Message from DA Spain Chair
In last month’s Executive Committee meeting, we discussed the need for talking points. In other words, what’s my elevator pitch for Democratic candidates?
I’ve thought a lot about this question and done a bit of homework. Specifically, I raised this issue at the Global Communications meeting, reviewed some Democratic materials, and read a lot of news articles. And this is what I’ve concluded: what’s going to persuade voters is not necessarily a list. What’s going to persuade people is for each of you, acting as the person you are, to let someone know what matters most to you, and explain why and how voting Democrat will contribute to fixing a problem or achieving a goal.
So I’ve compiled the following list of potential points. What I’d suggest is for you to pick a couple that really resonate with you and create your pitch based on that point. Do not feel like you just have to parrot mine. And, when you’re ready, let’s make videos about our talking points! Just a minute of you talking to the camera or to a friend. And then send them to [email protected], so that we can edit and post them!
- Climate change: The United States is back in cooperation with the international community in addressing this issue, and the Democratic Congress has passed the largest investment of all time in measures to combat climate change.
- Student loan forgiveness: Student loan debt has crippled many Americans, making it impossible for them to raise families, buy homes, save for the future, and do what our country has always urged us to do to secure our futures and those of our loved ones. The new law doesn’t fix this problem, but it’s a start. And we have to start somewhere.
- Reproductive health care: Democrats can’t fix the reversal of the Roe decision, but we can take measures to make access to birth control and reproductive health care available. President Biden has signed an executive order on this issue, doing what he can with the power he has. Congress must remain in Democratic control to beat back Republican attempts to ban abortions nationwide and to place judges on the bench who use twisted logic to turn back the clock on citizens’ rights.
- Gun control: Gun violence has claimed thousands of lives and continues to do so. Under President Biden’s leadership, and thanks to the Democrats in Congress, we have the first major piece of gun control legislation in 30 years. It’s a start, not a solution. But Republicans aren’t going to vote for common sense gun control measures, such as more extensive background checks and longer waiting periods, that most Americans favor.
- Health care: Democrats have capped health care expenditures in the Inflation Reduction Act, especially for prescription drugs. They have also passed legislation that allowed millions to buy health insurance, allowing access to life- and money-saving preventive care and taking many treatments out of emergency rooms and putting them in doctors’ offices instead.
- Infrastructure investment: Democratic legislation has invested in American communities, providing for work on 65,000 miles of road and 1,500 bridges across the country. And this work translates into jobs and better, safer transportation for people and goods.
- Violence Against Women: After letting the Violence Against Women Act lapse for two years, Congress has reauthorized this law. It provides legal protection for victims of domestic violence and helps provide shelter for family violence victims. And FYI, the author of the original VAWA (in 1985) was Senator Joseph Biden.
- Economic growth: The deficit was reduced by $350 billion last year and is on track to decline $1.5 trillion this year. In 2021, the economy added 6.5 million jobs, the most ever. Last year, the USA had the strongest GDP growth since 1984. All of this happened without any tax increases for families making under $400,000 a year. As a result of explosive, post-pandemic growth, and in large part because of the embargo on Russian oil imports, inflation has increased, although its pace has slowed since the summer. Normally, a windfall profits tax on large corporations would help put the brakes on inflation, but that measure is unavailable because of Republican opposition.
- Diversity: The Democratic administration has put together the most diverse team in American history, including the first Black female vice president, the first Black female Supreme Court justice, and the most diverse Cabinet on record. Support for Pride has returned to the White House. And diversity initiatives at the federal level include provisions seeking to advance underserved and underrepresented persons such as workers providing care for loved ones, veterans and military families, as well as persons in rural areas.
- Rule of law: With armed insurrection, reported theft of nuclear documents critical to our country’s defense, and open contempt for the rule of law, Republicans have shown that the system of laws that we hold dear is nothing more than an impediment to their rush to authoritarian rule. Electing Democrats will help stop this dangerous movement away from democracy.
So focus on what resonates with you and share widely! And be proud that you’re a Democrat.
