A Conversation with Former Ambassador to Greece, Thomas Miller and Mrs. Bonnie Miller


Former Ambassador to Greece Thomas Miller and his wife Bonnie Miller, will meet with members and friends of Democrats Abroad Greece on Thursday, July 16th at 9 pm in an online webinar.

Ambassador and Mrs. Miller will discuss their time in Greece, the importance of the overseas voter to the outcome of the November 3rd election and US policy regarding crucial topics affecting Greece such as AOZ, energy and security issues.  Attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions to Ambassador Miller, to be answered following the presentation.

To participate in the Webinar “A Conversation with former Ambassador to Greece Thomas Miller and Mrs. Bonnie Miller,” please follow the link to register for the webinar, present your questions and receive a link to connect to the presentation.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, July 14th.

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What Can One Dem Do???

What Can One Dem Do?

To paraphrase: “November and Trump’s a’comin’ We’re still on our own.” The Kentucky primary this week looked a lot like Georgia before it. One polling station was open for all of Louisville, and a significant number of absentee ballots requested never arrived.

As one DAGR Issues Group member put it, “But what can WE do to make sure this doesn’t happen in November?”

First of all, numbers make the election harder to tamper with. Democrats have the numbers. That is, we have the people who agree with us on the issues.

We just have to get them registered and voting.

Here’s what we can do!


  • Know the enemy. No smart election thief uses one big, blatant ploy. It’s death by a thousand little cuts. If you want to know how they all fit together, check our 2016 series, here, here, and here:  
  • Urge your Senators, now, to pass the HEROES Act, with money allotted to help states set up mail-in ballots. Only 3 states regularly vote-by-mail, but most others are trying to establish it, in case there’s a second wave of pandemic in the fall.
  • Urge Congress to save the US Postal Service! For decades, conservatives have been trying to starve and privatize this institution we all depend on. Support funding to put it back on a solid financial footing and be prepared to quickly deliver mail-in ballots.

State and Local

Know the election law in your state.

  • Start with your state’s information on the VoteFromAbroad website. You can see if you’re registered, have been sent your ballot, had it received back, and counted. 
  • Find out who oversees election integrity. Is it your state’s Secretary of State or another official? Is that person, no matter which party, an election protector? Or are they of the Kemp (Georgia 2018) or Blackwell (Ohio 2004) ilk?
  • Look further if you want. Many university departments, e.g. law or public administration, study local elections and voting threats in their states.
  • Contact your state Democratic Party. See what they’re doing to protect the election!
  • Make contact with your county LEO (local election official), board of elections or other name. Let them know you’re watching and waiting with bated breath for your ballot. You can find their contact information on that VoteFromAbroad link above.
  • And, while you’re at it, reach out to your county Dem party. Seriously! Send them an email and ask if they need any e-help.

There will be opportunities for us abroad to help phone bank to voters in the US. This may be via the parties, various candidates’ campaigns or interest groups. Most will use an online dialing system so you can call the US free of charge. And most will provide a ‘script’ or talking points to use.

As Howard Dean pointed out in his June webinar with DA, we’re most effective talking to voters in our home districts. 

  • US-side, be selective. Join a call-campaign that targets your area. The stateside voter may be excited to get a call from abroad, but you’ll have even more impact when they know you share roots, issues and candidates.
  • Dems Abroad will have some calling campaigns for you to choose from later on. Once the window closes for timely voting from abroad, we shift efforts to stateside.

Democrats Abroad (last but not least!)

First, let’s energize our DA members and make sure they’re registered ( and have requested a ballot.

In September, we’ll be calling again to make sure they have registered. As soon as ballots are sent out (Sept 19), we need to vote and return them PRONTO! There, very likely, will be mail delays and other problems in November. An early start gives time to overcome them.

  • You can help with one of the global DA campaigns using the online CallHub system, if you have a computer or laptop.
  • Or volunteer to call our members in Greece. DAGR uses landline and mobile phones. We call by zip-code area, so you get to know people closest to you. You might even arrange to get together some time. Contact GOTV chair Charity Moschopoulos ([email protected]) if you haven’t already volunteered.
  • Sign up for Voter Protection news via Dems Abroad. DA volunteers are monitoring the scene in each state, particularly in regard to the potential pitfalls in voting absentee from abroad this year. For an inside look, there’s a DA voter protection webinar on Facebook.

