News

Nomination Deadline Jan 31, 2019 - Volunteer for the election that will save America

Use this link http://da.formstack.com/forms/2019agm to self-nominate for a position on the board, or contact the Nominations and Elections Committee with any questions at all about running (volunteering) Email nec-toronto@democratsabroad.ca

Chapter Chair

The Chapter Chair shall be the legal representative of DA Canada-Toronto and the Chief Executive Officer of the organization and shall preside at all General Meetings and all meetings of the Board. The Chapter Chair shall have responsibility for the day-to-day activities of DA Canada-Toronto and for execution of all activities approved and undertaken by the Board. The Chapter Chair may appoint such ad hoc committees as necessary for the execution of the activities of DA Canada-Toronto. The Chapter Chair shall be a voting member of all Standing Committees and ad hoc committees. The Chapter Chair shall be a member of and attend meetings of Democrats Abroad Canada.

Co-Vice-Chair

In the absence of the Chapter Chair, either of the Co-Vice Chairs shall call and preside at meetings of members and of the Executive Committee. The Co-Vice Chairs shall have such other duties as chairing one or more committees. The Co-Vice Chairs shall work with the Chair to ensure all responsibilities approved by and on behalf of the organization are supervised and executed appropriately. One of the Co-Vice Chairs elected shall be a member who is of different gender to the Chair.

Treasurer

The Treasurer shall manage the finances of the organization, maintain its financial reports to members and make and maintain such financial reports as may be required by law (including without limitation the laws and regulations of the United States and the several States applicable to political parties and contributions to them). All such records shall be open for inspection by members. The Treasurer shall prepare and present to the Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Canada-Toronto a Statement of Income and Expenses and a Balance Sheet.

Secretary

The Secretary shall attend and produce minutes for all Board and Executive Committee meetings. The Secretary shall maintain all files and administrative records of the organization. All of such records shall be open for inspection by members. Minutes of all meetings shall be sent to the Executive Committee once approved by the Chapter Chair and/or either Co-Vice Chair. The Secretary shall schedule and coordinate participation for all Board meetings.

Member-at-Large (8 positions including 3 regional)

Members-at-Large bring to the organization special gifts and talents. Members-at-large should expect to spend time receiving and keeping informed by multiple emails from our list serve. You will work to engage area members by organizing events, such as Tax Seminars, Debate Watches in 2019 and 2020, Global Primary Voting Centers in early 2020, participate in phone banking events in 2020, pub nights, round circles, movie nights and speaker nights. We also need special skills with Nation Builder and folks to devote time to database work: phoning members whose emails bounce, contacting new members when they join, and contacting members whose memberships are expiring. Other responsibilities may include: posting events on our website, writing articles for our website, writing and or sending emails.

Member-at-Large Durham Region

Member-at-Large Durham Region works to engage area members by hosting events, such as Tax Seminars, Debate Watches in 2019 and 2020, a Global Primary Voting Center in early 2020, phone banking events in 2020, pub nights, round circles, movie nights and speaker nights.

Member-at-Large Peel Region

Member-at-Large Durham Region works to engage area members by hosting events, such as Tax Seminars, Debate Watches in 2019 and 2020, a Global Primary Voting Center in early 2020, phone banking events in 2020, pub nights, round circles, movie nights and speaker nights.

Member-at-Large York Region

Member-at-Large Durham Region works to engage area members by hosting events, such as Tax Seminars, Debate Watches in 2019 and 2020, a Global Primary Voting Center in early 2020, phone banking events in 2020, pub nights, round circles, movie nights and speaker nights.

Save the Date! Women's Caucus Event-'She the People' at Second City

SHE THE PEOPLE: GIRLFRIENDS' GUIDE TO SISTERS DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES
When: Sunday, March 10, 2019
Time and Payment details coming the week of Jan 18th! Stay Tuned!

March 8th is International Women's Day. This day became a global organizing day for women and workers in America when young women in the New York garment workers district began the tradition of marching on this day. It has always been a day when union workers around world march and women globally have joined in celebrating this day and demanding gender equity. This seemed like a perfect weekend for the Democrats Abroad Women's Caucus to launch our 2019 activities.

