News

Update on Tax Filing from Abroad Research

Dear Global, EMEA, AP and Americas Leaders,

Democrats Abroad has published its 2019 research on the tax filing and financial account reporting experience of Americans abroad. Click here to download the report entitled "Tax Filing From Abroad: Research on Non-Resident Americans and U.S. Taxation." At this link there is a short summary of the findings.
Many, many thanks to all who supported the DemsAbroad Taxation Task Force in the distribution of our survey instrument. We are so grateful for your help.


MEETINGS WITH CONGRESS NEXT WEEK
Next week a delegation of Tax Task Force members and others are on Capitol Hill to share the research and resume discussions with legislators about residency based taxation. We are, as usual, asking you to encourage your members to call or write to their elected representatives in support of our recommended reforms. This is an up-to-date campaign guide (call scripts, language for letters/emails/postcards, links to find your Congresspeople) you can share with your members that will help them make those calls and write those messages. All outreach is good outreach - in fact it is essential for pushing for reform. Thanks in advance for your help.
Our first meeting of the week is with the sponsor of the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act, introduced on the last sitting day of the 115th Congress and proposing a switch from our current system of citizenship based taxation to residency based taxation. As you know from our report on the bill, it was not a perfect bill but it serves as a valuable marker that there is sponsorship in Congress for real expat tax reform - and of course it is a wonderful milestone for expat tax advocates who have been working so long and so hard pushing for change. We look forward to providing updates on the bill (the design elements need work for it to attract cosponsors) and the plan by proponents to move it forward.
Please send through questions and comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.


Democratically yours,
DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE
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Message from the US Embassy - Passport Renewal by Mail

You may qualify to have your passport renewed by mail so you won’t have to go to the embassy. Read more below!

U. S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala

February 26, 2019

Subject: U.S. citizen adult passport renewals by mail

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce a new program that will allow qualified adult U.S. citizens to renew their passports through courier service, eliminating the need to visit the U.S. Embassy. The program begins March 4, 2019.

We encourage all qualified U.S. citizen adults who need to renew their passports to take advantage of this opportunity.

Who qualifies for this program:

Adult U.S. citizens who previously held a U.S passport. Please click here to see if you qualify. This link also contains instructions on mailing in your passport and renewal application.

Assistance:

· U.S. Embassy Guatemala City https://gt.usembassy.gov/

Tel. (502) 2326-4000

Amcitsguatemala@state.gov

· State Department - Consular Affairs

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

· Guatemala Country Information

· Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

· Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Embajada de Estados Unidos en la Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala (26 de febrero, 2019)

Ubicación: Guatemala

Situación: Renovación de pasaportes estadounidenses para adultos a través de correspondencia.

La Embajada de los Estados Unidos se complace en anunciar un nuevo programa que permitirá a ciudadanos estadounidenses adultos calificados a renovar su pasaporte a través de correspondencia, eliminando la necesidad de una visita a la Embajada de los Estados Unidos. El programa inicia el 4 de marzo de 2019.

Exhortamos a todos los ciudadanos estadounidenses adultos calificados que necesitan renovar sus pasaportes que aprovechen esta oportunidad.

¿Quién califica para el programa?

Ciudadanos estadounidenses adultos que previamente tenían un pasaporte estadounidense. Por favor haga click aquí para saber si usted califica.

Asistencia:

· Embajada de Estados Unidos en la Ciudad de Guatemala https://gt.usembassy.gov/es/

Tel. (502)2326-4000

Amcitsguatemala@state.gov

· Asuntos Consulares – Departamento de Estado

888-407-4747 ó 202-501-4444

· Información Específica de Guatemala

· Registrarse para recibir avisos de seguridad a través del Programa STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, por sus siglas en Inglés)

· Síganos en Facebook y Twitter

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DNC Launches New Program: Organizing Corps 2020

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DNC Launches New Program: Organizing Corps 2020

With a focus on mentoring students from communities of color, the newly launched Organizing Corps 2020 program will ensure the eventual Democratic nominee has the support of 1,000 homegrown field organizers in 7 key states. 

The basics…

  • The DNC and state Democratic parties in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in partnership with 270 Strategies and Collective PAC, are launching 'Organizing Corps 2020' -  with the goal to recruit, pay, and train young people, focused on young people of color, to work on the 2020 presidential cycle, starting this year!
Read more

DNC Update: Presidential Debate Format – 2 Nights of Fun!