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
DA Spain’s LGBTQ+ Caucus is kicking back into action. Madrid members John Murphy and Hal Moskowitz are the brand new co-chairs of the caucus and are gearing up for an inaugural brainstorming session on December 1. And even though it’s called the LGBTQ+ Caucus, all are invited to join!
With the announcement of Trump’s planned run for the presidency, we know the threat to the survival of our democracy is still very real. And with an ascendant DeSantis and the anti-gay GOP, LBGTQ+ rights are right in the cross hairs.
With either option, our passionately fought-for rights, such as the right to marry whom we love, immigration rights for those who have foreign partners, a women’s right to choose, the right to safety from gun violence, the rights of our Trans sisters and brothers to safe science-based care, even the right to openly say the word “gay” (as we’ve seen threatened in Florida’s legislation), will all be on the table.
The caucus invites DA Spain members to tap into your passion and help us form a collaborative community so we can better identify and understand all the issues and concerns affecting the LGBTQ+ community. As part of this effort, we will be looking for dedicated volunteers and steering committee members.
The new group hopes to achieve big things but also build a community of like-minded individuals, make connections and, hopefully, have some fun along the way. The caucus needs your input on the best ways to do this. So please consider joining us, and invite a friend or two!
Gimme five to keep democracy alive!
Before you groan at the prospect of another fundraising pitch (I got zillions of emails over the past couple of months, too), please bear with me for a minute. One lesson we learned from the midterms is that slim margins will decide many key races. Therefore, we have to turn out every possible vote. That takes wide outreach, and outreach costs money.
Hence, gimme five. If DA Spain can raise $500 a month from sustaining donors, we will have roughly $10,000 by the 2024 election. We can use that money in the following ways:
- About half of the money would go to outreach, including online advertising and in-person gatherings. Online advertising before the 2020 and 2022 elections prompted many new members to join DA and vote from abroad. And in-person events could help us get a foothold in places where we know there are many US citizens, such as Málaga, Granada, and Cádiz, but we don’t currently have organized chapters or precincts.
- Depending on how organizing goes, we would earmark about $1,500 for resources for our chapters, precincts, and caucuses. Each group should have a kit with materials for tabling: a banner, flag, stickers, posters, and signs to distribute.
- The balance of the money, about $3,500, can be used in a number of ways. We could give small grants for innovative projects in Spain. We can use it as seed money for other fundraisers, where there are printing costs or deposits involved. And – in my eyes, this is the most exciting prospect – we can solicit ideas for GOTV projects from all of you!
So how do we achieve this goal? We need 100 people who are willing to give $5 (or more) per month, and we’re already off to a big head start. I'm proud to report that members of the DA Spain Executive Committee and members who attended the last EC meeting have pledged a total of $220 per month already. So we only need $280 more in monthly pledges to hit our target. This is doable, with your help.
People complain that there’s very little besides voting that we can do individually to affect elections and that Republicans seem to be better long-term planners than we are. Here’s your chance to prove them wrong. Click here to become a sustaining member today! And gimme five to keep democracy alive!
Amid sighs of relief that we held on to the Senate — with fingers crossed for a win on December 6 in the Georgia runoff — and held the Republicans to a slender majority in the House of Representatives, this is no time for us Democrats to take a half-time break. Presidential elections, with all of the House and a third of the Senate again up for control, are less than two years away. The Inside-the-Beltway echo chamber and pollsters of all persuasions took another bloody nose when the predicted "Red Tide" turned into a modest trickle, but this is no cause for complacency. We need to keep a laser focus on the issues, and on persuading overseas Americans who will be at least 18 years of age on or before November 5, 2024 to register and vote blue.
It's time for a loud shout-out to Nancy Pelosi, who will retire as Speaker of the House and leader of the Democratic caucus on Jan. 3, the opening date of the next Congress, while continuing in the House to represent her San Francisco constituents. The first woman to serve as speaker, she may be succeeded by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who would be the first African American in that post. Ms. Pelosi is 82, and can reasonably claim to have more than 70 years of hands-on political experience, as she grew up the daughter of Thomas D'Alesandro, five-term Congressman and three-term mayor of Baltimore. A pragmatist to the core, she understood that politics is not high school Civics 101, but rather a version of war without the bloodshed. Unlike the Olympic Games, there are no silver medals. "Winning isn't everything -- it's the only thing." Only by winning office can politicians enact laws in the public interest. Speaker Pelosi was a champion distributor of carrots and wielder of sticks among her members. This has led to grumbling, especially from progressive members, but she was a critical mover in expanding US health care in 2010, then on last year's infrastructure bill and this year's Inflation Reduction Act, which reduces health care costs and addresses climate change.
