On November 30, 2019, the Americas Region of Democrats Abroad lost a respected colleague, trusted friend, great Democrat, and the founder and courageous leader of Democrats Abroad Nicaragua, Patrick Werner, to a heart attack. Patrick had not been ill, so his sudden death brings not only sadness but shock as well. He is survived by his wife, Chilo, two sons, and several grandchildren. During 2016 and into 2017, under the guidance of the then Regional Vice Chair, Jody Quinnell, and personal visits to Nicaragua from her then Deputy, Kathy Rothschild, Patrick organized the Democrats Abroad Nicaragua country committee which was voted in as a full member of the DPCA at the May 2017 Global Meeting in Washington, DC. Then in early 2018, as protests inside Nicaragua over increased taxes and reduced benefits for Social Security erupted and spread, all non-Sandinista political groups became targets, which by extension, included Democrats Abroad. The new country committee had to assume a low profile and led by Patrick’s understanding of the local social and political climate; the country committee strove to maintain active status. Looking toward 2020, Patrick attended the Americas Regional Meeting held in San Jose, Costa Rica, October 25 and 26, of this year.
In addition to guiding Democrats Abroad Nicaragua, Patrick was a very accomplished person and a master of many pursuits. He was a university professor, a journalist, an anthropologist, a historian, an orchidologist, a silver and gold miner, a horse aficionado, and a Democrat. He resided in Nicaragua for more than 30 years, most of the time in Diriamba, near Managua. He loved Nicaragua and wrote that “It is not for nothing that I stay in Nicaragua. And if it can be said that, to me, its politics are the most boring aspect of Nicaraguan life, its cuisine, its origins, elements, and subtleties, maybe its most interesting.” Patrick was prolific in his personal and professional writing. He produced Nicaragua’s first complete book of its 600 native orchid species, along with other books and articles on Nicaragua’s botanical attributes. He led Eastern European journalists through the mountains of Nicaragua during the Contra war years and wrote about those times, and about his search for lost silver mines, and explorations to uncover colonial-era horse paraphernalia. Central American colonial history was dear to him, and he pursued many studies and produced numerous articles related to that interest.
DA News published Democrats Abroad Welcomes Non-Binary Candidates for 2020 Delegation in 2020 Democratic Primary 2019-11-29 07:37:44 -0500
Democrats Abroad strives to ensure that the party’s delegation to the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) accurately reflects the diversity of Democrats Abroad. To that end, the Affirmative Action Committee of Democrats Abroad works to make certain that opportunities exist for those from historically-disadvantaged groups to run for delegate positions.Read more
Democrats Abroad leaders around the world possess a wealth of knowledge on key issues facing citizens abroad and the elections process. To reach any of these individuals, please find your location listed under “Countries” on our website. For global enquiries, please contact email@example.com. Full press kit can be found below.Read more
DA News published 2020 Press Kit: Electing Our DNC Delegation in 2020 Press Kit 2019-11-27 17:49:47 -0500
Delegate candidates must meet the following criteria to run:
- Be a resident abroad and a US Citizen, both at the time of selection as well as at the time of the National Convention.
- Be a member of Democrats Abroad prior to voting in the Global Presidential Primary (same day registration applies)
- Be 18 years of age or older as of Election Day November 3, 2020
- Must not participate or plan to participate in the nominating process of any other delegation to the 2020 DNC, or of any other political party for the 2020 presidential elections.
Those interested in running for delegate must do the following:
- Identify their presidential preference, and sign a pledge of support for that single presidential candidate (including if uncommitted).
- Submit a written application to the Global Chair by April 17, 2020.
- Run for delegate position at the regional and global conventions May 15-17, 2020.
Note: Democrats Abroad will provide a submission form for delegate candidates to use. It will be available no later than March 24, 2020 on the Democrats Abroad website.
Note2: The Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary ballot will include an option for voters to vote uncommitted. Should that option receive 15% or more of the vote, it will be allocated delegates in proportion to its number of votes.
DA News published 2020 Press Kit: Our Delegation to the DNC in 2020 Press Kit 2019-11-27 17:44:19 -0500
For those US citizens abroad paying close attention, one big question is, “How can I attend the Democratic National Convention?”
We’re proud to welcome all eligible Democrats Abroad members to run for a delegate position to attend the convention and represent our constituents.
Delegates play an important role by representing Democrats Abroad at the convention, helping to select the Democratic party’s presidential nominee, and also help shape the Democratic party's platform and policies.
In July 2020, Democrats Abroad delegates will join Democrats from across the country in nominating the next US President at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Democrats Abroad Delegate Selection Plan determines how these delegates are selected, to ensure that we have a strong and diverse delegation that truly represents the millions of US citizens abroad.
Those who are not selected are also welcome to volunteer for the Democratic National Convention directly.
Delegate Selection Plan highlights:
21 delegates and 1-5 alternates are sent to the convention from Democrats Abroad.
