Chair

  • published JANUARY'S NEWSLETTER in News 2019-01-05 14:04:55 -0500

    JANUARY'S NEWSLETTER

    In This Issue:

    Events:

    • Bylaws Committee Meeting
    • Global Black Caucus Book Club lV
    • #Women’s Wave
    • SolSun 20: Choosing Your Voters
    • Save the Date! Annual General Meeting
    • Experienced Dems will meet again in February

    Issues & Actions:

    • Florida Prison Right’s Restoration

    Reviews:

    • Global Black Caucus
    • Hindsight is 2020!
    • Vienna Punsch Recap
    • Women’s Caucus Launch with RBG

     


    New Year's Message:

    Looking Back & Looking Forward –

    What a year!

    You helped make our outrage with the current administration heard and joined us on a freezing January day for the Women’s Rally, marched through Vienna’s streets with March for Our Lives in solidarity with the Parkland students, and stood in front of the US consulate in protest of migrant children being separated from their parent(s) at the US border.

    You contributed your energy and talents and participated in lively monthly Global Black Caucus book club discussions, joined meet-ups of both Young and Experienced Dems to talk politics with like-minded company, initiated the DAA’s Women’s Caucus with an RBG film night, showed pride at the Regenbogenparade, increased your understanding of the critical topics confronting our nation and with Solidarity Sundays took action to affect change.

    You were instrumental in helping DA Austria finance all of our GOTV and membership development activities and made a generous one-time contribution, became a sustaining donor, and joined us at a fundraiser.

    You helped create the highest overseas voter turnout ever and registered Americans at rock concerts, movie theatres, comedy clubs, baseball games and study abroad programs in Graz, Salzburg, and Vienna, created a film in Vorarlberg, made thousands of calls to make sure DA Austria members had registered to vote and sent in their ballot, and wrote hundreds of postcards to our representatives and members.

    You voted.

    It felt like a wish upon a star last January when DA Austria hoped to generate the biggest ever turnout of overseas voters for Democratic candidates in elections across the country, and thanks to each and every one of YOU that wish came true!

    Why stop now? In 2019 we’ll be laying the foundations for electing a new president and advocating for the rights and interests of overseas Americans. I hope you’ll continue to support us along the way.

    In the name of the entire Executive Committee, DA Austria Wishes you a happy and healthy 2019!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

    In order to avoid email clutter, DAA is making a strong effort to include all the information you need to stay up to date in our monthly newsletter. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Also check out our website and Facebook page for the latest news.


    Events:

     

    Bylaws Committee Meeting

    The Democrats Abroad Austria (DAA) Executive Committee has constituted a bylaws committee to revise its bylaws in preparation for the DAA Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. The members are as follows:

    • DAA Counsel, Bruce Murray, Committee Chair
    • DAA Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper (ex officio)
    • DAA Secretary, Brett Carnito
    • DAA Treasurer, Marcy Fowler
    • DAA Member-At-Large, Matt Stevens

    The meeting is open to all DAA members.

    WHEN: January 7, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm
    WHERE: Cafe Eiles, Josefstädterstraße 2, Vienna 1080
    CONTACT: Bruce Murray · counsel@democratsabroad.at

     

    Global Black Caucus Book Club IV

    Book: How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    Come join us as we review and discuss "How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective" edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. The Combahee Collective were a group of radical black feminists that emerged during the 1960's and 70's. The leaders of this group as well as contemporary activists reflect and discuss how black feminism has been instrumental in shaping today's social and political movements. We hope to see you again at Cafe Phil in the new year!

    (Our next book in February will be "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson.)

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: January 18, 2019 at 7pm - 10pm
    WHERE: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorferstraße 10-12, Vienna 1060
    CONTACT: Faith Hall-Herbold · f.hall-herbold@democratsabroad.at

     

    Womens March 2019 –

    The Equal Rights Amendment : “My Rights– on Pause for 75 Years”

    A wave of women will be sworn into Congress this month, but did you know that women still don’t have constitutional protection of their rights? Unbelievably, the law that was passed by Congress in 1972 has not yet been ratified. Only one more state is needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Now, 47 years later, it has a viable chance of being passed, which is why now is the time to increase awareness and demand full constitutional equality for women!

    Over the weekend of January 19-20, 2019, DA members will be joining numerous groups in marches, vigils, and rallies for another Women’s March.

    The theme this year is “Stop Violence Against Women.” Democrats Abroad Austria will join the DA Global Women’s caucus and the Equal Means Equal organization and focus on achieving this goal by working through our legal system to secure equality under the law.

    While we’ve held a march and a rally the last two years, we'll be bringing it indoors on January 19 and will host a screening of the NYT Critics’ Pick Legalize Equality to help get the conversation going about the importance of the ERA. After the film we’ll discuss the issues and write postcards to the governors and/or attorneys general of the states that have not yet ratified this critical amendment.

    Join us this on January 19 as Democrats Abroad Austria once again puts our words into action!

    Some members from Graz are planning to travel to Vienna together for the event. Please contact Caitlin Ahern (database@democratsabroad.at) if you're in Carinthia or Styria and would like to travel together!

    Specific ERA podcast episodes: “The Equal Rights Amendment in 2018” by The 1A from NPR and “Equal Rights Amendment” by Unladylike

    WHEN: January 19, 2019 at 2pm - 5pm
    WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070
    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at

     

    Solidarity Sundays Vienna #20: Choosing Your Voters

    Confidence in the integrity of American elections is slipping, and partisan gerrymandering plays a big role. In the new year, learn how politicians manipulate district lines to give their party a share of seats grossly at odds with election results.

    On January 27th Solidarity Sundays sheds light into the dark art of gerrymandering, akacheating. We’ll look at The Great Gerrymander of 2012, learn which states account for most of the partisan bias and review statistical tools a judge might apply to measure the partisanship of a gerrymander. We’ll look at grassroots, citizen-led efforts to reform redistricting and what they tell us about the appetite – and potential – for reform.

    You won’t sit passively in this session. Bring your laptop– you’ll be contacting your new (or re-elected) Congressional representative and asking them to support democratic reform efforts in the House. Don’t know who your representative is? We’ll connect you.

    – Tanya Lolonis, Member-at-Large, SolSun Co-Coordinator

    Join the fight to save democracy -- we arm you with coffee, cookies, and civics.

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: January 27, 2019 at 4pm - 6pm
    WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070
    CONTACT: Tanya Lolonis · solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at

     

    Save the Date! 2019 Annual General Meeting

    Please join fellow DA Austria members on Saturday, March 30, 2019 to recap a very eventful 2018 and elect members to the executive committee.We'll present brief reports on 2018, discuss plans for 2019 and conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws.

    Refreshments will be served during the meeting and there will be a no-host dinner afterwards for everyone who would like to join. 

    All Democrat Abroad Austria members are welcome. Any American over 18 (by the next federal election) and residing in Austria may also join the meeting.

    Your participation, activism and donations have made Democrats Abroad Austria a strong and vital organization over the past sixteen years. In 2019 we’ll continue working to strengthen the voice and the vote of all our members.

    Remember, Americans living overseas must request their ballot each calendar year. Do it here at Vote From Abroad.

    RSVP: Please pre-register for the meeting by contacting database manager Caitlin Ahern by email or by calling 0650-312-5572. Include your name, Austrian address, phone number and US voting state in your email to her so that your record stays current. This will help us start the meeting on time and ensure that we have an accurate vote count. We encourage all members to pre-register, even if you're uncertain that you can make it, in order to minimise long waiting lines.

    Links to information about the Agenda, copies of the current and Amended Bylaws, Voting and Proxies, and directions to the AGM will be included in the newsletter and on our website in February.

    Want to get more involved? If you are interested in running for a position on DAA's Executive Committee, we encourage you to join us at one of our upcoming ExCom meetings at 7pm on January 9, February 20, or March 13. Please contact Jennifer Rakow-Stepper for the meeting location.

    I look forward to seeing you at our 2019 AGM!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria, Chair

    WHEN: Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 2pm - 5:30pm
    WHERE: TBA, Vienna
    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at
    RSVP: Caitlin Ahern · database@democratsabroad.at

    Issues & Actions:

     

    What the Prison Rights Restoration Initiative Means for an Exiled Floridian

    Great, I can now vote for the first time in my forty years on this earth.

