December 08, 2023

DA Spain December 2023 Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Chair

December might be the month of merriment, but let's be real – the world's got its fair share of Grinch vibes right now. Wars, climate chaos, and the specter of Trump 2.0? Talk about a not-so-jolly mix.

Kathy Tullos, DA Spain Chair

But hold on to your Santa hats, because amid the gloom, a spark of hope flickers. Across the USA, millions are hustling to keep democracy and progress alive. And guess what? Democrats Abroad Spain is donning its superhero cape for the 2024 elections. Picture this:  a campaign hotline hotter than chestnuts roasting on an open fire, helping our members register, vote, and slay that ballot game. We're also spreading the love to non-member Americans in Spain through both digital wizardry and real-life charm.

Thanks to the generosity of many of you, we've got the funds to fuel these democracy-saving missions. We've even birthed a new local group in Malaga — the political equivalent of bringing a new life into the world. And next up, Granada! 

Now, can we wave a wand and make all the world's problems disappear? Sadly, nope. But hey, who needs magic when we've got good ol' teamwork? As civil rights legend Fannie Lou Hamer wisely said, "It's poison not to speak what we know is right." At DA Spain, we're all about speaking through action.

So, dear elves of democracy, join us in spreading the good vibes. Let's turn our concern into a celebration, one ballot at a time. After all, as we work to make the world a better place, we're also making our own lives a little brighter. Together, we've got this! See you at the democracy sleigh ride!

Happy holidays to you all! 

Kathy Tullos, DA Spain Chair



Announcements & Calls to Action

DA Spain is Expanding with New Precincts in Malaga and Granada
By Jim Mercereau

Guess what, Democrats Abroad familia? Malaga is officially living the dream! Our crew is growing faster than a pot of magical beans, thanks to the surge of retiring Americans flocking to our sunny southern shores.

Meet Carey Ramos, our superhero retiree, who wondered after joining Democrats Abroad:  "Hey, where's the party in Malaga?" With the help of Miriam Juarbe, they birthed a Facebook group, Democratic Voters in Malaga, which, in just a few weeks, gathered a squad of nearly 50 followers. Talk about a digital revolution!

With a nudge from Helen Morgan, the Seville chapter boss, Carey and Miriam decided to throw a shindig for all the democracy enthusiasts. Picture this: June 4th, 18 locals, one delightful lunch spread, and a whole lot of camaraderie. After devouring some delicious bites, Jim Mercereau and Helen broke down the game plan for turning out the Democratic vote. Spoiler alert: it involves phone banking, local events, social media, and internet magic.

Guess what happened next? Many of the lunch attendees decided to hop on the Democrats Abroad train, proving that good food and democracy go hand in hand. Carey and Miriam are at it again, planning a festive get-together on December 7 in downtown Malaga – tap here for details. But that's not all, folks! To spread the love up the coast, a luncheon is brewing in Nerja on Dec 11, with an open invite to coastal Granada Democrats. Find the juicy info here.

Now, Granada didn't want to miss the party either! Albion Land, a curious resident, sparked the creation of Democrat Voters in Granada on Facebook. If you're in the book of faces, join the gang! And hold onto your hats, because a launch luncheon in Granada is in the works for the last Friday of January. We're on the lookout for some local heroes to help us find the perfect spot. If you're keen on attending or being a luncheon superhero, hit us up at [email protected] and keep an eye out on their Facebook group. Let's keep the party rolling, Democrats Abroad style!


Supercharge Your Vote: Dems Abroad Spain's Super Tuesday Fiesta!
By Helen Morgan, Seville Chapter Chair

In case you missed it last month, living the Spanish dream doesn't mean missing out on the epic Presidential Primary action. Nope, we've got our very own Global Presidential Primary, aka the GPP. It's like the VIP pass to democracy. 

For our pals lucky enough to have a Democrat Abroad chapter or precinct nearby, mark your calendars for Super Tuesday week, March 5-12, 2024. We're throwing voting centers and assistance events left and right, and guess what? You're invited! Grab your amigos and let's make democracy a party. 

But that's not all. We're cooking up some countrywide shindigs to rev up the 2024 excitement. Stay tuned for the deets on when and where the fun is going down. Spoiler alert: It's going to be a blast! Oh, and a quick heads up – all voting center locations and times will be locked in by Dec. 31, 2023. So, keep your eyes peeled for the next newsletter to plan your voting adventure with GPS precision.