12 at-large delegates, elected during our regional and global conventions in Toronto, Canada, May 15-17, 2020:
- 9 delegates elected at the regional level from the Americas; Asia Pacific; and Europe, Middle East and Africa
- 3 delegates representing Democrats Abroad at the global level
1 pledged PLEO (Party Leader and Elected Official) delegate
Those eligible to run for this position include:
- Democrats Abroad global and country leadership
- Democrats Abroad past leadership
- Other party leaders
- Those eligible to run for this position include:
- 8 automatic delegates who are Democrats Abroad’s outgoing Democratic National Committee members, elected at the 2016 global convention.
- 1-5 alternates elected at the global level. This number is based on the number of presidential candidates who receive at least 15% of the vote during the Global Presidential Primary.
- 12 at-large delegates, elected during our regional and global conventions in Toronto, Canada, May 15-17, 2020:
Democrats Abroad works toward affirmative action goals to ensure that our delegation reflects our membership and ensures gender balance.
Democrats Abroad is holding virtual training for all Democrats Abroad members around the world to ensure they are well-informed about this process, beginning November 30.
- 21 delegates and 1-5 alternates are sent to the convention from Democrats Abroad.
DA News published 2020 Press Kit: FAQ - Global Presidential Primary in 2020 Press Kit 2019-11-27 17:36:50 -0500
When is the global primary where I’m located?
Democrats Abroad will be hosting at least one voting center in every country where we operate, March 3 through March 10, 2020. Details for specific locations, including exact dates and times, will be available on the Democrats Abroad website by mid January 2020.
Voters who are already members of Democrats Abroad will receive notice about how to vote remotely, including how to download and return their ballot on February 18.
Who will win the 2020 Global Primary?
That’s up to the voters to decide! We’ll be announcing the results on March 23, 2020.
What is the history of the global primary?
Democrats Abroad has sent a delegation to the Democratic National Convention since 1976
In 2016, turnout in the global primary was 50% higher than our last primary in 2008 (there was not a primary in 2012, with President Obama running for reelection).
Bernie Sanders received approximately 69% of the vote in our 2016 primary, and Hilary Clinton received approximately 31%. View the full results, including results by country, here.
Who can participate in the 2020 global primary?
Voters must meet the following criteria:
- Be residing abroad and be a US Citizen
- Be a member of Democrats Abroad
- Be 18 as of November 3, 2020
- Not have voted, nor plan to vote, in any other state’s 2020 presidential primary
Why should voters participate in the global primary?
Lots of reasons!
First, participating in the Global Presidential Primary shows the US (and the world) how important our elections are to US Citizens living abroad -- and how important WE are to those elections. Our strength is in numbers, and by making our voices heard loudly, we make the issues that matter to us known. Voting in the Global Presidential Primary is a forceful way to advocate for those issues.
Second, a vote in the Global Presidential Primary had greater weight than it does in a voter’s “home” state party. Think about it: ten million votes may be cast in the NY or CA state primaries, but maybe five hundred thousand in Democrats Abroad’s Global Primary. Each individual vote is amplified and more powerful in our primary.
Third, by casting a vote in the Global Primary, US citizens abroad will help give Democrats Abroad a stronger voice and greater weight within the Democratic National Committee. Representation in the DNC is based on proportionality. The more we vote, the more representation we have, and this improves our chances of achieving some of our most important policy goals.
Fourth, the Global Presidential Primary is the same week as Super Tuesday, which means that it will have an impact early in the nominating race. Who knows? The whole contest could ultimately be decided by the outcome of our primary ... the next POTUS could be determined by the vote that ANY OF US cast in the Global Presidential Primary! No, really. We're not exaggerating.
Finally, we have made it very easy for US citizens to participate both at our Voting Centers and by remote voting options. Sheer turnout – raw numbers – really does matter, and that’s why we want Americans abroad to vote in the Global Presidential Primary.
When is the Republican abroad primary?
Like many state primaries, the Democrats Abroad global primary is run by the party itself. This is a big reason why we have very official procedures and why we have a voice at the Democratic National Convention and on the Democratic National Committee.
While there are certainly many Republicans living abroad, and there are clubs and groups for Republicans around the world, there is not an official arm of the Republican party equivalent to Democrats Abroad. Consequently, Republicans who wish to vote at the primary level are only able to do so as an overseas absentee voter and vote in their home state in the US.
DA News published Press Kit: The Global Presidential Primary in 2020 Press Kit 2019-11-27 17:29:13 -0500
In 2020, Democrats in every state and territory, as well as Democrats Abroad, will have the opportunity to participate in primary elections or caucuses (Democrats Abroad holds a primary election), to help decide who will become the Democratic Party’s nominee for US president. The winner of this nomination will then take on Donald Trump in the general elections in November 2020.
One of the most important days during this process will be March 3, or “Super Tuesday,” when 15 state parties, including Democrats Abroad, hold their primaries. Since Democrats Abroad has voting centers in “early” time zones of New Zealand, Australia and across Asia, the first ballots cast on Super Tuesday will be cast in the Democrats Abroad global primary.
For millions of people watching the US elections, Super Tuesday will be the most important day before the general elections in November.
And with hundreds of voting centers around the world in every time zone, Super Tuesday starts and ends with Democrats Abroad.
This is the most important presidential primary election in a generation, and the Global Presidential Primary is the opportunity that Democrats living abroad have to impact this important decision.
