If you missed DW1, may we confess that we got slammed!
Hard Rock set up for our guest list and then had to bring in 7 more tables. The wait staff smiled through it all, bless ‘em … and WE had a great time!
Incidentally, Secretary Clinton mopped the floor with Mr. Unhinged. The cherry on the cake!
Ready for Round Two?
DEBATE WATCH 2 – Details
Monday, October 10 - 07:00 pm - €10
Hard Rock Café, Adrianou 52, Athens, Greece
Just behind the Monastiraki train station - Park and ride!
We promised we’d stick to the guest limit this time. So, first booked, first confirmed!
RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/hyrq9p9J7ScM6iWb2
Presidential Debate #2 between our issues-talking candidate and that guy whose gas could replace 10 coal-fired power plants.
Will this be the knock-out punch?
Menu adjustment by popular demand!
Choose from – Cheeseburger, Caesar Salad w/Chicken or Veggie Leggie Burger – with fries and your choice of a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink.
We learned from last week’s deluge:
Pay at the door.
Order more from the waiter if you like; pay as served.
Upper room at HRC. Take the stairs from the entrance, or, if you’re stair-challenged, just ask the staff for help. They’ve got us covered so everyone can enjoy the evening.
€10 per person
Tips jar will be passed for the wait staff!
See you there!
If you want to attend the Embassy’s party on Oct 14th, you still can! Guest list is growing but …
the deadline for RSVPs is extended to Monday, Oct 10.
There will be music, games, and refreshments to celebrate casting our absentee ballots for this year’s Presidential Election.
Trained voting assistance representatives will be on hand to help you with the mechanics of preparing your ballot for mailing.
After you drop your voted ballot in a giant ballot box, the Embassy will ship ballots to the United States in time to meet all jurisdictions’ deadlines.
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 5:30 to 8 pm
American Community Schools of Athens
U.S. Citizens and Guests
Registrations close on Oct. 10
Register today at EventBrite ….
All guests, regardless of nationality and age, must register with EventBrite (see above) with their passport or Greek ID numbers. Only registered guests will be permitted entry.
Ask to have your ballot sent by email. Your local election official will send it as soon as they receive and process your registration.
Check your state’s deadlines on the VFA site at:
If you wait till the 14th to register at the party, you should also get a Federal Write-in Ballot, and send both back via the Embassy. Just in case!
If you’ve got your ballot and want to drop it in the box at the party, be sure it’s got enough US postage. The Embassy will get it to the US, but it has to be mailed on to your local election official.
If you’ve already sent your ballot, the Embassy staff say they’ll be happy to have you come anyway. Drop an empty envelope in the ballot box, with “I already voted!” written on it. And listen for the drum roll as you drop it in!
Happy Birthday, Margarita!
DAGR extends warm wishes to Margarita Papandreou on the occasion of her 93rd birthday, today!
Just one year ago, Ms Papandreou consented to serve as Honorary Chair of the just-forming-up DAGR Women’s Caucus. It was a role waiting for her to fill.
As wife of the Prime Minister, she lent her drive and public profile to the effort of modern Greek women to gain equal rights. The controversial six-year effort culminated in Law 1329/1983, passed in the Greek Parliament on December 31, 1982.
“The Greek Family Law of 1982” brought sweeping changes to a society in which patriarchy and gender inequality had been codified in law. Among its key provisions were the introduction of civil marriage, joint decision-making by spouses, a woman’s right to use her maiden name after marriage, the abolition of the institution of dowry, equal parental status between spouses and no-fault divorce by mutual consent. It also reduced the age of majority to 18 and equalized rights of children born in and out of wedlock.
In its time, the Law was forward looking, even for Europe. For rigidly conservative families it spelled wrenching changes. For others, it would long be associated with party politics. But for women it meant choice in education, profession and marital status, control of property, legal redress in the courts. For their children, and the men in their lives, it unlocked the future.
So, it is fitting, as we, Democrats Abroad Greece, anticipate the election of our first woman US President, that we celebrate the long struggle for full emancipation, worldwide and here in our host country.
