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Let Congress Know!

Have you had a good experience with universal healthcare? Let Congress know by sharing your story at info@democratsabroad.org or through our story page. We’ll send your stories in to Senate Dems in Washington.

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From Tom: Week 26: Donate to Hurricane Relief

Week 26: Donate to Hurricane Relief Dear DNC Member, Team DNC is working tirelessly to rebuild, organize, modernize and win. As part of that effort, we were thrilled to announce today that President Obama will hold his first fundraising event for a Democratic committee since leaving office to support the DNC later this month. We couldn’t be prouder to have President Obama on our team as we grow the Democratic Party and get back to the business of winning elections from the school board to the Senate. While millions of Americans continue to brave two vicious storms, Donald Trump secured his legacy as a champion for cruelty on Tuesday when he rescinded DACA. This is just the latest tactic in the Republican playbook to promote hate and discrimination. Because of the Republican Party, DREAMers will lose their ability to go to work and contribute to their communities. Deportations will tear families apart and drive immigrants back into the shadows. And our economy will face a devastating blow, costing our country billions in GDP over a decade. I was proud to join grassroots activists outside of the White House to protest this disgraceful decision and show our party’s support for the 800,000 DREAMers who contribute to our nation every day. DREAMers share our values and strengthen our nation. Their courage is American to its core, and they deserve far better from the president of the only country they’ve ever called home. Democrats believe that compassion and diversity are our nation’s greatest strengths. We believe in fixing our immigration system, not uprooting lives and shattering families. That’s why we’ve been working with our partners to protect DREAMers, share their stories, and put pressure on Republicans in Congress to make sure they can stay in the country they call home. This past Labor Day weekend, the Democratic National Committee and state parties across the country celebrated the close of Resistance Summer with a final Weekend of Action for working families. As Congress returns to work and Donald Trump doubles-down on an extreme agenda that puts the wealthiest Americans first, organizers across the country participated in more than 120 events in three dozen states. Democrats came together and showed they were ready to Rise and Organize by knocking doors, making phone calls, and registering people to vote, all in order to elect Democrats up and down the ticket. Over the summer, we held a nationwide training with over 40 states participating; placed Resistance Summer organizers on the ground in states that saw special election wins, like Oklahoma and New Hampshire; facilitated more than 9,000 volunteer shifts across the country; implemented four nationwide days of actions with 555 events in all 50 states; and launched Knock 10, an app that allows people to go through their neighborhoods and knock on 10 doors at a time. This week, we also announced an new investment in the Washington Democratic Party to support their efforts in electing Democrats up and down the ballot. The investment includes funding for staff to aid the state party in organizing and technology efforts. Washington has a critical special election coming up this November in Manka Dhingra’s bid for the Washington State Senate’s 45th Legislative District and other competitive races in the 2018 election cycle. On Democrats Live this week, we sat down with AFSCME President Lee Saunders to celebrate Labor Day and the profound contributions of the American labor movement to our shared prosperity. While Republicans chip away at protections for American workers, Democrats are focused every day on creating better opportunities for the middle class and building an economy that works for everyone. Tune in to Democrats live on Facebook or at Live.Democrats.org. Finally, if you’re in the path of Hurricane Irma, please be careful, take care of your neighbors and stay safe. Yours, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez

Minutes of the September 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Wednesday, September 6 , 2017 at 5:30 pm

Dave Evans’s house/Via Skype Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Tom Totino, Treasurer; Kee Kalwara, Events/Membership/Fundraising Coordinator; Lyn Totino, Secretary; Dave Evans, Member at Large; Letty Manne, Consul; and via Skype: Mary Reynolds, media contact; Rachael Shenyo, Occidente MeetUp Group Deputy Chair; Hyungjoon Jin, Guatemala City MeetUp Group Chair

Call to Order - 5:30 pm The agenda of the previous EXCOM were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report: Our Net Worth stands at Q270.40 of which Q310 is a credit at the Revue. This is the first time we have been in the black this year. We currently have a cash balance of Q562. However, we still owe John Chudy another Q601 for the purchase of fireworks, food and drinks he bought for the July 4th sundowner. Tom moved that we reimburse John Q501 from our cash balance right now and reimburse him the remaining Q100 as funds come in. Dave Evans seconded and the motion was carried. The only other thing to note was that we have been making money by showing movies. So far this year we have made Q1,583 from movie events. The report was accepted unanimously.

