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Bans Off Our Bodies Protest


April 2022 Newsletter

Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chapter

April 2022 Newsletter

“Bullets cannot be recalled. They cannot be uninvented. But they can be taken out of the gun.” —Martin Amis


Dear Friend,
The unwarranted attack on Ukraine by Russia began over a month ago. The pictures shared around the world by courageous journalists and residents of the war-torn areas speak of the nightmarish atrocities being afflicted upon a democratic, sovereign nation by its brutish neighbor. We cannot unsee what has been done, we cannot unfeel the hurt and helplessness we feel for the people of Ukraine. Millions of women and children are trying to escape to safety, while the rest of the Ukrainian men and women valiantly fight for their freedom from oppression.


Many people have asked how they can help the people of Ukraine, both in Ukraine and here in Germany. Listed below are just a few options:


1. The Ukrainian Red Cross Society: a non-profit humanitarian and charitable association of Ukraine, with its headquarters in Kyiv. (redcross.org.ua)
2. UN World Food Programme: the world’s largest humanitarian agency, it has launched an emergency operation to help people fleeing the conflict both within Ukraine and in neighbouring countries (www.wfp.org)
3. World Central Kitchen: this organisation is preparing and distributing meals to displaced Ukrainians within Ukraine and in neighbouring countries every day (wck.org)
4. UNICEF: this organisation provides food, clothing and medical aid to those displaced within their country and those who have lost their homes (www.unicef.de)
5. CORE (Community Organised Relief Effort): is working in Poland and Romania to offer Ukrainians emergency relief (www.coreresponse.org)
6. Vets Without Borders: this rescue charity partners with local and international animal rescue organisations to help the growing number of displaced pets and shelter animals. Donations, foster families and adopters needed (www.vetswithoutborders.com)
      
As most leaders of free and democratic countries have condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the former president of the US had only praise for Putin at the beginning of his attempted colonisation of Ukraine. Thinking back to the phone call with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine in which DT asked for a “favor” in exchange of aid that had already been approved, it makes one wonder how differently the support of Ukraine would look today under a different president.

This blatant disregard for democracy by some Republican voices makes our work at Democrats Abroad all the more crucial, because we don’t want to be dragged down into the depths of authoritarianism and alternative facts.


To celebrate democracy and ensure that every vote counts, the Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chapter is hosting a voter information table at the Schlossplatz in downtown Stuttgart this Sunday, April 10th from 1:30-3:30 pm. We look forward to answering questions you may have about voting from overseas, or perhaps you would just like to come by to show your support for our cause!

We are having a chapter meeting at 8 pm on Friday, April 29th at Forum 3 e.V. in Stuttgart, to discuss current events, upcoming elections, opportunities to volunteer and to meet like-minded people. The cafe offers lovely meals and a wide range of drinks to enjoy during our meeting. Finally in person again!

Please save the date: our chapter will be participating in this year’s Stuttgart Pride Parade, taking place on Saturday, July 30th. Any ideas for showing our pride that day and people wishing to participate, please let us know!


Events being held by DA-Germany:
• Saturday, April 9 at 11 am: Battleground Action Hour! phone banking and voter assistance (online via Zoom)
• Wednesday, April 13 at 11 am: Meet the Georgia Primary Candidates (online via Zoom)
• Wednesday, April 20 at 6 pm: April Climate Cafe (online via Zoom)
• Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30 pm: Info Session about US taxes abroad
• Sunday, April 24 at 2 pm: Books Abroad: The will to Change (online)
• Monday, April 25 at 12 pm: Global Climate Rally with guest speakers
(online, via Zoom)
• Tuesday, April 26 at 7 pm: PRODA Germany Progressive Caucus meeting
(online, via Zoom) •Tuesday, April 26 at 7 pm: DA Germany AAPI Caucus Retreat Planning Meeting (online, via Zoom)
• May 21-22: Democrats Abroad Global Meeting (please RSVP online)

With so much turmoil going on in the world it is easy to lose hope. But there is still beauty to be found in unexpected places and the chance for random, small acts of kindness.


