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Ludwigsburg Delight

We had a wonderful event in Ludwigsburg on Saturday!


November 2022 Newsletter

Democrats Abroad Germany

Stuttgart and Southwestern Chapter

November 2022 Newsletter

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
-John F. Kennedy


The US Midterms on November 8th did not bring the “red tsunami” heralded by some on the right, which instead turned out to be a “pink smear”. Some election deniers won seats, which is a painful blow to truth and democracy. But most Trump-backed, election denying candidates and those most vocally opposed to abortion rights underperformed and inflation was not the vote carrier. In many tight races, abortion rights and the former President may have cost the GOP votes. For the left, the January 6 hearings and the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade seem to have scared voters that their democratic rights were at stake.


The presidential election in 2020 showed us how much the overseas votes impact our elections. Ahead of the Midterms this year, DA chapters and volunteers for Vote from Abroad worked diligently all over the world to help voters via zoom chats, virtual help desks, voter information tables, phone banking and postcard writing. Americans living overseas collectively exceed the population of some small states (estimates range from 4.8 to 9 million), though only a small fraction of these eligible voters actually vote, making our job of reaching potential voters so crucial.

If you did vote, and you are contacted by an election official to “cure” your mail-in ballot, please do so in order for your vote to actually be processed and counted. This happens when there is an issue with your ballot, such as a missing witness signature or a signature-matching issue. Some states will allow voters the chance to fix this mistake so that the vote is not disqualified. At least 18 states are required to notify voters if there is an issue like a missing signature, and give the voter the opportunity to correct it. One of the most common reasons an absentee ballot is not accepted is because it has not been signed.

In addition to helping US citizens navigate voting from overseas, DA offers many interesting online discussions, chapter meetings, guest speakers and social events. Here are two highlights our chapter has planned:
• Thanksgiving Ludwigsburg Event on Saturday, November 26th: join us for a festive tour of the beautiful baroque castle in Ludwigsburg (tour price p.p. €15), then a short stint on the Ludwigsburg Christmas market before going for a group dinner at a nearby German restaurant (please RSVP at [email protected] timely, space is limited)
• Christmas Extravaganza in Esslingen starting at 6 pm on Saturday, December 17 at the Christmas market in Esslingen. We will have the opportunity to browse the lovely market before going to a historic restaurant for a group dinner (please RSVP timely due to limited space)


If you haven’t already, I encourage you to follow our chapter’s social media pages on Facebook (@DAGStuttgart) & regularly check our page on the DA website— www.democratsabroad.org/de_stuttgart-- where you’ll find the most up-to-date information about news & events.


If you have questions about the organisation, are interested in any of our events, are looking for ways to volunteer, etc., please don’t hesitate to send me an email. I’m very happy to help in any way that I can.


Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving,

Sasha Arrington

Democrats Abroad Germany

Chapter Chair Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany    


VFA Voter Information Event


October 2022 Newsletter

Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany

October 2022 Newsletter


“Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it.” —Susan B. Anthony, women’s rights activist


There are many items on the table for the midterms this year. Every seat in the House of Representatives is up for grabs, as well as 35 U.S. Senate seats and 36 governorships. Some states have down-ballot races for attorney general, secretary of state, or control of state legislatures that could have wide-ranging effects for years to come, as well as hot-button issues like health care, abortion rights and climate change.


The margin on these races is very tight, in part due to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. The FBI search of the former President’s home in August has motivated Republican base voters to participate in elections. General concerns about the future of American democracy, expressed across the aisle, is sparking greater interest in the elections this November. Polls also show that the economy and inflation are top issues this year, as well as crime and gun policy.


Make your voice heard by sending your ballot back today!! Please go to votefromabroad.org to register, request your ballot or follow up on your ballot. With over 2.9 million US citizens living overseas eligible to vote, our voice can make a huge impact on the midterms this year! Have your friends and family members voted? Make sure everyone you know is registered to vote!


You can help our cause by reaching out to everyone you know to make sure their vote is cast! We are currently looking for phone bankers to reach US citizens living abroad to remind them to vote. Our chapter is coloring beautiful postcards to mail to US citizens living overseas, please reach out to us if you would like to contribute your time and energy! You can also make a donation to help support the work we do.


Last month our chapter held a Vote from Abroad table in downtown Stuttgart- Vaihingen. The fall weather couldn’t dampen our spirit; we spoke with many Americans and our furry mascot helped raise spirits on that rainy day!
 
At our chapter meeting held September 30th at Forum 3 in Stuttgart, the wish was voiced by our members to do something to celebrate the holidays. Instead of having a chapter meeting in November and December, we are offering the following events:


• Saturday, November 26th at 4:45 pm: Thanksgiving Event in Ludwigsburg. Join us for a festive candlelight tour of the beautiful baroque castle in Ludwigsburg, a short stop at the Christmas market, followed by a group dinner at a central restaurant. Price p.p. is €15 for the tour, dinner not included. Participants are limited to 25, so please RSVP timely at [email protected], on our NB or FB site.

