Message from DA Spain Chair
February is the month for Valentine’s Day, of course, and it’s a big deal around our house. My husband and I had our first date on February 14, 1985.
Full disclosure: this fact is not something to be proud of. We scheduled our date for that night because neither of us had plans. In fact, we didn’t realize that it was Valentine’s Day until we got to the restaurant we’d selected and found happy couples with red roses and chocolate boxes in the waiting area. FYI, we ended up at Chili’s that night.
But that’s us many years ago, not America now. Our country has gotten its own Valentine early. Want to know what the Biden administration has done for the USA? Here’s a quick summary:
- Two strongest years of job growth in history
- Manufacturing rebounded at the fastest rate in nearly 40 years
- Two strongest years of small business applications in history
- Lowest unemployment rate in more than 50 years
- Near record low Black and Hispanic unemployment
- Record decrease in deficit
- Fastest gas price decline in eight years
- Annual inflation down for six months
I think that’s a pretty spectacular list. And it has fewer thorns than roses and fewer calories than chocolate. It’s definitely something to be proud of!
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
PS: We hope you'll join us for the DAS Meet & Greet on February 28th at 7 PM. RSVP here
Views on the News
Joe Biden Gets His Mojo Back
Serious observers of the President's State of the Union speech last week agreed that Joe Biden has his mojo back. Beyond the impressive success in progressive legislation last year, fully described during the speech, Biden projected the image of a "Happy Warrior,” a title first bestowed on Al Smith during his 1928 presidential campaign. His claim that "we all apparently agree, Social Security and Medicare is off the books now" left Republicans scrambling to pretend that this is not their position, despite years-long evidence of GOP attempts to undo both programs.
Announcements & Calls to Action
DA Spain Annual General Meeting
📣 The DA Spain annual general meeting (AGM) date has been pushed back to accommodate the schedule mandated by our bylaws. The new date is May 20, and the location will be Alicante. This will be a hybrid meeting so, if you can’t attend in person, plan to join and vote for new officers online. More information coming soon!
Give Me Five for Democracy!
As we’ve mentioned before, Democrats Abroad Spain is trying to raise $10,000 before the elections in 2024. We’re much closer than at last report, but we still need your help. To date, we have raised approximately $7,000 in gifts and pledges. We’re looking to fill that gap by one-time donations and, in particular, by getting $150 more a month in sustaining donations. That’s 30 people at $5 per month!
The money will be used for online membership drives, support for our chapters, and work on local projects proposed by our members, caucuses, precincts, and chapters.
Please consider donating by using this link. And thanks for your support!
📣 Remember that many states require voters to re-register each year. Even if there is not a federal election in 2023, state and local elections may be on the calendar, and special elections happen all the time. Did you know that during the 117th Congress, there were 17 special elections to replace members who resigned, passed away or were removed from office? Be ready at all times to vote! Check on your state’s requirements at www.votefromabroad.org.
For me, February seems like the longest month of the year, even though it’s really the shortest. It’s cold and often gray. There is not a single holiday and spring seems far away, even if the groundhog says otherwise.
However, this February there is a ray of sunshine, as it looks like the ERA is back on track for ratification! (Can you believe it was approved by the House in 1971 and the Senate in 1972?) For more information about what is happening, check out this article from Ms. magazine. Are you interested in being active in this cause? The Global Women’s Caucus has an ERA Task Force. For more information, click here.
For more DA Spain Women’s Caucus updates including celebrating Black History Month, Women's History Month and International Women's Day click here to check out our blog.
Following our first Zoom session In Focus: The Respect for Marriage Act, the LGBTQ+ Caucus will be announcing our next session, which will take place in March.
We are actively charting out our events for 2023 with a mix of political, cultural and news-driven sessions. Taking a page from past successes, the upcoming slate will likely include In Focus sessions with political names we know, screenings of short films with talk-backs, book readings, etc.
Also, Gay Pride Month in June seems far away as we all sit in (almost) freezing weather here, but it will come up fast, and the Caucus will plan an array of events to support this annual event. We hope to continue collaborating with allied caucuses, both in DA Spain and at the global level. If you are interested in joining us or want to receive news updates, please email us at: [email protected].
Veterans and Military Families Caucus
DA Spain is embarking on a GOTV effort targeted at veterans, those on active duty and military families. In coordination with the Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus, DA Spain is developing a plan to reach out and ensure that such folks based in Spain are provided targeted information about how they can vote from abroad. DA Spain will be working to develop a strategic plan that will be implemented by November of this year. Interested in helping out? Send us an email at [email protected].
Click here to see all the upcoming Caucus events.
Chapter and Verse
🗓️ Save the date: the Barcelona annual general meeting (AGM) will be held on April 29, and a new chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer are to be elected. We encourage you to consider running for one of these essential offices. As outgoing secretary, I can verify that volunteering with this organization is a gratifying and energizing experience. We need good people to fill these roles and keep our chapter moving forward, so please think about how you can contribute, and stay tuned for more information from the Barcelona Nominations and Elections Committee.