Our ‘card’ – covering a flash drive of DAGR photos and videos – was constructed by DAGR-WC Working Chair, Sarajane Leone. Marion Kavallieros, Athens Chapter Chair, is handling the transfer to Ms Papandreou’s son Nick for delivery. In between, our man at the computer, Nick Loisos, recorded the last segment for the flash drive: attendees at the first Debate Watch this past Tuesday singing an impromptu, possibly off-key, but rousing rendition of the Birthday Song to one of our own!
Happy Birthday, Margarita!
DEBATE WATCH 1 – Details
Tuesday, September 27 - 07:00 pm - €10
Hard Rock Café, Adrianou 52, Athens, Greece
Just behind the Monastiraki train station - Park and ride!
DebateWatch 1 – Presidential: Clinton vs Trump
Hot off the ether! Grabbed in the wee hours of the day for our viewing pleasure!
The first of three Presidential debates between our clear-headed, issue-savvy candidate and the other one, who some have dubbed a race-baiting shape-shifter. Just sayin’.
Come casual – Chat up old friends, make new ones – Select a snappy button!
And then settle in to see how this first debate plays out.
Come hungry and chow down on great eats!
Choose from – Cheeseburger, Chicken Tenders or Veggie Leggie Burger – with fries and your choice of a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink. These are ‘normal’ size portions, not mini-burgers. They’re not HRC’s jumbo-size either, but you can order more from the menu if you’re super hungry. We’ve tested our menu and it’s all tasty!
We have the upper room at HRC to ourselves, fully equipped for sound and unobstructed viewing! Take the stairs from the entrance, or, if you’re stair-challenged, just ask the staff for help. They’ve got us covered so everyone can enjoy the evening.
€10 per person
See you there!
DAGR ANNUAL FOURTH OF JULY POLITICS QUIZ
1. Who was the only Senator (super delegate) to endorse Sanders in the Primaries?
a. Elizabeth Warren
b. Jeff Merkley
c. Barbara Boxer
2. Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC, was appointed by Obama to replace which Supreme Court justice?
a. Antonin Scalia
b. Ruth Bader-Ginsberg
c. Arthur Kennedy
3. As a result of the sit-in staged by Dems in the US House to force a vote on sensible gun control measures, the House ___ .
a. voted in favor of background checks and an assault weapons ban
b. approved stiffer checks to prevent terrorists from buying guns
c. went on vacation, returned and now continues to block a vote
4. What idea did NOT appear in the language, notes, and debates on the 2nd Amendment?
a. the individual’s right to own a gun for self-defense or recreation
b. an individual’s right to own a gun if needed to defend the country
c. the potential need for the country to defend itself in the future
5. Which ítem in the Dems Abroad Platform may NOT get into the DNC Platform today?
a. Dump the TPP/TTIP trade agreements
b. Produce 50% of US power from renewables by 2050.
c. Raise the US mínimum wage to $15/hr
6. Who’s FOR the proposed free trade agreements, TPP and TTIP?
a. US Congress and the US administration
b. Clinton, Sanders, Trump and Obama
c. Obama but not Clinton and Sanders
7. What, if any, effect may the Chilcot Report have on the US?
a. Families of military sent to Iraq may sue GWBush et al for damages.
b. US DOJ may prosecute Bush admin officials for WMD misinformation.
c. No action: “Let’s focus on the future.”
8. How many Articles of Impeachment were presented to the US House, June 9, 2008, in H.Res. 1258? Against whom? By whom?
a. 15 against GW Bush et al, by Rep. Barbara Mikulski
b. 22 against Dick Cheney et al, by then-Rep. Bernie Sanders
c. 35 against GW Bush, by Rep. Dennis Kucinich
9. Which Florida politician is running against the current DNC Chair?
a. Tim Canova
b. Alan Grayson
c. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
10. Which organization is headed by Howard Dean’s brother, Jim?
BONUS: What do the acronyms stand for? What was the original name of DFA? OFA?
