News

DA-Spain November Newsletter 2021 - Black Friday’s not the point

Message from DA Spain Chair

It’s November, and we Americans are looking forward to celebrating this month’s revered national tradition — Black Friday! Seriously, though, Thanksgiving is upon us, and it’s time to focus on the three lessons that it can teach us. And I think we Democrats in Spain – indeed, Democrats across the globe – would do well to reflect on them.

First and foremost we have a lot to be grateful for. Are things perfect politically? Of course not. We hold both houses of Congress by razor-thin margins, and the loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race was a painful blow. But Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are in the White House, which beats the alternative by miles, and we’ve got thousands of volunteers across the globe who are ready to roll up their sleeves for the midterms. Is our country perfect? No, and that’s distressing; it’s distressing because we believe that the USA has a lot to offer us and the world. So there is much to be grateful for.

The second lesson is that we know how to be together, even when we disagree on some issues. This coming week, families of all stripes will gather at the Thanksgiving table and try hard to be nice to each other. Similarly, Democrats can – and do – work together for common goals. We need that kind of unity, that kind of “gather around the table” mentality, in our work as Democrats. Let’s focus on the many, many issues and concerns and dreams that unite us. This is how we win. This is how we progress.

The third and final lesson of Thanksgiving is that, historically, it’s a seriously mixed bag. European settlers prospered in America, but they did so at a terrible cost to indigenous people, people of color, and lots of others we could name. But we Democrats are at least willing to acknowledge both the good and the bad in our country’s past and work from that to craft a better future. If we work together, we can build on our successes and try to deal with our failures.

So happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and let’s all raise a fork to what we can accomplish together. And, on a personal level, please know that I’m grateful for all of you.

Kathy Tullos, Chair, DA Spain

Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.”  

March 4, 1801: First Inaugural Address. Thomas Jefferson

 

    


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Democrats Abroad Spain forms Youth Caucus

If the outcome of COP26 teaches us anything, it’s that people whose interests are anchored in the past are not going to help us build a better future. This is why young people must step up and get more involved at this crucial time – and why we are excited to announce the formation of the DAS Youth Caucus

The new group is led by Hunter Baldridge, a graduate student at Saint Louis University in Madrid. If you are interested in helping out or getting involved feel free to connect with Hunter via our newly created Instagram or by email. The first order of business is to grow the caucus’s following by figuring out where students and young adults are located across Spain. With this base, the team will be putting out a call for a five-member steering committee. This committee will be responsible for developing activities, strategies and social media campaigns. Once everything is set up, the Youth Caucus will host events, register students to vote, and increase involvement of the 18-35 age range in our political system. The 2022 midterms are coming up fast, so there is no time to waste!


Americans Abroad Caucus Launched

Maloney Launches Americans Abroad Caucus in the 117th Congress

Renews Efforts to Reform Tax Laws for Americans Living Overseas

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney is proud to announce the 117th iteration of the Americans Abroad Caucus with Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV) joining Maloney as co-chairs. Maloney also announced the introduction of two pieces of legislation, the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act and the Commission on Americans Living Overseas Act. These bills will help American citizens living abroad who are unfairly and disproportionately burdened by existing tax laws.

Millions of Americans, including military personnel and civilians, live and work across the world. Although they live overseas, many of these U.S. citizens continue to vote and pay taxes in the United States. Whether or not they work for American businesses overseas, they help increase exports of American goods and services because they traditionally buy American goods, sell American goods, and create business opportunities for U.S. companies and workers. Their role in strengthening the U.S. economy, creating jobs in the United States, and extending American influence around the globe is vital to the well-being of our nation.

Last month, the Caucus led a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting that the Biden Administration prioritize vaccinating Americans abroad while still working to fight COVID-19 at home.

“Americans living and working abroad are directly impacted by federal policy and it’s long past time that the federal government listened to their concerns,” said Rep. Maloney. “I’ve heard from countless constituents who have faced problems related to voting, immigration, access to financial institutions, and taxation. My goal with the launch of the Americans Abroad Caucus is to better understand these issues and be better equipped to coordinate with these communities towards more robust representation in Congress.”

“As the Congresswoman for Florida's 27th District, I represent thousands of American citizens who live and work abroad," said Rep. Salazar. "From deciphering complex tax laws to ensuring they have adequate healthcare access, Americans abroad face a unique set of challenges. I am honored to co-lead the Americans Abroad Caucus and look forward to continuing to serve as a voice in Congress for Americans living overseas."

“I’m honored to serve as co-chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus for the 117th Congress,” said Rep. Titus. “The millions of U.S. citizens who live and work overseas often face uniquely onerous tax burdens along with challenges ranging from banking and travel issues to health services and voting. This bipartisan Caucus provides an important forum to address the issues faced by Americans abroad and ensure they’re being provided appropriate representation.”