Wishing all a vibrant spring,

Sasha Arrington
Democrats Abroad Germany
Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chapter Chair


April 2022 Newsletter


Voter Information Table in the Königsstrasse

Thank you to all our volunteers for making our GOTV event so successful & fun!

 


Stuttgart & Southwestern Germany March 2022 Newsletter

 Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chapter

March 2022 Newsletter


“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” -Howard Zinn


When Russia invaded and took over the Krim eight years ago, there were sanctions and protests, but Putin’s behaviour went largely unchecked. Instead of focusing on his own country and trying to improve the lives of his people by raising the median income, improving the dilapidated infrastructure and health system and removing heavy restrictions on ordinary citizens, journalists, political opponents and anyone daring to contradict or run against him, Putin chose to do what he assessed as an easy attack that would pivot the focus of his misdeeds and failures onto an imaginary enemy: Ukraine, a neighboring country with a young, aspiring democracy.


On Thursday, February 24, 2022, we awoke to the nightmarish pictures on TV of houses in flames, people seeking safety in subway stations and endless lines of cars heading west. In the past days this onslaught of Russian invasion, by land and massive airstrikes, has continued. Something Putin had not added into his calculation, however, was the heroism of the Ukrainian people and the massive support from around the world. While Russia stands ostracised for its barbaric behavior, the attack on Ukraine has bonded all peace-wanting nations into one voice.
If you would like to support Ukranians, here are some ways to do so:


1. Moabit hilft e.V in Berlin, for donating items or vouchers (for drugstores or grocery stores, for example) needed by Ukrainians that have arrived in Germany.  [email protected]
2. UNO-Flüchtlingshilfe (www.uno-fluechtlingshilfe.de/ukraine)
3. Sister Margret and Father Wruszczak of the Catholic Church are collecting items needed in Ukraine at the St. Ulrich Kindergarten, Dolpweg 12, in Stuttgart-Fasanenhof. If you would like to support their cause, please bring the items you would like to donate on Tuesdays or Fridays between 6.30-8:30 pm or on Sundays between 10:30-12.30 in the morning. Here are some items that are direly needed:
• Dressing bandages, tape, large bandaids, etc. for wounds                                  • Pain medicine
• Disinfectant sprays for wounds
• Hand disinfectant fluid
• Bottled drinking water
• Baby formula, baby food
• Candles, matches
• Flashlights with extra batteries (taped on so they don’t get lost)                       • Sleeping bags
• Non-perishable foods


March has been designated to honour women’s contributions in history. One of the biggest feminist organisations in Europe, the Ukrainian Women’s Union, was founded in western Ukraine in the 1920’s. During the Soviet-era feminism was classified as anti-Soviet, making civil society and feminism nearly nonexistent during the Soviet times. After Ukrainian independence in 1991, a feminist movement began emerging again.


Several American women who attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840 were not given seats due to their gender. This gave two attendees of that convention the idea to hold their own convention to address the treatment of women. An estimated 300 people attended the Seneca Falls Convention, held in 1848, where the Declaration of Sentiments was signed by 68 women and 32 men. In this written statement grievances were listed, such as the laws denying married women to have their own money and own property. Other topics addressed were a lack of access to education and a low status in most churches. Another important point made in this declaration was that women should have the right to vote.


In 1866, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Lady Stanton formed the American Equal Rights association, with black and white men and women dedicated to a common goal of suffrage for all.


In 1869 Wyoming became the first territory or state in the US to grant women suffrage. In 1870 the first woman voted in the general election in Laramie, Wyoming. In other states women were unsuccessful, many being turned away from voting polls or even arrested for attempting to vote.


Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president in 1872, although she herself could not even vote. She was nominated to run by the Equal Rights Party and had a vision of a future where people had 8 hr. work days, benefitted from social welfare programs, profit sharing and gradual income tax.


Women were not always united in their goals, with the fight for women’s suffrage having different components and different voices for these different views. But in 1920 the 19th Amendment became part of the Constitution and women finally achieved the right to vote. Many outstanding women, such as Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells and Alice Paul, helped pave the path to women being able to vote in the US.