- March 3: Super Tuesday
Voters can participate in-person
Hundreds of voting centers around the world will have open times between March 3 and March 10. For many US citizens abroad, this is the only chance they’ll have to cast a ballot in-person during the 2020 elections.
- Voting centers will be made available in every country where we have an active Country Committee.
- Voters may register in-person or by joining Democrats Abroad online.
Voters can participate remotely
Participation is open to Democrats Abroad members who would like to vote via mail-in ballot, fax and email.
- Voters may download a ballot from Democrats Abroad starting February 18 or request one be sent to them by post.
- Voters vote for one candidate for the Democratic presidential nominee.
Voters must meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident abroad and be a US Citizen
- Be a member of Democrats Abroad
- Be 18 as of November 3, 2020
- Not have voted, nor plan to vote, in any other state’s 2020 presidential primary**
Proxy voting is not permitted.
In other words, people can not vote on behalf of another voter, with no exceptions.
** Voters may only vote once for a presidential candidate: either through Democrats Abroad, or through their home state. Those who vote in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary may still participate in their home state's primary or caucus for all other candidates (for example, for the US Senate or House of Representatives), but they cannot vote twice for a presidential candidate.
DA News published 2020 Press Kit: FAQ - Democrats Abroad and US Citizens Abroad in 2020 Press Kit 2019-11-27 17:16:21 -0500
How big is Democrats Abroad?
Democrats Abroad is the largest organization of civilian US citizens living abroad. We are the Democratic Party arm for approximately 7 million eligible voters overseas (out of 9 million abroad total), with activists and members in over 190 countries around the world. We are 100% volunteer-led, with active chapters across six continents and members who vote in every U.S. state and congressional district.
How is Democrats Abroad funded?
Democrats Abroad relies almost entirely on donations from American citizens, both abroad and living in the US. All US citizens are welcome to donate to our efforts.
How long has Democrats Abroad been active?
There have been patriotic Americans abroad virtually since the inception of the United States! But as an organization, Democrats Abroad has been continuously active since chapters were established in Paris and London in 1964.Read more about our history here.
Where is Democrats Abroad active?
Everywhere! Our extensive reach goes far beyond our country committees through engaged, active online communities of Americans around the world.
Do Americans abroad vote?
Yes! But unfortunately voter turnout is relatively low abroad, but that’s slowly changing. Voter turnout abroad more than doubled between 2014 and 2018, with 344,392 US citizens abroad casting their ballots in the 2018 midterms. Presidential election years are much more popular, so we can expect to see well more than 650,000 votes cast from abroad in 2020.
Aren’t US citizens abroad mostly military and conservative?
This is a common misconception! In recent years, the population abroad has gotten bluer as voter turnout has increased. In 2018, civilian turnout surpassed military turnout among abroad voters in a 2-1 margin. Since votes are private, we don’t know how liberal or conservative these voters are, but we do know that, civilian voters abroad are one of the bluest — most consistently Democratic — bloc of all US voters.
Are all votes from abroad counted?
In the United States, every absentee vote is counted in each and every election. With the exception of the global primary, when ballots are tabulated by Democrats Abroad, votes from abroad are returned to their local election office and then tabulated.
On election day, the press often makes projections by “calling” an election, based on exit polling and sometimes when the number of absentee ballots doesn’t exceed the margin of victory for a given candidate but those are not official results. Every official vote total, and the official results, include every single valid ballot.
In close races where there are more absentee votes than the number of votes separating two candidates, that race will be deemed “too close to call” by the press,” and no winner can be determined before each and every absentee ballot is counted.
Lives in: Czech Republic
Votes in: North Carolina
Julia Bryan is the Global Chair of Democrats Abroad, having previously served as International Secretary and co-Chair of the Communications team, Deputy Regional Vice Chair for the EMEA region, and Chair and Vice Chair of the Czech Republic, where she was one of the founding members of the Democrats Abroad country committee.
Outside of Democrats Abroad, Julia’s career spans more than two decades in the IT and organizational management sector. She has owned a software consulting firm since 2001, working with clients such as T-Mobile, Vodafone, Apple, the BBC and RadioFreeEurope, including a multi-year project establishing European print and distribution facilities for one of the largest IT companies in the world.
Julia moved to Prague in 1999 but originally hails from Charleston, South Carolina and is a lifelong Democrat. Civil rights and voting are deeply important to her, and are the driving forces behind her passion for getting out the vote around the world. She lives in Prague with her husband and two children, and votes in North Carolina.
Global Vice Chair
Lives in: Hong Kong
Votes: North Carolina
Alex Montgomery is the Global Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad, having previously served as Regional Vice Chair of Asia Pacific, co-Chair of the Communications team, and Chair of Hong Kong.
Alex grew up in Raleigh NC, in a family that cared deeply about local activism. He worked on his first political campaign in 5th grade, helping his mother get elected to the local school board. Alex moved to Asia in 1999 and has been based in Hong Kong since 2001.
Outside of Democrats Abroad, he is a software developer, with a background in usability and an interest in the intersection of politics and process.
