News

DAGR Letter to US Ambassador Pyatt

Athens, June 30, 2021

Dear Ambassador Pyatt,

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PAUL HICKMAN: GBC Poet Laureate, Silent No More!

Paul Poet Laureate

by Robin Rafaelidys, Mytilini

In a marvelous turning of the tables, the former president's ill-fated rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June   2020, woke a great many Americans up to historical events they had never heard of.  Originally slated for Juneteenth, (June 19) in an arena near the Greenwood District of Tulsa, it inspired an immediate out-pouring of dissent.

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DAGR VIEW: DA’s Global Meeting May 15, 16

by DAGR Chair Stacey Harris-Papaioannou
Country Chair and Vice-Chair of DA Greece spent May 15th and 16th attending 10 hour sessions of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad. On a schedule friendly to the Asia-Pacific Region this year, the virtual sessions started in the wee hours, Greek time.

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J. A. Lawrence: Looking at Life from the Other Side

Interview

Editor’s Note: It has come to our attention that the DA Greece membership roster holds a wealth of skills, life experiences, and viewpoints. Our hope is to introduce as many as we can to inspire the rest of us. We started with Athens/Tulsa poet Paul Hickman, and here we capsulize the long, amazing, life and works of Athens member, Judy Blish. Your suggestions of someone to interview are welcome.

Our DAGR member and long-time activist, Judy Blish, has just published her collected short stories. Most went to print under her nom de plume, J. A. Lawrence. Sci fi fans recognize both names. And that’s just the surface of The Other Side of the Surface. Robin Rafaelifys' very-compressed interview with Judy follows, as well as the video chat with Judy and her step-daughter, Beth Genly. Beth is an activist and author in her own right, and incidentally, the daughter of the late sci fi name, James Blish.

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Juneteenth: When Did You First Learn About It?

Juneteenth in Austin 2020
Juneteenth parade in Austin, 2020 courtesy TheBlackDetour

- by Robin H. Rafaelidys, Mytilini

I learned about Juneteenth in 1989, the year we bought our first house. I was a teaching assistant at the school my son attended, Garfield Avenue; a magnet school back before George W Bush tore into the Department of Education with a bulldozer. Garfield, a K-5, which earned a National School of Excellence in 1987, was one block west of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Drive – 3rd Street renamed by the Milwaukee Common Council in 1984. Our house was three blocks to the east.

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KAFENEION 1: Age is Valuable; Ageism Not!

DAGR’s first Kafeneion, a new initiative of community development spearheaded by Members-at-Large Sarajane Kidd Leone and Rebecca Lieb, was a great success! Our first conversation, ageism through the lens of the feminist book In Our Prime by Susan J. Douglas, also featured guest speaker Dr. Liz Mestheneos, founding member of 50+ Hellas. 

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UPDATE: Vaccines for Residents Ineligible for AMKA

AMKA Update 3

 

It's by now well-known that many foreign residents of Greece have undergone delays and difficulty obtaining the COVID vaccine due to the Greek government's requirement of an AMKA (Greek social security) number in order to secure an appointment.

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DAGR Newsletter April - May 2021

Democrats Abroad Climate Panel on EARTH DAY 2021 … Watch the replay! DA Germany and China are each in the process of forming country climate caucuses. DAGR, anyone?

In this Newsletter

Chair’s Message
Upcoming Events
Recent Events ICYMI
Volunteer Opportunities
DAGR News and Views
On our RADAR - DA Priorities

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TO BE OR NOT TO BE … A DEMOCRACY

       

     - by Robin H. Rafaelidys, Mytilini

“Folks keep asking what we are going to do about the filibuster? I think they ought to ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, what are they going to do about voting rights? The question really is not where I stand on the filibuster. That's a Senate rule. The most fundamental question is where you stand on voting rights. We wouldn't have to have this debate about the filibuster at least on this issue if the folks on the other side would do the right thing and stand for voting rights.... I'm a member of the Senate. I respect its traditions. I'm honored to be there to represent the people of Georgia. But the issue of voting rights is about the democracy itself. It's much bigger than any Senate rule.” ~ Senator Raphael Warnock, D-GA

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John Lewis - Walking with the Wind

Book recommendations by Randall Warner, Thessaloniki Chapter Chair

Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement, by John Lewis with Michael    D’Orso, Simon & Schuster Trade Paperback edition, 2012 ISBN 978-1-4767-9771-7

Later this year, the 117th Congress plans to reintroduce the bill referred to as H.R.4, named in honor of the late Georgia congressman. The John Lewis Voting Rights Act  restores key provisions of President Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Voting Rights Act which  ensured that locations with a history of discrimination in voting must receive pre-  clearance from the federal government before changing voting procedures. These provisions were gutted by the Supreme Court decision of Shelby v. Holder in 2013. The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), said the House will hold hearings during  2021 to build the case defending the bill from the pandemic of court challenges it will inevitably face when enacted.

“Some battles are long and hard, and you have to have staying power. Firecrackers go off in a flash, then leave nothing but ashes. I prefer a pilot light. The flame is nothing flashy, but once it is lit, it doesn’t go out. It burns steadily, and it burns forever.” – John Lewis

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