SEPTEMBER UPDATES FROM DEMOCRATS ABROAD!
We're in, we're out, we're in... Universal Postal Agreement
Good news for our voters this fall - after very intense negotiations in Geneva this week, the US did not pull out of the Universal Postal Union. The not so good news - postal rates for mail delivery to the US will go up, rate details still unknown. Here's the story
From Tom’s Desk
In case you missed it... DA conversation with Mayor Pete
Democrats Abroad is trying to schedule conversations with all the Democratic candidates. If you missed our first candidate call yesterday with Mayor Pete, we've got you covered. Here's the video link.
Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary
Still haven't had time to check out the Democrats Abroad ballot access petition process but have 5 minutes now? Democrats Abroad has just launched our petitions platform for Democratic presidential candidates who want to add their name to our primary ballot next year.
Here's your handy link to the petition platform.
Update from the Taxation Task Force:
The Federal Passport Revocation Policy that was enacted as part of the 2015 FAST Act has come into effect. The IRS is providing the State Department with the names of persons with outstanding and unresolved federal tax debts of $52,000 or more. Those being subjected to this provision should have been provided with notice and opportunities to cure under the policy's implementation rules. The Tax Task Force felt the rules had a good chance of protecting Americans abroad but ask that you keep an ear to the ground and let us know if you hear of Americans abroad who have had their passports revoked or have had their application for a passport denied as a result of this policy. Please send comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Minutes of Democrats Abroad Guatemala
Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 12:00 noon at El Sitio Café and via Skype
Members in Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Mary Lou Ridinger, Vice Chair; Kee Adams Evans, Events Coordinator, and via Skype, Scotney Young, Media Contact.
Per our bylaws (paragraph 19.3), all meetings are open to all members.
Called to order at 12:06
Approval of Agenda and Minutes: Minutes from August meeting and September agenda were approved
Treasurer’s report: Current balance is unchanged at Q4428.
Chair’s Report: A new recruiting email for Treasurer and Secretary will go out in November.
Also needed, MeetUp Group chair for Guatemala City and start one in Huehuetenango.
Mary Lou, stressed that DAGT needs new and younger leadership to ensure the integrity of our country committee going forward. Scotney said she would canvass friends and acquaintances for interest in joining DAGT and if already members, their interest in one of the open positions.
Amending DAGT bylaws to coincide with DPCA charter on officer elections and terms of office is under consideration. Paragraph14.1 should be amended at the Annual General Meeting in March 2020.
Events for 2019
Movie Night Thursday, September 26th. Matewan will be shown at CCC on at 6:30pm. Kee will send out a promotional email. Black Klansman will be shown October 24th and Fahrenheit 11/9 will be featured November 19th.
Debate Watch Party- September 12th. Thanks to Kee and Dave for hosting. Mary Lou commented that the watch parties are best when well attended and there is a chance to discuss among participants their perceptions, comments and clarifications.
The next debate will be over two nights, October 15th and 16th, to take place at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, and will feature 11 candidates. If one of the 11 candidates drops out before the 15th, the debate will be for only one night. Kee and Dave have offered to host a watch party again for October.
Fund Raisers: DAGT bumper sticker campaign and other items including buttons and swag received from DA Germany will be for sale at the movie night and debate watch parties. John will provide Kee a price list for the new items received from DA Germany.
Americas Region News: (1) Americas Regional Meeting to be held October 25 - 26, 2019 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Guatemala, Chile and Peru are the only country committees in the region not attending. (2) Monthly updates for verifying older members will continue. Country committees find this approach more efficient than waiting for one big effort in January.
DAGT October Excom meeting: Thursday, Oct 17th, 12:00 noon at El Sitio and via Skype.
Travel Notes: Kee and Dave will be in West Virginia from o/a 26 October to o/a 11 November. Mary Lou will be in and out. Hyung will be in New Jersey Sep 29 to Oct 2.