    In the mid-term election Florida voters decided to approve a constitutional amendment and allow those formerly convicted of crimes (except murder and sexual offenses) to vote for the first time. This achievement ‘long-in-waiting’ was on the ballot as a ‘initiated constitutional amendment’ and approved 5 million to 2 million opposed. Florida was holding out on laws changed by all other states.

    READ MORE

     


    Reviews:

     


    Global Black Caucus

    The Global Black Caucus met up for their third book club in late November at Café Phil. The number of people who RSVP’d for the event was four, but unexpectedly 12 people showed up to discuss the book entitled: White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in Americaby Nancy Isenberg. The title alone can turn heads and it shows how negative the phrase “white trash” is in today’s culture. The discussion started where Isenberg began: the early establishment of the American colonies and the misconception that these were only people seeking personal and religious freedom. In reality, early America was used as a dumping ground for those deemed a burden to European society. The group talked at length about how politicians and the rich have manipulated poor white Americans in the past and how the very same tactic of tapping into racial and economic anxieties continues today. It will be interesting to see how these issues play out in the 2020 election and beyond, but perhaps learning the truth about our past will help inform, and maybe even change our future.

    Come join us for our next two book clubs where we will discuss the following books: January 18th- How We Get Free: Black feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and February TBD- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

    Please remember to RSVP for this event so a table can be reserved properly!

    – Faith Hall-Glenn, Member-at-Large

     

    Midwest Midterm Progressive Bikeathon: Hindsight is 2020

    On December 8th, Vienna volunteers and followers of the Midwest Midterm Progressive Bikeathonmet at the Beaver Brewing Company. We reminisced about what we accomplished to make the Bikeathon a success. We also listened to those of us who left some skin on the road and shared stories and insights about our GOTV adventures at these Midwest milestones (and at many more notable stops):

    • Champaign, Illinois
    • State Capitol in Madison
    • Wishbone Cafe in Chicago
    • Democratic Headquarters in Hammond
    • Cass Corridor in Detroit
    • Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus in Cleveland
    • Bakery Square Democratic headquarters in Pittsburgh

    While sharing Midterm insights, we prepared for our continuing work on that future we can really believe in. Hindsight is 2020! Last and by no means least, Danny Chicago performed some of the Bikeathon's greatest hits!

    – Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel

     

    Women’s Caucus Launch with RBG

    On December 20 some 20 Dems Abroad in Austria met at the historic Gartenbau Kino to watch the epic film "RBG Ruth Bader Ginsburg" together. That RBG herself is epic (!), we already knew, but to see her life and her legal work for women's rights roll by in the course of a film was highly impressive. It revealed what went on behind the scenes as a lot of us (ahem) mature Dems were growing up. Also, it was entertaining and inspiring to see RBG's strength, discipline and sense of humor. Many of us followed up by hanging out in the movie theater's bar, keeping their staff from going home for quite a while! May Ms Ginsburg recover well and fully from her current health challenges. We really need her.

    – Antje Lewis, DAA Member

     

     

    Spittelberg Punsch Re-cap

    Thanks to all who joined us for a Christmas "Punsch" at Spittelberg on Dec. 13th. It is always nice to see new faces as well as greet those familiar ones that we haven't seen in a while! We also welcome our newest addition to Austria as our former Vice-Chair Ashley Arreola gave birth on Nov. 24th to a healthy girl. Welcome Léona Marley Rogez. The embassy here made sure to give her an American flag to show her patriotism, so you can see she is already embracing her American roots as well as the Austrian culture by joining us at the Christmas market. Young Dems would like to wish all Americans in Austria - young and old - a happy new year

    – Ashley Arreola, DAA Young Dems Co-Coordinator


  • What the Prison Rights Restoration Initiative Means for an Exiled Floridian

    "I might not seem the typical person to be affected by The Prison Rights Restoration Initiative."

    Great, I can now vote for the first time in my forty years on this earth.

    In the mid-term election Florida voters decided to approve a constitutional amendment and allow those formerly convicted of crimes (except murder and sexual offenses) to vote for the first time. This achievement ‘long-in-waiting’ was on the ballot as a ‘initiated constitutional amendment’ and approved 5 million to 2 million opposed. Florida was holding out on laws changed by all other states.

    It might not seem a big deal compared to the global warming, election rigging, or even gun rights crisis at the top of the hill in Washington, but for me and 1.4 million new voters from Florida it’s life-changing. With this many new voters, those with care for our future — including rehabilitated offenders — can start affecting policy towards safer streets, fairer elections and a cleaner environment.

    To put the amendment into context, Florida, until Nov. 7th 2018, prevented over 1.4 million people from casting their ballot because of prior offenses. This was not a “crime prevention measure” as its few proponents would have you believe, but a symptom of the much bigger problem of voter suppression. Gerrymandering, social media rigging and closing voting centers early are potentially more egregious than preventing former offenders from exercising their citizens’ rights to vote, and these things are still happening en force thanks to the GOP.

    The Guardian reports that across the United States over six million people cannot vote due to criminal convictions. But nowhere showed this disfranchisement better than Florida, a major swing state that has gone Republican over the last years. It was due to mass civic engagement, including the hard work of Democrats Abroad phone volunteers and social media campaigns, that made this historic change possible.

    I might not seem the typical person to be affected by The Prison Rights Restoration Initiative. I’m a white, middle-class, well-educated expat. Over the last 15 years I’ve earned three master’s and a doctoral degree, built diverse education programs across three continents ranging from classical music to medicine to critical thinking and academic skills for university students. All abroad. I spend my time as a devoted father, friend and social entrepreneur, CEO of the Advanced Language Institute, and as an ambassador for the great things Americans bring abroad, like leadership, friendliness, good business practice and a ‘can-do’ attitude.

    Read more

  • SolSun20: Choosing Your Voters

     

    Take a deep-dive into the dark art of Gerrymandering. Take action, too. Supported by coffee and cookies, we'll email our Congress(wo)men in support of HR1, the Magnum Opus bill to strengthen US democratic institutions & traditions.

    Visit us on Facebook!

    WHEN
    January 27, 2019 at 4pm
    WHERE
    Amerlinghaus
    Stiftgasse 8
    Vienna 1070
    Austria
    Google map and directions
    4 rsvps rsvp

  • Womens March 2019 – The Equal Rights Amendment : “My Rights– on Pause for 75 Years”

    A wave of women will be sworn into Congress this month, but did you know that women still don’t have constitutional protection of their rights? Unbelievably, the law that was passed by Congress in 1972 has not yet been ratified. Only one more state is needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Now, 47 years later, it has a viable chance of being passed, which is why now is the time to increase awareness and demand full constitutional equality for women!

    Over the weekend of January 19-20, 2019, DA members will be joining numerous groups in marches, vigils, and rallies for another Women’s March.

    The theme this year is “Stop Violence Against Women.” Democrats Abroad Austria will join the DA Global Women’s caucus and the Equal Means Equalorganization and focus on achieving this goal by working through our legal system to secure equality under the law.

    While we’ve held a march and a rally the last two years, we'll be bringing it indoors on January 19 and will host a screening of the NYT Critics’ Pick Legalize Equalityto help get the conversation going about the importance of the ERA. After the film we’ll discuss the issues and write postcards to the governors and/or attorneys general of the states that have not yet ratified this critical amendment.

    Join us this on January 19 as Democrats Abroad Austria once again puts our words into action!

    Some members from Graz are planning to travel to Vienna together for the event. Please contact Caitlin Ahern (database@democratsabroad.at) if you're in Carinthia or Styria and would like to travel together!

    Specific ERA podcast episodes: The Equal Rights Amendment in 2018” by The 1A from NPR and Equal Rights Amendment” by Unladylike

    Want to get involved? We need your help! Contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at

     

    WHEN
    January 19, 2019 at 2pm
    WHERE
    Amerlinghaus
    Stiftgasse 8
    Vienna 1070
    Austria
    Google map and directions
    22 rsvps rsvp

  • published December Newsletter in News 2018-12-06 18:07:07 -0500

    December Newsletter

    Graz_Xmas.jpg

    In this issue:

    Events:

    • Hindsight is 2020!
    • Experienced Democrats Meet-Up
    • Annual Punsch Get Together @ Spittelberg
    • Graz Glüh-Wein Evening

    Issues & Actions:

    • GOTV Statistics
    • Progressive Bikeathon

    Reviews:

    • Election Parties in Vienna & Graz
    • Thanksgiving & Great Aunt Sally’s Stuffing Recipe
    • Solidarity Sundays & 2018 Midterm Recap

    Members Corner:

    • Viel Mehr für Alle: Charity Auction

    Events

    bikeathon.jpg

    Hindsight is 2020

    Join us for our “Hindsight is 2020” rally!