“ACA is pleased that Representative Salazar will be joining the Americans Abroad Caucus as Republican Co-Chair and working alongside Representative Maloney and Representative Titus, the Democratic Co-Chairs of the Caucus. The Caucus is an important voice for the community of Americans living and working overseas. ACA looks forward to continuing to work with Representative Maloney, Representative Titus, Representative Salazar and all the members of the Americans Abroad Caucus on bringing issues important to the community to the attention of Congress and the Administration,” said Marylouise Serrato, Executive Director of American Citizens Abroad.

“Democrats Abroad is delighted to see the Americans Abroad Caucus grow in numbers and in profile. Americans abroad face challenges in a great many areas - taxation, voting, access to COVID vaccines, US government agency and consular support - that require Congressional attention. We are grateful for Rep. Maloney's leadership on the Caucus and on these legislative initiatives that bring focus and solutions to our underserved community. Rep. Dina Titus has been a wonderful friend, constant advocate and greatly valued champion for Americans abroad for many years. We are excited to have her in the position of Caucus co-chair along with Rep. Maria Salazar. We look forward to getting to know Rep. Salazar and working with her to address our issues,” said Candice Kerestan, Democrats Abroad International Chair.

Background

In the 110th Congress, Congresswoman Maloney cofounded the Americans Abroad Caucus, which she now co-chairs with Representatives María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV). The purpose of this bi-partisan caucus is to provide a forum for discussion of the issues that are important to overseas Americans including citizenship, census, voting, banking access, and taxation.

The Overseas Americans Financial Access Act directs the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to exclude from Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reporting financial accounts held by American citizens in countries where they are bona fide residents. This bill eliminates the unintended and excessive reporting burden imposed on overseas Americans by FATCA, enabling them to more easily open and maintain private bank accounts with foreign financial institutions (FFIs).

The Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act creates an Executive Commission comprised of a 10-member bipartisan panel to examine the concerns of U.S. citizens living and working abroad. The Commission would analyze, report on, and make appropriate recommendations to address the effects of activities, laws, and policies of the federal government on Americans citizens living overseas.

Learn more about the history and work of the Americans Abroad Caucus at our website here.

Bill text of the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act can be found here.

Bill text of the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act can be found here.

Read the full letter on vaccinating Americans abroad here.


DA-Spain October Newsletter 2021

Message from DA Spain Chair and Vice-Chair 

It’s October, and for Americans that means Halloween. I’m all about the candy, but the horror and fright parts, not so much. In fact the last scary movie I saw was “The Shining” in the summer of 1980. I went to the movie with my roommate, and she and I slept with the lights on for two weeks after that.

So I know scary when I see it, and I see it in the news every day. My current nightmare is the polling numbers in the Virginia gubernatorial race. The Republican in this race is a Trump darling who refuses to state his positions on important issues such as women’s reproductive rights. He does think it’s a shame that Virginia expanded health coverage to more of its citizens, and that Virginia needs restrictions on voting despite little or no evidence of voting fraud in the state. Despite these derelictions, Youngkin and the Democratic candidate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe, are virtually in a dead heat at this point.

Democrats Abroad is working hard to elect McAuliffe, supporting him with social media initiatives, direct mailings, and phone banking. Many of our members in Spain have joined in this effort, and today I’m asking you to do the same. If you’re available to help, please reach out to us at [email protected]. We need you!

Thanks, Kathy and Carlos

    


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Keep VA Blue

Keep Virginia Blue! - VOTE November 2, 2021 Election!

We’re counting on you to help keep Virginia blue this Fall! Virginia state elections for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and State House of Delegates take place on November 2, 2021. 

Information for voting is available English version here and Spanish version here and includes details on how to:

  • Register to vote and request your ballot; including deadlines

    • Go to www.votefromabroad.org and follow the prompts to fill out the form to request your ballot using the Federal Post Card Application form (FPCA)

  • Eligibility to vote in the state election

  • Fill out the Ballot and return your ballot (you must return your ballot by mail!)

  • Confirm your Ballot was accepted

Coming Up! October 6-12: We’ll be phonebanking Virginia voters. 

Thank you in advance to the Phone Bankers making calls to VA members! Phone banking works. In the recent campaign for the California Recall, we connected with over 60% of the California members we called. And look at how that turned out.

Interested in becoming a phone bank volunteer? Find information and training materials at  www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking_training.

If you're not a Virginia voter, please share this information with people you know who are Virginia voters, even if they reside back in the US.


Barcelona Dems defend women's reproductive rights

On October 2, Barcelona members of Democrats Abroad and the DA Spain Women's Caucus, in collaboration with other women's groups in Barcelona, gathered at Plaza Catalunya to support the protests organized in the US by Women's March and raise our voices in defense of women's reproductive rights. A threat to women's rights anywhere is a threat to women's rights everywhere, and the uncertain future of Roe v. Wade in the US makes it increasingly evident that women and their allies worldwide must speak up and resist this attack. 

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DA-Spain September 2021 Newsletter

Message from DA Spain Vice-Chair 

September has been an intense month, with a lot of work by our DA Spain members and other DA colleagues across the globe, who strove to reach every last California voter living abroad, but… hard work pays off, and we are excited that Governor Gavin Newsom received the overwhelming support of California voters in the recall election. California still shines blue! Special thanks to all the DA Spain members who worked tirelessly to achieve this goal. Next up: several important state elections in November in Virginia, New Jersey, Ohio and Florida. The work never ends, and we are always looking for help from within our DA Spain membership.

