DA-Spain [month] [year] Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Chair

Every once in a while, the fancy strikes me to mess with the algorithms that the digital world relies on. So I spent a few happy minutes yesterday asking completely random questions to our Google Assistant (the Google equivalent of Amazon’s Alexa). Included in my volley were the following:

  • What’s the tallest underwater mountain? (Mauna Kea)
  • How old was Elizabeth Taylor when she died? (79)
  • How many people live in Indonesia? (Approximately 273,000,000, as of 2020)
  • When was the trombone invented? (The 15th century)
  • How many moons does Saturn have? (82, but not all of them are named yet)
  • What country consumes the most macadamia nuts? (The USA)
  • Where was Charles de Gaulle born? (Lille, France)
  • How many Perry Mason books were not made into TV shows or movies? (Two)
  • Would you like a piece of pizza? (No answer)

Unless you haven’t had lunch yet, none of these questions is likely to be important to you right now. . But here are two others that absolutely are: “Have you requested your ballot to vote in the 2022 midterm elections?” And “Have you encouraged all the Americans abroad you know to vote?

Voting from Spain has never been easier.

  • You can get accurate, state-specific information about how to request and return your ballot at votefromabroad.org. That website also answers common questions, such as voting deadlines in each state and what a state means when it asks if you intend to return there.
  • For detailed information on Voting from Spain, see this page
  • Directions on returning your ballot, including how to use the US Embassy or Consulate’s diplomatic pouch service, is also available on this page.
  • If you want to use DHL to return your ballot, send an email to [email protected] and we will share the ballot return discount code from that courier service.

So please vote, and tell your fellow citizens to vote. And then reward yourself with some macadamia nuts or pizza. It’s the American thing to do.

Kathy Tullos (Chair) 

P.S.  If you really want to treat yourself, click here to see the video of a recent virtual visit to DA by Politics Girl podcaster Leigh McGowan. The video is engaging, informative, and energizing. For more details, read the details in the report below from our Barcelona chapter! 

    


Views on the News

"It's our own darned fault." This was the heartfelt, and deadly accurate, lament of a member at DA Barcelona's early September "Welcome Back" meeting. She was referring to the Democratic Party's 40 year-long slumber at the level of down-ballot state, county and local elections. Our adrenaline has been pumped into the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races. And, in fact, just weeks from now, 34 Senate seats, 36 governors' posts, and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be on ballots across the country. On the same day, however, control of 46 state legislatures will also be in play.

The party that controls each of those state bodies will wield immense power over the rules and conduct governing the 2024 election cycle. For many years, consistently since the Reagan wave of 1980 swept Jimmy Carter into "involuntary retirement" (his own description), the professional infrastructure of the Republican party has kept steady focus on winning what, for the average citizen, are unexciting positions such as secretary of state at the state level. These are the people who administer the election process, with the ability to tilt it at the administrative level, making it easier or more difficult for citizens in their respective states to vote, and for those votes to be counted (see FiveThirtyEight’s analysis here).

Another area in which the Republican party apparatus has scored ongoing success, with little awareness among the general public, has been the seeding of the federal judiciary with conservative candidates for the District, Circuit and Supreme Courts.  Read the full article here.

by Dan Solon (member, DA Barcelona)


Calls to Action

Please VOTE!

As you read this newsletter, there are fewer than 50 days remaining until November 8 — the date of the most relevant, momentous midterm election of our lives. Election deniers, MAGA Republicans and QAnon supporters will be voting. Will you? Submit your Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) using www.votefromabroad.org. It takes just five minutes. Be sure to request email delivery, so that your ballot arrives in time to fill out and mail back. State-specific voting information here. Note that many states that used to send ballots automatically (e.g. Florida) have passed new laws and will not send a ballot if you do not officially request it via the FPCA.

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Phone Bankers Needed

Phone banking is our single most effective tool for reaching members of Democrats Abroad and ensuring that they are ready to vote this year. If you are interested in phone banking, go to https://www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking. If this is not your thing but you want to support the campaign, please donate here to help us find and contact the millions of US citizens who don’t know how to vote from abroad. 

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Ballot Already Requested?

If you have requested your ballot this year but did not use www.votefromabroad.org to do so, do let us know so that our phone bankers don’t waste their (and your) precious time. If you’ve confirmed your registration status with your local election official, received a primary ballot or otherwise completed your registration in 2022, CLICK HERE and LET US KNOW


Caucus News

Global Women's Caucus

I hope that everyone has had a good summer and survived the heat and drought wherever you were. I was just sitting down to write a few words for this month’s newsletter, reminding everyone of the importance of voting and making sure that Democrats keep both the House and the Senate, when this breaking news flashed on my phone from my New York Times app: ‘Lindsey Graham Proposes 15-week Abortion Ban, Seeking to Unite Republicans’. This would be a nationwide ban. So much for the fallacy of states’ rights. Anyway, (while I scream into the void) do I need to say more? Please, everyone vote and help get out the vote. 

