News

2020 DA Switzerland AGM on Wednesday, June 24

Democrats Abroad Switzerland will hold our 2020 Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, from 7 - 10 PM via WebEx. At this meeting we will adopt new bylaws for DACH. Your presence is greatly desired as we need a quorum in order to adopt the bylaws.

You will also hear our annual reports, hear overviews of the DA Regional and Global Conventions, participate in a brainstorming session for Get Out the Vote, and discuss election events for November.

2020 Annual General Meeting (Add to Google Calendar.)

Meeting Title = DA Switzerland AGM
Date and Time = Wed, 24 Jun 2020 19:00:00 CEST
Duration = 3 hours
Meeting number = 478854014
Meeting Password = dems
Meeting URL: https://democratsabroad.webex.com/democratsabroad/e.php?MTID=madefb2d9f483193b1167487c39b2a6e5

Agenda (preliminary)

  • 6:45-7:00 PM - Sign in, get WebEx set up properly, virtually mingle
  • 7:00-7:45 PM - Approve the 2019 AGM minutes; business meeting and officer reports
  • 7:45-8:45 PM - Adoption of new bylaws
  • 8:45-9:00 PM - Break
  • 9:00-9:30 PM - Get Out the Vote brainstorming
  • 9:30-10:00 PM - Election events for November
  • 10:00 PM - Adjournment

Bylaws Revision: Please Review the Proposed Changes. We invite you to comment!

We are pleased to include a draft of the revised bylaws for DACH, which will be presented for approval at the AGM on June 24. Several changes were necessary to bring our bylaws in line with changes made to the Democrats Abroad Charter. These include concepts such as "One Person, One Vote," wording changes regarding gender balance, etc. Also, we used this opportunity to include the status of DACH as a Verein/Association under Swiss laws in order to be compliant with local rules and regulations.

We invite you to make public comments via Google Docs here. You can view and comment on this Google Doc without having a Google Account.

As you review the draft, please note the following:

  1. Minor punctuation, format, spacing, capitalization, or spelling changes have been made and are not highlighted as "edits" from the original bylaws from 2014.
  2. Please do not reformat or concern yourself about formatting as that will be cleaned up in the final draft before presentation at the AGM.
  3. Please note that in Google Docs, you can choose to view all edits and comments (default setting) or you can use a simple view that only displays the "final document."



  4. Please respond with any comments or suggestions by 5 PM on Friday, June 12.
  5. A WebEx session for review and discussion of all public comments will be held on Wednesday, June 17 at 7 PM. Please plan to attend as we want to finalize all changes and address all questions before the AGM.

We will have several events leading up to the AGM to prepare our members for the vote about bylaws and attending the meeting via WebEx.

We look forward to seeing you at these virtual events over the coming month! Thank you for your time and attention.


#YeahScience

As we’ve learned during the global pandemic, science communication is not easy. There are contradictory data sets and a lot of misinformation. How do you navigate the noise?

Our very own Zachary Bailey, post-doctoral pathogen ecologist at the ETH, shared his knowledge on Covid-19. We also discussed trusted science podcasts, blogs, and journals.


Food and COVID-19

Covid-19 has created multiple shocks to food supply chains, affecting producers, workers and consumers. The World Food Programme estimates that up to 265 million people could face acute food insecurity in the wake of the pandemic.

Michelle Grant (ETH Zurich: World Food Systems Center and author of The Great Full – Sustainable Eating with Purpose and Joy) shared with us the challenges the pandemic brings for our food system and discussed what government agencies, and other actors, are doing to respond.


COVID-19 Fundraiser: Supporting Communities of Color

While COVID-19 affects us all, it disproportionately impacts communities of color in the US.

Factors including front line jobs, underlying medical conditions due to lack of access to adequate healthcare, and/or substandard housing in densely populated areas are putting these communities at greater risk.

At the same time, these communities are threatened not only by COVID-19, but by other existential challenges such as loss of income and food insecurity during the lock down.

Because of this, our friends at Action Together: Zürich, CH (ATZ) have created the COVID-19 Fundraiser: Supporting Communities of Color in the US as a way for our community to donate to four organizations working directly to support these communities.

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Read more

How the US Presidential Election Works

The Bertelsmann Foundation was established in 2008 for the purposes of promoting and strengthening the transatlantic relationship. Through its research, debate forums, and multimedia tools, the Foundation provides analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political, and social challenges impacting the US and Europe.

A former DA Switzerland secretary is now living in Washington, DC, and works at the Bertelsmann Foundation. She recently produced this short video explaining the US electoral process, including primaries, conventions, and the general election.


Do You Have Questions about the CARES Act Recently Passed by Congress?

The Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force has answers!


Democrats Abroad has received many hundreds of emails from members interested in understanding the provisions of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, their eligibility for support, and how and when they might receive it.

In order to prevent delays in our responses, we have developed from member emails an FAQs document that aims to address the key concerns we have been hearing. We will continue to add to it as needed.

Rest assured we are working hard to address our members’ concerns and thank you in advance for your understanding.

We hope you find the information you are seeking in this list of CARES Act aid FAQs.

The Treasury will surely make more information available soon.  We are updating these FAQs continuously.  So if you have further questions please plan to revisit the FAQs.

DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE

IMPORTANT:  Democrats Abroad does not provide personal tax advice or recommendations.  We recommend that you engage a qualified, professional tax adviser to address questions related to your personal financial situation. If you do not have a tax adviser we recommend the U.S. Tax Return Preparer Directory published by American Citizens Abroad.  Many will offer payment plans. There are also FreeFile tax return systems for low income taxpayers that accommodate taxpayers with foreign addresses



Interested in Attending the Democratic National Convention in August? Here's How!

