Hundreds of people turned up at Place du Trocadero in the rain that had little effect on the happy, spirited, diverse crowd. There were speakers, witty creative signs, a sea of pussy hats, lots of press and many groups: Indivisibles, Our Revolution, Women’s March-Paris, Page-Paris, and more. Folks gathered to support women, Dreamers, Democrats, immigrants, people of color, transgender people, abortion rights and real news – in addition to fighting Trump and his entire agenda.
It felt good to know that the movement didn’t end last year, and au contraire, seems to be picking up more steam.
- You can watch this whole exciting debate at https://youtu.be/g63WF-upzxM
On November 20, Democrats Abroad France hosted an event entitled "From Droit de Seigneur to Harvey Weinstein, Might Hollywood Take Down an Age-Old Tradition?" The Panel was moderated by Annette Young, Journalist and Presenter at France 24 who also hosts and produces The 51 Percent, a show about women reshaping our world. The discussion was lively and informative with lots of audience participation. Anne Bagamery, journalist and former senior editor of the International New York Times in Paris, Michael Elias, award winning Hollywood writer, and Rebecca Amsellem, young feminist founder of "Les Glorieuses," shared their insights in a discussion with the audience about the tsunami flooding the age-old power play of men over women. Harvey, Kevin, Bill, Matt, Tom, Dick and Harry (and Tariq – not in the workplace and not from Hollywood) have long gone unfettered. The panel pondered the question of how much of an impact these revelations will have long-term and whether this will lead to real social change.
Larry Cohen, co-Chair of the Unity Reform Commission within the Democratic National Committee and founder and Chair of Our Revolution, spoke in Paris on Friday October 27. Cohen is also the former President of the Communications Workers of American, AFL-CIO. His message to the packed-in audience of Democrats Abroad and Our Revolution was an important one: how to build up a more inclusive Democratic Party that delivers a message to Democrats of all stripes. “Out of reform, comes unity,” says Larry. You can watch the evening's discussion HERE.
Among other issues, Larry Cohen stressed the need to enlist support for Medicare for All. See Democrats Abroad’s endorsement HERE
And if you have a story to tell yourself about your single payer experiences living abroad, please CLICK HERE
Democrats Abroad will be sharing our stories with Congress to help the fight for affordable healthcare for All Americans.
Democrats Abroad stands up for these and many other issues, and fights for your rights at home and away from home.
Liz Jaff came to Paris precisely to answer the question “What is the Democratic Party doing to win back the seats in the House and Senate?”
In the two days she was here, she engaged in conversations and dialogues about party politics. Liz works at the intersection of technology, political fundraising and grassroots campaigns. She’s part of the “new blood” that we keep hearing we need in the Party. In February 2017, she ran for Vice Chair of the DNC (Democratic Nation Committee) and lost, but stayed on with the transition team, specifically in technology.
People like Liz - and others from Silicon Valley - can bring a lot to the sphere of Democratic progressive politics. Thanks to Liz, the DNC has already recruited some of the best in the field under the leadership of Raffi Krikorian: Megan Smith, Mikey Dickerson, Lori Thomas, Brian Lefler….and more for a first-class clean-up of the Democratic Party IT infrastructure.
You can watch Liz’s terrific interview on France 24 here: Rebuilding The Democratic Party: Seeking a new direction in the Trump Era.
And to see her speech ("Can Technology Bring Back Democratic Voters?") given at the American University of Paris on Thursday, September 28, click HERE
Special elections in the US still to take place in 2017 require our attention, notably in Virginia and New Jersey. Also at stake is a Senate seat in mega-red Alabama where Democrat Doug Jones will pit himself against the probable candidate, Luther Strange (miracles can happen), or Roy Moore, depending on the upcoming Republican Primary, for Jeff Session's old seat. In Gubernatorial races, Chris Christie is term limited out in 2017, and popular Democrat Phil Murphy looks poised to take his seat. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, also term-limited in Virginia, leaves Dem Ralph Northam in a neck and neck race against Ed Gillespie, former Chair of the RNC. Numerous mayoral races are taking place across the country, and you should check your state to see what's up and VOTEFROMABROAD.ORG
On September 6 in Paris , Democrats Abroad France was honored with a visit from John Perez, one of the longest serving Speakers in the era of term limits. Prior to his service in the Assembly, Speaker Emeritus Pérez was a lifetime member of the Labor Movement, eventually serving as the Political Director for the California Labor Federation.
