News

DA Stuttgart Intro

 

Welcome to Democrats Abroad Stuttgart!

DA Stuttgart is a chapter of DA Germany, the official country committee for US Democrats living in Germany. Our chapter includes members all over Baden-Württemberg with precincts in Freiburg and Tübingen. If you’re in the area and looking to connect with welcoming, dedicated, and democratically-minded people, then you’ve come to the right place. 

On this page, you’ll find information about upcoming announcements of meetings and events throughout the year. We encourage anyone interested in participating to get in touch.

If you have questions or would like to help with Democrats Abroad in Stuttgart, please contact us. We look forward to meeting you!

Kelsey McLendon, Chapter Chair
stuttgart@democratsabroad.de
https://www.facebook.com/DAGStuttgart/


Member Spotlight Series Dec. 2019 - Tony Moody

In the second edition of our Member Spotlight Series, we're proud to share with you Tony Moody's story. As a military veteran who decided to retire in Germany, Tony spends much of his time traveling and enjoying the European way of life. When he and his wife aren't traveling, Tony is a regular participant at the Stuttgart Chapter meetings. We asked him to share some of his thoughts as a long-standing member of  the group.

Tony Moody

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What brings you abroad? How long have you lived here?

I originally was a soldier, Dept of the Army Civilian and marriage. over 20 years

When you aren’t doing something with Democrats Abroad, what are you doing? What other interests and hobbies do you have?

Traveling, life coaching, and having fun

Were you politically active or interested in politics before moving overseas? If so, how?

Yes I come from a politically active family, My mother participated in the March on Washington and was active in local politics. In our family everyone had to vote. I became more active when I was living in the states for 3 years and participated in Obamas second election.

How long have you been involved in Democrats Abroad? How did you find the organization and why did you join? (What factors influenced your decision to join?)

About seven years. I just looked up certain groups and wanted to check out like minded people.

What are some key issues for you? Where would you like to see Democrats Abroad focus?

Voter suppression and registration, tax reform, prison reform , women's equality, affordable housing and education, and jobs.

With which areas within Democrats Abroad are you involved? In which areas would you like to be more involved?

I have done phonebanking.

What tips do you have for others looking to join or become more involved?

Try it. Come with an open mind and pick and area that you might want to get involved in.

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What do you wish other people knew about Democrats Abroad?

Just what the mission is and what Democrats Abroad actually does to reach back to the U. S.

You were nominated for this spotlight. Why do you think that is?

Well, I offer my opinion on topics I am interested in.

What do you hope Democrats Abroad will achieve in the near future? How about long term?

More members and be recognized for activities back in the U.S.

What motivates you to stay involved?

Topics that affect us all as Americans.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing Democrats today? What challenges do you think are unique to Democrats living abroad?

To put out a clear message to attract members and to have meaningful activities.

How has your involvement with Democrats Abroad impacted you? (What effect has your involvement with Democrats Abroad had on you?)

It has had minimal impact as I am in a continual state of political awareness.

Has living abroad changed your perspective on social issues and politics within the United States?

Oh for sure. The U.S. can learn much from other countries. 

ABOUT THE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Help us celebrate the amazing people who keep DA Stuttgart going! In an effort to reflect the grassroots nature of our organization, the Stuttgart chapter has launched a project called the Member Spotlight Series. Our goal with this project is to highlight the real people showing up to defend our democracy. The selected member will be informally interviewed about their experiences with DA, have a fun photoshoot with a professional photographer, Mitzi Kesterson, and then be featured on the Stuttgart webpage on democratsabroad.org as well as our social media pages.

Do you know someone, a long-standing or brand new member, who deserves to be highlighted? We're taking nominations now for next month's spotlight. Please send your nominations to stuttgart@democratsabroad.de.


Member Spotlight Series Nov. 2019 - Yvonne Najera

DA Stuttgart is excited to present the first post in our latest project, the Member Spotlight Series. This month we're featuring Yvonne Najera. A military veteran, videographer, and two-time Germany resident, Yvonne joined Democrats Abroad in January 2019 and has been active locally, nationally, and regionally ever since. We asked her to share some of her experiences as an American expat and a DA Stuttgart member.