Now, here's a wild idea for you: ever thought about being a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago from Aug. 19-22? Check out Gil Carbajal's piece in this newsletter for the inside scoop. Feeling inspired? Awesome, because the first step is to sign at least one Democratic Presidential Candidate Petition. Time's ticking – deadline's Jan. 3, 2024. Don't be fashionably late to this party – click here for petitions and all the details. Ready to take the plunge and be a delegate? Hold tight until March 26th to April 19, 2024, and follow this link for all you need to know

However you choose to rock the democracy boat in 2024, we salute you in advance. Let's make this the most epic election ever! #DemocracyDreamTeam


Democracy Diaries: Looking Back as a Democrat Abroad Delegate
By Gil Carbajal

What a wild ride it was back in '08! I had the honor and the sheer luck to snag a seat in the Democrats Abroad Delegation to the 2008 Democratic Party Convention in Denver. Two years into my leadership gig, and boom – there I was, rubbing shoulders with the history makers.

Let me paint the scene: 1908, Denver, and a Democratic Convention that chickened out on backing African-American civil rights. Fast forward 60 years, and there I was, witnessing the nomination of the first black President of the U.S. Talk about progress! And to spice things up, our chief contender was a powerhouse woman who pulled in 18 million votes in the primaries. The game was changing, my friends.

Now, how did I land a ticket to this political rollercoaster? Well, a little help from my friends and a sprinkle of good luck did the trick.

Flashback to 2006, when I joined the Dems Abroad Spain crew. Chris Suojanen, the founding president, tossed me the reins of handling press relations. Off I went to Rome, Heidelberg, and Oxford, meeting folks from all corners of the globe – thrilling stuff.

Come March in Brussels, at the EMEA regional caucus, I was the DA Spain Vice Chair, rubbing elbows with veterans who spilled the beans on the perplexing delegate election rules. The chaos was real, but hey, we were growing pains personified.

Picture this: Global Primary elections worldwide decided who'd rep Obama and Clinton. Brussels was our battleground, and I found myself in the Clinton caucus, aiming to be the male delegate. A majority of leadership in Democrats Abroad, like much of the Democratic Party then, was Team Clinton, while the base cheered for Obama. I ran as a Hispanic candidate, which tipped the scales in my favor. I didn't clinch the majority in the first round, but hey, an alternate delegate spot was still a win.

Vancouver, spring '08 — my next stop. Another Clinton delegate position up for grabs, and this time, I got the alternate spot. A savvy vet whispered in my ear that often elected delegates drop out, and like clockwork, it happened. By mid-summer, I was living the dream, a card-carrying member of the delegation.

Denver Convention? Mind-blowing. So much so that four years later, I threw my hat in the ring for the DA delegation to the Charlotte Convention. But hey, that's a tale for another time.

Buckle up, folks – the political rollercoaster only gets crazier from here! #DemocratAdventures

Chapter, Precinct, and Local News

Volunteer! We seek talent in many areas. In particular, we need folks who can post regularly on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and the platform formerly known as Twitter. If you’re interested, fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.

Community! Keep an eye out on DA Spain's Events page. Add a bookmark and visit often. Join us in your region and around Spain.


By Brett Specter

The Alicante chapter orchestrated a "365 days to the Election" gathering and mini-fundraiser in early November at the Milagro Rooftop venue. During this event, we delved into planning for the forthcoming months and discussed volunteer commitments. The collective sentiment conveyed a growing awareness of the monumental nature of the upcoming election. Anticipate details for our next chapter event, set to be unveiled shortly and scheduled for mid-January. Stay tuned for the formal announcement.


By Catherine Dexter

On Saturday, Dec. 2, Democrats Abroad Barcelona marked a significant milestone — 20 years since the chapter's founding. As the first chapter in Spain, it paved the way for others, including Madrid. Over thirty members and guests, including original founders and executive committee leaders, gathered at Antica Pizzeria Da Michele for a delightful lunch. The event featured stories from the early days and reflections on the exhilarating Obama victory in 2008. Anecdotes were shared by Rebecca Lewis, Gwen Perry, Donna Kelley, and chapter chair Victor Horcasitas. Not only a nostalgic gathering, but the lunch also served as a successful fundraiser, bringing in more than 500 euros to the chapter's funds for the crucial 2024 activities.

