News

MOVIE NIGHT: LBJ: Thursday, March 15, 2018

Power is where power goes: LBJ

Through a series of flashbacks, the film follows LBJ’s career from 1959 – 1963 – his time in Congress, as Vice President, to the assassination of JFK and his swearing in as President on Air Force One. It then focuses almost entirely on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is not a biopic of Johnson’s life, nor of his entire Presidency, but provides insight into his personal and political struggles. 2017, 1hr 36min, Rated R.

Q20 Suggested Donation

POTLUCK

Bring Your Own Drinks

Thursday, March 15, 2018

POTLUCK Starts at 5:30pm The movie starts promptly at 6:30pm

Dave’s and Kee’s

Calle de Los Duelos Casa 19 Colonia Virey 4170-5537

Plenty of Secure Parking

Open to Members of DAGT and Guests Discussion Group Following the Movie

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"Guns R Us": Tom Fina's Letter From Washington

Letter from Washington

To Democrats Abroad

28 February 2018

Tom Fina

Executive Director Emeritus

You Americans abroad are likely to be a lot safer than us Americans at home.

Seventeen people were murdered and 14 more wounded on February 14 by a 19 year old white man in Parkland Florida using a military style assault gun. Our plague of gun violence has hit the front pages again as it did in 2012 after the murder of 28 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. What is it that is finally getting political attention when the 15,000 gun deaths and 31,200 gun woundings last year did not stir a political ripple?

That makes the United States Number 1 in gun deaths per 100,000 residents among the 162 sovereign states? Our neighbor Canada is Number 10, the UK is Number 82 and Japan is Number 162.

About half of us see gun violence as a very big problem in the US. What to do about it depends on your political leanings. Democrats want gun control. Republicans don’t.

Hey! Guns R Us!

Thirty percent of us own a gun and 42% of us live in a household with a gun. Three quarters of gun owners could never see themselves not owning a gun. And, just as many believe that the right to own guns is an essential freedom - like free speech, the right to vote, freedom of religion. This is also a white, less educated guy thing. About half of white men own a gun as do white men without a bachelor’s degree. There is also a rural - urban divide. Almost half (46%) of rural residents own a gun compared with only 19% in urban areas. More than half (54%) of men who own guns say all or most of their friends do too. These gun owners (67%) say they have a gun for protection and about 40% of them say they always have a loaded gun within easy reach.

Since a majority believe that gun violence is a national problem, what should be done to contain it? Preventing the mentally ill and those on a no-fly list from gun purchase is generally agreed by both owners and non-gun owners. That’s about as far as agreement goes. Not on creating a federal gun purchase data base, banning assault weapons or high capacity magazines or allowing teachers to be armed, or shortening the waiting period to buy a gun or allowing concealed weapons without a permit.

The partisan split spans the whole range of gun control measures. Except for preventing the mentally ill from buying guns, Democrats and Republicans are far apart. Trump has proposed arming teachers. That resonates with 81% of Republicans but only half as many Democrats. With teachers, not so much. Maybe that has to do with gun ownership. About 44% of Republicans are gun owners compared to half that many Democrats.

The Florida killings have focused attention on the National Rifle Association, the NRA. It is the national defender of our merchants of death. It spent almost $52 million in 2016 in support of the election of Trump including almost $20 million to defeat Hillary Clinton. No wonder Trump and the NRA have a love affair. He explained it all last April speaking to the NRA’s national convention:

“You came through big for me, and I am going to come through for you. The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end.”

That was before February 28.

Yesterday, Trump astonished Democrats and horrified Republicans in a meeting with both when he called for “strong measures” to impose background checks on gun buyers, greater police power to seize weapons from the mentally disturbed, banning of bump stocks and raising the age limit for the purchase of assault weapons.

That is the Republican President. It remains to be seen whether he actually goes to bat for these measures in the face of NRA and Republican opposition. Paul Ryan, Republican Speaker of the House, rejects banning the sale of assault weapons: “"We shouldn't be banning guns for law abiding citizens.” The most that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would support is improving the system of background checks.