I’d also like to highlight that this month (September 15-October 15), we are celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month. We are proud to honor the Latino culture and heritage that has been firmly woven into the fabric of our country’s DNA. To recall President Lyndon Johnson’s 1968 Proclamation 3869 which established National Hispanic Heritage Week: “It is with special pride that I call the attention of my fellow citizens to the great contribution to our national heritage made by our people of Hispanic descent—not only in the fields of culture, business, and science, but also through their valor in battle.” As Americans living in Spain, we cannot forget that we live in a country with a strong historical connection to the US, and this is a perfect month to honor, understand and learn about the Latino culture and heritage, and the great contribution and influence that Latinos and Hispanics have had on our country. We are very happy to welcome this Hispanic Heritage Month and to participate with our fellow members of the Global Hispanic Caucus in their special slate of activities.  

Although Get Out the Vote campaigns remain DA Spain’s main mission, we also advocate for other important issues including climate change, tax reform for overseas Americans, immigration, human rights, gun control, expanding voting rights and other topics that affect all Americans abroad. If these issues matter to you as well, please join us and let’s advocate for change together! So if any or all of this sounds interesting to you, please contact us at [email protected] or [email protected]. We need your time and your talents! And thank you in advance for your participation.

After all, “every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”  - Pres. John Fitzgerald Kennedy 

Democratically yours,
Carlos Colao, DAS Vice-Chair

    


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Keep NJ Blue!

Keep New Jersey Blue - VOTE in the November 2, 2021 Election!

We’re counting on you to help keep New Jersey blue this Fall! New Jersey state elections for Governor, Lt. Governor, State Senate, and State Assembly take place on November 2, 2021. 

Information for voting is available English version here and Spanish version here and includes details on how to:

  • Register to vote and request your ballot; including deadlines 
    • Go to www.votefromabroad.org and follow the prompts to fill out the form to request your ballot using the Federal Post Card Application form (FPCA) 
    • Eligibility and possible tax liability to vote in the state election - Please support pending bill NJ S3761
  • Fill out the Ballot and returning your ballot (email recommended)
  • Confirm your Ballot was accepted

GOTV phone banking starts September 22 and goes through October 2, 2021. This campaign focuses on the upcoming NJ State Elections. And asks  NJ voters to contact their state senators to cosponsor a pending bill, NJ S3761.

Thank you in advance to the Phone Bankers making calls to NJ members! Phone banking works. In the recent campaign for the California Recall, 70% of the California members called, answered. And look at how that turned out.

Interested becoming a phone bank volunteer? Find information and training materials at  www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking_training.

If you're not a NJ voter, please share this information with people you know who are NJ voters, even if they reside back in the US.




DAS September 2021 Newsletter - Special Edition

Calls to Action

Women’s rights are human rights, except in Texas

US democracy is entering a frightening, dystopian new era. The US Supreme Court’s tacit, and 24 hours later, explicit, endorsement of a horrific new antiabortion law in Texas portends a new kind of governance at the state level – which is where all the anti-democratic (note the small “d”) action is happening these days – but that will almost inevitably have national implications.

The loss of ability to make one’s own healthcare decisions is appalling, and yet this may not be the most horrifying aspect of the new law, known as SB8. The new Texas abortion ban includes a novel enforcement method, whereby ordinary citizens are essentially deputized to enforce the law and are financially compensated for doing so. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor explained in her dissenting opinion, Texas lawmakers “fashioned this scheme because federal constitutional challenges to state laws ordinarily are brought against state officers who are in charge of enforcing the law.” By extension, if no state officer can enforce the law, it is unclear whether anyone can be sued to block it. Under this evil design, and with the blessing of Mitch McConnell’s Supreme Court, SB8 will be enforced by vigilantes and bounty-hunters. And the slipperiest of all slopes: who’s to stop other states from copying and pasting this legislation and enacting it as well, or from using the same vigilante model to enforce other controversial laws going forward?

For more news about reproductive rights, follow the DA Reproductive Justice page https://www.democratsabroad.org/wc_reproductive_justice_action_team.

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California Recall Information

Democrats must turn out to vote AGAINST the recall of current California Governor Gavin Newsom (D)! If this recall succeeds, Republicans will remove Newsom, who won in 2018 with nearly 62% of the vote, and replace him with a Republican.

Democrats can't afford to be complacent in this election! Democrats Abroad is here to assist with voting and returning your ballot.

RETURN YOUR BALLOT TO YOUR LOCAL ELECTION OFFICE IN CALIFORNIA--DON'T WAIT, DO IT NOW!

Deadline to return you ballot is September 14, 8:00 PM (California time)

Need information about

  • What to do if you didn't get a ballot
  • How to return your ballot
  • Confirm that your ballot was accepted

Get information here...

NEED HELP? EMAIL US AT [email protected]