REGIONAL VICE CHAIRS
Regional Vice Chair, Americas
Lives in: Costa Rica
Votes in: New York
Regional Vice Chair, Asia Pacific
Lives in: New Zealand
Votes in: Virginia
Regional Vice Chair, Europe, Middle East and Africa
Lives in: Luxembourg
Votes in: Illinois
In person, phone, or on-camera interviews are available upon request. Democrats Abroad leaders around the world possess a wealth of knowledge on key issues facing citizens abroad and the elections process. To reach any of these individuals, please visit democratsabroad.org and select your location under “Countries.”
For global enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
During presidential election years, our focus is on organizing and running our Global Presidential Primary, getting out the vote, and advocating for overseas citizen issues.
As the official organization for Democrats living outside the US, we give American citizens abroad a Democratic voice in US politics and government. This means we:
- Represent Democrats living outside the US at the Democratic National Committee and the national convention, to help select the Democratic party presidential nominee.
- Help citizens abroad vote in US elections and protect their right to vote.
- Advocate in the US about issues that concern US citizens abroad, such as taxation, healthcare, and immigration.
- Build communities of like-minded Americans around the world.
- Turn US-based actions — like the Women’s March, March for Science and March for Our Lives on gun safety — into worldwide movements.
- Help elect Democrats in every congressional district in the US.
- Work with the broader Democratic Party to achieve our goals.
We also offer members the platform to raise awareness and advocate for change through our 7 caucuses:
- Global Black Caucus
- Hispanic Caucus
- LGBT Caucus
- Progressive Caucus
- Veterans & Military Family Caucus
- Women’s Caucus
- Youth Caucus
Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of US citizens living outside the United States. Our goals are to mobilize the overseas vote to elect Democratic candidates and help Americans abroad amplify the issues that matter to them.
Democrats Abroad is better equipped than any organization in the world to help citizens around the world engage in the US political process. In 2020, we will work to reach as many US citizens as possible, in as many ways as possible, to ensure that they have opportunities to stay engaged in the United States political process and presidential election.
As an official "state" party recognized by the Democratic National Committee, we:
Run an official Democratic presidential primary.
The Global Presidential Primary will take place March 3-10 2020, when Democrats living outside the US can cast their vote for the party’s presidential nominee.
Help select the Democratic presidential nominee.
We send a delegation to each Democratic National Convention to represent Democrats Abroad primary voters and help decide the national party’s nominee for president.
Represent citizens abroad at all meetings of the DNC.
Democrats Abroad elects 8 members to represent us at the Democratic National Committee and in all DNC meetings.
- Are the only official US political party of American citizens abroad (the Republican Party does not have an equivalent organization of this status).
With 9 million US citizens living overseas (and about 7 million eligible to vote), citizens living abroad make up a larger population than all but 11 US states. And since the 2016 presidential election was decided by less than 80,000 votes, there is a very real possibility that the overseas vote could decide the 2020 US presidential election.
No matter how long a citizen has lived abroad, they still have a right to vote in national elections. However, many do not. The most common factor for why US citizens abroad don’t vote is that they have limited opportunities to learn about their right to vote and the requirements for casting their ballot.
Simply by learning that they can vote makes a US citizen
living abroad dramatically more likely to do so.
- Run an official Democratic presidential primary.
DA News published Our Voting Process During the Regional and Global Conventions in 2020 Democratic Primary 2019-11-27 05:27:26 -0500
During the 2020 Regional and Global Conventions in Toronto Canada, Democrats Abroad will use the following procedures to elect delegates to the Democrats Abroad delegation:
Each delegate position will be conducted as an independent election, with two rounds of voting per election.
In the first round of voting, all eligible delegate candidate names will appear on the ballot. Electors will have the opportunity to select the candidates they wish to vote for, sort their names by order of preference and submit their vote.
Using Scottish Single Transfer tabulation, a form of Ranked Choice tabulation, Democrats Abroad will tabulate the ballots and determine the 6 top delegate candidates from that round.
In the second round of voting, the top 6 delegate candidate names will appear on the ballot. Electors will have the opportunity to select the candidates they wish to vote for, sort their names by order of preference and submit their vote.
Using Instant Run Off tabulation, a form of Ranked Choice tabulation, Democrats Abroad will tabulate the ballots and determine an individual winner from that round.
DA News published Marianne Williamson Answers Our Top Questions in Q&A with Candidates 2019-11-13 07:42:16 -0500
The climate crisis is a significant contributing factor to many conflicts and refugee situations around the globe, putting Americans abroad - and all global citizens - at risk due to political insecurity. How will you ensure that the U.S. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions below Paris Accord targets and lead the global effort to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown and the global insecurity it would cause?
What do you think a U.S. President in early 2021 can do, independently of the cooperation of Congress or other countries, to respond to this crisis?
Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our global insecurity, our national security and our economy. My plan for dealing with climate change will work to combat all of these threats. Our biggest crisis regarding the climate emergency is humanity’s massive state of denial that it exists on the scale it does. Yet willingness to recognize the depth of the problem is prerequisite to our solving it. It is a psychological and moral challenge to face the horror of what stands before us over the next ten years should we not act; yet there - in our standing raw before the truth that it confronts us with - lies our only hope for surviving it.