President Biden has said he will take counsel with his family and other long-time close advisors and make an announcement in early 2023 on whether to run for another term. If he chooses not to, we should remember the line from humorist Will Rogers about a century ago: "I belong to no organized party. I'm a Democrat." The biggest risk for our nation would be a toxic combination of an all-out, no-holds-barred Democratic primary season, ripping the lid off differences between progressives and centrists, while Republicans might show renewed pragmatism; they might dump Trump and nominate someone smarter and more palatable to a majority of voters — little challenge there — and candy coat a version of their good ol’ time reactionary policies. We cannot rely on self-destruction by the other party and The Former Guy, and we will be defending 22 incumbent Senate seats, some of them in normally Republican states.
What to do over the next two years? For a start, the party needs to look at what actually worked in this election, district by district and state by state. From our positions overseas, we need to assess what worked (and what didn’t) to increase the impact of Democrats Abroad. New global initiatives like the state teams, more robust investment in digital advertising, and team-building events like last summer’s visit from DNC leaders helped to drive engagement, but we still haven’t managed to break the barrier of 10% participation by voters abroad. In order to do that, we need even larger, more well-funded teams of committed volunteers.
We also need to update our concept of the Democratic “base.” No longer is it blue-collar workers, many of whom have left the party, seduced by GOP anger mongering, and will never come back. The Democratic party continues to be a big tent, but the center is moving in the direction of minorities (whatever that means anymore), women, Millennials and Gen Z. Labor issues continue to be important, but so are climate justice, bodily autonomy, equality and so much more.
Another area in urgent need of repair is our party's misunderstanding of Latino and Asian voters. Each of these broad categories includes wide variations of ethnicity, cultural habits and differences among generations. Careful opinion surveys have established that many of them do not regard themselves as "people of color," an academic concept that should be permanently assigned to the scrapheap of unhelpful campaign themes.
One final thought: The wheels of justice — at least the US Department of Justice — may grind slowly, but nevertheless they grind on. If the House hearings on the seditious Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the discovery of classified documents illegally stored at Mar-A-Lago proved anything, it was that Donald Trump must never again be allowed within reach of the thermonuclear missile launch codes. No person is above the law, and Trump must be indicted and prevented from ever returning to the Oval Office. A lot of pragmatic Republicans know this and are declining to book staterooms on the next Titanic. (Maggie Haberman's new biography, "Confidence Man," describes clearly and in depressing detail the career of this world-class fraud. A must-read, however painful.)
Conclusion: Fellow Democrats, we have a lot of work to do over the next 23 months, so let’s keep the pedal to the metal.
If you're a U.S. citizen or dual-national abroad, you have the right to vote from abroad in the 2022 midterm elections and every election. If you are or will be 18 years old on November 8, 2022, you can vote in the upcoming elections.
As a U.S. citizen, you can register to vote from abroad while living, working, or traveling overseas by submitting one form, the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). It doesn't matter if you were registered to vote before you left the U.S. or how long you have lived outside the U.S. (including if you've never resided there).
Below you'll find an overview of the entire process of voting from Brazil including how to:
- Register and Request a Ballot
- Confirm and Receive a Ballot
- Vote and Return a Ballot
- Track a Ballot
Questions along the way? Here to help!
Contact [email protected] at any time with your questions on any stage of the process.
Before you begin ...
Please note! If your state requires you to mail in (vs fax or email) your voted ballot - check your state requirements here - then make sure to factor enough postal or courier time to meet the deadline. Ensure your voted ballot becomes a counted ballot.
1. Register to vote and request your ballot
Visit www.votefromabroad.org to fill out your absentee ballot request also known as the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)— it only takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. Given the uncertainty surrounding postal service, we strongly encourage you to request that your absentee ballot be sent via email.
|Watch a video on how to use www.votefromabroad.org Watch Here|
Every state is different! State deadlines and submission methods can be found here.