So we're starting the new year together at Second City! We have so much ahead, but we won't accomplish our hard work without solidarity and laughter. That's why we chose "SHE THE PEOPLE" at Second City is the perfect event for us begin 2019. The women in the cast the show are "fearlessly funny" and DA women are just as fearless and we all like to laugh! Toronto Co-Vice Chair Danielle Stampley, says this show is "Hilarious!" The critics agree with her:
*"This is an essential show." - NOW Toronto
*"Not only are The Second City women capable of writing, directing, acting, singing, dancing, and putting a show together with male input, but they are equally capable of making the audience shrieked with laughter while making cutting political statements." - Melania Motta, women's Post
*"If the future is female, then 'She the People' is a welcome introduction to the new world. Whether you're female, male, transgender or whatever, go and laugh and have a good time." - Jeff Cottrill, Digital Journal
*Broadway World - "Incredibly witty-often subversive-and constantly hilarious"


The Future is here and it's Female! She The People! 

Democrats Abroad Women's Caucus Toronto & Canada
Karin Lippert, Co-Chair WCToronto & Brooke Scott, Chair WCCanada


See you at Second City!
Karin and Brooke


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Democratic Women March for Passage of ERA-Toronto

The January 19 Toronto Women’s March brought together hundreds of women and their supporters for a brisk walk on a stormy day to proclaim that “We Will Not Go Back!” The central goals for the Democrats Abroad contingent in the march were approval of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and an end to violence against women. The march was the third organized since the inauguration of Donald Trump as President in January 2017. “That moment was a wake-up call for women. It showed how far we still need to go to achieve equality,” said Danielle Stampley, Vice-chair of the Toronto chapter of Democrats Abroad.

The Democrats Abroad (DA) contingent in the march from City Hall to Queen’s Park included about a dozen DA members based in Toronto and also in London, Ontario. DA Canada Secretary Marnelle Dragila and Gena Brumitt, the Chair of DA’s London and area chapter, made the trip from London despite the severe conditions. Ms. Dragila, who wore a Handmaid’s Tale costume for the occasion, said that “I’ve attended the Toronto Women’s March every year since that incredibly inspiring first march in 2017. Since Trump was elected and due to his subsequent additions to the Supreme Court, it has felt to me that women’s rights have never been more at risk during my life time (I was born the same year that Roe v Wade was decided). As a result, I decided to wear a Handmaid’s Tale costume to the march this year. It seemed like an appropriate choice given what’s so clearly at stake now.”

The crowd included representatives of trade unions, church-based groups, and political parties as well as members of women’s organizations. The proceedings at City Hall were launched by a group of drummers, who were followed by a number of speakers, including Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam. Ms. Wong-Tam told the crowd that women need to make sure that their voices are heard on issues such as gender equality, poverty, and violence against women.

The Women’s March this year was an international event that featured marches in many U.S. cities, Canadian cities, and London, UK. “It is upsetting to women everywhere that someone who has animosity toward women holds power,” said Ms. Stampley. Karin Lippert, the Co-chair of DA Toronto’s Women’s Caucus, summed up the day’s events this way: “It was cold, but we were loud. We cheered for all the speakers and marched for women’s equality again in Toronto. Our DA Women’s Caucus members wore their ERA signs proudly not only in Toronto but also around the globe. We have an opportunity to ratify the amendment written by Alice Paul in 1923 this year. Like countless numbers of women, I have marched for the ERA for decades. We need ERA to move forward on a myriad of women’s rights. I believe that we are almost there.”

WHY THE ERA?

Many members of Democrats Abroad assert that this is the era when the Equal Rights Amendment has to be reintroduced and finally approved for inclusion in the U.S. Constitution. The amendment, if approved, would guarantee equality under the law for men and women, and, in so doing, provide a powerful tool that women can use in legal and other contexts to secure their just claims.

Many people find it hard to believe that the U.S. Constitution does not already protect women’s rights, but it does not. A constitutional amendment was already needed to extend the right to vote to women, and that did not happen until 1920 in the 19 th amendment. “I thought that this had been covered,” said Toronto chapter Chairperson Julie Buchanan. “I know that society does not treat us as equals, but I thought that my government had my back.”

The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced into Congress in the early 1920s and then reintroduced in 1971, when it was approved by both houses of Congress. It was then ratified by 35 of the 38 state legislatures that needed to approve it by a deadline. The amendment seemed to be headed for adoption, but movement toward that goal was stopped through the organization of a conservative campaign that argued that women need special protection under the law. One of the campaign’s claims was that adoption of the ERA could lead to measures such as the drafting of women for the military.

Since then, the ERA has remained an unachieved goal.

Now there is new momentum to approve the ERA and new evidence that women still need its protection. “The Equal Rights Amendment makes possible and makes constitutional laws we don’t have now,” according to Catherine A. MacKinnon, a law professor at the University of Michigan and a pioneer in the field of sexual harassment and sex discrimination law.

