After a productive day of meetings for state chairs and vice chairs, Thursday and Friday sessions consisted of DNC committee, caucus and council meetings.
Democrats Abroad DNC members met for an early morning breakfast before Thursday sessions commenced (sometimes jet-lag can work in your favor. We were the first ones at registration!), and then spread out to attend as many meetings as possible.
*Attended by our DNC Members
Democrats Abroad has two DNC members on the board of their respective caucuses - Orlando Vidal in the Hispanic Caucus and Martha McDevitt-Pugh in the Women’s Caucus. International Chair Julia Bryan is a Tech committee member and participated in this meeting as well. Because Democrats Abroad represents voters from all 50 states, our DNC members also participate in all 4 Regional Caucuses (Eastern, Midwestern, Southern, and Western). During each regional meeting, Democrats Abroad and our work getting out the vote across the US was highlighted, and states were invited to contact us for more information about how we could work together.
At the Hispanic Caucus meeting, Vidal spoke briefly about proposal reforms, and the caucus introduced the ¡Mujeres Mobilized!, to engage and harness the activist energy of Hispanic women and transform this into votes and Democratic victories. Democrats Abroad is working to match these efforts with our voter outreach overseas!
At the Women’s Caucus meeting, McDevitt-Pugh shared that Democrats Abroad has registered record numbers of voters this year (with more to come), and encouraged caucus members to help get the word out by sharing our voting tool for overseas voters, VoteFromAbroad.org. Much of the caucus meeting was focused on highlighting the many trailblazing women running for office in down-ballot races across the country — a truly inspiring group of women! Chairman Tom Perez stopped by and in his brief speech also highlighted the work that DA does (plus gave a shout out to Adrianne George's fantastic flair!).
Amid conversation with other attendees, the delegation learned of a small protest at one meeting of the Resolutions Committee regarding campaign financing. While many in the meeting applauded the protest and it may have been the most exciting thing for journalists to cover that day, our members were in other meetings and had to learn about it online!
In each meeting, there was major optimism, paired with lots of party-building, giving a platform to young, inspiring candidates who look like America, backed by infrastructure to sustain a generational wave.
The consistent message across both days was clear: focus on issues that matter, and don’t get distracted by the current administration’s antics. Attendees did encounter one surprising distraction on Thursday: Michael Avenatti made a surprise appearance at almost all afternoon meetings to deliver a rousing speech about immigration.
Democrats Abroad DNC members were incredibly active outside of formal meetings; much of the work at DNC meetings is done in the hallways and coffee spots around meeting halls.
Julia Bryan met with our DNC liaison Allison Zelman and many state party leaders (including Terrie Rizzo of Florida) to garner support for their voters abroad. As a result, 48 states have signed on to collaboration activities with Democrats Abroad!
The Democrats Abroad delegation also met with DNC Chair Tom Perez and his staff, to provide them with first-hand updates on our work. Perez was very eager to drill down to results of our work, asking detailed questions about everything from digital ads and phone banking to our plans for state-specific voter outreach.
DNC Members will vote on superdelegate reform on Saturday, and advocates were eager to meet with as many members as possible. While it is an important issue, the tone has been extremely civil. It’s clear that everyone wants to make a decision that is good for American voters and the party.
Democrats Abroad’s DNC members have held multiple discussions on the topic with one another, DNC leaders, and Democrats Abroad members, to ensure we are heard and well-represented in 2020 primaries and beyond.
With evenings came socializing, of course. After Thursday's DNC reception, attendees headed to parties hosted by Texas and Florida Democrats, and Friday evening included a similar reception hosted by Minnesota. Miami, Houston and Milwaukee are vying to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The start of #DNCSummer2018 was eventful and productive, but everyone was eagerly anticipating Saturday’s general meeting and the important vote to shape how we decide next presidential candidate!
Democrats Abroad spent last weekend with leaders and representatives from across the Democratic Party at the 2018 Summer DNC meetings. Check out Day 1 activities here.