Democrats Abroad Resists with Rome for Trump Visit

At the end of May, The President travels to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, and Belgium. These past months, he has caused outrage all over the world: he is dividing and excluding people; he is denying climate change and intimidating the media; he is phasing out solidarity. 
Democrats Abroad is happy to announce that we will be co-hosting a protest with AEPC and Womens March Rome to not only denounce the horrible policies that the current administration is pushing for but to also state loud and clear that we stand united #UnitedWeStand for #ImmigrantsRights, #WomensRights, #HumanRights, the #Environment, #Healthcare #FreedomofReligion #FreePress and #Democracy.
We not only denounce the horrible policies that the current administration is pushing for but... we state loud and clear that we stand united 
Protesters in Rome will meet on May 23 at 19:30 in Piazza Bologna. DA Italy Executive Committee Member (Counsel), Michael Stiefel will be representing DA Italy as contact for members planning on participating. We will be covered by several media outlets including CNN!  We cannot keep quiet and we invite US Citizens, Italians and all global citizens to come together to make some noise. 

 Sign up for the event on facebook here:












President Barack Obama's visit to Milan

On May 9, Barack Obama spoke in Milan at the Global Food Innovation Summit, and eight members of Democrats Abroad were fortunate enough to be in the auditorium (with 2,000 other people). Past and present DA-Italy leaders Ginger DiGaetano, Claudia Flisi, Theresa Morelli, and Ryan Turner* were in attendance, as were Italy members Laurel Evans, Amie Louie, and  Vicki Satlow.  Evelyn J. Kim, a member of DA-Denmark was also present.

This was President Obama’s first time in Italy since leaving the White House, and the media covered his appearance as if he were a rock star. So did the audience, which gave him a boisterous standing ovation as he arrived on stage.

He spoke knowledgeably for about 20 minutes on food and climate change. Then he and his former White House chef Sam Kass sat down for an hour to discuss this theme in more detail, plus the Paris Agreement, the nature of leadership, the impact of technology on food, work, and world security, the politics versus the science of GMOs, the importance of “climate-smart eating habits”, the pros and cons of industrial farming, the role of the private sector in agriculture, and why he and Michelle hope to come back to Italy “often” in the future.

Obama was eloquent on every subject and smoothly summoned facts and figures to back his assertions. He emphasized his desire to work with young people because they will be the policy makers in the years ahead. He notably avoided direct comment on current US policy, other than conceding that he disagreed with it and that he hoped the Paris Agreement would be respected. He ended on a note of optimism, observing that history does not move in a straight line but rather zigs and zags before progress can be achieved. (This is a paraphrase of a famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.")

...history does not move in a straight line but rather zigs and zags before progress can be achieved. 

The optimism that welled through the hall when Obama finished was palpable. DA – Italy is optimistic that both Obamas will return soon and inspire all our members to bend the Democratic arc to justice, starting with the midterm elections of 2018.

Many thanks to:
• 3-D food printer Bocusini for donating a delicious marzipan bust of Obama to Democrats Abroad (see below). It will be up for auction at DA-Milan’s upcoming wine-tasting event on May 27, so you can taste Obama’s visit without having been there.
• Stefano Caccavari, founder of artisanal mill Mulinum, for his generous assistance to DA-Italy at the Obama event.

* Ginger DiGaetano is current vice chair of DA-Italy. Claudia Flisi is a past chair and vice-chair of DA-Milan. Theresa Morelli founded the DA-Milan chapter and is former DA-Milan and DA-Italy chair and is currently DA-Milan co-chair. Ryan Turner is current chair of DA-Italy.

Article Credit: Claudia Flisi, former DA Milan chair.



ACTION ALERT: Take ACTION to save healthcare - Round 2!


Like a zombie out of a horror movie, “Trumpcare” has been resurrected.  Republicans are determined to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  This time, states will be able to waive the “essential health benefits” provision.  Maternity care?  Emergency services?  Mental health issues?  No longer provided for.  People with pre-existing conditions will be charged far higher for insurance, essentially pricing them out of the market.  Finally, the elderly will become a cash cow for insurance companies.   

Republican lawmakers recognize that the plan is a disaster: Congress and their family members would be exempted from the repeal.