In 2000, the Supreme Court struck down the federal civil remedy portion of the Violence Against Women Act, holding that Congress lacked the power to create it under the 14th amendment. If the ERA had been adopted, that law would have had much stronger constitutional footing, according to MacKinnon.


Cheering the 2018 mid-terms winners and all the candidates

Hundreds of Toronto-based Democrats Abroad (DA) members crowded into the Madison pub on November 6, 2018 to celebrate the party’s gains in 2018 and their own efforts to change the balance of power in Washington by helping to flip the control of the House of Representatives.

Democrats Abroad Toronto exerted unprecedented efforts to reach U.S. absentee voters by staffing a call centre based in the Cadillac Fairview Tower for two months before Election Day. The centre operated from noon to 9 pm seven days a week. A total of 150 volunteers made 20,000 calls from the centre. Toronto’s centre was primarily managed by DA member Arjun Gupta, who assisted volunteers with the use of the centre’s computers and the scripts used to motivate the members who were reached.

Mari Rutka, a dedicated volunteer making calls.

Call centre volunteers talked to Democrats based in Mexico, Italy, France, and countries around the globe. Volunteers were energized as they conversed about common concerns with Americans who were living thousands of miles or, in some cases, half a world away. On election day, one young volunteer spent over 12 hours calling U.S.-based members in Ohio and Texas.

Volunteers on Election Day making calls from the Call Centre. Photo Credit: Peter Bregg Photography


The high spirits that fueled this mid-term election effort were evident in the great throng that gathered at the Madison as the results were announced. The proceedings included the sale of buttons and “It’s Mueller Time” T-shirts to enthusiastic party members. Democrats were exuberant when the announcement came that the party had won control of the House. There was some regret about the outcomes for Andrew Gillum, Beto O’Rourke, and Stacey Abrams, but we were also certain that there is a “next time” for these candidates.

Toronto chapter vice-chair Danielle Stampley told the cheering crowd that the voter contact effort this year was the “biggest success ever for a mid-term.” Stampley summed up the DA mid-term experience this way: "Because of our amazing volunteers, we exceeded expectations getting out the vote this year. We are thrilled that our efforts paid off and we flipped the House. Now, we are ready for 2020."

By Virginia Smith

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Stopping the Madness at Oakville Midnight Madness July 13 2018

The Toronto Chapter hosted a  voter registration booth at Midnight Madness.  Below,  Peel Regional Representative, Sue Alksnis recollects encounters with Americans. These words express what it it's like to have the rewarding experience of volunteering with our GOTV events. Please join our volunteer team! 

We talked to three 18 year olds who will be voting for their first time in the 2018 midterms.

We spoke to a 16 year old who wants to be ready to vote in 2020 and wasn’t sure what voting address to use since he’s never resided in the States (answer: his parent’s last U.S. address).

And the young woman whose “Nana” moved to Canada from Florida and really wants to vote this year. She will help “Nana” use www.votefromabroad.org

Oh, and we mustn’t forget the Oregon voter who was illegally denied her vote in 2016 when her Local Election Official told her that she doesn’t get to vote anymore since she moved away. Wrong! Americans have the right to vote wherever they live. That voter now knows that she can vote and that Democrats Abroad has a voter helpdesk for these kinds of situations. Check out the Voter Help Desk/FAQ at www.votefromabroad.org where you can chat live with a DA volunteer or email help@votefromabroad.org

Our volunteer crew spoke to almost 50 US voters, including 25 brand new overseas voters from many states, including: FL, NC, CO, MT, TX, OR, and NY.

Thank you to our volunteers who worked through the heat & humidity until 1:00 am!!! Judith Wanner-Hamilton Chapter, Julie Buchanan-Toronto Chapter, Steve Nardi-Canada Chair and Sue Alksnis, Peel Representative.   


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We need your help - seeking volunteers for PRIDE Festival and Parade

It’s Pride Month and we’re looking for volunteers during the PRIDE Festival!

When you wake up on November 7th do you want to see a change to Washington? Now is not the time for complacency!

We are in the midst of Primaries as the 2018 mid-term elections rapidly approach. With summer almost upon us now is the critical time to connect with Americans living in the Toronto area to encourage them to register for their ballot or to educate people on why we, as Americans living abroad, need to exercise our constitutional right to vote – FATCA. FBAR and the latest tax bill are all actions making it more difficult as an American living abroad. Democrats Abroad has made the numerical difference in victory in several recent special elections and the Democratic Party is looking to our diaspora to deliver the numbers to take the House and/or Senate.