Nowadays we are faced with new ‘old’ discussions concerning reproductive rights, education in our schools and voting rights. There is no time to sit on the laurels of the great visionaries of our past. The path forward remains stony, but we shall persevere to assure that we give our children a broad assortment of literature in school libraries, which do not only represent a tunnel view of conservatism; that history is taught as it really was, and not white-washed to appease certain people that would like to glorify the past; and that we as a country call out voices and behavior that is anti-democratic and reproachable, like the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.


DAG Events:
Tomorrow, March 5, is DA Germany’s 2022 Annual General Meeting! You’re invited to join us online, from 10am-6pm. Please RSVP to receive the log-in.
 
 The DA Germany AGM Prize Draw will be held tomorrow, directly after our AGM. Several DAG chapters have put together prize baskets that lucky participants can win. Tickets cost $5. 

Phonebanking Training: Sunday, March 6 at 10 am
The 2022 Midterms are quickly approaching and calling our members is one of the best ways to reach out to make sure they vote!

Training Tuesdays: Tools for GOTV with DA Germany: Tuesday, March 8 at 7:30 pm

The Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chapter:
We have a few voter information tables lined up this spring! The first one was on Saturday, February 12, 2022 where we had the opportunity to reach out to fellow Americans and help with any voter-related questions.
  
 Our next VFA voter information table will be on Saturday, March 12, from 1:30-3:30 at the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart. Would you like to volunteer and help us reach US citizens in our area? Contact us at [email protected]


“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” —Maya Angelou


Wishing all the determination to make a difference.


Democratically yours,
Sasha Arrington
Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chair     Democrats Abroad Germany
 


Saving Democracy in Stuttgart


Stuttgart Chapter February 2022 Newsletter

DAG-Stuttgart February 2022 Newsletter

 

“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.”

—Angela Davis, American political activist, author and academic

 

In February we celebrate Black History Month. Carter G. Woodson, a founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History organisation, first came up with the idea, wishing to honor the contributions Blacks had made. Woodson, who was born to recently freed slaves in 1875, worried that Black children were not being taught about their ancestors’ achievements in American schools. This month was chosen to celebrate Blacks because both President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, a Black social reformer, abolitionist, writer and statesman, were born in February.

 

As Carter G. Woodson and Angela Davis, amongst others, pointed out, learning about history is not only an important part of education, but is key in learning from past mistakes as well. If we close our eyes to the reality of our history, then not only will the pain and inequality be forgotten, but we will most likely not make the necessary changes going forward. This is why we invite you to check out the following thought provoking and deeply touching books that have been banned from libraries across the country:

  1. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
  2. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
  4. The New Jim Crow. Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colour-blindness, by Michelle Alexander
  5. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  6. If Beale Street Could talk, by James Baldwin
  7. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
  8. A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines 
  9. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  10. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
  11. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  12. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley

 

According to the Public Religion Research Institute’s latest research, about two-thirds of Americans believe “a diverse population, with people of many different races, ethnicities, religions, and backgrounds” is what makes the country stronger. Yet some some Republicans are afraid of the changing demographics in our country and try white-washing history by banning literature and dictating school curriculum, altering election outcomes through gerrymandering, installing obstacles which make it harder to vote and blatant voter misinformation (ie. the “Big Lie”). We want fair elections, where the majority of votes determines the winner, one of the main principles of a democracy. Republicans who are willing to act against majority rule in order to seize power have to be held accountable by the January 6 Committee, in upcoming political debates, to their constituents and at the polls. 

 

There is a lot at stake this year, with the midterms being held in November where all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be up for election. 39 state and territorial gubernatorial, other state and local elections will also be held this year. We as overseas voters can have a big influence in fighting for our democracy by volunteering to help our local DA chapters, phone banking, tabling to reach potential voters, buying merchandise, donating to the organisation and casting our ballot (to do so please go to www.votefromabroad.org).

