March 2021 Newsletter

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ActivitiesOn the Ground!DAHC Interview SectionMembers Contributions - Events - DAHC at a Glance

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR

hc2.jpgHappy 2021, the Year of the Ox. As we welcome in the Lunar New Year and our second year of dealing with a pandemic-changed world, there is so much to share with you. The Hispanic Caucus of Democrats Abroad is larger than ever, with nearly 1,500 members at the start of this month. We have members in 82 countries from Argentina to Zambia coming from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC, with the most members voting absentee in the states of California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

We have an exciting series of events to kick off the year. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Onélica Andrade and Carlos Colao have been reviewing our Terms of Reference and updating it with new goals as we prepare for the 2022 midterms. In the Americas region, Edgar Lopez has been hard at work with Onélica Andrade and myself preparing for the joint caucus Leadership Development Regional Workshops.

Each online session showcases four different Democrats Abroad Leaders, one for each of the Global, Regional, and Country levels, and one from a country without a Country Chapter from within the region, interspersed with breakout rooms for networking and deeper discussions.

We’re also working on our legislative priorities. The following were raised by members in our regional meetings as among our caucus’ highest  priorities:

1) Enacting Comprehensive Immigration Reform
2) Increasing Access to healthcare, in particular, when it comes to COVID-19 care and access to vaccines
3) Expanding Voting rights
4) Tax Reform for Americans abroad 
5) Halting deportations of U.S. veterans
6) Statehood for Puerto Rico

As well as Education, specifically increased opportunities for our Latinx community in public education, and Climate Change.

What are you most concerned about?

Reaching out to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus

We are happy to announce that the DAHC recently wrote to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to introduce ourselves to the new Chair, Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36), and to reaffirm our commitment to working with our Latinx Democratic allies to pass meaningful reforms. We want to use this year to forge strong ties to Congress and with other potential allies back in the U.S.

 As a reminder, our Mission Statement clearly supports and defends the U.S. Constitution and the goals and ideals of the Democratic Party and Democrats Abroad. In particular:

  • To advocate on issues of concern to the U.S. Hispanic community
  • To be a pro-Hispanic voice for U.S. citizens living abroad
  • To support campaigns of Democratic Hispanic nominees running for elected office in the U.S.

Likewise, DAHC encourages all Democratic Hispanic members of Congress to join this caucus for the purpose of a unified voice in Congress in advocating for policies to improve the lives and well-being of Hispanic-Americans. We are proud to report that every Democratic Hispanic member of the 117th Congress is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus snapshot

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) was founded in December 1976 as a legislative service organization of the United States House of Representatives. Today, the CHC is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed by the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The CHC addresses national and international issues and crafts policies that impact the Hispanic community. The function of the Caucus is to serve as a forum for the Hispanic Members of Congress to coalesce around a collective legislative agenda. The Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands” (https://chc.house.gov/about)

DACA: Thank you, Mr. President!

Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

The Hispanic Caucus of Democrats Abroad (DAHC) has thanked President Biden for keeping the campaign promise and acting swiftly in issuing an executive order to reinstate and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This is a major relief for the thousands of “Dreamers” and their families who live in constant uncertainty and fear of deportation.  And while this may give undocumented immigrants a respite, we hope that Congress will soon pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

Addressing this issue is a top legislative priority for us and we stand fully committed to work with our members and our Democratic colleagues in finally moving forward on a strong, compassionate, and fair immigration system. As the primary voice for the U.S. Hispanic Community living abroad, we advocate for and encourage reforms like the bipartisan Dream Act, S. 264, to finally allow Dreamers and temporary protected status (TPS) individuals to not fear coming out of the shadows and being fully welcomed into society as Americans.

One of our incredible volunteers, a former DACA individual now living in Germany, stated:

I want to thank President Biden for providing my fellow Childhood Arrivals with the security we have so badly needed the past four years. I want to encourage the new Administration to keep our well-being and that of other minorities at heart, and to make the much needed changes to give security to the Childhood Arrivals that remain trapped in for-profit detention centers as well as TPS recipients currently in limbo.