If you have any questions while filling out the form, you can also always refer to Vote from Abroad's FAQ section here. Type your question in the website's chat box (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner), or send an email to [email protected]
2. Confirm your request has been accepted and that you will receive a ballot
Confirm your ballot
You should always verify with your local election official that you will be receiving a ballot. After you submit your Federal Post Card Application request form, call or email your local election official to verify they received it and will be sending a blank ballot to you. You can look up their contact info here.
The contact information is also listed in the instructions generated when you complete the FPCA on Vote from Abroad. Alternatively, most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status, although these sites can sometimes be outdated. You can find it by searching for "[state] verify voter registration."
Receive your ballot
All states must send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election (MOVE Act.) This year: September 24, 2022.
---> Tip: For states requiring mail back ballots, you don't need to wait for ballots to come out on September 24. If you must mail back your ballot, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot NOW.
The Backup Ballot (the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot or FWAB) is specifically for overseas voters who are concerned they won't receive their official ballot in time to return it by the deadline.
All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here
When it's time for ballots to come and you don't see yours, check your spam folder -- ballots can hide in there! If you still don't see it, please contact your local election official and confirm they sent your ballot out. You can look up your local election oficial’s contact info here.
If you don't have your ballot by October 1 and you must mail it back, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.
3. Vote and Return your ballot
Once you've received your ballot make sure to read the instructions carefully on where to sign and how to fill-in bubbles / boxes or writing in a candidate name.
*** Return your ballot ASAP ***
Ballot return methods vary by state
Carefully check your state’s guidelines on return via online, email, postal mail and/or fax. Especially if your state only allows postal mail return — which is the case in many swing states like Michigan, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin — you must return your ballot as quickly as possible.
Check your state's exact ballot return methods here. If your state allows email or fax ballot returns, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay. Here is more information on fax submission here.
---> Tip: New Jersey Voters - Please note that New Jersey allows for email or fax returns, but also requires that the ballot be sent by postal mail, too.
---> Tip: New York Voters - Here are instructions on How to fold the New York State General Election ballot.
Returning your ballot via mail
Private Carrier: If your state requires postal mail ballot return, the best options are:
- Take your ballot to a post office or book a private mail carrier. Links with full information check the links to FedEx Spain here and DHL Spain here.
- Spanish post offices also provide express international mail options. The Premium option which guarantees delivery date and allows tracking is recommended. Check Correos Spain Abroad here
Important: You must ask for a postmark or date stamp to be placed on the outer envelope when mailing using any service.
---> Tip: Check your state’s deadline for ballot return and count backwards to ensure timely delivery. The postmark date is important to ensure your ballot is counted!
---> Tip: Even with expedited courier services, ballots still take several days to get to the United States.
Returning your ballot via diplomatic pouch:
If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials by mail, you can do so through international mail, professional courier service, or through the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona, or the Consular Agencies in Spain:
- If you are sending your ballot through the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, ballots can be dropped off at the American Citizen Services unit between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., except for U.S. and local holidays
- If you are sending your ballot through the U.S. Consulate General Barcelona, ballots can be dropped off at the Consulate General between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., except for U.S. and local holidays.
- If you are sending your ballot through one of the U.S. consular agencies, send an email to the agency located closest to you to schedule an appointment.
- A list of U.S. and local holidays during which our offices are closed is available here.
Please be aware that using the diplomatic pouch does not mean your ballot will arrive faster. It can take up to four weeks for the mail to reach its final destination. Therefore, we do not recommend using the diplomatic pouch after October 5th.
---> Tip: Regardless of how you send in your ballot, remember that you (the voter) must be the one who places it in the mail (or hands it over to the diplomatic pouch). In some states, it is unlawful for any other person to handle your voted ballot, even if it is sealed.
---> Tip: And when filling out your ballot and packaging your ballot, remember to review the instructions carefully. Don't let human error spoil your ballot!