    Reminisce with us about what we accomplished to make the Bikeathon a success! Listen to those of us who left some skin on the road share stories and insights about our GOTV adventures at these milestones and at many more notable stops along the way:

    • State Capitol in ​Madison
    • Wishbone Cafe in ​Chicago
    • Democratic Headquarters in ​Hammond
    • Cass Corridor in ​Detroit
    • Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus in ​Cleveland
    • Bakery Square Democratic headquarters in ​Pittsburgh

    We will ask for your Midterm insights, too, as we prepare for our continuing work on that future we can really believe in! Last and by no means least, Danny Chicago will perform some of the Bikeathon's greatest hits!

    – Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel

    WHEN: December 8, 2018 at 1pm - 3pm
    WHERE: Beaver Brewing Company, Liechtensteinstraße 69, Wien 1090
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Bruce Murray · bamurray54@gmail.com


    expdems_qnhcoi.jpg

    Experienced Democrats Meet-Up

    Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. All ages and levels of experience are welcome!

    WHEN: December 12, 2018 at 6pm - 8pm
    WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, Wien 1010
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: John Cahill · mcahill47@yahoo.com· 06766952766

     

    Annual Punsch Get Together @ Spittelberg 

    DA Austria members will be getting together at the African Root Punsch Stand at Spittelberg Market on Thursday, December 13th to share in some holiday cheer. We hope you'll stop by to mull over plans for the new year over a glass of mulled wine!

    WHEN: December 13, 2018 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
    WHERE: Spittelberggasse 18, Vienna 1070
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: David Heckenberg · david.heckenberg@gmail.com · +43 664 378 2040

     

    Glühwein Evening

    It's that time of the year again - the time when we have an excuse to drink in public! Glühwein season is almost upon us, so we invite you to come out and enjoy the last bit of this successful DAA year with us. We'll meet up at the Glühweinstands close to the Don Camillo restaurant and start earlier for those who want just swing by for a round after work - when the night ends depends on you! :D Hope to see you all there!

    Visit the event on Facebook!

    WHEN: December 18, 2018 at 5pm - 10pm
    WHERE: Franziskanerplatz, Graz 8010
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Aryo Winterblack · Agrestis@live.com

     


    Issues & Actions

     

    DAA's Get Out The Vote Statistics

    Congratulations to all our voters and volunteers for helping win back the House and keep Democrats in crucial seats in the Senate as well as governorships and state legislatures! Here in Austria we did a spectacular job reaching and registering members. In fact, 1,393 absentee ballot requests - from both DA members and non-members - came through VoteFromAbroad.org in Austria alone. We could confirm directly with 53% of our members that they voted by absentee ballot (and we trust that there are many more we couldn’t reach)! Compare this to a national voter turnout rate of 48% this year. Our tireless volunteers made phone calls, sent text messages, hand-wrote postcards, set up registration tables and chased down random strangers with American accents to spread the word and help people request their absentee ballots. Now our eyes are on 2020 and we have more strategies for getting out the vote. We hope you’ll be ready to help when the time comes!

    – Caitlin Ahern, DAA Database Manager, Member-at-Large

     

     

    bikeathon_map.jpg

    Progressive Bikeathon

    From mid-September to election day, DAA Counsel Bruce Murray, assisted by volunteers from Democrats Abroad Austria, Progressive Democrats Abroad, Our Revolution Austria, and others, cycled over 850 miles from Wisconsin through Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and on to Pennsylvania. He and other Bikeathoners interacted with Democratic candidates, leaders, activists, and voters both urban and rural. Via radio, concerts, rallies, canvassing, phone-banking, social media, and yes, cycling, we Bikeathoners contributed to the ripples of our Blue Wave!   

    – Bruce Murray, Counsel

     


    Reviews

    Midterm Parties in Graz & Vienna -  

    election_night_2018_Bruce.jpg

    We Made the Wave! More than 65 DA Austria members and a number of interested Austrians got together on Election Night to watch the exit polls and cross our fingers for a blue wave.

    Biker Bruce skyped in from Pittsburgh, from the parental home of fellow DAA member Dawn Gartehner, whose parents generously hosted Bruce at the end of his more than 800 mile bike ride through the midwest.

    A panel of special pundits – Keith Kornacki , Faith I am Joy, and (San) Andreas Fault (because CA Orange County shook up the state and went blue), also known as Keith Jacomine, Faith Hall Herbold, and Andreas Beckmann – accompanied us through the evening with a quiz and prizes.

    Signs for a wave were good as the last round was called in the wee hours. The wave has been building ever since and Democrats had an astounding voter turnout. Thank you for being a voter! 

    Graz Post-Election Dinner On November 7th, we Styrian Democrats awoke to good news, and the day continued to improve. We were thrilled to meet at The Pub on Mariahilferplatz for mojitos, beer and Tex-Mex food to toast the many victories – including the historic number of women candidates and winners – of the 2018 midterms. We welcomed a few new members and are planning monthly get-togethers to follow. Stay tuned!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair (Vienna) and Caitlin Ahern, DAA Database Manager, Member-at-Large (Graz)

    graz_midterms.jpg

     

     

    A Thanksgiving for Giving Thanks

    Democrats Abroad Austria welcomed 88 members and guests to our sold out Thanksgiving dinner on November 22 under the 600 year old arches of the Melker Stiftskeller in Vienna’s first district.

    thanksgiving.jpg

    With good company – and 40 seats in the House and a lot of state legislative and governorship wins to be thankful for – we enjoyed a raffle drawing and were well fed with five turkeys (big thanks to Carrie and Fred!), lots of sides, homemade cranberry sauce, a peculiarly Austrian twist on my Great Aunt Sally’s Thanksgiving stuffing (folks asked for the recipe, so it's included below), and an amazing assortment of homemade pumpkin pies and desserts. Thanks to all who brought a dessert to share!

    Young Andreas Nighswander was thrilled to win the grand prize!  

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

     

    Great Aunt Sally’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

    Sharing the recipe because many asked. Serves 10

    Ingredients:

    • 1kg Italian sausages (Salsicci) – removed from the casings and chopped in bite-sized pieces 
    • 2 onions –  finely chopped
    • 1 bunch celery – finely chopped
    • 3-4 very stale baguettes or white bread – torn into bite-sized pieces
    • 500 g butter
    • 1 cup raisins – soaked in sherry
    • 1 cup pecans – chopped
    • 1 cup parsley – chopped
    • ¼ cup fresh herbs – thyme, oregano, sage

    stuffing_after.jpg

    Instructions:

    melt butter in pan

    add pecans, lightly brown, strain, remove and set aside

    sauté celery, onions and herbs in butter, remove and set aside

    brown Italian sausages in butter, remove and set aside

    mix ingredients together in a large baking pan. In case the mixture is too dry, pour some chicken broth and butter on top. The mixture should be chunky and loose in the pan – notlike a Knödel.

    Bake at 180° C for 20 minutes or until heated through and golden brown.

     

     

    solsun_pink.jpg

    Solidarity Sundays Vienna #19:  2018 Midterm Recap

    On November 25th, Solidarity Sundays activists held a marathon session reviewing the crowning achievement of 2 years’ work: Democrats retaking the House and electing the most diverse Democratic caucus ever.

    Juan gave us a look under the hood atwhat made victory possible– notably, women turning further away from the Republican Party, and the record-breaking 8.8 million vote lead over Republicans. He reviewed propositions that scored victories throughout the nation, which included impressive wins for redistricting and voting rights. The popularity of progressive propositions points to Medicare expansion as a new frontier for ballot initiatives.