Events for 2017:

Film Series: All the President’s Men was shown in July. It was not well attended but is a great film given that we might be viewing a real life remake of it. Fog of War was shown on August 25. It was better attended and we made money selling wine and popcorn. Before the Flood will be shown at Casa Convento Concepcion on September 22 starting at 6:30 pm. This is a film about climate change. Rachel Shenyo who is a climate scientist will lead the discussion following the film. Wine, beer and popcorn will be on sale.

Two movies will be shown in October: Argo will be shown at Casa Convento Concepcion on October 13. The Big Lebowsky will be shown at Dave’s house on October 27 although this date is not set in stone.

Fundraisers:

 Block Party: Kee and Lyn have decided that a block party would not be an appropriate way to raise money for DAGT. We will need funds for the upcoming 2018 elections. Advertising is our major expense. It was decided that it would be far easier and more effective to appeal to the members of DAGT for donations. An email will go out to the membership asking for donations. Other methods we have used to make money have been time consuming, difficult and not very effective.

Discussion Groups and Presentations:

Hyung discussed the difficulty of attracting millennials and Bernie supporters. He felt that any activities involving this group be delayed until spring and before the midterm elections. That said, it is important to get this group engaged and hopefully support the democratic party. Rachel Shenyo will be doing a presentation on climate change following our movie Before the Flood on September 22.

Resistance Activities:

DAGT should support DACA. It was not decided exactly the best way to do this. Elizabeth Warren will have a video discussion group with DA via Zoom on September 17 at 9:30am (DC time). DAGT is a sponsor of DA Women’s Caucus calendar. The calendars will be on sale in Guatemala and the format will be US style which will be easier for us to use. Members are encouraged to continue to call/write/email their congressmen and check out the DA website for all relevant information.

The next meeting will take place at 5:30pm on Wednesday, October 18 at Letty Manne’s house.

This meeting is open to all members.

Travel Notes: Lyn and Tom will be gone from September 10 to 30. Dave will be gone from September 11 to 20 and October 5 to 11.

Adjourned: 7:10 pm

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MOVIE NIGHT

The science is clear. The future is not.

Before the Flood:

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.

1hr 56min, PG, 2016

Q20 Suggested Donation

Bring Your Own Drinks / Some Drinks Will Be For Sale

Popcorn Available at Q5 per Bag

Friday, September 22, 2017

The movie starts promptly at 6:30pm

Casa Convento Concepción 4a Calle Oriente #41

Open to Members of DAGT and Guests

Discussion Group Following the Movie

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Make a Difference (no donation required)! Dems Abroad Taxation Survey


Today, we’re launching a survey to get a true picture of the burdens that Citizenship Based Taxation places on Americans abroad. We’ll collect your experiences and your stats, and then we’ll take them to the Hill.

We have listened to your issues: fear of repercussions if you haven’t filed for years; substantial fees for paying an accountant to do your U.S. taxes, even though the majority do not owe anything; double or punitive taxation with your foreign retirement or savings plans; and potentially unreasonable penalties for making a mistake.

Your experience is not as uncommon as you might think. We want to prove it. Take our survey to help show the real picture of Americans abroad.

Why is this survey so important?

Over the years, Democrats Abroad has produced well-regarded, insightful research to aid our advocacy work on taxation (and overseas voting as well).

Along with a number of other organizations representing overseas Americans, Democrats Abroad is working very hard to persuade Congress to include Residency Based Taxation in its comprehensive tax reform package. With the information gathered from the survey, we will be able to clearly show the issues (and the unintended consequences) non-resident Americans face with the current tax code.

We can’t do it without your help, so check your tax files (if you have them) and click here to take our survey and share your experience with us this week.

Please contact Carmelan Polce on cpolce@tpg.com.au with questions, and please feel free to .

THANK YOU for your support for this research and our tax advocacy work!

DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE

Julia Bryant – ex officio (Czech Republic)

DeeDee Gierow (Sweden)

Carmelan Polce – Chair (New York and Australia)

Michael Ramos (Australia)

Joe Smallhoover (France)

Orlando Vidal (United Arab Emirates)

PS: Wondering what this is all about? Explanations below.

Visit http://www.democratsabroad.org/taxation for more info and to sign up for updates from the Taxation Task Force (limited to DA members only). We promise to email only when there is important news to report.

