Week 28: Donate to Hurricane Relief
Dear DNC Member,
The past few days have been devastating for our friends in Puerto Rico and all those in the path of the hurricane Maria. Please consider donating to the Red Cross to help those affected if you can.
Democrats have been united against the latest GOP health care repeal effort. And Senator John McCain’s dramatic announcement today that he will not vote for Graham-Cassidy has carried the bill one step closer to defeat. But the fight isn’t over yet. We need to make sure Trumpcare ends up in the dustbin of history where it belongs once and for all. While Senate Democrats held countless hearings, accepted more than 180 Republican amendments, and debated the Affordable Care Act for over 160 hours on the floor, Republicans will vote on a bill with little if any debate and without a CBO score or basic knowledge of how many millions of Americans will be hurt.
If doctors made health care decisions for patients without knowing the consequences, they would be sued. But that’s exactly what Republicans are doing right now. This is not regular order – it’s malpractice. And any member of Congress who supports this sham deserves to be voted out of office. Millions of Americans would be at risk, so we need as many voices as possible to defeat this life-threatening bill.
One of the most troubling aspects of this bill is its lack of funding for opioid addiction treatment. Opioid addiction is taking lives and tearing apart families. Instead of fighting to address the problem, Republicans in Congress want to ram through this partisan bill to take away people’s health care and slash billions in funding for addiction treatment. More than six weeks after calling the opioid epidemic a national emergency, President Trump has done nothing to help those affected. Now he’s leading the Republican charge to strip protections and resources from the working families who need them most.
This issue knows no party. From New Hampshire to Nevada, the opioid crisis has ravaged communities across the country. We cannot sit idly by while Republicans choose cruelty over compassion and destroy the lives of millions. We must elect more Democrats to fight this urgent crisis with the urgent action it demands.
We’ll have the chance soon with Election Day 2017 is less than 50 days away. Things are heating up in Virginia, where our candidate for governor, Ralph Northam, had a tremendous debate performance against his opponent on Tuesday night. Northam has spent his life as a public servant, while Republican nominee Ed Gillespie has made a career serving big corporations, special interests, and himself. Hard-working Virginians need a candidate that will support them and their families. Ralph Northam is that candidate.
But the Virginia governor’s race is just one election where voters are flocking to Democrats. Our CEO Jess O’Connell and DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post published a piece on TIME.com about the recent string of Democratic victories in special elections across the country, including in some deep-red districts where Trump won handily in November. From New Hampshire to Oklahoma, the American people are sending a loud and clear message: Democratic values are American values.
So much is at stake in these elections. Working families deserve a better deal from their representatives. They deserve a better deal on health care and housing, on wages and workers’ rights, on education and retirement security. And as our incredible National Political and Organizing Director and new mother, Amanda Brown Lierman, wrote in a Medium post this week, working families deserve a better deal on child care. Democrats are offering that better deal, and the American people are responding at the ballot box.
This week also marked the start of the Jewish New Year as communities in America, Israel, and around the world began to observe the Jewish High Holy Days. From the beginning of Rosh Hashanah to the final sealing on Yom Kippur, the Days of Awe are a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal.
Over the past year, we’ve seen how fear and hatred can divide our country. But while each new year brings new challenges, the DNC will always be a steadfast partner to Jewish communities as we combat anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, and as we continue the work of tikkun olam.
Democratic National Committee
Press Contact: Aloka Barthel
Tel: (+49) 017632935147
Democrats Abroad Endorses “Medicare-for-All” Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2017 – Democrats Abroad endorses the “Medicare-for-All" bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on September 13th by Bernie Sanders and co-sponsors including Sens Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.
"The ‘Medicare-for-All’ bill is currently the best route to attaining the goal of universal health care and as such we endorse it." stated Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, on behalf of the International Executive Committee of Democrats Abroad. "We invite those who favor other routes to put forward ideas that are as practical and thorough in attaining coverage for all.”
As Sanders explained in The New York Times Wednesday, the bill would mean that “every family in America would receive comprehensive coverage, and middle-class families would save thousands of dollars a year by eliminating their private insurance costs as we move to a publicly funded program.”
The endorsement from Democrats Abroad is the most recent push in support for universal health care from the organization, which has consistently maintained a stance that health care is a right, not a privilege. Americans around the world have advocated for an affordable healthcare solution for residents in the United States similar to what many have experienced first-hand overseas.
The organization is currently asking Americans abroad to share their perspective through http://democratsabroad.org/healthcare_stories.
“We consistently hear stories in support of universal health care, including many about 'health care refugees' - Americans abroad who can't return to the States because their health care would be cost prohibitive back home," added Bryan. "Health care should be a given, not a question mark, and it's time for U.S. policies to reflect that."
***Addendum: As an issue that impacts Americans across all demographics, additional quotes on this issue are provided below.
Ana Blackstad, Chair, Hispanic Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “Latinos face the highest uninsured rates of any racial or ethnic group within the United States. ‘Medicare-for-All’ would help Latino families access preventative care for illnesses that disproportionately affect the Latino community, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and asthma.”
Ann Hesse, Co-Chair, Women’s Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “Health care is absolutely key to a woman's well-being and economic stability, and we know that women are particularly discriminated against in the patchwork of health care plans currently available in the US. We believe that this bill provides the very best chance yet for our mothers and sisters back home to have the same access to high-quality care that we enjoy abroad.”
Salli Swartz, Co-Chair, Women’s Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “The Democrats Abroad Global Women's Caucus strongly supports the ‘Medicare-for-All’ bill introduced this week before Congress by Bernie Sanders. This Bill if enacted will protect women's' right to health care which is essential to protecting our rights to maternal care to pregnant women and children and reproductive health benefits."
Martha McDevitt-Pugh, Chair, LGBT Caucus of Democrats Abroad: “A health crisis can hit any community, and LGBT Americans know only too well the devastating consequences discrimination can have on the health of individuals and communities. The ‘Medicare-for-All’ bill would ensure access to care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender people and provide a foundation of integrity for American society and our families.”
Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for United States citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee, with eight positions on the Democratic National Committee, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.
For more information, visit http://www.democratsabroad.org.
Have you had a good experience with universal healthcare? Let Congress know by sharing your story at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our story page. We’ll send your stories in to Senate Dems in Washington.
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.
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.
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
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
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
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.
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:
If you have additional questions please contact our Fundraising Committee Chair, Art Schankler on art_schankler@democratsabro ad.org.
Kind regards with thanks,
Global Volunteer Coordinator
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.
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.
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.
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