After two years of meeting predominantly on Zoom, we were extremely happy to gather in person for the 2022 Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Barcelona.
Barcelona leaders and nearly two dozen attendees spoke at length about the importance of this year's midterm election and -- in the context of recent news that the Supreme Court is on the verge of overturning Roe vs. Wade -- the fact that our votes matter now more than ever. We discussed how we can work together to turn out more overseas votes from Barcelona, beginning with phonebanking, registering high school and college students, and holding in-person voter registration events. We have already begun attending the American Society of Barcelona's monthly happy hours, where we talk to Americans about the importance of voting and how to use www.votefromabroad.org. More voter registration events will be held throughout the summer and fall of 2022 - stay tuned!
Vice-chair Rachel Mantiñan reviewed the plethora of online events held during the last year as part of our highly successful La Lucha Continúa series, as well as a few times that we were able to gather in person. Membership and treasurer's reports were made, and Chair Chris Reilly explained a few highlights of global activity. The meeting was adjourned and members' attention turned to eating, drinking and enjoying the beautiful spring day and the wonderful company of other DA members.
Barcelona chapter members had a wonderful time celebrating the 4th of July at a park on the waterfront, catching up with old friends and welcoming some new faces. It was one of our first chapter-wide in-person events since March 2020, and the excitement at seeing fellow DA members and friends was palpable. Newly elected vice-chair Rachel Mantiñán spoke about the challenges that lie ahead as we work toward the November 2022 midterms, and treasurer Hunter Roberts spoke about the importance of donating to Democrats Abroad in order to help make the magic happen again. If you have questions about donations, where the money goes and how you get more bang for the buck when you donate to DA than to candidate campaigns, please reach out ([email protected]). We are happy to provide more information about how your donations can help elect Democrats and preserve American democracy.
Our next gathering, still in the works, will be a movie viewing at an outdoor venue. Date and movie title will be announced soon, but plan loosely on a late September event. We will also be starting a postcard campaign this fall, and will be putting out a call for volunteers to print, color, address and stamp postcards to be mailed in early 2021, reminding DA members that they need to re-register every election year.
Finally, if you are not already a member of the DA Barcelona Signal group, please take a moment to join so you can stay on top of all the latest news and conversations. Click here to join.
The GWC Reproductive Justice Team is launching a project to promote voter registration under the theme Reproductive Justice for ALL.
As you certainly know, the rights of all women to choose when and if to start a family are being taken away with over 26 States prohibiting or restricting the right to abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy even in the cases of rape, incest and the mother’s and/or the fetus’ health. Texas has empowered vigilantes to sue everyone and anyone aiding and abetting abortion once the fetal heartbeat can be heard (eg at approximately 6 weeks and before most women know they are pregnant).
We cannot allow this to continue particularly with Roe v Wade in peril and the Women’s Health Protection Act stuck in the Senate.
Our project is a video launch via YouTube. We are asking all DA members to make a short (60 sec) video explaining why the right to abortion is absolutely necessary. If you come from a State where it is practically impossible to obtain an abortion, you can speak about the discrimination against minority and poor women whose lives are in jeopardy and who cannot travel. If you come from “good States” such as MA, CA, NY for example, you can speak to the injustice of access depending upon where you live. Make sure you mention in the video VotefromAbroad.org for expat voter registration and vote.gov for non expat voter registration.
We believe that many of our voters will be motivated to register when we roll out the videos.
Here are a few subjects that you could choose for your video:
- If you live/vote in a country that has “good” reproductive freedom laws, you could refer to the country and the liberal law(s) and how lucky you are to be in that country and how unfair it is for American women LIVING IN THE US who can’t benefit from such laws
- If you live/vote in a US State that has good reproductive freedom laws, see above. And you can say that living in a “bad” State is discriminatory since women in “good “US States have rights that you are denied.
- You can share a personal experience. You don’t have to use your name or even mention where you live. The videos will be anonymous unless you do give details.