Citizenship Based Taxation:

The U.S. is the only country that taxes all citizens, including non-residents, on their worldwide income - with the possible exceptions of Eritrea and North Korea. This system of citizenship based taxation obligates Americans living abroad to file tax returns on income generated overseas as well as in the U.S., and to report the accounts they have in foreign financial institutions.

Residency Based Taxation (RBT):

Citizens of a nation with RBT pay tax on income they generate in the place they live. If they live abroad and generate income abroad, that income is taxed only by the country where it is earned and not by the nation of their citizenship.

If the U.S. were to establish a system of Residency Based Taxation:

● Non-resident Americans would not be subject to U.S. income tax on their foreign source income. They would be responsible for taxes on income generated in their country of residence to their country of residence.

● Non-resident Americans would be subject to U.S. withholding tax on their U.S. source income, Social Security, rents, royalties, etc.

More information can be found here.

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Climate Change Policy in the States: Webinar

Dear Friends,

Join us in an online call with Karla Raettig from the League of Conservation Voters on September 8, 9:00am Washington D.C. time. Karla will be talking with us about climate change policy in the States, and how we can get involved and make our voices heard.

RSVP now for the webinar link and information about how you can send in your questions. Note: this is an online meeting, so you will need an internet connection in order to attend.

Webinar Details:

What legislation and actions is the current administration using to harm the environment?

What are states and NGO’s doing to step up?

Find out solutions, ask questions, and learn more as Karla Raettig speaks about climate change policy in the U.S. and answers your questions and concerns.

•Intro to the Conservation Movement organizations and Maryland LCV and Maryland LCV Education Fund

•Increasing importance of state policy in the current political climate

•Upcoming issues of importance

•Ways to get involved.

About our speaker:

Karla Raettig is the Executive Director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. Before joining Maryland LCV in 2011, Karla directed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration program. Karla also has worked as a Senior Attorney at the Environmental Integrity Project in Washington, D.C., Deputy Director at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic in New Orleans, LA, and an Associate Attorney with the Seattle office of Earthjustice. Karla has an LL.M in environmental and natural resources law from Tulane University Law School, a J.D from Lewis and Clark Law School, and a B.A. from The Evergreen State College.

RSVP

  Democrats Abroad


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Fundraising Team Openings

From Adrianne George:

Be part of the team that is the back bone of Democrats Abroad! If you feel comfortable making phone calls, letting members know what we're doing and what we need to do it, then join the Fundraising Team. We need members to call prior donors to ask them to contribute again. You'll use our Call Hub system via your computer so there is no cost to you!

We also need members to call country committee leaders around the world to encourage them to ask for donations from Americans in their country and to organize fundraising events. You'll get to meet lots of interesting people, hopefully, have some interesting conversations and best of all make a HUGE contribution to Democrats Abroad's fundraising efforts. Sign up here:

https://goo.gl/forms/L1r64ukyG Y8XC7mV2

If you have additional questions please contact our Fundraising Committee Chair, Art Schankler on art_schankler@democratsabro ad.org.

Kind regards with thanks,

Adrianne George

Global Volunteer Coordinator

DNC Member

adrianne.r.george@gmail.com

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Minutes of the July 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Tuesday, July 12, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Dave Evans’s house/Via Skype

Attendance: John Chudy, Chair; Mary Lou Ridinger, Vice Chair; Tom Totino, Treasurer; Kee Kalwara, Events/Membership/Fundraising Coordinator; Lyn Totino, Secretary; Dave Evans, Member at Large; and via Skype: Mary Reynolds, Media Contact; Letty Manne, Counsel; Traci Styner, Lago Atitlán Group MeetUp Chair; Rachael Shenyo, Occidente Group MeetUp Deputy Chair.

Call to Order - 5:50 pm

The agenda and the minutes of the previous EXCOM were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report:

After the July 4th event, our Net Worth stands at negative Q184.60 of which Q310 is a credit at the Revue. We started with a cash balance of Q2,107, but owe John Chudy Q2,601 for the purchase of fireworks, food and drinks he bought for the July 4th event. Tom moved that we reimburse John Q2,000 from our cash balance right now and reimburse him later for the balance of Q601 as funds come in. Letty Manne seconded and the motion was carried. The report presented shows that we lost Q1,360 at this year’s event. The cost of the fireworks alone was Q1,580. Tom expressed our appreciation to Mary Lou for help provided and complimented the staff at CCC. There was general agreement that it was a great party and people seemed to enjoy themselves. The report was accepted unanimously.