On Nov. 19, the Barcelona chapter continued its activism-oriented film series with the screening of "All the Beauty and the Bloodshed" at the home of a longstanding member. This award-winning documentary by Laura Poitras delves into the life, art, OxyContin addiction, and activism of photographer Nan Goldin. In 2017, Goldin initiated the Pain (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) campaign to remove the Sackler name from major art museums, challenging the family's involvement in the opiate epidemic unleashed by Purdue Pharmaceuticals. The film series will resume after the holidays, presenting more inspiring stories of citizen determination and collective action for positive change.

Join our enthusiastic group of volunteers Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 07:30 PM as we organize and plan for a memorable Global Presidential Primary next March. New joiners are welcome! We are looking for people who can donate any amount of their time and talent to make the 2024 GPP an event to remember.  RSVP here.


By Albion Land

Looks like we're giving the term "Southern Hospitality" a whole new meaning down here in Andalucía, and at this rate, we might just accidentally become the heart and soul of Democrats Abroad Spain. Okay, not really — we're all in this political fiesta together, united by one mission: to keep the White House and the Senate Blue and maybe even flip the House next year.

Down in the sunny south, we've got a growth spurt happening. Granada is joining the ranks of Sevilla and Málaga as the newest addition to the DA Spain family. As some of you know, I edit our monthly newsletter, and feeling the need to do something more, I was inspired by DA Spain Chair Kathy Tullos's call last month for volunteers. So I decided to lead the charge in creating this new group. With about 130 DA Spain members in Granada, I’m seeking to host an organizational lunch on Jan. 26, 2024.

The first order of business after ordering our aperitivos will be to vote to set up a precinct, with becoming a full-blown chapter our goal. Our agenda will also include brainstorming on how we can pitch in with voter registration and fundraising. Keep your eyes peeled for more info on the Democrat Voters in Granada Facebook page, which is already hotter than your morning cup of coffee – or green tea, in my case. Join the Facebook group to stay in the loop with all the happenings but also to throw in your two cents, and help shape the chapter we've got brewing. Granada, get ready to make some noise! #AndalucíaRising


By Lucia J. Perez

The trajectory of Democrats Abroad Madrid is characterized by a growing sense of community and solidarity among its members, underscoring their commitment as we approach the 2024 elections. The momentum has been unwavering, commencing with our participation in the annual Gay Parade, engaging summer luncheons, our visit to Congress, a sophisticated wine tasting event, Halloween festivities at the Museum, an LGTBQ+ dinner, and a Thanksgiving celebration. We are eagerly anticipating our upcoming Holiday Social.  RSVP here.

The cohesion within our DA Madrid membership is deepening, as our community recognizes the significance of upholding Democratic values. These values define America as a nation of liberty, freedom, and equal opportunities for all. We embrace the constitutional principles that distinguish the US as an exceptional country. Our determination remains resolute in translating aspirations into tangible actions. With the prospect of another four years ahead, we stand prepared to vote BLUE! Go Madrid!

Malaga Precinct

By Carey Ramos

We are pleased to announce the successful establishment and commencement of operations for the new Málaga precinct. Following a productive introductory lunch meeting, our focus has shifted to meticulous event planning tailored for the significant year ahead. Scheduled December meetings in Málaga city and Nerja mark essential milestones in our ongoing efforts. RSVP here. Furthermore, plans are underway to extend our reach to the western part of the province, reflecting our commitment to fostering a vibrant community of engaged Democrats.

We extend a warm invitation to all Democrats Abroad Malagueños to join us in this pivotal endeavor. The year 2024 stands as a crucial juncture for democracy, demanding the active participation of each and every one of us. We assure you that your involvement will not only have an impact but also provide opportunities to forge meaningful connections.

For additional information, kindly reach out to us via email at [email protected], join our Facebook group Democratic Voters in Málaga, or visit our Malaga page on the Democrats Abroad Spain website. Let us unite, make a difference, and navigate the path to a stronger democracy together.


By Kevin Dodson

Autumn has proven to be a dynamic season for Democrats Abroad in Sevilla. In an effort to enhance accessibility for our community, the chapter has strategically alternated the timing of its monthly First Friday events between late mornings and late afternoons, catering to individuals with varying work schedules. November marked the inauguration of our First Friday at 5, drawing a robust attendance of approximately 20 individuals. We were honored to host Jim Mercereau, from the Madrid chapter, who provided valuable insights into the activities and opportunities within Democrats Abroad. His presentation stimulated a lively discussion on political matters.

