DA-Spain March 2023 Newsletter
Message from DA Spain Chair
I’m writing to you this month from the great state of Ohio. My husband and I are here to celebrate our granddaughter’s second birthday. Don’t worry, Harriet’s being raised right: she received a “Future President” onesie soon after she was born, and she wore it to a couple of DA Spain Zoom meetings as a newborn.
I do wonder what the future holds for Harriet and other girls in the USA, though. It’s a good time to do this. March is Women’s History Month, and we celebrate the often-forgotten accomplishments of women in our nation. At the same time, though, women’s rights are under attack in unprecedented ways. One example makes the point: my two daughters have less ability to receive reproductive health care than I did.
DA Spain is doing its bit to ensure that all American women - including Harriet - enjoy equal rights under the law. Are you interested in joining this work? If so, consider joining the DA Spain Women’s Caucus. The Caucus is participating in several events to mark Women’s History Month and to advance the cause of American women. Please read on in this newsletter for more details.
As Harriet would say when she’s ready to get in the car: “Let’s go!”
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
DAS Candidate Information 2023
Description of roles and duties
Executive Committee Elections for the 2023-2025 term
The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the organization, shall call and preside at all meetings of members and of the Executive Committee, and shall have responsibility for all activities approved by the organization. The Chair shall sit ex-officio on all committees of the organization with full voting privileges.
In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall call and preside at meetings of members and of the Executive Committee. The Vice-Chair shall have such other duties as the Chair shall define. In the case of a vacancy in the office of the DAS Chair, the Vice-Chair shall become DAS Chair until the next Annual General Meeting at which officer elections are held.
The Secretary shall maintain a current list of members of the organization containing such information as the DPCA may from time to time require (i.e. the name, mail and e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers and U.S. voting district/State, etc.*), minutes of all meetings, and all files and administrative records of the organization. Minutes of meetings shall be available for inspection by members who have not had their privileges restricted. The Secretary shall have such other duties as the Chair shall define.
The Treasurer shall manage the finances of the organization, maintain its financial reports to members and make and maintain such financial reports as may be required by law (including without limitation the laws and regulations of the United States and the several States applicable to political parties and contributions to them). All such records shall be open for inspection by members in good standing. The Treasurer shall have such other duties as the Chair shall define.
The Counsel shall be available for consultation by the Executive Committee on interpretive and procedural questions relating to DAS and its activities. The Counsel shall consult with the Democrats Abroad International Counsel from time to time.
These shall be DA Spain country committee officers. They are elected to represent DA Spain at International meetings and vote as allowed by the DPCA Charter. The number of DPCA Voting Representative(s) are assigned to country committees of the DPCA in accordance with DPCA’s Charter procedure.
Note: All of the above officers will be member of the Democrats Abroad Spain Executive Committee.
Prepared by the Election Committee
DA-Spain February 2023 Newsletter
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
Joe Biden gets his mojo back
Most serious observers of the President's State of the Union speech 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. The Loony Tunes MAGA wing of Republican House members continued to behave like a pre-kindergarten recess mob, heckling and interrupting. (An Arabic saying applies here: "The dogs bark, but the caravan passes on." In this instance, the comparison is unfair to Man's Best Friend.)
As he ran through the list of this administration's significant legislative achievements during 2022, the President sounded very much like a man positioning his heavy artillery for a re-election campaign next year. Skeptics on all sides and pessimists within our party, citing low approval ratings in opinion polls, would do well to remember the 1948 election. Harry Truman, an incumbent with similarly low opinion ratings, campaigned vigorously against the record of the Republican "Do-nothing 80th Congress" and soundly defeated Tom Dewey.
Democrats then held one substantial advantage which we lack today: a heavily unionized labor force, almost unanimously supportive of our party. We also had an advantage with Democrat-initiated legislation such as the GI bills assisting returning World War II veterans with housing and education costs, an important element of postwar economic recovery and the launch of the 1946-64 Baby Boom.
Forty years of unbridled speculation on Wall Street, tax cuts for the wealthy and baseless "trickle down" economic theory, unleashed by Reagan, carried forward by both Presidents Bush and -- to be honest -- not contested vigorously enough by either the Clinton or Obama administrations, have left millions of Americans distrustful of government. The gap between haves and have-nots in the US economy has not diminished, and the national record in education and all-embracing health care approaches Third World standards. Many blue collar Americans without college degrees, in all racial and ethnic categories, no longer support our party. The GOP, notably during the Trump era, has mastered the shameless art of picking working people's pockets and transferring the proceeds to the ultra-wealthy, undetected by their victims, all the while stirring populist anger at perceived "elites."
