News

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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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: [email protected]


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.

  • Download your ballot: https://www.democratsabroad.org/primary
  • Fill out all required fields
  • Return your complete ballot via
    • Email to [email protected]
    • Mail to
      Democrats Abroad Switzerland
      Holbeinstrasse 13
      4051 Basel
    • Fax to +1(202)217-4277
  • If you need additional assistance with remote voting, you can contact the following people:

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!


Let's Get Candid About the Candidates!

You may have noticed our event series that kicked off last week in Geneva: Let's Get Candid About the Candidates! Vance White, our new Chair, is traveling around the country holding these discussion groups so that members can advocate for their Presidential Primary Candidate of choice or maybe come to a decision about who they want to vote for, if they've been having trouble deciding in such a wide field.

A reporter from the Aargauer Zeitung attended the Geneva event and wrote an excellent summary, which you can read in German here, or an English translation is available below.

We have two more Candid Candidate events lined up in Zurich and Basel; we hope to see you there!
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DACH Leaders in the Birthplace of Democracy

DA Switzerland had six in-person attendees, pictured above. From left to right: Meli, Vivian, Farid, Tory, Kelli, and Liz.

From October 11 - 13, Democrats Abroad leaders and volunteers from countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa gathered in Athens for our 2019 Regional Meeting.

We took in the sights around the city, ate some truly delicious food, networked... And oh yeah! We brainstormed together and shared strategies from our country committees on how to find members, get them registered to vote, motivate new and existing volunteers, and win big in 2020!

This was my third regional or international DA meeting, having previously attended the EMEA regional meeting in Madrid and the Global AGM in Tokyo. By far, my favorite part of these meetings is getting to meet other motivated Democrats from around the world and hear what works for them back in their local chapters and country committees. Some of their ideas can be implemented here in Switzerland, but due to cultural and logistical differences, not every tactic works in every country. Getting to brainstorm ideas with people who have so many different backgrounds and experiences enables us to come up with creative solutions we might not have reached otherwise.

Additionally, many of our members are experts in their field. We had an excellent presentation in Athens by Brady Kiesling called Defending Democracy: Lessons from the Athenians. How often do you get to hear a former US diplomat, author, and archaeologist/ancient historian give a talk about democracy in the very city where it was invented around 2,500 years ago?!

Among the many presentations given, these were some of the highlights:

  • From 2014 to 2018, there was a 147% increase in US ballots cast
  • From 2014 to 2018, there was a 322% increase in civilian US citizens abroad casting ballots
  • From 2014 to 2018, there was a 600% increase in Americans abroad using VoteFromAbroad.org
  • Big Picture Goals for 2020
    • Double the abroad civilian vote from 2016 (send out 1 mil ballots)
    • Take back the White House and the Senate and flip state senates and houses! We can do this; think about the 2019 results in Virginia!
    • Protect the House
    • Save Democracy in the US 
  • Messaging Goals for 2020 

We learned about what it takes to run a Global Presidential Primary and tactics for reaching new American voters. We talked about social media messaging and strategies. We reaffirmed our commitment to fighting fake news and making the 2018 blue wave even bigger in 2020! I think all of the attendees returned home invigorated, excited, and determined to succeed in 2020; I know I did.


The GPP and voter registration events will require lots of volunteers. Are you interested in getting involved? Make sure you've joined Dems Abroad and then sign up to volunteer!