If Trumpcare passes, millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.  Jimmy Kimmel has made a heartfelt plea for why people like his son, who was born last week with a congenital heart defect, should not be denied healthcare.  That's what is at stake here: By fighting for the ACA, you can help save millions of lives. 

Now is the time to act!  Here’s a message you can share with your representatives:

“Hello, my name is _______.  I’m contacting Senator/ Representative _______ to urge her to vote against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  The new GOP bill will take away healthcare from the people who need it the most, including pregnant women, the elderly and individuals with pre-existing conditions.  Thank you for your time.”  


The Capitol Hill switchboard number is 202-224-3121.  It has an automated system to get you to your Representative or Senator. If you can't get through you can call the district office ( The link will also help you find their email address.

Taking action doesn't have to be complicated! Calling a U.S. number from abroad is simple and inexpensive.  If you have a Skype account, you can buy a small amount of credit and call directly from your cell phone or computer.    You're not too small to make a difference! BE A MOSQUITO!





Take Action! Make your voice heard! We need to defend our planet from the encroaching threat of climate change. There has never been a more critical time to engage on environmental issues. Science, scientists, and evidence-based policymaking are under attack. Censorship of researchers, disappearing datasets, and threats to dismantle government agencies harm us all—putting our health, food, air, water, climate, and jobs at risk. It’s time for people who value science to make their voices heard right here in Italy!

This Saturday, April 22nd, Democrats Abroad Italy is taking part as an official Sponsor of the March for Science Italy campaign.  Democrats Abroad Italy will participate in marches in Rome, Milan and Florence. We have organized facebook events in each our chapter cities for our members to take part.   

Specific details on meeting places, times and march routes in each city can be found in the links below:





*Not a march, but a Teach-in, Democrats Abroad Italy member, Joanne Maloney will be speaking with University Professors on taking political action from abroad!

Protest Posters (for Earth Day and Science March) are available for download in various formats here

Protest Posters:

This is a global movement! Be one of millions around the world defending science and its importance in our politics. This Saturday, on Earth Day, tens of thousands will March for Science in Itay and around the world. They march to celebrate science, its importance to each of our lives, and its critical link to politics. GET INVOLVED!





You're not too Small!


DA Italy Action ​Alert: Environment

Earlier this week, President Trump signed a new Executive Order rolling back the Clean Power Plan​, an Obama initiative to ​limit greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants. ​This action will make it nearly impossible for the U.S. to meet its Paris Climate Agreement commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by the year 2025.

The new Executive Order comes two weeks after President Trump’s proposed budget slashed funding to the EPA by 31%, more than any other government agency.  Cuts to the EPA would cripple the agency’s ability to regulate the pollution by corporations of our air, land and waterways.  It will destroy thousands of jobs across the country, harm the health of Americans, and slow the growth of clean energy like wind, gas and solar, while propping up industries that are no longer economically competitive.

​We all need to raise our voices in opposition to these destructive actions that will impact the health of our planet and the lives of current and future generations. ​Please take a few minutes to all or e-mail your Representative/Senators and the White House and tell them that protecting the environment matters to you and is a vital national priority​. Apps and websites like make it SUPER simple to contact your elected officials via, phone, email and social media instantaneously on a variety of issues.  There are plenty of ways to make your voice heard!


Here are sample scripts for Reps/Senators:

The Capitol Hill switchboard number is 202-224-3121.  It has an automated system to get you to your Representative or Senator. If you can't get through you can call the district office ( The link will also help you find their email address.

 “Hello, my name is ______.  I ​ am calling​ ​(​Senator/Representaive​) ______ to urge him/her to fight against President Trump’s plan to dismantle the Clean Power Plan and the Environmental Protection Agency. We need these regulations and agencies to safeguard our children’s health and build a strong economy based on clean, renewable energy. Thank you for your time.” 


For President Trump:

The White House comment line is 202-456-6213.

​“Hello, my name is ______.  I am calling the President to object to the Executive Order to dismantle the Clean Power Plan and the proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.  We need these regulations and the Agency to safeguard our children’s health and build a strong economy based on clean, renewable energy.”  


You're not too small!

Taking action doesn't have to be complicated! Calling a U.S. number from abroad is simple and inexpensive.  If you have a Skype account, you can buy a small amount of credit and call directly from your cell phone or computer.    You're not too small to make a difference! BE A MOSQUITO!



