News

More on the DNC Summer Meeting: Climate Change Resolution

The Climate Crisis and how the Democratic Presidential candidates would address this critical issue is getting much attention.

At the DNC summer meeting in San Francisco where our eight Democrats Abroad DNC representatives were present, this issue was taken up and passionately debated....

From Connie Borde, DNC Representative and former Chair DA France:

"A most important take-away from this 2019 DNC meeting was the impassioned debate on Climate Change, and the amount of resistance and activism that has forced the subject to the fore of this whole election period:  Green New Deal, Sunrise and many more groups brought convincing arguments to the DNC meeting for a Single-Issue, stand-alone Debate Resolution on Climate Change.

Our DNC team agreed to add their names to the Resolution.  After long and multi-faceted debate, this Resolution was voted down - to the dismay of the Climate Change advocates Nonetheless it was far from a lose/lose for the climate change people who got some win out of the controversy: the creation of a Climate Change Council, and several Resolutions to guarantee Climate Change would play an essential part in the upcoming Debates."

Interested in this critical issue? 

  • CNN hosted a "Climate Crisis Town Hall" on Wednesday, Sept. 4 in New York City. The network invited those candidates who meet the Democratic National Committee’s polling threshold for the September primary debate, which required them to reach 2% or more in four approved polls by Aug. 28.  Here is a link to see the hightlights!

Also,

  • MSNBC has announced that it is co-hosting the two-day Climate Forum 2020, to be held at Georgetown University Sept. 19-20. All declared presidential candidates from both parties will be invited to speak to young voters about climate change in the town hall-style forum, co-hosted by The Institute of Politics and Public Service at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and Our Daily Planet, an independent environmental news organization.

 

“Resolutions" never drew such a crowd!


DA Representatives at the DNC Summer Meeting

Report from Connie Borde, DNC Representative and former DA France Chair

DA DNC Representatives with Senator Corey Booker (NJ): (from left to right) Ken Sherman, Martha McDevitt-Pugh, DA Global Vice Chair Alex Montgomery, DA Global Chair Julia Bryan, Senator Corey Booker, Constance Borde, Orlando Vidal, John Eastwood, and Adrianne George.

Mid-August and the Democrats Abroad DNC team made its way from various parts of the world to San Francisco to attend the summer meeting of the Democratic National Committee. (August 22-25). This important and exciting meeting was the last General Assembly before we all head to Milwaukee, WI in summer 2020 for the Democratic National Convention.

We eight DNC members nostalgically recalled our first meeting in 2016 when Tom Perez, newly elected Chair of the DNC, pledged to make the Democratic Party the “party of the people” and the party of unity.   Today we look back to what seems like yesterday, and we unanimously concur that Chair Perez has achieved his promise. And it couldn’t come at a more urgent time, one of the most critical political moments in American History.

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CLOSE THE CAMPS - A CALL TO ACTION

On July 12th, “Lights For Liberty” became the latest movement to demand a more humane and just US immigration policy, and to end the politics of fear and cruelty promoted by the Trump Administration. In the US and around the world, thousands gathered in protest in front of detention camps, in public vigils, or showed support on social media via a virtual vigil by lighting candles in recognition of the inhumane conditions under which immigrants are being held in detention within the US, and to demand that the US government #CloseTheCamps.  

The pointless policy of cruelty of family separations — the youngest child only 4 months old —  which began two years ago has not ended. This shameful President continues to lie about it. This is a manufactured humanitarian crisis, one that has not made America safer, has done nothing to fix our broken immigration system, and which treats as criminals some of the most vulnerable people in the world: refugees. 

The vigils and protests of last Friday are over.  The nightmare that these detained immigrants are living each and every day has not ended.  We were visible on July 12th and we need to stay visible. We cannot look away.  

Here is a concrete action that we all can take: 

  • Call your Members of Congress:

Use this script to contact your Senators and your Representative. We are asking that they close the camps; stop funding for detention and deportation; and to right the wrongs that have been committed against these immigrants and refugees.

