February 18, 2022

DA-Spain February 2022 Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Chair

It’s February, and I’m writing to you from my home state of Texas. Remarkably, it’s actually been cold here; we had an entire week of at- or below-freezing temperatures at night. (The electrical grid didn’t even threaten to collapse, which it actually did last winter, but Texans with cold weather PTSD have been quite twitchy for a few days.) Anyway, the cold inspired me to make a couple of batches of soup.

As I stood in our kitchen stirring a fragrant batch of bean soup, I recalled one of my favorite childhood books. Stone Soup told a story that resonates with what we are doing at Democrats Abroad Spain.  Read more about stone soup...

Here at DA Spain, we make a lot of our own sort of soup together. Of course, our dishes aren’t liquid, and you can’t eat them, but they are important all the same. Members make a few phone banking calls – potatoes. Members staff tables at voter registration drives – carrots. Members use their social media platforms to talk up DA and tell others about how US citizens can vote from abroad – tomatoes. Members contribute small amounts to DA to help us pay for phone banks, mailouts, banners for our voter registration tables, and the myriad other items that enable us to connect with Americans abroad – beans. Again, you get the idea.

I’m grateful to every one of you who helps us fill the pot. And I hope each of you will consider adding to DA’s soup. We’re not the tricksters that our travelers were, so all we can do is assure you that whatever you choose to add, matters. Your efforts promote and safeguard democracy. And that’s a delicacy beyond compare.

So if you’re interested in volunteering or contributing, please take a few minutes to fill out the Volunteer Interest Form.

Thank you, and buen provecho!

Kathy Tullos (Chair) 


Calls to Action

DA Spain Annual General Meeting

Please join us for DA Spain’s virtual annual general meeting (AGM) on March 26 at 3pm CET. In addition to a short agenda of country committee business, we will hear from an exciting guest speaker. Matthew Barzun was US ambassador to Sweden during President Obama's first term, and to the UK in his second term. He also served as National Finance Chair of the Obama re-election campaign. Ambassador Barzun is the author of a new book, The Power of Giving Away Power, on changing the top-down and bottom-up leadership structures. He is also an expert on organizing and fundraising. Agenda and RSVP here.


Request Your Ballot

In case you hadn’t heard, 2022 is an important midterm election year and, now more than ever, every vote is going to matter. If you are a procrastinator, or if you assume your registration in 2020 is still valid, please think again! This weekend, take five minutes and go to www.votefromabroad.org to re-register and request all your absentee ballots for 2022 elections, including primaries, special elections and the general midterms in November.


The importance of down-ballot voting on US education issues – literally the nation's future
by Dan Solon

A standard feature of high school graduation speeches by class valedictorians and guest speakers is often lampooned as "Graduates! The future lies ahead, and it is in your hands." Easily spoofed, it is nevertheless an undeniable reality.

For that reason, and to help prevent the possible development of a United States that, in say 2040, is even more harshly divided than it is today, overseas voters should pay more than customary attention to down-ballot issues and races this year. It is increasingly obvious that the Republican party apparatus is in thrall to the former president and his extremist supporters. Not satisfied with trying to relitigate the 2020 election results as raw meat for the party's "base" – whatever and whoever that may be – a number of the more pragmatic activists are trying to eat into the fabric of the US education system.  Read more...

Caucus Updates

Women’s Caucus

Living in Spain isn’t all fun in the sun, siestas and fiestas.

Join Spain Women's Caucus on March 9th at 19:30 CET on the topic of Wills, Probate and Inheritance. RSVP here.

Click here for a list of future topics.


Global Women's Caucus Call to Action: American Women Need Your Help Now! The GWC Reproductive Justice Team is launching a project to promote voter registration under the theme Reproductive Justice for ALL. Click here for details for how you can help.


Youth Caucus

The DA Spain Youth Caucus is proud to present its new leadership team! 

DA Spain Youth Caucus  Leadership Team
  • Hunter Baldridge: President/Founder
  • Cat Johnson: Study Abroad Outreach
  • Samuel Dempsey: Events Coordinator
  • Jennifer DiPasquale: Study Abroad Outreach
  • Sean Dempsey: Speaker Outreach
  • Emir Bozkurt: VP and Graphics Designer
  • Hannah Suarez: Auxiliar Outreach

If you want to know more about our leaders, go check out our Instagram


Additionally, we hosted our first Rock the Vote event Tuesday, February 8th, at which we welcomed Tucker Johnson (legislative aide to Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer). He spoke about what it is like to work on Capitol Hill and some of the work he does for the congressman. Lastly, we are hoping to be in touch soon with American study abroad programs so we can begin registration drives and organize speaker events. 

