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) 

    


Views on the News

 

Midterm Votes Matter

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.

Read more...


Calls to Action

 

Returning Your Ballot

Voting in this election is more critical and impactful than ever before. If you still haven’t managed to send in your ballot, the clock is running out. Please immediately take the following steps, as applicable.

For states where ballots must be returned by postal mail (includes the battlegrounds of GA, IA, MI, NH, PA, OH, TX, and WI, as well as CT, MD, NY, and VA):

  • If you requested to receive your ballot by postal mail, you should have likely received it by now (they started being sent to voters on Sept 24).
  • If you requested to receive your ballot electronically, please double check your spam and junk folders. 
  • If you still can’t find your ballot, please do two things immediately
    1. Submit a new ballot request form via www.votefromabroad.org. Please submit the request electronically, if possible, and mark on the form that you would like to receive your ballot by email. Doing this will expedite the process. 
    2. AND complete and return a Federal Absentee Write-in Ballot, also known as a FWAB or “Backup Ballot.” Instructions can be found here: https://www.votefromabroad.org/faqs/BB1

Please note that even if you vote and return a Backup Ballot, you should still vote and return your official ballot once you receive it. If both your official voted ballot and Backup Ballot reach your local election office in time, the official ballot will be counted and the Backup Ballot will be voided. If only the Backup Ballot arrives, that will be counted as your vote.

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For states where ballots can be returned electronically by email, fax, OR online upload, including the battlegrounds of AZ, FL (fax only), NC, and NV, as well as CA (fax only), OR, and WA):

  • If you requested to receive your ballot by postal mail, you should have likely received it by now (they started being sent to voters on Sept 24).
  • If you requested to receive your ballot electronically, please double check your spam and junk folders.
  • If you still can’t find your ballot, please submit a new ballot request form via www.votefromabroad.org. Please submit the request electronically, if possible, and on the form, mark that you would like to receive your ballot by email. Doing this will expedite the process.

 

Still having voter questions? Check out our FAQs, write to us at [email protected], or hop on Zoom for live voter help each Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday." 

 


Caucus News

Global Women's Caucus

Hello everyone, 

It seems unbelievable that the midterms are only a few weeks away. I have been working on getting out the vote here in the Barcelona area. 

It seems that the issue of abortion and access to reproductive health care are key to these midterms. More than one news source has been running stories about the number of women signing up to vote, like this story about Texas from National Public Radio. More Women Register to Vote - NPR

This past month the Global Women’s Caucus hosted the event Reproductive Freedom - Messaging and Comms with Celinda Lake. Celinda is one of the Democratic Party’s leading political strategists. She was one of two lead pollsters for the Biden campaign in 2020 and continues to serve as a pollster to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), other national party committees, and dozens of Democratic incumbents and challengers at all levels of the electoral process. She very knowledgeably talked about how to discuss abortion. You can find the video of her talk at Reproductive Freedom and her slide presentation here.

This year, there are ballot measures on abortion in California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky and Montana. Those in California, Michigan and Vermont are to keep and maintain the right to an abortion as a fundamental right. If you vote in one of these states and are permitted to vote on measures, as I am in California, please do so!

So ROEMEMBER to Roe, Roe, Roe your vote! And let’s keep our fingers crossed! 

All the best, 

Doris

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Youth Caucus

We are looking for new volunteers to take on leadership roles to begin hosting events this fall. If you are interested in volunteering with the Youth Caucus, or can help connect us with Americans in Spain aged 18-35, contact Samuel Dempsey. We’re looking for college students, auxilliares, and young Americans who are devoted to playing a part in bettering our trusted democracy.

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Join the Global Youth Caucus for a panel discussion on the multi-award-winning documentary, Youth v Gov, now streaming on Netflix.  Event details & RSVP here

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Click here to see all the upcoming Caucus events.


Chapter and Verse

Welcome to our newest precinct, which has organized in Donostia/San Sebastián! Any members living in the area are welcome to get involved with this great group. Here’s a shoutout to national Secretary Katharine Giery, the group’s organizer! 

For more information, please contact [email protected].


Barcelona 

The ace team of Vote From Abroad (VFA) and Rock The Vote volunteers has been incredibly busy pounding the pavement and talking to US citizens in Barcelona over the past month. 

