Message from the Chair
This past month, our nation made incredible strides forward to fight climate change, make our economy more equitable, compete globally, support our veterans and more. These successes fulfil promises made during the 2020 election by Democrats running for office at all levels. As inflation stabilizes and gas prices drop, we are also seeing that Biden’s thoughtful and effective leadership is helping successfully steer economy through some really turbulent waters.
Know that NONE of that would be the case were it not for YOU! You and millions of others contributed your time, your money and your network to the 2020 elections. And it worked! Your investments helped turn out a record number of voters in November 2020 as well as in January 2021 in Georgia for the final two Senate slots that were open. Because of your efforts, we now hold the White House and both chambers of Congress!
We know what works and we need to turn up the dial now for THIS NOVEMBER and beyond. Democracy, human rights, climate and so much more are on the ballot and we need you to engage your resources as much as you humanly can so that we can carry this momentum through November and far into the future!
I’ve shared before and I’ll share again that I’m bullish on holding and expanding our Senate position by two (the Senate +2 strategy) and on holding the House.
The Inflation Reduction Act propels us forward substantially in the fight against climate change. And yet – it still leaves a lot of room for improvement. I found this blog post from the head of Climate Solutions, Gregg Small, to be really helpful, informative and influential in terms of how to think about what it does and doesn’t do. I was heartened by his pragmatic analysis about this legislation. By expanding our position in the Senate and holding the House, we will be able to build on the foundation that this legislation provides. If we don’t – then further progress will likely stop and we’ll, instead, be bombarded with Republican hearings and witch hunts.
Additional useful information on the Inflation Reduction Act:
The three things everyone should know about this Act – this op-ed by President Biden highlights that this legislation:
- “Lowers costs for working families” (especially by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices)
- “Takes the most aggressive action ever in confronting the climate crisis”
- “Provides tax credits that will create thousands of good-paying clean energy manufacturing jobs”
- The fact that only Dems voted for it really highlights who cares to help Americans vs. special interests
- State by state Fact sheets share how each state will benefit
In addition to the Inflation Reduction Act, there has been an extraordinary cascade of excellent action over the past month. It may feel like these are all of a sudden happening, but that’s not the case. Elements of these have been in the works since Biden started in 2021. Plus, many of these wouldn’t have happened if Trump won (ie – Trump didn’t actually support NATO).
- Finland & Sweden Accession to NATO
- Passage of the CHIPS ACT to build up the domestic semi-conductor industry (check out this Fact Sheet!)
- Passage of the PACT act to address the burn pits’ impact on service members (here’s the Fact Sheet)
- Killing of senior al Qaeda official, Ayman al-Zawahiri (here are the President’s remarks)
- Stabilization of inflation
- Reduction of gas costs
- And, of course, this is all on top of the monumental American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Act!
Keeping the momentum going:
- Just after the summer break, the Senate will move on passage of the Marriage Equality Bill that already passed the House. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is tasked with finding the 10 Republican votes so it can overcome a filibuster. Here’s background on what’s already passed (with 47 Rs signing on in the House!)
- Protecting bodily autonomy: Kansas showed what people really want when Kansans fought and defeated a proposed legislative amendment which would have enabled the banning of abortion in Kansas. This article does a great job enumerating what happened and how it drove huge turnout. And this article talks about the excellent work happening in Michigan, Vermont and California to allow voters to enshrine a woman’s right to choose this coming November.
We have great Democratic candidates, let’s make sure they get your vote in November:
- Marie Perez:
Here’s her main site and her intro video. People are very moved by sitting down with her and deeply relate to the kitchen table issues that affect most voters – especially in rural areas. She is going head-to-head with White nationalist and far-right extremist Joe Kent who beat the current Republican incumbent, Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler. LINK. Kent is the most extreme candidate ever nominated to run for public office in Washington State’s history. Kent routinely uses violent rhetoric and promotes hatred and division. He spreads conspiracy theories and lies, including his repeated claims that the 2020 election was stolen. He is more interested in catering to the White Nationalist fringe of America than actually representing working people. Historically, Democrats write off the WA-3 district as a safely red seat. – But not this year. – The majority of voters in Marie’s district are not extremists like Joe Kent. Marie can win this race if she has your support. Given Kent’s troubling track record, we have our real chance to flip this seat blue, and show that Americans are tired of extreme political agendas.
- Mandela Barnes:
The now Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, he is running against insurrectionist GOP Senator Ron Johnson. Mandela’s mother was a Milwaukee school teacher, and his father worked the 3rd shift at a GM factory; he was a community organizer; a Wisconsin State Representative at 27; and at 31, Mandela became Wisconsin’s first Black Lt. Governor. The latest public polling shows Mandela up 7% over Ron Johnson and crucially leading with independent voters. However, because Mandela had to compete in a competitive primary, Ron Johnson began the General election with a massive funding advantage. Over the next several weeks and months, Johnson and Mitch McConnell will launch an all-out attack on Mandela because they know Mandela can win this race. WI and PA are our best chances to pick up Senate seats this year, but to do so, Mandela needs our help.
