May 24, 2022

DA-Spain May 2022 Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Chair

Is it ironic that I’m writing this column on Mother’s Day and that I spent the morning at the church where I first met Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who successfully argued Roe v. WadeI refer, of course, to the topic of the leaked Supreme Court (SCOTUS) draft opinion that would overturn Roe if ultimately adopted. Such a ruling would do tremendous violence to the individual right of bodily autonomy as well as impede the delivery of the best practices in reproductive health care. Small wonder, then, that opposition to overturning Roe has been forceful and virtually instantaneous. Members of Democrats Abroad are already participating in this opposition. If you want to join that effort, please read on and follow DA Spain on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


But in addition to the drastic move backwards for American women portended by this draft opinion, the Supreme Court’s apparent willingness to overturn Roe signals two other significant dangers we ought to be aware of.

The first is that SCOTUS is expressing a potential willingness to curtail other rights delineated in historic opinions over the years. What does the fall of Roe mean for Obergefell, the opinion recognizing the right of same-sex couples to marry? Or for Lawrence, which struck down laws criminalizing homosexuality? Or Griswold, protecting the right of access to birth control? Or Gideon, requiring the provision of lawyers to indigent defendants in felony cases? Or Brown, ordering school desegregation? The list goes on and on, because a Court that overturns the expansion of rights in one area may have no compunctions about narrowing Constitutional rights in others.

The second danger is somewhat less obvious, but more far-reaching. It is explained very clearly in the book “How Fascism Works,” by Yale professor Jason Stanley. In the first chapter of this profoundly unsettling book (summarized in this video), Stanley argues that the first step in establishing a fascist regime is to invoke “a pure mythic past tragically destroyed.” Fascism claims that it, alone, can restore this perfect, fictional bygone era. In the pure, mythical past being heralded by the American right, women and other minorities were firmly under the control of men, both legally and physically. The Court’s promotion of this myth can be regarded as the first step on the path to a further unraveling of our democracy.

So what do we do? There’s no shortage of work, and for Democrats Abroad that means getting out the overseas vote for Democratic candidates. We must help American voters who live in Spain register to vote and then navigate the multi-step process of voting overseas. Without our efforts, thousands of votes for Democratic candidates — who will work to restore and expand our rights, not deny them to disfavored groups of Americans — will be lost.

So, over the next five months, let’s get out every Democratic vote we can! The stakes have never been higher.

Thanks for all that you do, 

Kathy Tullos (Chair)

Views on the News

How did we fall victim to this disaster?

There is an ancient Chinese curse, which says "May your descendants live in interesting times." Note the permanent, far-reaching message, targeted to all your descendants, not just you. Today's generations have certainly been fated to live in extremely interesting times.

The impact is global. Climate change, wealth inequality, Europe's first large-scale war since 1945 — the list goes on. Now Americans have to confront an imminent threat to a constitutional right, based on the 14th Amendment, for women to control their reproductive choices. The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision has been the law of the land since 1973, nearly half a century. None of this came to pass overnight. How did we fall victim to this disaster? The following facts provide necessary perspective:

  • When the Founding Fathers adopted the Constitution in 1787, only property-owning white males were granted voting rights.
  • Women in America did not obtain the right to vote until 1920, with the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • Movement conservatism has been around for a long time. Matt Continetti’s recently-published history, "The Right: The 100 Year War for American Conservatism," reaches back to Warren Harding's administration. However, the movement really gained traction after World War II, with the rise of the John Birch Society and Senator Joe McCarthy, a classic demagogue and practitioner of fake news, who set the template for Tucker Carlson, QAnon and the rest of today's flat-earth brigade.
  • US conservatives started to make serious headway nationally with Ronald Reagan's election in 1980, opening the floodgates to unregulated, shareholder-targeted capitalism. The Federalist Society got busy compiling lists of reliably right-wing lawyers for nomination to judgeships at the local, county and state levels, setting up an escalator,  feeding appointments to federal district and circuit courts and the ultimate prize —  a seat on the Supreme Court.
  • A long-standing axiom has it that SCOTUS, and the federal judicial branch generally, is nonpartisan. That view was effectively discredited in 2000, with the Court's decision to halt the counting of Florida ballots, handing the White House to Bush the Younger, Dick Cheney, and their henchmen. So much for nonpartisanship.