11. Who’s the progressive Dem House candidate in the NY-19th?
a. Pete DeFazio
b. Zephyr Teachout
c. Kirsten Gillibrand
12. In an April 22, 2016 article, the Wall Street Journal explored something that these 6 Republican senators have in common. What was the object of the WSJ’s concern?
Senators: Rob Portman (Ohio), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Richard Burr (North Carolina) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
13. FUN FACTS ABOUT BERNIE SANDERS (T/F?)
_____ He worked as a carpenter before entering politics and has released a folk album
_____ Since 2009, Sanders top five campaign contributions have come from labor unions.
_____ He is only the second Democratic senator ever to represent Vermont
_____ He won his first election, as mayor of Burlington, VT, by 10 votes.
14. FUN FACTS ABOUT HILARY CLINTON (T/F?)
_____ She won a Grammy Award in 1996.
_____ She worked a job sliming fish in Alaska during college.
_____ She campaigned for Goldwater in 1964 as a “Goldwater Girl” and went on to campaign for George McGovern in 1968
_____ She tried to join the Marines at age 27, but was told, “You’re too old, you can’t see and you’re a woman.”
15. FUN FACTS ABOUT DONALD TRUMP (T/F?)
____ His sister is a federal appeals court judge.
____ He is an Ivy League university graduate.
_____ He graduated from the same Military Academy for troubled teens as Francis Ford Coppola, Stephen Sondheim and John Gotti, Jr.
____ He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
____ He participated in WWE’s Wrestlemania 23.
16. IN CASE YOU’VE FORGOTTEN WHAT’S AT STAKE:
Which of these quotations is NOT attributable to Donald Trump? Circle the number of the right answer.
1. “ An extremely credible source has called my office and told me that Barak Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.
2. “Our great African-African President hasn’t exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore.”
3. It’s freezing and snowing in New York. We need global warming.”
4. I will build a great great wall on our Southern border. I will make Mexico pay for it.”
5. “I’ve said that if Ivanka wasn’t my daughter, maybe I’d be dating her.”
6. “My IQ is one of the highest – and you know it.”
7. “I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”
8. “The only card that Hilary Clinton has is the woman’s card…”
9. "They're (Muslims) not coming to this country if I'm president. And if Obama has brought some to this country they are leaving, they're going, they're gone."
10. “He’s (John McCain) not a war hero,” said Trump. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
11. He said (or tweeted) it all. YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP.
Tick the statements about Voting From Abroad that are TRUE.
* If you live outside the US, you must register every year you want to vote.
* If you request a Democratic Primary ballot, your state will send your information to Democrats Abroad.
* The only way to become a member of Democrats Abroad is to JOIN.
* When you fill out the VFA registration app, it goes online, directly to your home state.
* Mail your voter registration application to your county voting authority, usually called a Registrar or County Board of Elections.
* Democrats Abroad has a Global Primary every two years, in the even-numbered years.
* If you vote for President in the DA GPP, you may NOT vote for President OR for delegates for that candidate in your home state election.
* If you vote in the DA GPP, you MAY vote for other ‘down-ballot’ races on your state ballot.
* ‘Down-ballot’ races might include US Senate and House, state legislatura, mayor and US Supreme Court justices.
* Military personnel overseas can register and vote online (UOCAVA).
* Civilian voters can fill in the application to register online, but must print, sign and send the hard copy back to their home county voting authority.
* Most US states currently use electronic (touchscreen) voting machines and will accept online votes from abroad as well.
* Your state Sec’y of State keeps track of who you vote for. If you usually vote for Democrats, they will send you a Democratic Primary ballot.
* To stay a member of Dems Abroad, you must make contact at least every four years, by attending events, updating your contact information, or talking to a phone volunteer.
* If you move to a different country abroad, you can move your membership to their DA group.
* If you move back to the US, you are no longer be a member of Democrats Abroad.