- Raphael Warnock:
The current Senator is ahead of Herschel Walker by only 4% - an incredibly close race. We can take nothing for granted here!
Love and Light
Leedonal (Jazz) Moore
- Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus
- Democrats Abroad Interim Int. Secretary
Race To The Ballot Box
Use your voice! It matters! It matters to us - It matters to you - It matters to every family who’s lost their loved ones - It matters to ALL BLACK LIVES!
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And we will continue to fight for Democratic victories and for issues that our members care about!
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Meet our new newest Team Member
Twanna A. Hines
GBC Health Equity
Votes in Washington D.C.
Lives in Portugal
Read more about Twanna here: ABOUT US
We Need You.
Our Brothers and Sisters Need You. Our Country NEEDS You. BE THE FUTURE!
Always stay updated by visiting: GBC Events
THE RULE OF LAW CAME OF AGE IN AFRICA; WILL IT DIE IN AMERICA?
Thursday, September 1, 2022, 12:00-13:30 Eastern
Whether you believe there was an attempted coup on the US government or not, there is no question that lawyers were pivotal in the strategies that Donald Trump and his Republican supporters devised for him to try and stay in power after he lost the 2020 election.
Democrats Abroad Africa Committee and the DA Global Black Caucus present the case for holding the lawyers accountable. Find out what happened, who was responsible, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. Join us for a serious session about preserving America’s democracy and the rule of law and how to vote from abroad.
With guest speaker Michael Teter, Managing Director, The 65 Project.
The 65 Project is a bipartisan effort to protect democracy by holding accountable “Big Lie Lawyers” who brought fraudulent and malicious lawsuits to overturn legitimate election results and deterring them from doing so in the future.
MEET THE MARYLAND CANDIDATES
Monday, September 12, 2022, at 1pm - 3pm Eastern Time
Your Maryland State Team is putting together a great lineup of Maryland Federal and State Democratic Candidates. This is an opportunity for you to meet them before you vote in the 2022 Midterm elections.
Confirmed to speak at our event is candidate for Maryland's Attorney General Cong. Anthony Brown!
We hope to follow up soon with further confirmed candidate attendees.
Quo Vadis, America?
Voting Rights in the United States, past, present, future
- C. Pung, August 2, 2022
The United States is a relatively young democracy that technically provides its citizens with broad access to the ballot box. The rules for voting in federal, state, and local elections in the U.S. today are relatively straightforward: one must be a citizen of the U.S. (in some areas non-citizens are allowed to vote in local elections only), be 18 years old on or before Election Day and must meet your state’s residency requirements. These requirements seem relatively straightforward and progressive in spirit; however, a closer look at the history of voting rights in the United States… Read the full article on monthly GBC Issue topic: August 2022 Voting Rights here.
The Road to a Blue Georgia
By Dr. Laura Allen
- Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus Secretary Deputy
- Democrats Abroad Canada Black Caucus
While all states are important for securing Democratic power in the 2022 midterms and beyond, many eyes will be on the state of Georgia. In addition to key local races, congressional races, and the gubernatorial rematch many have awaited, Georgians will also be facing many obstacles as a result of the voter suppression issues ushered in by Georgia Senate Bill 202 (SB 202). In this paper, we will highlight key races and issues that are of the utmost importance for all Democrats Abroad, and Black Democrats Abroad in particular.
President Joe Biden not only won the 2020 United States Presidential Election, but he also won the state of Georgia, which made him the first Democrat to win the state since Bill Clinton in 1992. Biden won Georgia over Trump by 11,779 votes. This win is particularly significant when we consider how Georgia has a history of purging voter rolls in ways that disproportionately impact voters of color. According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, Georgia purged 313,000 voters the year before the 2020 election (6). This number pales in comparison to the 560,000 voters purged in 2017 and is even more problematic now that SB 202 has been signed into law. SB 202 codifies that any single person can challenge the voter registration of an unlimited number of voters at once (lines 575-576), which could result in that voter being purged. So conservative organizations like True The Vote who unsuccessfully tried to have the names of 364,000 voters removed in 2021 will have a much easier path to being successful (Wilder 6).
