April 18, 2022

DA-Spain April 2022 Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Chair

Torrevieja windyUsually the fun fact in our newsletter appears at the end, but today we’re starting out with one, as well. Did you know that the average adult spends about 10 full months of their life talking about the weather?

As I write this, the weather here in our home in Torrevieja has been absolutely wild. March was the wettest it’s been in 95 years, and the wind has whipped the palms around so much I’m surprised the fronds aren’t in braids by now. On the plus side, local surfers are having a great time. And for good or ill, we entertained two sets of guests from the USA during this deluge. We apparently have hardy friends, because everybody just donned rain jackets and headed out to see the sights.

Our home country is experiencing heavy weather, too. In the midst of the world’s turbulence, we’re facing midterm elections in which forecasters say Democrats could lose up to 60 seats in the House of Representatives. SIXTY SEATS. Goodbye investigation of the attempted coup on January 6, and hello impeachment of Joe Biden for, well, being alive, along with anything else equally nefarious the Republicans can think up.

So Democrats Abroad Spain has to do its bit. Each of us has to do our bit. And here are the three things you can do:

  1. Volunteer to phonebank. This is critical. We’re calling other members of DA to make sure they register to vote, request their ballots and return them. You use an online system that lets you know what to say, dials for you, and doesn’t tie up your own phone. Make five calls just to try it out; you’ll see how easy it is!  (See details below)
  2. Tell other Americans abroad about the importance of voting from overseas. Guide them to votefromabroad.org, where up-to-date voting information about every US jurisdiction is available, along with individual help if users have questions. The vast majority of Americans who vote from abroad are Democrats, so your individual outreach can have a significant impact.
  3. Help Democrats Abroad Spain find folks who are savvy about social media and who’d be willing to help DAS with its social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok) or otherwise help out with the communications team. Reach out to us at [email protected]

It’s time to pull on the raincoats, stuff our feet into rain boots, and get to work. We can’t change the weather, but we can change the outcome of our elections. So let’s get going!

Kathy Tullos (Chair) 




Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed as Next Supreme Court Justice, but Electoral Challenges Remain at State, County, Local Levels

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ConfirmationDemocrats everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed by a 53-47 Senate vote as the next associate justice of the US Supreme Court. She will be formally sworn in when Justice Stephen Breyer retires at the end of the Court's current session. That should be in late June or early July, after decisions have been reached on pending issues such as voting rights and abortion constraints under Roe v. Wade.

The ascent of the first African-American woman to the nation's highest court has been greeted enthusiastically by Democrats and was supported by a majority of Americans. However, this step forward will not alter the basic ideological complexion of the Supreme Court, which will remain at 6-3 in favor of the conservative wing. There is much work to be done to restore balance and conformity with overall American public opinion on many issues.

The current misalignment between the justices and the people as a whole has many origins, but a very important factor has been the focus of professional Republican political operators and candidates on elections at the local, county and state levels. Beginning as far back as Ronald Reagan's first election campaign in 1980, and arguably even earlier — with Richard Nixon's dog-whistle, under-the-radar racist Southern strategy in 1968 —  Republican professionals have worked consistently on down-ballot battles in both primary and general elections.

This focus was highlighted in the recent online presentation to Democrats Abroad Spain by David Pepper, author of Laboratories of Autocracy, a book analyzing this successful Republican strategy. Pepper points out that "the GOP has taken over the machinery of US government via state, county and local elections... (electing) lawmakers whose names most citizens don't even know."  This process has resulted in massive amounts of legislation, restricting access to abortion and eroding voting rights in jurisdictions controlled by Republican lawmakers. These are the people who allocate budgets, influence school curricula, and decide who gets to vote, when, where and how in their states.

In November of this year, 34 US Senate seats, 36 governorships  and control of 46 state legislatures will be on the ballot, along with thousands of other local and county offices. Republican campaign managers, political consultants and think tanks such as the Federalist Society, which was founded 40 years ago to assess, recruit and promote candidates for judicial elections and appointments, have been hard at work for decades to push their agenda.