* DAGR has a Women’ Caucus, a Young Democrats group, an LGBT Caucus and a group working on taxation issues.
10 B Bonus: Democrats For America, Dean For America, Obama For America
12 All six are vulnerable Republican incumbents up for re-election in November.
13 T, T, T, T
14 T, T, T, T
15 T, T, T, T, T
16 All T except the last one, #11.
Tick the statements about Voting From Abroad that are TRUE.
X If you live outside the US, you must register every year you want to vote.
- If you request a Democratic Primary ballot, your state will send your information to Democrats Abroad.
X The only way to become a member of Democrats Abroad is to JOIN.
- When you fill out the VFA registration app, it goes online, directly to your home state.
X Mail your voter registration application to your county voting authority, usually called a Registrar or County Board of Elections. (Actually, we later learned that in some states, you may mail the ballot to city or other officials, but at the FOJ event, we counted this one as True.)
- Democrats Abroad has a Global Primary every two years, in the even-numbered years.
X If you vote for President in the DA GPP, you may NOT vote for President OR for delegates for that candidate in your home state election.
X If you vote in the DA GPP, you MAY vote for other ‘down-ballot’ races on your state ballot.
- ‘Down-ballot’ races might include US Senate and House, state legislatura, mayor and US Supreme Court justices.
X Military personnel overseas can register and vote online (UOCAVA).
X Civilian voters can fill in the application to register online, but must print, sign and send the hard copy back to their home county voting authority.
- Most US states currently use electronic (touchscreen) voting machines and will accept online votes from abroad as well.
- Your state Sec’y of State keeps track of who you vote for. If you usually vote for Democrats, they will send you a Democratic Primary ballot.
X To stay a member of Dems Abroad, you must make contact at least every four years, by attending events, updating your contact information, or talking to a phone volunteer.
X If you move to a different country abroad, you can move your membership to their DA group.
X If you move back to the US, you may no longer be a member of Democrats Abroad.
- DAGR has a Women’ Caucus, a Young Democrats group, an LGBT Caucus and a group working on taxation issues. (Not yet, anyway. Just wait!)
U.S. INDEPENDENCE DAY
Celebrate at the Beach!
Democrats Abroad Greece (DAGR)
Message from the Chair:
Most of us can’t remember an election year like this one in our lifetimes: whacko in its way and yet exciting in its prospects. Fireworks galore!
In the middle of July, the GOP meets in Cleveland to set off the Donald Rocket or help it fizzle out. A week after that, Dems will gather in Philadelphia. With the nomination 99% a done-deal, our goal is to hammer out a deal that lets us unite behind our candidates.
DAGR’s July celebration marks a brief lull before we dive back into furious activity in the fall. We’ll be renewing old friendships, having some fun, sharing ideas, and … filming more material for our GOTV video. It’s going to be a great event, with our own special brand of pyrotechnics! See you there! ~ K.L.
Invited: All American citizens in Greece, family and friends of any nationality
Saturday, July 9, 2016
8:00 to 11:00 pm (20:00 to 23:00)
Nautical Club of Egyptian Greeks (ENOA), Ellinikon
See directions, map link below
RSVP by noon, Thursday, July 7, using the reservation form at:
Gate opens at 8 - Food service at 8:30 - Fireworks at 9:30
Dancing till drop or 11-ish
Swimming, beach volley
Piñata games and face painting
Table competitions and US Election Trivia Quiz
Updated 2016 straw poll for the politically minded
Young Dems meet-up for tweens to 20s
Medley of American music throughout
Donation: Adults €15 -- 6-12 yr olds €7 -- under 5 yrs free
Includes: 1 hotdog, 1 hamburger, corn-on-cob, 3 salads, watermelon
Vegetarian option available
Extras: beer, ice tea, lemonade
NB: Donations may only be received from US citizens, FEC rules. Please bring your US passport!
For general information:
Email [email protected] OR
Call Secretary Charity Moschopoulos, 697 743 3146, or Chair Karen Lee, 693 270 0095
Join us for a wonderful Fourth of July!