The Election Integrity Act of Georgia and Voter Suppression
Voter Roll Purging is just one of the several issues with SB 202, which is now called The Election Integrity Act. SB 202 was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp in March 2021, and it’s not difficult to see why President Joe Biden called the law “Jim Crow in the 21st century” and why the Department of Justice sued Georgia over the law in June of 2021 (Megerian par. 4; “Justice Department Files”). The law includes bold hypercriminalization. For example, it is illegal for volunteers to hand out water or snacks to voters in line and it is now a crime for voters if they accept snacks or water from any groups or organizations (lines 1873-1875). Not only is this egregiously unfair, but it is absolutely discriminatory against those who are disabled or need sustenance for medical conditions when they are standing in voter lines that have been historically long in the state of Georgia. The new law also allows the state to take over county elections, removes power from the Secretary of State, and gives more power to the GOP-led state legislature majority control of the State Election Board.
There are several absentee concerns that should be of particular interest to Democrats abroad. According to Fair Fight, “Georgia's new law adds several new VBM (Vote By Mail) burdens including: restrictions to absentee ballot applications that would have impacted 75K voters in 2020/2021 elections and new ID requirements that could impact over 200K Georgians” (5). For example, SB 202 shortens the ballot request period by 109 days (lines 927-929) and shortens the ballot request deadline by 5 days (lines 933-937). There are also new ID requirements. For example, the bill requires absentee voters to provide their driver's license number, last four digits of their Social Security number, or a photocopy of an accepted form of identification when requesting an absentee ballot. This could present a significant challenge to Democrats who are living abroad as it makes the process burdensome if a voter needs to secure these documents.
Key Races in the 2022 Midterms
In order to fight the un-American voter suppression and sustain a Blue Georgia, there are several important races that Democrats must be attentive to, particularly for the upcoming 2022 midterm election. Most notably, Stacey Abrams ran unopposed in the gubernatorial primary and will once again run against Governor Brian Kemp in the November 2022 elections. Abrams and her team have been among the many leading the fight against voter suppression in Georgia. Her win would not only be historic but Abrams would continue the work to significantly decrease voter suppression, and especially the voter suppression tactics that disproportionately impacts Black communities.
In 2021, Democrats secured the Senate majority when both Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated their Republican opponents in Georgia’s January 5th runoff elections. While Jon Ossoff will serve a full term that ends in 2027, it’s important to note that Rev. Warnock was serving the rest of the term of his opponent, Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat after Senator Johnny Isakson resigned due to health issues in 2019. Thus, Warnock is up for re-election in November 2022.
The November 2022 ballot will also include 14 candidates that voters will elect to serve in the U.S. House of representatives. The Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus advocacy strategy is titled “Recognize and Celebrate Small Victories 4 The Big Win!”, so it’s important to note that the following will also appear of the Georgia ballots in May: State executive offices, State Senate, State House, Special state legislative, Supreme court, Appellate courts, State ballot measures, Local ballot measures, School boards, and Municipal (ballotpedia). Now is the time to vote and advocate for the Democratic candidates seeking to fulfill these positions. Democracy is at stake.
Resources and Works Cited
“Fifty Reasons Why SB 202 is a Bad Bill.” Fair Fight, Apr. 2021, https://fairfight.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/TOP-50-Reasons-Why-SB202-Is-Harmful-to-Voters.pdf, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
“Georgia’s Anti-Voter Law (SB 202).” ACLU Georgia, 2021, https://acluga.org/georgias-anti-voter-law/. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
“Georgia President Results.”CNN Politics, 2022 https://www.cnn.com/election/2020/results/state/georgia/president. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
“Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against the State of Georgia to Stop Racially Discriminatory Provisions of New Voting Law.” The United States Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, 25 June 2021, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-files-lawsuit-against-state-georgia-stop-racially-discriminatory.
“United States House of Representatives elections in Georgia.”Ballotpedia, 2022, https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections_in_Georgia,_2022. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
Fair Fight. Fair Fight and Fair Fight Action, 2022, https://fairfight.com/. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
Megerian, Chris. “Biden assails new Georgia voting law: ‘This is Jim Crow in the 21st century’” Los Angeles Times, 26 Mar 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-03-26/biden-to-assail-georgias-new-law-restricting-voting. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
Oliphant, James and Nathan Layne. “Georgia Republicans purge Black Democrats from county election boards.” Reuters, 9 Dec 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/georgia-republicans-purge-black-democrats-county-election-boards-2021-12-09/. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
The United States Congress. Members of the U.S. Congress, 2022, https://www.congress.gov/members. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
Waldman, Michael. “Georgia’s Voter Suppression Law: Gov. Brian Kemp signed a wide-ranging bill that targets Black voters with uncanny accuracy.” Brennan Center for Justice, 31 Mar. 2021, https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/georgias-voter-suppression-law. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.
Wilder, William. “Resource: Voter Suppression in 2020.” Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, 20 Aug. 2021, https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/2021-08/2021_08_Racial_Voter_Suppression_2020.pdf. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.