Join Kenton Barnes, DA Germany Chair, and Emily Lines, DA Germany Vice Chair, for an online "Meet and Greet" on Saturday, April 24th from 2:00pm to 3:30pm. We'll discuss our organization's structure and goals, introduce ourselves as the newly elected leaders of DA Germany, and ways you can get involved as a volunteer and with your local chapter.
Whether you're a long-time member or completely new to DA Germany, we warmly welcome all members to join us for this afternoon event. We hope to answer any questions you may have about DA Germany, as well as foster a lively, productive discussion with each other.
To actively participate in the event, you will need a computer with an internet connection as well as a working microphone.
Please RSVP to the event if you'd like to attend. Once we've received your RSVP, we will send you the login link. We hope many of you can join us!
Join us for our May Monthly Meeting, where we will cover important announcements and have a chance to chat among friends. We will also hear from our very own Lewis Erckenbrecht, who will be leading a discussion on the use and misuse of COVID-19 data and the challenges and opportunities of increasing quantification for political activism (see abstract below). All are welcome - even if you have never attended a meeting before! RSVP to receive the connection information.
The Nuclear Threat Initiative together with the Johns Hopkins University and Economist Intelligence Unit published the Global Health Security Index (GHSI) in October 2019. Releasing just two months before the first cases of Covid-19 became known in Wuhan, China, the index ranks 195 countries according to their capability of preventing and reacting to international public health threats and pandemics.
The GHSI received major international attention when former President Trump used the number 1 ranking of the United States at a press conference on February 26th, 2020, to justify his hesitant actions when the first cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the US.
However, the findings and the ranking of the index did not work as an indicator for the actual performance of countries in the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, statistical analysis shows that the GHSI worked opposite from the way it was intended. The higher a country ranks in the index, the worse it performed during the pandemic and vice versa. The talk will address the reasons behind this phenomenon.
The failure of the GHSI showcases the (over)reliance of policy making on statistical data and the problems that emerge from it. Defining social problems through numbers, indicators or an index and linking political action to numerical performance leads to a quantification of politics that leaves blank spots in our perception and changes the way a political debate is carried out. Whoever controls the numbers controls the politics. The talk will use the GHSI as an example to introduce the emerging debate among political scientists about this fundamental change.
Additionally, we will discuss the consequences of increasing quantification for political activism. Next to additional challenges, the prevalence of numerical data does also present new opportunities to better identify and solve social problems and provides new ways for activist groups to engage in the policymaking process.
For Cinco de Mayo, Texans Abroad will be turning our focus to the work of Democrats Abroad Mexico.
Please join us for our next online global event as we welcome guest speaker Edgar Lopez-Vallejo, Vice Chair of DA Mexico and member of the DA Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee. We will be discussing the promise and potential of Texas voters living in Mexico. There are over a million U.S. citizens living in Mexico, and fewer than 3% of eligible voters returned a ballot in 2016. We can help turn the tide in Texas by reaching these critical voters. Come and see how you can get involved!
We will also be discussing the 87th Session of the Texas Legislature and giving you information about key bills to support or oppose and how you can best do that. Our voices matter!
See you on May 5th at 7:30 CET/1:30 Eastern on Zoom. Be sure to RSVP so we can send you the link!
If you have any questions, please write to us at: [email protected]
You can also follow us on Twitter: @TXabroad
For May's book club meeting, we will be discussing Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History by Matt Taibbi.
"The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The grifter class—made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding—has been growing in power, and the crisis was only one terrifying manifestation of how they’ve hijacked America’s political and economic life.
Matt Taibbi has combined deep sources, trailblazing reportage, and provocative analysis to create the most lucid, emotionally galvanizing account yet written of this ongoing American crisis. He offers fresh reporting on the backroom deals of the bailout; tells the story of Goldman Sachs, the “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”; and uncovers the hidden commodities bubble that transferred billions of dollars to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world.
This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the labyrinthine inner workings of this country, and the profound consequences for us all." – description from Goodreads.com
All are welcome – even if you don't get a chance to read the book!
Please RSVP to receive the Zoom link.