And our environmental crisis is not only climate; it is also water, air, food and soil. Our earth is like a body beginning to experience an all systems breakdown. As president, I will treat the problem holistically. Global warming harms the weather patterns which harms agriculture and animals which harms people's capacity to live in certain areas which harms the city-to-rural ratio which harms social stability which creates a refugee crisis which altogether lead toward untold catastrophe. What is imperative is that we awaken now and take immediate, bold steps to change course.
What is necessary is a full scale climate emergency mobilization effort, not unlike the kind of effort undertaken by the United States during WW2. Without such an effort, the world will begin to see social collapse and mass starvation unprecedented during our lifetime. Climate disruption, if not itself disrupted, is on track to become "civilization-threatening." Refugee crises, extreme weather events, non-survivable global temperatures making certain places uninhabitable, global food crises, economic collapse -- none of those phrases are hyperbolic. They are warnings.
I understand that incremental change -even bold incremental change in regards to the climate crisis -is not enough to stave off environmental catastrophe. The American people must be informed of the severity of the problem, and enrolled in a massive national effort to deal with it.
We need policy change but we need more than that; we need a full-on systems change. We need to change the way we think about what's most important in life. We need to put the health and well-being of our people and our planet before the needs of an outmoded economic system. We must transition from a dirty economy to a clean economy. Period. Full stop.
In this as in so many areas, unwise action has led to the problem and taking wise action now will solve it.
There is a growing consensus in America that climate change is an existential emergency. But now our actions must align with our understanding. As President, I would argue, in no uncertain terms, that rapid, man-made climate change and global warming represents a clear and present danger to our people, to our democracy, and to the world at large. Beginning with the appointment of a world-class environmentalist rather than a fossil fuel or chemical company executive (as is now the case) to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, I would fundamentally reverse the current misuse of the EPA, whereby it serves mainly the cause of profit maximization for fossil fuel and chemical companies, and return it to its original mission of protection and advocacy on behalf of our natural environment. The full powers of the executive branch of the US government would be put in service to this effort.
As president, I will do more than direct a mass mobilization of technological efforts necessary to stave off climate catastrophe; I will harness a mass mobilization of the American people. For that will be necessary for us to achieve the kind of buy-in necessary to allow such massive change as is needed, to occur. This cannot be a Left versus Right, Democrat versus Republican, socialism versus capitalism conversation -- it is a survival versus full-scale human destruction conversation, and when the American people awaken to this then the American people will do what it takes to handle the challenge that confronts us. No president will be able to take the steps that are truly necessary, without that buy-in.
In fighting WW2, we were neither Republicans nor Democrats; we were Americans. In staving off climate catastrophe, we are neither Republicans nor Democrats either; we are patriotic Americans and responsible human beings.
As president, I will immediately re-enter the Paris Climate Accords — while simultaneously working to expand talks to push for even more meaningful and enforceable agreements. The United States will no longer be the rogue nation withdrawing from the international effort to stave off a massive climate-induced collapse; instead, we will be the world's leader in paving the way to new possibilities and new beginnings.
In 2015, we were one of 195 countries to support the important Paris agreement on Climate Change. The situation has gotten much worse since then. We should not only re-enter, but also lead a new push for the global transition to reduce and even sequester existing carbon from the atmosphere. Our urgent goal is not just to hold temperature increases as close as possible to where they are now, but instead to reverse global warming back to more long-term sustainable levels.
The United States and world must take unprecedented action between now and 2030 to actually bring the carbon we put in the atmosphere back into the earth where it came from—to reforest, transform our dirt back to soil on our farms, restore wetlands, peatlands, and increase phytoplankton and fisheries—among other critical measures.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, and the 4th US National Climate Assessment describe the dire consequences of failing to act to protect our population, our economy, and our world from climate change.
We are already seeing refugees fleeing extreme weather disasters, causing human calamities, unrest, and conflict. However, these reports simultaneously underscore the enormous opportunities for this nation if we lead in developing and adopting innovations.
Most of the debate right now focuses on keeping temperature rises to around 1.5C or 2C, but that is not sustainable, we actually need to reverse warming trends. While shifting away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy sources gets the bulk of our attention in this area—there are numerous approaches we must take, in multiple sectors, to address climate change. Other critical areas include: reducing food waste, promoting a plant rich diet, protecting tropical forests, proper land management, regenerative agriculture and refrigerant management, among others. Even seemingly unrelated issues like educating women globally and family planning are known to be an important part of the solution.
Under a Williamson administration, we will take a full systems approach, helping to reverse global warming and lead the planet towards long-term sustainability.
When it comes to energy, the Williamson Administration will:
- Expand investments in clean, green energy.
- Reduce CO2 emissions to net zero by 2045 or earlier.
- Mirror ambitious, but realistic, efforts in the State of California. This Nation needs to set a goal to transition to cleaner energy as quickly as possible. This will send a message to the US market, large businesses, and utilities.
- Reinstate and expand energy and mileage efficiency investments. Conserving energy and making the most of our resources should not be a partisan issue. It is good for everyone. Our scientists and businesses are ready to help lead these efforts, but strong national leadership is essential.
- Extend federal incentives and rebates for renewable energy.
- Transition away from fossil fuel energy and halt all new fossil fuel projects. We must eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies and instead make massive investments in, and provide subsidies for, clean green solutions.