Michigan's Democratic Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has summed up the current situation succinctly: "Despair is a choice, and pessimism is a luxury." This should be a rallying cry for our side as we head into the November midterm elections and then the 2024 Presidential cycle. We need to be realistic about the challenges. Most Americans are not greatly interested in politics, especially outside Presidential election years. In many cases, they are equally uninterested in issues of the Culture War, such as LGBTQ rights, voting access, racial discrimination and, to some extent, access to abortion unless they or friends and family members are personally affected. Pocketbook issues such as inflation, especially the cost of filling the gas tank this week, loom larger.

Demonstrations and mass marches help to energize people, but we need to do this and much more. In a message following the leak of the SCOTUS draft decision on the future of Roe v. Wade, Michelle and Barack Obama urged Democrats to volunteer on a campaign, vote on or before November 8, and in every other election. “If we want judges who will protect all … of our rights, then we’ve got to elect officials committed to doing the same.”

On May 11, the proof of the pudding was provided by a 51-49 Senate vote, rejecting proposed legislation that would codify into federal law the right of access to legal abortion. A final Supreme Court decision is expected by the end of June.

Dan Solon (member, DA Barcelona)

Calls to Action

Taxation Task Force

The Taxation Task Force has issued a call to action: The American Abroad Caucus will be hosting a meeting on Americans abroad tax and financial access issues on May 23, and they need your help to get as many House reps to attend this meeting as possible. Unfortunately, it's not a public meeting, but it's a great opportunity to educate Congress on tax issues affecting Americans living overseas and will get us one step closer to passing legislation that will provide the urgent relief we all need. See here for more information.


Join a State Team

Want to do more? Join a state team! This new initiative is really picking up steam and helping overseas voters, who may not have access to local news, to learn about local issues and candidates on the ballot this year. With an eye on crucial races in 12 battleground states — AZ, CA, FL, GA, MD, ME, MI, NC, OH, PA, TX, and WI — the state teams have been hard at work getting out the vote. Here are just some of the things they’ve been working on:

  • Raising the profile of overseas voters with state parties and legislators
  • Protecting ballot access for voters living abroad
  • Educating DA members about the importance of voting down-ballot
  • Increasing voter participation by overseas voters and helping Democrats win local, state and federal elections

If you vote in one of the 12 battleground states, join your state group today to enjoy all the benefits of this initiative. If you don’t see your state on the list, but have ties to one of the 12 states, you are also welcome and encouraged to join. Help us build the blue wave in 2022! 🌊

Caucus News

Women's Caucus

The DA Spain Women’s Caucus has also issued a statement about the leaked SCOTUS opinion. Read the statement.

The Living in Spain series wrapped up for the season on May 18 with a session on filing US taxes from overseas. Following a pause for the summer months, the popular series will resume in the fall. Keep an eye on the Women’s Caucus page for updates, and send an email to Doris if you want to volunteer with the group.


LGBTQ Caucus

Countdown to Pride Month!

Help us celebrate our LGBTQ community by participating in DA Spain’s Inaugural Virtual Pride Parade throughout the month of June. Get involved by following DA Spain’s official Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for special challenges, activities, and surprises … all month long!

Attending a Pride celebration? Wearing your loudest and proudest outfit? Be sure to share the love on social media by tagging #DASPride22 so you can celebrate alongside other members of the DA Spain community. 

Want to get more involved? Contact us at [email protected].


Click here to see all the upcoming Caucus events.

Chapter and Verse



Earlier this month, we celebrated our 2022 annual general meeting at a great new outdoor venue — Camping. It was a wonderful occasion to catch up on all the news with old friends and make some new friends as well. Missed the event? Read the highlights here.


On Saturday, May 14, Barcelona DA joined the local women’s rights organization Ca La Dona in a protest for reproductive rights. Women of all ages met in Plaça Sant Jaume, the government square of Barcelona, to read a manifesto and hear personal testimonies in English, Spanish and Catalan. Local media filmed the event, and passersby stopped to listen to our messages. Some  even joined our protest!


Keep in touch with DA Barcelona on Twitter and in our Signal group!


The Madrid chapter enjoyed the warm weather this month with two outdoor events.

On Sunday, May 15, we joined forces with the association Soy de la Cuesta. Headed by a long-standing Spanish ally of Democrats Abroad, Soy de la Cuesta is a citizen initiative whose purpose is to revitalize Madrid's book fair known as the Cuesta de Moyano. La Cuesta is a place of culture and the written word, where you can find everything from modern children's books and best-selling novels to rare 17th-century recipe collections and handwritten sheet music.

Orgullo de Moyano is a special event to fight against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. DA Madrid Chair Samuel Mattern opened the event before diverse authors took to the stage to share their thoughts and sign copies of their books for readers. 

