IT'S TIME FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE - JOIN THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN
Universal Healthcare: a.k.a Guaranteed Healthcare, Medicare for All, Single-Payer
No matter what you call it, the time is now for universal healthcare. Given the recent attacks on healthcare and threats of repeal towards ACA (“Obamacare”), Democrats need a firm stance to show support for those who need it most.
The cost of healthcare in the United States is the biggest cause of poverty and financial and psychological strain on Americans - especially among minority communities and low income families. Many other countries ensure universal healthcare as a fundamental human right.
Democrats Abroad Australia surveyed its members in 2017 and found that affordable and universal healthcare was by far the biggest priority. In Australia, and many other developed countries, everyone can rely on public and accessible without thought or concern of how it will affect them financially.
You spoke and now it’s time for action.
First: Show your support.
Please use the hashtag #DA4UHC when sharing!
Second: Tell your story.
What unique experience have you have from living abroad that you could tell fellow Americans back home? What experience have you had from a country with free access to healthcare? How have you benefited? Are you a healthcare refugee? Could you be such in future? What would like to tell your lawmaker right now about healthcare? Your voice matters, and will only matter if you use it.
We want to hear your story, please send it to: [email protected] and then, please e-mail your Representative and Senator!
Third: Spread the word, encourage others to join
Democrats Abroad Australia will take this campaign to the 2018 DA AGM where we will pass a resolution for Democrats Abroad international in support of universal healthcare (aka Guaranteed Healthcare, Single-payer or Medicare4All). Although Democrats Abroad favors the position of single-payer, we will propose a clear and unequivocal support for true universal healthcare, with intent to take to DNC. The more members we have involved, the more successful this campaign will be!
Your voice matters. Your story matters. Be part of the campaign “I Heart Universal Healthcare” and oppose the disastrous attacks on healthcare by joining us in this effort.
There’s quite a lot going on back home and we wanted to make sure you have all the info!
Special Elections - happening this month!
If you haven’t heard of what is now a trend, the GOP is facing formidable challenges in States they thought locked up - namely Kansas and Montana where fellow Dems were very close to winning these deep red states.
While this bodes well for us, we want to make sure you know all about what’s on for the immediate future. You can find a full list of the Special Elections in 2017 here.
Specifically, up this month is:
20 June - Georgia Special Election Runoff Democrat Jon Ossoff is running for the 6th Congressional District
Please do refer to the full list of 2017 Special Elections to make sure you meet the voting Deadlines!
Residency-Based Taxation Campaign - Call Storm on 15th June!
Have a read through the main RBT Democrats Abroad post as contains information as to what the campaign is and why it matters to all citizens living abroad. Also see the Residency Based Taxation Campaign in a Box pdf for details. There is also a Facebook event here.
Democrats Abroad is having an international Call Storm on 15th June - the tax deadline for international filers - where you can pick up the phone to your Representatives and Senators to ask for their support for Residency Based Taxation.
Thursday 15 June is of course US time and inconvenient for us. That 9 to 5 day translates to 11:00pm Thursday, 15th June to 7:00am Friday, 16th June (AEST: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart time).
If you can make any calls - late or early during the above times, Call Storms only work if a massive number of calls are generated, literally disrupting the day. We need your help to storm Capitol Hill on June 15th.
Look for an inexpensive or free calling utility and starting calling home today!
Find the .pdf of this report here: https://www.scribd.com/document/349550222/Survey-Report
This the official Democrats Abroad Australia Survey Results as promised by the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary - part of the new Executive Committee for DAA 2017-2019. This report will offer a basic interpretation of the results with intention to utilise the responses to form the 2 Year Plan for Democrats Abroad Australia at a time when great organising and planning is direly needed.
We thank everyone who took time to respond to this very important survey as this will indeed determine our path forward, united, in pushing for change to the state of politics in the Party and USA.