Minutes of Democrats Abroad Guatemala
Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 12:00 noon at El Sitio Café and via Skype
Members in Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Kee Adams Evans, Events Coordinator; Dave Evans, Acting Treasurer; and via Skype Hyungjoon Jin, Member at Large, Scotney Young, Media Contact, and Aimee Van Cleave, US Peace Corps Volunteer
Per our bylaws (paragraph 19.3), all meetings are open to all members.
Call to order : 12:06pm
Approval of Agenda and Minutes: July minutes and August agenda approved.
Treasurer’s report: Our balance as of August 15 is Q4428 (after adding back in Q95 unspent for July 18 Movie Night).
Chair’s Report: Aimee Van Cleave, a newly active Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, was introduced as GOTV liaison with Peace Corps Volunteers in Guatemala. Following several months of language and cross cultural training, Aimee was recently assigned to her post in San Antonio Aguas Calientes, and to her new job with the Ministry of Agriculture. Prior to joining Peace Corps, Aimee worked for the Association of State Democratic Committees (ASDC), covering western states. The mission of the ASDC is to help build strong state parties in order to elect Democrats from the State House to the White House. Prior to ASDC, Aimee served as Executive Director for the Wyoming State Democratic Party. She also has campaign experience around the United States, which among the more significant ones is that of Sen. Maggie Hassan’s of New Hampshire. Aimee will work with Kee on out-reach to the 150 Peace Corps Volunteers in Guatemala and to the extended NGO community that Peace Corps works with. Welcome Aimee!
Another recruitment email to replace our Secretary and Treasurer will go out in November, after the Democratic presidential candidate field has thinned a bit and corresponding enthusiasm has begun to pick up. Filling the Guatemala City MeetUp Group chair and establishment of one in Huehuetenango remains active.
Counsel, Juan Pablo Aris, got stuck in traffic near Barcenas and was unable to make the meeting, and therefore was unable to report on amending the DAGT bylaws. We will look for that report next month.
Events for 2019: The next Movie Night will feature Matewan to be presented in September, at Casa Convento Concepción, date and time TBD. Sound issue remains to be addressed. A small amplifier which should correct the problem will arrive in country September 5th. We decided that a return to a regular monthly schedule of films is the best way to maintain interest. Another showing of Fahrenheit 11/9 will be set for October, date TBD.
Debate Watch Party: The next debate will be take place September 12th to be held in Houston, TX. Dave and Kee have offered to host a watch party at their home.
Fund Raisers: Democrats Abroad Guatemala bumper sticker campaign continues to go very well. Stickers are available for purchase at movie night, debate watch parties and voter registration events as long as supplies last, at Q20 each or three for Q50. Scotney has designed a Facebook challenge for best display of the bumper sticker. Kee and Scotney will continue to encourage member participation in the challenge.
2019 FPCA promotion: Kee and Scotney have been discussing filming one or more short videos on the preparation of your FPCA.
Americas Regional Meeting: To be held October 25 - 26, 2019 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Focus is GOTV and DA tools to enhance GOTV work including training on VoteFromAbroad.Org and approaches on outreach to voters. Americas Regional Meeting to be held October 25 - 26, 2019 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Focus is GOTV and DA tools to enhance GOTV work including training on VoteFromAbroad.Org and approaches on outreach to voters. DAGT’s representatives? The next regular monthly meeting will be September 19th via Webex at 3pm Guatemala time. A reminder and login information will be shared with the DAGT Excom prior to this meeting.
DAGT September Excom meeting: Thursday, September 19th at 12:00 noon local time, at El Sitio café in Antigua and on Skype
Travel Notes: Scotney will be traveling to the USA Sept 5-16. Hyung will be away in Texas, September 19-22, and in New Jersey September 29 to October 2.
Adjourned: 1:14 pm
On September 28th, DNC Chair Tom Pérez will be in Mexico City for exclusive events, sharing ideas about 2020 strategy and helping to empower Democratic voters abroad. This is a unique chance to get an up-close view of how Democrats are working to build a better, brighter, fairer future for everyone.
Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about everything going into the fight against Donald Trump. In this crucial election, we need everyone educated, engaged and energized. Join us!
Saturday, September 28 | 9:30 am
Join Chairman Perez for breakfast. This will be a larger event with plenty of energy. Get your day going by meeting like-minded Democrats and sharing the excitement about organizing and mobilizing voters everywhere.
Details attached; please RSVP here:
Saturday, September 28 | 7:00 pm
You are cordially invited to an intimate dinner featuring Chairman Perez and capped at just 25 attendees. Enjoy a splendid meal and get a front-row seat as we share ideas about the fight ahead and how we win in 2020.
Details attached; please RSVP here:
The race to defeat Donald Trump is in full swing and the DNC is hard at work building the strength and the organization to support our nominee from the moment they accept the nomination. We know Republicans will stop at nothing to hand tax cuts to billionaires, take away your healthcare, roll back environmental regulations and target immigrants. That’s why we must win back the White House, take back the Senate, and flip statehouses across the country.
If you are in Mexico and are interested in joining our team of passionate and dedicated volunteers, fill out the form here:
Lights for Liberty Online Vigil – July 12th
Lights for Liberty will hold a national march and vigil on July 12th to shed light on what is happening at the US southern border and across the country: undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers being held in detention centers, facing inhumane conditions and continuing to be separated from their families.
Join our online vigil to stand with detainees, asylum seekers, and immigrant families.
Take a picture with the attached Lights for Liberty sign (fill in your details) and a lit candle, then post your pic on social media with the hashtags #LightsforLiberty, #ClosetheCamps, and #DAResists tagging @DemsAbroad and @DmeocratsAbroadGuatemala
Learn more about getting involved here: https://www.democratsabroad.org/lights_for_liberty?fbclid=IwAR3kGt-c6vBh8fgJp3_WG8hAhuv7vjMu8Kry5ajMObKPYNhEFv3xLNi4be4
New Podcast from DA Hispanic Caucus
This week the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus welcomed polyglot and foreign affairs expert Jana Nelson (Twitter: @anajanaina) as a special guest on our podcast. Jana has considerable experience as a congressional staff member, professional researcher, and working in diplomacy at the State Department. Among her many areas of specialized knowledge, Jana spoke about the various services provided by U.S. embassies and consulates which are available to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad.
Notes from DNC Executive Committee Meeting in Pittsburgh
The DNC Executive Committee met on Saturday, June 29 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The Executive Committee heard from a number of elected officials as well. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was the special guest speaker and spoke on the work that she and other Democratic Attorneys General across the country are doing to fight back against the Trump administration on a number of fronts – from immigration to the environment to, most recently, the U.S. Census.
Chair Tom Perez provided remarks during the meeting and gave an update on the work the DNC is doing as we build toward elections in 2019 and 2020.
DNC Chief Technology Officer Nell Thomas and DNC Security Data Analyst Tim Durigan presented to the Executive Committee on the DNC’s data infrastructure and on disinformation campaigns and terminology. Tim explained that DNC members observing inauthentic or suspicious activity affecting Democrats on social media, including but not limited to fake accounts, manipulated video, viral false news, harassment, impersonation, and doxxing should report it in the platform and contact the DNC at email@example.com.
There were two resolutions that were introduced during the old/new business portion of the meeting. In order to follow the official process, the Executive Committee moved to refer both resolutions to the Resolution Committee for consideration.
The meeting adjourned at 12:16 p.m. The next Executive Committee meeting will take place in San Francisco in conjunction with our full DNC meeting.
National Disability Voter Registration Week
In 2020, approximately 23% of the American electorate — over 35 million individuals — will be people with disabilities. Your vote affects everything. Who you vote for impacts your civil rights and direct access to health care, education, transportation, housing and the list goes on and on. We encourage you to participate in our non-partisan REV UP campaign to increase the political power & civic participation of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues.