DA Italy Ushers in Fresh Leadership

This Saturday, Democrats Abroad Italy held elections for the Executive Committee. The officers elected were:

Ryan Turner: Chair

Ginger DiGaetano: Vice Chair

Cristina Fassio: Secretary

Michael Stiefel: Counsel

We are honored  to have been elected as the new Executive Committee,and to be counted among the  fresh, bold, and progressive leaders in the DPCA leading GOTV efforts and Country Committees around the globe. We  will promote growth and work towards creating sustainable chapters and Country Committees that will grow organically and continuously. We will actively work to increase our membership in preparation for the crucial 2018 GOTV efforts and we will increase the amount of events and activities to connect and engage members in person, across Italy.

We are in a pivotal moment in our history, and we must continue to build on the momentum of the incredible resistance that has begun to form into a true movement. We cannot stand idly by as waves of activism sweep the globe but we must instead be part of the action and bring our considerable resources to the fore. The movement is just beginning, and our work of recruiting Americans to support the Democratic platform and vote in elections is our great contribution.   

We will need everyone to pitch in as part of DA Italy, in any way that we can. If you are interested in running for a post in your local chapter, volunteering to hold an event, or help to organize meetups, we need your helping hands. Contact us directly via email, Facebook or Twitter to find out how you can volunteer, and know that every little bit helps, and is appreciated.

We need to harness the spirit of service and our collective action not only to defeat the current administration but to preserve the robust democratic process that makes our organization, and the institutions it represents, so vital. As members of the Executive Committee, we offer our time, our energy, and our belief that progress comes through action, and that together we will continue to protect these values and build a sustainable path forward.  


In solidarity,

Ryan Turner (Chair)

Ginger DiGaetano (Vice Chair)

Cristina Fassio (Secretary)

Michael Stiefel (Counsel)

DA Italy AGM - March 25 Online meeting 5:30-7pm

In light of the  increasingly acute security scenario for Rome this Saturday we have cancelled the in-person side of our gathering but will nevertheless meet online from 5:30-7pm (with voting solely online).

In line with our
bylaws (Section 7.1) we are reverting to the online only part of meeting,which will be held from 5:30-7pm AND with voting solely online), thus mitigating inconvenience to those who had already committed to participating in the AGM either online or in person.   (Webex call details below**)

Important results:
ALL voting is now online. Contact if you need another copy of the email that a contained a link to your personal ballot.  Information on the candidates can be found here:

The deadline remains at 3:00 pm on Saturday.  

Here is the revised agenda of our online meeting Saturday late afternoon:





Meeting convenes 

Welcome by present DA Italy Chair, Tony Quattrone

5:40 pm

Reports from the Chair, the Acting Secretary and other officers

DA Chair and Vice  Chair provide report on status of DA Italy and prospects for the future and the Treasure reports on our finances and prospects for the future.

6:00 pm

Election results

Election Committee announces the result of the online elections 

610 pm

Remarks by new officers

New officers introduce themselves and discuss their plans for DA Italy

6:30 pm

Questions/Statements from the ‘floor’ and open discussion

Members can ask questions or make brief statements.


Close of the meeting


**Call in details for the Webex online meeting:
Democrats Abroad Italy is inviting you to this WebEx meeting:
Democrats Abroad Italy's WebEx Meeting Sab 25 mar, 17:30 | 1 hr 30 min Brussels (Europe Time, GMT+01:00)
Host: Democrats Abroad Italy When it's time, join the meeting from here:
Information Where: WebEx Online Meeting number: 235 546 519
Meeting password: This meeting does not require a password.

{{ }}
{{ }}

Our Candidates for DA Italy Elections - March 25

Hello DA Italy Voters,

We are posting the candidate statements on this page as we receive them.

Remember: If you want to run for an office, you must submit your candidate form by March 11

Ballots were sent out on March 19 and resent in the meeting reminder on March 23. Members will be able to vote in person at the meeting in Rome or by filling in an electronic ballot (full details to follow).

