Democrats Abroad Italy – Annual General Meeting
Hotel Raffaello – Viale Certosa 108, Milan, Italy*
May 26-27, 2018
Democrats Abroad Italy is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Gala Fundraiser Dinner to bring members face-to-face to organize, outreach and strategize ways to IMPACT pertinent issues and take tangible steps to get Americans in Italy to vote and participate in the Democratic agenda.
We live in cities throughout Italy and vote in almost every U.S. state. The AGM is a fantastic opportunity to meet old and new friends, while concentrating on making a difference from abroad.
Set aside apathy, get active!
gala fundraiser dinner with our guest of Honor, DNC Council Chair, Akilah Ensley who is attending our meeting as a DNC representative.
Sunday will consist of more strategy sessions and organizational planning and continue until lunchtime. We guarantee that you will go home with concrete ideas on how to contribute towards making a meaningful impact in the November mid-term elections on the path to Taking Back the House and beyond.
We have a Tax Seminar scheduled on Saturday, with Jim Spell, United States Tax Consultant.
You can find the preliminary agenda here.
Please register and send the recommended donation by Wednesday May 23. In the registration form, there are requested donation amounts which will help us cover the cost of the venue, coffee and refreshment breaks and equipment. You will receive an email with additional details on the event the Evening Gala Dinner and useful information for Milan.
NOTE: Any attendees who have special requirements or need wheelchair access are kindly invited to contact us before your arrival.
From apathy to activism:
- Do everything in your power to make a positive change for the future of America
- Enable every American living in Italy to vote from abroad
- Organize locally to maximize your power as a single voter from abroad
About our Speaker, Akilah Ensley
Akilah R. Ensley, is current Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Youth Coordinating Council. As a political advocate and community organizer, she is instilled with a passion for service and a commitment to voter protection and engagement. She's a dedicated political strategist, community organizer, and fundraiser. She has experience in building coalitions, program development, fundraising, and community and political engagement. Most recently, she founded and manages Invictus Strategy Group, a general consulting group managing both political and non-profit fundraising, political engagement, and field strategy. Check out Akilah's full BIO here.
About The Venue
DA Italy has arranged for a special room rate valid from May 25-28 at the conference Hotel Raffaello where the AGM will be held. There is private garage parking available for 10€ per 24-hour period. The hotel is 4-star rated and a great balance of quality and value with a very accommodating and friendly staff. It's easily reachable by Tram Lines 14 and 1 which take you directly to the city center.
(Rates include VAT, service and Buffet Breakfast. City tax no included: 5.00€/person/night)
|Double Single Use||64.00€|
Book your room by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, specifying that you are with Democrats Abroad. Alternatively, reservations can be made by phone at +39(0)2392431
We'll see you there!
By Tony Quattrone (DA Volunteer in the Naples Area)
Fellow Democrats Abroad in Naples are very determined in making their contribution to win back the Congress in November. Naples is the home of thousands of Americans who work for educational institutions, international organizations, US military bases, and for private enterprises or who have simply chosen to retire there.
A group of Democrats met at the International School of Naples on 19 April 2018 to discuss the way forward to ensure that fellow Americans can exercise their right to vote in the upcoming elections. During the course of the evening, participants had a chance to see how the Vote from Abroad online system works for registering to vote and for obtaining an absentee ballot. An interesting discussion took place on what volunteers can do to get people to vote. The group decided to hold a “register to vote” session on 10 May at the International School of Naples with the purpose of helping fellow Americans to complete and send registration forms to the voter registration offices in their respective states. The group also discussed other events to be organized in the upcoming weeks and months, to include social events in a venue in downtown Naples.
All American citizens interested in registering to vote for the 2018 elections are very welcome to participate in the get-out-the-vote event on 10 May. For more information about this event or getting involved in the Southern Italy region more generally, please email Info-IT-Rome@democratsabroad.org.
Call your Representative and Senators today and tell them to protect the Special Counsel and the rule of law.
Despite the ravings of our unhinged President, almost 70% of the American people support Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian government to influence the 2016 election. More than two-thirds of American voters support Mueller investigating Trump's business activities, and almost 6 in 10 support Mueller investigating allegations that Trump's associates paid hush money to women who say they had affairs with him. (ABC-Washington Post poll, 4/13/2018)
The deeper the Special Counsel digs, the more hyperbolic the President becomes, threatening to fire the Special Counsel, Deputy Attorney General, the Attorney General, or all three. Congress MUST ACT NOW to protect the Special Counsel and the rule of law.