Perez’s message left the audience hoping that the California experience can be translated nationally. Most impressive was his creative outside the box (California?) thinking, such as defining budgets in terms of job loss, a practical solution that makes sense to everyone whether liberal or conservative.
Perez is the embodiment of why Democrats believe in their Party. He has set a model of progressive and pragmatic politics that work for everyone, for the people. When jokingly asked if California would secede from the union, he answered, “Never. We just want to take it over!” The audience unanimously agreed that we need John Perez to move the Democratic Party forward with fresh ideas. Or aren’t they old ideas, after all?
As Speaker, Perez brought together his colleagues to end California’s era of chronic budget deficits. He worked with Governor Brown and members of the Senate to eliminate the structural deficit that left California’s budget imbalanced for more than a decade. He has been a champion of the Affordable Care Act, and affordability of and accessibility to higher education, reducing student fees by two-thirds for middle class families. He implemented labor union protection for workers in the phenomenally successful high tech industries in California, and in 2010 he successfully blocked former Governor Schwarzenegger’s final budget proposal, which would have wiped out 430,000 jobs for police officers, firefighters, teachers and nurses. He is a rabid believer in green energy, and his state’s success is the living proof of what that means.
Perez works closely with the DNC (he’s a Democratic National Committee member) and we need him there!
Democrats Abroad - France was pleased to welcome Will Hailer, senior advisor to DNC Chair Tom Perez, who generously gave of his time while visiting Paris in late July while on a family trip. On the eve of the Senate’s vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, DA-France came together to discuss the DNC’s platform and new slogan, diversity within the DNC and the Democratic base, voting rights for Americans abroad, FATCA/FBAR reform and strategies for communication both within the Democratic party and across party lines. Attendees shared their experiences with single payer healthcare in France, as well as their concerns for clear communication with all members of the Democratic party. Mr. Hailer spoke candidly on the challenges facing the DNC and Democrats Abroad, but encouraged Democrats Abroad -France with key insights into the lessons from the Georgia and Montana special elections and cheering news from New Hampshire. With gratitude to Mr. Hailer for his time and talent, Democrats Abroad - France looks forward to continued communication with the DNC as Resistance Summer transitions into a "rentrée à la resistance.” Vote from Abroad registration initiatives begin in September, but for now, bon été à tous!
JOHN GODFREY MORRIS (1916 - 2017)
Democrats Abroad France wishes to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of John Godfrey Morris, who passed away peacefully this past Friday 27 July 2017.
John’s career in photojournalism was stellar and will be commented upon by many.
But we wish to emphasize his deep devotion to progressive causes as well as his unbounded faith in humanity and the certainty that peace, not violence, is the solution to almost every conflict, large or small.
John was an amazing fellow, a brilliant talent, and a fierce Democrat. He served several terms as a member of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad France and was a three-time Delegate at the National Convention -- as a Delegate for Bill Clinton in Chicago in 1996, as a Delegate for Al Gore in Los Angeles in 2000 and as a Delegate for Barack Obama in Charlotte in 2012. He worked tirelessly to bring out the truth for all to see, against injustice, and to bring out our better angels -- inspiring us all to work for a better world.
We will miss his bravura, his thoughtful activism, his sense of humor, and his kind and gentle way with everyone he met.
Democrats Abroad France owes John our profound gratitude for all that he did and all he helped us as a group and as individuals to accomplish.
John’s love of his fellow human beings, his wisdom and kindness, and his contagious laugh will be missed but not forgotten.