Events for 2017:

July 4th Sundowner: This was a successful event with perfect weather, great fireworks, tasty snacks, drinks and approximately 55 people in attendance. Many people contributed to make this a fun evening. Quite a few people came because they saw the announcement in the Revue. We should keep the same format for next year’s event. There was a note of disappointment about the lack of contributions to Feed the Donkey and suggestions about how to make the donation jar more visible by putting it on the bar and encouraging tipping the bartender.

Film Series: Good Night and Good Luck was well-received but attendance was only seven, but everyone stayed for a lively discussion.

All the President’s Men will be our next film. It will be shown on Friday, July 21 at Casa Convento Concepción. The film will begin promptly at 6:30pm. A donation of Q20 is suggested and popcorn will be sold for Q5 a bag. We will also be offering limited drinks for sale.

Our August film will be The Fog of War. It will be shown at Casa Convento Concepción on August 25.

Discussion Groups: Rachel Shenyo will prepare a presentation on Climate Change in Guatemala. The presentation will last from 25 to 40 minutes and will be followed by 20-25 minute discussion. Hopefully this will be presented in 3 locations. Rachel and John will discuss the time and locations for the events.

Fund Raisers:

Block Party: Kee and Lyn will be meeting next week to discuss and plan this event.

Guatemala On-Line Auction: DAGT members have a lot of personal skills and items to offer in auction. Services and rentals always do well. Skilled members can offer varied services to bidders, e.g., dance lessons, language training. Rachel will draft an email to be shared first with Kee and John, that will be sent to the full membership to determine interest and offers. This Auction will be for DA Guatemala members only (and other US citizens in Guatemala).

Proceeds from fund raisers will be used for the upcoming 2018 midterm elections Get Out the Vote efforts. Advertising voter registration events such as those held last year at Enlaces and in Guatemala City, in Revue and Que Pasa, is expensive.

Other Items: The Americas Regional monthly meeting will take place July 17 via WebEx beginning at 3pm Guatemalan time. John Chudy will send logon information for anyone on the Excom interested in joining in.

The next meeting will take place at 5pm on Monday, August 14 at Dave Evans’s house. His address is #19 calle de los duelos. This meeting is open to all members.

Travel Notes:

Dave will be gone from August 4 to 21. Mary Reynolds will be gone from June 18 until July 31. Lyn and Tom will be gone from September 10 to 30.

Adjourned: 7:10 pm

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Minutes of the June 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

via Skype/Dave Evan’s house

Present: John Chudy, Chair; Mary Lou Ridinger, Vice Chair; Tom Totino, Treasurer; Kee Kalwara, Events/membership/Fundraising Coordinator ; Lyn Totino, Secretary; Annie Vanderboom, Member at Large; Dave Evans, Member at Large; Rachael Shenyo, Occidente MeetUp Group Deputy Chair; Sara Castellano, Occidente MeetUp Group Chair

  1. Call to order: 5:37 pm. Motion to approve the minutes of last meeting and the agenda for the day, passed unanimously.

  2. Treasurer report was presented by Tom Totino. Our cash balance as of June 19 is Q617 after a 50% deposit of Q168 was made to confirm CCC space for July 4 sundowner. The Revue confirmed that we have a credit balance of Q309 that we can use for our next ad. There were no questions so the report was accepted.

3. Events

July 4th Sundowner: This event will take place at Casa Convento Concepción from

6 to 8:30pm.

We will follow last year’s plan. Admission will be free. Popcorn and tostadas will be free. Beer and wine will be sold for Q20, craft beer for Q30, and soft drinks for Q10. John will purchase all the necessities at Price Smart/Walmart. There will be fireworks at dusk.

Film Series: Our next film. Good night and Good Luck will be shown at Casa Convento Concepción on Friday, June 23 from 6 to 8:30pm. There will be a discussion after the movie.

Our next film will be All the Presidents Men or Frost Nixon. Details will follow.

Fund Raisers: Nothing was decided. We discussed the possibility of a Block Party to include perhaps a raffle/sale of baked goods. We could have dancing or a movie. We need to seek donations for a raffle from our members. David Dean has volunteered in the past to donate one of his award-winning photos for raffle. Perhaps other members could volunteer services or products.

Rachael suggested we do an e-mail brainstorm session to the full membership for an online raffle that would be engage members living all around Guatemala and not just those living in Antigua and Guatemala City (NOTE: Mexico and Canada ran a successful joint online raffle to raise funds for the 2016 election).