Basics (Page 1/4)
Total Responses: 196 (excluding duplicates)
Approx percent of membership: 6 %
Survey Responses by State
99.9 % (accurate to 0.1)
Conclusion & Explanation
The goal was for 200 unique respondents. Ideally wanted 10% membership response (~300). State breakdown was largely as expected per membership numbers, noting that the numbers may not be wholly accurate as they are self identified, and represent a proportionate representation of members per State.
Preferred Method of Communication
Will continue to utilise e-mail for:
- All member-relevant information (routine updates) - we're aware of bombarding people with information and leading to over-saturation.
- Important matters (this survey, DA International elections, State Chapter elections).
- Any urgent matters deemed so by ExCom or Member input.
- State-level organising, meet-ups, actions will be distributed through this channel respective to State/Local Chapter.
- As nearly everyone selected this, all formal DAA matters will be sent through this channel.
Social networks formed the second category, albeit a far-second. The percentage of respondents is proportional to the members currently on/engaged with social networks/media platforms. The Leadership recognises that social media channels can best be used for urgent actions, sharing information and those who want to engage with social media outreach.
We will use social networks for:
- Organising & logistics for publicised events, actions, activities, meet-ups
- Sharing of non-crucial information (concerning Democrats Abroad/Australia)
- Information sharing between teams, individuals
Those who are not engaged with social networks and desire to be active are encouraged to join the State Facebook Closed Group (search for group in Facebook and send a request to admin of group), Slack (send email to [email protected] for invite)
In-Person and Text Message were a virtual tie for third and utilised for quite different purposes.
Personal meet-ups should be used whenever possible and to extent of what members prefer. Obviously organised at State level for Capital City/Regional meet-ups aside from AGM.
In-Person (aside from obvious personal connection):
- In-depth planning and action
- Social events, actions, protests
- Organising where possible given membership location
Text-Messages are more tricky, and we will utilise when we can. Obviously good for reminders and driving specific tasks/goals but challenging to send mass blasts due to technological limitations. This will mostly be used on a local level.
Virtual Meetings was last and will be used for connecting regional members and when local members can’t attend the in-person meeting.
Larger Picture (page 2/4)
What are the four most urgent National Issues for the USA? (limited to 4)
- Affordable of Universal Healthcare (77.5%)
- Global Climate Change (61.8%)
- Income Inequality/Raising the Minimum Wage (46.6%)
- Domestic Gun Violence (44.6%)
- Corporate & Special Interest Money in Politics (39.7%)
This was asked to gauge where everyone is at, what they are feeling should indeed be the direction of the Party as a whole. It was also asked so that the Priorities that inform the 2-Year Plan will indeed be member-driven and not just the assumptions of the elected leaders. Our goal for DAA is to ensure that advocacy will largely focused (yet certainly not restricted to) these issues. It’s noted that in the comments, the majority of write-in responses were “all of them” (or an equivalent phrase). We will be prioritising turning out to vote to special, State and Federal elections and these issues to drive DAA forward.
Is the Democratic Party in need of a transformation?
Given the result of 2016 and the divide within the party, this was a necessary question. 1 was “no, not at all” and 10 was “yes, totally and completely”. Taking the straight average, the result is just under 8 with highest respondents being in categories 8 and 10 (tie). In fact, 64.2% said that the Democratic party was in need of a total transformation (ranked 7 or higher). It is obvious that DAA members believe the party is in need of change.
How we'll do it - your involvement
Excitingly, although only 35 people said they were currently involved in your local chapter, 153 people have said they want to be more involved. And, nearly every respondent saying they’d be willing to take part in activities including social media actions, calling politicians, turning out the vote and other activities.
If you’ve volunteered to take part in actions and activities, we’ll be passing along your information to your local Chapters, and we’ll be in touch soon!
Find the results to the 2017 survey here: https://www.scribd.com/document/349550222/Survey-Report
Your Chair and Vice-Chair had the privilege to attend the AGM this past weekend and vote for new leadership of DA. Prior to the AGM, we released a survey to ask you who we should vote for and we wanted to share this publicly below as well.
First, the AGM was based in Washington DC and roll call began at about 11:00pm Sydney time. This proved very challenging to attend, but we’ll have more on how we worked together with the Asia-Pacific region to change this for next year.