It is essential that we recognize each other´s humanity - immigrant, asylum seeker refugee, and U.S. citizen alike - and bolster the voices of those of us who have lived in the shadows. The path to equality is filled with difficult challenges that I know President Biden is willing to confront. I thank you for this important step, and promise to urge for American voices to fight alongside those who have yet to be heard.”

Connecting our roots to our Global Community

Edgar López-Vallejo
DA Mexico, Media Team Leader, Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee Member

Do you like the idea of forming international communities that take their strength from the roots they share in Latin America and the US? We in the Dems Abroad Hispanic Caucus are working with the Latinx diaspora to get in touch with each other, to revel in our shared identity, to retrace our provenance from communities across the US, and to build a strong nexus from our networks spanning the globe to all of those communities that nurtured our families back in their ancestral homeland. 

Affirming our identity as a global community and rebuilding our collective links to the towns and neighborhoods that nurtured us and our families would make us feel more complete as people and, we believe, would anchor to our belonging. 

It would also allow us to better support, throughout our voting rights and contact with the Latinx communities in the US, the acceptance of their members as full-fledged citizens at every level in the country, the respect of their rights, and the acknowledgment of the voices that emanate from them.

For these reasons, we are starting a program to identify and retrace those links, to find the communities that bridge our shared history, language, and idiosyncrasy, and build political and cultural networks that may allow us and other Latinx abroad to nurture ourselves from the strength of those communities, and to give back, from what we have become, to those communities across the Americas. We will be stronger and more complete for it, and our land will benefit from what we can give back.

If the idea interests you, let us  know: get in touch and contribute your point of view, and work with us to build this program and rebuild our contact with the Americas.

Please feel free to reach me at here.

Our Vice Chair, Miguel Madrigal helps in the Georgia Runoff Election

¡Hola!

Mi nombre es José Miguel Madrigal, miembro de Democrats Abroad Costa Rica y el vicepresidente del Caucus Hispano Global.

Me uní al Partido Demócrata el día que cumplí 18 años. Desde que me uní, he sido voluntario con Democrats Abroad, para inscribir a la mayor cantidad posible de estadounidenses residentes en el extranjero e instarlos para que voten por candidatos demócratas en la papeleta.

La elección de noviembre de 2020 nos dio a los demócratas muchas victorias: la Casa de Representantes y la Presidencia. Sin embargo, quedaba pendiente una victoria final, ganar el Senado. Para obtener la mayoría en el Senado, necesitábamos triunfar en la segunda ronda electoral en Georgia, el 5 de enero de 2021.

Sabía que todo estaba en juego en esta elección de segunda ronda. Temas como la reforma migratoria, reunir las familias separadas en la frontera con México y la detención de la construcción del muro de Trump serían abordados por un Senado controlado por el Partido Demócrata. Como ciudadano estadounidense que busca que se produzcan cambios sustanciales y, como hispano que soy, sentí el deber de ayudar en esta segunda ronda.

Quería colaborar en esta meta ambiciosa, pero … ¿cómo hacerlo? Indagué en internet y descubrí que existe una organización que se llama Seed The Vote, que recluta y asigna voluntarios con grupos políticos. Después de enterarme de esto, decidí hacer mi maleta y viajar a Georgia a tocar puertas.

Seed The Vote me asignó para ser voluntario con Mi Jente y Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, grupos que luchan por los derechos de los hispanos. Seed The Vote fue el quien me facilitó viajar desde Costa Rica para hablar cara a cara con votantes hispanos. Mi Jente logró la hazaña histórica de contactar a absolutamente todos los votantes hispanos en el Estado de Georgia; gracias a este esfuerzo enfocado en el voto hispano, hubo un aumento en 80% de hispanos que fueron a las urnas comparado con la elección de noviembre. Además, Jon Ossoff y Raphael Warnock ganaron el voto hispano por un margen de siete puntos adicionales, si se compara con el desempeño de Joe Biden en noviembre. Al final, todo el esfuerzo valió la pena.