One last bit of advice from DA: “If someone says you can’t vote, or that you have to provide a photo ID, or register in person, know your rights (that someone is wrong)! Point to Federal voting law and make sure others know their rights, too!”

Dems Abroad Voter Help Desk - Democrats Abroad works with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to stay informed on state voting purges and negotiates with Secretary of State offices regarding access to ballots and election sites, explains Julia Bryan. “And we provide a 24/7 help desk that runs 365 days a year, answering voting questions via email, chat channels and social media channels. If you try to access an election site and it doesn’t work, don’t assume it’s your connection,” Bryan advises. “Get in touch with Democrats Abroad and let us know about the problem.”(Email: [email protected])

At Least One Greek Bank will Deposit Your US CARES Check

And the good news is ….

At Least One Greek Bank Will Deposit Your US EIP Check

One Member's Experience!

We’ve heard a few success stories concerning the Economic Impact Payment of $1200(CARES Act), but questions continue to come in. Today, we move a step ahead … one check in the mail, deposited successfully.

When my EIP check arrived, I called my bank’s main Customer Service number and asked questions. I was lucky that day to be put through to the colleague who ‘would know the most about it.’ He explained the bank was dealing with myriad new routines, rules, etc. in light of our virus-driven work-arounds.

 But as it turned out, the information he gave me held true.

1.       Yes, the bank will deposit the US gov’t check in a dollar account.
(You’d have to ask further questions if you only have a euro account)
2.       The deposit must be made in-person during lobby hours.
3.       The deposit must be made at the bank branch where your account is registered.

After the check had self-quarantined for a few days, i.e. when I was ready to go out to the branch, I got in touch with the branch personnel and made sure they knew about the rules Customer Service had shared. I also asked about busy hours, best time to visit, etc.

When I arrived at the bank branch today, the ‘banking lobby’ manager greeted me with a smile and she recognized my voice from the phone call yesterday! This may be the upside of an economic slow-down.

The teller was also friendly and helpful. The lobby was serving 2 or 3 customers, max, in a large space. No lines outside. Most personnel were either wearing masks or working behind plastic/glass dividers. I was in and out in less than 15 minutes.

A lot of people have been wondering if/when their EIP will arrive or be deposited in a US bank account. As a Social Security beneficiary, I had expected mine to go to the account where my SS benefit goes every month. 

I did not file any additional information with IRS. I had filed my 1040 returns, using my Greek address. I got Social Security by direct-deposit in a stateside bank account. There were no boxes I could tick on the IRS site to “add info here.”

But I kept checking my US account online to see if it had arrived. And then the check came to Greece by mail. This took a bit longer than an electronic deposit should have and it must have cost ‘taxpayers’ more to print and mail a few million hard-copy checks. You get the impression that someone at IRS said, “Keep it simple. Just mail them all to the address on the return.” I could be wrong.

That’s the long and short of it. Contrary to what Aunt Clara may have advised, you do not have to fly back to the US to cash the EIP check. But you may encounter other issues here, even if you bank where I do.

The best advice is call your bank and ask if and how they will handle it.

And then, if you run into any snags, be sure to let DAGR know. Dems Abroad is keeping a close eye on this as well as on registration and voting difficulties and may be able to help.

PS – If you don’t desperately need the whole EIP check, consider donating a small portion to DAGR. We do desperately need it to keep the lights on (and the Eforia happy) so we can concentrate on the elections at hand … and send the grifters packing in November!

Experienced and Submitted by Karen Lee
DAGR Fund Raising Committee

DA Global Presidential Primary in Greece

VOTE IN GREECE for the Democratic Presidential Candidate of your choice
Tuesday, March 3rd and Sunday, March 8th!!!

There are 57 primaries or caucuses taking place beginning February through June to select the Democratic Presidential Candidate for the November 3rd election.

