Message from DA Spain Chair
It’s January, so I’ve made the same two resolutions I do every year — I will do something outside my comfort zone, and I’ll make a new friend. Make a coffee date with me some time, and I’ll tell you some funny stories about how these have turned out over the years. Generally, though, my experiences with my annual goals have been very positive.
If either or both of these appeal to you, then please think about becoming more active with Democrats Abroad Spain in 2023. We have elections for various positions coming up at the national and chapter levels. We also have short- and long-term volunteer opportunities for those who might want to dip a toe in the DAS waters. For example, we can always use help on the newsletter, social media, and phone banking – or a job that you’d like to do that’s not listed here. Whatever you choose to do, I predict a fun ride. You’ll pick up or sharpen some skills, go to new places, and meet new people.
It’s not always easy to start a new endeavor, but you won’t regret getting more involved with DA Spain. So if you’re interested, please just email [email protected]. And Happy New Year!
Kathy Tullos (Chair, DA Spain)
P.S. All members of Democrats Abroad Spain are welcome to attend the monthly Executive Committee meetings! If you’d like to receive the Zoom link for these meetings, please email [email protected] to RSVP for the next meeting. These meetings are typically held at 19:30 on the second Thursday of the month.
Democrats Abroad Spain's Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Saturday, March 4. During this meeting, we will elect/re-elect country committee leaders (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and DPCA voting reps) for a new two-year term of office. If you are interested in running for office, or helping out with the meeting and election process by volunteering with the Nominations and Elections Committee, send a message to [email protected]. An official announcement and further details will be coming soon, so watch your inbox and please plan to attend, either in person or via Zoom.
Calls to Action
Request Your 2023 Ballot
Did you know that many states, perhaps including yours, delete their absentee voter rolls each year? And did you know that even if there are no federal elections scheduled for 2023, there are always state and local races on the calendar, some of vital national importance. To ensure that you always have the right to vote, Democrats Abroad and VoteFromAbroad encourage all overseas Americans to send in a new Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) every January. In fact, VoteFromAbroad has designated January 15 as International Voter Registration Day. For more information, and to fill out your FPCA online, go to www.votefromabroad.org
Read and Share the 2022 Update
Tax & Financial Access Issues of Americans Abroad
The Global Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force has released a report on financial and tax issues faced by Americans living outside the USA. The report is available at www.democratsabroad.org/2022_report. The Taxation Task force has requested that members read the report and share it with their Congressional representatives and senators. Instructions for doing so are here. If you have questions or would like to volunteer on the Task Force, please email [email protected].
Views on the News
2024 Is On My Mind
The Congressional hearings on the failed insurrection at the Capitol two years ago wrapped up with a very professional set of television presentations by individual committee members, each highlighting a specific aspect of the event. Riveting reality TV, ending with a written report recommending prosecution of the participants and, above all, the Inciter-in-Chief. Now it is up to the Justice Department to do its duty and present indictments of all the perpetrators.
But as William Faulkner so accurately wrote: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." He was writing about the aftermath of the Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, but his words have resonance today. Just when everyone thought that things could not get crazier...they did. Click here to read more...
Global Women's Caucus
Spain Women’s Caucus is kicking off the new year with an informal chat session via Zoom, that we are calling ‘Let’s Talk!’ The goal is to get to know each other better and share our thoughts and ideas on the current political situation in the US. There will be suggested topics, but no set agenda. We’d love to have you join us. The session will be on Thursday, Jan 26 at 19:00, lasting for about one hour. RSVP here.
Last week I attended the Global Women’s Book Club where we discussed the book Happening, by Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux. The topic, a young woman’s abortion in the early 1960s, was — unfortunately — all too timely. Needless to say, the discussion was lively and thought-provoking. If you are interested in participating in this book club or other global events, keep your eye out for information on the Global Women’s event page.
In one of the final victories of the 117th congress, the Respect for Marriage Act was signed into law in December. While the new law enshrines marriage equality protections for all Americans, many wonder just how durable it is, given the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Long-time marriage equality activist Cathy Marino-Thomas joined DA Spain’s LGBTQ+ Caucus on Jan 18 to share her insights on the recently enacted law. Marino-Thomas has been at the forefront of marriage equality for more than 17 years and has spoken all over the country about the rights, privileges and obligations that marriage equality affords. She is the emeritus board president of Marriage Equality USA. Thanks to all who attended this wonderful event. Contact us at [email protected].