During the week of August 17th, the Democrats Abroad (DA) delegation will join with others at the Democratic National Convention to formally choose our nominee for President of the United States. This is a great honor and among the most important civic roles one can have as a U.S. citizen living abroad.

We will once again have a fired-up delegation casting our votes with all the other Democratic state parties' delegates in showing support and unity among us. You may recall from 2016 our delegation was prominently shown on media stations around the world!

With great interest in attending the national Convention, this is the moment for all interested Democrats Abroad members to submit their declaration of delegate candidacy. Any DA member is eligible to run, and the Affirmative Action Committee strongly emphasizes the importance of DA members from historically-underrepresented backgrounds to run as delegate candidates in showing the world the diversity of our Party and our members around the world.

Forms to declare delegates’ candidacy are now available online. Please encourage your country committee’s members, state chapters, caucuses, task forces, and other leaders and members to fill it out as soon as possible and return it no later than April 17th.

-The Democrats Abroad Affirmative Action Committee-

Questions or comments? E-mail: diversity@democratsabroad.org


You Voted, and the Results are In!

 

Candidate

CH

# of Votes

CH

% of Total

Global

# of Votes

Global

% of Total

Biden 299 30.92% 9,059 22.66%
Bloomberg 25 2.59% 892 2.23%
Buttigieg 25 2.59% 616 1.54%
Gabbard 2 0.21% 146 0.37%
Klobuchar 10 1.03% 224 0.56%
Patrick 0 0% 26 0.07%
Sanders 448 46.33% 23,139 57.87%
Steyer 0 0% 19 0.05%
Uncommitted 0 0% 48 0.12%
Warren 157 16.24% 5,730 14.33%
Yang 1 0.10% 85 0.21%

Total

967 100% 39,984 100%

Based on the global results, Democrats Abroad will be sending 9 delegates to the Democratic National Convention for Bernie Sanders, as well as 4 delegates for Joe Biden. None of the other candidates reached the 15% threshold required to receive a delegate.

If you are interested in running to be one of the delegates representing Dems Abroad at the DNC this July, the information on how to run, as well as the application form, are available here.


Voting Methods

 

  Email Votes Postal Votes In-Person Votes Total Votes
Basel 89 3 83 175
Geneva 259 22 84 365
Lugano 20 5 2 27
Zurich 261 17 113 391
Unassigned 2   7 9
Total 631 47 289 967

 

  Switzerland Global
Remote Voting (Email/Postal/Fax) 70.66% 63.63%
In-Person Voting 29.34% 36.37%

Increased Participation

 

  2016 2020 % Increase
Switzerland 768 967 25.91%
Global 34,570 39,984 15.66%


Democrats Abroad Switzerland, COVID-19, and the Global Presidential Primary

At this time, Switzerland has imposed a ban on public events attracting more than 1,000 attendees. Although interest in the GPP is high, we do not expect that many attendees in any one center at one time. As such, currently we are going ahead with our GPP events as planned.

However, if you are concerned about your health, you are welcome to take advantage of our remote voting option.

Please use your best judgement regarding your own health and that of others; stay home if you feel sick or are more at-risk of severe illness. If you choose to attend a GPP event, great! We are looking forward to helping you cast your ballot!


**Please note that our GPP landing page will be updated as necessary, alerting you to any changes in our Global Presidential Primary Voting Center operations in Basel, Geneva, and Zurich.**

**You can find the official Democrats Abroad statement regarding COVID-19 here.**


SwissPats: Helping Americans Rock Their Vote

In early February, Liz Voss (DA Switzerland Vice Chair) and Kristen Jafflin (DACH Basel Vice Chair) visited Don and Suzi at SwissPats to discuss all things Democrats Abroad: the upcoming Global Presidential Primary, VoteFromAbroad.org, volunteer and social events, and the General Election in November 2020.

You can listen to this episode of the podcast here, or wherever you listen to your other podcasts.

In the interview, Suzi asked about opportunities for non-Americans to get involved. Liz and Kristen both made some suggestions on the spot, but it's always easier to click a link than remember a URL. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for people to get involved in US politics, whatever their nationality and wherever they live:

VoteFromAbroad.org: Any US citizen living outside of the US can use this site to register to vote and/or request their ballot. This should be done every year!
(And as mentioned in the podcast, anyone can help an American register to vote or request their ballot and for most states, the process can be completed with a smart phone, a piece of paper, and a blue or black pen.)

Join Democrats Abroad: Any US citizen living outside of the US who is 18 or older can join Dems Abroad. We have members living in over 190 countries around the world who vote in every state and Congressional district in the US.

Dems Abroad Switzerland: This is the homepage for our country committee and has a wealth of information about our GPP, our leadership, our chapters, and our upcoming events.

Be a DA Switzerland volunteer: Democrats Abroad can only accept cash donations from US citizens, but we can have volunteers from any country!

A Year of Living Better: How to Participate in Politics: This New York Times article has many ideas on how to participate in US politics in the US or from abroad, some being applicable to non-US citizens.

Postcards To Voters: Sign up to send postcards to voters in the US.

Text Banking: Several text banking options that allow you to text US voters.

Places to donate/get involved/register to vote in you're a US citizen living in the US:

  • Vote Save America: A wide-ranging repository of political information from Crooked Media, the minds behind Pod Save America and other podcasts.
  • Fair Fight: The organization that Stacey Abrams founded after the mismanaged 2018 gubernatorial race in Georgia. They promote fair elections around the US, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.

We are looking forward to interacting with more Americans and concerned world citizens throughout this election season!