for pennies. Find step-by-step instructions here. The Equality Act has stalled in the Senate—your senators need to hear from you.

Have a great summer break! Solidarity Sundays goes back to work fixing democracy in September!

— Tanya Lolonis, Member at Large DA Austria, Solidarity Sundays Co-Coordinator

 

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

 


June's Newsletter

 

In this Issue:

Events:

  • Gabby Giffords–Courage to Fight Gun Violence 
  • Vienna Pride Parade 2021
  • Global Virtual Pride Marathon
  • DAA Black Caucus Book Club
  • ProDA: Biden Harris Progress Report #5
  • Solidarity Sundays
  • 4th of July Gathering in Vienna
  • Red, Wine & Blue: 4th of July Picnic in Vorarlberg 

Issues & Actions:  

  • Introducing DAA’s new Phone-bank Coordinator Yvonne Richard
  • Auf Wiedersehen
  • GBC Book Club is Back!

Reviews:

  • Global & Regional Meetings 
  • Expat Taxes 101 
  • Solidarity Sundays: Moonshot

Members Corner: 

  • The Senate Filibuster Impasse

 

Having trouble viewing this email? You can read the newsletter online

Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard at [email protected] to join.

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!

 

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Events:

Gabby Giffords–Courage to Fight Gun Violence

When: Thursday, June 17

Time: 5-7:00 p.m.

RSVP for the zoom link. Hosted by DA Switzerland

Vienna Pride Parade 2021

When: Saturday, June 19

Time: 1-5:00 p.m.

RSVP: In-Person! RSVP here

 

Global Virtual Pride Marathon

When: Sunday, June 20

Time: 12 p.m-12:00 a.m.

RSVP for the zoom link. Hosted by DA Global LGBTQ+ Caucus

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAA Black Caucus Book Club

When: Sunday, June 20

Time: 4-6:00 p.m.

RSVP for the zoom link. Hosted by DA Austria

 

 

ProDA: Biden Harris Progress Report #5

When: Thursday, June 24

Time: 7-8:00 p.m.

RSVP for the zoom link Hosted by DA Austria

Solidarity Sundays

When: Sunday, June 27

Time: 4-6:00 p.m.

RSVP for the zoom link

 

4th of July in Vienna

When: Sunday, July 4

Time: 12-3:00 p.m.

RSVP: In-person! RSVP here  

 

Red, Wine, & Blue: 4th of July in Vorarlberg

When: Sunday, July 4

Time: 3-7:00 p.m.

RSVP: In-person! RSVP here  

 


Issues & Actions: 

Introducing DAA’s new Phone-bank Coordinator Yvonne Richard

DAA has a new Phone Bank Coordinator! Yvonne Richard has taken on the position of head of phone bankers. Yvonne lives in Vienna and has a lot of experience in phone banking, including being one of the top callers in the 2020 election cycle. She will be supported by Marjorie Rosenberg in Graz, who was also very active on Call Hub during the last presidential election. DAA’s phone bankers helped raise the global turnout in the crucial election that voted Trump out of the White House. Next year when both the Senate and House are at stake, our team of phone bankers in Austria will again play a crucial role in raising awareness for the midterms among American voters living overseas and helping them cast their ballots from abroad.   

 

Auf Wiedersehen

It’s a bittersweet goodbye to two of DA Austria’s most dedicated super volunteers who are moving back to the US in June. Dan Englund and Michael Wagner arrived on the DAA scene a few years ago and quickly became regular attendees of Solidarity Sundays, Pro DA, Pride parades, and other meetings and events. They also became invaluable super volunteers as they dedicated many hours to helping Americans register to vote at voter registration events and the Global Presidential Primary. Michael was Phone Bank Coordinator during the 2020 election cycle, and his leadership resulted in DA Austria’s wildly successful call campaign in 2020. 

We wish you a great next chapter in your lives, and we will see you again!

 

GBC Book Club

Our book club is back! We're starting off with Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, a historical novel that traces the descendants of two half-sisters Effia and Esi, born into different villages in Ghana. Homegoing follows the parallel narrative lines of their descendants through eight generations, intimately portraying African and African American experiences in the aftermath of enslavement. Join our virtual meeting Sunday, June 20 at 4 p.m. via Zoom. Be sure to RSVP on the Democrats Abroad page to get the link. See you there!

