Bob Vallier published New Bylaws Proposed For Democrats Abroad France in News 2018-02-03 11:07:02 -0500
On January 28, 2018, the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad France unanimously approved a resolution from its Bylaws Committee to adopt a set of significant reforms to its present Charter. This was done in order to conform to the Charters of Democrats Abroad and the Democratic National Committee, and to innovate in a manner that will make us a more effective and efficient organization in furthering Democratic goals and getting Democrats elected. Consequently, the Bylaws are now submitted to the general membership for final approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 17, 2018.
You can see the proposed set of new Bylaws HERE.
What’s new? What’s different?
There are some boring technical minutiae, but there are also some large structural and operational changes. Notable changes include:
1. Paris will become its own Chapter. Until now, the Executive Committee has been doing the work of both a national organization and a local chapter. But thanks to extensive growth over the last 15 years outside of Paris—in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseille, Aix, Avignon, Nice, Strasbourg, Normandy, and our newest Chapters in Lyon and Brittany—it makes sense that Paris should become a Chapter with its own Officers and Members at Large, so that the National Executive Committee can manage what has become a truly national organization—the fourth largest in all of Democrats Abroad.
2. Consequently, there are changes to the structure of the Executive Committee. As we reflected on our growth, our needs, our experience, and the lessons we’ve learned in the last few electoral cycles, and given that Paris would now have its own dedicated officers, we found a clear need to redefine and adapt the offices of the Executive Committee. Therefore:
· We have reduced the number of Vice Chairs from three to two, and given each of the Vice Chairs a clearly defined role. The First Vice Chair will assist the National Chair in relations to Democrats Abroad at the international level, other country committees, and the Democratic Party, while the Second Vice Chair will help coordinate the Chapters and supervise growth and outreach—a sort of “Foreign Office” and “Home Office” sharing of responsibility.
· We’ve also eliminated the seven “Members-at-Large” and replaced them with four well-defined elected positions: 1. Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Coordinator; 2. Membership Outreach Coordinator; 3. Issues, Events and Programs Coordinator; and 4. Communications Coordinator. Additionally, a Database/IT Manager will be an appointed position due to the technical specificity of that job.
· Chapter Chairs will remain voting members of the ExCom, as well Caucus Chairs, but only if the Caucus is active in more than one Chapter and has at least 100 members nationally.
· You can see the Organizational Chart HERE
3. The membership of Democrats Abroad France has grown extensively in the last decade, but our “old” Bylaws put a relatively high bar on becoming a Chapter, and we lacked a mechanism for enfranchising members in smaller cities and towns. Our proposed “new” Bylaws will remedy those issues with the introduction of “Subchapters”, which would function much like “precincts” or “wards” (we debated furiously on their name). A Subchapter can be formed when as few as ten (10) members petition to form one – so if you’re reading this in Lille, Besançon, Angers, or Tours, to name just a few, and you want to get a Subchapter started, we’d love to hear from you! A Subchapter could hold activities as simple as a monthly meet-up over drinks to talk about politics, or a book club, or a GOTV event to help local Americans register to vote by absentee ballot. And, once every four years, it could host its own Primary Voting Station.
4. Just as Democrats Abroad International has delegates to the DNC, DA-France has delegates to DA International. The number of delegates we have is a function of our proportional weight within DA International (currently, as the fourth “heaviest” country committee, we have 14). Up until now, these delegates were appointed by the Chair, and one person could carry up to four votes, including proxies; but if the Bylaws are passed, then two of the votes will be assigned to the Chair, one to each of the two Vice-Chairs, and the remaining votes (10 under the current allocation) will be directly elected by popular suffrage at the Annual General Meeting. This means that France’s “voice” at the Annual DA Global Convention could be more broadly representative of the diversity of DA France’s membership. And Voting Representatives will be gender-balanced.
5. Term limits on consecutive service in any one office, and lifetime service in any one office, have been clearly defined in a manner that places value on institutional memory while addressing institutional inertia.
6. On a purely administrative level, France will be divided into ten “regions” in which Chapters and Subchapters will work collaboratively to make sure all members receive communication and are enfranchised to vote in DAF elections, in State Party Primary elections, and in US State and Federal General Elections.
There are a few other technical points – such as what constitutes a “quorum” for a meeting and when a “proxy” is appropriate – and the lawyers sharpened up some language here and there, but those mentioned above are the most important changes. We believe that these proposed changes will help the organization grow, meet its responsibilities more efficiently, facilitate communication with its members, be more inclusive and be more democratic. They are also in keeping with the spirit of several of the proposals made by the Unity Reform Commission.
For these reasons, the Executive Committee will ask the membership to vote to accept the proposed reforms to its Bylaws at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 17, 2018.
Democrats Abroad is committed to a world where all persons have access to the same rights and benefits, regardless of sexual identity or gender expression.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus is the constituency group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members and any Democrat abroad who supports them.