Note that in accordance with our bylaws “If the elections are to be held by mail and/or electronic means, no nominations may be made from the floor except when there is no declared candidate for an office to be filled.”  You can vote if you have been a member of Democrats Abroad since March 10, 2017


Candidates for:


DA Italy Chair (note: chair and vice-chair must be of the opposite sex)

Ryan Turner – Milan  (Submitted March 4, 2017)

Ryan Turner

"I'm proud to announce my candidacy for Chair of Democrats Abroad Italy. It’s my belief that Democrats Abroad needs fresh, bold, and progressive leaders in the DPCA to lead our global GOTV efforts and Country Committees around the globe. We ultimately need to promote growth and work towards creating sustainable chapters and country committees at the ground level so that they may endure various leadership cycles. As Chair of Democrats Abroad Madrid, I worked to increase our membership by 270%, and hold an unprecedented number of events and activities that increased the number of our active members. I’ll strive to do the same for the Italian peninsula.

"We are in a pivotal moment in history. We are currently riding the waves of a strong resistance movement but it can’t stop there. We can either stand idle, or take action by standing up for progressive values. This movement only STARTS with the current political activism taking place across the globe. The movement needs to continue by actively recruiting Americans abroad to get involved in Democrats Abroad and ultimately vote in elections.

"I've spent the past 4 years advocating for Americans citizens abroad by organizing for Democrats Abroad and concerting efforts to maximize voter turnout through GOTV efforts and activism. I hope to bring my positive experience in membership growth and outreach as, both former Madrid Chair and as a Delegate for Bernie Sanders, to activate progressives across Italy to get involved and stay involved in the American political process. I offer my vision and leadership for Democrats Abroad Italy at a time when action and progressive activism is paramount to protecting our values."


DA Italy Vice Chair: (note: chair and vice-chair must be of the opposite sex)

Ryan Turner – Milan  (Submitted March 4, 2017
(See statement above.

Virginia DiGaetano - Tuscania, VT (Submitted March 11, 2017)


This is an unprecedented time in American politics, and we need an unprecedented level of organization in response. DA Italy has already begun to tackle the most important issues of this administration, and I want to see that work continue and receive even more recognition.

 As Vice Chair I will support the mission of the Chair to make Italy one of the strongest voices in DA. I will make sure that our work is seen, heard and appreciated by other global chapters as well as by the Democratic base in the US. 

There is a long fight ahead but with greater numbers we have an even greater chance of success, and I will work with the Chair to increase membership through creative outreach strategies. While I have spent much of my life around politics I am new to DA, and I want to listen and learn from those of you whose work has made this a vital organization.

In one of the most uncertain periods of our shared history we must be more engaged and more willing to fight for the progress that is under threat. I will work with you all to be a part of this fight.


DA Italy Secretary:

Cristina Fassio - Vagliagli (Siena)

 Over the 23 years that I have lived in Italy, 10 of which I owned and ran the website Expats in Italy, I have never felt that my voice (or that of any of my fellow Democrat ex-pats) was as important as it is today. We need to be heard and we need to make change.

We are lucky that we live in a time of information at our fingertips and the possibility to connect electronically.
No longer do we need to bus or train to far away areas in Italy to be able to meet and discuss.
As Secretary, I have 2 goals:

 1) to establish online huddles where we can get together and discuss the issues. Yes our numbers are important but we have seen that it is not what counts, we need to tackle the issues.

 2) grab the Millennials - that misunderstood economic power house – who don't want to belong to a party but they do respond positively to ideas. Living abroad they have grown to admire, respect and even love foreigners.

The notion of banning foreigners from a nation built on (and by) immigrants is anathema.

I look forward to working with all to make the U.S.A. the country that even though we left it, we still love.



DA Italy Counsel:

Michael Stiefel - Rome (Submitted March 10, 2017)

M Stiefel

"As a life-long Democrat and Italian trained Attorney, in the aftermath of the November debacle, I felt that it was time to get off the side-lines and get involved in activism with both American Expatriates for Positive Change and Democrats Abroad (Women’s March Rome).

"I would like to what I can do to:

a)      stand up for and protect inalienable and universal human rights;

b)      support and promote progressive and humane policy initiatives across the board;

c)      encourage our Democratic Party to get back in touch with its base (including blue collar workers), part of which went the other way this past November.

"I have enjoyed providing legal counsel to both American Expats for Positive Change and to the organizers of the Women’s March Rome.  Should I be chosen by our electorate for the position of Counsel, I will gladly put my legal skills to work for Democrats Abroad Italy, to support its initiatives and contribute to making them as incisive as possible."