As many would attempt to erode and deny our hard-fought freedoms and protections, it is an honor to participate in this collaboration; the best way to fight ignorance is through knowledge! And what better way to gain knowledge than through literature.


On May 19, we held our monthly event in Retiro Park. We met on the grass behind the Ángel Caído gate, at the end of the Cuesta de Moyano. In case you've yet to come to any of our outdoor events over the past year, this location is easy to get to, has lots of shade, and is next to a BiciMad station and the Estación del Arte metro. Since we all were in need of a relaxing hangout, we got together to catch up, socialize, and talk politics. 

See you next month!


The Valencia chapter of DA Spain continues to see high turnouts for their First Friday Coffees.  We’ve had to change our original location and time, but people find their way to our group of friendly Americans. If you haven’t attended yet, please check us out in June: Friday, June 3 at 10:30 CET at Salad Planet.

On Thursday, May 26 at 19:00 CET, the chapter will be hosting a 🍺 Beer Tasting. Join us for some fun in the sun with beers, wine, and tapas. For only €8, Beers and Travels Bar (Pl. de Manises, 3, 46003 València) lets you taste four beers – and they have more than 60 to choose from! Space is limited; we have 20 seats reserved. To save your seat, email John as soon as possible. Also, please let John know if you need to cancel, so that others don’t get left out. Friends and family are welcome!

Grab your lawn chairs or blanket and pack the picnic goodies of your choice. Our next family picnic is Sunday, June 12 at 12:00 CET. It will be held at the same place as our last picnic — in the Turia, near the Alameda Metro stop. 

And of course, we are getting out the vote, NOW.  We can’t wait until November before getting involved in our states’ decisions. Check your state’s primary calendar and make plans to vote. Our last Voter Support was May 13th. Keep your eyes open for Listserv and Facebook postings for future support events. We are also looking for volunteers to participate in phone banking. If you’re interested, please contact our chapter secretary, Georgie Grossman.


Democrats Abroad Alicante spent a few hours in The Twilight Zone during the Semana Santa holidays. A good group met at The Garden Room (with kind staff and delicious snacks!) in El Campello to watch a couple episodes of the TV classic, and discuss how the themes relate to politics today. Fear was one theme, something that can separate or bring people together. “It's the others who are to blame!”  We also discussed how Democrats need to create cohesive messaging, like “Yes We Can!”


Vote Forward Letter-Writing Campaign

If phone banking is not your thing, you can still encourage US voters to vote in the midterm elections. Write letters from the comfort of your own home, and DA Alicante will mail them for you! 

What is Vote Forward? It’s a 501(c) 4 nonprofit organization, whose mission is to empower grassroots volunteers to encourage their fellow citizens in underrepresented communities to vote. Currently, there are 58 active campaigns, in which 493,730 voters have already been "adopted", with about 2,500,000 remaining. So there is a LOT of work ahead, but it will be fun and rewarding. The kick-off will be coming soon. Stay tuned! 

See our latest news on our Facebook pages, Democrats Abroad Alicante, and Democratic Voters in Alicante.


We are starting up a new Democrats Abroad chapter in Sevilla! So if you know of anyone who might be interested in joining and, even better, give us a hand, please let us know. That’s the beauty of belonging to a team. 

Our next event is a Political Trivia Night on June 4 at 20:00 CET at The Merchant pub. Of course, the trivia is just a draw to accomplish our real goals — building a sense of community and doing voter registration. And we’ll have a grand time doing it! 

If you would like to join us, let us know at [email protected]

Hope to see – or at least hear from – you! We all know that the midterms are critical, and the time for action is NOW! Every bit helps.

Spain Fun Fact


After all this heavy content, and assuming you’ve stuck with us this far, let’s end on a lighter note, shall we? And by that, I mean a musical note. 

In the background as I put together this newsletter, a lycra- and glitter-embellished parade of music and dance is unfolding on TV: the 66th EuroVision song contest. 

Did you know that Spain is one of the “Big Five” in this competition? That means that – along with France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. – Spain automatically qualifies for the finals each year. The honor is actually based on contributions to the European Broadcasting Union, rather than talent. In fact, Spain has only won EuroVision twice: in 1968 and 1969. In spite of that depressing record, each year the country’s “Eurofans” turn out in force, with great hope, to support the latest entry. This year, Spain was represented by Chanel, singing the reggaeton song SloMo. She placed third, the best showing by the country in decades.

Photo by Aditya Chinchure on Unsplash

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 one of our events.