- You can make a statement about women should have the right to control their bodies. Period. There is no justification for the government to decide when, how or even if women should have children.
If you can’t think of anything to say but still want to make a video, feel free to contact Salli at [email protected]. She will set up a call and walk you through some ideas and we can help you make the video.
Here is a link on how to make a video:
For more information, visit our blog space here:
All videos should be sent to Salli Swartz at [email protected]
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN
Disclaimer: By submitting your video, you grant to Democrats Abroad a nonexclusive rights to use your video and your image only for the 2022 GWC Reproductive Justice Get Out the Vote video project.
You therefore hereby waive all rights to any claims arising out of or in connection with Democrats Abroad GWC’s use of your video and image in connection with the 2022 Reproductive Justice video project.
Two prestigious contingents from the Democratic National Committee, along with the International Chair of Democrats Abroad, are visiting Democrats Abroad chapters across Europe this summer—and they're coming to Madrid!
Join us on Wednesday, August 17 from 7:30-9pm at the Toast Taproom Malasaña for this special event with:
- Ken Martin, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)
- Jarryd Rauch, Eastern Regional Director of the Association of State Democratic Committees at the DNC
- Candice Kerestan, Democrats Abroad International Chair
Ken, Jarryd, and Candice are looking forward to meeting the members of DA Spain during this “Listen and Learn” tour. Our guests want to hear about what matters most to you as a Democrat abroad and get us even more fired up for November's midterm elections!
We are calling all Madrid Democrats to join in welcoming our guests on August 17 — let’s show them what Madrid is all about!
Please RSVP below to confirm your spot. Tickets start at $22.00 and include three drinks and appetizers.
All proceeds go towards Democrats Abroad's voter outreach initatives for the 2022 midterm elections.
About Our Guests
Ken Martin, DNC Vice Chair (Minneapolis)
Ken Martin is currently Chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, President of the Association of State Democratic Committees (ASDC), and a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee.
As ASDC President, Martin created a comprehensive strategy to increase our Democratic Party’s support for State Party organizations. The vision was to create a true partnership with the DNC and a real 57-State Party strategy to build durable long-lasting infrastructure, ensuring that no State Party was left behind and that we seized on all opportunities, big and small. This plan led to robust investment, significant growth, and a greater impact at the ballot box.
Martin has played key leadership roles around the country in political parties, candidate campaigns, issue campaigns and on the independent expenditure side. Before he was elected Chairman of the Minnesota DFL, Martin helped run campaigns up and down the ballot from Presidential, U.S. Senate, Congressional, Gubernatorial, State Legislative, and local offices.
Jarryd Rauch, Eastern Regional Director of the Association of State Democratic Committees (New York City)
Jarryd Rauch currently serves as Eastern Regional Director of the Association of State Democratic Committees (ASDC) at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Jarryd is a Miami native who now works with the Democratic State Parties in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, the Virgin Islands, Vermont, and with Democrats Abroad. Jarryd has worked executing many integral parts of State Party operations—including voter protection, fundraising, field, party affairs, and community engagement. He has also worked in a Congressional Office and volunteered for campaigns across the US.
Candice Kerestan, DA International Chair & DNC Youth Council Vice Chair (Munich)
A Central Pennsylvania native, Candice Kerestan has lived in Germany for the past eight years and currently serves as International Chair of Democrats Abroad (DA), the official arm of the Democratic Party responsible for engaging and mobilizing the more than nine million U.S. citizens living overseas. She is the youngest currently serving Democratic state party chair, and the second youngest in Democratic Party history. In her role, Ms. Kerestan works with on-the-ground organizers in nearly every country to find new voters and activate existing voters abroad – with the overarching goal of delivering even more votes for Democrats across the United States in 2022.
Ms. Kerestan previously served as Chair of DA Germany and as the Regional Leader for the Cologne-Bonn area in Germany. She holds degrees in Political Science and German and is currently pursuing her PhD in Political Science at the University of Bonn where she also works as a translator in the areas of sociology, law, and political science.
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