For Democrats Abroad Greece Executive Committee,
Karen Lee, Chair 2015-2017
How to Get There: (look for the over-road footbridge!)
By Car – Seawards off Leoforos Poseidonos at 2nd Agh. Kosmas tram stop (left between 2nd and 1st Agh. Kosmas bus stops to loop back, if coming from Sounion).
Follow the winding road almost to the end (Akrotiri). Parking!
And let us know if you need or are willing to form a carpool!
By Bus – 2nd Agh. Kosmas bus stop. Walk down the winding road toward the sea.
By Tram –2nd Agh Kosmas tram stop. Metro connects with tram near Syntagma and at several other stations along the route.
Map on ENOA Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/ENOA/201331406586376
Walking impaired? Reserve for our shuttle service when you RSVP!
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Free online, web-based information session to assist U.S. overseas taxpayers in understanding their tax filing obligations.
Of interest to taxpayers and tax professionals.
Click this link to log in: https://www.webcaster4.com/Webcast/Page/490/14725
The session will be recorded and made available at a later time.
The full announcement from which this summary was taken was sent out by the United States Embassy Athens, Greece.
For further information, please contact the IRS directly at https://www.irs.gov/uac/contact-my-local-office-internationally
Here’s the full announcement below if you need to check any details.
United States Embassy Athens, Greece
May 24, 2016
Message for U.S. Citizens:
IRS Webinar on Overseas Filing for U.S. Taxpayers
On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will hold a free online, web-based information session to assist U.S. overseas taxpayers in understanding their filing obligations. The following guidance is made available from the IRS. For further information, please contact the IRS directly.
The webinar for Greece will be held 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25. interested in learning more about these requirements should click this link to log in: Overseas Taxpayers. Attendees are encouraged to log in 10 minutes prior to the start time.
The session will be recorded and made available at a later time.
The IRS reminds U.S. citizens and resident aliens, including those with dual citizenship who have lived or worked abroad during all or part of 2015, that they may have a U.S. tax liability and a filing requirement in 2016. The IRS encourages taxpayers with foreign assets, even relatively small amounts, to check if they have a filing requirement (under FBAR or FATCA).
Most People Abroad Need to File
A filing requirement generally applies even if a taxpayer qualifies for tax benefits, such as the foreign earned income exclusion or the foreign tax credit , that substantially reduce or eliminate their U.S. tax liability. These tax benefits are not automatic and are only available if an eligible taxpayer files a U.S. income tax return.
The filing deadline is Wednesday, June 15, 2016, for U.S. citizens and resident aliens whose tax home and abode are outside the United States and Puerto Rico, and for those serving in the military outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico. To use this automatic two-month extension, taxpayers must attach a statement to their return explaining which of these two situations applies. See U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad for details.
Nonresident aliens who received income from U.S. sources in 2015 also must determine whether they have a U.S. tax obligation. The filing deadline for nonresident aliens can be April 18, 2016, or June 15, 2016, depending on sources of income. See Taxation of Nonresident Aliens on IRS.gov.
Special Reporting for Foreign Accounts and Assets
Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report any worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and securities accounts. In most cases, affected taxpayers need to complete and attach Schedule B to their tax return. Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts, such as bank and securities accounts, and usually requires U.S. citizens to report the country in which each account is located.
Taxpayers with an interest in, or signature or other authority over, foreign financial accounts whose aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2015 must file with the Treasury Department a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). It is due to the Treasury Department by June 30, 2016, must be filed electronically and is only available online through the BSA E-Filing System website. For details regarding the FBAR requirements, see Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).
In addition, under the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), certain taxpayers may also have to complete and attach to their return Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets. Generally, U.S. citizens, resident aliens and certain nonresident aliens must report specified foreign financial assets on this form if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds. See the instructions for this form for details.
