Chair

  • published July's Newsletter in News 2019-07-04 12:15:36 -0400

    July's Newsletter

    Events

    • Global Black Caucus
    • Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties Round Two
    • Experienced Dems
    • SolSun

    Issues & Actions

    • The Difference You Make
    • How Activists Spend Summer Break

    Reviews

    • DAA Talks
    • Pride Parade
    • Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties Round One
    • Solidarity Sundays

    ExComm Dates for August and September

    Our Executive Committee meetings are normally at 7pm on the second Wednesday of the month. However, due to summer travels the September meeting will be moved:

    • August ExComm: none
    • September ExComm: Thursday, September 5

    Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.at for the location.


    Events:

     

    Global Black Caucus

    We were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates is an award-winning collection of powerful essays and articles written during the Obama era that thoughtfully examine the issues of race that are still prevalent in the US today. Come join us!

    – Faith Hall-Herbold, Black Caucus Coordinator and Member at Large

    WHEN: Friday, July 12, 2019 at 7:00 PM

    WHERE: The venue will be given along with your RSVP.

    Visit this event on Facebook

     

    Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties #2

    It's debate time! Join us as we get together to watch and discuss the second round of debates.

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

    WHEN: Wednesday, July 31 and Thursday, August 1 at 7:00 PM

    WHERE: Fladerei, Hugo-Wiener Platz/Mittersteig 2a, 1040 Vienna

     

    Experienced Dems

    Experienced Dems is on a "Sommer Pause." We will meet again in September and I look forward to seeing each of you at that time.

    –John Cahill, Experienced Dems Coordinator

     

    SolSun

    Solidarity Sundays is tanking energy and will be back on September 29th!

    – Tanya Lolonis & Juan Cerda, SolSun Co-Coordinators

     


    Issues & Actions:

    The Difference You Make

    There is exciting news from the latest Election Assistance Commission survey results for the 2018 mid-term elections. While there is still some analysis to be done, it really looks like the turnout from overseas was THREE TIMES as high as in the last mid-term elections in 2014. This is an AMAZING result - an increase that far outstrips any stateside growth in voter turnout. Julia Bryan, DA International Chair, mentioned that Democrats Abroad and our efforts likely accounted for close to half of all voter turnout in 2018. I would only add that we probably directly impacted 50-75% of all DEMOCRATIC votes from overseas. I'll say it again. This is amazing - for a "state party" to have such a tremendous direct impact on voter turnout. Admittedly, this was a highly visible mid-term election. But this increase is a testament to the efforts of our leadership and our amazing volunteers. However, I would be remiss (or at least I think I would be remiss) if I didn't also mention the impact of money.

    We spent well over $100,000 on GOTV activities in the last two months of the 2018 election. That money went towards a range of expenditures, but I will highlight two that played a big role in last year's amazing growth: funding for our CallHub phone-banking operations; and paying for social media advertising through Facebook ads that targeted overseas Americans and in particular "liberal" potential voters. These two elements, together with all the other great GOTV activities like voter registration booths, emails, and SMS-messaging, helped drive the incredible increase in voters. Volunteers help get out the vote. And money helps get out the vote. And we need both. So I would encourage all of you to donate what you can to Democrats Abroad - and encourage everyone you know, your members, your friends wherever they are, and your family to support us. There will be more to come as to how each of you can help - and more to come, I am sure, about the amazing 2018 results. But it's good to know that we really do make a difference.

    – Art Schankler, DA Co-Chair Fundraising Committee

     

    How Activists Spend Summer Break

    It‘s summer. It‘s hot. Your brain is short-circuiting from a diet of Policy-by-Twitter. So much to react to, so much to save, so much to do. Democrats Abroad Austria and Solidarity Sundays urge you to use the summer months to retreat, relax, and re-charge. Come fall, we need you fit and focused: we have a democracy to take back. But activists (and who isn’t one after 2016?) are restless with nothing to do. We‘ve curated a small collection of articles, podcasts, and films to keep you engaged in the conversation of democracy. Check out one or two over the summer and keep your activist muscles limber.