AAPD’s REV UP Campaign coordinates National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) each year on the third week of July, and we are excited that many of our state partners are hosting events! This year, NDVRW is July 15 - 19. Please check out our website for updates on local events.
Won't be able to attend an event? We INVITE everyone to participate in our REV UP twitter storm! This is a great way to spread more awareness about the Disability Vote and encourage folks to register to vote online.
On Tuesday, July 16th from 2pm - 3pm EST we would love to see everyone tweeting (or posting on Facebook) about NDVRW through hashtag #REVUP and #DisabilityVote.
Have you read the Mueller Report? Find ways to read it and reasons why you should here:
By DA Guatemala Chair John Chudy
The Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA), the governing body of Democrats Abroad and the formal organization that represents Democrats Abroad as one of the 57 state and territorial parties comprising the Democratic Party of the United States of America, held its annual global meeting in Washington, DC May 17 to 19, 2019. The venue was the 20F Street conference center near Capitol Hill. Many of the approximately 220 Democrats Abroad members from 45 country committees who attended the DPCA global meeting, stayed on to participate in two days of door knocking on Capitol Hill May 20 and 21.
The annual meeting agenda included the normal business of officer and committee reports, as well as the election of international officers (chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer and counsel) and the election of three regional vice chairs. In addition, the meeting also entertained discussion and debate on a variety of resolutions representing policy positions of the DPCA which included the approval of a Medicare for All resolution in support of the House bill presented by Rep. Jayapal, and several proposed amendments to the bylaws that form the DPCA’s Charter. Another important component of the agenda presented the DPCA’s planning efforts for the 2020 election cycle with respect to communications planning, platform content, the DPCA’s Global Presidential Primary, the DPCA’s global convention, 2020 Get Out the Vote planning, and Delegate Selection Plan for electing DPCA delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention that will take place in Milwaukee July 13-16, 2020. Details of meeting results and actions can be found at: https://wiki.democratsabroad.org/display/WashDC2019/Washington+DC%2C+DPCA+Global+Meeting+2019+Home
A highlight of the three-day conference was the appearance of guest speakers. Several came in person, while others appeared either live via video conference or videos made especially for our meeting. In-person speakers included presidential candidates Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Marianne Williamson, and from the DNC Jason Rae, Vice Chair and the youngest person ever elected to the DNC, Seema Nanda, CEO of the DNC, Liz Jaff, the DNC’s director of technical infrastructure, and from the Association of State Democratic Chairs (ASDC), Ken Martin, and finally, Josh Handelman, from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (the group associated with the DNC that works to elect Democrats to state legislative bodies). Live video hookup brought us encouraging words from Sen. Doug Jones , Alabama, and video presentations made for Democrats Abroad were provided from the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. All of the presentations were inspiring for their focus on 2020 and getting out the vote to elect Democrats at all levels. If there was one common message across all the speakers, it was that in 2020 we must not let the perfect become the enemy of the good, that is, we must vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee in the general election, even if that person is not our preference at the outset of the primary season. As Ken Martin pointed out, many Democrats stayed home in 2016 because they felt let down by the outcome of the primary season; we cannot let that happen in 2020, lest we want to extend our national nightmare another four years.
The two-day door knock activity was directed at bringing three policy topics of interest to Democrats Abroad to the attention of House and Senate members and their staffs. The three items were: The closure of 22 US Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) offices which complicates a number of actions affecting wait times for family reunification leading to permanent separation; HR1, a House bill intended to improve voting efficiency by requiring a durable voter-verified paper ballot, but which can lead to voter suppression for overseas voters with no access to postal service, e.g., Guatemala; Expatriate Tax Reform to encourage Residence Based Taxation in place of the Citizenship Based Taxation system that the USA now employs, apply Same Country Exemption for FATCA, and support for the Social Security Fairness Act which repeals the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). See more details about these three issues in their respective briefs found at: https://wiki.democratsabroad.org.