Taxpayers who relinquished their U.S. citizenship or ceased to be lawful permanent residents of the United States during 2015 must file a dual-status alien return, attaching Form 8854, Initial and Annual Expatriation Statement. A copy of the Form 8854 must also be filed with Internal Revenue Service Philadelphia, PA 19255-0049, by the due date of the tax return (including extensions). See the instructions for this form and Notice 2009-85, Guidance for Expatriates Under Section 877A, for further details.
Choose Free File or E-File
U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad can now use IRS Free File to prepare and electronically file their returns for free. This means both U.S. citizens and resident aliens living abroad with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of $62,000 or less can use brand-name software to prepare their returns and then e-file them for free. A limited number of companies provide software that can accommodate foreign addresses. To determine which will work best, view the complete Free File Software list and the services provided.
The electronic filing options are available until Oct. 15, 2016, for anyone filing a 2015 return. Check out the e-file link on IRS.gov for details on the various electronic filing options. Free File is not currently available to nonresident aliens required to file a Form 1040NR.
More Information Available
Any U.S. taxpayer here or abroad with tax questions can refer to the International Taxpayers landing page and use the online IRS Tax Map and the International Tax Topic Index to get answers. These online tools assemble or group IRS forms, publications and web pages by subject and provide users with a single entry point to find tax information.
Taxpayers who are looking for return preparers abroad should visit the Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.
To help avoid delays with tax refunds, taxpayers living abroad should visit the Helpful Tips for Effectively Receiving a Tax Refund for Taxpayers Living Abroad page.
Questions regarding this webinar may be sent by email to [email protected]
Before we report on this past weekend's Dems Abroad Global Convention, please note a LOT of news:
CHANGE THE DATE! AND THEN SAVE IT!
DAGR Independence Day Celebration
Where: ENOA, Ellinikon coast, Athens
NEW DATE: SATURDAY, JULY 9
Time: Doors open 7:30, with fun, food, fireworks and more fun after that!
The baptism that had already booked the ENOA indoor space demanded they not have to compete with outside noise. We yielded to 'first come, first served' and have now confirmed for the 9th. We can start later and avoid the heat ... and dance after the fireworks! Better late than curtail the revelry! We might even invite the French since we're so close to Bastille Day. :)
POLITICS AT THE BISTROT: How democratic are the Democratic primaries?
MONDAY, May 23, 7-9 p.m.
La Place Mignonne, Ethnikis Aminis 4, Thessaloniki
Debate on US Democratic primaries, premiere of get-out-the-vote campaigns, selection of the best Vote-here signs, mock exit poll, masterclass in social media, and more. Not a DAGR event, but definitely of interest!
Alec Mally (former US Consul General of Thessaloniki, Democrats Abroad Greece)
John Koenig, via Skype (Former US Ambassador to Cyprus, Democratic Party delegate, WA)
Michael Dukakis, via Skype (1988 Democratic Nominee for President, Northeastern University)
Dimitris Savvaidis (AddArt),
George Siakas (University of Macedonia Research Institute)
Lansie Sylvia, via Skype (Here?s My Chance, Philadelphia)
THE COFFEE PARTY aka Chapter to meet in Thessaloniki
THURSDAY, June 9, 7 p.m.
Macedonia Palace Hotel, Coffee Shop - Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki Chapter, watch for emails w/details
WORTHY GOAL: No more 'riders' slipped into unrelated bills!
The North Carolina state legislature has slipped an anti-abortion 'rider' into a Motorcycle Safety bill. Well, yes, riders do show up on motorcycles! The bad news shows up in an excellent article on Reproduction Rights, which our DAGR Women's Caucus is discussing this month. Ask to join the group on Facebook or read the article here.
WORTHIER GOAL: Make Election Day a National Holiday
In 2014, voter turnout hit a 70-year low. One reason is that Election Day is mid-week, and, with early/weekend voting cut in some states; many people can't afford to take time off to wait in line at the polling booths. By making Election Day a national holiday, every eligible American voter would be able to exercise their right to vote. This is also a proposed plank in the DA Platform draft, and President Obama has just come out in favor. PTP asks for a click in support.