Hi Friends,
 

While President Trump declared a national emergency and then went golfing this weekend, the Democratic Party was hard at work building the necessary infrastructure to win in 2020. Huge strides were made this week on both the first two Democratic debates as well as the Democratic data ecosystem.

Here’s what you need to know:

DEBATES

The DNC announced NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo will host the first of our presidential primary debates, which will be in June. We also announced that CNN will host the second debate in July.

The Stage:

  • Because of the historic size of the field, both the first and second debates will have the option of being held over two consecutive nights. This is unprecedented and the result of a strong negotiation by the DNC.
  • The candidates will be assigned a night by random selection, so there is no “kids table” debate.
  • We’ve committed to doing the first two debates in primetime on weekday nights - these are not weekend debates.  
  • The first debate will be on NBC, so it will be broadcast and available on antenna TV, as well as through cable on MSNBC. The first two debates will also be streamed online for free, so folks without cable will have a lot of options.

Candidate Thresholds:

  • In the past, primary candidates have qualified for the debate stage by meeting a polling requirement. For the first two debates, we’re introducing a new metric - grassroots fundraising - to accompany a traditional polling requirement.
  • To meet our polling threshold, a candidate must reach at least 1% support in at least three reputable polls.
    • The DNC has provided a list of a wide array of reputable and established polls that it will use to qualify candidates, and that list includes both national and early state surveys.
  • To meet the grassroots fundraising threshold, a candidate must receive donations from 65,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state in a minimum of 20 states.
    • The DNC reached this criteria after consultation with the digital community, including ActBlue, on historical trends in small donor fundraising and expectations for this cycle.
    • This grassroots fundraising requirement measures a candidate’s strength with small-dollar donors. Setting this benchmark for campaigns encourages and rewards them for engaging in work that the DNC believes they absolutely must do in order to beat Donald Trump.

DATA

While this update may have flown under the radar, a strong data ecosystem is one of the most critical assets out eventual Democratic nominee needs to win in 2020. This week, we announced a historic agreement that will give the nominee and our candidates more and better data.  

About the Plan:

  • Whether you’re working for a campaign or an outside group, whenever you talk to a voter, the entire progressive community can benefit from the outreach.
  • Candidates across the country will be the beneficiaries of millions of dollars of investments in cutting-edge voter-contact strategies.
  • We’ve made overhauling Democratic technology and data a cornerstone of the DNC's work, which benefits Democrats and progressives everywhere. This allows all of us to run smarter, more efficient and effective campaigns.

As always, we’re more than happy to talk through what these changes might mean for you and how you can get involved. Thank you for your partnership and onward to 2020!

In Solidarity,

Aliison

Allison Zelman
Director of States 

 


Travel Fund awards for the 2019 Global Meeting in Washington DC

In 2014, the DPCA voted to adopt a resolution establishing an internal travel fund to provide stipends to members who have shown commitment to Democrats Abroad and who have financial need to offset the costs of travel to our annual Global Meetings. We are a stronger organization when we have diverse in-person participation, and this fund is designed to increase the likelihood of physical attendance by individuals and country committees that have historically been under-represented at our global events due to financial constraints.


With great thanks to the International Executive Committee, and to everyone who will make donations to the Travel Fund, we are pleased to be able to award three awards of $500 each for 2019.


If you are able, please be sure to donate to this fund by going to the DONATE page of the DA website and selecting "2019 Travel Fund" as the Contribution Purpose.  Every contribution helps, whether it's $10 or $500.
We really need your help to keep the Travel Fund going.


We are now accepting Travel Fund applications for the Global Meeting in Washington DC (17-19 May 2019). All members of Democrats Abroad who have not received a Travel Award in the past five years are eligible to apply.
Any member of Democrats Abroad may apply. One does not need to be a DPCA Voting Member or hold an elected position to apply, but anyone not in an elected position must provide at least one letter of reference from an elected DPCA member at the time of application.
Please be sure to pass this information on to those in your membership who otherwise may not consider attending the meeting in Washington due to financial limitations.


Completed applications are due to the Committee Chair by 10:00 PM EST, 05 March 2019. We aim to notify recipients no later than 6:00 PM EDT 14 March 2019.