Meet your new DPCA international Executive Committee:
Back row, L to R: Will Bakker (Belgium), Regional Vice Chair, for Europe, Middle East, Africa; Alex Montgomery (Hong Kong), International Vice Chair; Jeffrey Cheng (Sweden), International Secretary; Kat Allikian, (New Zealand) Regional Vice Chair for Asia Pacific; Joe Smallhoover (France), International Counsel. Front row L to R: Kathy Rothschild (Costa Rica), Regional Vice Chair for the Americas; Julia Bryan (Czech Republic), International Chair; Lissette Wright (Canada), International Treasurer.
Minutes of Democrats Abroad Guatemala
Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 12:00 noon
Members in Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Kee Adams Evans, Events Coordinator; Dave Evans, Member at Large, and Juan Pablo Aris, Counsel.
Call to order: 12:06pm Central America Time (2:06pm EDT)
Agenda and minutes from April meeting were approved
Chair’s Report: On May 22nd, citing personal reasons, Tom and Lyn Totino submitted their resignations, as Treasurer and Secretary respectively. A motion was made by the Chair to accept the resignations. The motion Passed. Dave Evans, as Member at Large, will become Acting Treasurer until at new Treasurer can be named. John and Kee will tag-team the Secretary’s responsibilities until a new Secretary can be named.
We also need to fill MeetUp Group chair for Guatemala City.
Events for 2019 Film Series update. Next film: ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’. Date, time, place will be set when John returns with a copy of the film in June. Future films may include Green Book, To Kill a Mockingbird, Matewan.
Outreach to younger voters: Venue research of Frida’s and Saul’s was not carried out. Discussion ended on agreement that it would be best if a millennial were to organize events with a younger-voter focus. Details will continue to be discussed.
June 26 and 27 Debate Watch Parties: Dave and Kee Evans will host debate watch parties both nights of the first Democratic debate that will take place in June. Both will pot luck events. Mark your calendars!
July 4th Sundowner with Fireworks at CCC Kee will send out an email to survey the membership by June 1st, on holding an event this year. In the meantime, Kee will check availability of space @CCC 5pm to 8pm, Thursday, July 4th and make a reservation. A final decision and details will be worked out at June meeting.
Fund Raisers: Democrats Abroad Guatemala bumper sticker campaign is moving forward. Kee suggested ordering 3 x 11 stickers in batches of 100 and will get price and production data in batches and increments by the next meeting. The message would be the logo of Democrats Abroad Guatemala as it appears on our stationery, e.g., these minutes, and contact information firstname.lastname@example.org email, and www.democratsabroad.org website, as well as, We Vote!
2019 FPCA promotion Results of May 18th event at Enlaces were disappointing with no voters showing up. John proposed an idea he heard at the DPCA global meeting from Liz Jaff, who heads the DNC’s digital infrastructure division. When asked about a low-cost way of reaching out to voters, Liz said one tool that has been effective is making short 90 second videos in a question and answer format about Democrats Abroad. For DAGT purposes, such a setting would be Kee being asked by a member why they should prepare an FPCA every year. The short video would be posted on our DAGT group FB page, and members would be encouraged to share the video so that it reaches even more people. It can also be posted on Twitter. We could ask Scotney to post and promote the video. Multiple videos could be made around FPCA and GOTV questions.
DPCA Global Meeting in Washington, DC, May 17 to 19, with Capitol Hill door knock May 20 and 21 John reported some of the details of the meeting. Members are encouraged to go to the
https://wiki.democratsabroad.org/ wiki site for more details about the business conducted at the meeting, including bylaws changes and resolutions. One resolution that passed was Medicare for All, in support of the several House bills on the topic. Elections were held for International officers, and for Regional Vice Chairs, 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. (FYI: Juan Pablo Aris will serve as Americas Region Counsel Assistant to Joe).
