We had an energizing "Post-Election Reflection", with many suggestions on how to move into actionable opposition mode. Here are a few:
- January 21st - Solidarity with the Women's March on Washington - we are requesting a permit to gather in Brussels in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington (objective on the event's national website, http://www.womensmarch.com). Pencil in the date (it's open to all, not just women!) and we will keep you posted on the event, particularly as we connect with others working in the same direction. If you'd like to volunteer to help out, let us know.
- Take the Overseas Vote Foundation Survey - http://www.research.net/r/USVote_2016_PostElectionSurvey - literally less than five minutes on a phone, laptop, or desktop. It is important that we get the data to improve our overseas voting efforts and ensure our voices as Americans abroad are heard. And as we discovered in our many Get Out the Vote efforts this past year, the challenges are many.
- Participate in DA's Congressional Call Storm - http://www.democratsabroad.org/congressional_call_storm - this is a targeted effort towards the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to support investigations into Trump's conflicts of interest. It's a great way to act directly and also remind your state officials that they speak for Americans abroad, too.
- Take regular action through our Facebook page - our DAB Facebook Page is becoming our one-stop shop to collect the myriad of ideas that allow us to channel our anger and disappointment into concrete action. Like the page and scroll through for articles and suggestions.
- Volunteer to help out - DAB is in desperate need of an events coordinator, as we've had many suggestions for 2017 events but need the arms and legs to find venues and manage communication - estimated time commitment would be a couple of hours a week in the month leading up to the event. In a similar vein, the DPCA (Democratic Party Committee Abroad, aka DA Int’l) is looking for volunteers who’d be willing to spend at least 3hrs/week on the Communications team on an ongoing basis. Let me know if you’re interested in either.
And with that, I think we have enough to keep us busy through the upcoming holidays! May they be peaceful for you and your friends and family and may we start the new year with the same energy and momentum that we have today.
All the best,
Chair, Democrats Abroad Belgium
UPDATE: We will hold our final event of the year, a Post-Election Reflection, on Thursday, December 1st at 7:30 pm - email firstname.lastname@example.org for location details.
November 10th, 2016
Dear DAB Members,
On this day after the morning after, as all the dust has settled, I wanted to take a minute to thank you for all of your tremendous support this past year. You helped us register voters, phone-bank, email, educate, and spread the word throughout Belgium. Over 150,000 people used www.votefromabroad.org, volunteers made over 125,000 calls through our new on-line system, and we know that overseas voters made a difference in so many tight races.
I know your emails and social feeds are over-flowing with the many different reactions to the election. It's important that we take this time to reflect, but we also need to be ready to regroup and act if we are to take back Congress in 2018. If you do have thoughts and ideas for our work in the coming year, please do share them with me. I also hope to see you at our next get-together in December and at the Inauguration event in January. News of both will be on our website shortly.
My warmest regards and heartfelt thanks,
Chair, Democrats Abroad Belgium
We have a lot going on these coming weeks, as we head into the home stretch of the elections! Note that our Clinton/Kaine Stronger Together t-shirts have arrived, as well as Women's Cards and the latest batch of buttons, so come by one of the events and pick up this season's souvenirs to support our Get Out the Vote efforts!
- Sep 21st - DAB Media Training for those interested in volunteering to act as spokespeople over the coming months. We're in special need of Dutch speakers, so if you can help, RSVP via this link - DAB Media Training
- Sep 27th - First Presidential Debate Watch to celebrate National Voter Registration Day - RSVP here Sep 27th Debate Watch.
- Sep 28th - Voter Registration at the University of Kent Brussels campus during the day - volunteers still needed to help!
Oct 2nd - DA Germany's famous (or infamous!) Oktoberfest event in Munich - details here DA Oktoberfest.
- Oct 3rd - Special Fundraising Event - more info via Fundraiser for the Hillary Victory Fund
And for those who are very good at planning ahead, pencil in these, too!
- Oct 10th - Second Presidential Debate Viewing, with highlights from the Vice-Presidential Debate
- Oct 20th - Third Presidential Debate Viewing
- Nov 8th - Election Day - there will be a variety of events going on and we'll share details as they are finalized, but we do need volunteers to help organize DAB's own all-nighter.
- Nov 9th - The Morning After - we'll be repeating our Breakfast event for those who can't make it through the night.
Again, if any of you can help us set up a Voter Registration event at your school, work, place of worship, favorite expat pub, do let us know. We are especially in need of awareness outside of Brussels - and even if you're just willing to put up flyers locally with the votefromabroad.org info, give a shout and I'll make sure we get some to you, either hand-delivered or via post. We're running out of time and I don't need to remind you of just how critical it is that we find those Americans and convince them to vote.
Last but not least, please do consider donating to Democrats Abroad herewww.democratsabroad.org/donate
- our Get Out the Vote efforts, including the Vote from Abroad website and online phone-banking technology, do not come free and every little bit helps!
We had a great turnout, both at the annual Independence Day Picnic on July 2nd, and at our Fourth of July Pub Social - thanks to all who joined!
Friday July 29th will see us getting together for a Convention Highlights Potluck - RSVP via the Events page and we'll send you the location details.
And stay tuned for details of our August 25th movie night!
The primary season is just about to wrap up and summer is just around the corner so save these dates for some American Election socializing!