    Podcasts:

    At publication, there are twenty-three Democratic presidential candidates. Who are they? Why are they running? What do they bring to the fight for democracy? The political podcast “Pod Save America” is conducting in-depth interviews with each candidate. Download their “2020” interviews, plug in your earphones, and let candidates tell you the problems they identify in our democracy, their solutions, and why they think they can solve them. http://crooked.com/podcast-series/pod-save-america/

    For an irreverent, savvy and informed unraveling of the mysteries of the Mueller investigation by a binder full of women, check out the Mueller She Wrote podcast.http://www.muellershewrote.com/

    Articles:

    The New York Review of Books discusses important books as an indispensable literary activity. It`s also incisive on politics. For those who take holiday relaxation seriously and pack beach reads rather than political tomes, NYRB offers good discussions of key books—without having to read them (unless you want to):

    Streaming:

    Robert Mueller says his report speaks for itself. Read it yet? If 400+ pages is a slog on a holiday, here’s a novel way to take in all ten counts of obstruction: A live reading (one hour) of the Mueller Report by Hollywood stars: The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts. http://lawworksaction.org/

    Films:

    Cope with our current political climate with comedy. We can’t promise you‘ll forget about global warming, right-wing nationalists, misogyny, racism, and homophobia, but a few laughs can restore heart and sanity for the work ahead:

    National populism: To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942). Carole Lombard‘s final role is spent among a troupe of hilariously bad actors disguising themselves in order to mess with occupying Nazis in 1939 Poland.

    Global warming: The Day After Tomorrow (Roland Emmerich, 2004). When this film came out, it was a far-off, apocalyptic flick. Now, it‘s a bit too real, but Dennis Quaid and a young Jake Gyllenhaal apply hotness to the battle of surviving climate change.

    Donald Trump: Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956). Famous for being mentioned in the opening song of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and featuring a young and dashing Leslie Nielsen, re-watch this to remember that we are more powerful than any monster.


    Reviews:

     

    DAA Talks with Eric Frey –

    A View of America and Journalism in the Age of Trump

    It was a sweltering evening on June 4th when about 30 DA Austria members and friends gathered to hear Dr. Eric Frey, Senior Editor of der Standard, discuss his perspective on current issues in the US and Austria. After a thorough analysis of the upheavals in Austrian politics, Frey moved on to what he and many Europeans are hoping the Democrats will do to make sure Trump is a one-term president. Not surprisingly, the audience had many questions and a lively question and answer period followed.

    Many thanks to Dr Frey for giving his time to speak with us!

    –Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

     

    EuroPride 2019

    We want to extend a big thank you to all those who joined the 2019 EuroPride Parade on June 15 in Vienna by marching and showing solidarity with DA Austria. This year marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and we gathered together to show our support of LGBTQIA+ rights worldwide!

    Our theme was “Love Trumps Hate” as well as “Make Love, Not Walls.” It was a blast and (not to forget) a great message! We saw much love and support from bystanders who approached us for photos, flags, and just loved seeing us out there resisting the hate and policies of the current administration.

    Laura and I had the honor of planning this year’s march and we couldn’t be happier with the turn out! It was a great group of people, over 35 of all ages came out and endured the heat to show their pride together. It truly was beautiful and colorful! The “MAKE LOVE, NOT WALLS” t-shirts were a big hit, and if you would still like to get one we could make another order if we get enough people interested. Let us know.

    We are especially excited and energised for next year. Plans are already in the making for a bigger, more colorful, louder, and progressive march! As always we are excited for anyone's ideas, contributions, or even help in making next year’s march a reality. You can reach us at j.eckhart@democratsabroad.at and laura.farmwald@hotmail.com. Thanks again and stay proud!

    Colorfully yours,

    – Joey Eckhart

     

    A note from a member: Thank you Laura and Joey and everyone else who helped make Democrats Abroad Austria's participation in the Europride Parade 2019 so incredible. I'm sure many people invested countless hours and great effort before the parade even started. Consider just the t-shirts: drumming up a team, conceiving, discussing, designing, spreading the word, taking orders, placing the order, picking up the shirts, selling the shirts... but that's not all: participation registration, flyers, flags and buttons, stunning banners, signs, a cart of supplies, water spray bottles ... even refreshments and watermelon! As a gay man, I was very touched by the solidarity and support so many DA allies displayed for us LGBTIQA+ people! I had to dash off at 1:30 to get ready to sing a concert, but I left with a full heart. Thank you, Scott W.