Among the 54 Republican Senators, 22 took NRA money (sometimes minor sums) and 32 took none. Only one of 49 Democratic Senators did so. Some 307 House Republicans received NRA money in 2018 and only 6 did not. Of the 193 Democratic members of the House, only 23 took NRA money.

More than 167 Democrats introduced the “Assault Weapons Ban of 2018" on 26 February. It would make it “unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.” It specifically names at least 205 guns that fit the description, including the AK-47 and the AR-15, the latter of which was used by Nikolas Cruz when he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month and killed 17 people.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed a similar bill last year. Her bill has 26 co-sponsors including three Democrats who have signed on since the school shooting this month in Parkland. But, it will go nowhere in the Republican controlled Senate.

Does gun control work?

States with the most strict gun controls have the lowest rates of gun deaths (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York) while those with the most lax laws (Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana) have the highest.

Take Connecticut. After the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, it enacted tough control measures. It expanded its ban on assault weapons, prohibited the sale of large capacity magazines, required the registration of existing assault weapons and large capacity magazines, required background checks for all firearms sales and created a registry of weapons offenders.The number of firearms deaths (homicides, suicides and accidents) fell from 226 in 2012 to 164 in 2016.

New York passed even tougher controls a month after Sandy Hook.. It ranks 48th in gun death rates after Connecticut at 46th..

The prospects for enacting any meaningful national gun control legislation depends on a Democratic majority in the House. The November election for the entire House will be our next chance to get the votes needed to do something to curb our plague of gun violence.

How that turns out may be very much influenced by a surprising new player: kids.

So many of the children who survived the Parkland killings are standing up to demand gun control. Their facility with social media and their political maturity in a democratic society means that they can mobilize public support for reform and that as they become adults they will have the political power to turn back our “Guns R Us” culture.

That can’t come a moment too soon. 30

DA Guatemala
http://www.democratsabroad.org/

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From Tom's Desk

Dear Fellow DNC Member,


We have a big year ahead of us, and I’m thrilled to give you a sneak peek at the linchpin of our work ahead. Today, we’re announcing IWillVote – an unprecedented, nationwide campaign to organize, educate, and mobilize Americans to vote for Democrats up and down the ballot. In partnership with state parties and other partners, we are setting a goal to reach 50 million voters this year. This is huge, and we need your help.

Over the past year, we’ve seen what a difference increased voter turnout can make for Democrats up and down the ballot. From Oklahoma to Alabama, we’re organizing – and winning – all across the country. But we also know that turnout during the midterms is historically low – 2014 was the lowest voter turnout since World War II. Through IWillVote, we’re going to organize to change that, because when more people vote, Democrats win!

The IWillVote campaign has 4 pillars: Commit to Vote; Register to Vote; Voter Education and Protection; and Get Out the Vote. IWillVote is designed to reach voters across the country with fresh content, innovative tools and technology, and online and on-the-ground organizing to engage, educate, and remind Americans about why their vote is their voice. Our organizing efforts will specifically target first time and sporadic voters, communities of color, rural and millennial voters.

You’re going to be hearing a lot about IWillVote, and in communities all across the country Democrats are already rolling up their sleeves and starting to organize. And that’s because it matters: we know that when a potential voter makes a pledge to vote and receives a reminder before Election Day, their likelihood of turning out goes up measurably.

We have an opportunity this year to translate energy into engagement and a moment into a movement to take our country back. Through an online and on-the-ground effort – and with your help – we can translate activism and marches into voting in 2018. So get ready, get excited, and help us spread the word!