The goals of the LGBT Caucus reflect the mission of Democrats Abroad to:
- engage and empower LGBTI Americans living abroad to vote in US elections;
- provide a platform for Democrats Abroad members, country committees and chapters to advance issues at the heart of the LGBTI community;
- support Democrats Abroad’s members in issues they face living abroad as LGBTI Americans, such as access to government services and benefits for same-sex spouses and family members, the legacy resulting from past discrimination and Defense of Marriage Act.
The LGBT Caucus:
- supports Democrats Abroad’s country committees and local chapters in organizing activities of interest to the LGBTI community, such as participation in pride events and voter outreach;
- disseminates information to Democrats Abroad members and promotes action on issues that affect LGBTI Americans and their families;
- ensures that the LGBTI perspective is effectively incorporated in all the work of Democrats Abroad, including issues advocacy, communication and GOTV strategy, planning and execution; ensures that issues and policies that impact LGBTI Americans are included in the Democrats Abroad and Democratic Party platforms;
- takes leadership in Democrats Abroad’s issues advocacy initiatives, including “door knock” visits to elected officials in Washington DC, to ensure that issues that impact LGBTI Americans living abroad and their families are included and addressed by elected representatives;
- encourages LGBTI members to run for elected leadership roles within Democrats Abroad and fulfill Democrats Abroad’s diversity and affirmative action goals;
- supports community building among Democrats Abroad’s LGBTI members and allies;
- promotes Democratic Party candidates who demonstrate commitment to policies that positively impact the lives of LGBTI Americans;
- supports and engages with Democratic Party LGBTI caucuses build capacity and achieve common goals.
Bob Vallier published Kirsten Gillibrand explains how your vote from abroad makes a difference in Stuff to Share 2016-02-22 12:09:27 -0500
Kirsten Gillibrand is not running for anything in 2016, but she wants you to vote nonetheless. If you want to send a message to Washington to let them know that Americans abroad are a politically consequential constituency, the best way to do that is to vote. Significant numbers of votes in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary will make our elected officials take notice. They are just now beginning to listen, and they are engaged with us like never before. Let's not miss this opportunity: help make the message loud and clear. Do what the Senator says : use your voice, cast your vote !
Bob Vallier published Al Franken Has A Message for Americans Abroad in Stuff to Share 2016-02-22 12:08:38 -0500
Bob Vallier published Cory Booker wants YOU to vote from abroad. in Stuff to Share 2016-02-22 12:07:41 -0500
Bob Vallier published Tim Kaine tells us why the vote from abroad matters in Stuff to Share 2016-02-22 12:07:13 -0500
Senator Sanders defeated Secretary Clinton in the New Hampshire Primary.
Now it's YOUR turn to decide!
Vote in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary!Read more
Bob Vallier published Presidential Primary Voting Centers in France in News 2016-01-18 17:23:28 -0500
DEMOCRATS ABROAD GLOBAL PRIMARY
LIST OF VOTING CENTERS
Where in France can you vote in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary? Find out here!Read more
Bob Vallier published Frequently Asked Questions About the Global Presidential Primary in News 2016-01-18 16:40:46 -0500
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
VOTING IN THE GLOBAL PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
Q: Am I eligible to vote in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary?
A: Any American living abroad, who will be at least 18 years old on Election Day 2016, and who is a member of Democrats Abroad is eligible to participate, on the condition of not having voted (or intending to vote) for a presidential candidate in any other state primary in 2016.
photo by Maurice Svay
Welcome to Democrats Abroad France!
Democrats Abroad France is the official country committee of U.S. Democrats living in France. DAF is one of the original founding members of Democrats Abroad and is among its largest and most active members. We offer a wide range of activities to our members, including voter registration assistance and education, monthly member Meet-Ups to discuss political issues and diverse topics, lectures, debates and panel discussions, film screenings, parties, guest speakers and special events throughout the year--and we have a lively Facebook page where we share all the great stuff we've got going on!
DAF has recently welcomed Governor Howard Dean, Senators Tim Kaine and Kirstin Gillibrand, Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Dina Titus, businesswoman Christie Hefner, and political journalist Richard Reeves, and thanks to the magic of the internet, we have had live video dialogues with Senators Al Franken, Corey Booker, and Elizabeth Warren.
DAF is composed of 10 vibrant chapters in Paris, Toulouse, Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, the Riviera, Avignon, Normandy, Lyon and the Rhone Alps, each with their own distinctive flavor and feel. Whether it's Political Wine in Nice, a Speakeasy in Grenoble, a Stammtisch in Strasbourg or Bar Night in Bordeaux, there's something going on every month in our our chapters! Our Womens' Caucus, Minority Caucus, and LGBT Caucus, our chapter of Young Democrats Abroad, and our Environmental and Energy Policy Interest Group likewise sponsor a variety of events throughout the year, ranging from public lectures to the Gay Pride Picnic. There's plenty of opportunity to meet fellow Democrats and talk politics!
We are always excited to welcome new members and to help you vote from abroad, so whether you are new to France or having been living here for a while, please join with us to elect Democrats back home. When Americans abroad vote, Democrats win, and when Democrats win, we all prosper.
If you have questions or would like to volunteer with DAF please contact us.