News

Inaugural Prayer for Joe and DAGR

Hope took wing when Joseph R. Biden won the 2020 presidential vote. Relief, perhaps, better describes what we felt when the House and Senate were finally able to complete their work this week and declare him well and truly elected.

The challenging task of righting the ship of state and pulling the country back together again lies ahead. In this spirit, DAGR is sending him our ‘Prayer’ for his work.

‘Prayer,’ the moderately sized and eminently shippable painting, was donated by Katerina Zafirakis-Papadea, who presented another of her works to President Obama during his 2016 visit here. Older members will remember Katerina’s late husband, Kostas Zafirakis, one of the founding members of DAGR and one of its most devoted supporters.

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DAGR Executive Committee Candidates and their Statements

In accordance with DAGR Bylaws, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held each year in the first quarter (by 31 March) but in an election year the deadline is January 31st.  In the odd-numbered years, DAGR elects officers for the coming 2-year term.

This year’s AGM and Election is scheduled online through ZOOM on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, 6pm. RSVP here

ELECTIONS

Elections will be conducted by google form from Friday, January 8, 2021, 9am until Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, 4pm.  Members will receive ballots processing instructions on Friday, January 8th

DEMOCRATS ABROAD GREECE – ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) & ELECTIONS

Agenda:

6pm to 6:10pm         Connect online via ZOOM platform

6:10pm to 6:45pm     Short business meeting and Committee presentations

Minutes of 2020 AGM

Treasurer’s Report

Chair’s Report

Committee Reports

Elections                      NEC announces and certifies results of election

6:45pm                       Live streaming of the 59th US Presidential Inauguration

THE NOMINATIONS AND VOTING PROCESS

The Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) was appointed by the Chair and approved by Excom, on December 3, 2020. The NEC solicited nominations, collected candidate statements, will send out ballots, conduct the Election Meeting and tally the ballots.

Nominations are now closed; the deadline for candidacy submission was December 21, 2020. However, the ballot will allow for a write in candidate. The complete ballot will be sent out Friday, January 8th, 12 days before the AGM. Members will have until 4pm on Wednesday, January 20th to submit their ballot.

Full instructions for marking and returning ballots will accompany the ballot link on January 8th.

To vote, each person must be a member of Dems Abroad when their ballot is submitted. Democratic Party rules require all elections to be open to inspection by members so, for verification, ballots must be signed by the member/voter.

Detailed regulations can be found in the DAGR Bylaws and in the DPCA Country Committee Election Procedures. Both documents can be read on the Dems Abroad wiki at https://wiki.democratsabroad.orgdisplay/home/

The list of nominated candidates and their personal statements are below.

2021 Nominations

Chair:                                                           Stacey Harris-Papaioannou (incumbent)     

Vice Chair:                                                Theodore Milonas    

Secretary:                                                 Karen Lee     

Treasurer:                                                 Nick Loisos (incumbent)     

Counsel:                                                    John Brady Kiesling 

At-Large:                                                   Sarajane Kidd Leone

At-Large:                                                   Rebecca Lieb

ONLY ATHENS VOTERS

Athens Chapter Chair:                                   Marion A. Kavallieros     

Athens Chapter Representative:            Richard L. Jackson

   Peter Vamvakas

ONLY THESSALONIKI VOTERS

Thessaloniki Chapter Chair:                           Randall Warner

Thessaloniki Chapter Representative:     Peter Baiter 

Questions or concerns should be addressed to the Nominations Chair, Nikki Fellouris at electionsdagr@gmail.com/ 693 661 8493

The Nominations and Elections Committee:
Nikki Fellouris, Chair
Anna Haughton
Daniel Roberts

2021 DAGR Executive Committee Nominated Candidates

   Chair: Stacey Harris-Papaioannou (incumbent) 