4. Track your ballot
Once you've mailed your ballot, follow up with your local election official to make sure that it arrived and will be counted. Please do not just assume that your ballot has made it! Nearly all states have online tracking services. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to "Track Your Ballot". On the same web page, you can also look up your local election office's contact details and try contacting them directly. They are experiencing an influx of calls, so you will likely need to remain persistent to get through to someone.
Having trouble? Need help?
We understand that the voting process from abroad can be confusing — that's why we're here to help.Send an email to [email protected]
Or, a one-on-one live voter help is just a Zoom away! Click in to ZoomTheVote, hosted and staffed by experienced VoteFromAbroad voter helpers, from anywhere in the world. Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon-4pm EDT and Sundays from 11am-3pm EDT. Link to join is here: https://qrco.de/bbh0zg Please share widely!
Get your sticker! and share with friends! Download a digital sticker here.
There are countless reasons to register and vote in the elections on November 8. By the time the next issue of this newsletter appears, we will know which party will control the Senate, the House of Representatives, as well as numerous governorships, state legislatures, county, and municipal offices for the next two — or even four — years. Last Thursday's TV coverage of the House select committee hearing on the January 6 Capitol Hill debacle was a vivid illustration of what is at stake, as a deeply divided nation staggers toward the midterm polls and then the presidential battle two years from now.
The hearing provided a host of reasons to understand what is at stake. A defeated, narcissistic, and delusional outgoing president whipped a core of his most hysterical followers into assaulting the Capitol and endangering the lives of legislators and staff members, along with then-Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the second and third-ranking officers of the U.S. Government. Witness after witness who had been close advisors to Donald Trump, testified in damning detail to his direct incitement of this violent act of sedition and his unwillingness to call it off.
The ongoing saga of highly classified national security documents which Trump illegally moved to his Mar-a-Lago compound as he left the White House is playing out like a hallucinatory, low-budget version of "House of Cards" or a James Bond villain's hideaway sequence. However, this combination of presidential malfeasance and the January 6 riot makes two things crystal clear:
- Regardless of partisan hysteria and fake news, Donald Trump must never again be allowed near the thermonuclear launch codes or interaction with other heads of state. He is a danger not just to U.S. democracy, but to the inhabitants of the world at large.
- The unpleasant reality is that the Republican Party in its present form and under current leadership, must be reformed or destroyed at the ballot box. The rise of Abraham Lincoln during the 1850s obliterated the Whig Party and led to the foundation of the GOP. We are at a similar crossroads today. For more than a century, that party promoted conservative policies, many at odds with our Democratic views, but at least intellectually coherent and put to the test at the ballot box every two years in an orderly fashion. This is no longer the case.
Beginning with Richard Nixon's "dog whistle" racist Southern strategy in 1968 and continuing through Newt Gingrich's leadership of the House of Representatives from 1994 and then the Tea Party success in 2010, the GOP has worked steadily to undermine U.S. democracy. To give them due credit, operationally and strategically, they have built a production line of right-wing candidates for nomination to Federal judgeships, vetted by the Federalist Society as though we were still living in the late 18th Century. Today's Supreme Court is the logical outcome of that strategy.
Their decision to overturn nearly half a century of settled law by overturning Roe v. Wade must serve as a wakeup call to Americans of every sexual orientation. Despite the constitutional prohibition of an established religion and the related guarantee of religious freedom, the flat-earth MAGA wing of Donald Trump's GOP would like nothing more than to install ayatollah-style control over national mores and practices. No government structure and no religious hierarchy has any business in America's bedrooms.
U.S. citizens' voting rights are under increasing threat from Trumpista claims of "stolen" elections and "stuffed" ballot boxes. An upcoming Supreme Court hearing is expected to rule on the proposition that the 50 state legislatures should have full authority over election processes. In the worst, but not unthinkable, case, this could mean that a Republican-controlled state government could simply disregard voting results which displeased the legislators and could send its own slate of electors to decide the outcome of a presidential election.
These are not Halloween fantasies, trotted out to frighten the children. They are realistic current threats to the political structure of the United States. For that reason, Democrats Abroad urges American voters, wherever they live, to register and vote in this election, including at the state, county and local level. Our way of life is in clear and present danger.
