March 15, 2022

DA-Spain March 2022 Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Chair

One of my favorite poems is Tennyson’s “Ulysses.” The work presents us with Ulysses many years after his odyssey ended, safe in Ithaca but still yearning for adventure. As part of his meditation on aging, the hero utters the classic line: “Tho’ much is taken, much abides.”

This line has been with me often in the last few tumultuous weeks. As you may have noticed, Democrats Abroad has not officially spoken on the top news story, the conflict in Ukraine. Many are asking why we are silent in the face of this unfolding drama. I wanted to talk with you today about why that’s so.

When I joined Democrats Abroad, I was surprised to learn that the organization has a strict policy not to discuss foreign policy in any way, shape, or form. I’ve been told that there are legal reasons for this prohibition, although I have no firsthand knowledge here. What does resonate with me is that DA has members in more than 200 countries around the globe, and some of those countries would surely take offense at almost any foreign policy-related comment we could make. So, for example, if we were to condemn Russian actions, Russia and its allies would probably take umbrage at our decision.

Now, even my nearest and dearest know that I’m personally not afraid of hurting someone’s feelings in furtherance of the greater good. If someone gets mad at me, so be it, but DA is in a different position. We have members in countries with wildly varying stances on the issues at hand. Some countries have been known to retaliate against individuals who belong to organizations that publicly disagree with them. And that potential retaliation can be–and, apparently in some cases, has been–quite serious.

So here we are. As an organization, we have a responsibility to keep our members safe. Thus, as an organization, we don’t comment on foreign policy. As you can imagine, this prohibition has sparked a lively debate inside DA, and those discussions are ongoing. But in the meantime, the rule stands, and we will abide by it.

But, as Ulysses observed, though we can’t do some things, we can still do others. I’m sure many of you, because you have the good taste and open hearts that led you to join DA, are doing wonderful, vital work on issues in DA’s no-go zone, and DA is doing its bit by fulfilling its core mission: electing Democrats.

So, if you will, abide with us as we move towards the midterms. Please take advantage of the many volunteer opportunities described in this newsletter. Register to vote, request your ballot, and cast your ballot. Encourage other US citizens to do likewise. Because, as Ulysses saw, there is still much for us to do. 

Kathy Tullos (Chair) 



Code Red for Humanity

The appalling war and resulting refugee crisis in Europe are understandably dominating today's news channels, but the bad news doesn’t stop there. While maximum efforts to secure a ceasefire and diplomatic resolution of the war are imperative, we must not lose sight of the long-running and existential global climate crisis. 

A 3,675-page report by more than 260 scientists for the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released on February 28, was described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as "code red for humanity." The report emphasizes the need to cut global emissions by 45% by the year 2030 to prevent irreversible changes such as melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers around the world, along with melting of the tundra permafrost across Siberia, which will release enormous amounts of methane gas, a major driver of global warming. At current rates of change, by contrast, global emissions will in fact grow by 14% in the same period. There is still time to act, but the window of opportunity is brief and rapidly closing. In the stark words of Guterres: “Delay is death.”

The good news, if there is any, is that humans are capable of overcoming tremendous odds when they put their minds to it. We just haven’t tried yet. 

The United States does not come into the climate crisis with clean hands. The former president and his many acolytes across the Republican Party, aided by enthusiastic purveyors of systematically fake reports on Fox News and local talk radio outlets, consistently deny the human sources of increasing greenhouse gas levels. During the four years they were in power, we lost valuable time as well as credibility (remember his withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords?).

President Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill must maintain focus on this existential global threat, while of course making every effort to bolster national security and restore peace in Ukraine. In order to pass vital climate legislation, we need to keep the House and be able to work around filibuster constraints in the Senate–and we need this now. More than ever before, this should motivate all Democrats Abroad and their friends in the community of overseas Americans to register and vote in primaries and then the November elections. It is clear that the GOP will not lead the fight against global warming, and that there is no time to waste.

Calls to Action

DA Spain’s Annual General Meeting will be held on March 26 at 15:00 CET. The meeting will be held on Zoom and will include a review of the past year’s activities, discussion and voting on changes to the bylaws, and an appearance by DA Global Chair Candice Kerestan. Our guest speaker will be Matthew Barzun, who 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. RSVP here.



The mainstream media would have you believe that the party in power is doomed to lose the midterms, but the truth is, it all comes down to voter turnout. That’s where efforts like phonebanking come in. In order to increase participation by overseas voters–which even in 2020, barely surpassed 10%–we need to contact our members and help them to jump through all the hoops in the right order. If this sounds like something you can do, see or send an email to [email protected].


Help Wanted! 

The Democrats Abroad communications team desperately needs your help! Are you interested in writing, editing, or coordinating this monthly newsletter? How about social media? We need people to help with our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts as well. Are you good at making and editing videos? How about graphics? All these talents and more are needed to bulk up our enthusiastic but vastly understaffed team at this time. If you can volunteer for a few hours a week (or more), please send an email to [email protected] or [email protected].

Chapter and Verse



On March 5, we held our first 2022 in-person voter registration event at the Barcelona Expat Fair. We spoke to dozens of American attendees about their right and ability to vote from abroad, and helped people to register using the website. It was fun to meet new friends, several of whom we were happy to welcome as new members of DA Barcelona. Our next voter registration assistance will be at the American Society of Barcelona happy hour on March 23. Details here.


Mark your calendars: The DA Barcelona annual general meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 7. It will be an in-person event. More information coming soon.  


