DA-Spain August 2022 Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Chair

A lovely Democrats Abroad member told me that reading last month’s column was like getting a hug. Getting that feedback made me really happy, but I’m giving you fair warning about this one: it’s going to be more of a shove. 

It’s a shove because we’ve been reminded of the work immediately ahead of us. We’ve just had a visit from Ken Martin and Jarryd Rauch of the DNC, and our own Candice Kerastan, Chair of DA Global (keep reading for more about that). Chapters in Madrid, Alicante, and Barcelona organized terrific events for our visitors. Here’s a shoutout to Samuel, Revé, Maggie, Daniel, Tammy, Chris, Annie, and all the other people involved in organizing those events whom I’ve failed to name.

At each of our stops, Ken reminded us that we Democrats have a great story to tell. The Biden administration has brought us the first female Black justice of the Supreme Court, Covid relief, infrastructure investments, measures to check spiraling prescription drug costs, unprecedented funding for measures to combat climate change, and more. And it’s done this without the daily White House drama that roiled the nation for the previous four years. So Ken is right: we have a great narrative.

Now we have to tell that story. Fewer than 80 days remain until the midterm election, and we need to turn out in record numbers to hold our majorities in Congress. And, as Ken also said, we must stop agonizing and start organizing. For us in DA Spain, here’s how:

  • VoteFromAbroad.org:  Tell the US citizens you know to go to votefromabroad.org (VFA) to get up-to-date information about registering to vote and requesting and returning ballots. To be even more effective helping others, sign up for a voter assistance training class here
  • Check out GOTV efforts in your area:  If you’re in or near Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, or Seville, contact your local DA group and see what Get Out The Vote efforts are happening in your area. We’re putting up stickers with QR codes to direct people to VFA. We’re setting up tables to give US citizens information about voting. We’re getting together to phone voters around the world, especially those who are from battleground states. Get involved in what’s going on in your area. Email [email protected] or contact your local chapter.
  • Volunteer from home:  If you prefer to work at home, phone bank from your computer. It costs you nothing and is an easy-to-learn process. Email [email protected] for more information.
  • Wear DA Paraphernalia:  When you take a walk or run errands, wear a Democrats Abroad or Vote From Abroad t-shirt. You’ll be amazed how many folks will ask you about it! If you don’t have a t-shirt, send us an email or contact your local chapter to see what’s available.
  • Return your ballot ASAP!:  Returning your ballot can be a challenge. Click here for details on How to Vote from Spain.
  • Donate!  All of these efforts take money. Ten dollars fund multiple phone bank calls. Fifty dollars buy a banner for a DA table at a public event. Two hundred dollars buy enough stickers for an entire chapter this election cycle. Click here to donate to DA Spain

So let’s get going, friends! We’ve got a story to tell and voters to turn out. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do.

Kathy Tullos (Chair) 

    


News

The DNC Visits Spain for a Listen & Learn Tour

On August 20th, 30 members of the Barcelona chapter attended a brunch featuring a star lineup of Democratic Party leaders. The visiting guests included Ken Martin, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC); Candice Kerestan, Global Chair of Democrats Abroad; Jarryd Rauch, Eastern Regional Director of the Association of State Democratic Committees, and Spain's own Kathy Tullos, our Torrevieja-based country Chair. For this busy foursome, it was the third event in three different cities within one week.

Democrats Abroad is considered one of the DNC's 57 state committees. Ken, in his role as President of the Association of State Democratic Committees, and Jarryd, as DA's Regional Director, provide guidance and communication with DA to optimize our all-volunteer organization.

With only 11 weeks left until the crucial mid-term Congressional elections and many important state and local elections, Ken Martin had a hard-hitting, positive-energy message for the crowd in Barcelona. He highlighted the recent successful break in the Capitol Hill legislative logjam, with the largest economic recovery act since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal; the biggest infrastructure program since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society; and unprecedented legislation on fighting climate change.  Read the full article

- by Dan Solon, member, DA Barcelona  

P.S. Listen to Ken’s personal message to DA Spain and Portugal here and read his interview with La Vanguardia here.


Calls to Action

Write Your Alma Mater

According to Inside Higher Education, nearly 350,000 US college students studied abroad in the pre-pandemic academic year of 2017-18. That’s a huge number of potential voters! 

We’re calling on all DA members to take part in a “Write Your Alma Mater” campaign. The goal is to have members reach out to their alma mater(s) in their own name as alumni and make sure universities are providing accurate and current overseas voting information to students before or while they’re abroad. Please take a few minutes to help us reach the millions of US college students who will be studying abroad this fall. All details and templates can be found here


Caucus News

Global Women's Caucus

After living in Spain for 32 years, I have happily succumbed to the Spanish notion that August is the month to disconnect from everyday life and enjoy the slow pace of hot summer days and late summer nights. While I have definitely slowed down this month and am enjoying the lack of routine, it’s impossible to relegate the troubles of our world to being an afterthought. There is just too much going on, and everything seems too urgent. 

The right for a woman to choose what to do with her body and, by extension, her life, is one of these urgent matters. The League of Women Voters (LVW) has renamed the 26th of August, which marks the anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment, from ‘Women’s Day of Equality’ to ‘Women’s Day of Inequality’ given the grave situation that women in the United States face today. For more information, see the LWV website. And for a whole slew of get-out-the-vote-for-equality ideas from the Global Women’s Caucus, click here.

The Global Women’s Caucus has a Reproductive Justice Team whose webpage has a wealth of information, resources, and suggested action items. You can find it here.

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Climate Caucus

Be sure to read and share this statement from the Environment & Climate Crisis Council (ECCC) celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a bill that will have a positive impact on our world for generations to come. 