At the three Regional Meetings, the following officers were elected for two year terms:
Americas Regional Vice Chair; Kathy Rothschild -- Costa Rica; Asia Pacific Regional Vice Chair, Kat Allikian -- New Zealand; Europe Middle East and Africa Regional Vice Chair,
Will Bakker -- Luxembourg
DAGT June meeting – via Skype June 13th 12:00 noon Guatemala Time.
Travel Notes: Mary Lou will be in and out. Juan Pablo will be out June 16 to 23. John returns to Guatemala June 18th.
Democrats Abroad Global Meeting
Global Meeting Prep List
Agenda for the meeting
Register for the global meeting (May 17-19)
Review proposed charter bylaws amendments and the Bylaws Committee report
Review the 1p1v Special Purpose committee initial report
Review proposed resolutions
Tax Reform Door-Knocking – How can you help?
The Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force is back on Capitol Hill on 14, 15 and 16 May putting tax reform for Americans abroad at the center of discussions with Congress. We have meetings scheduled with members in both Houses of Congress and on both sides of politics. We will be discussing the need for residency based taxation and the design elements of the proposed legislation to enact it.
We need those determined to see this important reform enacted to reach out to their members of Congress this week and next week to demand it. Please consult this grassroots campaign guide for background on our advocacy work and for sample language you can use to call or write to Congress.
Please send questions to email@example.com
YOU MAY HAVE MISSED…
DA Caucus Leaders Meeting
· Black Caucus seeking assistance to run its Facebook page; Will likely re-start its podcast in the near future
· Progressive Caucus working on Medicare-for-All initiative; Sponsoring resolutions at the DA global meeting
· Disability Caucus newsletter from last month
· Women's Caucus discussion on fundraising and promoting an upcoming DA calendar; Seeking women from all global regions to attend its caucus' Planning Session on May 19th.
· Veterans & Military Families Caucus-in-formation currently awaiting global ExCom approval on its draft Terms of Reference (to become an official global caucus); Currently conducting outreach to recruit DA members in several country committees including France, Australia, Japan, Philippines, Germany, Norway, and Mexico
· Hispanic Caucus improving the quality of its overall podcast with each new episode; Committed to having more bilingual information and content moving forward
A FEW WORDS FROM THE DNC
DNC on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
DNC Chair Tom Perez, DNC CEO Seema Nanda, DNC Vice Chair Congresswoman Grace Meng, and DNC AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong released the following statement on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month:
“This month, we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, commemorating the history of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and their contributions to our country. From the Chinese Americans who fought school segregation in Mississippi and San Francisco and the Japanese Americans who fought against discrimination during World War II to the Filipino Americans who stood side by side with Latino migrant workers during the Delano Grape Strike, AAPIs have been instrumental in our country’s steady march toward equality and justice.
“Democrats believe that diversity is our country’s greatest strength. As we observe Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we recommit ourselves to standing alongside our AAPI brothers and sisters who are fighting to create a more inclusive society, and electing leaders who will stand up against Trump’s attempts to tear AAPI communities and families apart.”
DNC Announces 20th Annual LGBTQ Gala Celebrating 50 Years Since Stonewall
Every LGBTQ Member of the House Democratic Majority, Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown to attend
Fresh off helping elect the largest number of LGBTQ members Congress has ever seen, the Democratic National Committee will host its 20th Annual LGBTQ Gala in New York City on June 17. Attending the event will be DNC Chair Tom Perez, along with every LGBTQ member of the new House Democratic majority, and special guest Queer Eye star Karamo Brown, who will highlight the historic progress the LGBTQ community has made since Stonewall 50 years ago.
Additional speakers and celebrity guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
“In 2018 we reset expectations across the country of who runs for office and who we support as candidates. In the 116th Congress, there are more women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community than ever before. Together we are working to ensure that everyone's voice is heard and everyone has access to opportunity. I'm proud to be a part of this new House Majority -- and a co-chair of the Equality Caucus -- as we work towards these goals, “ said Rep. Sharice Davids
National Finance Chair of the DNC, Henry Munoz will be stepping down