More to come,
Tom

Suggested Social Content for Sharing: We encourage you to tweet, post, and share the excitement about this program — we’re proud to work with all of you to get out there and win! The hashtag is #IWillVote

Post on Facebook:
  • 50 MILLION: That's the number of Americans we’re going to talk to about voting between now and Election Day. Join us:www.IWillVote.com
  • Democrats can win big in 2018 — but only with your help. Commit to vote for Democrats this year so we take back Congress and elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Want to be part of the team? Visit www.IWillVote.com and commit.
  • If we want America’s government to reflect our values, each and every one of us must play a role in shaping it — and that means voting. Commit to vote at www.IWillVote.com. ��

Tweet:
  • Whether you’ve never voted for Democrats before or vote for Democrats in every single election, we need your help to win nationwide this November. Commit to vote this year at www.IWillVote.com.
  • 50 MILLION: That's the number of Americans we’re going to talk to about voting this year. Join us: www.IWillVote.com
  • YOU have the power to make a difference with your voice �� and your vote. �� Commit to vote at IWillVote.com.
  • Here's a step-by-step look at Democrats' plan for 2018:
✅Commit to vote
✅Organize
✅Mobilize
✅WIN
Want to be a part of it? Start here: IWillVote.com
  • For Democrats to win big in 2018 ��, we've all got to go to the polls ✍. Commit to vote: Visit IWillVote.com to help turn the tide from the school board to the Senate.

Post pics on Instagram (or download and add the graphics to the Facebook and Twitter posts):
  1. Commit to vote today: Facebook/Instagram Twi tter
  2. I’m committed to vote for Democrats Facebook/Instagram T witter
  3. I’m voting for Democrats 2018 Facebook/Instagram Twitt er
  4. If you believe, vote for Democrats Facebook/Instagram Twitter

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One Year In: From Tom's Desk

Dear Fellow DNC Member,

A year ago this weekend, when you elected me as your new chair, President Trump responded the way he always does: on Twitter, mocking our party. In response, deputy DNC chair Keith Ellison and I made a promise: we would unite Democrats across the country to become his worst nightmare. And we did — by winning some of the biggest races in 2017.

It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight. In less than a year, we got back to basics and started organizing. We invested in our state parties almost immediately through our Resistance Summer program and hired organizers in over 40 states. We made unprecedented investments in our state parties through our Every ZIP Code Counts program; now each state party gets $10,000 per month, which is a 33% increase from base funding levels in 2016 and a 100% increase from 2015.

We didn’t just focus on the sexy races at the top of the ticket. We lifted up Democrats across the board. And by investing early, organizing everywhere, and working together with all of you, we won more than 100 elections and flipped 37 state legislative seats from red to blue. Please take a moment to read my latest piece in USA Today about all of the progress we’ve made over the last year.

One of those red-to-blue flips came this week in Kentucky, where Democrat Linda Belcher won a seat by a whopping 36 points in a district that Trump won by 49 points in 2016.

The DNC is proud to stand with Linda and the Kentucky Democratic Party as they work to build a brighter future for hardworking families across Kentucky.

Democrats are winning again because of the strong grassroots support of Democratic donors across the country. This week, the DNC announced it raised nearly $7 million, including nearly $1 million from the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, in January. The total represents a 40% increase over last January’s total and is the DNC’s best January since Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.

Not only is last month’s haul more than the DNC raised in the past five Januaries, it’s more than the organization raised in January 2006 and January 2008, both of which were major Democratic wave election years. The DNC also finished the month of January with more cash on hand than it had at the same point in 2016 and 2014.

This week, we also continued to see the inspiring activism and resilience of the students at Stoneman Douglas. They have channeled their pain and passion into progress and challenged our lawmakers to finally take meaningful action that will reduce gun violence.

Our digital team put together this video highlighting the stories and voices of these courageous students. Deputy Chair Keith Ellison also spoke to Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting, and Sarah Clements, the daughter of a second grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary, about these issues on this week’s episode of Democrats Live. You can watch their discussion here.