Wait, the US only has 50 states! Where did 57 come from?
The Primaries and Caucuses include:
50 States, DC, 5 Territories and DEMOCRATS ABROAD!
Yes, Democrats Abroad around the world has the same status as one state and even MORE POWER!
This is your chance to vote in person in GREECE this presidential year!

During the next few weeks DAGR Members will be receiving a call from a member of Democrats Abroad Greece. Why? To ensure that we have your correct information on file, to tell you about our upcoming events and to remind you to get yourself registered to vote for both the Presidential Primary and the November elections. Our volunteers from GOTV - Get Out The Vote will guide you through registering online by going to the site Vote From Abroad - or offering assistance if you have difficulty registering.

Democrats Abroad GREECE (DAGR) will have 2 voting centers for the 2020 Global Presidential Primary:


DAGR Global Presidential Primary Voting Center – THESSALONIKI
Date: Tuesday, March 3
Time: 1 pm to 7 pm







Place:The Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center
The American College (ACT) -Thessaloniki
17 Sevenidi Street
Pylea, Thessaloniki 55535

DAGR Global Presidential Primary Voting Center – ATHENS
Date: Sunday, March 8
Time: Noon to 5 pm
Place: King George/Grande Bretagne Hotel
3 Vasileos Georgiou Street
Athens 10564

Am I eligible?
If you’re a Democrat Abroad member in GREECE and you haven’t voted (or plan to vote) in any other 2020 state presidential primary/caucus, you’re eligible to vote in the Global Presidential Primary.

The Global Presidential Primary is a week-long voting period -- kicking off on March 3, Super Tuesday! -- for Democrats Abroad members to participate in our official party-run presidential primary. We’re holding more than 220 events in 45 countries around the world, and we hope you’ll be joining us.

What if I can’t join a voting event in person?
If you can’t join us at our events in Greece, you can vote remotely. Look for your primary ballot in your inbox on February 18, or download it from starting on Feb 18, as well.

Do votes in the GPP count?
Why should I participate in the GPP instead of voting in my state’s presidential primary?
Yes, your vote counts!
In fact, you could even say that votes in the GPP count even more.
The Global Presidential Primary is more powerful than voting in the California primary. In fact, it’s 4 times more powerful!

I vote in California.
Can I vote in the Global Presidential Primary and the California primary?
You can only vote in a presidential primary once.
If you vote in the global primary and want to vote in California for the down-ballot primary races (like for your congressperson), you can!
Just skip the presidential section on your California ballot.

Where can I ask further questions?
Please email [email protected]

We will also be asking for volunteers on the day of the Global Primary in both Thessaloniki and Athens. If you would like to help out and be an active participant in the voting process - kind of like serving as an election judge back home, watch for our next email with a google form with volunteering opportunities.

Brady Kiesling Elected Vice Chair in Special Election

In a special election, completed on January 8, Brady Kiesling became Democrats Abroad Greece (DAGR) Vice Chair with 80 percent of the ballots.  Following the death of country Chair Steve Medeiros, on November 7th, as per the DAGR Constitution, the Vice Chair, Stacey Harris-Papaioannou, succeeded Medeiros as Chair.  A Special Election was run from December 18th through to January 7th.  Brady Kiesling and George Malamo were the candidates. Electronic ballots and mail-in ballots could be cast.  The Election committee -- comprising Nikki Fellouris, chair, and committee members Anna Haughton and Sarajane Kidd Leone -- announced the results at an online Webex meeting on Wednesday, January 8th.

(R-L) - Brady with Julia Bryan, Democrats Abroad Global Chair, Will Bakker, Regional Vice Chair - EMEA
and Stacey Papaioannou, Chair DAGR

Brady was a featured speaker at the EMEA Regional Democrats Abroad conference held in Athens this past October. He has been active in mobilizing the American community in Athens in support of Democratic candidates since 2004. During the 2008 elections, he maintained the DA membership database. From 2010 to 2013, he served DAGR as Secretary.  He has volunteered for a variety of DA programs and events including phone banking, Study Abroad outreach, data base upkeep and nominations-elections committee.