DA Italy Treasurer:


DA Italy AGM and country officer elections – Rome - March 25 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm

In accordance with the DA Italy Bylaws we will hold our Annual General meeting in Rome on March 25 - from 3:00-5:00 pm.

The meeting will be held at a convenient location: the  Fondazione Di Liegro, 106  via Ostiense, near the metro Garbatella and the Ostiense train station. 

Here is the event page with the map and RSVP:

To help us organize the meeting please sign-up here.  People who cannot attend the meeting will be able to vote on-line. (The ballots will be sent out by March 20)






2:30 pm


All participants fill out participation form and are given election materials. Staff checks that participants are members in good standing.

3:00 pm

Meeting convenes - Administrative remarks




3:05 pm

Welcome remarks and Reports from the Chair, Vice Chair and the Treasurer

Chair and Vice Chair report on status of DA Italy and prospects for the future and the Treasure reports on our finances and prospects for the future.

3:30 pm

Questions/Statements from the floor

Members can ask questions or make brief statements.

4:00 pm


Nominations Committee Chair calls to order the assembly to begin elections for DA Italy officers.

(sequence of events to be established by the Nominations Committee).
The full hour will be dedicated to the elections process, to include tallying the votes received via Internet.


Coffee break



Break out into issue groups

Different issue groups meet for one hour. Prepare draft written reports to be completed by 30 April 2017 and distributed to new DA Italy officers.
In the meantime, the Nominations Committee will tally votes and complete formalities regarding the elections.


Announcement of election results

The Nominations Committee Chair announces the election of the new DA Italy Officers



Current DA Italy officers greet new officers in presence of the assembly, hand over responsibilities to new officers, with group photo.


Closing remarks by new DA Italy Chair



AGM Meeting closes




Here is some information on the elections, posted on February 28. The deadline to declare oneself a candidate was March 11.

Country Officer Elections

This is an exciting time for DA Italy, with lots of new enthusiasm and activities. We encourage you to run for one of the offices described below and be part of our (r)evolution. 

Any member of the organization wishing to run for office must declare his/her candidacy by emailing  this Candidate form to  by March 11. Expect a confirmation receipt when you send in your form.

We will post  each candidate form on our candidates page as soon as it received.



DA Italy Chair and Vice-Chair

These two people are the hub between DA at the international/regional level and the Chapters working at their local level.

The Vice-Chair supports the Chair in the same activities. The two officers must be of opposite gender. It is useful for these officers to be located in or near the major cities.

The Chair and Vice-Chair are voting members at the international level and represent DA Italy at regular regional and international meetings (in person or on-line). They ensure that Italy meets all its country committee compliance requirements.

They are responsible for regular communication to DA Italy members and manage the smooth running of the chapters.

The Chair is the official spokesperson for DA Italy, unless press relations have been delegated to someone else.

If you are willing to run for either Chair or Vice-Chair then you should state your candidacy for both positions.

DA Italy Secretary

This person is the very heart of DA Italy – making sure our members are kept informed (email, website, etc.), managing membership records and organizing countrywide meetings and conference calls. The Secretary takes notes at DA meetings and keeps a file of official documents.  Although, some of these tasks may be delegated to a database and/or social media officer, ideally the Country Secretary should be familiar with database and communication tools.

DA Italy Counsel

Be available for consultation by the Italy Board on legal and procedural questions relating to the country committee or its activities. Consult with International Counsel as necessary. This person should have a legal background.

DA Italy Treasurer

Keeps the country committee accounts (if relevant), responsible for any financial reporting. Ensures that funds are raised and expended properly. Coordinates with the chapter treasurers. This person should have experience in accountancy.

The DA Italy Board (composed of country officers, chapter chairs and present/past DPCA officers) can also name other officers and roles if deemed necessary.

More detailed descriptions of these offices can be found in these Country Officer Guidelines.

Nominating committee and declaring your candidacy

You must declare your candidacy by emailing  the attached Candidate form to  by March 11.

Expect a confirmation receipt when you send in your form.

We will post  each candidate form on our web page as soon as it received.

The nominating committee (email: is composed of:

-    Matt Montavon – current Rome Chapter Chair
-    Tony Quattrone – current DA Italy Chair
-    Bob Samors – living in Rome
-    Kate Stevens – living in Genga (le Marche)


 If you have questions, email the nominating committee with your phone number and they will get back to you.    


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