HALC - ELECTION PREFERENCE SURVEY
If you'd like to let the Hellenic-American Leadership Council know how you stand on current elections, their short survey can be clicked athttp://hellenicleaders.com/WhereDoYouStand
To the family and friends of former US Ambassador Monteagle Stearns, who died Saturday at the age of 91. Stearns, who served as the US ambassador to Greece from August 1981 through September 1985, during the premiership of Andreas Papandreou, was credited as being one of the US's most able diplomats in Greece and a true Philhellene. He was known to many members of DAGR and was also the first ambassador under whom former Chair Alec Mally served. Full article is on e-Kathimerini at
STATE DEPARTMENT JOBS POSTED
The DOS Recent Graduates Program (RGP) is accepting applications from graduates of trade and vocational schools, community colleges, universities, and other qualifying educational institutions or programs. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion.
A complete application must be submitted by 11:59PM (EST) on the closing date of the announcement to receive consideration.
MORE JOBS - International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Urgently seeking many social workers, translators (Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Dari speakers are all needed), people with experience working with vulnerable women and children, psychologists and many other positions! Working in Greece to provide essential care and services to the refugees. These are paid jobs; contracts are 3-6 months with possibility of extension. Interested applicants please send CVs and inquires directly to [email protected]. All jobs and details are posted here: http://www.skywalker.gr/companyHomepage.aspx?companyID=11689
DEMS ABROAD GLOBAL CONVENTION, Berlin 2016
Four 8-hour days at the monitor have come and gone. Exhausting! Exhilarating! Very well conducted!
Congratulations are in order for the international DPCA ExCom, Dems Abroad Germany hosts, and volunteers at every level of the operation. And special kudos are due the IT team that managed the WebEx connection.
DAGR Chair Karen and Vice Chair Steve, as voting members of DPCA, attended all four days, starting with the Global AGM on Thursday. Also registered as ?electors? (any elected member of ExCom could register), we took part in the EMEA Regional Caucus on Friday, both in Sanders caucus room. (The carefully maintained mask of candidate neutrality has just been whipped off to reveal our true faces.) Treasurer Alec joined the Global AGM as well, but had not signed up as an elector. He also ran our Twitter and FB feeds as elections progressed over the weekend.
Thursday began with work on the Platform to be discussed on Sunday. The DPCA AGM had required officers and committee reports, quite interesting actually. Then a discussion ensued on whether to have AGMs all in DC, alternating DC and worldwide, etc. Pros and cons on both choices.
Those of you who've joined our local meetings via WebEx know there's a big screen where files and slides can be shown and, to the right, a video of the main meeting, a list of participants, and a type-chat facility.
By Friday, we discovered chatting was risky. You had to be very careful not to send a private comment to 'everyone,' to keep the 'everyone' channel open for 'hand up to speak' queues and voice votes. Like this:
"Aye/No," Send to everyone. Okay!
"Young guy is sharp. Other one seems full of himself," Send to everyone. Whoops!
Alec observed the Sanders Global Caucus on Saturday. (A thin veil drops quietly to the floor.) We tried to run Skype at the same time, but couldn't mute WebEx without muting Skype. So, we figured out we could open up Skype on laptops, then swing over to the desk-top screen to chat to 'everyone' or cast votes on delegate candidates. Check delegate hopefuls' bios on the DA Wiki. Post a screen shot to Facebook. Check that young alternate's Twitter feed. Multi-task! Yes!
Coffee break, 10 minutes: pop yesterday's coffee in the microwave, throw in a load of laundry, wash breakfast dishes, check snail mail in lobby, grab cup, back to desk as the meeting reconvenes. Whew!
Pledged Delegates are apportioned to the nearly 68-32% spread of the GPP vote. That meant of the 13 pledged delegates, 9 went to Sanders and 4 to Clinton. EMEA also had more to elect than Americas and Asia-Pacific, as it had had a higher GPP turnout. Finally, each CC got the number (or fraction) of votes proportional to its turnout in its region. Complicated, but an algorithm handled it and we just clicked a radio button.