    Bruce Murray shared insights from his Cycling For Sanitybike tour through the Midwest.On two wheels, Bruce explored Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania in the weeks leading up the Midterms. He met voters, activists and politicians, pitched in to help with community projects and attended rallies where politicians led everyone to the polls. Hear about the fun and get inspired about our country’s capacity for self-renewal at the “Hindsight Is 2020” event on December 8th.

    solsun19.jpeg

    No sooner did Democrats learn that we did, indeed, deliver a Blue Wave, than we started talking about how to repeat it in 2020. Tanya reviewed structural factors that kept so many races tighton a day when 6 million more Americans voted for a Democrat over a Republican to represent them. She demonstrated how gerrymandering distorts the votes in 5 states, and how weakened voting rights and lax political spending rules make it hard to translate Democratic votes into power. These obstacles won’t disappear, and we must surpass this year’s turnout to assure victory in 2020. Attend a Solidarity Sundays meeting in 2019 and help achieve that.

    Tanya Lolonis, SolSun Coordinator, Member-at-Large

     


    Members Corner

    viel_mehr_charity.jpg

    A Present with a Purpose

    Do you remember meeting Pari and Abdiwahab at our DAATalkwith Melissa Fleming?

    The team from ‘[HOME] is where your heart is’ – a refugee project based in Vienna with a focus on integration through socialization, psychological health education and social wellbeing – is holding a charity auction from the beginning of December until the 9th. A whole bunch of talented local designers have donated their beautiful creations to the cause, and all of the pieces will be auctioned off between these dates on Facebook. All of the proceeds will go to increasing care for refugees, as well as volunteers.

    Just log on, click through the event from the comfort of your home, and type your bid as a comment under the pic of the piece you like. its that easy! Follow the piece, and make sure no one outbids you! Let the games begin!

    And know that every euro goes towards the refugee project - a present with a purpose is exactly what the holidays should be about, especially in these negative times! They are also selling wonderful wine donated from the local winery collective Pannobile. Get in touch for more info! home@vielmehr.at

    Charity Auction for Refugees – Vielmehr als ein Geschenk! - find  the event on Facebook!


  • published DAA'S GET OUT THE VOTE STATISTICS in News 2018-12-02 14:37:14 -0500

    DAA'S GET OUT THE VOTE STATISTICS

    Congratulations to all our voters and volunteers for helping win back the House and keep Democrats in crucial seats in the Senate as well as governorships and state legislatures! Here in Austria we did a spectacular job reaching and registering members. In fact, 1,393 absentee ballot requests - from both DA members and non-members - came through VoteFromAbroad.orgin Austria alone. We could confirm directly with 53% of our members that they voted by absentee ballot (and we trust that there are many more we couldn’t reach)! Compare this to a national voter turnout rate of 48% this year. Our tireless volunteers made phone calls, sent text messages, hand-wrote postcards, set up registration tables and chased down random strangers with American accents to spread the word and help people request their absentee ballots. Now our eyes are on 2020 and we have more strategies for getting out the vote. We hope you’ll be ready to help when the time comes!

    – Caitlin Ahern, DAA Database Manager, Member-at-Large


  • published PROGRESSIVE BIKEATHON in News 2018-12-02 14:35:42 -0500

    PROGRESSIVE BIKEATHON

    bikeathon_map.jpg

    From mid-September to election day, DAA Counsel Bruce Murray, assisted by volunteers from Democrats Abroad Austria, Progressive Democrats Abroad, Our Revolution Austria, and others, cycled over 850 miles from Wisconsin through Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and on to Pennsylvania. He and other Bikeathoners interacted with Democratic candidates, leaders, activists, and voters both urban and rural. Via radio, concerts, rallies, canvassing, phone-banking, social media, and yes, cycling, we Bikeathoners contributed to the ripples of our Blue Wave!

    – Bruce Murray, Counsel


  • published MIDTERM PARTIES IN GRAZ & VIENNA in News 2018-12-02 14:32:48 -0500

    MIDTERM PARTIES IN GRAZ & VIENNA

    election_night_2018_Bruce.jpg

    We Made the Wave! More than 65 DA Austria members and a number of interested Austrians got together on Election Night to watch the exit polls and cross our fingers for a blue wave.

    Biker Bruce skyped in from Pittsburgh, from the parental home of fellow DAA member Dawn Gartehner, whose parents generously hosted Bruce at the end of his more than 800 mile bike ride through the midwest.

    A panel of special pundits – Keith Kornacki , Faith I am Joy, and (San) Andreas Fault (because CA Orange County shook up the state and went blue), also known as Keith Jacomine, Faith Hall Herbold, and Andreas Beckmann – accompanied us through the evening with a quiz and prizes.

    Signs for a wave were good as the last round was called in the wee hours. The wave has been building ever since and Democrats had an astounding voter turnout. Thank you for being a voter!

    graz_midterms.jpg

    Graz Post-Election Dinner On November 7th, we Styrian Democrats awoke to good news, and the day continued to improve. We were thrilled to meet at The Pub on Mariahilferplatz for mojitos, beer and Tex-Mex food to toast the many victories - including the historic number of women candidates and winners - of the 2018 midterms. We welcomed a few new members and are planning monthly get-togethers to follow. Stay tuned!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair (Vienna) and Caitlin Ahern, DAA Database Manager, Member-at-Large (Graz)


  • A THANKSGIVING FOR GIVING THANKS & Great Aunt Sally’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

    Democrats Abroad Austria welcomed 88 members and guests to our sold out Thanksgiving dinner on November 22 under the 600 year old arches of the Melker Stiftskeller in Vienna’s first district.

    thanksgiving.jpg

    With good company – and 40 seats in the House and a lot of state legislative and governorship wins to be thankful for – we enjoyed a raffle drawing and were well fed with five turkeys (big thanks to Carrie and Fred!), lots of sides, homemade cranberry sauce, a peculiarly Austrian twist on my Great Aunt Sally’s Thanksgiving stuffing (folks asked for the recipe, so it's included below under read more), and an amazing assortment of homemade pumpkin pies and desserts. Thanks to all who brought a dessert to share!

    Young Andreas Nighswander was thrilled to win the grand prize!  

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

    Read more

  • SOLIDARITY SUNDAYS VIENNA #19: 2018 MIDTERM RECAP

    On November 25th, Solidarity Sundays activists held a marathon session reviewing the crowning achievement of 2 years’ work: Democrats retaking the House and electing the most diverse Democratic caucus ever.

     

    Read more

  • published November Newsletter in News 2018-10-31 08:57:51 -0400

    November Newsletter

     

    In this issue:


    Events:

    Issues & Actions:

    Reviews:

    Members Corner:

    • Pod Love: The Daily
    • Institute for International Peace Podium Discussion

    Events


    Vienna:  Election Night Party

    We've canvassed, we've phone-banked, we've voted, and on election night we'll be watching for the wave! Join us for dinner and drinks and stay late as the election results come in.

    WHEN: November 6 at 7pm - November 7 2am
    WHERE: Beaver's Brewing Company Vienna 1070
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at · 06991 108 7981

    Graz: Post-Midterm-Elections Dinner, Drinks, & Debriefing

    We responsible Graz-dwelling Americans are going to bed early on November 6th and will awaken fresh and bright-eyed to glorious news of the blue wave having surged through Congress and our state and local legislatures. Join us for drinks, dinner and discussion, hugs and tears (of joy, we hope!) on the evening after the midterms.

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: November 7, 2018 at 6:30pm - 10:30pm
    WHERE: The Pub at Mariahilferplatz, Mariahilferplatz 20 Graz 8020
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Caitlin Ahern · database@democratsabroad.at· 0650 3125572

     

    Young Dems’ Annual Martinigansl

    It's that time of year again, and we're optimistic that we'll have something to celebrate after the election! On Sunday, Nov. 11th, we'll head to Grizing to "Zum Martin Sepp" as usual. If you order the Martinigansl dinner, it's 21,50 EUR for the goose, Knödl, cabbage, chestnut sauce, etc. For more info on the Heuriger or menu, click here: Gans’lzeit ab 19. Oktober 2018

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: November 11, 2018 at 7pm - 10pm
    WHERE: Zum Martin Sepp Cobenzlgasse 34, Vienna 1190
    CONTACT: Ashley E. Arreola · ashley_arreola@yahoo.com· +43 650 374 9481

     

    Experienced Democrats Meet-Up

    Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. All ages and levels of experience are welcome!