On Tuesday March 7, join us for La Lucha Continúa with special guest Suzanne Berger, Chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee. During the months leading up to the 2022 elections, Suzanne traveled around New York’s Westchester County, campaigning for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. With this experience, she can provide insight into the challenges of organizing to get out the vote on the local level. RSVP here.
La Lucha Continúa meets again on March 21, when we will host Martha McDevitt-Pugh, one of DA’s 8 elected representatives to the Democratic National Convention (DNC). More details and RSVP here.
🗓️ Save the date for the Madrid annual general meeting: Saturday, March 25. More information to follow in the coming weeks.
There are several opportunities to volunteer for DA Madrid and DA Spain on an ad-hoc or long-term basis. All leadership positions will be up for election for those interested in getting the vote and supporting Democrats overseas through the 2024 election cycle. If you'd like to join a DA Spain caucus or volunteer on one of the many teams that keeps DA running, we'll be more than happy to help you get started. Contact us by sending an email to [email protected]
Until then, join us for cookies and coffee!
On the last Friday of the month, DA Madrid will be going to DA-member-owned Cookie Karma to socialize over cookies, brownies, and specialty coffee; discuss opportunities to get involved in DA; and welcome the weekend with a sweet start. We'll be at Cookie Karma (Calle de Hermosilla 108; Metro Goya) on Friday, February 24, from 5-7 p.m. (note: the café closes at 7 p.m.).
Looking forward to seeing you there!
The Cocktail Party on January 21 was a rousing success! A houseful of Democrats began the evening with a signature cocktail, The Democrat. Wine and conversation flowed from there. Chair Chris Schwandt, reminded us of our connection to America and DA’s work to make a positive difference. Funds raised included $115 in monthly donations and $470 in one-time donations. Many thanks to all who participated.
Tired of getting your Spanish tax advice from strangers on Facebook? Join DA Valencia for SPANISH TAX 101, a Hybrid Presentation on March 30 to better understand American tax obligations in Spain. Our speaker is a specialist in both US and Spanish taxes. More information coming the first week of March.
First Friday Coffee continues. Join the friendly group that gathers each first Friday to share coffee and chat. Right after coffee we hold a Leadership Team meeting, and all are invited to join in. See you on Friday, March 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Salad Planet (Carrer del Dr. Romagosa, 3, Valencia).
We want to know how we can better serve DA Valencia members. Please click this link and complete this short survey. It’s only seven questions.
Alicante has a “can do” frame of mind and our DA Alicante team has been doing work in both our own community and nationwide within Spain. We had a lot of fun at our first in-person event of 2023, at Madness Coffee on February 3, and we give special thanks to our DA Spain Chair, Kathy Tullos, for her attendance and motivating words.
Recently, our chapter chairs, Daniel Garcia and Di Longo, attended the DA Spain leadership retreat in Madrid and helped shape the plans to strengthen our organization and get out the vote for 2024. This includes the formation of a digital advertising task force within DA Spain, which Daniel has volunteered to spearhead alongside Chris Reilly of DA Barcelona.
And last but not least, the city of Alicante will be the host city for DA Spain’s annual general meeting taking place May 19-20. We know we’ll have a great time. Stay tuned for more news to come!
Democrats Abroad Alicante met for coffee and camaraderie at Madness Speciality Coffee in the old quarter of the city.
Democrats in Sevilla met in February and decided to apply to become a chapter. There is momentum to get it done so we can work on building community in the lead-up to the general election in 2024. We are also excited to start hosting different types of events, such as game nights or happy hour, to attract younger members, as well as build on our contacts with local study abroad programs. This is how we’ll be ready to make sure every U.S. student in Sevilla is registered and excited to vote in 2024.
Our chapter elections and “merienda” will be on Saturday, March 25 starting at 4:00 p.m. Watch the events section of the DA Spain website for further details about how you can enjoy a PB and J sandwich with fellow Democrats in Sevilla while voting for officers.
Folks in the Basque Country and Navarra: be on the lookout
soonfor an email about getting a leadership group together,
as well as an in-person Meet & Greet to be held in March.
Want to learn more? Contact us at [email protected]
Spain Fun Fact
Did you know that Spain also celebrates Carnival (Carnaval)? Yes, it does, and this year Carnaval will be celebrated from February 16-22. It is the big celebration before Lent (Cuaresma) beginning on Fat Thursday (Jueves Lardero) and ending on Ash Wednesday (Miércoles de Ceniza).
There will be celebrations all over Spain, though there are many local variations, with distinctive ways of celebrating. Some of the best celebrations are in Cádiz in Andalusia, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Sitges and Barcelona in Cataluña, Madrid and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, with the one of the biggest being in Aguilas in Murcia.
So, this year, we suggest you check out one of the festivals and see what Carnaval is for yourself!
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.
If you cannot afford to make a donation, consider volunteering your time, or bringing a friend to one of our events.