     

    Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties, Round One

    Fifteen or so DA Austria members got together each evening on Thursday, June 27 and Friday, June 28 to watch the first round of the 2020 presidential primary debates. And we weren’t alone! There were over 250 watch parties in the US and another 57 organised by Democrats Abroad around the world.

    The way we win is by reaching voters and organizing everywhere. That is why we’re hosting these events – so that Americans around the world can hear firsthand from the candidates on their ideas for the American people. The lineups for each night were selected through a process that ensures no candidate begins the debate calendar at an immediate disadvantage because they've been relegated to a "kids table" debate. On the first night were: Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Tim Ryan, and Elizabeth Warren. The second night’s lineup was: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.

    All of the candidates attended our watch parties (see pictures). However, many candidates also accepted an invitation by Democrats Abroad and either came in person or sent a video to the Annual General Meeting that took place in May in Washington D.C. Listen to what they said to DA.

    The two watch parties began with attendees trying to name all the candidates and sorting them into the two debate nights – there were many unknown’s! Then we listened carefully to what they had to say to help us learn about their positions on issues – and to fill out our buzzword bingo cards! Afterwards, there was lots of informal discussion about the candidates, both their positions and their performances.

    The next watch parties will be held on July 31 and Aug 1, and September 13 & 14 (see events for details). Because of the time difference, the watch parties will always be the day after the debate. We hope you’ll join us!

    –Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

     

    Solidarity Sundays #25: The Green New Deal & You

    Violent and frequent hurricanes. Record heat waves. Thousand-year floods. Devastating wildfires. Rising sea levels. Species decimation. Climate disruption is here, and scientists tell us we have 10 years to radically decarbonise to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. With the GOP in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, Democrats are the only party discussing how to address our near-apocalyptic crisis. What are they proposing?

    Faith Hall-Herbold took Solidarity Sundays attendees through the key points of the Green New Deal. As the name indicates, the GND is inspired by FDR’s New Deal which addressed the Great Depression. The document is short and radical – short on specific policies and radical in its policy aims. It calls on the US to: (1) enact a climate change action plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030; (2) re-structure the economy with cooperation between unions, communities, business, and government; and (3) ensure justice so that coal workers, rural communities, and people of color aren’t left behind during the transition.

    READ MORE

    A global climate strike, expanding beyond school children, has been called for 20 September 2019. It will be followed by a global week of action: http://globalclimatestrike.net. Details on how to participate as part of Democrats Abroad Austria will be in the September DA Newsletter.

    DA Austria
    http://www.democratsabroad.org/


  • Solidarity Sundays #25: The Green New Deal & You

     

    Violent and frequent hurricanes. Record heat waves. Thousand-year floods. Devastating wildfires. Rising sea levels. Species decimation. Climate disruption is here, and scientists tell us we have 10 years to radically decarbonise to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees. With the GOP in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, Democrats are the only party discussing how to address our near-apocalyptic crisis. What are they proposing?

    Faith Hall-Herbold took Solidarity Sundays attendees through the key points of the Green New Deal. As the name indicates, the GND is inspired by FDR’s New Deal which addressed the Great Depression. The document is short and radical – short on specific policies and radical in its policy aims. It calls on the US to: (1) enact a climate change action plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030; (2) re-structure the economy with cooperation between unions, communities, business, and government; and (3) ensure justice so that coal workers, rural communities, and people of color aren’t left behind during the transition.

    It’s a tall order. It’s made more difficult by the fact that the fossil fuel industry is more organized than the renewable energy lobby. But Hall-Herbold identifies two reasons for hope that we can act in time: first is the sorry state of America’s infrastructure. This offers the chance for bi-partisan cooperation to repair and upgrade electricity generation, road and rail transport, and buildings. The GND emphasis on massive federal investment in clean energy is politically appealing – especially now that Democratic candidates have stopped mentioning the politically radioactive “carbon tax”.