- Daniel Solon, member, DA Barcelona
Message from DA Spain Chair
Every once in a while, the fancy strikes me to mess with the algorithms that the digital world relies on. So I spent a few happy minutes yesterday asking completely random questions to our Google Assistant (the Google equivalent of Amazon’s Alexa). Included in my volley were the following:
- What’s the tallest underwater mountain? (Mauna Kea)
- How old was Elizabeth Taylor when she died? (79)
- How many people live in Indonesia? (Approximately 273,000,000, as of 2020)
- When was the trombone invented? (The 15th century)
- How many moons does Saturn have? (82, but not all of them are named yet)
- What country consumes the most macadamia nuts? (The USA)
- Where was Charles de Gaulle born? (Lille, France)
- How many Perry Mason books were not made into TV shows or movies? (Two)
- Would you like a piece of pizza? (No answer)
Unless you haven’t had lunch yet, none of these questions is likely to be important to you right now. . But here are two others that absolutely are: “Have you requested your ballot to vote in the 2022 midterm elections?” And “Have you encouraged all the Americans abroad you know to vote?
Voting from Spain has never been easier.
- You can get accurate, state-specific information about how to request and return your ballot at votefromabroad.org. That website also answers common questions, such as voting deadlines in each state and what a state means when it asks if you intend to return there.
- For detailed information on Voting from Spain, see this page.
- Directions on returning your ballot, including how to use the US Embassy or Consulate’s diplomatic pouch service, is also available on this page.
- If you want to use DHL to return your ballot, send an email to [email protected] and we will share the ballot return discount code from that courier service.
So please vote, and tell your fellow citizens to vote. And then reward yourself with some macadamia nuts or pizza. It’s the American thing to do.
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
P.S. If you really want to treat yourself, click here to see the video of a recent virtual visit to DA by Politics Girl podcaster Leigh McGowan. The video is engaging, informative, and energizing. For more details, read the details in the report below from our Barcelona chapter!
"It's our own darned fault." This was the heartfelt, and deadly accurate, lament of a member at DA Barcelona's early September "Welcome Back" meeting. She was referring to the Democratic Party's 40 year-long slumber at the level of down-ballot state, county and local elections. Our adrenaline has been pumped into the presidential, congressional and gubernatorial races. And, in fact, just weeks from now, 34 Senate seats, 36 governors' posts, and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives will be on ballots across the country. On the same day, however, control of 46 state legislatures will also be in play.
The party that controls each of those state bodies will wield immense power over the rules and conduct governing the 2024 election cycle. For many years, consistently since the Reagan wave of 1980 swept Jimmy Carter into "involuntary retirement" (his own description), the professional infrastructure of the Republican party has kept steady focus on winning what, for the average citizen, are unexciting positions such as secretary of state at the state level. These are the people who administer the election process, with the ability to tilt it at the administrative level, making it easier or more difficult for citizens in their respective states to vote, and for those votes to be counted (see FiveThirtyEight’s analysis here).
Another area in which the Republican party apparatus has scored ongoing success, with little awareness among the general public, has been the seeding of the federal judiciary with conservative candidates for the District, Circuit and Supreme Courts. In theory, the judicial branch of the federal government is non-political, but the reality is far different. The Federalist Society, a non-profit think tank with strong ties to the more traditional right wing of the Republican party, maintains a steady assembly line of candidates for the federal judiciary who stand well to the right of most American citizens. When Senator Mitch McConnell and his colleagues hold control of the Senate in tandem with a Republican in the White House, the production process speeds up, and Federalist Society alumni/ae are swiftly nominated and confirmed for lifetime tenure on the bench. This is what happened in 2017-2020.
And the result? To begin with, a 6–3 Supreme Court decision overturning almost 50 years of settled law that had assured American women of control over their reproductive healthcare decisions as a matter of Constitutional right. This is a hell of a way to run a railroad, much less a nation of 330 million citizens.
The bottom line is that we are governed according to a constitution drawn up and adopted in 1787 by a group of wealthy White property owners from all 13 colonies, including slave owners in northern as well as southern states. The provisions setting up the Senate and the Electoral College in particular were explicitly designed to favor less populated agricultural states and to protect slavery as an institution. Successive constitutional amendments and a four-year civil war produced significant improvements at a huge cost in life and property.