Brady first came to Greece in 1979 when he studied at the American School of Classical studies. He is currently working on a free app,Topos Text, that accesses Greek classics and archaeology.  Kiesling is a writer and researcher based in Athens.

Women's March 2020 in Athens

The “march that became a movement” showing support for women’s equal rights across the globe converged on Syntagma Square Saturday afternoon January 18th.
The temperature was a balmy 10 c and the main square and surrounding streets had been closed off by police 30 minutes before the program was to be presented (no thanks to a VIP making an exit from the Grande Bretagne!). But nothing could deter the Women’s March Athens 2020 and their hundred or so supporters to be there!
In 2017 THE MARCH began as an outcry against one single misogynist but the issues that women confront around the world are comparable. Participants hope to bring true equality to our societies by raising awareness and activism-which is what THE MARCH is all about.

Members of the Women's Caucus of Democrats Abroad Greece (DAGR) invited all individuals and women's groups to peacefully participate in this year's march in Athens on January 18. Equality is on the table in 2020, advocating for a society of equals across all geographic and economic borders. The voices were loud and messages strong that we will no longer tolerate or defer to a community that does not treat each of its members with equality. Hillary Clinton made the point more than 2 decades ago. Today, women struggle across the globe for autonomy over their bodies, financial equality in the work force and ultimately THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS.


In its 4th year, the program on Saturday included presentations from:

Georgia Kallis, DAGR Women’s March 2020 Chair
Brady Kiesling, DAGR Vice Chair - A message from Democrats Abroad Greece
Karen Lee, DAGR Fundraising Chair - A message from Margarita Papandreou
Dr. Maria Alvanou, Criminologist, Defense Attorney
Zefi Diamanda, Journalist, Adjunct Professor at Panteon University of Athens
Apostolos H. Pontas, Politician-President of EDEM Union of Democratic National Reform
Alicia Stallings - Poet presenting “Atalanta”
Maria Misenidou
Jai Salvador
Las Tesis (ENGLISH) “The Rapist is You” - Las Tesis “The Rapist is You” (Greek)
Zandile Ngubane - Mandela Gals - “Still I Rise” Maya Angelou
Mandela Gals - Dance Performance

Special Elections to Fill the Vacancy for DAGR Vice-Chair

DAGR is holding a Special Election from December 18th until January 7th 2020 to fill the vacancy on the Executive Committee of Vice-Chair. Following the death of Country Chair, Steve Medeiros on November 7th, Stacey Harris-Papaioannou, succeeded as Chair as per DAGR bylaws. That in turn created a vacancy in the position of Vice Chair. In compliance with the regulations that Chair and Vice-Chair must be sexual opposites, only males were eligible as candidates.

As of the close of nominations on December 15th the two candidates for Country Vice-Chair are:

The candidates for the position of VICE CHAIR DAGR are:

  • Kiesling, (John) Brady
  • Malamo, George

The two candidates have prepared statements concerning their candidacy:

Brady Kiesling, Candidate for Vice Chair Democrats Abroad Greece

I appreciate the confidence shown me through this nomination to fill in as Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad Greece. Steve Medeiros accepted the post of Chair out of an admirable sense of loyalty to the American citizen community of Greece. He understood, as we did not, how little time was left to him, but he also understood the urgency of the political crisis in Washington and the need for volunteers to step forward. With such an example I could not decently turn down the request for help.

I am a writer and researcher living in Athens, and the former head of the Political Section of the U.S. Embassy in Athens. My experience in Greece dates back to 1979, when I studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. My current project is a free classics/archaeology app called ToposText.

I have been active since 2004 in helping mobilize the American community in Athens in support of Democratic candidates and other worthy causes. During the 2008 elections I maintained the DA membership database; I served 2010-2013 as Secretary and have volunteered for various events and programs in recent years, including phone-banking, database upkeep, and the nominating committee.