The Democratic Party is committed to fighting for sensible gun laws. We will not accept that we are too powerless to make progress, or that the NRA is too powerful to defeat. In a country as great as ours, no child should be afraid to go to school or walk around their neighborhood. No spouse should be afraid to come home at night. No American should be afraid to go to work or their place of worship. No human being should be afraid to go to a shopping mall or baseball field, nightclub or movie theater, concert or college campus.

I joined DNC Member Yasmine Taeb, a graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School, in penning an open letter to the students in Florida about how our party is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them as we work to make progress on these issues. You can read our letter in Daily Kos here.

Finally, as we head into the weekend, all of us should remember the incredible campaign led by Memphis sanitation workers, who began marching 50 years ago this month for higher wages, safer working conditions, the right to be part of a union and the recognition of the dignity of their work. Their cause drew Dr. King to Memphis for what proved to be his final campaign.

While we’ve made incredible progress since then, we still have a lot of work to do. We know that when unions succeed, America succeeds. And with the Supreme Court beginning oral arguments in the Janus v. AFSCME case next week, it’s critically important that we unite to protect workers’ rights.

This Saturday, working people across America will join hands to protect our freedoms and fight back against those trying to rig the economy for corporations and the 1%. You can join an event near you here.

Yours,

Tom

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Tom Perez

Chair

Democratic National Committee

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NON-PARTISAN VOTER REGISTRATION: GUATEMALA CITY

WE WILL ASSIST ALL US VOTERS IN REGISTERING TO VOTE AND COMPLETING THEIR FEDERAL POST CARD APPLICATION (FPCA) FOR THE UPCOMING USA ELECTIONS. THE FPCA IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE AN OVERSEAS ABSENTEE BALLOT. YOU SHOULD COMPLETE A NEW FPCA EVERY YEAR!

This event, hosted by Democrats Abroad Guatemala, is open to all US voters – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and all others.

Registration Guatemala City

Cayala

Building G Apt. 201 (G201)

Entrance around the corner from Casa Escobar restaurant

10:00 am – 2:00 pm

10 March

Watch for additional dates in Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala City and other locations. For more information, contact Kee Kalwara atkeekalwara@gmail.com (Antigua), Traci Styner at tracisd@gmail.com (Lake Atitlan), Rachael Shenyo (Quetzaltenango) at rshenyo@yahoo.com, or Hyungjoon Jin (Guatemala City) at hyungjoon.jin@interamericano.edu.gt.

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Excom Tiny Action from Julia Bryan

Dear Leaders,

This week’s Tiny Action asks members to call their senators and demand they adopt common sense gun reform. Members are contacting us at a tremendous rate, asking about events planned around the topic, so please let us know if you're planning a March for Our Lives event, and we'll help pass the news along.

As part of our efforts to multiply our get out the vote impact this year, I have just submitted a draft proposal to the DNC, requesting funding to support our goals for the year.

I am also in the process of putting together a State Outreach team, and am looking for volunteers interested in acting as liaisons to several states. If you are interested in working on this outreach, please get in touch.

I'm excited to announce that DNC Chair Tom Perez will join DA for a reception in London in April. Many thanks to Giulia Marchiori Ceresa (UK) for helping make this happen and to Inge Kjemtrup (UK) for her support as well. More details soon, but save the date - April 26th.

The LGBT Caucus is hosting a call with Earl Fowlkes, Chair of the DNC LGBT Caucus, on February 28th. RSVP today and hear about the various issues facing the LGBTQIA community under the current Administration, and how the Democratic Party is addressing these issues.


The Comms Team has launched weekly “office hours”. Stop by the Webex call (password dems) between 8 and 9am EST with your comms related questions.

In other announcements, AP regional leadership has had a reshuffle. Long time leader Kat Allikian (NZ) is now the RVC of AP, while Shaun Barnes (HK), has stepped back and will become a deputy RVC. Samantha Wong (CN) is also joining the team as a deputy RVC, while Kari Hiepko-Odermann (IN) stays on in that role. Many thanks to these leaders for all the work they are doing in the region and particular thanks to Shaun for his past work on the DPCA Excom.