Thanks to all for your support!


Global Senior Caucus

The newest addition to the DA caucus family is the Global Senior Caucus (GSC), formed to advocate on issues important to Senior Americans (i.e., retired and 65+ persons) living in the United States and abroad. DA members of all ages are eligible and encouraged to join the GSC. Learn more and join here.


Lots of great caucus events are already on the calendar for 2022 – click here to see them all!

Chapter and Verse



On Tuesday, February 22, join us for another special edition of La Lucha Continúa with guest speaker Dr. Rachel Bitecofer, founder of Strike PAC. Dr. Bitecofer is a canny, incredibly insightful political scientist and elections analyst who was one of the few to predict a victory for Democrats in 2020. Now she is making predictions about 2022 that should have us all on our toes (read more here and here). We are honored to welcome Dr. Bitecofer in this exclusive interview, where she will discuss the potential impact of overseas voter turnout on the 2022 midterms. RSVP here.


Need some in-person help completing your online voter registration? A team of expert helpers will be at the Barcelona Expat Fair on March 5 (9:00-13:00) at the Estació de França. Just bring your cell phone and your US driver's license or the last 4 digits of your social security number, and we will walk you through the process. More information and RSVP here.


On March 8, La Lucha Continúa will host Texas lobbyists Bee Moorhead and Josh Houston, who will try to explain what’s going on at the Texas state legislature, where voting rights are under serious threat. RSVP here.


In case you missed it, the recording from our January event with Rachel Vindman is available here. To stay on top of all the news and goings-on, be sure to join our Signal group


As the midterm elections get closer, the importance of voting rights becomes all the more evident.

Last month, DA Madrid Vice-Chair Maggie Zelonis gave a presentation to explain the basics of phone banking — one of DA's most successful voter outreach strategies. During the 2018 midterm elections, our phone banking efforts helped to increase overseas voter turnout by 300%

If you'd like to learn more about phone banking or other volunteer work with DA Madrid, send us a message at [email protected].


On February 17th, DA Madrid enjoyed a segment of Last Week Tonight to discuss voting rights and suppression efforts. Previous episodes of the show have discussed other aspects of voting in the US, such as voting by mail, voting machines, and felony disenfranchisement

In the segment, John Oliver says 18 states have passed laws to restrict voter access, making it harder for certain communities to vote, particularly people of color. These laws have been passed with support from organizations such as The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank focused on public policy. John suggested a few things that can be done to fight these laws, highlighting certain pieces of legislation that have been proposed to further voting rights throughout the country. If you didn't get a chance to join us on Thursday, watch the clip here!


Staying active during this last Covid wave hasn’t been easy, but a few DA Valencia members managed to provide voter support sessions in both January and February. We held our voter registration training in mid-January, and our volunteers went on to assist voters with registering and requesting their ballots at our 3 in-person voter support sessions. We’d like to thank all of our tireless volunteers who’ve contributed kilos of meat to our stone soup. 



As has become tradition, we met again for First Friday Coffee in February. Luckily, this month, the first Friday was warmer and we were able to sit on the restaurant’s terrace and chat the morning away. We know our members here in Valencia are making plans for Fallas. Whether you’re a celebrator or a get-out-of towner, we hope you can join us for First Friday Coffee, March 4th, from 10:00-12:00 at Taberna Antonio Manuel. See you there!


Ever realize how the past can eerily predict the future? DA Alicante is planning a Twilight Zone event for early March. We will watch two episodes from the old TV show, then discuss their relevance to current political events.  Keep a watch on our Facebook page for date, time and venue in Alicante.

Spain Fun Fact


Returning to the topic of soup, did you know that gazpacho (not to be confused with the secret police of Nazi Germany) has been a staple in Spain since Roman times? However, the modern version of the refreshing and nutritious soup has only been around since the 16th century, when explorers brought tomatoes back from the New World. 

According to Andalucia.com, “The whole story begins with the Roman legions carrying bread, garlic, salt, olive oil and vinegar along the roads of the empire, with each soldier making his own mixture to taste. Pure symbols of Mediterranean culture which, a few centuries and a couple of civilisations later, will be supplemented by an innovation coming from the West. Tradition has it that, before leaving on his first voyage, Christopher Columbus loaded up with barrels of this old mixture which had fed so many peoples. With the addition of the tomato..., what will later be called gazpacho, will gain an international reputation.”

If anyone has Marjorie Taylor Greene’s email address, please share this recipe with her!

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 an event.