We owe it to Steve’s memory, as well as to our children and the world as a whole, to mobilize every American vote we can in 2020. If judged worthy of your vote, I pledge to work closely with our new Chair Stacey and the rest of the DAGR board in carrying out a successful Global Primary and Get-Out-the-Vote campaign this fall. Democrats Abroad must remain a vibrant element of the American community in Greece.

George Malamo, Candidate for Vice Chair Democrats Abroad Greece

I am George Malamo of Florida, and I am a proud native Floridian from Pensacola. You may recognize my name since I served as Athens Chapter Representative 2017-19 and ran again for “At Large” in January. I was not elected (due to my physical absence), but that’s politics. Unlike my opponent, I have consistently stepped up for a full term DAGR Board position in recent years and in light of Chair Steve Medeiros’ passing, I am volunteering again to serve.

I have been a registered Democrat in Florida since 1978, it was my father’s party so it runs in the family. We both agreed on the same beliefs of the Democratic Party such as strong economic security for everyone, no one should be homeless, hungry, abused, or neglected, fair tax systems, equal rights, the free enterprise system for the working/middle class, among many more. These beliefs would probably define me as a moderate Democrat, definitely not a fire-breathing progressive. It doesn’t hurt to have a few moderate Floridians on the DAGR Board as the country’s third-largest state in population terms remains a critical electoral battleground, if not the most critical state.
Currently, I’m serving for a third consecutive year as the President of AHEPA Chapter Solon HJ04 in Athens, with extensive contacts in the local community and senior leaders as well as Washington, while organizing events for Greek-American relations, working closely with the educational sector, and supporting the social solidarity of the Attiki region in health, welfare, and gender equality.
My Greek is near-native fluency, which will be invaluable as we fight to win hearts and minds in the Greek-American community here, especially in the sizeable group of Greek Americans who inexplicably lean towards President Trump. If needed I can comfortably handle election-year media outreach in the community, although that is not my purpose for running.
I am an engineer by training which I think would complement the wide array of skills and experience of the non-technical professionals already serving on the DAGR Executive Committee. I prefer focused resource management and people that know me can confirm that I am not afraid to speak up. We all know that DAGR’s financial resources have been tapped out since we started operating an expensive formal Edra in central Athens back in 2016, and I think DAGR desperately needs tighter financial management if we are ever to move ahead. I have ideas that will cut costs without limiting our projects and programs. If elected I will work to keep spending to the minimum on vanity projects and lower-priority activities so that we can keep our eye on the ball, that is electing democrats in 2020.

I hope you will consider voting for me so we can do all that is possible here in DAGR to try to move our homeland forward in 2020.

Only members of Democrats Abroad Greece are eligible to cast ballots for this election.  If you have not received the electronic link to the ballot or the pdf ballot, please contact [email protected].

The DEADLINE for submitting electronic ballots is Tuesday, January 7, 2020; 23:30 (11:30 pm)

The DEADLINE for mailing postal ballots is Thursday, January 2, 2020.

If you encounter difficulties with the electronic link, please request the Special Election Ballot from: [email protected].

• Please print the PDF, fill it out, sign it, scan or photograph the ballot. Send it as an email attachment to: [email protected]

• If you prefer to mail the ballot, please post it by January 2nd, 2020 so that it has reached the office by Tuesday, January 7th. Send it to:

Democrats Abroad Greece
23 Ilia Zervou
Athens, GR 11144

The Special Election Meeting to tally the votes and announce the winner will be on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 on WebEx at 7 pm. The link to the meeting will be sent out January 7th.

Thank you in advance for making the time to vote!

Debate Watch in Thessaloniki

Democrats Abroad Thessaloniki Chapter members will gather for a Debate Watch of the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Candidates in their November 2019 Debate.

Members are encouraged to bring friends, family, colleagues, and people they know who follow U.S. Politics - and to invite Study Abroad and other students they know to join in too. We’ll watch the candidates on You Tube (the Debate will have been broadcast live from Atlanta on 20 November), voice our opinions – and order out for pizza and beer.

When: Saturday, 23 November, 19:00 – 21:00

Where: Democrats Abroad/Thessaloniki Chapter charter member, Mary Kosmidis, has kindly offered a space for us at: 
Iasonidou 19, 3rd Floor. Near Kamara, between Filippou and Olympou Streets. Ring the downstairs doorbell marked Mary Kosmidis.