Several exciting speakers are lined up for La Lucha Continúa. These Zoom meetings are open to all, so do join us! 

  • March 22: Rachel Bitecofer will speak about the importance of voter turnout, specifically that of overseas voters. This much-anticipated session was rescheduled. More information and RSVP here.
  • April 5: Author and former Democratic Party of Ohio chair David Pepper will speak about state party politics and why nobody should be ignoring or disconnecting from this issue. More information and RSVP here.
  • April 19: Max Loebl is a young communications expert working to get Democratic candidates elected in Wisconsin. He will talk to us about misinformation and disinformation - how to recognize it and combat it. Save the date. 


Follow us on Twitter and join our Signal group to keep the conversation going!


With spring around the corner and COVID (hopefully!) on a decline, DA Madrid decided to hold its first in-person event in a few months. On March 16, new friends, old members, and allies alike got together to socialize at The Toast Taproom Malasaña. There's a lot going on in the world right now, so we wanted to hold a space for people to get together and talk. At the event, we broke up into small groups to discuss questions about voters' rights, voter suppression, current events, midterm elections, plans for DA Madrid, and more. After about half an hour, everyone reconvened to share their thoughts with the group at large.

If you didn't get a chance to attend and would like to answer the questions about DA Madrid, feel free to send your feedback on the following prompts to [email protected]:  "How do you prefer to be engaged with DAM in-between meetings? Facebook, email, Instagram… What type of events would you like to see DAM organize this year?"

See you next month!


March’s First Friday Coffee was an overflowing success! After filling the three tables we had been allotted inside the taberna, half of the group moved to tables outside. Everyone found a stimulating conversation to join and are looking forward to April’s Coffee. Hope you can join us on April 1st at our NEW TIME 11:00, at Taberna Antonio Manuel.


In preparation for midterm elections, a few volunteers joined the Valencia ExComm in a Zoom conversation with DA and DA Youth Caucus leaders. The discussion revolved around DA Spain’s history with university outreach, and our plans for preparing for a fall push to connect with American students studying in Valencia.


With nicer weather approaching, a picnic in the Turia has been planned for Sunday, March 27, at 12:00 noon.  It’s a “bring your own food and drink” event. Look for the group near the soccer pitch by the Alameda Metro station.


Democrats Abroad Alicante has several upcoming events:

Saturday, March 19 at 17:30, there will be a Cookie Party and Letter Writing effort at the newly opened American bakery in Alicante, EL COOKIE! In support of two DA members who are launching their own business in Spain, we will meet up, enjoy their baked goods, and work on a letter writing campaign encouraging people to vote. Please join us at Poeta Quintana, 27 (near the Mercado station). RSVP here.

Friday, April 8 in El Campello, 18:00-21:00,“We’re Living in the Twilight Zone,” a viewing party of two half-hour episodes of the classic ‘60s television show and what it says about the US situation today. We will provide voter registration at the venue. This is our first event in El Campello at the popular Garden Room Café. RSVP here.

Coming in May: The Spring Fling Pachanga Party! Get out your dancing shoes and stylish outfits for the social event of the season in Alicante! Here great music from the ‘60s to the ‘90s will get your feet moving. It will also be a fundraiser for our regional “get out the vote” efforts. More details to come!


Democrats Abroad Alicante now has two Facebook profiles: a public page and a private group. Democrats Abroad Alicante is an official public Facebook page representing Democrats Abroad, whose primary goal is to aid Americans living abroad with voting in the United States. Our posts on this page will be informational on how to vote in US elections and will also share commentary on US domestic political issues. Our private discussion group is now called Democratic Voters in Alicante. This will continue to be a private group page for US Democratic voters in the Costa Blanca region along with like-minded global citizens as a space to share ideas, news, causes, and mobilization efforts to create a better world. Our members are encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions.


Sevilla is starting a Democrats Abroad group! They will be organizing events to raise awareness of issues affecting Democrats, voting, and ways to support our causes. We look forward to discussing things like positive messaging for the midterms, voter registration, and advocacy for policies that promote progress and the general welfare in the United States. We also want to have fun and build community with other pro-democracy people in the American expat population.

If you are in the area, we hope you will come join us. Contact DA Sevilla at [email protected].

Caucus News

Spain Women's Caucus

March is Women’s History Month, and DA Spain Women’s Caucus chair Doris Stanger has some book recommendations and thoughts to share. Read more...

The April 6 session of the popular Living in Spain series will address the issue of litigation in Spain. RSVP here.


The DA Spain LGBTQ+ Caucus is now active!

The DA Spain Leadership Team has approved the creation of a new caucus to serve and work alongside LGBTQ+ Americans living in Spain and their allies. The Caucus will be co-chaired by Nathaniel Farnor (Madrid) and Ned Howey (Barcelona). Those interested should stay tuned for information and updates on ways to get involved, or send an email to  [email protected]


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

Spain Fun Fact

Photo by Águeda Belldo on Unsplash

I write this on a rainy weekend, the first in far too many months. Spain is an arid country with few freshwater lakes and rivers. The country’s drinking water is largely sourced from a system of more than 350 reservoirs, most of which were built during the Franco regime. As we contemplate the prospect of global warming and extreme changes in precipitation, conservation of our freshwater supply is in all our best interests. Do your part by saving water: take shorter showers, run the dishwasher and washing machine only when full, and fix the dripping taps in your kitchen and bathroom. As a friend said this week on Twitter: If you think the current outrage over higher gas prices is bad, imagine what it will be like when this happens to the price of fresh water. 

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.