In 2020, we all need to vote to take back the White House, to take back the Senate, to keep the House… and to win as many state and local elections as possible. Only then can we end this nightmare. Please join Democrats Abroad, and encourage your American friends who live abroad to join DA as well. Stay tuned as we continue to fight the good fight.

Continue reading to see photos of our DAFrance vigils and our own giant collage of images gathered from social media.

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Join the Lights for Liberty Vigils in France - July 12th

In solidarity with Lights for Liberty, Democrats Abroad France will hold live and virtual vigils on July 12th, 2019 when mass gatherings will take place at detention centers and in local communities across the US.

We abhor, repudiate and protest the policies of the current administration that have lead to the inhumane conditions under which immigrants and refugees (including children separated from their caregivers) are being held in the United States of America.

WHAT IS LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY?

"We are a coalition of people, many of whom are mothers, dedicated to human rights, and the fundamental principle behind democracy that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity.

We are partnering with international, national, regional and local communities and organizations who believe that these fundamental rights are not negotiable and are willing to protect them."

PARTICIPATE IN ONE OF THE LIVE VIGILS BEING HELD ACROSS FRANCE:

LYON

PARIS

STRASBOURG

TOULOUSE

 

CALL CONGRESS!

Use this script to contact your Senators and your Congressperson --> You will also find links to know who are your members of Congress and how to contact them.

Read more for information on joining our global virtual vigil!

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FIRST Democratic Primary Debate Watch Events

On June 26 & 27, twenty Democratic Presidential Candidates participated in the FIRST Democratic Primary Debate over two consecutive evenings in Miami, Florida.  

Here in France, Democrats Abroad members and friends came to join us for 11 different Debate Watch events on June 27, 28 and 29 in Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lyon, Paris and Strasbourg.  

The stakes are high for the 2020 presidential election. Democrats around the world are closely listening to what the candidates and saying...and are watching how they are saying it. These debate watch events - which were shown via replay - allowed Democrats living in France to view the debate in its unedited version and to discuss with other Americans in real time.

Overall, the turnout was terrific. The events were fun and relaxed - a chance to meet fellow Americans, to play Debate Night BINGO, to have a cool drink or to grab a bite to eat afterwards.

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Democratic Primary Debate Watch Events around France

The SECOND DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATES will be broadcast live from Detroit on CNN July 30 & 31 from 8P Eastern (July 31 & Aug 1 from 2A France). This will be the 2nd of twelve planned Democratic Primary Debates.

 

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75th Anniversary of D-Day

On June 6th, 2019, Democrats Abroad France members joined Queen Elizabeth; leaders from France, Canada, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, the US and 10 other countries; along with veterans, families of the fallen and those who wished to honour those who fought and those who gave their lives to protect freedom and democracy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

This was a momentous occasion to celebrate peace, liberty and reconciliation. Democrats Abroad France was present with a large delegation of members and DA France leaders.

Here are a few moments from this moving and memorable day shared in photos and words.

Connie Borde, DNC member, co-chair of the DA France Women's Caucus and former Chair, writes:

" Rainy weather did not stop 35 of our DAF members to hop on our rented bus in Paris and take off for Normandy in the dark at 5:30 AM on D-Day.  We were duly rewarded with beautiful weather and an unforgettable day spent at the moving Omaha Beach ceremony, a tribute to that moment when compatriotism marked one of the bravest moments in history. 

Presidents Trump and Macron put differences aside and joined in the praise of the remaining veterans of this Normandy battle, and those who lost their lives in it.  The day was spent pondering over the tragedy of war. The ceremony was rich in symbolism and being together in our group was a bonding experience.  

One of our best moments was meeting our Congressional Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and telling her how proud we were of her Democratic leadership.  We returned to Paris with everlasting images of the white crosses and stars of David, the green grass, the blue water of the English Channel and the seemingly unsurmountable beach and cliffs beneath us.  

Indeed, we shall never forget."

Many thanks go to Anna Marie Mattson for putting us in touch with the right military authorities that made this day possible for us.  