We had 26 respondents to the AGM Election Survey and we're excited to announce that not only did we reflect your vote - but your vote won!
Julia Bryan was successful for the Chair position and is who we supported. The majority of the survey responses supported her as well as all Australia’s votes. Julia’s lengthy experience in Democrats Abroad would serve us incredibly well over the next 2 years and feel that we are in very good hands.
In a surprise move, Art Schankler dropped out of the race allowing Alex Montgomery of Hong Kong acclamation to the Vice-Chair position. Our survey was strongly in favour of Alex, and we eagerly look forward to working with him as key representation in the Asia-Pacific region.
In surprising similar move, Kari Hiepko-Odermann followed Art’s move allowing Lisette Wright acclamation to Treasurer. Our survey was a virtual tie, a difference of only one vote, between these two qualified women, and it was proving difficult to decide.
Jeffrey Cheng was successful for Secretary, was strongly supported by our survey and Australia’s votes. Jeffrey has played a key role in the LGBTQI caucus and will make an exceptional Secretary.
Our survey for Counsel was varied and dispersed unevenly between the four candidates. Although Tom Schmid was marginally 2nd in the results, he was our voting choice based off his record and ability and was ultimately successful for the position. Tom makes the second candidate from the Asia-Pacific region - a feat that has not yet occurred in Democrats Abroad.
Resolutions and By-Law Amendments
The Resolutions and By-Law Amendments made for conversation, debate and most eventually ended up being “referred to a committee.” There were over 50 pages of proposed changes to resolutions and by-laws, which you can see here, and once the Wiki is updated with information about how the by-law changes went, we’ll update the link on our website so you can read more.
Committee & Caucus Updates
There’s great work happening in Democrats Abroad committees and caucuses, including GOTV, tax, fundraising, young, hispanic and progressive caucuses. We encourage you to get involved in committees related to your interest. You can see the full presentations and updates here.
Asia Pacific & 2018
The Asia-Pacific region also held elections for our region during the AGM, and your Chair served on the election committee. We’re excited to announce that Shaun Barnes from Hong Kong was elected Chair of the region and ran unopposed.
Before the AGM, we also lobbied and worked with the Asia-Pacific region to bloc behind the next year’s AGM to be held closer to home. We are proud to announce that next year’s AGM will be held in Japan in or around Tokyo! This will hopefully allow more DA Australia members to attend and take part in our party.
Democrats Abroad Australia elected its national officers at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, 18 March 2017. Congratulations to its newly elected officers:
Chair: Umme Sarah Hoque
Vice Chair: Kent Getsinger
Secretary: Kito Alvarez
Treasurer: Mark Evans
Counsel: Lisa Lombardi
Thank you to everyone who ran for office, including candidates Michael Ramos, Elizabeth Cage, Evan Leandro and Saun Mowrey.
Following are the results of the election, which includes the tally of the votes cast at the AGM in person or via WebEx and the absentee ballots which all DAA members had the opportunity to cast up until 24 hours before the start of the AGM.
Umme Sarah Hoque: 57
Michael Ramos: 56
Elizabeth Cage: 53
Kent Getsinger: 39
Evan Leandro: 15
Democrats Abroad requires gender diversity for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair. Members of DA Australia were informed prior to voting that only the votes of the Vice Chair of the opposite gender of the person elected Chair would be counted.
Kito Alvarez: 60
Shaun Mowrey: 40
Mark Evans as the sole candidate was elected by unanimous assent at the AGM.
Lisa Lombardi as the sole candidate was elected by unanimous assent at the AGM.
There were abtensions from voters in the races for Vice Chair and Secretary which account for the differences in the tallies for the 3 contested races.
Verification of Election Results
Chris Stueckle, Teller of the Election, has verified the election results. All voters were confirmed as members of Democrats Abroad Australia in order to count their vote. In accordance with section 17.8 of the DA Australia by-laws and the absentee ballot instructions, absentee ballot votes were accepted from members whose email address matched the voter's email address in the records of Democrats Abroad. Where the email addresses did not match, the voter was informed prior to the AGM and notified of the opportunity to cast a vote during the AGM. The Teller of the Election and the Election Committee assistants Ersie Burke and Lisa Lombardi each counted the votes three times and ensured that only one vote was cast from a DAA member.
