On January 28, 2018, the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad France unanimously approved a resolution from its Bylaws Committee to adopt a set of significant reforms to its present Charter. This was done in order to conform to the Charters of Democrats Abroad and the Democratic National Committee, and to innovate in a manner that will make us a more effective and efficient organization in furthering Democratic goals and getting Democrats elected. Consequently, the Bylaws are now submitted to the general membership for final approval at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 17, 2018.
You can see the proposed set of new Bylaws HERE.
What’s new? What’s different?
There are some boring technical minutiae, but there are also some large structural and operational changes. Notable changes include:
1. Paris will become its own Chapter. Until now, the Executive Committee has been doing the work of both a national organization and a local chapter. But thanks to extensive growth over the last 15 years outside of Paris—in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Marseille, Aix, Avignon, Nice, Strasbourg, Normandy, and our newest Chapters in Lyon and Brittany—it makes sense that Paris should become a Chapter with its own Officers and Members at Large, so that the National Executive Committee can manage what has become a truly national organization—the fourth largest in all of Democrats Abroad.
2. Consequently, there are changes to the structure of the Executive Committee. As we reflected on our growth, our needs, our experience, and the lessons we’ve learned in the last few electoral cycles, and given that Paris would now have its own dedicated officers, we found a clear need to redefine and adapt the offices of the Executive Committee. Therefore:
· We have reduced the number of Vice Chairs from three to two, and given each of the Vice Chairs a clearly defined role. The First Vice Chair will assist the National Chair in relations to Democrats Abroad at the international level, other country committees, and the Democratic Party, while the Second Vice Chair will help coordinate the Chapters and supervise growth and outreach—a sort of “Foreign Office” and “Home Office” sharing of responsibility.
· We’ve also eliminated the seven “Members-at-Large” and replaced them with four well-defined elected positions: 1. Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Coordinator; 2. Membership Outreach Coordinator; 3. Issues, Events and Programs Coordinator; and 4. Communications Coordinator. Additionally, a Database/IT Manager will be an appointed position due to the technical specificity of that job.
· Chapter Chairs will remain voting members of the ExCom, as well Caucus Chairs, but only if the Caucus is active in more than one Chapter and has at least 100 members nationally.
· You can see the Organizational Chart HERE
3. The membership of Democrats Abroad France has grown extensively in the last decade, but our “old” Bylaws put a relatively high bar on becoming a Chapter, and we lacked a mechanism for enfranchising members in smaller cities and towns. Our proposed “new” Bylaws will remedy those issues with the introduction of “Subchapters”, which would function much like “precincts” or “wards” (we debated furiously on their name). A Subchapter can be formed when as few as ten (10) members petition to form one – so if you’re reading this in Lille, Besançon, Angers, or Tours, to name just a few, and you want to get a Subchapter started, we’d love to hear from you! A Subchapter could hold activities as simple as a monthly meet-up over drinks to talk about politics, or a book club, or a GOTV event to help local Americans register to vote by absentee ballot. And, once every four years, it could host its own Primary Voting Station.
4. Just as Democrats Abroad International has delegates to the DNC, DA-France has delegates to DA International. The number of delegates we have is a function of our proportional weight within DA International (currently, as the fourth “heaviest” country committee, we have 14). Up until now, these delegates were appointed by the Chair, and one person could carry up to four votes, including proxies; but if the Bylaws are passed, then two of the votes will be assigned to the Chair, one to each of the two Vice-Chairs, and the remaining votes (10 under the current allocation) will be directly elected by popular suffrage at the Annual General Meeting. This means that France’s “voice” at the Annual DA Global Convention could be more broadly representative of the diversity of DA France’s membership. And Voting Representatives will be gender-balanced.
5. Term limits on consecutive service in any one office, and lifetime service in any one office, have been clearly defined in a manner that places value on institutional memory while addressing institutional inertia.