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Click here to see all the upcoming Caucus events.


Chapter and Verse

 

Barcelona 

The Barcelona chapter was honored to host DNC visitors at an outdoor brunch at Laie Bookshop and Coffeeshop. Among the many motivating things Ken Martin told us, there is a direct line from DA to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act: our overseas votes helped put Senators Maggie Hassan and Jon Ossoff in the Senate. Without their votes, there would be no majority and no progress. Let’s keep up the good work by delivering a net gain of two Senators during the midterms! 

Ken asked each of us to commit to doing one thing each day between now and the election on November 8. See the message from Kathy Tullos for some suggestions, or share your own with us at [email protected]. (Here’s one of mine: I’m putting a Vote From Abroad poster in the window of my car and parking where it will get the most eyeballs). 

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We look forward to welcoming new members and welcoming back the old faithful at an election season kick-off event in early September. Watch your email for more details. Coming soon! And please stay in touch by joining our Signal group! It’s like WhatsApp, only more secure.


Madrid

 

Madrid was the first stop of Spain's Listen and Learn Tour. On August 16th, we joined Ken, Jarryd, and Candice at Marina Ventura to have a lovely meal with paella and other rice dishes. Kathy Tullos and her husband, Mark, joined us from Alicante. The rest of us — the vice-chair of DA Spain and members of the DA Madrid executive committee and leadership — are based in Madrid, so we gave our guests some advice to make the most of their limited time in the city.

The next day, Ken, Jarryd, and Candice joined a room of more than 30 DA members and guests to share their thoughts about the upcoming midterms, listen to our concerns as overseas US citizens, and thank us for our role in securing the White House. Before and after the event, our guests spent time talking to members directly to learn more about their lives in Spain.

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Hope to see you at next month's event!


Valencia

With midterms elections fast approaching, we will be holding weekly Voter Support sessions around town from September 2nd through the second week of October. Click here for details.

We are available to help you: 

  • Register to vote. Be sure to check your registration, as many states are purging their rolls.

  • Request your ballot. You must request your ballot every year.

  • Return your ballot. Many states require paper ballots be returned in very particular ways. We can help.

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Our next First Friday Coffee will be held on September 2nd from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Salad Planet. Please join us as we kick off Voter Support 2022.

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Our next picnic will be on September 25 in the Turia, near the Alameda metro stop, next to the soccer field. We will gather from 2:00-5:00 p.m. Bring your favorite food & drink, stake out your space with your chair or blanket and catch up with other DA members as we share tales of our summer travels, news on how the new school year is going and plans to get your vote cast in the November election. Volunteers will be there to provide voter support.


Alicante

Wow! We thank you ALL for participating in the DNC visit to Alicante! From our red, white and blue welcome party to our engaged membership at the MARQ event! We all had a great time hosting our guests, Ken Martin, Candice Kerestan, and Jarryd Rauch in Alicante, and I think the DNC and DA Global fell in love with our chapter! Alicante Truly Shone!  

It was great to hear of Candace and Jarryd’s state-based projects, and Ken’s speech was pointed and quite direct — Don’t agonize, organize! I heard from many attendees that Ken’s message was very motivating. For this chapter, their visit has inspired a set of goals and a strategy that I would like to see DA Alicante and DA Spain work towards. We will need your help, so I hope we can count on your efforts. We look forward to working with you! 

  • Get out the Vote street campaign on September 16th
  • Build awareness through the “Why I Vote” social media campaign 
  • Prepare students moving abroad through the Alma Mater outreach
  • Support the battleground states with the Vote Forward letter-writing campaign 
  • Collaborations with the Hispanic Caucus and DA Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Alicante Fundraising Event
  • November Thanksgiving Celebration

Seville

The DA Seville Chapter is back!

With midterm elections fast approaching, we are gearing up to do our part to get every American expat in the province of Sevilla registered and ready to vote! We can help you vote. Click here to see how we can help.

We are looking for volunteers. Any amount of time you can give to assist with GOTV efforts is greatly appreciated. Contact us at [email protected] if you're interested or if you have questions about how you can help us or how we can help you.

We hope to see you at our planned events for September:

  • A Sevilla Steering Committee Meeting - September 6, 2022, 8:00 p.m. Join us as we organize our get out the vote campaign for the midterms.  RSVP here.
  • Voter Registration Booth - September 17, 2022, 11:00 a.m. Join us at the American Women’s Club of Seville annual Coffee Morning. AWC members only: Click here for details.  
  • American Trivia night! - September 23, 2022, 8:00 p.m.:  The Merchant, C/Canalejas, 12, Sevilla  RSVP here

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Interested Dems can also stay connected with fellow Dems in the Seville area by joining our social discussion and information groups:

WhatsApp - Click here to join Fightin’ Dems SVQ
Facebook - Click here to join Democrats Abroad-Sevilla


Spain Fun Fact

Photo by Lucas Davies on Unsplash.

Speaking of visitors to Spain, did you know that our adopted country is the second-most popular holiday destination in the world? In the pre-pandemic year of 2019, Spain received 83.5 million tourists, with the UK sending more holiday-makers than any other country. Tourism is a major driver of the economy, providing nearly €155 billion in revenues in 2019. The tourism sector was severely affected during the pandemic, but is booming again in 2022. Spanish citizens have decidedly mixed feelings about the annual invasion of tourists, who keep the economy humming but may be unruly or disrespectful. This year, the Spanish Tourism Office has launched a new campaign, #SlowTravelSpain, to highlight sustainable forms of travel in Spain and its islands, recognizing the importance of forming a connection with local people and cultures when traveling while also lessening harmful impact on communities and the environment.


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!

    


MAKE A SMALL DONATION

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 one of our events.
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