    WHEN: November 13, 2018 at 6pm - 8pm
    WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, Wien 1010
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: John Cahill · mcahill47@yahoo.com· 06766952766

     

    Thanksgiving A Feast with All the Fixings

    On Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 22nd at 7PM, we invite our democratic friends and families to our annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

    We have made reservations for 60 at Melker Stiftskeller in the 1st district. We’ll have a large private room all to ourselves under the arches of an almost 600 year old cellar built and owned by the monks from Melk. There will be a buffet with a 3-course feast including pumpkin soup, turkey with all the fixings – mashed potatoes, roasted red beets and sweet potatoes, green beans, red cabbage, stuffing – and dessert.

    In the spirit of Thanksgiving, please bring a pumpkin, pecan, apple pie to share. They are always very appreciated!

    READ MORE

    WHEN: November 22, 2018 at 7pm - 11pm
    WHERE: Melker Stiftskeller, Schottengasse 3 Vienna 1010
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at· +43 6991 108 7981
    TICKET DONATION: €25.00 EUR/person

     

    Global Black Caucus Book Club

    Don't let the title keep you away from examining this historical perspective on race and class in America. Author Nancy Isenberg uncovers the ever-present “poor white trash” throughout American history and destroys the notion that upward class mobility in America is possible. Isenberg also draws from her extensive research to show us that Trump and his appeal to poor rural whites is nothing new- they have always been used as a means to a political end. Come join us for meaningful discussions and an unflinching look at the past that is informing our present.

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: November 30, 2018 at 7pm - 9pm
    WHERE: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorferstrasse 10-12, Vienna 1060
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Faith Hall Herbold · Faith_hg@yahoo.com· 0 660 277 6485

     

    Sol Sun: 2018 Midterm Recap

    In light of the extremely controversial Brett Kavanaugh confirmation to the Supreme Court voted by the Republican Senate, will the #metoo movement, Indivisible groups, equality and environmental activists, women’s rights advocates, and core Democratic and progressive voters combine for a historic midterm “blue wave” election on Nov. 6? We will find out with an in-depth voter turnout analysis at our next Sunday Solidarity meeting! Join us for Sunday afternoon of coffee and cookies.

    Visit us on facebook!

    WHEN: November 25, 2018 at 4pm - 6pm
    WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Room 4 Vienna 1070
    Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Juan Cerda · juandcerda@gmail.com· +43 676 921 7865

    Issues & Actions

     


    Vorarlberg’s Going Viral

    In the late spring of 2017, Stephanie Don of the Vorarlberg Chapter received a couple of names of people whose data were being updated in the Democrats Abroad Austria (DAA) records when she asked whether there were any other expats living in her newly established home. Without much ado, she contacted them and then they were four.

    Paul and Andrea Miller, Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger and Stephanie began planning regular meet-ups, talking about what was going on and subsequently crying into their glasses of wine, beers or tea (depending on who you ask). As the meetings rotated between the three homes, the snacks turned into dinners and great discussions about travelling and food and all sorts of things beyond politics until, one night, Paul said, “We gotta do something that makes a difference."

    READ MORE

    We hope you enjoy the video! How Far Would YOU Go to Get the Vote Out?

     

    Thank You Volunteers!

    Democrats Abroad Austria proved once again that even though Austria is a small country, we are a strong DA Country Committee. Thanks to our volunteers who called members, registered voters, wrote postcards, and answered voters’ questions, more than 50% of our members registered to vote through Vote From Abroad and nearly 90% – this includes non-members – of the number of our members used the site. As International Chair Julia Bryan wrote, “Austria accomplished a super feat.” Globally, DA made nearly 114,000 calls and registered more than 88,000 voters!

    Please give our DA Austria volunteers a round of applause!

    Alma, Andreas, Anne, Aryo, Ashley, Becky, Bonnie, Brett, Bruce, Caitlin, Cecilia, Dan, Eva, Faith, Fiona, Fred, Gloria, Harold, Jeffrey M., Jen, Jennifer S., Jessica, John, Juan, Karin, Kate, Keith, Marcy, Mary Anne, Matt, Michael, Mickaela, Mico, Nathan, Raina, Renee, Robert, Salem, Steve, Suzanne, and Tanya.

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

     


    Reviews

     


    DAATalks: Timothy Snyder

    DA Austria welcomed Professor Timothy Snyder for a fascinating and lively talk at the Republikanischer Club in Vienna’s 1st District on October 24, 2018. Timothy Snyder is a Professor of History at Yale University, specializing in Central and Eastern Europe and the Holocaust. He is also a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen) in Vienna. Additionally, Snyder’s ability to speak, write, and read eleven European languages gives him a unique insight into the countries he writes about. His books include: Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century, and most recently, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia Europe America.

    What’s going on? Snyder posited that the current unpredictability

    READ MORE

     

    Solidarity Sundays: The Lucrative Business of US Prison

    Democrats Abroad members gathered once again, this time to discuss both the explicit and implicit costs of the mass incarceration of American citizens. First we discussed the purpose of incarceration and if the goal is mainly to punish or rehabilitate. Then we dispelled some common myths about the American prison system, including the total number of incarcerated Americans (over 2 million), which common offenses they commit to end up in prison (mainly violent crimes at the state level and drug offensives at the federal level) and that 6.1 million adults are unable to vote due to state-specific restrictions on voting while incarcerated and on probation (13 states can restrict voting indefinitely!). We completed the discussion with a call to action on what we can do from abroad to help. We can boycott companies that use both public and private prison labor. We can also put pressure on politicians who take donations from for-profit prison companies. And finally, we can donate to organizations that fight for prison reform, like the Equal Justice Initiative, the Sentencing Project and the Formerly Incarcerated People’s movement.

    – Faith Hall Herbold, Global Black Caucus Coordinator

     


    Members Corner

     


    Podcast Love: The Daily

    The Midterms are closing in, which means the next days will be an emotional rollercoaster. This is the season of breathless headlines, dire polls alternating with hopeful polls, Trump rallies, and ACLU fights in courts.

    You could probably do with a soothing voice in your ear, companionable, confiding, and focussing on just one thing at a time. Am I right? Here are a few podcasts that may help.

    “The Daily“. You may still be yelling at the Timesfor emails, emails, emails. Don‘t let that stop you from checking out its podcast. Its twenty-minute update murmured in your ear by former political reporter Michael Barbaro is described byThe New Yorkeras “a necessary daily practice: like meditation, but with hair-raising breaking news instead of mindfulness.“ It offers insight into the culture of hard newsgathering, showing the work-in-progress of reporting, not just its finished product. Barbaro is smart, but not afraid to ask, “So, Rukmini, where exactly isMosul?“ Try it for the news, stay for the idiosyncratic intonation and emo empathy.

    “On The Media“ by WNYC. I‘ve written of OTM here before, the hour-long weekly investigation into how the media shapes our worldview. I mention it again because this is a time of polarized, tribal politics and ratcheting anger at “the other side“. We‘ve all caught ourselves at it. Brooke and Bob show us how choices made by media professionals frame our reactions. Try it for the enlightenment, stay for the exchange between hopeful, rational Brooke and doom-and-gloom Bob.

    “Trump Inc.” is not an antidote to the emotional convulsion of the election season. It’s a true-crime podcast about the President’s business dealings by ProPublicaand Slate. If Dems are able to re-take Congress, this investigative podcast is working through the long list of items for congressional committees to tackle. Try it for the connections between Trump‘s Presidency and his profits, stay for the leads sent in by listeners.

    – Tanya Lolonis, Member-at-Large, Solidarity Sundays Coordinator

     

    Podiumsdiskussion: Die USA nach den Wahlen

    Das International Institute for Peace (IIP) freut sich Sie auf die bevorstehende Veranstaltung aufmerksam zu machen und herzlich einzuladen!