Ten candidates have met the polling and donor thresholds to participate: Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

DAGR has lost a Champion

Democrats Abroad GREECE has lost its Chair, Steve Medeiros at 63 years young.

After a 5-year battle with prostate cancer, Steve died Thursday at home, with his husband, Tony, at his side.

A service of remembrance and honor will be held at 11 am on Saturday, November 9 at the First Cemetery of Athens. In lieu of flowers, a scholarship fund in his memory is being created for the American Community Schools of Athens (ACS Athens). Details on contributing to this will be forthcoming.

Although Steve was not religious, it comes as no surprise that he died on the eve of the "Feast of Angels" here in Greece. Steve was truly an earth angel--an easy going, patient man, tolerant of all, a leader who always held everyone as an equal in both deed and thought.

A nurturer by nature, Steve spent 40 years as an educator, mentor, administrator and friend to thousands of students, parents and teachers in the American Community Schools of Athens.

Democrats Abroad enjoyed his leadership skills first as Counsel, next as Athens Chapter Chair, then Vice-Chair and as of January 2019 Chair of our Country Committee. Within DAGR he was instrumental in implementing GOTV for study abroad programs in Greece, the global primary, GOTV and LGTBQ for Greece.

Steve was born on March 1st in 1956; he was a native of Bedford Massachusetts and eventually became an "adopted" Athenian. In discussing his life in Greece, Steve said, “I arrived in Greece in 1981, for a two-year stint as a teacher. 38 years on, I am still here! I met my future partner and husband, Dr. Anthony Rompos, in 1982. In 2013, we were married in Massachusetts; in 2016, we had our 15-minutes of fame as the first gay couple to be granted a civil partnership in Greece. Social and political changes have had a profound personal impact on our lives together. It’s a lesson I carry with me every day."

He earned a BA from Yale, following up with a Master’s program; he continued his formal education throughout his career.

These titles do not do justice to the giving, loving, kind human being that was Steve, but it is best we have, to draw a portrait of such a wonderful person.

His legacy lives on in his learners - his students, his colleagues, his friends and his family.

May he rest in peace and may his memory be eternal in our hearts.

Dems Descend on Athens for Regional Meeting!

For 3 days more than 100 Democrats Abroad members in the regions of Europe, the Middle East and Africa came together in Athens. From October 11th to 13th men and women from Sweden to Israel, Italy to the UAE, met to share their best practices for their home countries, delineate new policies and usage of online tools in preparation for registering US Citizens living abroad to vote in the 2020 races. Presentations included an opening address from Global Chair, Julia Bryan and Regional Vice-Chair, Will Bakker. Brady Kiesling, member of Democrats Abroad Greece, former diplomat, author and historian, addressed the assembly on "Defending Democracy: Lessons from the Athenians."


Regional Vice-Chair Will Bakker said, “Democrats Abroad leaders and volunteers from all across the region met this weekend – in person in Athens as well as joining us remotely – to organize, strategize, and strengthen our plan for the crucial election year ahead.” He added, “We must do everything we can to support the American community around the world over the next 12 months – and beyond. Americans abroad face a unique range of issues, on everything from taxation to ensuring our votes are counted back home, and so many of us are concerned about the direction that our government has headed under the Trump administration.” Bakker went on to say, “What happens next is up to each and every American to do their part, no matter where they live. Our fellow Americans abroad are depending on us, and we – and the country – are depending on them.”


Along with the meetings and presentations, members gathered over meals and music, dinners and dancing, antiquated temples and the Saronic Gulf. Peggy Pelonis, Dean of 

Students at the American Community Schools in Athens discussed the role of women and youth in shaping democratic societies at the Women's Caucus Luncheon. Informal gatherings, although social by nature, gave members a chance to exchange political perspectives and share ideas in a safe setting in these politically polarized times. Athens became a destination to be returned to; a place where strangers meet, find common ground and form long lasting bonds both in political perspectives and friendship.