Yvonne Najera

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

What brings you abroad? How long have you lived here?

I moved for work opportunities last January.

Were you politically active or interested in politics before moving overseas? If so, how?

The 2016 Women's March sparked my interest and motivated me to become active.

How long have you been involved in Democrats Abroad? How did you find the organization and why did you join? (What factors influenced your decision to join?)

I arrived in Germany January of this year and wanted to participate in the 2019 Women's March because I went to the 2017 & 2018 Marches. I searched online and saw that a group from Stuttgart was going to the Heidelberg March and I contacted the page. I met up with the group at a meeting just prior to the March. I have been going to the monthly meetings ever since.

With which areas within Democrats Abroad are you involved? In which areas would you like to be more involved?

I've just recently joined the Veterans and Military Families Caucus.

What tips do you have for others looking to join or become more involved?

Try out a few meeting or outings.

Photography by Mitzi Kesterson, owner at Entrance Photography and member of DA Stuttgart

You were nominated for this spotlight. Why do you think that is?

Because I'm new and consistently show up to meetings and events.

What do you hope Democrats Abroad will achieve in the near future? How about long term?

I would hope that more awareness of this organization will tip the voting scales to the Dems in the U.S.

What motivates you to stay involved?

This current administration.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge facing Democrats today? What challenges do you think are unique to Democrats living abroad?

Dems don't play their politics dirty and it's hard to play with someone who likes to cheat. Remembering that it's our civic duty to always vote no matter where you are.

How has your involvement with Democrats Abroad impacted you? (What effect has your involvement with Democrats Abroad had on you?)

DA has kept me in check so I don't slouch on my civic duty to vote.

Has living abroad changed your perspective on social issues and politics within the United States?

We see a bigger picture of the world and global events. We have a big impact on that world with the people we elect.

ABOUT THE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Help us celebrate the amazing people who keep DA Stuttgart going! In an effort to reflect the grassroots nature of our organization, the Stuttgart chapter has launched a project called the Member Spotlight Series. Our goal with this project is to highlight the real people showing up to defend our democracy. The selected member will be informally interviewed about their experiences with DA, have a fun photoshoot with a professional photographer, Mitzi Kesterson, and then be featured on the Stuttgart webpage on democratsabroad.org as well as our social media pages.

Do you know someone, a long-standing or brand new member, who deserves to be highlighted? We're taking nominations now for next month's spotlight. Please send your nominations to stuttgart@democratsabroad.de.

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New Beginnings for the Bodensee Precinct

by Marisa Schlenker, Bodensee Precinct Captain

It is exciting to have the opportunity to be part of revamping the Bodensee precinct as it gives those of us living in the Bodensee area a chance to come together to work towards the common Democrats Abroad goals. We know that there are Americans living here in this region and our main objective is to reach them to inform them all about the vote from abroad platform. It is so critical that all Americans living abroad know how to vote from abroad and that this nonpartisan platform exists to guide them in the different processes. Apart from informing Americans about voting from abroad and supporting them to have a voice in our government, our precinct will aim to be a space for our members to come together, discuss politics, fundraise, become more informed about different political and social issues and support the Democratic party from afar. 

With our first Meet & Greet planned for September 22nd in Bermatingen, we hope to attract a range of potential members who can join us in designing and reinitiating the precinct, particularly as we move into 2020, a busy election year!