Responding to members' expressed interest in delving into Spanish politics, Dr. Catalina Castillon, an esteemed chapter member and Emerita Professor of Spanish at Lamar University in Texas, spoke  on "The Spanish Transition to Democracy" at the Circulo Mercantil on Nov. 13. The event drew more than 30 attendees, including guests from Cádiz.

Looking ahead to December, our chapter is excited to introduce a new book club, commencing with a discussion on Naomi Klein's latest work, "Doppelganger." Additionally, Leora Glasgow will lead a discussion on the second episode of the podcast "The Land That Has Never Been Yet," building on the engaging conversation sparked by the first episode of the 1619 Project podcast last June.  RSVP here.

In organizational strides, the chapter has expanded its social media footprint on Democrats Abroad Sevilla, welcoming three new members — Elizabeth Bond, Leora Glasgow, and Kevin Dodson — to its social media team and Instagram account. Elizabeth Bond will also serve as the press contact for the chapter. During our November organizational meeting, planning commenced for the Global Presidential Primary scheduled for March.

We look forward to the continued engagement of our members and the impactful initiatives that lie ahead for Democrats Abroad Sevilla.


By Georgie Grossman 

On the picturesque afternoon of Sunday, the 26th, members of Democrats Abroad Valencia gathered in a delightful park setting to share the joys of Thanksgiving leftovers.

As we embrace the holiday spirit, please note that we'll be taking a brief pause this month from our Third Thursday Happy Hour. However, exciting plans are in store for January as we're set to hit the road! Stay tuned for the location announcement as we explore new venues. If you know of a fantastic local bar that can accommodate around 25 people, please share your recommendations with us on our Democrats Abroad Valencia Facebook page.

Meanwhile, our First Friday Coffee sessions continue to thrive, offering a wonderful opportunity to connect over a cup of coffee. Join us at Salad Planet from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for engaging conversations with fellow Americans.

Looking ahead to 2024, we extend a call for volunteers to assist with our Voter Registration Drive. Whether you can offer your support on a one-time basis or commit to a regular schedule, your dedication is invaluable. Reach out to us at [email protected] to express your interest.

We appreciate your continued engagement and support.

Caucus News

Women's Caucus

By Doris Stanger

In an exciting first for DA Spain, the Women’s Caucus is actively involved in organizing the upcoming Country Committee Calling Campaign set to take place in January and February 2024.

You might be wondering, why embark on this endeavor? Well, there are some compelling reasons.

Firstly, the campaign aims to encourage widespread participation in the Global Presidential Primary. While this year may not seem to have a contested race, increasing participation ensures we can send more delegates to the Democratic Primary, amplifying our collective voices and concerns.

Additionally, the campaign seeks to ensure that everyone registers to vote in the crucial 2024 elections. A new Federal Voting Assistance Program report shows that only 3.4% of eligible overseas voters turned out in last year’s elections. And of the large number who didn’t vote, nearly three-quarters of them said it was because they didn’t understand the process. That’s where we come in. Recognizing the pivotal role overseas votes play in closely contested elections, this initiative emphasizes the impact our votes can have, irrespective of residing in a ‘blue state,’ as every overseas vote is always counted.

Furthermore, this effort is designed to fortify Democrats Abroad Spain. Drawing on anecdotal evidence from other countries, internal country phone banking has proven to yield better results. Locally placed calls have a higher likelihood of being answered, as individuals are more receptive to answering calls from familiar local numbers.

Now, here’s where you come in – we need phone bankers! If you're eager to contribute, fill out this form: Sign up for Country Phone Banking or reach out to Doris Stanger at [email protected].

And for those passionate about keeping women's issues at the forefront, the Women’s Caucus is always on the lookout for volunteers. If you're interested, don't hesitate to contact Doris.


LGBTQ+ Caucus

By John Murphy & Hal Moskowitz

DA Madrid’s LGBTQ+ Caucus launches the new season with a focused commitment to the essential work required for the upcoming 2024 election. Beyond the pivotal task of identifying and registering new voters, our attention is equally directed towards ensuring our nearly 200,000 existing members request their ballots early in 2024. As of this writing, the alarming reality stands with over 650 anti-LGBTQ+ bills having been introduced and passed at the state level, underscoring the urgency of our mission.