As 2016 taught us, complacency will doom Democrats in races across the country – we must get as many Americans living in Canada to register and exercise their right to cast a ballot in the election. Our history of delivering the numerical difference for victory by Democrats in close races cannot be understated.

Democrats Abroad – Toronto will have a booth at the Street Festival on Sat. June 22nd and Sun. June 23rd. Additionally we’ll be marching in the PRIDE Parade (Sun. June 23rd 12pm-4pm) and are looking to make a respectable showing with a large number of walkers. As an aside, walking in the parade is FAR more fun than standing on the sidelines.

We’re looking for members who would like to volunteer at the Democrats Abroad Toronto booth at Pride 2018.

The Pride 2018 streetfair will be held on June 22nd & June 23rd

If you are interested please click here to send us your information.

Watch your email or this web page for further announcements of plans for PRIDE Week. If you have friends who would like to support the efforts for change in the mid-terms share the registration link with them. Volunteers don’t have to be American so if you have friends who want to help or walk in the parade with you please share the registration link with them so we know how many people can help out.

If you happen to see our booth at a festival this summer be sure to stop by and say hello!

Best regards,

Steve Nardi
Chair, Democrats Abroad Canada

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NEVER AGAIN: DA supports Parkland students’ demands for action

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          by Virginia Smith

Parkland shooting survivor Dimitri Hoth speaking at the Florida legislature on Feb. 21, 2018: “We, the students, will make a difference.”

With heavy hearts, dozens of Democrats Abroad members gathered for a vigil near Toronto’s U.S. consulate on the sunny Sunday afternoon after the deadly rampage at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. The consulate’s U.S. flag stood at half-mast as DA members voiced their determination that, this time, strong positive measures to control the sale of guns would have to follow the usual expressions and symbols of grief.
Democrats Abroad Toronto vice-chair Danielle Stampley said that the vigil was an occasion to express solidarity with the victims and survivors of the shooting and to launch action for change: “This is not acceptable. We have been acting as though nothing can be done. We can do something about this. Let’s commit to taking action.”
Vigil participants read out the names and short descriptions of the victims. The list included students and teachers, boys and men, and girls and women, who ranged in age from 14 to 49:
  • Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, was a soccer team member who had just had what her mother called “the best game of her life” on Feb. 13.
  • Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, was freshman who, according to his brother, was “a very funny kid, outgoing, and sometimes really quiet.”
  • Scott Beigel, 35, was a teacher who brought students into his classroom before he was killed himself. One parent says that Mr. Beigel saved her son’s life.
  • Jaime Guttenberg, 14. Her father posted on Facebook: “I am broken as I write this, trying to figure out how my family gets through this.”
  • Aaron Feis, 37, was a football coach who also attempted to save students. A graduate of the school, he always tried to help those who were struggling.
  • Nicholas Dworet was a high school swimmer who visited the University of Indianapolis recently. He said that he wanted to swim there after his graduation this year.
  • Christopher Hixon, 49, was the school’s athletic director and a prominent figure in high school sports in Florida.
  • Luke Hoyer, 15, was an aspiring basketball player. “He loved his family, he had a huge heart,” said his cousin.
  • Cara Loughran, 14, was an excellent student. Her aunt wrote on Facebook: “We are absolutely gutted…..while your thoughts are appreciated, I beg you to DO SOMETHING….”
  • Gina Montalto, 14, was said to be a member of the school’s winter color guard team. A Facebook tribute to her said: “we lost a beautiful soul tonight.”
  • Joaquin Oliver, 17, played basketball in the city’s recreational league. He was also a writer who filled a notebook with poetry.
  • Helena Ramsey, 17, would have started college next year. A relative wrote on Facebook: “…she had a relentless motivation toward her academic studies…”
  • Alaina Petty, 14, was a member of a volunteer group with the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. She helped with clean-up work after Hurricane Irma.
  • Meadow Pollack, 18, was a senior who planned to go to a nearby college next year. A relative said that “she was a very strong-willed young girl who had everything going for her.”
  • Alex Schachter, 14, played the trombone in the school’s marching band. His father said that “he was a sweetheart of a kid.”
  • Carmen Schentrup was a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. Her cousin said in a Facebook post that she was the smartest 16-year-old that he had ever met.
  • Peter Wang, 15, helped his cousin, Aaron, to adjust when Aaron started living in Florida. “He was always so nice and generous,” said Aaron.
After the reading of the list, Toronto chapter chair Julie Buchanan said that “Canadians care about this shooting too.” She stressed the need to get out the vote and to vote out the politicians who take money from the NRA. Hamilton chapter chair and former Democrats Abroad chair Ken Sherman sadly recalled a gathering of DA members in Toronto after the 2011 shooting of U.S. House of Representatives member Gabby Giffords. Sherman read a statement by Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez, which stressed that people should not be afraid to go a shopping mall, baseball field, or movie theater. Sherman, who is a member of the DNC, called on Congress to enact a ban on automatic rifles and to enhance background checks

