When do children need to start filing? And do they have to file the FBAR? Do I have to file taxes if I have no income? What if I’m self-employed? These questions and many more were part of a spirited and wide-ranging discussion at our inaugural tax talk on June 13th. Daniela Räkers, a Rheine based German accountant and licensed American CPA, sought to calm nerves about this very complicated and confusing topic. The discussion was both enlightening and at times baffling as we waded through abbreviations and terminology such as FBAR and Foreign Earned Income Exclusion, but in the end participants agreed that it was an evening well spent. Be on the lookout for another tax talk next year!
Q: Which American state capital is named after a German chancellor?
A: Bismarck (North Dakota)
This was just one of the questions posed at last night’s American Pub Quiz in Osnabrück, Germany. In cooperation with the University of Osnabrück’s Institute for English and American Studies, Democrats Abroad Münster-Osnabrück hosted its inaugural trivia night on May 23, 2019 at local student bar Unikeller. Eleven teams competed to answer questions about American geography, history, sports, politics, and music, as well as identify photographs of famous Germans in America. In the breaks between categories, the crowd enjoyed classic American tunes and complimentary Schnaps. The race for the main prize of Democrats Abroad merchandise and a free round of drinks remained exciting to the end, with only a half-point difference between the first and second-place teams.
Hosting our first-ever pub quiz was an ambitious undertaking, but one we felt would advance our organization’s goals. As one of the younger Democrats Abroad Germany chapters, we cover the region surrounding Münster, Osnabrück, and Bielefeld. Most previous activities have centered on Münster, as the majority of our members are based there. Our aim in staging an event of this scale in Osnabrück was to expand our presence in the other areas under our jurisdiction. A second goal was to generate interest among younger residents for our mission and activities in the region.
Participation in the event was open to all. Our crowd consisted of Americans, Germans, and persons of other nationalities. By inviting anyone to attend, we hoped to attract a larger number of participants, who would, in turn, spread the word about Democrats Abroad to Americans they know or meet in the city. With a turnout of 55 contestants, we consider the evening a great success and look forward to organizing similar events in the future!
Come join us on Friday, March 8th for our celebration of International Women’s Day.
The holiday has been celebrated for over 100 years and has become an occasion to celebrate women and reflect on the rights that have been won and what remains to be accomplished. Over the course of the evening, we will discuss the status of the women’s rights movement through various mediums, with a special focus on getting the ERA passed!
When: Friday, March 8th from 19:00 to 21:00
Every First Saturday of the Month, 10:00-12:00, Pension Schmidt in Münster – New to Democrats Abroad? We meet every first Saturday of the month at the very cozy and (most importantly) discussion inducing Cafe Pension Schmidt, which is located in the beautiful historic center of Münster! As diverse as the Democratic Party is, we welcome everyone, even those who don't necessarily adhere to any party. Come meet other Americans and join the discussion.
Bielefeld Monthly Meeting, March 7th 18:00 at Univarza – Looking to meet up with local Americans in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere? Look no further. Our Bielefeld Precinct will start meeting on a regular basis as we gear up for primary season, next year’s general election, and whatever else the Administration throws at us. Featured topic at this month's meeting: Medicare for All.
Receive Local DA Event Notices
Looking to keep up with our ever growing range of activities? Other than receiving the monthly newsletter, there are a few additional ways to keep up with our latest event announcements.
DA Münster/Osnabrück Facebook Page (NEW) - our brand new public face on Facebook is here.
DA Münster/Osnabrück Private Facebook Group – simply follow the link and ask to be admitted. Here we not only post event notices, but we also engage in private discussion about the topics of day among friends.
WhatsApp Announcement Group – if you aren’t on Facebook but use WhatsApp, we can add you to our events announcements group. Here we will ONLY post event notices! To join, send an email to DAG-muenster@democratsabroad.
The midterm elections are fast approaching, but it is not too late to request your ballot! If you have not done so yet, now is the time to act. Go to VoteFromAbroad.org and simply answer the questions, print out your form, sign it and mail it. Done!
Just as important, it is not too late to help get out the vote. There are almost 10,000 people signed up with Democrats Abroad Germany, and it is our goal to call each and every one of them to remind them to request their ballot. To do so we need an army of volunteers to make calls. And it is not too late to help out. Just go to democratsabroad.org/voter_support_team and simply follow the directions to get started.
What’s that you say? You are intimidated by calling people? We’ve got you covered. Last week we held two training sessions, one each in Münster and Osnabrück, where we got nine people up and running with phone banking. None of them had ever done it before. All of them said how much fun they had after it was done, and each promised to keep on calling on their own.
Our next training will be:
Wednesday, September 19th from 5:00 to 7:30 in Münster (RSVP: DAGfirstname.lastname@example.org for directions)
Friday, September 21st from 4:30 to 7:00 in Bielefeld (RSVP: DAGemail@example.com for directions)
Welcome to Democrats Abroad Muenster Osnabrueck!
DA Muenster Osnabrueck is a chapter of DA Germany, the official country committee for US Democrats living in Germany. Watch this space for upcoming announcements of meetings and events - we have events planned throughout the year, and encourage anyone interested in participating to get in touch.
If you have questions or would like to help with Democrats Abroad in the Muenster Osnabrueck area please contact us.