In order to preserve our democracy going forward, the Democratic party must devote substantial resources not only to getting citizens registered and urging them to vote, but also to strengthening our bench of candidates for the less glamorous but essential elected offices at local, county and state levels. For too many electoral cycles, progressives have focused exclusively — to their own detriment, we now see — on federal candidates and offices. While this has resulted in real victories for Americans (e.g., Inflation Reduction Act, student debt relief and the bipartisan infrastructure law) since Biden won in 2020, there is much work left to be done, and that can only happen if we continue to win elections.
It will not be easy to stem and then reverse this tidal flow, and we cannot afford to disengage.
by Dan Solon (member, DA Barcelona)
Call to Action: Write Your Alma Mater
According to Inside Higher Education, nearly 350,000 US college students studied abroad in the pre-pandemic academic year of 2017-18. That’s a huge number of potential voters!
We’re calling on all DA members to take part in a “Write Your Alma Mater” campaign. The goal is to have members reach out to their alma mater(s) in their own name as alumni and make sure universities are providing accurate and current overseas voting information to students before or while they’re abroad. Please take a few minutes to help us reach the millions of US college students who will be studying abroad this fall. All details and templates can be found here.
Message from DA Spain Chair
A lovely Democrats Abroad member told me that reading last month’s column was like getting a hug. Getting that feedback made me really happy, but I’m giving you fair warning about this one: it’s going to be more of a shove.
It’s a shove because we’ve been reminded of the work immediately ahead of us. We’ve just had a visit from Ken Martin and Jarryd Rauch of the DNC, and our own Candice Kerastan, Chair of DA Global (keep reading for more about that). Chapters in Madrid, Alicante, and Barcelona organized terrific events for our visitors. Here’s a shoutout to Samuel, Revé, Maggie, Daniel, Tammy, Chris, Annie, and all the other people involved in organizing those events whom I’ve failed to name.
At each of our stops, Ken reminded us that we Democrats have a great story to tell. The Biden administration has brought us the first female Black justice of the Supreme Court, Covid relief, infrastructure investments, measures to check spiraling prescription drug costs, unprecedented funding for measures to combat climate change, and more. And it’s done this without the daily White House drama that roiled the nation for the previous four years. So Ken is right: we have a great narrative.
Now we have to tell that story. Fewer than 80 days remain until the midterm election, and we need to turn out in record numbers to hold our majorities in Congress. And, as Ken also said, we must stop agonizing and start organizing. For us in DA Spain, here’s how:
- VoteFromAbroad.org: Tell the US citizens you know to go to votefromabroad.org (VFA) to get up-to-date information about registering to vote and requesting and returning ballots. To be even more effective helping others, sign up for a voter assistance training class here.
- Check out GOTV efforts in your area: If you’re in or near Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante, or Seville, contact your local DA group and see what Get Out The Vote efforts are happening in your area. We’re putting up stickers with QR codes to direct people to VFA. We’re setting up tables to give US citizens information about voting. We’re getting together to phone voters around the world, especially those who are from battleground states. Get involved in what’s going on in your area. Email [email protected] or contact your local chapter.
- Volunteer from home: If you prefer to work at home, phone bank from your computer. It costs you nothing and is an easy-to-learn process. Email [email protected] for more information.
- Wear DA Paraphernalia: When you take a walk or run errands, wear a Democrats Abroad or Vote From Abroad t-shirt. You’ll be amazed how many folks will ask you about it! If you don’t have a t-shirt, send us an email or contact your local chapter to see what’s available.
- Return your ballot ASAP!: Returning your ballot can be a challenge. Click here for details on How to Vote from Spain.
- Donate! All of these efforts take money. Ten dollars fund multiple phone bank calls. Fifty dollars buy a banner for a DA table at a public event. Two hundred dollars buy enough stickers for an entire chapter this election cycle. Click here to donate to DA Spain.
So let’s get going, friends! We’ve got a story to tell and voters to turn out. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do.
Kathy Tullos (Chair)