    Moderation:

    • Hannes Swoboda, Präsident, International Institute for Peace (IIP)

    Podiumsteilnehmer:

    • Eric Frey, der Standard
    • Heinz Gärtner, International Institute for Peace (IIP), Universität Wien
    • Dardis McNamee, Zeitschrift Metropole
    • Eva Nowotny, ehem. Österr. Botschafterin in Washington DC
    • Elisabeth Rosenstock-Siller, US-Botschaft

    Inhalt:

    Kurz nach den Zwischenwahlen in den USA lädt das International Institute for Peace zu einer Podiumsdiskussion ein um folgende Fragen zu diskutieren:

    Was waren die Gründe des Wahlergebnisses? Ist Präsident Donald Trump gestärkt oder geschwächt? Was bedeutet das Wahlergebnis für die Demokratische, was für die Republikanische Partei? Welchen Weg nehmen die USA nach den Zwischenwahlen? Was sind die innen- was die außenpolitischen Konsequenzen der Wahlen?

    Im Anschluss lädt das IIP zu Getränken und Snacks

    Die Veranstaltung findet in Deutsch statt

    WHEN: Thursday, November 8, 19:00-21:00

    WHERE: International Institute for Peace, Möllwaldplatz 5/2, 1040 Wien

    REGISTER: https://www.iipvienna.com/registration/

    Sie finden diese Veranstaltung auf unserer Homepage www.iipvienna.com/events sowie auf Facebook www.facebook.com/IIPVIENNA

    Mit der Teilnahme an der Veranstaltung stimmen Sie der Veröffentlichung von Fotos und Filmaufnahmen, die im Rahmen der Veranstaltung entstehen, zu.

    Um keine weiteren Zusendungen mehr zu erhalten, schreiben sie bitte an registration@iip.at.


  • published DAATALKS: TIMOTHY SNYDER in News 2018-10-30 18:20:10 -0400

    DAATALKS: TIMOTHY SNYDER

    DA Austria welcomed Professor Timothy Snyder for a fascinating and lively talk at the Republikanischer Club in Vienna’s 1st District on October 24, 2018. Timothy Snyder is a Professor of History at Yale University, specializing in Central and Eastern Europe and the Holocaust. He is also a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen) in Vienna. Additionally, Snyder’s ability to speak, write, and read eleven European languages gives him a unique insight into the countries he writes about. His books include: Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning, On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century, and most recently, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia Europe America.

    What’s going on? Snyder posited that the current unpredictability – Trump, Brexit, the Polish government’s fictions – multiply faster than we can keep up and are causing us to lose our sense of time. Journalists are of course more important than ever as they are in the position to produce facts and therefore reinforce not only a past, but also a future. Without a past, we don’t feel the future. Without history we’re in an eternal present with events looping over and over again. The competing notions of time eternalin present day Russia and time inevitablein Europe is the conflict that manifests itself in Russian interference in European and American elections, the war in Ukraine and the destabilization of Syria.

    What to do? Regardless how November 6th turns out, activism is key. To win in the long run we must address issues of economic inequality; we need to fill the public space with facts – not just point out the lies; we need to discuss and debate issues in the real world – not online or in social media – and support local news organizations which cannot be targeted by widespread bot campaigns.

    The Road to Unfreedom is required reading for anyone interested in Professor Snyder’s central question: How did we get here?

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair


  • published VORARLBERG’S GOING VIRAL in News 2018-10-30 18:13:26 -0400

    VORARLBERG’S GOING VIRAL

    In the late spring of 2017, Stephanie Don of the Vorarlberg Chapter received a couple of names of people whose data were being updated in the Democrats Abroad Austria (DAA) records when she asked whether there were any other expats living in her newly established home. Without much ado, she contacted them and then they were four.

    Paul and Andrea Miller, Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger and Stephanie began planning regular meet-ups, talking about what was going on and subsequently crying into their glasses of wine, beers or tea (depending on who you ask). As the meetings rotated between the three homes, the snacks turned into dinners and great discussions about travelling and food and all sorts of things beyond politics until, one night, Paul said, “We gotta do something that makes a difference." In other words, how were we going to make an impact? DAA stopped developing into Dining for Americans Abroad and returned to its Democrats Abroad Austria roots. Ideas were batted about amidst the wine bottles and then someone said, “We’ve got to make something that will go viral. Like a YouTube video or something.” Chrystyna grabbed a sheet and, during the brainstorming session, came up with a story board called “The Four Seasons”, which quickly turned into “How far would YOU go to get the vote out?”. In the midst of the six-month project, Yungjin joined the group and offered the postal service kiosk you see in the film, as well as the editing services. The group is now — with newcomers Patricia and Paul Baker — officially six members, not including non-American spouses and partners.

    We hope you enjoy the video! How Far Would YOU Go to Get the Vote Out?

    – Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger, DAA Vorarlberg member


  • published October Newsletter in News 2018-10-08 14:40:40 -0400

    October Newsletter

    In this issue:

    Events:

    • Young Dems Pub Night
    • Experienced Dems Meet-up
    • DAATalks: Timothy Snyder
    • Sol Sun #18
    • Election Night Party
    • Thanksgiving

    Midterm Elections:

    • 2018 General Election Deadlines - by State
    • Texas Voters – Alert!
    • Pennsylvania Voters – Alert!
    • Help! I haven’t received my ballot!
    • Embassy Pouch

    Issues & Actions:

    • #Cycle for Sanity
    • Webinar: Dan Pfeiffer from Pod Save America
    • Webinar: Equal Rights Amendment

    Reviews:

    • Phonebanking Parties
    • Fiesta Fundraiser
    • Solidarity Sundays

     


    Events:

    Young Dems Pub Night

    We're looking forward to meeting many of our new young dems who recently became members and registered to vote at our voter registration tables at Webster and IES. Bring along anyone you know who hasn't yet requested their ballot – we'll have our printer with us and can help you with any questions you might have!

    WHEN: October 11, 6:30pm - 10:00pm

    WHERE: Beaver Brewing Company

    CONTACT: Ashley E. Arreola · Ashley_arreola@yahoo.com· +43(0) 650 374 9481

     

    Experienced Dems September Meet-up

    Join our group of experienced democrats for a friendly meet-up! All ages are welcome. Visit us on facebook.

    WHEN: October 16, 2018 at 6-9pm

    WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, Vienna 1010

    CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com

     

     

    DAATalks with Professor Timothy Snyder

    DAA is honoured to once again welcome Timothy Snyder to our DAATalkslecture series. Professor Snyder will discuss his new book, “The Road to Unfreedom”, and answer our questions.

    We expect this event to be sold out! Professor Snyder spoke at the opening of the Humanities Festival to a room of approximately 500 people in a Festsaal in the Vienna’s Rathaus. This will be an opportunity for our members to listen to and ask questions of Professor Snyder in a small venue. Be sure to RSVP to secure a place for you and your non-American guests by October 17, 2018. At that point we will open reservations to members of the Republikanischer Club. Professor Snyder spoke at the opening of the Humanities Festival to a room of approximately 500 people in a Festsaal in the Vienna’s Rathaus. This will be an opportunity for our members to listen and ask questions to Professor Snyder in a small venue.

    We have ordered a limited number of copies of Professor Snyder’s books, Road to Unfreedom and 20 Lessons on Tyranny, to be available for purchase at the event – he’ll also be signing books at the end of the evening. Let me know if you you’d like to pre-order a book(s) and we’ll reserve it for you. Please include the title and number of copies. 

    Read more about Professor Snyder’s new book in the Guardian

     

     

    WHEN: October 24, 2018 at 4-6pm

    WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, Vienna 1010

    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper chair@democratsabroad.at

    RSVP REQUIRED: democratsabroad.org

     

     

    Solidarity Sundays 18

    The Lucrative Business of US Prison

    Civics Lessons continue at Solidarity Sundays.

    On October 28th, DAA members are invited to attend Solidarity Sundays Vienna #18, where we will explore the complex issues of America’s justice and prison systems. We will learn about the system’s contours – How many Americans are incarcerated? How do we compare with other nations? Who is incarcerated? What are the social and economic costs? -- and the major players -- Who contributed to the crisis? Who benefits from it? Who is trying to reform it? We’ll turn our attention to policy choices being discussed and learn of some surprising reform allies. Is this an issue that can rise above partisan politics? Is there anything you can do to support reform from Austria? At a dark time in American politics, join us to shine much-needed light on this uniquely American crisis.This is the last Solidarity Sunday before the November 6th midterm elections. Help decide where Solidarity Sundays go from here. We’re a grassroots effort, and work best when we reflect the priorities of our members. Tell us you’re coming hereor on Facebook.

    Bring a friend.