On our side of the aisle, political consultant James Carville, the "Ragin' Cajun" of the successful 1992 Clinton Presidential campaign, has framed the problem in typically concise terms. Carville says too many Democrats are happy to serve at “Inside the Beltway'' think tanks, developing high-level policies and strategies, instead of knocking on voters' doors, listening to grass roots opinions, framing campaign slogans and getting out the vote. This year, we must break that dynamic. 

Bottom line for Democrats Abroad: Register, Vote and Engage with friends and family, and do not ignore the importance of local, county and state races this coming November.

Dan Solon (member, DA Barcelona)

Calls to Action

Phonebanking volunteers needed!

You can only vote once, but calling other DA members:

  • multiplies your vote and amplifies your voice
  • helps and empowers others to cast their one vote
  • helps make the US a truly participatory democracy

In 2020, DA callers made over 600,000 calls! And we needed every one of those in order to win the House, the Senate, the Presidency, and the Georgia Runoffs. This year, the DA phonebanking initiative plays a more important role than ever: sadly, overseas voters have a notoriously bad voting record in midterm elections. The good news is that our members, when reminded, are eager to vote. Learn how you can become a phonebanker here.


Be an informed voter

Are you familiar with Ballotpedia? This online resource has reliable, up-to-date information and news about election dates, races and candidates in your state and jurisdiction. To know what will be on your ballot in the next election, go to https://ballotpedia.org/Sample_Ballot_Lookup and type in your voting zip code. This enables you to research candidates and issues so you can be an informed voter this November. 


Caucus News

Spain Women’s Caucus

US Tax Obligations for ExpatsLiving in Spain Series Banner
Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, fiestas and siestas.

For our next webinar, we welcome Mr. Roland Sabates, from the firm Expat Legal Services Group. This webinar will be held on May 18 at 19:30 (CET) on the topic of US citizen tax obligations while living abroad. Roland will cover important tax issues for Americans in Spain

To tailor these webinars to your needs, we ask that you send us any questions you might have ahead of time. We will pass them on to our speaker, so that he is aware of your concerns and can plan the talk accordingly. Send your questions to [email protected] by Monday, May 16. If you are unable to attend the live session but would like to see the recording, do send in an RSVP. We will send a link to the video to all who sign up. RSVP here.

I am still in contact with the embassy in Madrid about the possibility of a webinar on retirement and the agreement between the US Social Security and Spanish pension system.  Stay tuned for updates on this possible webinar. 

Are there any other topics of interest? Do you know anyone willing to be a guest speaker at one of our webinars? Send your suggestions and ideas to [email protected].


LGBTQ+ Caucus

DA_LGBTQ__Caucus.pngPride Month is quickly approaching!

Now is the perfect time to get plugged into DA Spain’s new LGBTQ+ Caucus and to offer your skills and background to bring more LGBTQ+ Democrats into the conversation through education, voter outreach, advocacy, and social events! Whether volunteering, helping plan a project, or just staying up-to-date, reach out to us at [email protected] to get connected.

Learn more about the DA global caucuses, including how you can get involved, here.


Chapter and Verse



La_lucha_continúa.pngLa Lucha Continúa is back on April 19 at 20:00 CET, when we will hear from Max Loebl about misinformation and disinformation. Because we are not always adept at spotting it, misinformation has emerged as a powerful strategy for influencing voters and otherwise manipulating uninformed people — particularly on social media. Max will give us the tools we need to recognize misinformation so that we can fight back and avoid spreading it further. RSVP here.