- Restart the Clean Power Plan to protect our health and clean air, while moving away from coal, which is costly, harmful to the air we breathe and to the land and water where it is mined and burned.
- Modernize our power grids immediately to pave the way for a dramatic increase in renewable energy sources. The electric power sector should be de-carbonized sooner than the rest of the economy – by 2040. Each state will be required to adopt a renewable portfolio standard which would start at the level of renewable electricity supplies in that state in 2020, and taper up to 100% by 2040. Electricity suppliers would be fined if they fall behind each year’s target.
- De-carbonize buildings by 2045. All older buildings would have to be upgraded to higher energy efficiency standards appropriate for that building type, and converted to electric space heating, cooking, and hot water technologies.
- Zero carbon from new buildings by 2028.
Ban all fracking operations (oil and gas). This will require planning for the workers and communities that will be most impacted by a transition away from fossil fuel extraction, processing and use called a “just transition.”
- End all new oil and gas leases in federal lands and waters. The Trump administration just recently weakened federal protections on 9 million acres in the West; this should be reversed.
- Stop all use of nuclear energy. We do not need nuclear energy to fulfill our energy needs.
- Address emissions caused by huge agribusinesses. Massive factory farms not only threaten and destroy the livelihoods of family farmers, but they are the largest producer of the most dangerous greenhouse gasses -- methane and nitrous oxide. Research suggests that even if we eliminate all fossil fuel use, we will still exceed our atmosphere's ability to repair itself due to large agribusiness practices. We must break up these conglomerates, return farming to families instead of factories, and explore every means possible of reducing the impact of animal agriculture on our environment.
- Require each industrial corporation to commit to a series of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Targets phasing down to 0% emissions in 2045. Each company will decide for itself how to meet those targets, but would be fined via income tax laws if the annual targets are not met.
- Increase research and development on new technologies. We do not need to wait for this research -- adequate technologies are currently available to proceed to strongly mitigate climate change -- but it is important for more research in the long-run so that we continue to move to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and reverse global warming, as the situation gets worse and worse.
- Ensure that workers currently working in the fossil fuel industries be accepted first in new job training programs for renewable energy industries and the building renovation industry. In addition, we will work with universities, community colleges, and trade schools to develop education programs to help bring in people for the new industries and jobs.
When it comes to transportation, the Williamson Administration will:
- Phase out the sales of new fossil-fuel vehicles by 2035. By 2050 we will remove fossil fuel burning vehicles from our roads. We may consider an exception for historical vehicles, schools and museums for educational purposes.
- Accelerate the production of Electric Vehicles, invest in charging infrastructure, and continue efforts to maximize fuel efficiency until we can move away from internal combustion engines. All parking spaces on either private or public land would have to have access to electric charging stations by 2035.
- Set standards to that heavy-duty trucks either use electricity or more sustainable bio-fuels by 2035. All diesel vehicles will be retired by 2050.
- Require electrification of all railways by 2030, both passenger and freight.
- Deploy federal transportation funds to fully empower our cities’ public mass transit systems and walkable and bikeable communities.
- Require all new airplanes to use either hydrogen or bio-fuels by 2035.
When it comes to an economics of recarbonizing the Earth, the Williamson Administration will:
- Put a price on carbon to send a sustained market signal and pay for the external damage done by these fuels.
- Explore the concept of carbon fees being mandatory (not market-based), because many progressives and environmentalists have successfully argued that doing this will help achieve further reductions in emissions AND protect lower income and people of color who have the least protection against climate impacts.
- Explore every means of developing our economy so that it encourages the sequestering of excess carbon currently in the atmosphere, and bringing that carbon back down into the earth.
- Employ every resource to restore our forests and oceans and promote sustainable agricultural and ranching practices.
When it comes to climate justice and preparation, the Williamson Administration will:
- Find ways to enhance our resilience to the current effects of extreme weather and hotter temperatures. Those with lower income, people of color, indigenous communities, and other vulnerable populations must be prioritized.
- Integrate climate preparedness into the nation’s emergency preparedness, and into our health plans, infrastructure plans, and homeland security plans.
- Enact policies to create high-quality, high-wage jobs, protect the rights of workers to unionize, and ensure strong labor standards and working conditions. We will work with union leaders, economic justice advocates, and universities to implement best practices from the US and abroad.
- Ensure that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition.
- Strengthen and enforce labor, workplace health and safety, anti-discrimination, and wage and hour standards for workers.
When it comes to national security, the Williamson Administration will:
- End our reliance on oil, because it perpetuates our dependence on energy supplies from other countries, particularly in the Middle East.
- Cease being drawn into military misadventures to defend access to oil (and the profits it yields for big oil companies), under the pretense of, “defending our freedoms.”
- Save much of the oil we use through improved efficiency, get the other half from renewable energy sources, and consequently save, potentially, trillions of dollars from being wasted on foreign wars.
In all these and more areas, a Williamson administration will make climate change and global warming an urgent and top priority.
In order for the needed changes to occur, a massive mobilization of the American people, our economy and our industry, will be necessary. We need a great American effort not unlike the massive mobilization necessary to fight WW2 and bring the US out of the Great Depression. Our task is to build a Green New Century. Ultimately we need this for all the world, and the United States should lead the way.