 


Reviews:

Global & Regional Elections and Meetings

At 3 a.m. Austria time, groggy Democrats (at least those in our time zone) logged into Zoom for the 2021 Annual Global Meeting.

It was the second time since the start of the pandemic that the global gathering of Democrats Abroad leaders was held virtually, electing new international officers, voting on bylaws, and passing resolutions.

But for 2021, it was decided to start the meeting at a time convenient for members in the Asia Pacific region, which is why your three voting members from DA Austria – chair, vice chair, and DPCA voting rep – needed to rise (if not shine) quite early.

That marked the start of a 20-plus-hour online meeting over two days – May 15 and 16 – with more than 200 participants present at all times. Like a mini-session of Congress, there were presentations, speeches, motions, objections, amendments, points of order, and most of all – votes. It was truly a demonstration of just how dedicated people are to this all-volunteer organization.

A lot was achieved. We elected a new International Executive Committee, and we can be most proud that our own Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, our former chair of DA Austria, prevailed over four challengers to be elected the new EMEA Regional Vice Chair.

READ MORE


Expat Taxes

June 15 is the tax filing deadline for Americans abroad. To help you get prepared, Democrats Abroad Austria hosted a 90-minute webinar in May titled Expat Taxes 101. It was a super informative session with two amazing guest panelists: Nathalie Goldstein of MyExpatTaxes, and Katelynn Minott of Bright!Tax. They covered everything from the basics of tax filing and getting your stimulus payments (if you haven’t already), to the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) and the IRS’s amnesty program for those who may be behind in their filings. 

If you missed it and would like a recording, please make at least the minimum donation for our global get-out-the-vote efforts in 2022 by clicking here, and then send your request to Richard Miller at [email protected].

 

Solidarity Sundays:  Moonshot 

May 30, 2021

Solidarity Sundays looked at a critical, little-understood aspect of the Biden project. His infrastructure plan aims to transform America's economy and society. We talk about what the proposals contain, how much they will cost, in what shape they will pass — if they will pass at all. But what happens after the legislation becomes law may be the most consequential part of all.

Elaine Kamarck, Harvard professor and seasoned White House advisor, addressed the question, why do modern presidencies begin in hope and end in disappointment? Her answer:  presidents enter office with little understanding of the massive government they're supposed to run.

Inexperience can cripple an administration. Consider Bush and the Iraq War, his response to Katrina, and the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare website. These failures ended hopes of progress on important policy issues. Worse, they eroded trust in the ability of government to solve people's problems. Donald Trump leveraged this disillusionment to vault to the Oval Office. 

Dr. Kamarck credits Trump's cluelessness about the federal government as the reason it remains intact. Biden, by contrast, understood how to harness the government's capacity to tame the pandemic. If he creates infrastructure jobs before the midterms, she predicts a good outcome for Democrats. You can get Dr. Kamarck's book, "Why Presidents Fail -- and How They Can Succeed Again" here.

Solidarity Sundays explored trolling, the Republican political strategy of the internet age. Each day, Ted Cruz and Marjorie Taylor Greene intentionally bait liberals into online fights. And the engagement is a trap:  every time liberals fight with someone in the comments section or dunk with a Quote Tweet, algorithms push the offensive post into the feeds of more people. Read an excellent explanation of this GOP strategy — and how to outwit the algorithm — here.

 


Members Corner:

The Senate Filibuster Impasse   

Over the past decade, the Senate filibuster rule has ground essential Senate legislation to a virtual halt. In the last session, only four percent of proposed Senate legislation was brought to a vote (govtrack.us/congress). The minority party, whether Democratic or Republican, uses this tactic to indefinitely prolong legislative consideration or debate, which often results in no debate at all. All filibusters, however, are not the same. Rule of thumb estimates indicate that over the past decade, Democratic legislation had more popular support from all voters than was the case for proposed Republican legislation. Hence, Joe Biden could claim that the recent passage of the Covid-19 Relief Package had bipartisan support, even though Senate Republican members were uniformly opposed.

To defeat the filibuster maneuver and to actually bring legislation to a vote, a 3/5 majority or a 60 senator vote is required to close debate. The high threshold should prompt Senate members to negotiate across the aisle and reach legislative compromise. Such compromise, however, has been overtaken by party interest.  Popularly supported and essential legislation languishes and often dies as a result of  unprecedented filibuster use.

READ MORE

 

Thank you for reading the June Newsletter!

 

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