All information, including our Mission and Procedures and the 2019 application form can be found on the Travel Fund page of the Wiki.
Award recipients will be notified immediately upon selection, but please note that the stipends will be distributed as reimbursements given directly to the recipients during the 2019 Global Meeting in Washington DC. Full in-person attendance, barring a verifiable emergency, is required to receive the award.
Recipients will be required to submit travel receipts to the International Treasurer and Travel Fund Committee Chair no later than 03 May 2019.

And please help keep the Travel Fund alive by DONATING.

Best regards from the Travel Fund Committee,
Kari Hiepko-Odermann (DA-Ukraine)
Danielle Stampley (DA-Canada)
David White (DA-Lion City)
Kat Allikian (DA-New Zealand), Committee Chair
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Updates from the DNC Chair

Updates from the DNC Chair:

Last week, longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was arrested and charged with obstruction, witness tampering, and giving false statements. This indictment is the clearest evidence yet that the Trump campaign was a willing and active participant in a conspiracy with Russia and WikiLeaks to influence the 2016 election. There are more conspirators yet to be held accountable—and at least one of them is named Donald Trump.

What Was the Point of the Suffering Trump Caused?

Leaders in Washington finally reached an agreement to reopen the government that does not include funding for Trump’s unnecessary border wall. It’s virtually the same deal Trump should've accepted 35 days ago. So what was the point of all the pain that Donald Trump inflicted on federal workers? What was the point of the missed paychecks, the long lines at food banks, the chaos at our airports, and the sick children without health care? The longest shutdown in American history was avoidable, unnecessary, and disastrous for the country. And the American people know exactly who’s to blame: Donald Trump.

Thanks to the steadfast leadership of Democrats in Congress, hundreds of thousands of American workers will finally have a reprieve from the suffering Donald Trump has caused. Democrats have been prepared to work on a border security bill from the start of this ordeal; our leaders offered multiple proposals to keep the government open, including a strong bipartisan solution passed by voice vote in the Senate. And yet, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress failed to do their jobs for 35 days. The American people will hold them accountable, and Democrats will fight tooth and nail to prevent a shutdown from happening again.

Supporting Our Democratic Mayors

Last week, I stopped by the National Conference of Democratic Mayors to talk about why their work is so important to our party and our country’s future. Mayors are the tip of the spear. They are on the front lines, leading the fights that matter most to working families across the country.

As a former local elected official myself, I have an acute appreciation for the work they do. And as DNC Chair, I’m proud that we’ve made critical investments over the last two years to help lift Democratic mayors to historic victories across the country. I look forward to building on our partnership with mayors and ensuring that our communities get the leadership they deserve.

Standing with the Transgender Community

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would allow the Trump administration to move forward with its ban on most transgender troops serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. This ban is nothing more than bigotry codified into law and an insult to all who have worn our nation’s uniform. Not only does it go against our values as Americans, it also makes us less safe. Make no mistake: Prejudice is not patriotism. And discrimination is not a national security strategy.

Democrats believe diversity is our nation’s strength.. We believe everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, no matter who you love or how you identify. The brave service members who defend our freedoms should be able live freely. And we will keep fighting for the transgender community and all those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our country.

Celebrating Dr. King’s Legacy Through Service

This past Monday, I joined several DNC staffers and the Thursday Network to assemble blankets and toiletry care packages for those who have unstable living conditions. Working by our side were many furloughed government employees. Even with the stress of not knowing when their next paycheck come from, they were still concerned with helping others. These Americans are public servants to their core.

The DNC is hosting a food drive with our donations going to The Capital Area Food Bank, the largest organization in the Washington metro area working to solve hunger. Learn more here: https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

Yours,

Tom
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

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The ONLY time silence helps - 2019 Silent Auction

“Your silence will not protect you.”
Audre Lorde, Audre Lorde was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights, activist

In 2018 so many found their voice and your contributions to Democrats Abroad helped amplify these voices. Again, this year at the Global Meeting in Washington, a Silent Auction be organized to bring in additional funds.

This is the ONLY DA event where silence helps achieve our political goals.

We are looking for our members to donate items/experiences from their home countries to be auctioned off. Vacation properties, art, books, homestay, language classes, professional services, regifting, upcycling, folk art, jewellery, wine, liquor are some of the popular items from years past.

If you have a donation, please follow the link below and let us know.

Many Thanks,

Kari with Art

DA Fundraising Co-Chairs

Use this link to donate! https://goo.gl/forms/Gn3bA1v6aey4qKKp1

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URGENT: Photos needed! - DA Equal Rights Amendment Project Needs Your Help!

