Victoria

 

 

 


Welcome to the Democrats Abroad Victoria Chapter!

The Victoria chapter is a dedicated group of Democrats living in Victoria.  We work with Democrats of all stripes to further the principals of the Democratic Party.

Be sure to visit the Events section for upcoming events in Victoria. Upon joining Democrats Abroad, you'll receive information about our Facebook group. Please join our facebook group at our Democrats Abroad Australia Victoria Chapter Facebook page.

New voting legislation requires that you register to vote every election. To register and request an absentee ballot, use the handy portal at www.votefromabroad.org, which outlines deadlines and requirements for each state. For answers to specific questions, it is best you contact your local Board of Elections. The US Consulates in Australia also have voter assistance - see http://canberra.usembassy.gov/voting.html

To see how you can help out with events and Get Out the Vote calling campaigns, contact the Chair, Thomas Lopez


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DA Victoria Leadership:

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  • News

    GOTV Momentum Continues With Regional Meet-Up

    MORNINGTON—The Victorian branch of Democrats Abroad Australia (DAA-VIC) met this past weekend at Kirks on the Esplanade – a gorgeous coastal area on the Mornington Peninsula situated adjacent to Port Phillip Bay, to discuss current get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts, party reforms, advocacy efforts, and dissatisfaction with the current administration.

    DAA-VIC members briefly discussed how the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has taken significant steps to unify its members before the 2018 mid-terms and the 2020 presidential election. From August 23-25, party leaders will convene in Chicago to adopt changes to the delegate process for the party’s convention. Democrats Abroad’s eight DNC members are expected to attend and will cast their votes on the re-designed plan. Moreover, chapter members were in agreement on the party’s strategy to not only criticize Republican policies on their obvious weaknesses, as was done in 2016 but to also emphasize to voters what the Democratic Party stands for.

    With a little over 100 days until the U.S. General Election, chaos reigns within Republican ranks. In just the past few days, a Trump judicial nominee was withdrawn after a Republican senator discovered past racist writings by the nominee and openly opposed his appointment; politicians have questioned the patriotism of the president and the direction of the Republican party; and dozens of lawmakers are scratching their heads after the recent Trump-Putin summit conducted in complete privacy. DAA-VIC members conversed over these recent developments and were motivated more than ever to get out the vote for Americans residing abroad.

    Since the age of Trump, Democrats are winning elections in red-state races that Republicans never thought possible. After a robust discussion about how the president continues to willfully ignore the U.S. intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and how he refuses to hold Russia responsible for its blatant attack on American democracy, chapter members were clearly fired up in taking action.

    “Politicians’ actions in my home state of North Carolina have been, shall we say, less than ideal. I assure you I’m 100 percent voting in November,” stated Elizabeth, a DAA-VIC member.

    “I’ll make phone calls, contact my congress-members, write people -- I’m ready to do whatever it takes,” remarked Lucy, another attendee and long-time U.S. expat.

    Melissa, a local member and proud organizer of the Women’s March in Melbourne, offered her thoughts: “I’m surprised and .frustrated to feel that I’m fighting for equal pay, representation and fundamental human rights where it feels we’ve taken a giant leap backwards in every way that matters and in a way our forefathers would be horrified by.”

    The chapter’s vice chair, Marybeth Yarosh who is currently on travel in the U.S. and Europe – spoke briefly after the Mornington meeting and strongly urged for chapter members to keep up the pressure and activism. “Although we live across the ocean from our voting districts, it’s easy to get complacent and feel powerless against repeated attacks on our rights as American citizens. But we’re reminded that we’re not alone. Our opinions matter, we have voices and we need to use them. Every moment that passes is an opportunity to let Republicans get away with destroying America’s values, or an opportunity to do something about it.” Yarosh went on to encourage all Victorian members to become more involved in whatever suits your preference. Democrats Abroad continues to push out meaningful “Tiny Actions” which take only moments to complete every week. The party also has several caucuses available to join for members to take even more actions for those wanting to step up in volunteering.

    Members and all other Americans living in Victoria are reminded to check their voting eligibility status with their home jurisdictions if they have not done so already, and to ensure that absentee ballots are cast in their state’s primary as well as the election in November.

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    Democrats Abroad is the official arm of the U.S. Democratic Party for Americans residing outside of U.S. states and territories. The Victoria chapter of Democrats Abroad Australia is an active group of members whose primary focus is exercising their right to vote from abroad and electing Democratic candidates, in addition to raising awareness of and advocating for issues that concern Americans living abroad.