Sunday, a few tempers frayed. One IL lawyer took exception to an off-hand reference to 'Chicago politics.' Another, also IL bar, smoothed ruffled feathers. (The DAGR elector from Ohio refrained from noting what neighboring states say about Chicago.) Delegate elections, left-over from Saturday, were finished. Affirmative Action goals were fairly met, 16 of 18 points fulfilled by the Sanders delegates.
Election of 3 new DNC members (4-year terms) was accomplished. Platform work ran on until the room had to be cleared at 6 p.m. CET, and will be completed by WebEx in the next week.
Speakers smiled at each other as they argued. The work UNITY was used 87 times (at least).
The DA Delegation to the Democratic Nation Convention, July 25-28, including elected pledged delegates, new and current DNC members, and the International Chair and Vice Chair, is listed on the DA Wiki at
Steve: "Highlights for me ...
1. The passion and earnestness of new, young candidates...new members to Democrats Abroad (perhaps even the DP)...their commitment to getting and staying involved.
2. The conscientious and professional organization and leadership (of the process) throughout the global meeting.
3. I came away from the experience feeling that there will be party unity (at least in DA) after the convention and support for our party's nominee. Obviously, strong feelings expressed in both camps...but I did feel that I could trust the representatives we elected (after fighting hard for their positions in Philadelphia) understand that electing a Democrat in November is our top priority. This was important for me, and was an idea that informed my own voting."
Alec: "As many of you know, I declined to run for Chair in 2015 in part because I saw our party's nominations process as controlled by the DNC, thus the path to the coronation essentially foreordained. The vitality and determination of the Sanders campaign over the last year has made me rethink many of my earlier views on how our party works and I was amazed to see a number of truly democratic candidate selection mechanisms/practices in action (not 100% but still?) at the Global Convention and the depth of support for Senator Sanders in Democrats Abroad globally. Now however, the watchword going forward must be “Victory in Unity."
Karen: "The DA Platform says it all! Progressive, sensible, do-able! Once or twice, someone wanted to remove a plank as it was too visionary, would never pass, etc. The plenary kept it in, to raise the issue and set a goal. There's a high level of expertise among members plus a lot of just well-informed people. Our work will become part of the DNC Platform -- and that's a floor fight you won't want to miss! With the nomination still wide open, everyone's worried about how to keep those bright, committed Sanders millennials on board should Clinton win. Well, the Platform is the key!"
AND THAT'S THE NAME OF THAT TUNE!
Winter Lesson Student Performances
Dora Stratou Greek Dances Theatre, Philapappou
Sunday, May 22, starts after dark, 9-ish, chair's group about 10:30-ish
One of the senior 'beyond 3-yr certificate' classes will be performing dances from Avestades, Thrace. As this class is large, the program is double, an aerobic selection including: Tapino, Baidouska, Zonaradiko, Gaitani, Koulouriosto, and Mantilato. Your DAGR Chair will be the old lady about 5th from last in the circle.
2016 seems to be speeding up, or at least our emails seem to be coming out more frequently. We hope it strikes a balance for you between enough-news and not-too-often.
Till next time!
Karen and the ExCom
We had the pleasure to meet many of you during the Global Primary at the Grand Bretagne in early March, and since then, the Women's Caucus has been busy! We have launched a DAGR Women's Caucus Facebook group.
With our survey results and our new DAGR WC Facebook communication tool in place, we invite you to:
- join us in creating a community to explore the issues that concern us;
- promote well researched analysis;
- contribute to discussion to build a platform for our Women's Caucus.
Some of you may have already been added to the Facebook group, as we were already connected on Facebook. Others of you we have tried to add through email searches. Everyone is welcome: If you have not received an invitation on Facebook and are an FB user, kindly respond to [email protected] to request access to the closed FB group and feel free to pass this news on to your DAGR friends.
We hope that you will join us in our discussion and look forward to hearing from you on Facebook!