Yo estimo que pude haber tocado cerca de mil puertas, en algunas entablé conversaciones maravillosas y en otras no. En una de las puertas, tuve la oportunidad de hablar por más de una hora con toda la familia, nos trataron muy bien y me sorprende que ellos nunca habían sido contactados antes. ¡Me encantó poder conversar con los votantes en español!

Quiero agradecer a Seed The Vote, Mi Jente, y GLAHR, donde aprendí habilidades que pondré en práctica con Democrats Abroad. Me gustaría seguir ayudando a movilizar el voto, tanto con votantes que residen en Estados Unidos como con votantes que viven fuera de sus fronteras.

¡Lucharé por un país mejor!

Interview Section: Poder Latinx, Isabel Hidalgo, Georgia Regional Coordinator

hc7.pngOur DAHC Steering Committee Members Onelica Andrade and Carlos Colao interviewed Isabel Hidalgo, Georgia Regional Coordinator of Poder Latinx.

Poder Latinx is a non-partisan association. Its mission is to build a political wave where the Latinx Community plays a key role in the transformation of our Country, where immigrants, Latinx and other people of color are decision-makers of our political process.  https://poderlatinx.org/

1. Isabel, can you tell us a bit about your experience as an activist and how you became Poder Latinx regional coordinator?

I have always worked to support activist issues related to the Latino community. I was born in Mexico to parents exiled from Cuba. I grew up in Costa Rica, traveled often to the US and throughout my life I have lived in different countries. This has made me aware of the problems of the Latino community and helped me have a better understanding of these problems. Similarly, through my experience, I started realizing the importance of voting and reaching out to the Latinx community to inform them about their voting rights and empower them to be part of the system. I moved to Georgia in 2016, got very involved in activism, and through my work and social networks I found Poder Latinx!

 2. What was the role of Poder Latinx in the Georgia Runoff election?

During the Georgia Runoff we had an active campaign mobilizing voters. We made 620,000 statewide calls through Nov 3 until Jan 5 and knocked on almost 30,000 Latinx doors in Fulton, Cobb, Clayton, Gwinnett and Dekalb counties to personally reach out to our neighbors and provide the information they needed to get to the polls. We helped people register, checked their voter status, and informed them about their voting rights. Through our calls and door knocks we became aware of the lack of information available about voting, and how our work was key to empower voters and getting them to vote. For example, many voters did not know that in Georgia when you get your driver’s license, you are automatically registered to vote.

3. With most elections out of the way, what is Poder Latinx focusing on this year?

We keep working on informing and registering people to vote through our platform “votar es poder” https://poderlatinx.org/votarespoder. It is a registration/voting engagement platform launched for the 2020 election campaign. We have operations in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia. Our headquarters are in Washington DC. We are following closely all the Georgia state bills related to voting rights and fully support the voting rights act. We also work on other important issues such as: (i) Climate Justice: we must protect our environment, our climate, and Madre Tierra's natural resources. Everyone has the right to clean air, water, and access to public lands. (ii) Immigration Justice: Congress must take immediate action to pass common-sense, fair immigration policies that end the crisis at our border, end the separation of families, and provide a pathway to citizenship. (iii) Economic Justice: the Latinx community, especially Latinas, should be paid equitably, with access to healthcare, paid family leave, paid sick days, affordable childcare, and healthy work environments. All workers.

4. Can US Latinos abroad be part of Poder Latinx?

Yes, Poder Latinx is open to everyone, our mission is to grow Latinx political empowerment and become a changemaker. We welcome help from American from across the word and we also support voters abroad. In the last elections, we helped people vote from across Latin America.

I look forward to working together with the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus [or Vote from Abroad (our non-partisan platform)] to continue mobilizing and empowering US Latinos at home and abroad.