Legislation has recently (finally) been introduced in the Senate that would provide some protections. Congress needs to hear from voters like you: It is critical the President know that interfering with the investigations will not be permitted and any firings would have dire consequences for the President and his Administration.
Call your Representative and Senators today and tell them to protect the Special Counsel and the rule of law.
U.S. Capitol Switchboard +1 202-224-3121
Caller: Hi! I’m a constituent and voter from [part of state/District]. I am calling to urge [Representative/Senator] to use every tool available to prevent President Trump from firing Special Counsel Mueller or otherwise impeding the investigation, such as by firing Rod Rosenstein. I’m concerned he may do that, launching a constitutional crisis. I urge [Representative/Senator] to speak out and tell the President that firing Mueller would be a red line he must not cross, and to co-sponsor [H.R. 3654/S.2644] to show [his/her] support for protecting Mueller and the investigation.
So what are YOU doing about it?
Come to the Democrats Abroad Italy Annual General Meeting
May 26th-27th in Milan Italy
From APATHY to ACTIVISM:
- Have you done everything in your power to make a positive change for the future of America?
- Have you told every American that you know or meet abroad that they can and should vote from abroad?
- Have you organized locally to strategize on how you can maximize your power as a single voter from abroad?
The point is that no matter how you answered the questions above, we want YOU to come to Democrats Abroad Italy’s Annual General Meeting. We need to ORGANIZE ORGANIZE ORGANIZE to get Democrats and Progressives elected in 2018 and there's no more effective way to do that than at an in-person meeting.
Why coming to the Democrats Abroad Italy Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the best thing that you can do this year:
- The AGM will be the largest and most impactful gathering of American POLITICAL ACTIVISTS in Italy, PERIOD. You’ll meet other Americans who want to organize WITH YOU and make a meaningful impact in November through presentations, speeches and workshops.
- A leader within the Democratic National Committee in D.C. will attend and speak at our AGM, sharing insights on outreach and strategies to help Get Out the Vote (A Fundraising Gala for donors and sponsors will be held with our DNC guest for the Evening of May 26th as well).
- Only 400,000 Americans abroad voted in 2016 out of nearly 6.9 million eligible Americans abroad. We can do better and YOU can be part of the solution.
- Voter Apathy is NOT about how you feel on the issues, it's about what you do to influence them and the AGM is the place to get tangible strategies you can implement immediately!
The important stuff:
On March 20, 2018, the Rome Chapter of Democrats Abroad Italy was honored to host Bill Derrough, the Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, for an interactive talk at John Cabot University, followed by a successful fundraising dinner for Democrats Abroad.
The evening began at John Cabot University with an engaging discussion with students, faculty and DA members on the Democratic Party and campaign finance. Mr. Derrough talked about his path to becoming DNC Treasurer, the organizational mistakes of the DNC during the 2016 presidential campaign and the Committee's strategy for taking back Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. He drew attention to the lack of on-the-ground support for all fifty State Democratic Parties in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election and highlighted Chairman Tom Perez's "every-zip-code" strategy for 2018 and beyond. He also voiced his support of the Democratic Party's call to overturn Citizens United v. FEC through an amendment to the Constitution.
Following the talk, Mr. Derrough was the Guest of Honor at a Democrats Abroad fundraising dinner at Osteria di Checco in Trastevere. DA leaders and members enjoyed a four-course meal with Mr. Derrough while discussing the vital work of Democrats Abroad in Italy and around the world. Participants included Rome Chair Neal Huddon-Cossar, Rome Secretary Helenka Kinnan, Italy Chair Ryan Turner, Florence Vice Chair Nancy Disk, Spain Chair Jim Mercereau, Fundraising Co-Chair Art Schankler and twelve local members. The clear take-away message of the evening was that Americans overseas represent a large and powerful—though underactive—voting bloc for the Democratic Party; activating these eligible voters should be a key element of the DNC's strategy for gaining power in government in 2018 and beyond. Thanks to the generous contributions of dinner guests, the Rome Chapter raised over $1,300 for the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA). This money will directly fund projects like phone banking and voter registration for overseas Americans during the 2018 election cycle.