Thank you to all the country committees who met the DPCA compliance deadline and sent in all your documentation this week. Jeffrey Chen, our International Secretary, worked mightily hard to make sure no one missed the deadline - thank you Jeffrey!

Our next ExCom meeting is today at 8am DC time. Our Excom meetings are on Thursdays at 8am DC time unless otherwise noted. As always we'd be delighted to have you join as a guest. If you're interested, get in touch with Jeffrey at secretary@democratsabroad.org and he'll send you the link to the meeting.

Thank you for all that you do!

Best, Julia

Julia Bryan

International Chair, Democrats Abroad

Mark your calendars

Black History Month – February 1-28

Earl Fowlkes webinar – February 28th, 2pm DC time

Tom Perez reception – April 26 (London)

Annual General Meeting – May 25 - 27th (Tokyo)

2018 GOTV calendar

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Tiny Action: March for Our Lives

**Democrats Abroad issues Tiny Actions like the one below every week. We thought you may all be interested in this one. Want to receive our weekly actions in your inbox? Click Subscribe from the Tiny Actions main page. If you don't see the Subscribe button, you'll need to sign in first.**

Democrats Abroad has long been in support of gun safety reform. We have called for legislative reform in the past, have addressed this issue in our platform, but Congress has offered little more than thoughts and prayers. This is not enough.

The resilience of the students in Florida have inspired the March for Our Lives movement that is rapidly spreading across the country. We stand with them today (our statement here) and we will stand with them to help take the March 24 national day of action, and the March 14 national school walk out day, into a global call for change.

This week’s #TinyAction: Demand that Senate pass common sense gun legislation and start making your plans for March 24.

1. Can you volunteer to help your local Dems Abroad organize a “March for our Lives" on or around March 24?

We’ll be organizing an online action to support the events in the US (stay tuned!), but there are also many people who would like to join an event in person. This requires organizing. If you live in an area where this might be possible, and if you’d be able to help organize, reach out to your local Dems Abroad team to let them know.

Not sure who to contact? Visit https://www.democratsabroad.org/ and find your Country Committee under “Countries.”

2. Call on your Senators to take immediate, urgent action.

“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [VOTING STATE/ZIP]. I’m calling today to ask Senator [NAME] to take action to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.

This is not a states rights or second amendment issue. This is a safety issue that has plagued our nation for far too long and must be addressed urgently. Specifically, I ask that the Senator move to

  • Close the loophole that lets people buy guns at shows and through private sellers without background checks
  • Institute universal background checks for ammo and gun buyers
  • Vote in favor of S.2095, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017
  • Remove the Dickey Rider from the federal budget and finally allow the CDC to research gun violence prevention

I’m also incredibly disturbed that H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House, and it’s essential that the Senate stop it from becoming law. I’d like to see the Senator commit immediately to opposing this legislation. It’s as important as ever not to weaken gun safety standards, and prevent firearms from falling into dangerous hands. This is why every major law enforcement agency has opposed this bill.

As an American voter living abroad, I know that it doesn’t have to be this way. The US must be a positive example to the world, not the opposite. We cannot afford to wait any longer to protect innocent lives from gun massacres. Thank you.”

**You can also find out how your Representative voted on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and call them to voice your support/disapproval.

MORE INFO

Students are rising up against gun violence in the aftermath of the Florida shooting

Students demand change in gun laws after latest school shooting in the US

Watch the Feb 21 student march on the Florida State Capital

Schumer hits Trump on 'all talk' approach on guns

House Republicans voted on a "concealed carry reciprocity" bill that could weaken states’ gun law enforcement

Sen. Dianne Feinstein reintroduces assault weapons ban legislation

Why Our Government Cannot Study Gun Violence: The Dickey Amendment

Poll Finds Near-Universal Support For Gun Background Checks

Assault Weapons Ban of 2017

Gun Show Loophole FAQ

Receive our actions each week by signing up on the Tiny Actions page. If you don't see the Subscribe button, you'll need to sign in first. Be sure to forward and share with other activists, too.