Resistance Activities: We discussed ways to get people involved in resistance activities happening in their districts. Annie offered to organize lists of issues and districts so that voters can be alerted to upcoming events.

All members are urged to contact legislators especially concerning health care, (see www.democratsabroad.org/healthcare for phone scripts to call your congresspersons, and https://wiki.democratsabroad.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=17072780, to see Resistance Summer postcard designs

Mary Lou mentioned the Goldman Awards as an inspiration to get involved in environmental policy. One of the 2017 prize-winners ($120,000) is Rodrigo Tot from Guatemala.

Mary Lou also mentioned a journalist doing work on Guatemalan exiles. Rachael said that she just wrote a professional report on violence and refugees in Guatemala-and is available to talk to the journalist.

Discussion Groups: Hyung was not present to update us on his evolving presentation on engaging millennials. Rachael has prepared presentations in Spanish on climate change and how it affects Guatemala, and is willing to translate parts of them into one 35-40 minute Power Point presentation for Democrats Abroad.

4. Travel notes:

John will return June 27.

Mary Lou will be gone from June 30 to July 10.

Hyung will be gone from June 10 to July 25.

Annie will be making a visa run sometime soon.

Our next meeting will be at Dave Evan’s house at 5:30pm on July 12.

Meeting adjourned at 6:40 pm.   

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Minutes of the May 2017 Executive Committee Meeting

Minutes of the Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad Guatemala

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Dave Evans’s house/Via Skype

Attendance: John Chudy, Chair (via Skype); Tom Totino, Treasurer; Kee Kalwara, Events/Membership/Fundraising Coordinator; Lyn Totino, Secretary; Dave Evans, Member at Large; Mary Reynolds, Media Contact (via Skype).

Call to Order - 6:35pm

The agenda and the minutes of the previous EXCOM were approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report:

Our Net Worth stands at Q1,095 of which Q310 is a credit at the Revue. Giving us a cash balance of Q785. He said we have been making money with the two movie nights which had 16 and 14 attendees respectively. There were no other changes from previous reports. The report was accepted unanimously.

Volunteers: The new Volunteer Coordinator for DAGT, Elisabeth Shackelford, was welcomed. She will be responsible for coordinating volunteer activities in Guatemala and coordinating with Adrianne George for volunteer needs globally. These are important responsibilities as we are facing elections again in 2018. DA voter participation in midterm elections is usually about 10% of presidential years. In 2016, DA globally registered and believes that 154,000 voted via Democrats Abroad. Ten percent of that would mean only 15,000 would vote in 2018. We need to improve participation and will be relying on volunteers.

Events for 2017:

July 4th Event: It was decided unanimously to hold another July 4th Sundowner with Fireworks this year. The event last year was successful and well-attended. We will again offer free admission, popcorn and snacks. We will sell beer, wine and soft drinks. This year’s event will take place on Tuesday, July 4th at Casa Convento Concepcion from 6 to 8:30pm ending with fireworks. Tom will make sure we have the venue reserved.

Film Series: We’ve had good attendance at our last two movie nights. The films presented have been interesting and have been followed up by discussions. Kee presented two movies for consideration. We decided on ‘Good Night and Good Luck’. The movie will be shown at Casa Convento Concepcion on June 23 at 6:30pm. Members and guests are welcome. There will be announcements in Que Pasa and the Revue.

Discussion Groups: Hyung was not present at the meeting to bring us up to date on any plans he may have. We discussed how to contact millennials and get them involved. We could have discussion groups or social mixers in the city where millennials tend to live. Mary and Kee will discuss the possibilities. Kee suggested members check out the MyTimetoVote.com website.

DPCA Meeting: John attended the meeting in DC May 12-14. A new EXCOM was elected. He mentioned the fund raising and press training sessions which could be included here in Guatemala. It was pointed out that winning elections is what we need to focus on over winning hearts and minds. John pointed out that, according to the US Embassy, there are an estimated 90,000 US citizens, mostly dual citizens, representing many additional voters living in Guatemala. We need to find a way to contact them and ensure that they vote.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday, June 21 pm at 5:30pm at Dave Evans’s house (and via Skype). For Excom members in Antigua, Dave’s address is #19 calle de los duelos. This meeting is open to all members.

Travel Notes:

John will be gone until June 27. Mary will be gone from June 18 to July 31.

Adjourned: 6:45 pm

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