    Visit us on facebook.

    WHEN: October 28, 2018 at 4-6pm

    WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070

    CONTACT: Juan David Cerda · juandcerda@gmail.com

     

     

    Election Night Party

    We've canvassed, we've phone-banked, we've voted, and on election night we'll be watching for the wave! Join us for dinner and drinks and stay late as the election results come in.

    WHEN: November 6, 2018 at 7-?

    WHERE: TBA

    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at

    RSVP: democratsabroad.org

     

     

    Thanksgiving

    Join DA Austria at our annual Thanksgiving Dinner. This year’s Feast with all the Fixings will be held at the Melker Stiftskeller in Vienna’s first district.

    WHEN: November 22, 2018, 7-11pm

    WHERE: Melker Stiftskeller, Schottengasse 3, 1010 Vienna

    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · chair@democratsabroad.at

    RSVP REQUIRED: democratsabroad.com

     


    November 6 Midterm Elections

     

    2018 General Election Deadlines - by State

    You should have already received your ballot. If you haven't contact your Local Election Official. When you receive your ballot, don't wait to send it in! Check the your States deadlines here.

     

     

    Texas Voters – Alert!

    You may have seen the news that TX rejected 2400 voter registrations that used Vote.org's camera signature capture method. Vote.org says they are challenging the decision--while getting the hard copies in to TX by the deadline--so we're keeping an eye on it and hope that the site will be back online soon.

    But couple of things to remember about TX:

    • Oct 9thdeadline is to register to vote for a full ballot (federal and state)
    • TX voters have until Oct 26th to register to vote for a federal-only ballot (or for registered voters to request either type of ballot). Federal voters can still vote against Ted Cruz and for Beto O’Rourke.
    • TX only allows overseas voters to vote in state elections if they "intend to return"-- although there is no state income tax -- so there's no state tax downside to saying "intend to return" if that's even a remote possibility
    • Overseas voters can return FPCAs by email without the need for a hardcopy follow-up and are encouraged to do so rather than use fax return. See https://www.fvap.gov/guide/chapter2/texas:

    "IMPORTANT NOTE: Under new state law effective December 1, 2017, a timely faxed FPCA must be followed with a hard-copy mailed FPCA that must be received by the early voting clerk by the fourth business day after the fax. This rule does not apply to an emailed FPCA. Texas strongly recommends using email transmission instead of faxing if you wish to use the fastest delivery method for your FPCA."

    – Heidi Burch, DA GOTV Coordinator

     

     

    Pennsylvania Voters – Alert!

    Pennsylvania voters abroad have been unable to access the ballots that were emailed to them. After much back and forth with the DNC, the Election Assistance Commission, the Coordinated Campaigns in PA and the PA Democratic party and PA’s Dept of State agreed to allow voters abroad access to ballots through an email request. The solution is not perfect but the improvement is encouraging. Many thanks to the DNC Voter Protection team, Giulia Marchiori Ceresa, Carmelan Polce, Susan Schoenfeld Harrington, Jeffrey Cheng, Joe Smallhoover, Heidi Burch and Eileen Weinberg for their help pushing this important issue. DA’s International Secretary and PA voter made the local news.

    Information for PA Absentee Voters Abroad

     

     

    Voter Registration FAQ #24

    “I haven’t received my blank ballot yet, what should I do?

    • Check your Spam folder (if requested electronically)
    • Contact LEO to find out why you didn’t receive a ballot
    • If your state requires a FPCA before FWAB: Verify FPCA received; if not, send in first
    • If your state allows a FWAB to register or request -- watch deadlines!
    • Go to FVAP or VFA to fill in a FWAB -- return immediately
    • If an official ballot comes later, vote and return immediately (if both received on time, only the official ballot will be counted)

    How do I vote using the back-up ballot?

    Email, Fax or Mail In: https://www.democratsabroad.org/fwab

    Mail In Only: https://www.democratsabroad.org/fwab_mail

    Read the entire list of FAQ's



    Returning your ballot via the US Embassy

    We received the following message from a member who made an enquiry at the embassy. They say it takes approximately 10 days, so be sure to drop it off ASAP if you plan to use their service!

    “We can send your ballot via diplomatic pouch which will take about ten days. Just leave it with our reception desk. ...You may mail your ballot to the U.S. Embassy, ACS, Boltzmanngasse 16, 1090 Wien. Or you may submit it to the Consulate directly in person at U.S. Consulate, Citizen Services, Parkring 12a, A-1010 Vienna, Austria, Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 3.00pm.”

     


    Issues & Actions:

     

    #CycleForSanity

    Hello Bikeathon (www.mmpbike.weebly.com) followers near and far! During the past few days we have made our way from Chicago to Hammond, Gary, Michigan City, and South Bend, learning from DNC Chair Tom Perez, Indiana State Chair John Zody, State Senator Karen Tallian, County Commissioner Dr. Vidya Kora, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

    On October 3 we canvassed in Mishawaka, and on the 5th, we met with the ProKzooers, NextGen Michiganders, State Representative Candidate Terri McKinnon, and "local" microbrewer David Beaver at Bell's Brewery from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Among other things, we reported on the political work we have experienced and asked Kalamazooers to share with us their insights about campaigning in Southern Michigan. What can we do together to turn our ripples into a blue wave of progressive change in November?

    Please join our "on-the-road" story, share it on your timeline, and talk to friends and family! Oh--and, if you are voting absentee, post a selfie with your enveloped ballot and encourage all to follow you!

    – Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel

     

    Webinar – Dan Pfeiffer of Pod Save America

    Join us October 17, 2 PM DC time (8pm Austria), for a lively discussion on the current American political scene in the US with Dan Pfeiffer of Pod Save America.

    RSVP below to reserve a spot for the webinar which will be both informative and a call to action.

    If you have questions you would like asked during the call, please send via email before October 14, to webinars@democratsabroad.orgwith the subject line "Questions Webinar with Dan Pfeiffer."

    Dan's Biography:

    Our speaker tonight is the beloved Dan Pfeiffer from Pod Save America. After the 2008 presidential election, he ran the communications office for the Obama-Biden Transition team. Less than a year later, Pfeiffer was named White House Communications Director. He remained in this role for the entire first term of the Obama presidency. He was then promoted to Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications until he left the administration in 2015.

    In January, 2017, Crooked Media launched the popular progressive political podcast, Pod Save America, with the Thursday edition hosted by Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer. His book, Yes we (still) can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter and Trump, was published in June of this year. It is 'An irreverent, no-B.S. take on the crazy politics of our time'

    WHEN: October 17, 2018 at 2-3:30pm (DC)/8-9:30pm (Austria)

    WHERE: Zoom Webinar

    CONTACT: webinars@democratsabroad.org

    RSVP: Dan Pfieffer from Pod Save America Webinar

     

     

    Equal Rights Amendment Project & Webinar

    The Global Women’s Caucus is pleased to announce the kick-off to our Equal Rights Amendment project.

    Check out our ERA Wiki Page.

    Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Oct 16 2PM EDT to hear from the executive director, Kamala Lopez, of Equal Means Equal. She will be sharing with us information about why the ERA is important for women’s rights, what their organization is doing to help, and why it is so important to vote for state legislature candidates that support ERA in the 13 states where it has not yet been ratified. It should be an exciting hour. More details are forthcoming with the RSVP link. Please save the date.

    The webinar is the only planned ERA activity until after the election. Then we have several things planned to help make the ERA not just a proposed amendment but actually part of the constitution.

    – Shari Temple, DA Global IT Team Chair, DA Germany Voting Representative

    WHEN: October 16, 2018 at 2-3:30pm (DC)/8-9:30pm (Austria)

    WHERE: Zoom Webinar

    CONTACT: webinars@democratsabroad.org

    RSVP: Equal Means Equal ERA Webinar

     


    Reviews:

     

    Phonebanking Parties

    During August and September, DA Austria made phone-banking fun by hosting a series of parties to help volunteers get trained on the new CallHub calling system. In all, more than 30 volunteers have been telephoning our members in Austria. Globally, Austria came in 5th place in Vote From Abroad usage with 87% of our membership!

    Big thanks to Tanya, Caitlin, Marcy, Salem, Juan, and Faith for organizing and hosting. And thanks to all those volunteers who overcame any initial hesitancy and spent literally hours reaching our members!