We are extremely grateful to Mr. Derrough and all those who attended the talk and dinner, and we look forward to creating more meaningful experiences like these in the near future.
“’Fake news’ is not just one thing,” emphasized Ian Fisher in a talk before a group of American and international business people in Milan on March 15. Fisher knows whereof he speaks; as a veteran reporter and editor for the New York Times, he has been sifting truth from spin in 6o countries on three continents for 27 years.
He pointed out that the parameters of “fake news” keep changing: From inaugural crowd size 14 months ago, the focus has shifted to Stormy porn. In the last month alone Mueller’s investigations have proven that the Russians played a role in influencing the 2016 presidential election. Fisher noted that the US, Russia, and others have meddled in elections before, but the current situation is new: The Internet can divide the general public into smaller groups that “want to be deceived” as long as what they are reading is compatible with what they want to believe.
This cognitive dissonance is “information tribalism,” claims Fisher, and is exacerbated by social media. He cited a recent study showing that falsehoods travel six times faster on the web than truthful statements. Other research suggests that nearly 150 million Facebook and Instagram users may have seen paid ads and posts distributed by Russian trolls.
There is no such thing as harmless information, said Fisher, quoting Pope Francesco, and made a number of observations about fake news today:
· Trump has tweeted the term “fake news” 180 times.
· Mainstream media does tend to lean left but professional journalists try to get their facts correctly, regardless of their slant, and the far right engages more in fake news than the left.
· Fake news may not matter in most elections. Studies suggest that verifiably fake news websites are visited by those who are already believers, so their views would not be changed anyway.
· However, in close races, fake news sites can make a difference, such as in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in 2016.
· Advertisers are unhappy, Fisher notes, so Facebook has changed its algorithms to stop favoring fake news, and twitter is trying to block bots.
Fisher bracketed his observations by emphasizing that his personal political views were not relevant to his remarks. All media have an inherent slant, he said; what is important is accuracy and fairness in reporting. “ With mainstream media, you know who wrote what. If they err, they make corrections. This is not the case with fake news.”
- Story written by Claudia Flisi for Democrats Abroad Italy (March 16, 2018)
The Turin Precinct of Democrats Abroad held its first meeting on March 4, 2018. Gabriella Massaro, Precinct Captain, welcomed Americans living in Piedmont and explained how valuable each and every vote is, especially with mid-terms this year. She handed out cards with votefromabroad.org information so that those who were not already registered to vote this year could do so easily. Democrats Abroad looks forward to its newest members from Turin! Would you like to join Democrats Abroad? Click to sign up!
An overflow crowd heard Michael Wolff, journalist and author of the best-selling book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, speak in Milan on February 16. Democrats Abroad members had priority seating for the event, which was fully booked within two days of its announcement. Wolff began by responding to questions posed by Corriere della Sera journalist Massimo Gaggi. He explained that he started with an open mind, hoping that Trump might be a new model for politicans, a stealth candidate. He had gotten access to the White House “because he asked”, and because he had known Trump in New York in the 1980s. He emphasized that his position was different from that of the White House press corps, whose role is to ask questions. “All I had to do was listen,” he said.
- Story written by Claudia Flisi for Democrats Abroad Italy (March 3, 2018)
Democrats Abroad, Milan Chapter Co-Chairs, Nancy Fina and Theresa Morelli-Fornari with Michael Wolff
The regional meeting of Democrats Abroad was held one week ago in Madrid, Spain, and a significant percentage of the DA Italy leadership team took the time to participate in the two-day event. For many, this was not only the first Democrats Abroad leadership meeting, but it was also the first time they had met each other face-to-face. Volunteering for Democrats Abroad takes on new meaning when given the opportunity to talk with like-minded Americans and even more so when the meeting is as well-organized as this one was. The DA Spain team coordinated insightful sessions that covered all the areas of interest for activating Americans living outside the country, paying special attention to voter registration given the importance that holds for the 2018 mid-term elections. All of the sessions and events were excellent and the DA Italy team came back to the BelPaese full of new energy and ideas for connecting with Democrats living in their respective areas. Want to volunteer? email@example.com
Call your Senators’ and Representative’s state offices today. Tell your representatives not to forget the Dreamers and to pass a bill that will grant them legal status before the March 5th deadline imposed by President Trump.