Hope Bradberry published Hot Topic! Protecting the 2020 US Elections! in News 2019-08-03 12:27:14 -0400
There are 3 million eligible US voters living overseas, according to the Federal Voting Assistance Program. Recent testimony by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has highlighted the security situation of the US election system. The San Miguel Chapter of Democrats Abroad is sponsoring a talk on August 12th at the Teatro Santa Ana by Ben Ptashnik, co-founder and Director of the National Election Defense Coalition (NEDC). He will speak about the work his coalition has done to safeguard the 2020 elections and what his organization is doing to organize legislative actions in Congress and in the states.
During the opening remarks of Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress, he stated “Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious...this deserves the attention of every American.” The NEDC is dedicated to reforming US elections by replacing all insecure electronic voting machines with paper ballots before the 2020 elections, promoting paper ballots and audits to protect the integrity of U.S. elections in 2020 and beyond. NEDC is working to build an effective bipartisan movement to secure election reform that ensures integrity, transparency and protects the voting rights of all US Citizens.
Throughout the history of Democrats Abroad, the organization has worked to gain passage of legislation to ensure the rights of overseas voters including The Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1975, and more recently to remove obstacles to overseas voting. Democrats Abroad also works on major non-partisan voter registration drives. “The right to vote is useless if our votes are not properly counted or lost, stolen, hacked or manipulated,” according to Ptashnik. Despite increased focus on security, American elections are a soft target. Leading computer security experts have studied a range of electronic voting infrastructure, including touch screen machines, optical scanners, and registration database systems and found serious vulnerabilities that threaten election integrity.
Ptashnik, a former Democratic Vermont State Senator, has been a social justice activist, environmentalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist for five decades. He currently lives with his partner Victoria at the Tikkun Eco Center just north of San Miguel. As a Senator, Ptashnik spearheaded and passed his state’s key campaign financing reforms, led in the fight to pass Vermont’s landmark Civil Union Act for LGBT couples, and helped make the State of Vermont an environmental leader in the US. His current project, NEDC, leads a coalition of 15 diversified NGOs and hundreds of computer scientists and cyber experts ranging from far left to far right dedicated to preserving the security of US democratic elections. For more information see www.electiondefense.org and www.USBASE.net.
Hope Bradberry published The Debates Continue! Revving it Up in the Motor City! in News 2019-06-30 18:08:07 -0400
Democrats Abroad SMA again invites members of the community to come together to watch the second televised Democratic debate at the San Miguel Playhouse, to be held over 2 nights on July 30th and 31st. “We had such a great time at the Playhouse in June. And are thrilled to be able to come together again to provide an evening where the audience feels as though they are really at the debate.” according to Hope Bradberry, Democrats Abroad Chapter Chair.
The second scheduled debate will be hosted by CNN in Detroit and qualifications for the debate are the same as the first. Polling: A candidate could qualify by hitting just 1 percent in three separate polls released between January and a cutoff point before the second debate. Grassroots fundraising: Separately, a candidate could also qualify by raising money from at least 65,000 unique donors. And to ensure at least some geographic spread of support, they’d have to have at least 200 donors each in 20 states. What will be different in July is which candidates will match up onstage.
Admission to the event is free. There will be a cash bar available and snacks for purchase. We do kindly request that people please RSVP HERE!
Hope Bradberry published Wow! It was great to get together to Kick Off 2020 at the Playhouse! in News 2019-06-29 20:33:43 -0400
Democrats Abroad members and friends gathered on July 26th & 27th at the San Miguel Playhouse to watch the first democratic debate. It was a great get together and we got feedback on the issues from some members of the audience, that we would like to share with you.
BEFORE the Debate:
Top 2 issues to our audience: Climate Change & Health Care (SS & Medicare), followed closely by Immigration and Income Inequality.
Top 3 characteristics necessary to win the nominations: (lots of answers here):
Wednesday night: Energy, charisma - likability, ability to think on your feet, positive, unwavering presence, middle of the road, middle age, restoration of justice, not being extreme, integrity – honesty, integration with the whole country, clear thinking - articulate -lucid speaking, ability to connect with people, good at raising money, have good plans to move forward – direction, strength, win-ability, strong listener, consensus builder, fresh face!
Thursday night: Level headed, charismatic, knowledgeable / intelligent, connects with the young, direct challenge to Trump, clear policies, emotional intelligence, not being provoked by Trump, liberal agenda, integrity, star power, brings in the black vote, calm, rational, is nice, relates to all Americans, passion & courage, record of commitment to causes.
AFTER the Debate:
Most surprising thing you heard?
“All important issues were discussed, liking how strong so many candidates are.”
“Wasn’t surprised.” “How vigorous the debate was.” “Yes, many were strong!” “Yes, saw them all in a different light.”
Please know that your local Democrats Abroad leadership is committed to remaining neutral through this primary. We are all excited about the quality of candidates and level of debate!
We want to thank the following people who helped make this event such a success: Jim & Judy Newell, the Playhouse board, master technician, Gerardo Charreton, photographers, Gary Belkin and Ali Zerriffi, GOTV Chair, Nancy Young, and her husband, Craig, social media guru, Ale Gomez, and a huge thank you to all our volunteers and committee members. We can never thank you enough!
And finally, we will again be gathering at the Playhouse for the next round of debates on July 30th & 31st! See you there! RSVP Here!
Hope Bradberry published Kick Off to 2020! Join us to watch the first debates! in News 2019-06-07 23:51:29 -0400
Democrats Abroad SMA invites members of the community to come together to watch the first televised Democratic debate at the San Miguel Playhouse, to be held over 2 nights on June 26th & 27th. “We are so excited that the San Miguel Playhouse has partnered with us to provide an evening that we hope will make the audience feel as though they are really at the debate.” according to Hope Bradberry, Democrats Abroad Chapter Chair.
The candidates will be chosen by a recently released rule developed by the DNC and NBC News to prevent the appearance of an undercard debate. The rule states:
"The final list of debate participants (after any tie-breaking procedure is executed, if necessary) will be divided into two groups: candidates with a polling average of 2% or above, and those with a polling average below 2%," according to a rule. "Both groups will be randomly divided between Wednesday night and Thursday night, thus ensuring that both groups are represented fairly on each night."
Admission to the event is free. There will be a cash bar available and snacks for purchase. We do kindly request that people please RSVP below.
Hope Bradberry published Democrats Abroad Mexico says... Thank You! in News 2019-04-21 20:38:40 -0400
Democrats Abroad SMA hosted the Annual General Meeting for Democrats Abroad Mexico the weekend of March 30th at the Hotel Posada de La Aldea. A highlight was having Robert Reich speak to the group. It was streamed live on Facebook and can be watched here. Or watch a pre-talk interview with Lauren Carlsen of the CIP Americas Program for The Real News here. We were also pleased to have Genaro Lozano from Mexico City speak to the group on Sunday, offering a perspective from Mexico media in the relationship of our two countries.
We were so lucky to have both speakers, and thank many of you for coming out to support the conference. New leadership was elected for the country, and it was a great opportunity for people to meet, network and share ideas on how we will be moving forward. A major goal of Democrats Abroad Mexico will be growing our membership base.
SMA Chair in 2019-20
Hope Bradberry has had a home in San Miguel since 2012. Prior to purchasing her home in SMA, she lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She is a life-long Democrat, and has been a supporter in Arkansas of the Washington County Democratic Party.
She and her husband, John, have one son and granddaughter.