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Democrats Abroad Canada Steve Nardi ended the vigil by stating the firm resolve that “this has got to stop.” He called on Americans living in Canada to encourage other Americans to go to votefromabroad.org so that they can vote this year for political leaders who will enact measures to protect U.S. communities from deadly violence.


The Democrats Abroad vigil was covered by CTV, CBC, and CP24. DA’s pledge to take action for peace is being heard. Will it be heeded?
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The Vietnam Project: 50 years of striving for peace and justice

Democrats Abroad Toronto is planning a meeting of DA members who moved to Canada during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The meeting will be an opportunity to talk about developing a people’s history of that era.

Sunday, April 29, 2 pm, community room at 71 Charles St. East, Toronto.

Many Democrats Abroad members first came Canada in the late 1960s or early 1970s. At that time, Americans’ moves to Canada were often motivated by a need to resist participation in the Vietnam War. Many Americans who came to Canada put down roots in the country and became permanent residents. At the same time, they remained loyal to their identities as Americans and never lost their hope that the U.S. would fully realize the belief of its founders that "all men are created equal."

Half a century after the eruption of the Vietnam War as major conflict, members of Democrats Abroad want to talk about ways to gather some of the stories of those who came to Canada during that period. We want to do the gathering in a way that reveals events and motives, but at the same time protects the privacy of the story tellers. There are two purposes for this initiative: to develop a record of our personal and political lives, and to discover the contemporary relevance of resistance to the Vietnam War and other wars.

Democrats Abroad Toronto members who came to Canada during those years are invited to a meeting on Sunday, April 29, at 2 pm in the community room at Paxton Place, 71 Charles St. E., Toronto. The person at the front desk can provide direction to the room. The meeting will be an opportunity to share stories and make plans for written stories, interviews, videos, and possibly a public meeting. An email invitation to the meeting will be sent to members at the end of March. The time and place announced on the website are definite.

If you would like more information about this project, please contact Virginia Smith at peace@democratsabroad.ca

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Calling All Democrats Abroad

This January we need everyone to join the effort! We need you to go here and request your ballot. AND we need you to help the Toronto Chapter reach out to our thousands of members who haven’t heard from for us in a while. We need to update their updated information to send them voting information! Our goal is to do this January 31st!

This event has passed, but phoning Democrats will be happening all year long! 

 

 

What: Phoning Democrats in Toronto and Canada

When: Sunday, January 14 - 10 am - 1 pm

 

Where: Artscape Youngplace
180 Shaw Street,
Suite 314 the Office of Inspirit Foundation
Toronto M6J2W5

We  had  coffee, tea and light snacks,  brought our laptops and even got occupy an office or two for easy phoning. 

Danielle Stampley was there to walk us  through the  steps. Brooke Scott organized the event and Kate Leuschen Millar arranged for the space. What a great teamwork.  Here are some pictures of the days heroes.

 

 

You can phone from your from the comfort of your own place!

If you are new to phonebanking or just need a refresher, you can find sign-up instructions and training materials on our website at: www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking Join the campaign for DACA Membership. 

Phone campaigns, run from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm and Democrats Abroad strictly uses CallHub program to make calls.

If you are already a phonebanking volunteer, just go to https://callhub.io to login to your CallHub account and join the campaign for DACA Membership. You can check out the script here: Script DACA Membership Verification

 

Brooke Scott, volunteer-toronto@democratsabroad.ca
Volunteer Co-ordinator, Toronto Chapter

RSVP here - Event has passed!

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Women's Caucus Event January 20th- Women March On

WOMEN MARCH ON - Defining Our Future - Saturday, January 20, 2018

Two hours before the Toronto Women’s March 1/20/18 the Women’s Caucus organized a meet up at the Richtree Natural Market in the Eaton Centre for conversation. The excitement and determination from last year’s March was undiminished, evidenced in our turnout. The common cause of empowerment and creating community for progress united new friends and set the table for future Caucus events. ~ Brooke Scott, Co-Chair DA Women's Caucus Toronto






We keep the  RSVPs for the event Here.

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