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Get Geared Up For 2020 With A New DA T-Shirt

New DA shirts are in! Let the world know where you stand with a piece of our multi-colored merch. T-shirts cost $15 each and are available in the size and color combinations listed below. Snag one of these at our next chapter meeting on Friday, September 13! Or, because we have a limited quantity, it might also be a good idea to reserve your shirt now by commenting on this post or sending an email to stuttgart@democratsabroad.de. 😉

Democrats Abroad shirts (multicolored)*
❤️ Red - (1) L
🧡 Orange - (1) M; (1) L
💚 Green - (1) S; (1) XL
💙 Blue - (1) XL
💜 Purple - (1) S
💟 Magenta - (1) M

Get Your A$$ to the Polls shirts*
🗳 (1) S; (2) M

*Sizes run a bit large

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Close the Camps Virtual Vigil

Vigils are being held worldwide on July 12th in protest of the Trump administration’s policy to keep migrants and refugees in detention camps. Several children have died as a result of negligence and unsanitary conditions in these camps, and thousands of people are being detained in overcrowded cages. Recent reports from visits to these facilities by members of congress and health officials have detailed astounding cruelty. Because we were unable to arrange for an in-person vigil on July 12th, we’re asking that our Stuttgart members participate virtually. 

What You Can Do:

  1. Make a sign with a message to the Trump administration, then take a photo with your sign and send it to us. We’ll post the photos on our Instagram (@demsabroadgermany) and our Facebook page (@DAGStuttgart). You can even make a video and send it to us. We’ll post that on our social media sites including our YouTube page (DemsAbroadGermany). We suggest using this sign.
  2. Send a letter to the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulates. This is a federal issue, and our federal government representatives need to hear from us. The addresses for the embassy and the consulates are compiled in this document. You can find  a sample letter (modified from DA Barcelona) for use in Germany by clicking here. Please feel free to use/adapt the letter as you wish.
  3. Contact your elected officials in the U.S. The Lights for Liberty website has numerous resources available including sample language for writing/speaking to elected officials.

If you'll be outside of the Stuttgart area over July 12th, please consider attending an in-person vigil at one of the many locations.

Please send your photos and videos to stuttgart@democratsabroad.de. You can read more about DA Global's virtual vigil and learn more about the human rights violations happening at the U.S./Mexico border on the international DA news page.

Wherever you are, please join us and other Americans around the world and across the country as we rally to #closethecamps.


America Divided? - Bi-Partisan Discussion on the Political Divide

by Mark Neel

This past Thursday the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum in Stuttgart was the site of a lively discussion about the seemingly interminable political divide which has become increasingly evident in the United States in recent years. Kelsey McLendon, chair of the Stuttgart chapter of Democrats Abroad, and Michael Pierce, PhD., member of Republicans Overseas, represented the different sides of this divide, while Dr. Martin Kilgus, Managing Director of the ifa Akademie, moderated the talk. The many attendees in the packed room not only witnessed this event, but frequently participated in it themselves with their own questions and comments. The topics ranged over a variety of subjects, including immigration, climate change, international relations, racism, and, of course, Donald Trump, and though it was occasionally heated, the tone between participants remained always respectful and civil. As perhaps could have been expected, little was resolved between the starkly contrasting viewpoints of the participants that evening, but on one point Kelsey and Michael ended up finding one thing they both could agree upon: the dire need for campaign-finance reform. That's at least a start! Democrats Abroad would like to thank all the participants -- the speakers, the moderator, and audience -- as well as the DAZ for organizing this wonderful and thought-provoking event.

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DA Stuttgart Chapter Chair Candidate Statement- Kelsey McLendon

I’m running for Stuttgart Chapter Chair because I’m invested in this community and committed to doing the necessary work to ensure it grows, evolves, and thrives. While one of the primary focuses of Democrats Abroad is to register overseas voters, I see our mission as extending beyond that. DA provides the opportunity for Americans abroad both to speak with like-minded people and to broaden our world perspectives. We are, in many ways, unofficial American foreign ambassadors, and I hope to lead the Stuttgart chapter in increased engagement in cultural exchange experiences in our host country. As a DA member, I’ve organized and led events, written new role descriptions and petitions, worked on DNC reform campaigns, and currently, I’m a leading organizer of the DA Global Women’s Caucus international book club called Books Abroad. As an active member of the Women’s and Progressive Caucuses, my experiences at the caucus level will inform my leadership as Stuttgart Chair as I work to diversify the voices within our chapter to welcome and encourage input from members, new and existing. I intend to make general meetings more accessible—perhaps on an online platform like WebEx—and introduce more social events such as movie nights, pub trivia, picnics in the park, etc. Based on feedback from my fellow members, I hope to foster the right balance between activism with an agenda and building a fun social community. 