We’re still looking for a few more volunteers for the Women’s Caucus Steering Committee. If you are interested, get in touch at [email protected]

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Youth / LGBTQ Caucuses

Are you passionate about politics and looking to get more involved? Care about the environment, bodily autonomy, marriage equality, human rights, etc.? The Spain Youth Caucus and LGBTQ Caucus are looking for new leaders. Participating in these groups provides a great opportunity to network with like-minded Americans around Spain and help to influence DA policy about the issues you care most about. If you want to hear more about this opportunity, send an email to [email protected]

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Click here to see all the upcoming Caucus events.


Chapter and Verse

 

Barcelona 

In the run-up to the most important midterms of our life, there is no rest for the weary. The Barcelona chapter has organized several in-person events as well as an unforgettable edition of our Zoom series, La Lucha Continúa, with special guest Leigh McGowan. If you missed that event, be sure to watch the recording here. Leigh, a.k.a. Politics Girl, is a tireless advocate for democracy who provides exactly the high-energy, common-sense talking points you need when speaking with fellow Americans about the importance of voting from abroad. We had a great turnout for the event and continue to work with Leigh to speak to more Americans overseas. In fact, she will appear live on the September 24 Global Ballot Drop Rally.

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DA Barcelona members who have opted out of receiving emails may soon find a colorful postcard in their mailbox, reminding them to register and vote. Thanks to the volunteers who helped with this creative and fun initiative!  

And if you’d like some expert in-person help filling out your FPCA, stop by our voter registration table at the entrance to CocoVail Beer Hall on the following confirmed dates: Wednesday, Sept 21 and Wednesday, Sept 28, both from 19:00-21:00 CET. Note that some states are already sending ballots to overseas voters, so the time for filing this vital paperwork is quickly running out! 

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Want to stay on top of the news, connect with other Barcelona Dems and learn of new ways to get involved? Join our Signal group and follow us on Twitter.


Madrid

With only six weeks left until Nov 8, the Madrid chapter is all about making a difference in the midterm elections. 

Our September gathering focused on voter registration and volunteering with Democrats Abroad. We had volunteers and laptops/tablets on hand to help members register and request their ballots for the extremely important midterm elections.

We also discussed the myriad of opportunities available to get involved with DA, such as phone banking, voter outreach and registration, fundraising, social media, and event planning. If any of these opportunities are of interest to you, or if there’s another way you’d like to get involved, feel free to send us an email at [email protected].  

We hope to see you next month!


Valencia

This is what voter support in Valencia looks like! Thanks to Jana and Tony for hosting the first neighborhood table (left), and to our stellar team of volunteers who participated in the Sept 17 Global Voter Drive “Register Together” (right).

Here’s the schedule for further voter support around the city this fall. Come out and see us! 

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The weather is finally a bit cooler, and we are looking forward to a big turnout for the Sept 25 (14:00-17:00 CET) picnic in the Turia River Park, at our usual spot near the Alameda metro stop. Bring your favorite food and drink and join in the fun! 

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First Fridays also continue ‒ join us for coffee and conversation on Oct 7 at 10:30 CET at Salad Planet


Alicante

Step by step we move forward! The Alicante chapter has been focused on two outreach campaigns that are proving successful, and more news will be in our coming chapter email on how you can participate in our efforts:

It begins with one email to your college and university study abroad program asking to make sure they are providing accurate information about registering to vote while they're abroad. Various Alicante members have reached out and got results! 

Writing letters to US voters is one of the most effective ways to help increase election turnout. There are currently 78 campaigns, so you can choose to write letters where you feel you’ll have the most impact. Our Vice Chair, Di Longo, has adopted 20 voters from her home state of Michigan and 20 voters from Texas. DA Alicante will even pay the postage to mail your letters. 

Have any questions? You can reach us at [email protected]


Seville

American Trivia Night!

Gear up for the midterm elections at DA Seville’s American Trivia Night on Friday, September 23 at 8:00 pm. Location: The Merchant, Calle Canalejas, 12, Seville 41001.  RSVP here

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Seville kicked off September by hosting a register to vote table at the American Women’s Club of Seville’s annual coffee morning.  We are heartened by the enthusiasm of so many women to vote in November. There are many study abroad programs in our beautiful city so we are actively setting up GOTV events on many campuses and spreading the word at Spanish language schools, casting a wide GOTV net for Americans living here.

Photo on left shows Seville’s GOTV team in action.


Spain Fun Fact

Spain is the world’s second-largest wine producer, with an estimated production volume of 40.7 million hectoliters in 2020 (source). The country’s wine-making industry can trace its roots back to 4000 – 3000 BC, and wine has been an important export product since pre-Roman times. Currently, more than 1.2 million hectares (2.9 million acres) of Spanish land are planted with wine grapes, with over 400 varieties represented. Spaniards drink 21.6 liters (5.7 gallons) per capita pe year of wine, cava and sherry (source). 

What will you be chilling to toast our midterm victory in November?


In Closing

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!

    


MAKE A SMALL DONATION

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.
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