Whatever the President decides, in consultation with Dr. Jill Biden and other close family members, on running again in 2024, he set out in his address a formidable list of new laws and appropriations aimed at restoring US competitiveness globally. "Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back, because of choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives." To back up this point, the January non-farm payroll report, released days after the State of the Union speech, showed an increase of 517,000 jobs since year-end.
The president went on the road later in the week to hail infrastructure projects in Wisconsin, Maryland, New York and New Jersey that will provide tens of thousands of jobs: "every freaking one, union labor," as he was quoted verbatim in the New York Times.
As Democrats, we need to put our best efforts to work in getting every fellow citizen to register and vote for our party next year at every level: municipal, county, state and federal. The biggest threat to American democracy is the return of foreign interests, insurrectionists and would-be-totalitarians, represented by Ron DeSantis and his ilk.
By Dan Solon, member, DA Barcelona
Disclosure: These views were written by a live Democrat, not ChatGPT.
DA-Spain January 2023 Newsletter
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.Read more
Thinking about 2024
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. Instead of fruitlessly trying to re-litigate the results of 2020, the Republican House of Representatives Class of 2022 staged their version of a third-rate carnival freak show, featuring a 15-round vote for the Speaker's gavel. A new face joined the familiar cast of fantasists (Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, et al) — George Santos, a newcomer from Queens and Nassau County, New York, whose résumé seems to have been fabricated from whole cloth. Even the Republican leadership in his district has called for his resignation, although most of their counterparts on Capitol Hill and the GOP Washington leadership have remained silent.
All of this pseudo-reality theater is entertaining, along the lines of the old saying: "If your opponents are digging themselves into a hole, don't stop them from digging." However, beyond the vaudeville, serious issues are looming on the horizon. Not least of these is the US federal debt ceiling, due to show up around the middle of this year. Based on previous performances by the Loony Toons wing of the GOP, we may be looking at another exercise in cliffhanger performance art, endangering Social Security, payments for military and civilian federal employees, and the full faith and credit of the US government in global financial markets.
All of this may seem an abstraction for individual Democrats abroad. However, there is an important lesson to be re-learned from last November: We need to engage aggressively in every one of the 435 House district campaigns and every Senate race in 2024, as well as the obvious urgency of the upcoming Presidential election. Early post-election analysis of the 2022 Congressional fight suggests that if we had pushed harder in some districts that were believed to be out of reach, things might have been turned around — we might even have retained control of the House. Every vote counts, and Democrats Abroad can play a significant role in turning out those votes.
The Democratic Party made significant progress on behalf of all Americans during 2021 and 2022. Now is the time to build on those achievements in infrastructure, the environment, technology, and abortion rights.
Bottom line: Don't let the lunatics take over any part of the asylum, as they attempt to undo the results of these past two years.
Daniel Solon, member, DA Barcelona
DA-Spain November 2022 Newsletter
Message from DA Spain Chair
It’s November, the month Americans dedicate to giving thanks. This year, among other things, I’m grateful that the midterms are over.
What a mixed bag we’re left with! There was no red wave, but there wasn’t a blue one, either. We held the Senate but narrowly lost the House. In some states, Democrats made gains; in others, like my home state of Texas, terrific Democratic candidates lost to corrupt and inept Republicans.
Scholars, strategists, and pundits are already busy dissecting the results. Everyone seems to have a different take on what happened and why. What startled me was how close so many of the races were. We may well be in for more cycles of narrow margins of victory — elections in which every vote will be decisive.
For Georgia voters, that urgency begins NOW. Your state will hold its Senatorial runoff election on December 6th. Incumbent Democrat Ralphael Warnock faces Republican Herschel Walker in this crucial race, and deadlines are tight this time around. Please rush to get your ballot in the mail! If you need help voting, please go to www.democratsabroad.org/georgia for information and assistance.
So the question for us is this: How can Democrats Abroad Spain use the next two years to help push those narrow wins fully and firmly into the blue column? One big part of our answer has to be to organize more Democratic voters here in Spain. We need to identify them before the election cycle heats up in 2024 and be ready to focus on helping these folks navigate the increasingly complex rules governing voting from abroad.
Our path is clear and our resolve is strong. And in this month dedicated to gratitude, I’m grateful for all of us Democrats Abroad. We’re working together for democracy and decency, and that’s great work to do with great people.
Kathy Tullos (Chair)
DA-Spain October 2022 Newsletter
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)
¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias!
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!
Join the LGBTQ+ Caucus for the first planning meeting. Event details & RSVP here. For more information, please email [email protected].
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!