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Stuttgart Chapter Elections and Events

We are looking forward to a  Happy Blue Year!

The November 6th election wasn’t just a blue wave. It was a blue Tsunami!
As the final statistics are coming in, they confirm that Democrats crushed Republicans with the largest Democratic House gain since 1974!

And we made a difference right here in Germany!
Many races came down to just a hand-full of votes, and our overseas ballots were the margin of victory!

Thanks to all of you who voted in the most diverse and dynamic congress we’ve ever seen!
But this is no time to sit on the sidelines. And 2019 is in no way an “off-year.”
We have the momentum, and our own Democrats Abroad Stuttgart chapter is gearing up right now to keep pushing our agenda all the way to the 2020 presidential election.

Here is a rundown on some important events and projects that you won’t want to miss:

Chapter Chair Elections

Friday, January 11th 2018 at 7:30 pm
Forum 3
Gymnasiumstraße 21, 70173 Stuttgart

We will be holding Chapter Chair Elections on the 11th of January at our regular monthly meeting.
All current members of our Democrats Abroad Stuttgart Chapter are welcome to come and vote in person.

If you are interested in running, please reply to this email by January 1st stating your intention to run.
You are encouraged to include a short statement of less than 250 words supporting your candidacy, to be published to the body on our website. If you decide to run after the first of January, you may be nominated during our meeting, but you will need someone else to second your nomination.

Full election rules can be found here.

If you have questions, contact Ann at DAG-Stuttgart@democratsabroad.org.

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Voter Protection Survey

Have you filled out our Voter Protection Survey?

Please take a minute now to let us know about your voting experience and encourage other Americans abroad to do the same by completing our very short Voter Protection Survey.

Thank you for your help!

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Pub & Politics in Freiburg

Wednesday, January 9th 8-10pm
The Holy Taco Shack
Barbarastraße 18, 79106 Freiburg im Breisgau

Come for “Margarita Mittwoch” and stay for some good, quality conversation!

Ring in the new year with fellow Americans in the Freiburg area, grab a drink together, and talk about all things politics!

We also want to share news about upcoming DA events and hear your ideas for what other events Freiburg-Americans might like to participate in.

Please note that because of the holidays, we are meeting on the second Wednesday of the month, instead of our usual first Wednesday.

You can RSVP here

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Women’s March in Heidelberg

Join with thousands of marchers again in Heidelberg for the third Women’s March on
Saturday, January 19th 2019.

We’ve come a long way this year and women are more empowered than ever before. But we’re not done yet! We will keep marching to stop violence against women and secure our equality under the law.

Just as we did last year, we will meet at the Stuttgart Main Train Station and travel as a group to Heidelberg.
The march in Heidelberg is expected to begin at 13:30.

We will be sharing our travel details on our Stuttgart Chapter website and our Facebook page so stay tuned!

See you there!

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2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Heidelberg

Friday, February 22nd – Sunday, February 24th
Heidelberg Center for American Studies
Hauptstraße 120
Heidelberg 69117 Germany

Every year Democrats Abroad Germany gathers in person to discuss issues and plan our activities for the coming year. In addition to these discussions, we will also be electing our new Executive Committee (ExCom) in 2019.

This event open to ALL MEMBERS! If you are curious about what we do, interested in becoming more involved, want to participate in a training, or just looking to some fun, then travel with us to Heidelberg!

Details and registration here

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CALLING ALL VOLUNTEERS- Wherever you are!

Democrats Abroad is an all-volunteer organization. There are many jobs, large and small that need to be done to help our chapter thrive. Many of them can be done remotely and don't even take much time.

Here are just a few ideas of ways you might consider volunteering:

  • Write articles for our website
  • Prepare a presentation for our meeting on an interesting political topic
  • Be our phone banking coordinator
  • Lead one of our caucuses or precincts
  • Help distribute our brochures at places where Americans hang out.
  • Hold a mini "activist meeting" in your own home or the neighborhood pub.