If you’ve missed any of our inspiring La Lucha Continúa speakers this year — including Rachel Vindman, Rachel Bitecofer, and David Pepper — the recordings are now available on the Democrats Abroad Spain YouTube channel

Democrats Abroad Barcelona will hold its Annual General Meeting on May 7, 2022, at 12:30 CET. This will be a live event at the outdoor venue Camping. The business meeting will last 30-45 minutes, with plenty of time afterward to catch up with fellow members, make new friends, and strategize activities and outreach for the rest of this important election year. Buy your lunch, beverages and dessert from Camping (they have a different pop-up kitchen each week) or bring a picnic lunch from home. Democrats Abroad will also provide some beverages. RSVP here.

Stay in touch: click here to join our Signal group, if you haven’t already.



In March, the Madrid chapter held its first in-person event in a few months. Old members and new friends alike got together at The Toast Taproom Malasaña, our spacious venue owned by long-time supporters of Democrats Abroad. At the event, everyone broke up into groups to discuss current events, voting matters, and plans for DA Madrid. 

madrid_event_1.jpeg madrid_event_2.jpeg

This month, the Madrid chapter plans on holding an Earth Day-themed event. Save the date for the third Thursday of the month — April 21. According to EarthDay.org, the theme for 2022 is "Invest In Our Planet":

"This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods. For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet."

Hope to see you there! 


DA Valencia’s First Friday Coffee continues to grow.  This month we had an even larger turnout. Despite the cold and windy weather, our group filled two large outdoor tables. There was a conversation for every interest, enjoyed by old-timers, newcomers, and visitors from the States. As the weather improves, we hope to see more members. Our next coffee is Friday, May 6 at 10:30 CET, but will be moved to Salad Planet.


We had a wonderful picnic for Democrats Abroad on Sunday, April 3. It was the first bright, beautiful, sunny day of spring, and we had at least 30 people from 10 different families come together for food, drink, and conversation. The kids enjoyed running around and playing in the park, while the adults sat in the sunshine and relaxed on picnic blankets. We look forward to more playing and socializing in the next few months.



Democrats Abroad Alicante is excited about getting new members engaged in political topics for the coming year!

vote forward postcards Alicante_event.jpeg

On March 19, we kicked off our letter-writing  campaign, held in conjunction with Vote Forward, reaching out to voters in critical states. The event was held at El Cookie, a new business recently opened by Americans Sean and Alicia. The baked goods were delicious and enjoyed by all. People helped color postcards for our upcoming mailing. 

Our next event is "We're Living in the Twilight Zone" Viewing Party (rescheduled from April 8) to be held Friday, April 22, 18:00-21:00 CET at The Garden Room Cafe in El Campello. We will screen two half-hour episodes of the classic 1960s television show, and discuss how it relates to today’s situation in the US. We will provide voter registration at the venue. You can sign up for the event here. Drinks and snacks will be available. We look forward to lively discussions and another fun gathering.

Find us on Facebook: Democrats Abroad Alicante, Spain (public group) and Democratic Voters in Alicante, Spain (private group).

Spain Fun Fact

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest restaurant in the world is in Madrid. Restaurante Botín in Calle de Cuchilleros was opened in 1725 by Jean Botín, a French cook, together with his Asturian wife. Located in the heart of the city, near the Plaza Mayor, Restaurante Botín retains its original 18th century interiors and firewood oven. The restaurant is featured in literary masterpieces by authors as diverse as Ernest Hemingway, James Michener and Graham Greene, to name but a few.

In Closing

To stay on top of all the news, follow Democrats Abroad Spain on social media. 


And please forward this email to your American friends in Spain who may not know us!

Donations to Democrats Abroad go directly to registering Americans and get out the vote (GOTV) activities such as phone banking, postcards, and most importantly, social media. Democrats Abroad is an incredible investment in our Democracy because it is 100% volunteer led and organized. Every euro or dollar you give supports our work to elect Democrats who will fight to make a better life for all Americans.  

We are able to do it economically and help win congressional districts and states that make a difference in election victory. DA is a global organization committed to helping Americans abroad to be involved in our country no matter where we live.

If you cannot afford to make a donation, consider volunteering your time, or bringing a friend to the event.