To commence this critical season, DA Spain’s LGBTQ+ Caucus organized a fundraising house party in Madrid in October. The event — hosted by Jim Mercereau alongside Caucus co-chairs John Murphy and Hal Moskowitz and steering committee member Patrick MacFarland — featured an inspiring overview from Global Caucus chair Bob Vallier via Zoom. Not only did the event successfully raise funds for DA, but it also welcomed a significant number of individuals attending their first-ever DA event.

Goals for the new season include implementing retail voter registrations, aptly termed Rainbow Registration, hosting various online events such as a fundraising Drag Queen Bingo Zoom event, conducting online sessions with Equality voting groups in battleground states like Florida and Texas, and spotlighting influential figures from politics and the arts.

The caucus is enthusiastic about collaborating with other Spain DA chapters on logistics and planning for June 2024 Pride events throughout Spain, recognizing the crucial role these events will play in this election year. Additionally, efforts are concentrated on coordinating strategies for effective social media utilization, leveraging platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to engage both new and existing members.

DA Spain’s LGBTQ+ Caucus was established with the aim of enhancing visibility for Democrats Abroad within the global community and facilitating voter registration. While the caucus extends a welcoming embrace to all, its core mission is pursued through outreach, periodic events, and providing general support for DAS activities.

To join our caucus or for more information, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Click here to learn more about DA Caucuses.  When you join a global caucus, you automatically become a member of the Spain caucus. Click here to see all the upcoming Global Caucus events.

Views on the News

Charting the Course to Victory: Balancing Optimism with Strategic Dedication

By Daniel Solon, DA Barcelona

Dan Solon, DA Barcelona This month's theme for DA Spain is "Let's be optimistic," a sentiment that serves as a powerful motivator for the challenges we face in the upcoming election year. Optimism, however, must be complemented by effective campaign strategy and unwavering dedication from all our chapter members.

We mourn the recent passing of Rosalynn Carter, a symbol of dedication to public service. Her partnership with President Carter, both during his term in office and throughout the decades thereafter, exemplified a commitment to global causes, leaving an indelible mark on the world stage.

As we navigate through December's shorter days and the chill of winter, global headlines depict distressing scenes of conflict in Israel and Gaza, alongside nearly two years of war in Ukraine that seem headed for a stalemate. While President Biden works towards a lasting Middle East ceasefire and a revival of a Two-State solution, internal tensions within the Democratic party over issues of antisemitism and Islamophobia pose challenges.

College campuses, traditionally bastions of Democratic support, have become arenas of discord, raising concerns for personal security. Despite these challenges, our focus remains on retaining the White House and Senate next November, reclaiming the House of Representatives, and countering the divisive narratives emanating from sources like Fox TV and alt right talk radio.

Optimism finds its foundation in the Biden administration's legislative accomplishments, contributing to economic improvement and reduced inflation. However, polling suggests this message isn’t resonating with likely voters, necessitating more effective communication to counteract the influx of misinformation.

Responding to concerns about President Biden's age, Democrats must emphasize that the probable Republican nominee is 77 years old, with a history of instability, narcissism, and legal challenges. The Republican circus in the House, dominated by the MAGA wing, underscores their inability to legislate rationally. At the state and local levels, GOP efforts to roll back progress demand our attention.

Amidst this landscape, Democrats have cause for optimism. Yet, optimism alone is not a strategy. Each of us must make an effort to convey our message to potential swing voters, focusing on voter turnout. History has shown that small percentages can tip the balance in Electoral College swing states and key races.

In conclusion, let's be optimistic but never complacent. Victory is within reach, but it requires our concerted and tireless efforts.

Cheers to a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for 2024!

Democrats Abroad Spain

This newsletter comes to you by:  

  • Daniel Garcia, Editor in Chief
  • Andrea Host Barth, Technical Producer 
  • Albion Land, Copy Editor

To stay on top of all the news, follow Democrats Abroad Spain on social media. And please forward this email to your American friends in Spain who may not know us!



Donations to Democrats Abroad go directly to registering Americans and get out the vote (GOTV) activities such as phone banking, postcards, and most importantly, social media. Democrats Abroad is an incredible investment in our Democracy because it is 100% volunteer led and organized. Every euro or dollar you give supports our work to elect Democrats who will fight to make a better life for all Americans.  

We are able to do it economically and help win congressional districts and states that make a difference in election victory. DA is a global organization committed to helping Americans abroad to be involved in our country no matter where we live.

If you cannot afford to make a donation, consider volunteering your time, or bringing a friend to one of our events.