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    Statement from the Chair: Victoria Chapter - A Year In Review

    VICTORIA—Following on last month’s annual general meeting in Melbourne, DAA-VIC Chair Thomas Lopez presented the following remarks to all Democrats Abroad members residing in the state of Victoria:

    “Since being elected in June of 2017 to chair the Victorian chapter of Democrats Abroad Australia, we’ve been busy pushing on numerous fronts – promoting voting rights, fighting the Trump agenda, and so much more. It gives me great pleasure to offer this report to the membership on what we’ve been doing, where we stand now, and where we’re headed.

    “Last year we hit the ground running in an organized protest of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on the steps of the University of Melbourne Law School when U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts was a guest speaker. With Roberts’ vote, the American political system has been swamped more than ever in big money from corporations and PACs. However, rest assured he heard us loud and clearly that his support for ‘corporations are people’ is not welcomed by Americans in Victoria.

    “We then immediately responded to the president’s complete failure to condemn the racism and violence at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia by participating in a global social media campaign and expressing our strongest disapproval of all forms of racism.

    “With the creation of a wonderful 2018 calendar of notable American women designed by the DA Women’s Caucus, our state chapter participated in sponsoring the month of September with a spotlight on U.S. Senator Kamala Harris from my home state of California.

    “In fulfilling a promise I made to the membership, we held an important chapter meeting in Geelong for our regional members. We had a great discussion on taking action over the unfairness of the U.S. tax code on citizens abroad and how the president needlessly cancelled the DACA program for 800,000 ‘dreamers.’


    Our first Regional Chapter Meeting in Geelong

    “In November we hosted a meeting with congressional candidate Brian Forde, a former White House advisor on technology issues for President Obama. He spoke passionately to members in Melbourne on how Congress needs more experts with experience in dealing with science and technology.

    “Our chapter was fortunate to welcome Martha McDevitt-Pugh in December, a Democrats Abroad member who is also one of DA’s eight DNC members. She provided an update on how the party is reforming from within and what Democrats are doing to stay competitive in races all throughout the country. Martha is also the co-chair of the DA LGBT Caucus, so her advice on all things LGBT- and DNC-related was very much appreciated.


    Visit by Martha McDevitt-Pugh, co-chair of the DA Global LGBT Caucus

    “After New Year’s, we had several members participate in the second annual Women’s March in Melbourne. People from our chapter were both organizers of this major event, and marchers through the streets of Melbourne. It is so wonderful to be part of an organization which puts women equal to men in all aspects – in the workplaces, in our pay checks, in leadership positions, in pro-choice decision-making with doctors, and every other situation. There is an obvious lack of respect for women from the current administration, and I’m happy to say that we’ll participate in a hundred more women’s marches until there is finally mutual respect for one another, especially from the government.

    “With all that’s been going on in our activism, we appointed a vice chair to the state chapter to help manage our events, voter registration, and other activities. Marybeth Yarosh, originally from Arizona, has been terrific in her role in helping us make decisions and moving our chapter forward.

    “Many of our members, myself included, shared our overseas health care stories to be presented to Congress arguing for why a Medicare-for-All type of health care system is needed within the U.S.

    “Also in may, we hosted an expat tax seminar with Karen Powell, an expert on tax issues and truly an encyclopedia of knowledge. Around fifty people came to hear her speak and I suspect there are lots of us who would love to hear her do another tax seminar. I’d note that for the question of “How would you rate today’s event?” on the feedback form from the tax event, 85 percent of respondents marked either ‘excellent’ or ‘very good.’


    Our first Expat tax seminar. 

    “We’ve had great success in holding ‘Politics and a Pint’ social sessions in the city over the past year. These have been terrific places for us to meet informally and discuss U.S. politics, Democrats Abroad, absentee voting, and other relevant topics. Either myself or the vice chair will try our best to continue these monthly get-togethers during the work week.

    Chair Lopez also commented about the current status of the state chapter and what can be expected:

    “In addition to all the previously mentioned items, we’ve been active in registering voters, demanding that Congress pass sensible gun control reforms, holding regular chapter meetings both online and in-person, and so much more. In short, the status of our chapter is solid and moving forward. Since the primary season has already started, the chapter’s focus has moved into full get-out-the-vote mode. Calling all Democrats Abroad members – from Victoria and others on every continent – and reminding them to request their ballot, is our top priority from now until Election Day.


    One of our many chapter meetings.

    “There are so many things I love about our state chapter. We have diverse backgrounds and diverse opinions. We contribute in a variety of ways. We are committed to voting. I greatly look forward to making more progress in Year Two.”

    This concludes the chair’s Year in Review report. The next meeting of DAA-VIC will be announced shortly.

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    Democrats Abroad is the official arm of the U.S. Democratic Party for Americans residing outside of U.S. states and territories. The Victoria chapter of Democrats Abroad Australia is an active group of members whose primary focus is exercising their right to vote from abroad and electing Democratic candidates, in addition to raising awareness of and advocating for issues that concern Americans living abroad.

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