Americans abroad hear from our neighbors and colleagues that the standing of the U.S. in world affairs has plummeted over the past three years. What would you do to re-establish trust and re-build the confidence of the U.S. government in global institutions and with other countries?
The President must set the tone for regaining the trust of the world and rebuilding our reputation in the world. As President, I would re-commit to the United Nations and its related NGO’s to make certain that we are doing our fair share globally. In the diplomatic arena and throughout my administration, I will substitute the rhetoric of hate with one of respect for others.
The United States must work hard to regain our moral authority. To that end, as President I will strengthen and reinvest in the State Department and create a Cabinet level United States Department of Peace to work internationally on global peacebuilding efforts and domestically on non violence issues. The outline of my Department of Peace Plan is here.
For more information on how I would deal with other countries and other regions, see my Foreign Policy plan here.
In a 2019 survey of Americans living abroad, Democrats Abroad found that 2.2% cited their reason for living abroad as “affordable healthcare.” These numbers include ‘healthcare refugees’ who cannot afford to return to live in the U.S. due to the high cost of healthcare and the threat of bankruptcy due to illness. Under your healthcare plan, will Americans currently abroad at all income levels and states of health be able to return to live in the U.S. and receive quality, affordable, accessible healthcare for their families at reasonable cost without threat of bankruptcy?
YES I believe that healthcare is a human right which all Americans, regardless of where they live, should have equal access to use.
Executive orders such as the one exploiting the term "public charge" demonstrate that our current immigration system was founded in a shameful era of discrimination and bigotry, and that family members of Americans abroad are allowed entry to the U.S. due to a patchwork of fragile bandaids and weakly defended interpretations. Would you restore the principle of family reunification?
YES How would your plan for immigration improve the situation for spouses, partners, and relatives of Americans living abroad who wish to return with our families?
Keeping families together and allowing for families to reunite should be paramount for returning families. To do otherwise goes against our legacy as a nation of immigrants. We are a nation of immigrants, and we will always be a nation of immigrants. We need to re-examine our immigration policies to provide care and respect for those who come here. America, at its best, is a welcoming community, and we need to live up to our image, instead of tarnishing it.
More generally, on Immigration issues, The Williamson Administration will:
- Provide a timely, ethical, transparent and straightforward path to citizenship for all law-abiding, productive immigrants living in the United States.
- Overturn the three- and ten-year re-entry bars. Many people who would otherwise qualify for green card status due to a relationship with a citizen or permanent resident are in a heart-wrenching scenario if they leave to apply for a green card in their native country (as is currently required). They are subsequently not allowed to re-enter the United States for three or ten years, even if they are married to a U.S. citizen. They can be separated from their families - for abiding by our laws! This whole scenario traps people in undocumented status. I will work to overturn this unnecessary hardship.
- Stop punishing children brought into the United States by their parents for now being here. I fully support DACA. Our dreamers represent the best about our future. I would also work to expand protections and naturalization to all undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, regardless of their current age. They came here through no fault of their own, and many are, in fact, unaware that they are undocumented.
- Reduce the record number of detainees currently under extended DHS and ICE control. We will work to close private detention centers and family detention centers. There are far more humane options that have been proven to work.
- Increase border security intelligently through electronic surveillance and more patrol agents, rather than an ineffective and expensive wall.
- End Family Separation. The Federal government has a moral responsibility to keep families together. For those that have been torn apart by the current administration, we must take immediate action to reunite children with their families.
- Speed-Up Processing. For the benefit of the U.S. and asylum seekers alike, we must speed-up the process so our government can determine the validity of an asylum claim. It is necessary to fund and authorize a vast increase in immigration judges to adjudicate the backlog of asylum seekers and other related cases. As an example, asylum seekers at the southern border should not be forced to stay across the border before being processed.
- Expand LGBTQ Protection. LGBTQ immigrants and asylum seekers who experience discrimination here, as well as in their countries of origin, should receive additional protections. Government employees should be trained to be particularly sensitive to the issues they face abroad, in this nation, and during the immigration process.
- Ensure that due process and constitutional protections are available to undocumented immigrants when it comes to deportation issues.
- Make affordable health care available to all families, whether they are documented or not.
Regulatory guidance from the Treasury Department could mitigate the harms of FATCA suffered by thousands of Americans living and working abroad. Will you commit to directing the Treasury Department to study and then implement, as a high priority, new guidance that will provide relief to ordinary Americans living abroad who are demonstrably not evading taxes?
YES Taxation needs to be fair. Tax rates should be based on income. Americans should not be penalized because the are living and working abroad.
Most Americans living abroad think that the time has come for Residency-Based Taxation, the principle guiding all other countries' tax systems and a fix for numerous unjust burdens on Americans living and working abroad. There are bi-partisan, revenue-neutral proposals to implement RBT that include robust provisions to protect the law from abuse by tax evaders. All we need is a moment of leadership to get this done. Will you be that leader?