If you would like to volunteer or would like more information, please contact DAG-Stuttgart@democratsabroad.org or update your DA profile at democratsabroad.org and be sure to check off "interested in volunteering" so that we can follow up.

If you have other skills, other ideas, and other ways you think you can help, please get in touch with our new chair.

It has been an honor to serve you all as chapter chair in these past years, and I look forward to continuing to work within our Stuttgart chapter and also as a DA global leader to make the political and social change we want in the world.

With thanks and warm regards,

Ann Hesse
Chair, Stuttgart Chapter
Co-Chair, Democrats Abroad Global Women’s Caucus

DA Germany-Stuttgart

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Stuttgart Chapter Election Season Events

We’re almost there!

We were all inspired last week by the brave and unforgettable testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She has given us all courage and has strengthened our resolve to push even harder in these last weeks before the election. We can best honor her courage and sense of civic responsibility by voting in this crucial election, and by encouraging our friends to vote too!

If you know anyone who still needs to register to vote, please send them off to votefromabroad.org today.

If you have family or friends in the U.S. that still need to register to vote, send them to https://iwillvote.com/.

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Help us with one last Task!

There is still one last important task that we’re working on ‘round the clock and ‘round the globe now, and we could really use your help. Over the next two weeks we are reaching out to our fellow members in a phonebanking effort to remind them to register and send in their ballots.
Click here for more information on how you can help us!

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In addition to our in-person events, there are two great online events you might enjoy participating in this month:

Take a look at what our chapter is up to:

Checking the Balance - Democracy, at what cost?

Wednesday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m.

Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum Stuttgart (DAZ)

Charlottenplatz 17, 70173 Stuttgart

Our DA Stuttgart chapter will be at DAZ for a discussion as part of their very popular “American Days” event.

Let‘s talk about current issues in American politics and try to find answers to significant pending questions:

· What policies and initiatives have emerged in this topsy-turvy election cycle?

· How far does free speech extend?

· How can we provide protections for our environment and assure safety in our lives?

· Are our fundamental civil rights being chipped away?

· How can we respond to these challenges and restore political equilibrium?


Join us to share your views!

Please RSVP here

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Online Webinar: GLOBAL WOMEN'S CAUCUS ERA PROJECT KICKOFF WITH EQUAL MEANS EQUAL

Please join us on Tuesday October 16 at 2PM EDT for the kickoff meeting for the Global Women’s Caucus Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) project.

Kamala Lopez, the executive director of Equal Means Equal will be sharing information about the history and the current status of the ERA along with what needs to be done.

Click here for more information and to RSVP

For more background on the ERA, check out our ERA Resources here.

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Online Webinar: BOOKS ABROAD READS REBECCA SOLNIT

Join our global feminist reading group, conducted on Webex with you right in front of your own computer screen!

At this meeting, we'll be discussing Rebecca's Solnit's book The Mother of All Questions, a collection of essays centered around feminist storytelling. Solnit, a California native and lifelong activist, is credited with inspiring the term "mansplaining" in a 2008 essay titled, "Men Explain Things to Me," which later became a book published in 2014. The Mother of All Questions is a follow-up to that book in which Solnit further unpacks cultural misogyny and the power of a woman's story.

Click here for more information and to RSVP

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ELECTION RE- CAP AND DISCUSSION

Friday, November 9th 2018
Forum 3
Gymnasiumstraße 21, 70173 Stuttgart

It has been a rough ride since November of 2016.

And we are cautiously optimistic that this meeting will be a joyous one!

But come what may, we will need to be together. To celebrate, to plan, to strategize, to discuss.

This is a meeting you won’t want to miss!

Please RSVP here

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LOOKING AHEAD

Watch for additional events each month, or changes which don't always make it into our newsletter by checking our Stuttgart Chapter website and Facebook page for the latest updates on events!

Remember that it will take ALL OF US returning those ballots in the coming weeks to really power that big blue wave we’re hoping for.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our events.

In solidarity,

Ann Hesse
Chair, Stuttgart Chapter

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