• Saturday, December 17th at 6 pm: Christmas Extravaganza in Esslingen. Celebrate the holiday season with us in the picturesque town of Esslingen. We will meet at the Christmas market, enjoy the many different booths & go for dinner in a charming restaurant dating back to the 15th century. Seating is limited to 20, so please RSVP timely at [email protected], on our NB or FB site.


There are many interesting events lined up this month. Please go to our Nation Builder or Facebook sites for detailed information:
• Friday, October 14 at 1 pm Eastern time: Meet the Democratic Candidates Fighting for Florida
• Saturday, October 15 at 4 am Eastern time: Intercom Training & Office Hours
• Saturday, October 15 at 11 am Eastern time: Service First: Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, together with the Global Women’s Caucus & Military Family Caucus
• Sunday, October 16 at 12 pm Eastern time: Ohio State Team Meeting
• Monday, October 17 at 1 pm Eastern time: Meet the Maine Governor, Janet
Mills
• Tuesday, October 18 at 1 pm Eastern time: Meet the North Carolina
Congressional Candidates
• Wednesday, October 19 at 2 pm Eastern time: Intercom Training & Office
Hours
• Saturday, October 22 at 4 am Eastern time: Intercom Training & Office Hours
• Wednesday, October 26 at 7 pm Berlin time: Braver Angels Abroad Europe
-Depolarizing Within Workshop


Wishing everyone a joyous fall and Happy Halloween!

Sasha Arrington
 

Read more

July 2022 Newsletter

DAG Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany

July 2022 Newsletter


“He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.


The January 6th committee shared a treasure trove of information and witness testimony in order to outline a comprehensive narrative of the attempt by Donald Trump and other Republicans to overturn the 2020 election. During the eight hearings the public received detailed accounts of the events leading up to, and on, that fateful day. Now the committee expects the Justice Department to hold those who tried to harm our democracy accountable.
—-
The midterms are just around the corner, and some of the main topics the US citizens we met at our VFA tables said were important to them are reproductive rights, the economy and gun control. Polls also show that about 30% of voters say the most important problems facing our country are related to guns, abortion & democracy (Times/Siena College Poll 2022).
Through reduced sex education in schools, in the absence of education about contraceptives & the availability of legal & safe abortions, girls & women will continue to risk their lives by undergoing unsafe abortions when facing the financial burdens & social stigma of unintended pregnancy (Medical News Today, October 30, 2020).

With the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, support for reproductive rights has gained momentum. Hopefully this important issue will get many Democrats to the polls for the midterms. Surveys show that 60 % of Democrats say they are very concerned about abortion policy in the US, in comparison to only 40% of Republicans. The Pew Research Center data concluded that 61% of Americans currently find abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 37% say it should be illegal in all or most cases. Their study shows that 60% of conservative Republicans & Republican leaning people say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases; of the moderate & liberal Republicans, 60% say abortion should be legal. Most liberal Democrats & Democratic leaning individuals support legal abortion by 90%, while 70% of conservative & 72% of moderate Democrats are in favour of legal abortions (Pew Research Center 2022).

 —-
While the mass shootings that shocked the nation recently have caused a
surge in support for stricter gun laws, past polling indicates this kind of support rises & then falls again after a mass shooting. A poll conducted directly after the Uvalde school shooting found that 65% of registered voters are in favour of stricter gun laws, up 5% less than a week before. Democrats’ support for stricter gun laws remained steady at 86%; Independents’ support rose from 56% to 66%; Republican support of stricter gun laws went from only 37% to 44% (Politico).
Background checks, gun violence restraining orders & intervention could all be ways to reduce mass shootings, according to Garen Wintemute, an emergency medicine physician at the University of California, Davis. He has studied gun violence for more than 30 years & sees the issue of mass shootings as an issue of public health. Because gun violence is one of our leading causes for death & injury, Mr. Wintemute says we should ask the following questions in learning ways to prevent mass shootings: Who is at risk of developing this problem? Where does it come from? How does it get amplified? Can we create a prevention strategy or treatment (Science.org, 9.2018)?
—-
DAG News
• Intercom Training & Office Hours: Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 4:30 PM
• Intercom Training & Office Hours: Thursday, July 28, 2022 at 4:30 PM
• Pride Parade Stuttgart: Saturday, July 30, 2022 at 2:30 PM,
Böblingerstr. Between the U-Bahn stop Erwin-Schöttle-Platz & Tannenstr.
We are group number 52.
• Ohio State Team Meeting: Sunday, July 31, 2022 at 12 PM Eastern Time
• Floridians Abroad Planning Meeting: Monday, August 1, 2022 at 1 PM
Eastern time
• August Phonebanking Stammtisch: Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 6 PM
• Democrats Abroad Oktoberfest Extravaganza: Sunday, October 2, 2022 at
11:15 AM; Festhalle Schottenhamel in Munich; tickets on sale now!
—-
Stuttgart & Southwestern Germany events
Our chapter held two VFA tables the past weeks, one in Tübingen at the Holzmarkt and one in Reutlingen. Thank you to Wy Ming Lin, our other volunteers and all the people that stopped by!