 

Our work is done by many dedicated volunteers. Please consider becoming a sustaining donor to support our cause. Whether monthly, quarterly or annually, even a small donation can have a large impact! Donations can be made by US citizens over the age of 18 to: 

Democrats Abroad Germany 

IBAN: DE04 5405 0220 0140 2702 99

BIC: MALADE51KLK

 

Upcoming Events and Online Meetings:

  • Sunday, January 6 at 3 pm: Black History Month Film Screening: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 
  • Monday, February 7 at 7 pm: Floridians Abroad Planning Meeting
  • Tuesday, February 8 at 1:30 pm: Training Tuesdays with DAG. Join DAG on the second Tuesday of every month to polish your phone banking, voter assistance and general GOTV skills
  • Wednesday, February 9 at 6 pm: Call Storm in support of H.R. 40, hosted by the DA Reparations Task Force
  • Wednesday, February 9 at 7:30 pm: Quarterly Book Club, hosted by the Münster Chapter
  • Thursday, February 10 at 6 pm: Call Storm in support of H.R. 40, hosted by the DA Reparations Task Force
  • Saturday, February 12 from 1:30-3:30: Vote from Abroad voter information table at the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart
  • Saturday, February 12 at 5 pm: Fandango at the Wall-Music Without Borders, hosted by the Hispanic Caucus, Global Black Caucus and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance International during Black History Month
  • Saturday, February 12 at 8 pm: Texans Abroad Planning meeting
  • Friday, February 18 at 7:30 pm: Pub Quiz, hosted by the Münster-Osnabrück-Bielefeld Chapter
  • Friday, February 18 at 8 pm: Postcard Coloring Party, hosted by the Stuttgart Chapter
  • Saturday, February 19 at 7 pm: Local Craft Beer Tasting, hosted by the Munich & Southern Bavaria and North and Central Bavaria Chapters
  • Sunday, February 20 at 2 pm: Defending Democracy Postcard Party, hosted by the Wiesbaden & Mainz Chapter
  • Thursday, February 24 at 1 pm: U.S. Consulate Frankfurt Veterans Information Session
  • Saturday, February 26 at 1 pm: Book Club, hosted by the Düsseldorf-Ruhr Chapter
  • Saturday, February 26 at 8 pm: Author Talk with Willy Wilkinson. Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency
  • Monday, February 28 at 12 pm: Four-Front Fight: Freedom to Vote & Democracy, hosted by the Progressive Caucus
  • Friday, March 4 at 7:30 pm: DA Germany’s AGM Cocktail Hour and Trivia Night, hosted by the Münster-Osnabrück Chapter
  • Saturday, March 5 from 10 am-6 pm: Democrats Abroad Germany Annual General Meeting
  • Saturday, March 12 from 1:30-3:30 pm: Vote From Abroad voter information table at the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart

 

If you have questions regarding voting from overseas or would just like to stop by and say hello, we will be at the Schlossplatz in Stuttgart on February 12th from 1:30-3:30 pm. 

We look forward to hearing from you. Your ideas and input are always welcome at [email protected]. 

Democratically yours,

Sasha Arrington

Stuttgart Chapter Chair

Democrats Abroad 

 


Stuttgart Chapter January 2022 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” –Abraham Lincoln

Hopefully your year is off to a good start! For overseas citizens, a new calendar year means it’s time to (re-)register and request your ballot. One excellent tool to make this process easier is www.votefromabroad.org

This year is very important, because in November 34 US Senate seats, all 435 US Representative seats, 46 state legislatures and 36 state governorships will be up for election!

If you vote in Texas, NOW is the time to register and/or request your Ballots, especially for the March 1 Primary!

This month the different caucuses have many different events lined up. The new caucus Environment and Climate Crisis Council (ECCC) invites you to its first meeting on Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 3 pm.

The Global Women’s Caucus will be discussing political framing on January 22 at 5 pm.

Our next Stuttgart Chapter virtual get-together will be this Friday, January 21, 2022 at 8 pm. Please RSVP by Thursday to receive the link.