We have held voter registration events at local international schools, study-abroad programs, American Society of Barcelona meetings and at a local pub during Sunday NFL games. Volunteers have also dedicated dozens of hours of their time to phonebanking and sending postcards to DA members around Spain.

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Barcelona chair Chris Reilly has been the driver of the global digital ad campaign and, if you are on social media, you may have seen one of our ads targeted at overseas voters. With just a couple of weeks to go until election day, our entire team (including Elizabeth and Jackie, shown to the right) wants to remind everyone that if you haven't already done so, it's time to send your ballot back in the most efficient manner possible. Late arrival is the number one reason why overseas ballots are not counted. Don’t let that happen to your vote!  

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Download the Signal app and stay in touch by joining the BCN Signal group! It’s like WhatsApp, only more secure.


Madrid

This month's event focused on the midterms! On Oct 20, we got together at the Toast Taproom Malasaña to watch a couple of short videos about the upcoming races before diving into a discussion about different issues, specific races, and more. 

If you didn't get a chance to attend, feel free to watch the videos below:

Midterms 2022: Where Both Parties Stand on Abortion, Immigration and More | WSJ and Poll: Voters split on party preference for midterm elections

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Time to get ready for the DA Madrid Thanksgiving dinner!  

We hope you'll join us on Thursday, November 17th — a week before the actual holiday — to enjoy a full Thanksgiving spread at Trikki New Orleans Traditional Cuisine. This will be a great opportunity to enjoy good food, support local businesses, and socialize with fellow DA members. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Democrats Abroad Spain.

Ticket sales will start soon. Look out for more details via email, social media, and the official DA Madrid event page.

Hope to see you there!


Valencia

DA Valencia held seven voter support sessions around the city throughout September and early October to help overseas voters register, request, and return ballots before the November midterm elections. 

The local DA team helped more than 100 university students from the United States register to vote at four different college campuses in Valencia. 

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On Halloween, Democrats Abroad will be manning a stop along the annual trick-or-treat route in Ruzafa, handing out candy and answering your questions. Please stop by and say hello between 18:00 and 21:00 CET. We look forward to meeting you and your costumed children. Didn’t know that your children can trick-or-treat in Valencia? Here’s a link to the map. Please use it to find all participating trick-or-treating stops. See you on Oct 31!

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Our next First Friday Coffee will be held on Nov 4 at Salad Planet at 10:30 CET just four days before election day, so come out and join us as we await the arrival of the Blue Wave! 


Alicante

What a month it’s been getting out the vote in Alicante! 

From our volunteer efforts of letter writing, university outreach, and multi-chapter collaborations, we have been working hard to get out the vote in Alicante. We even had the opportunity to meet administrators and students studying abroad at the Universitat d’Alacant during a voter registration drive on campus in October. It was a good relationship-building effort. 

We are less than a month away from the midterm elections and, no matter what happens, all of us on the Democrats Abroad Alicante team extend a big thank you to our chapter members for never losing sight of our number one mission: keeping Democratic sanity in the USA.


Seville

 

Our precinct in Seville has been growing, and the new members have been fabulous in helping to get out the vote. We had a voter registration table at the American Women’s Club kick-off coffee morning, which garnered a lot of interest.  

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We had a trivia night at a local pub, and 50 people participated, including a group of college students — first-time voters. 

Our tireless volunteers have canvassed scores of Study Abroad programs to get the students registered and help with filling out the (often confusing) ballots, as well as walking the streets. 

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Be sure to like our Facebook page to stay informed! Join our WhatsApp group by clicking here


Spain Fun Fact

Photo by uncredited on iStock

Did you know that Spain was given its name by the Phoenicians, who called it “I-span-ya” around 400 BC? It is thought to have meant “land to the north” (as seen from Africa). However, the story is not without controversy. Some linguists theorize that the root of the word is actually Roman, where the “span” in Hispania means rabbit. Why would Spain be called “land of rabbits?” Some historians believe that Spain had an abundant population of hyraxes — a small, buck-toothed mammal about the size of a rabbit. In fact, rock hyraxes are present throughout many parts of Africa to this day, giving credence to the likelihood that parts of Spain were also populated by this mammal in antiquity. 


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!

    


MAKE A SMALL DONATION

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.
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