Join the Stuttgart & Southwestern Germany chapter for the annual Pride Parade! Help us celebrate with the LGBTQ+ community by joining us in the parade at 2:30 pm on Saturday, July 30th in the Böblingerstr. between the U- Bahn stop Erwin-Schöttle-Platz & Tannenstr. Our starting number is 52. There are several stops planned along the way, culminating at the Schlossplatz with guest speakers & a street festival offering musical & culinary delights. Please RSVP at [email protected] if you would like to join us. We look forward to seeing you there!


We are currently collecting donations for our chapter prize draw basket for the Oktoberfest Extravaganza. Whether you are a talented knitter, artist, or have some local delights you could add, let’s once again put together a prize basket that everyone would like to win! Tickets for this in-person event are currently being sold, so make sure to join us in Munich!
 
Wishing everyone a fantastic week,

Sasha Arrington
Democrats Abroad Germany

Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chapter Chair


May/June Newsletter

Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany

May/June 2022 Newsletter


“Governments who manipulate population growth have two choices: making maternity pleasant, or making it inescapable.”
—Kate Millett


On May 15th the Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany Chapter participated in the global “Bans Off Our Bodies” protest, which drew a large crowd and many curious onlookers.

Should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, the change would pose a profound threat to maternal health in the US, according to experts. A leaked draft opinion suggested that the court is likely to reverse the ruling that gave women the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago. The final decision is expected at the end of this month or early July.
                 —
The DA Global Meeting took place on the weekend of
May 21st, which gave members a chance to get to know one another and discuss current events.
                 —
On Saturday, May 28th our chapter held a Vote From
Abroad table in Vaihingen. We met a lot of Americans and were thrilled to hear that everyone we spoke to is registered to vote!
                  —
On June 11th Democrats Abroad members all over the world joined our fellow Americans back home to March for Our Lives. The horrific shootings at Robb Elementary in Uvalde and the Tops supermarket in Buffalo have reminded us once again of the terrible toll that gun violence has inflicted on our country.

“It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity—it’s inhumanity.
—Amanda Gorman


As we remember the many who were taken too soon by gun violence, we must honour their memories with action. Now is our chance to make a difference with our vote; now is the time to vote for our lives!


Request your 2022 Ballots now!


Primary elections are quickly approaching in many states. Make your voice heard by voting!


- District of Columbia, Virginia - June 21
- Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma, Utah - June 28 - Maryland - July 19

 Request your ballots early!


Is your State not listed? Find your deadlines here: www.votefromabroad.org
Need help voting? Write to [email protected]


                   —
June Highlights:
• Tuesday, June 21: a special event with Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and the LGBTQ+ Caucus at 2 pm EDT
• Saturday, June 25: Vote From Abroad table in Tübingen in front of the Stiftskirche on the Holzmarkt from 2-5 pm. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer!
• Saturday, June 25: Stocherkahn ride on the Neckar in Tübingen from 6:30-9:30. Donation per person of $15 requested. Our very own Vice Chair WyMing Lin will be our captain!
• Saturday & Sunday, June 25-26: Dialing 4 Democracy call-a-thon. This is a 48-hour voter mobilisation call-a-thon, where DA members will make as many calls as we can to battleground state voters living overseas.
•Sunday, June 26: North Carolinians Abroad will welcome Cheri Beasley for U.S. Senate

 July Highlights:
• Monday, July 4: July 4th party at the Forum 3 in Stuttgart from 7-9 pm. Please RSVP by Thursday, June 30th.
• Saturday, July 9: Vote From Abroad table in Reutlingen on the Wilhelmsstrasse, in front of the Spitalhof, from 11-2:30 pm. If you would like to volunteer, please reach out to us!
• Saturday, July 30: Pride Parade Stuttgart. Please RSVP by Friday, July 15th. A donation of $15 for all participants is kindly requested. More details to be announced. Join us in celebrating Pride Month!

In trying times it helps to find solidarity in like-minded people, working together for a good cause.

Wishing everyone a fantastic summer!

Sasha Arrington

Stuttgart and Southwestern Germany

Chapter Chair

 


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!