From Anna Marie, DA France DPCA Voting Representative, we have these recollections as the day drew to an end:

"Who was this ceremony for?  Our Vets who had come back to say goodbye to their fallen camarades and to remember those who did not come back. The Vets got a standing ovation over and over again.  The 21 gun salute was awesome as were the many flyovers. 

Coming back to Paris was long since we were one of the last buses to arrive so one of the last buses to leave.  We waited for over 4 hours but it was nice weather and we chatted in the sunshine, not venturing far away since we never knew what moment our bus would arrive.

Did we miss our meetings or whatever we had planned Thursday evening?   Perhaps, but I was there to humbly honor the memory so it didn't matter.  Life was sort of put on hold as we stepped back in time, 75 years ago. I cannot even imagine the horrors they faced. I saw the beach today. I saw the ship out there today.  I saw the parachute planes. There is no glory in war, but we wll remember. 

We will never ever forget."

 

LEST WE FORGET

 


Memorial Day 2019

Lest We Forget

Democrats Abroad France participated in wreath-laying ceremonies across France on Sunday, May 26th to remember and honour the soldiers who gave their lives to protect our freedom. 

Fred Hoffman, a Democrats Abroad France member, shared some of his thoughts after attending the ceremony in Suresnes:

"I’ve lived in Paris for 30 years, and this was the first time that I visited the Suresnes Cemetery, and the first time that I attended a wreath-laying ceremony at an American military cemetery in France. I must admit that it was long overdue, and that I was extremely glad that I was able to attend and have this experience. I believe that it is extremely important to continue this tradition of honouring our soldiers who perished defending our country, and also to continue these joint commemorations (USA and France) to demonstrate that the alliance between these 2 countries continues to be strong after all of these years.

This cemetery is located in a very quiet and peaceful area of Suresnes with a magnificent view. It is extremely well-kept and protected. The ceremony was quite well-organised and included many different dignitaries and leaders from local, at-large, military and ex-pat communities. I thought that that there was a very balanced representation of officials.

What also struck me was the diversity of the people attending the ceremony…young and old, military and non-military, a diverse audience of all colors and ethnicities, gay, straight, and a large presence of the Scouts!!

There were many wreaths laid representing many different groups honouring the fallen and unknown soldiers. After the ceremony, the attendees were allowed to roam through the cemetery and lay flowers. It was very peaceful and everyone was respectful of this sacred place. The weather was beautiful, some sun and not too hot, which also made the experience an enjoyable one.

I will end by saying that I was extremely glad that I attended, and am grateful that opportunities like these are proposed by Democrats Abroad. As an ex-pat, it allowed me to participate in a ceremony honouring our military during Memorial Day weekend, even though I was thousands of miles away from the USA. And it also was very touching to see the wonderful collaboration between the American and French military and dignitaries, and the recognition of the Americans contributions to the 2 wars by the French."

* * * * *

Here are photos shared from ceremonies at military cemeteries in Suresnes (Ile de France), Epinal and St. Avoid (Lorraine), Argonne and St Mihiel (Meuse) and St. James in Brittany, as well as the commemoration ceremony held at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

 

In Paris at the Arc de Triomphe, DA France Chair Ada Shen was accompanied by members and veterans.

At the Suresnes Military Cemetery in Ile de France, DA France Vice Chair Jonathon Holler, accompanied member Beth Herwood. Special thanks to Fred Hoffman for sharing his photos of the day.

Strasbourg Chapter Chair Barbara Wells with former Chair Susan Vaillant at Epinal and Chapter Vice Chair Patrick Ganne at the St. Avoid Cemetery.

Voting Representative Anna Marie Mattson with service men and women and veterans at the Meuse Argonne and St Mihiel Cemeteries.

A wreath from Democrats Abroad France Brittany Chapter was among the many wreaths at St. James in Brittany.

