December 11, 2023

DA Portugal December 2023 Newsletter

Greetings Democrats!

This is the last newsletter for the year - and I’d like to take the opportunity to both reflect and look forward. 2023 often has felt like the world has lost its collective god***m mind, with massive cultural divisions, hate crimes and the intentional spread of misinformation both increasing, the threat of AI unleashed and unregulated, two horrific wars with commensurate numbers of civilian casualties. It used to be just one existential problem - for me, it has long been the climate crisis - but now others are competing for attention.

And then the biggie: the global rise in populism and the defense of something most of us took for granted: democracy itself. 2024 is fast approaching - with it, an historic election that may very well decide the course of all of the above. Polls are keeping us - shall we say, alert. Traditional dem support seems to be eroding among younger generations and black and latino populations - all of which we need to take seriously. Add the reports about GOP “plans” should they win….it’s enough to make your happy hour start a little earlier every day. I certainly understand people wanting to look away.

But enough with the crazy -  there are signs of hope on the horizon, if you’ve got the stamina to pay attention. According to political strategist Simon Rosenberg, 2023 has been a very good year for democrats. The economy is strong, inflation and unemployment steady and Democrats keep winning elections.

What hasn’t changed is this doesn’t happen on its own - democracy depends on our showing up to vote. And for many, the decision to show up is the result of hard work around making sure people are registered and vote. We may no longer be in the States, but we have all joined Democrats Abroad Portugal because, like Democrats around the world, we care and believe our vote makes a difference. With something like 10 thousand Americans in Portugal - and only 1300 plus members - that’s leaving a lot of votes on the table.

We know that 74% of Americans around the world are not voting because they don’t know how. I invite you to join me in doing everything we can to make Portugal at least, deliver a better return.

When 2024 arrives, it’s Game On.

This is all by way of saying, please volunteer and help reach out to fellow democrats to become members, to register to vote, request their ballots and vote. We have many ways of getting involved, that I outline below. I am happy to speak directly to any of you to figure out what best suits your time and skills. Email me directly at [email protected]. and we can arrange a time to speak. And if you can’t volunteer, please consider making a donation - no contribution is too small. All funds raised go to getting out the vote.

While the rest of the year is gearing up for 2024, please stay alert for on-line events and lots of activity in your region starting 2024, specifically:

GOTV (Get Out the Vote): Our primary mission. We have the ambitious goal of reaching every Democrats Abroad member in Portugal. For that we need an army of people willing to make phone calls, write postcards, and get trained in Voter Assistance. We will be having monthly live trainings. Please contact [email protected] for details.

January is International Voter Registration Month - we want all Americans in Portugal to join together and register to vote and request their ballots early. While we are all eligible to vote, we must request our ballots at the start of every year. Recent U.S. elections have had razor thin margins and oversees ballots have been the determining factor in many swing states.

Register to Vote and Request your Ballot at

Two amazing zooms in January: Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is speaking to Democrats Abroad on January 6th, 10am Lisbon time. RSVP:

Shaping the Future in 2024 and Beyond: January 13th, 10am.: organized by the DA Women’s Caucus, you won’t want to miss an important conversation around issues like women’s rights, the equality, the power of the women’s vote, and how you can help. RSVP:

Annual General Meeting (AGM), February 14th, 5pm - Please zoom in and join us for our annual meeting, open to all members. We will review accomplishments and strategies from the past year and walk you through our plans for 2024. It is a great opportunity to meet leadership, ask questions, and see democracy at work. The sign-up link to follow.

General Presidential Primary, March 5-12 - This is the opportunity every four years to formally select our Democratic candidate for President. While you can vote by email, many democrats prefer the excitement of an in-person voting center - ours will be in Lisbon. Please look for details about location and hours. There will be less formal Ballot Assistance Events in other regions to help you fill out and submit your ballots. You must be a Democrats Abroad member to vote!

Kitchen Table Conversations - various regions. We will be introducing smaller, informal gatherings over coffee or wine, to discuss various issues of importance. These will be hosted by friends and neighbors who have an interest in getting off-line, networking with fellow democrats, and engaging in political conversation. This used to be more of the norm in our discourse, and we have had enough inquiries that we thought we would test the waters. If you are interested in participating or hosting, please email me: [email protected].

Voting Assistance Events: Do you want to register, but you don’t know how? Are you registered, but don’t know the next steps in requesting your ballot? We will be holding voter assistance events in various regions in the country as soon as January. Please look for those announcements. If you are interested in helping, please sign up for a training.

FINALLY, please sign the petition to put your favored Presidential candidate on the ballot. This is not just performative, it is part of the process that allows Democrats around the globe to vote. A candidate needs a minimum of 300 signatures to be on the ballot. 

Remember to follow us on our social media channels. The links are below. We are grateful for each and everyone of you.

Go Blue!

Sally DeSipio
Chair, DAPT
[email protected]

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