As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Please send suggestions for our next tiny action to info at democratsabroad dot org.

Democrats Abroad
http://www.democratsabroad.org/

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MOVIE NIGHT: MARSHALL: Thursday, February 22, 2018

The only way to get through a bigot's door is to break it down.

The man was the first attorney for the NAACP. He won 29 of the 32 cases he argued in front of the US Supreme court, including the ground-breaking 1954 Brown v. Board of Education. This man was a trailblazer for Civil Rights, and in 1967 became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. The man was Thurgood Marshal. Not a bio-pic of Thurgood Marshall, but a courtroom drama of a 1941 case where, as the attorney for the NAACP, he defended a Black man in Connecticut against the accusation by his White socialite employer of rape and attempted murder. 2017, 1hr 58min, PG-13

Q20 Suggested Donation

Bring Your Own Drinks / Some Drinks Will Be For Sale

Popcorn Available at Q5 per Bag

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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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Non-partisan Voter Registration: Antigua, Lake Atitlan & Quetzaltenango

Non-partisan Voter Registration

Antigua, Lake Atitlan & Quetzaltenango

We will assist all US voters in registering to vote and completing their Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) for the upcoming USA elections. The FPCA is required to receive an overseas absentee ballot. You should complete a new FPCA every year!

This event, hosted by Democrats Abroad Guatemala, is open to all US voters – Democrats, Republicans, Independents and all others.

Registration Antigua

Enlaces

6a Avenida Norte No. 1

La Antigua Guatemala

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

10 March

Registration Lake Atitlan

Panajachel

Solomon's Porch

24 February

1:00pm - 4:00pm

Registration Quetzaltenango

El Cuartito

13 Avenida 7-09, Zona 1

24 February

10:30am - 3:30pm

4 March

4:00pm - 8:00pm

Watch for additional dates in Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala City and other locations For more information, contact Kee Kalwara at keekalwara@gmail.com (Antigua), Traci Styner at tracisd@gmail.com (Lake Atitlan) or Rachael Shenyo (Quetzaltenango) at rshenyo@yahoo.com

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March for Our Lives Events: Julia Bryan

I know that many of you are already planning a rally or march to support the March for Our Lives events in the US around March 14th and 24th. That's great to hear! We want to make sure we can advertise these globally, so as you plan them do contact comms@democratsabroad.org with a link to your event's page on the website. We've also been in touch with the March for Our Lives organizers so we will hopefully be able to add everyone's events to their site as well.

To help support your preparation, the Comms team will be preparing a sample press release, talking points and social posts for both Facebook and Twitter. As well, in case it is useful, we have a statement and an excerpt from our platform up on the site regarding our position on gun control. We will also be running a global online vigil for those who are not near an event.

Statement and excerpt: A Call for Common Sense Gun Legislation: https://www.democratsabroad.org/gun_violence_is_a_serious_american_problem

If you decide to plan an event around the March, consider checking in with partner organizations near you regarding their participation - partnering together is a great way to grow attendance. It's also a great way to meet Americans who might not be members but are concerned about gun control - and who you can speak to later about voting.

Please get in touch if you have questions about hosting a rally or a march and check out the following resources on the wiki.

Guidance for DA Marches, Demonstrations and Vigils: https://wiki.democratsabroad.org/display/AYM/Guidance+for+DA+Marches%2C+Demonstrations%2C+Vigils

For further inspiration, here is a story about DA Toronto's vigil last weekend: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-florida-shooting-vigil-1.4541518

If you've already planned an event drop me a line - I'd love to hear about it!

All the best,
Julia

Julia Bryan

International Chair, Democrats Abroad

m: +420603447070 | skypeid: jbryan822

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