REMEMBER AND HONOR

Thank you to Anna Marie Mattson, DAFrance Voting Representative, who organised our participation in the many events that took place today. Our participation in these wreath-laying ceremonies is an important and moving tradition for Democrats Abroad France each year. 🇺🇸


2019 DPCA Global Meeting: Days 3 & 4

Photo by Ameer Basheer

DAYS 3 & 4:

Day 3 of the Global DPCA meeting was a combination of discussing the DPCA By-laws and inspirational visits (live and virtual) from a number of presidential candidates.

Guest speaker, Marianne Williamson, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Presidential election impressed the group with her live speech. Other candidates who visited virtually with strong messages for Democrats Abroad were Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders.  Invitations were extended to the entire field of Democratic candidates to join us in Washington, DC. Overall, our take-away is that the candidates understand the importance of the votes of overseas American and the vital role that Democrats Abroad plays in getting out the vote.

To cap off the day, Democrats Abroad Canada was selected to host our global convention next May, in the great city of Toronto -- when we vote to adopt our party platform and decide who will represent us at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Day 4 featured the traditional door-knock visits on “The Hill.” Over sixty Democrats Abroad members met with Congress members to advocate for the 9 million Americans abroad of issues of voter protection, taxation, healthcare and immigration.  

A total of 32 discussions were scheduled, including visits with staffers for Representatives David Price (NC-4), Rosa Delauro (CT-3), Donna Shalala (FL-27), Joseph Kennedy (MA-04), Lucy McBath (GA-6) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07); as well as Senators Tammy Duckworth (IL), Chris Van Hollen (MD), Ben Cardin (MA-03), Bob Casey (PA), Jacky Rosen (NV).  Some DA-ers couldn’t resist taking a peak at the offices of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar.

And, THAT is a wrap for the 2019 DPCA Global Meeting.  


Next year we’ll see you in Toronto when Democrats Abroad Canada hosts the 2020 Global DPCA Meeting!

 

 


2019 DPCA Global Meeting: Day 2

DAY 2:

Saturday was a full day at the DPCA Global Meeting.

The day was kicked off by an informative meeting with Special Guest speaker DNC Vice Chair Jason Rae - who flew in from Milwaukee to address Democrats Abroad and thank us for our work. A key theme of Jason’s presentation was developing grassroots efforts (the DNC is on the ground NOW), an open delegate selection process, involving corps of youth volunteers to get out the vote and transparency from the DNC to all Democrats.

Resolutions:

After much discussion, Democrats Abroad passed a resolution endorsing Medicare For All.  

Committees and Caucuses:

Presentations from many of the DA committees and caucuses -   including the Global Women’s Caucus, the Global Black, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) committee (“do it for Ruth”), and the LGBTQ+ Caucus, Progressive Caucus - spoke about their activities and thanked the dedication of the volunteers who work hard to make everything happen.  

Would you like to know more about these Caucuses and Committees?  We have uploaded their presentations from the meeting so that you can take a look!  For information regarding these and other DA global caucuses and to join, go to our website.

Two highlights to finish off the day:

Election of the 2019/2020 Democrats Abroad Global Leadership Team:

  • International Chair - Julia Bryan -- Czech Republic
  • International Vice Chair - Alex Montgomery -- Hong Kong
  • International Treasurer - Lissette Wright -- Canada
  • International Secretary - Jeffrey Cheng -- Sweden
  • International Legal Counsel - Joe Smallhoover -- France

A detailed overview of the planning for 2019 and 2020 was given by Global Communications Director, Amanda Mohar, including the Global Delegate Selection Plan, Global Primary Process, and the roll-out of our Get Out The Vote (GOTV) and Communications programs.  Lots to do in the 18 months between now and November 2020!  We will all be working hard to make the Blue Wave 2020 happen!

This is the full delegation of DA France members attending the DA Global Meeting in Washington D.C. this weekend. Ada Shen, seated is the Chair of DAF. Joe Smallhoover was elected as International Counsel of DA. Connie Borde is a DA DNC member. Meaghan Lopez is Vice Chair of the new Paris Chapter. Salli Swartz is stepping down as Counsel to DAF. Alex Rehbinder is a newly-elected Voting Representative. Meredith Wheeler is the newly elected Vice Chair.