Saturday, July 2 - Brussels American Community Independence Day Picnic -THEY NEED VOLUNTEERS! If you can join Democrats Abroad in helping out either before, during, or after this classic annual event, please get in touch with Cliff email@example.com.
Monday, July 4 - Fourth of July Drinks at the Bozar Rooftop Terrace - cash bar in the evening to inaugurate this new summer locale, more details on their way.
Friday, July 29th - Convention Highlights Potluck - bring your snacks and drinks and hear the best of the Republican and Democratic Conventions; location details will be shared the week before.
Tuesday, September 13th - Panel Discussion at the Château Sainte-Anne - Ryan Winkler, member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, will represent us in this panel and there will be a subsequent walking dinner at this lovely setting; registration details will be shared beg-Sep.
And of course, as soon as the Presidential Debate schedule is released, we'll be organizing another round of debate nights, so stay tuned for more!
We've had a busy month of May, with Mexi-Cali food at Chez Wawa, voter registration at the American Women's Club of Brussels,
and the viewing of "Model Ts to War: American Ambulances on the Western Front 1914-1918" at Cook & Book.
Look out for news of our upcoming summer events...and Get Out the Vote! Absentee ballots can be requested via www.votefromabroad.org, so remind your friends and family (and yourselves!).
As we shared in our April 30th email, we have a Mexican-themed social coming up this Tuesday, May 10th (a pure coincidence, not meant to beat Donald Trump's Cinco de Mayo stunt!!). Join us at Chez Wawa as of 6:30 for a drink or a snack or both...and bring your ideas on how to Dump Trump!
We also hope to see you at our May 26th Discussion with filmmakers Edward and Libby Klekowski. Everyone is welcome – American, Democrat or otherwise! As space is limited, however, we ask that you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify whether you will come only for the talk (7pm) or if you plan to stay for dinner (20:30).
Last, but definitely not least, our summer intern fell through and we're looking for a motivated college student to help us organize our Get Out the Vote efforts over June/July. Interested people can contact me at email@example.com for the project description.
Enjoy this long Belgian spring weekend...and make sure you've requested that November absentee ballot at www.votefromabroad.org!
As we head into the home stretch of the primary season, we hope to see you at one of our May events!
May 10th Monthly Social - we'll be at a new restaurant, not a pub this time, so email for more details. We'll be there as of 6:30pm, catching up on the latest primary action, so come on by and say hi.
May 26th, an evening with filmmakers Edward and Libby Klekowski- many of you attended our event last year on their book, Americans in Occupied Belgium. Back in Brussels month, they've accepted our request to show their hour-long documentary, “Model T's to War: American Ambulances on the Western Front 1914-1918” (shown on PBS in the US). As some of our US presidential candidates talk more and more about America First, it's touching to recall the story of the American Field Service/volunteers in WWI. The Klekowskis have also written about this in their book, Eyewitnesses to the Great War -- if anyone has the book and would like them to sign it, they're happy to!
Date/Time: 26 May 2016 at 19:00 (dinner will begin for those interested around 20:30; separate checks will be provided)
Location: please email Amanda Rohde for more info (see below).
Everyone is welcome – American, Democrat or otherwise! As space is limited, however, we ask that you RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org 16 May 2016. Please specify whether you will come only for the talk or if you plan to stay for dinner.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, happy May Day!
Much has happened since our last email to our members - it was March 21st, and Democrats Abroad had just released the official results, confirming Bernie Sanders as the winner of the Global and Belgian Presidential Primary. The next day's events were a stark reminder of how critical it is that we not take our democratic rights for granted. On behalf of the entire Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad Belgium, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to all those whose lives were tragically affected by the attacks of March 22nd.
As Americans were both targets and victims of the attack, this is also an opportunity to remind all of our members to register with the U.S. Embassy via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, or STEP. STEP keeps you informed of travel alerts, helps the U.S. Embassy contact you in case of emergency, and makes it easier for family and friends to find you in an emergency. We encourage you to go to step.state.gov today and enroll.
We are continuing with our activities around the US elections, with the next event taking place on Tuesday, April 19th. Join us at our Pub Social on Place du Chatelain at the PamPam pub (Rue de l'Aqueduc 111, 1050 Ixelles). We'll be there, hashing over the NY primary and other political news, from 6pm onwards. Details and updates will be on our Friends of Democrats Abroad Belgium Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DABelgium/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel) and on our DAB webpage (http://www.democratsabroad.org/be).
We're also happy to announce two other upcoming events:
- An April 21st "friend-raising" event, hosted by Microsoft, with David Simas, Asst. to the President and Dir. of Political Strategy - this discussion on US politics and the presidential election is free and open to all; registration and further details can be found here (https://dimas.onetec.be).
- An evening with Filmmakers Edward and Libby Klekowski on May 26th at 7pm in Brussels - Henry Ford became famous for "democratizing" ownership of an automobile by using an assembly line to drive costs down of the mass produced Model T, and also for paying a living wage to his workers so they could afford to buy a Model T of their own. Now after decades of stagnation, the minimum wage is back on the electoral agenda. Come hear DAB's own "Ken Burns family", the parents of Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, talk about their most recent documentary project, the Model T and its role in World War 1. Location and reservation details will be shared next week.
On behalf of the full Executive Committee, we hope to see you in the coming weeks.
Mike Michener, Chair
Pauline Manos, Vice-Chair