While federal legislation provides some protection for overseas voters, this legislation does not go far enough to counter the challenges that states, and recently the Trump administration, have set up to limit voting from abroad. 67% of abroad ballots are returned by mail, largely due to state requirements, yet postal delivery of ballots is fraught with problems, and during each election thousands of ballots do not arrive on time to be counted. To make matters worse, in less than a month the U.S. may withdraw from the Universal Postal Union, likely leading to serious delays and postal mail price increases. How will you help protect the rights of Americans abroad to vote while helping states ensure that ballots are returned safely?
First, I would make sure that the United States stays in, or re-enters, the Universal Postal Union. I would work with the postal service to prioritize ballot mailing and work with the state election authorities to make certain that they are doing everything in their power to identify, count and safeguard returning ballots. I will explore modernizing voting techniques and begin investigating more secure electronic voting systems that would allow direct voting from abroad.
DA News published Health Care is a Human Right: Our Continued Work to Universal Health Care in News 2019-11-12 09:22:46 -0500
As Americans living in over 90 countries around the world, we have the unique opportunity of viewing our home country from the context of a foreign lens, and the vast majority of our members have had experience with health care in our adopted countries.Read more
Democrats Abroad lost a thoughtful voice and selfless leader last week - DA Greece Chair Steve Medeiros. Steve was beloved and respected in Greece and all over the world.Stacey Harris-Papaioannou, dear friend of Steve and Vice Chair of DA-Greece alongside him, writes:It is with profound sadness that I send this correspondence.
DA GREECE has lost its Chair, Steve Medeiros.
After a 5 year battle with prostate cancer, Steve died last night, at home, with his life long partner, Tony, at his side.
A service of remembrance and honor will be held in the morning on Saturday, November 9 at the First Cemetery of Athens. Although Steve was not religious, it comes as no surprise that he has died on the eve of the "Feast of Angels" here in Greece.
Steve was truly an earth angel--an easy going, patient man, tolerant of all, a leader who always held everyone as an equal in both deed and thought.
A nurturer by nature, Steve spent 40 years as an educator, mentor, administrator and friend to thousands of students, parents and teachers in the American School Community of Athens.
Democrats Abroad enjoyed his leadership skills first as Counsel, next as Athens Chapter Chair, then Vice-Chair and as of January 2019 Chair of our Country Committee. He was instrumental in implementing study abroad, the global primary, GOTV and LGTBQ for Greece.
He will be missed for so many reasons.
May he rest in peace and may his memory be eternal in our hearts.
Please join Democrats Abroad for a reception with Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in Paris, France on December 7th from 6pm to 8pm CET. RSVP today for the address. All proceeds go to mobilize the vote abroad! As you may recall, Senator Jones was elected in 2018 in a hard-fought Special Election against Trump-backed Roy Moore. He and other Democrats will be fighting hard for Senate and House seats - as well as the White house in 2020. You can help them by making a donation for this great event, so please sign up as soon as possible.
If you can't attend but would like to support our efforts to elect Democratic candidates in 2020, please enter a donation amount in the Other box below.
HOST COMMITTEE (In formation)
Democrats Abroad Chair Julia Bryan, Anne-Shelton Aaron, Bill Barnard, Connie Borde, Democrats Abroad Romania, Joan Jarowski, Heather and Robert Keane, Tia Kummerfeld, Art Schankler, Ada Shen, Ken Sherman, Joe Smallhoover, Salli Swartz, Richard Trilling, Deborah Wais
This event is sponsored by Democrats Abroad and is not for the benefit of any specific candidate for federal office.WHENDecember 07, 2019 at 6pmWHERECentral Paris, Left Bank. Exact Location to be announced after RSVP.
Google map and directions
Please join Democrats Abroad for a reception with Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in Paris, France on December 7th from 6pm to 8pm CET. RSVP today for the address. All proceeds go to mobilize the vote abroad!
If you can't attend, but want to support our Get Out the Vote efforts for Senator Jones and other Democratic candidates in 2020, enter an amount in the Other box on the left.
HOST COMMITTEE (In formation)
Democrats Abroad Chair Julia Bryan, Anne-Shelton Aaron, Bill Barnard, Connie Borde, Joan Jarowski, Heather and Robert Keane, Tia Kummerfeld, Art Schankler, Ada Shen, Ken Sherman,Joe Smallhoover, Salli Swartz, Richard Trilling, Deborah Wais
Sponsored by Democrats Abroad and not by any candidate for Federal Office.Donate
To escape construction noise typical of high-rise living in China, I left my apartment on Thursday evening, October 17, when my WeChat lit up. A fellow DA-China member had written, “(U.S. Congressman) Elijah Cummings has died.”Read more
DA News published Democrats Abroad Statement on the US remaining in UPU in News 2019-10-02 12:24:14 -0400
"Democrats Abroad is relieved that the US has agreed to stay in the Universal Postal Union, but we remain vigilant,” said Julia Bryan, Global Chair of Democrats Abroad. “We will closely follow the situation as postal rate changes are announced. Due to the uncertainty of the impact of these price increases, we strongly encourage all US states to provide secure online ballot delivery options for their voters living outside the States."Read more
Thank you for joining with Democrats Abroad as we came together in support of the vigils held across the US on July 12. Lights for Liberty aims to shed light on what is happening at the US southern border and across the country: undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers being held in detention centers, facing inhumane conditions and continuing to be separated from their families.