6. On a purely administrative level, France will be divided into ten “regions” in which Chapters and Subchapters will work collaboratively to make sure all members receive communication and are enfranchised to vote in DAF elections, in State Party Primary elections, and in US State and Federal General Elections.
There are a few other technical points – such as what constitutes a “quorum” for a meeting and when a “proxy” is appropriate – and the lawyers sharpened up some language here and there, but those mentioned above are the most important changes. We believe that these proposed changes will help the organization grow, meet its responsibilities more efficiently, facilitate communication with its members, be more inclusive and be more democratic. They are also in keeping with the spirit of several of the proposals made by the Unity Reform Commission.
For these reasons, the Executive Committee will ask the membership to vote to accept the proposed reforms to its Bylaws at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 17, 2018.
Donald Trump was elected on the promise to change the face of American politics and bring power back to the people. The nation is today divided and more polarized than ever before. While looking back on 2017, what can we predict for American politics in 2018? Hall Gardner, Christopher Dickey, Anne Deysine and Joe Smallhoover examined these issues on January 22 at the American University of Paris. You can watch the informative discussion of this memorable evening HERE.
This PHOTO OP and event is CANCELLED.
DO NOT SHOW UP! It's OFF.For 🇺🇸President’s Weekend🇺🇸 we want to send a message to Washington D.C.Last February Trump signed Republican legislation rolling back Obama’s regulations that kept guns out of the hands of those with mental health issues. Trump is loosening the gun control laws. He has been purchased by NRA, who donated well over $30 million to his 2016 campaign. Also, the FBI is investigating whether Russian money was funneled through the NRA to Trump.
Will you turn out in Place Capitole for 15 minutes this Sunday afternoon for a photo op with our IMPEACH TRUMP banner? (Bring other signs if you wish—like “Not My President”)In 1996 the UK experienced the Dunblane school massacre—worst mass shooting in British history--16 children killed and 1 teacher, many injured. The British government consulted and took action: New gun LAWS were enacted.
There have been NO school massacres in the UK since then. None.
In 1996 in Australia a lone gunman randomly killed 35 people. The government enacted new gun control laws.
Australia has had no mass shootings since 1996. GUN CONTROL WORKS—the evidence is IN.
In the USA, where NOTHING is done because National Rifle Association (NRA) has bought the Republican party.If this makes you angry and you wish to stand up and be counted, please join us SUNDAY, Feb 18th, 3pm, Place Capitole in Toulouse for 15 minutes of your time to take a group photo.
Democrats Abroad France and Parsons Paris Present
Seminar Two Topic: The U.S. Constitution
This second of six stand-alone seminar courses, will begin with an examination of the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the built-in flexibility of the language that has led to its ability to last, virtually unchanged in word (although interpretation of those words has shifted substantially), for 230 years. We will explore the reasons why it was written the way it was, the importance of the Bill of Rights which was added just three years after the Constitution’s ratification, and the true meaning of and reasons behind the system of “checks and balances.” Additional topics will include the 10th Amendment and Federalism, including the understanding that federal power supersedes state power.
Participation and questions will be encouraged.
This seminar series is meant to be a thought-provoking refresher course for those who live abroad but vote in US elections. It will also provide a good introduction for American voters of all ages who, having lived abroad for all or most of their lives, have never taken an American Government or Civics course.
Each seminar will be led by Amy Sulkis Below, a 16-year veteran American Government Teacher in the California Public Schools and DAF Member-at-Large.
Due to space considerations, participation is limited to approximately 30 people per seminar session. Please RSVP only if you will indeed be attending. And, if you RSVP but find you need to cancel, please do so as soon as you know you will not be able to attend.
Only the first 30 people to RSVP will be confirmed.
The next 15 people to RSVP will be placed on the waiting list, even though you may receive an email saying thank you for your RSVP. You will also receive a separate email stating that you are on the waiting list.
Those on the waiting list will be notified between one week and 3 days prior to February 21st if they move to the confirmed list.
This seminar is now Sold Out. Please contact DAFCivicsSeminars@outlook.com with any questions.
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