Minutes from the AGM will be circulated this week. The new board is currently being set up with full access to the Democrats Abroad Australia database, bank account, and social media.
Thank you to all DAA members who voted in the election and AGM. We had an unprecedented level of turn out. We look forward to DAA members involvement under the leadership of its newly elected national officers.
Democrats Abroad Australia will elect its national Executive Committee officers as part of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, 18 March. If you are unable to attend in person in Sydney or via WebEx, you can vote an absentee ballot in advance.
- You must be a US citizen and a member of Democrats Abroad Australia before you submit a ballot. You can join here.
- You must submit a ballot using the email address Democrats Abroad has on file for you. (If you are uncertain of your email address or wish to update your email address before voting, log on to Democrats Abroad.
- Read the candidate statements before voting.
- You must submit your ballot no later than 10:00am, Friday 17 March 2017 (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time), 24 hours before the AGM.
- Do not vote an absentee ballot if you plan to attend the AGM in person or via Webex.
Democrats Abroad seeks to have gender diversity in its leadership. The Chair and Vice Chair of DA Australia must not be of the same gender. You are welcome to vote for whichever candidates you seek to support. But please be advised that after the election of the Chair at the AGM, only the ballots of Vice Chair candidates of the opposite gender of the newly elected chair will be counted.
Democrats Abroad Australia will elect its Executive Committee representatives at our national AGM on Saturday, 18 March in Sydney. The level of interest in DAA leadership roles is unprecedented. We've never had so many people run for office before! Thank you to our candidates!
Following are the candidate statements for those seeking election as Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Legal Counsel. Candidates are listed alphabetically.
The following candidate statements open in in the Scribd application. If you have trouble accessing them, you can read the candidate statements on the DAA website.
The duties of the roles at the national and international level are broadly outlined here. The ExCom officers also provides support to the DA Australia local chapters.
Candidate: Mark Evans
Candidate: Lisa Lombardi
Register to attend the Democrats Abroad Australia Annual General Meeting
Saturday 18 March 2017 10:00am - 12:00pm AEDT (the local time in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra)
North Sydney Community Centre, Wattle Room, 220 Miller St, North Sydney NSW 2060 (Google map and directions)
Free Webex call (access calling in via your computer)
The AGM is open to all US citizens who at the time of the AGM are registered as members of Democrats Abroad Australia. We need your participation to help shape the priorities for DA Australia for the next 2 years and to help elect our national officers.
9:30am Arrival in person or online
- The year in review
- Discussion of priority activities for 2017 and 2018
- Approval of revised DA Australia by-laws
- Q&A with Executive Committee candidates
- Election of national officers
12:00pm Close of AGM; optional self-funded lunch at nearby venue for those attending in person.
Read the statements for Executive Committee national officer candidates. Voting will take place at the AGM in person or via Webex. (If you can't attend on 18 March you can submit an online absentee ballot).
Proposed changes to our by-laws include the creation of national Voting Representative(s) in case DA Australia membership ever exceeds 5,000. This will allow us to fully exercise the number of votes afforded to DA Australia for international DA meetings. Other changes are revisions to deadline for when we hold our AGM.
Registration is now open for U.S. citizens who are members of Democrats Abroad Australia. (If you are not yet a member, join before registering).
Democrats Abroad Australia encourages you to make a voluntary donation to help cover venue hire costs and build our 2018 Get out the Vote ad campaign to find and register more expat Americans. Suggested amounts are $15, $25 or $50. Donations can be made at the AGM or by direct deposit into the Democrats Abroad Australia bank account. BSB: 032-007 Account #: 386555 Account name: Democrats Abroad Australia (DAA) Inc. (Please include your name in the reference field).
We look forward to your participation!
The Democrats Abroad Australia Executive Committee