Members Contributions

Why I vote!
Michaela de Rivera: Mexico Vice Chair, Board Member – Guadalajara, Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee

I’m a proud Democrat who’s originally from San Francisco, California. Thirty-seven years ago, I married a Mexican citizen, which – like so many of our overseas members – began a chain of events which changed my life. We moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, had three dual-national children, and I became a permanent resident of Mexico. Living abroad has broadened my perspective of world politics and educated me on how other countries view the United States on various issues.

Once I joined Democrats Abroad, I found myself wanting more and more to have a voice in U.S. Elections. I became aware of the necessity for Mexican-American voters to have that same strong voice. Being involved in Democrats Abroad has allowed me to both be politically active on issues important to me and maintain my right as an American citizen to vote back in California.

Now more than ever, I strongly believe it’s necessary for all Americans living outside of the United States to contribute our collective voting voice, along with the millions of Americans within the U.S., to support and elect Democratic candidates who will strengthen our democracy and move our country forward. I vote from abroad because our country needs to dramatically strengthen diplomacy efforts in U.S. foreign policy, take action on combating the climate crisis, and reform our broken immigration system.

Poems

El  CAMINO

Sentid e imaginad con el mañana,
Vivid con el presente,
Emprended vuestro camino,
Ilustrad vuestra esperanza,
Creed en el destino,
Encontrad vuestro coraje, y 
Luchad en vuestro deseo.
Carlos MOs 

Events

DAHC Caucus meeting March 16th (online)

Join our caucus meeting on 16 March at 2pm EST (1pm Mexico City, 8pm Madrid), hosted by the Americas and EMEA. Come and share your ideas and views on activities and events you would like to see the caucus doing.

Martha McDevitt Pugh, co-chair of the LGBTQ Caucus, will join us to tell us about their work with Immigration Equality advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, and explore ways of  how our two caucuses can work together.

Click HERE to RSVP and get the link.

Connecting the DOTS

The Global Hispanic and AAPI Caucuses are facilitating another Speed Networking and Leadership Development workshops in  less than a week! 

We have conducted online sessions, each 1.5 hours, held at a time that is convenient for each region:

AP – held on 21 February, 3:00 AM EST

EMEA – held on 28 February, 10:00 AM EST

Americas - 7 March, 3:30 PM EST - Click here to sign up!

The workshops will:

  • Introduce members to the Democrats Abroad organization at its different levels and corresponding leaders,
  • Review the wide variety of volunteer roles available and their commitments in terms of time and responsibility,
  • Clarify and demystify how any member can run for office within Democrats Abroad.

We would like to ask for your help spreading the word about the event through your channels. Here are graphics you can use for social media: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/10wVfJ-AmrxR1mJ8Vel1uXaWKydNbFaf1?usp=sharing

LA ULTIMA PARTE LA BORRARIA YA QUE ESTABA MAS DIRIGIDA A LOS LIDERES Y NO A TODOS LOS MIEMBROS DE DA.

Black History Month

The Global Black Caucus (GBC) organized several events accessible for all regions to help everyone celebrate.  Check out the list of events here: 

https://www.democratsabroad.org/bc_events

The GBC also has a podcast and are doing a special series for Black History Month and Women's History Month in March. GBC Power to the People Podcast is available on Apple Podcast, PodomaticSpotifyPlayer FM, and Deezer.

Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus at a glance

HC11.pngDemocrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus of Democrats was set to provide a forum for all Democrats Abroad members to better understand the issues and concerns affecting the U.S. Hispanic community, to help engage with U.S. Hispanic voters living abroad and ensure that their needs are met within the Democrats Abroad community, and, where needed, to advocate for reforms to political issues. Therefore, DAHC is integrated with US Hispanic citizens and their allies from all over world.

Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for the 9 million Americans living outside the United States that strives to provide Americans abroad a Democratic voice in our government and elect Democratic candidates by mobilizing the overseas vote

DAHC currently counts with nearly 1,500 members with members from in 82 countries from Argentina to Zambia coming from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC, with the most members coming from California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

Join us!

Amerika Garcia Grewal / Chair
Email:  [email protected] 

Editor: Carlos Colao, DAHC Steering Committee / Co-editor: Onélica Andrade, DAHC Steering Committee