The Democrats Abroad Global Disability Caucus has asked each country committee to appoint a Disability Point Person. This volunteer would assist our country committees, chapters, precincts, and caucuses in identifying and addressing potential barriers to participation by disabled members in DA activities. Democrats Abroad Spain needs a volunteer (or volunteers!) to take this important position. The mission of the caucus is to provide a voice for individuals with disabilities across its global membership, to help organize the group’s agenda, work with allies within other Democratic parties and disability rights groups to ensure that all activities and venues are accessible, and educate and empower Democrats Abroad members and leaders about the issues affecting individuals with disabilities. The candidate need not be disabled themselves, as the caucus welcomes allies in its work. If you’re interested in finding out more about this volunteer opportunity, please email [email protected].
Click here to see all the upcoming Caucus events.
Chapter and Verse
It’s a new year, and La Lucha Continúa is back! Our first guest of 2023 will be Jarryd Rauch, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad. If you attended the DNC meet-and-greet event last summer, you will remember Jarryd, who visited Barcelona, Madrid and Alicante along with DNC Vice Chair Ken Martin. In December 2022, Jarryd was selected by International Chair Candice Kerestan and the International Executive Committee to serve as Executive Director. We heard from members who had questions about this newly created role and the selection of Jarryd to fill it, so we asked him to speak with us. The event will be held on Zoom Jan 24 at 20:00 CET and is open to all DA members. RSVP here.
Chapter elections will be held later this spring. If you are interested in running for office or otherwise getting more involved, please contact us at [email protected].
For all the news, conversation and updates, join our Signal channel (it’s like WhatsApp, only more secure).
The Madrid Team has been discussing our tentative plans for the Madrid Annual General Meeting. Chapter elections will be held later this spring. If you are interested in running for office or otherwise getting more involved, please contact us at [email protected]. With several positions open, we're looking forward to welcoming new leaders as we prepare for 2024.
See you next month!
We had a nice turnout at this month’s First Friday Coffee, which was rescheduled to the second Friday because of the Jan 6 holiday. In February, we return to the old schedule. Please join us Feb 3 at 10:30am. The meeting place is Salad Planet, Carrer del Dr. Romagosa 3, Valencia.
On Saturday, Jan 21 at 19:00, the Valencia Chapter of Democrats Abroad Spain is hosting a Post-Holiday Cocktail Party for NEW Sustaining Members of DA Spain. Our goal is to assist in DA Spain’s efforts to raise $10,000. These funds are aimed at purchasing online ads during the 2024 presidential election.
If you've seen Jose Andres' new food show on HBOMax, an entire episode is focused on Valencian food. Food at the cocktail party will include a selection of "coques" — sweet and savory pastries, including flatbread pizzas (minus cheese) — that are alleged to be the genesis of pizza in Italy (perhaps just an urban legend?). Our coques will come from the legendary Horno y Pastelería Alfonso Martínez, located in the heart of Valencia. We're asking our Valencia members to pledge as little as $5 per month from now through 2024 to support DA Spain's efforts. Interested? Donate here.
We want to know how we can better serve you. Keep an eye out for the DA Valencia survey going out this month. It will be available via email, Facebook and Listserve.
Democrats Abroad Alicante knows there is still work to do in 2023, despite Democrats holding the Senate. Our members continue to be active with the Democrats Abroad Spain caucuses, including the Women’s and LGBTQ Caucus. We're continuing to grow our chapter, thanks to ever-increasing numbers of Americans retiring to Alicante each year.
Please join us for our next in-person event! We will meet on Friday, Feb 3 from 18:00-21:00, for Coffee, Conversation and Collaboration at Madness Specialty Coffee (Calle San Nicolás, nº4, Alicante). We look forward to seeing you there! RSVP here
The team in Sevilla has taken a post-mid term break. We will get together in February to strategize forming an official chapter, as well as how to build community here in preparation for the next election cycle. We’ll also talk about having fun with fellow Democrats in this beautiful part of Spain along the way. Watch for more news from us soon!
Spain Fun Fact
Did you know that Spain produces far more olive oil than any other single country? In fact, our adopted home country accounts for more than half of the total world production. The next largest producer, Italy, produces approximately one-third as much as Spain, although Italians consume approximately the same amount. For both countries, olive oil is a major export and source of revenues as well as a source of national pride.
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.