    We’re now calling flippable states – want to help?

    Help others vote! After you have requested your ballot and voted you can help by making calls to other DA Members to encourage them to register and to vote. You call using your computer, so there's no charge to you, and will be connected with other DA members from flippable States throughout the world. For more information about DA's phonebanking system and how to sign up, please go to our website.

     

     

    Fiesta FunRaiser

    35 amigos and amigas got together at Tanya’s home on September 29 for a Fiesta FunRaiser to support DA Austria’s get out the vote efforts. Both the margaritas and the buffet – enchiladas rice, beans, empanadas, salad, and blue wave cookies – were overflowing! Attendees took a swing at a piñata and won some great donated raffle prizes, which included a copy of Woodward’s new book, Fearand a signed edition of Timothy Snyder’s, Road to Unfreedom. Thanks to everyone who came and supported our efforts!

     

     

    Solidarity Sundays “Know Thy Enemy“

    On September 29th a band of Solidarity Sundays activists looked deeply into the emerging picture of Trump supporters. Five distinct groups exist within the Trump voting bloc, and a couple of them are open to sensible political appeals. The key is knowing what energizes them and speaking to shared priorities and issues. One core group remains out of reach, and it’s instructive to understand why. Conventional wisdom after the 2016 election was that economic suffering drove Trump’s base. Political scientists now debunk this analysis. Their finding: white, Christian, male voters supported -- and continue to support -- Trump out of fear their social status is dwindling. The successful GOP weaponization of #MeToo during the Kavanaugh nomination process demonstrates the political potency of resentment. In 1992 voter concerns were captured by the motto “It’s the economy, Stupid”; in 2016 what resonated was “It’s the culture, Stupid”. How to reason with a Trump supporter? A popular tactic that doesn’t work : mocking them. Pointing out their mistaken choice is instinctive to many Democrats, but it radicalizes rather than enlightens Trumpers. When everyone condemns them, they retreat into an extreme and hateful mindset. Solidarity Sundays attendees were treated to a terrific (and terrifically NSFW) Southpark episode to illustrate the phenomenon. Have a look at this nuanced and insightful analysis here – and have a think.

     


    Member’s Corner:

     

    Austrian Tax Information for Expats

    The Vienna Business Agency has organized an information evening for expats to learn more about general Austrian tax and social security conditions.

    Tax experts from Deloitte will be giving an overview of tax and social security issues related to your employment in Austria, especially filing due dates and deductible expenses.

    WHEN: October 17, 2018 at 12-1pm

    WHERE: Expat Center, Schmerlingplatz 3, 1010 Vienna

    RSVP:Tax Information

     


     


  • published September Newsletter in News 2018-08-30 07:49:11 -0400

    September Newsletter

    The clock is ticking! There are 67 days until the Midterm Elections but even less time until the cutoff date for overseas voters to request their ballots. If you have not registered to vote/requested your ballot, now is the time. Go to Votefromabroad.org and do it today!

    If you are already registered, it doesn't hurt to check your registration at iwillvote.com. This election is extremely important: don’t be disenfranchised by Republican tricks. Also, if your state's primary has already occurred and you didn’t receive a ballot for that election, you might not be registered.

    Need information on the candidates running in your state's elections? You can use Ballotpedia’s Sample Ballot Lookup Tool. All you need is your voting address and you can find out who’s running in the various elections. There are links to the candidates' website’s, information on ballot measures and more. If your state has not had its primary elections yet, you can get information on primary candidates there too.

     

    In September's Newsletter:

    Midterm Elections

    • Election Calendar: Register, Request, Return!
    • Protect Your Vote

    Events

    • Phone-banking parties in September
    • Experienced Dems
    • Fiesta Funraiser
    • Solidarity Sundays
    • Young Dems

    Save the Dates!

    • November 6, Election Night Party with special guest performer
    • DAA Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday, November 22 in 1010 Vienna

    Issues & Actions

    • Meet Salem Madlo-Islas
    • We’re Democrats. In Vorarlberg
    • Thanks to our Sustaining Donors
    • Flipping the House - Phone-banking parties in August & September
      • Tuesday, Sept. 4– SolSun Civics Special
      • Thursday, Sept. 13– Don’t Wait, It’s Late!
      • Monday, Sept. 20– 46 Days to the Midterms

    Reviews

    • Summer Voter Shout-Out
    • Graz Phonebanking Event
    • On the Road in Innsbruck

    Members Corner

    • The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder
    Read more

  • published Fiesta FunRaiser in News 2018-08-30 07:43:17 -0400

    Fiesta FunRaiser

     

    SOLD OUT!

    Margaritas, Enchiladas, Music, and a Blue Wave – we're ready for a fiesta! Proceeds raised will be used to fund our Get Out the Vote effort and we're making it fun – there will even be a (you know who) piñata to take a swing at. Join us as we enter the midterms with a bash. 

    Read more

  • published PROTECT YOUR VOTE in News 2018-08-29 14:05:49 -0400

    PROTECT YOUR VOTE

     

     

     

    Federal law states that Americans living overseas MUST request an absentee ballot for every election calendar year they want to vote. Using Vote From Abroad ensures that you are on the federal list of overseas voters and cannot be purged by a local election official or state law. Use votefromabroad.org and be certain that your vote is locked in. 


  • FLIPPING THE HOUSE - PHONE-BANKING PARTIES IN SEPTEMBER

    What could be a better way to spend an evening than with other DAA members working to flip the House? It’s easy, fun, and the most effective way to get our members to the polls. Join us at one of our get togethers in September. The midterm clock is ticking...

    In the 2014 Midterms only 4% of Americans living abroad voted. We must do better! The upcoming midterm election is probably one of the most important in our lifetime. Help us save democracy one call to a voter at a time!

    Bring your laptop, charger, and earbuds/headphones with microphone. We'll supply the pizza and beer.

    You've never phone-banked before? No problem! We have a training session for newbies from 6-6:30pm. We'll walk you through it, you'll be comfortable in no time. We're calling our members and they LOVE hearing from us!

    SolSun Civics Special

    WHEN: Tuesday, September 4, 6:00pm

     

    Don’t Wait,It’s Late!

    WHEN: Thursday, September 13, 5:30pm

     

    46 Days to the Midterms

    WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 20, 6:30pm

     

    WHERE: The phonebanking parties will be held in private homes, please rsvp below to get the exact address.

    You’re fed up with the current administration and want to start calling immediately to vote them out? You can’t attend one of our phonebanking parties? You can still save our democracy by getting out the vote! Go toPhonebank to get started. And feel free to emailif you have any questions or need assistance.


  • published Timothy Snyder in Vienna in News 2018-08-29 12:51:01 -0400

    Timothy Snyder in Vienna

     

     

    Timothy Snyder will be opening the 3rd Vienna Humanities Festival from September 27-30, 2018. Find out more about the program on the IWM website. He has also recently published a new book.

    The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

    With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final.

    Read more

  • published Democrats in Graz Phonebanking Party in News 2018-08-23 17:01:17 -0400

    Democrats in Graz Phonebanking Party

    "The midterm elections in November are the last remaining obstacle to President Trump's consolidation of power.[...] Republican turnout has exceeded or equalled Democratic turnout in every midterm since 1978, no matter which party held the Presidency, with an average margin of three per cent - more than enough to decide control of Congress in a closely divided election." (George Packer in The New Yorker)

    The midterm elections are fast approaching and the deadline for requesting your absentee ballot is in the next few weeks. We need to make several hundred phone calls - preferably by Sept. 1st! - to get our members registered to vote in 2018.

    This year, we have a new phonebanking system that is extremely easy to use - all you need is your laptop (I will provide the internet connection) and a headset if you have one, and I will show you the rest! Together let's see if we can reach more Dems in an hour than our friends in Vienna can! ;)

    Feel free to tell your friends - we can expand to more dates and locations if necessary! I will provide refreshments but you will be kicked out promptly at 6:00 pm so my kids can sleep :)

    BE THE WAVE - BE A VOTER!

    Monday, August 27, 2018 at 03:30 PM
    Royalkino in Graz, Austria

     

    The listed address is only for orientation. This phonebanking party is in a private home, please rsvp below to get the exact address.

    You can also visit us on facebook.