Message from the DA Equal Rights Amendment Project Coordinator:

Happy New Year Everyone!

There’s been quite a bit of activity on the DA Equal Rights Amendment Project and now need help from all of you. This is your call to action.

The VA general assembly starts their session on January 9. They would love to have some photos and videos of Americans living abroad that support ERA to use to win over some votes.

So if you could take a photo holding a sign and/or make a 30-45 second video, that would be appreciated. (Guidelines below).

Equal Means Equal has offered the Heroica Film company to edit the videos. If possible, they would like by the end of the week so they can put something together for a big event in Richmond on Jan 8. So if you could send something in the next 2 days, that would be great.

However, if you miss this first deadline, we have also been asked by both Arizona and North Carolina for the same thing and they do not need as soon. Just send as soon as you can.

So – show your support of women and equal rights by creating a photo and/or video. Send the photo and video links to me at era@democratsabroad.org

THANK YOU for your help!

Shari

Shari Temple

DA ERA Project Coordinator

Democrats Abroad

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ERA Photo Guidelines

Photo Guidelines:

Make sign on A4 or 8.5x11 paper

Please include on the sign “American living in {country name} or {city name}” along with some support for ERA.

Take photo with sign with your face showing

Photos of your kids holding the sign is also good – if you are ok with the photo on the internet

If you are from one of the 13 states (AR, AL, AZ, GA, NC, SC, UT, FL, MS, MO, OK, UT, LA) that have not ratified the ERA, if you could do a second sign and photo replacing “American” with your state, like Oklahoman, that would be great.

Please send photo to ERA@democratsabroad.org

Text ideas:

Please vote for the ERA

Please ratify the ERA

I support Women

I support Women’s rights

Equal rights for All

Women need equal rights

Women deserve equal rights

ERA NOW

ERA Video Guidelines

Video Guidelines:

Consider wearing something or standing/seating by something that shows you are living abroad – for example a foreign newspaper, translation dictionary, map, typical item from country, or outside at a recognizable place in your country. However, don’t worry about it – just a blank wall is fine.

Do NOT wear or say anything partisan. Almost all Dems support ERA so trying to win the Rep vote.

Please show some passion but avoid/limit profanity.

Start with “I’m an American living in {country name}”. You can also use city name if it is one all Americans would recognize, like London, Paris, Tokyo.

If you live in a country that has equal rights for women in the constitution, especially if in some non-European country, mention that.

If you are from one of the 13 states (AR, AL, AZ, GA, NC, SC, UT, FL, MS, MO, OK, UT, LA) that have not ratified the ERA, you may want to mention that. Note that Virginia, North Carolina, and Arizona are the top 3 targets right now.

For Virginia, you may want to call out Speaker Cox since he is the current ‘gatekeeper’ that could cause it to stall and never get to the Virginia House floor.

Ask for ERA support.

Keep video to less than 60 seconds, ideally 45 seconds.

If you post the video on Facebook or Instagram, please add hashtags #DAforERA and #VAratifyERA

Send a link to the video to era@democratsabroad.org

Text ideas:

I’m an American living in {country}. I have more rights as a woman here than I do back home. Please support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Women around the world care about what happens in the United States. Please vote for the ERA.

I’m an American living in {country}. 85% of the countries in the world have equal rights for women in their constitution. (country} is one of them. I want to see my home country one as well. Please vote for the equal rights amendment.

I’m an American living in {country}. In 2018, I was happy when I learned Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the ERA. My hope for 2019 is that Virginia becomes number 38. Please support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

I’m an American living in {country}. As a man, I care about women’s rights. I hope you do as well. Please pass the Equal Rights Amendment.

I’m an American living in {country}. When I recently learned that the US still does not have equal rights for women in our Constitution, I was shocked. How can that be? Surely one of the 13 states that have not ratified it will all do so this year. It is 2019! It’s past time. Please vote for the Equal Rights Amendment.