I have been a resident of Greece for 37 years. I was raised in suburban Chicago but now am a Florida voter, as my second home was always the sunshine state. A registered Democrat and regular absentee voter, I became more passionate in 2000 thanks to a pivotal loss and the beginning of my hateful relationship for the Electoral College. Since then, I relentlessly communicate with expats, particularly in Greece but around the globe about how to get registered, to exercise their rights as US voters. I began writing articles for DAGR’s now defunct monthly newsletter and have followed up since by assisting with communications. I served as one of the administrators on DAGR’s social media as well as preparing articles and serving as Media Liaison for DAGR. I regularly attended EXCOM web meetings for the last several years, in order to promote events and assist the EXCOM team wherever I can be useful. I have served as Country Chair since November 2019. In the past 14 months, I have accrued experience and a skills set to expand DAGR’s reach with other overseas Americans in Greece, focused on finances by insisting on a fiscally able organization and offering outreach with programming to our members during the pandemic that has been both safe and engaging.  And although I am based in Mykonos, when we could travel freely, I found myself in Athens almost every fortnight. With the onset of the pandemic we have learned, thanks to online forums and tools, that our physical proximity is neither a barrier nor a border, in participating actively in an organization. 

After 4 years of watching rule of law and democracy come under attack, by the very people who swore an oath to protect and uphold it, my priority is preserving liberty and justice in the US, so it permeates across the globe.  As Democrats it is our responsibility to be engaged influencers by being informed voters.

   Vice Chair: Theodore Milonas   

My name is Theodore Milonas and my voting state is Massachusetts. During the last term, I served in the position of Athens Chapter Chair, DAGR. Through these turbulent times, great effort was placed to ensure Greek Americans living in Greece do vote in the 2020 elections, making a difference. We are celebrating a great win! I am now candidating for the position of Vice Chair, DAGR, aiming to work collaboratively with the Chair of DAGR, the ExCom and our volunteers in strengthening our local community, as only through united and collaborative action we can have a positive impact on both USA political developments and our community here in Greece.

Regarding my professional background, I am an economist who returned to Greece in 2018 after five year of working and studying abroad (in Switzerland, UK and Hong Kong). For each step of the way, you can check my LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/theodoremilonas/.

Regarding my early DAGR steps, I joined DA Greece in 2013, right after my involvement in the Obama 2012 re-election campaign, when I moved to Lynchburg to help in winning the Presidential and Senate race for the State of Virginia. My role as a Deputy Field Organizer was to recruit, train and lead a team of circa 30 volunteers in a door-to-door and phone calling campaign, primarily in African American neighborhoods, to ensure that all Democrat voters are a) informed about the upcoming elections and b) that they do actually go and vote. The critical drive for me in actively supporting the campaign was to help all citizens in the USA to have access to proper healthcare irrespective of their work and insurance status. 

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ELECTORAL COLLEGE GRADUATION

The Electoral College is a body of electors established by Article II of the United States Constitution and refined by the 12th Amendment. Although ‘electors’ are mentioned in both the Article and the Amendment, the term ‘electoral college’ is not used in either. However, because the process is in the original Constitution, it can only be removed or changed by amendment.

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Electoral College in the Crosshairs

Electoral College “Graduation Celebration”
Dec 15, 8 p.m.
RSVP for Zoom Link

The Electoral College votes on Dec 14, putting the official stamp to the election of the President and Vice President of the USA. Having won the popular vote across the country, and among Americans abroad, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris still had to pass a long, drawn-out campaign of opposition lies and lawsuits to certify the vote in “key states” so elevated by the archaic Electoral College mechanism.

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Final Stretch: We’re Not Done Yet!

Most of us abroad have voted, and deadlines are closing in for the rest. Calling campaigns are winding down and plans for a global Election Watch party are about to be announced.

And a few of us have missed their deadline, missed the 2020 Good Ship Biden! But there’s still a lot ALL of us can do!

Stateside, the beat goes on, right up to November 3 and after. So, if you’re feeling anxious about the results, check some of these opportunities.

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A Ballot for Biden is Best for Greece and Best for the US

RSVP to leave your questions and receive Zoom link Thursday afternoon.