As always, we are looking for volunteers for phonebanking, postcard coloring, assisting with voter information booths, etc. If you would like to share your time, please reach out to us!

If you would like to support our cause, we ask that you become a sustaining donor. Our work is only made possible through your generous support!

Account name: Democrats Abroad Germany

IBAN: DE04 5405 0220 0140 2702 99

BIC: MALADE51KLK

We look forward to seeing you at one of our next events, either online or in person! In the words of John Lewis: “Let’s make some good trouble!”

Democratically yours,

Sasha Arrington

 


Stuttgart Chapter December 2021 Newsletter

 DAG-Stuttgart December 2021 Newsletter

“May this season find you among those you love, sharing in the twin glories of generosity and gratitude.” — Oprah Winfrey

This year we raise our hats to the scientists, doctors, nurses, caregivers and frontline workers who expediently and tirelessly worked to keep us safe and healthy. The COVID vaccine made it possible to see loved ones again, borders reopened and the feeling of normality was a treasured pleasure.

Due to the recent rise in COVID cases in our region, we will be hosting a virtual Christmas get-together on Wednesday, December 22 at 7 pm. Please RSVP to receive the log-in information.

If you have the good fortune of sitting at an abundantly filled table over the holidays, enjoying the company of dear people in the warmth of your home, keep those in mind who are less fortunate.

One way to support people less fortunate is to vote! As Americans living overseas, we are a strong voice that can help shape the outcome of all elections. We have many pressing issues ahead that will matter not just for us, but for many generations to come. Whether you feel strongly about reproductive rights, voting rights, the environment, the bail system, or so much more, your voice gets heard by filling out your ballot.

Remember to register to vote in January!

The first primaries will be in TX, OH, PA, GA and possibly NC. We are looking for volunteers for phone banking, tabling, distributing flyers, colouring postcards and spreading the word.

If you are looking for a Christmas gift, check out our wide range of DAG swag! You can also support us by becoming a sustaining donor.

Wishing you happy holidays and a good start in 2022!

Sasha Arrington
Stuttgart Chapter Chair Democrats Abroad Germany


Stuttgart Chapter Newsletter October 2021

Dear Friend,

“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.” -Albert Camus

Autumn is in the air and the season of pumpkins, colorful leaves and hot apple cider is upon us. Thankfully, COVID case numbers are down in our region, so in-person meetings are permitted again! We are using this opportunity to have our October Chapter Get-Together in-person at the Forum 3 e.V., Gymnasiumstr. 21, 70173, in downtown Stuttgart this Friday, October 8th, at 8 pm. We look forward to seeing new and familiar faces! Halloween attire welcome! 

Please bring proof of your COVID vaccination and wear a mask during the get-together. Anyone donating items for our Stuttgart Chapter basket that will be raffled off on October 30th are welcome to bring these items on Friday!

This brings me to our DAG Octoberfest event coming up on October 30th at 7 pm. Join us online for a beer tasting, pleasant conversations and the raffling of various chapter baskets!  

We are currently asking for more donations to fill our Stuttgart chapter basket that will be raffled off. Items could be anything from political trinkets, to local Baden-Württemberg specialties, American specialties, decorations, etc. If you think something is special or unique, then add it to our basket!

 Thank you to all our creative volunteers who have sent back beautifully colored postcards! These postcards will continuously be sent to DAG members during the mid-terms. If you have time to join the postcard team let us know! 

If you are looking to interact with fellow Americans and meet like-minded people, DA offers many interesting caucuses to join! Since many meetings are still being held virtually, DAG members have a large array of interesting meetings, book clubs, pub nights, etc. to join that take place all over Germany as well. 

Our organisation runs on donations, and our supporting members in various positions are all volunteers. If you would like to support our cause, please become a monthly donor!

You can also show your support of our cause by buying some of our fun merchandise. 

Whether you’re looking for something for yourself or as a gift, you will definitely find something that fits the purpose!

Wishing everyone a peaceful autumn,

 

Sasha Arrington

Stuttgart Chapter Chair

Democrats Abroad Germany