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Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act

Message from DA TAXATION TASK FORCE: 

Yesterday afternoon, in the midst of all sorts of border wall funding related chaos across Capitol Hill, Rep. George Holding (R-NC) introduced the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act HR 7358 on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would enact a switch from our current system of citizenship based taxation to residency based taxation, a move that would benefit nearly all Americans living abroad. 
This is our website post announcing the bill. It includes a link to the bill. Please share it with your members and on your social media platforms.
Though the bill is not perfect, it is a milestone in our expat tax advocacy work; we now have a legislative framework for refining and clarifying work in the 116th Congress on a bill implementing residency based taxation that will satisfy our key ambitions, including: accommodating of all Americans abroad, easy to transition into, protected from abuse by tax evaders and bad actors, and revenue-neutral to the federal government.
As our statement says, we have liaised continuously with House Democrats on the development and introduction of the bill and we look forward to picking this up with them again in January.
Please send comments and questions to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.
Thanks for your support for the work of the DA Taxation Task Force.
Best wishes for the season,
DA TAXATION TASK FORCE
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"From Tom's Desk" - Message from DNC Chair Tom Perez

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Preparing for 2020

This past weekend, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws committee met in Puerto Rico to design the most open and transparent nominating process in our party’s history — and we’re very excited with the outcome.

Our North Star heading into the 2020 election cycle has been and will continue to be making sure every candidate gets a fair shake. We want our nominating process to be a showcase of the exciting ideas and extraordinary talent within our party so that Democrats across the country can decide who should be our nominee. That way, we are in the strongest, most united position to take on Trump and win back the White House.

Republicans are Degrading our Democracy

Despite historic Democratic wins across the country, Republicans are dead-set on destroying the integrity of our electoral process by trying to cling onto power rather than accepting the will of the voters.

In Wisconsin, Republicans are rushing to force through legislation that undermines policies that voters supported, issues including Affordable Care Act, SNAP benefits, Medicaid, and early voting limits. These bills also lay the groundwork for the Republican-controlled legislature to restrict the powers of incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul and Governor Tony Evers, dishonoring the important tradition of a peaceful transition of power.

In Michigan, Republicans are hard at work crafting a plan to strip the powers of the incoming secretary of state to enforce the state’s campaign finance laws, limit the incoming attorney general’s ability to act on lawsuits involving the state, and sink proposals to raise the minimum wage.

And as if these blatant power grabs were not enough, there’s substantial evidence of potential election fraud in North Carolina that throws the sanctity of the ballot box into question.

Last week, North Carolina voters learned of serious concerns in the 9th Congressional District when the State Board of Elections unanimously agreed to delay certifying the election of Mark Harris to Congress. According to affidavits, Bladen County residents had people arrive on their doorsteps asking to collect their absentee ballot. In some instances, these individuals offered to fill the ballots out themselves or failed to seal the envelope or collect a signature.

While Republicans played politics with false, unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in Arizona and Florida, they’ve ignored this serious evidence of election tampering — only because it appears they benefited from the fraud.

If the GOP is seriously concerned about the integrity of our elections, they will respect the outcome of elections – no matter who wins. Voters have spoken: They want Democrats in charge. For the sake of our democracy, Republicans should stand down and stop engaging in these dangerous political games.

Trump’s Failing Us on Jobs

Today, we saw more evidence that the Republican economic agenda is a colossal failure.

The government’s job report demonstrates once again that there is more we must do to create good-paying jobs and pull workers off the sidelines. With lower-than-expected job growth, more proposed tax cuts for the wealthy, and a never-ending assault on Americans’ access to health care, Donald Trump and Republicans have kicked working families to the curb.

It’s clear the economy still has room to grow, but we must ensure that growth benefits American families. That’s why millions of voters sent a loud and clear message to this administration in last month’s election: Our leaders should fight for all of us, not just those who line their pockets. When Democrats are in charge, our economy grows faster and hardworking Americans have more opportunities.

Celebrating the Life of George H.W. Bush

This week, we mourned the loss of an American patriot and public servant. George H.W. Bush paired his profound sense of personal responsibility with honesty, gentility, and hard work.

In his inaugural address, he said that great nations, like great men, must keep their word. He stated that the American people did not send politicians to Washington to bicker. The American people ask their leaders to rise above the merely partisan. Throughout his life and career, President Bush embodied that sense of duty and commitment to bettering our country – whether it was fighting for Americans with disabilities, ensuring clear air for future generations, or bringing a peaceful end to the Cold War.


(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush showed us that character and integrity must never become casualties of partisan politics. Our hearts go out to the entire Bush family and their friends as they mourn his passing and celebrate his historic life and legacy.

Thank you always for your continued support of the Democratic Party.

Yours,

Tom
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Tom Perez
Chair
Democratic National Committee

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