Prospects for sustainable peace in the region under a Biden presidency will be the focus when foreign policy veterans and experts from the Biden campaign meet in an online webinar.

Thursday, October 8th
9 to 10:30 pm
On Zoom

The public is invited along with members and friends of Democrats Abroad Greece. 

Speakers include John McCarthy, Deputy Political Director for Joe Biden 2020, retired U.S. Ambassador Thomas Miller and retired Greek Ambassador Dimitrios Tsikouris. They will be joined by Bonnie Miller and DA Regional Vice Chair for EMEA region, Will Bakker. The discussion, with a question and answer session following, will focus on how Vice President Biden’s diplomacy can best serve US-Greek relations and lighten regional tensions.

The webinar is organized by Biden supporters in Greece with organizational support from Democrats Abroad Greece, Greek Women for Biden and Greek Americans for Biden/Harris  It is further endorsed by Greek Americans for Biden and the Ethnic Caucus for the DC Democratic State Committee.

RSVP for “A Ballot for Biden is Best for Greece and Best for the US” to present your questions and receive a link to connect to the webinar. The Zoom link will be sent to attendees by email on Thursday, October 8th after 5 pm.

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1st Presidential Debate Watch

Debating Democracy
Biden/Trump duke it out!
Wednesday - September 30 - 8 pm
Zoom online

We may not be able to come together in person, in order to remain safe and healthy, thanks to Covid, but we can certainly gather online!

Please join us on September 30th, beginning at 8 pm via a ZOOM Meeting, to watch the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

It will air live in the US at 3 am Greek time (that’s Tuesday night, wee hours). We will stream it on Wednesday evening, during our ZOOM meeting, beginning at 8 pm. Once completed, we’ll follow up with dialogue about the issues addressed.

You can also submit general questions or concerns about absentee voting. We will address those items following the Debate watch.

Please fill in the RSVP for the DAGR First Presidential Debate-Dialogue via Zoom a
You will receive a link by email on Wednesday afternoon, to join the DAGR Debate Watch and Dialogue.


What Is Being Done To Our Postal Service?

My daughter was married last summer. If I'd been in The States in April she would have let me address the invitations. I am not an artist or a calligrapher. I am a sixty-something year old woman who has enormous respect for an envelope. Addressing a letter that communicates love, grief, hope, thanks, aspirations – all the panoply of human conditions – is an act of intention and importance.

Possibly, I came to this understanding because I had difficulties in school in my early years. I was a terrible speller and most of my papers were marked down for “Sloppy” due to erasures. But that was in the 1960's and I was expected to write “Thank You” cards for birthday and Christmas presents. When I misspelled Mineappolis I had to tear up the envelope and do it again. It was a bit nerve-racking and left tragically envelope-less cards. But, then I'd get the reward of climbing in the station wagon with my dad and driving to the downtown post office to catch the late night pick-up.

And, there was the elation of actually receiving mail. I had one, girl cousin my age and we wrote to each other. We also had pen pals at school. And there were the special days when the mail brought the “Weekly Reader” or books that we bought for 65 cents from the Scholastic Book Club.

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Thessaloniki’s GetOutTheVote (GOTV) Campaign at the American Farm School!

Thessaloniki’s GetOutTheVote (GOTV) campaign in reached out to the American Farm School Teaching Fellows and other US citizens on campus this week. The goal, apart from a fun and safe social gathering, was to resolve pending voter registration issues and to see that all have submitted the FWAB. AFS voters, including those pictured here, hail from the battleground and postal-only ballot return states of CA, FL IL, IN, MD, MI, MN, PA and TX.


POISED TO VOTE: Got Your Crayolas and Paste?

POISED TO VOTE: Got Your Crayolas and Paste?

It’s Friday, folks! Shops are open tonight. And tomorrow morning. But you may have other plans. So, now is the time to make sure you’ve got everything you need for your first day at school to vote and mail your ballot back to the US!

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