    The second opportunity resides in the youth movements demanding government action on climate change. Natural systems appear to have “tipping points” in which positive feedbacks accelerate the rush toward disasters. Loss of sun-reflecting snow and ice, for example, accelerates the pace of global warming. Our socio-economic system may be developing “good” tipping points. Alternative energy sources are becoming cheaper than fossil fuels, and may initiate a rapid shift to the former. Political campaigns, too, can have outsized results. Sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg inspires people to protest around the world through the amplifying effect of the internet and social media. Public support for the policies that will be necessary to transition to a low-carbon economy is critical: more young people voting, and spreading awareness of the costs of climate change hold promise of a good tipping point in the near future.

    A global climate strike, expanding beyond school children, has been called for 20 September 2019. It will be followed by a global week of action: http://globalclimatestrike.net. Details on how to participate as part of Democrats Abroad Austria will be in the September DA Newsletter.

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


  • Presidential Primary Debate Watch Parties Round Two

     

    What top issues do you want to see addressed in the next #DemDebate? Here's your chance to let the Democratic Party know. ALL questions you submit will be shared by debate media partners here

    Join us on July 31 and August 1 at Fladerei in 1040. Come early to get a bite to eat and a beer and then settle in as we listen to the wealth of talent that makes up the slate of 2020 democratic presidential candidates.

    #PartyWithTheDems  #DemDebate

    WHEN
    July 31, 2019 at 7pm
    WHERE
    Fladerei
    Hugo-Wiener Platz/Mittersteig 2a
    Vienna 1040
    Austria
    Google map and directions
    4 rsvps rsvp

  • published It's Debate Time! in News 2019-06-23 05:34:19 -0400

    It's Debate Time!

    WATCH PARTY: FIRST DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES

    The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that they will hold twelve debates in the run-up to the presidential primary. The debates will be held monthly over two consecutive nights with ten candidates on stage each evening. There are a number of requirements a candidate must fulfil to get a spot in the debate and the top tier candidates will be equally divided on each night. DA Austria will be streaming the debates at two watch parties on June 27 and 28. Note, this is the day AFTER the debate because of the time difference.

    Read more

  • published June's Newsletter in News 2019-05-31 14:43:10 -0400

    June's Newsletter

    In This Issue:

    Events

    • DAATalks
    • Experienced Dems
    • Pride Parade
    • Debate Night
    • Sol Sun June

    Issues & Actions

    • DA Global Meeting

    Reviews

    • SolSun
    • GBC
    • Progressive Pizza

     


    Events

    DAATalks with Eric Frey–

    A View of America and Journalism in the Age of Trump

    Democrats Abroad Austria is excited to welcome Dr. Eric Frey, Senior Editor of der Standard, for our next DAATalks lecture series.

    US or Austria? Trump or FPÖ? Politics or journalism? With everything going on in the States and the recent upheavals in Austrian politics there will be a lot to discuss!

    WHEN: June 04, 2019 at 7pm - 9pm

    WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, 1010 Vienna

    Entrance at Hebenstreit Restaurant (5 min. from U2 Schottentor).

     

     

    Experienced Democrats Meet-Up

    The June Meeting of Experienced Democrats of Democrats Abroad Austria

    WHEN: June 06, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm

    WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

    CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com

     

    Pride Parade

    2019 marks 50 years since the historic Stonewall Riots, arguably the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement, which catapulted queer activism and rights ahead. Today we see more equality and visibility than ever. However, the paradigm of progress has shifted. LGBTQIA+ rights are once again under threat in the Trump Administration and the Supreme Court. Democrats Abroad Austria stands together and proud with the 2019 EuroPride events in Vienna this June. Don’t be a bystander! We hope you will stand with us as we march for all of our right for rights!

    This is the most outlandish party on the DA Austria calendar and this year Vienna is home to EuroPride, so expect a wild and wonderful day! We'll update our event page and fb page as soon as we know our start number. The parade start (#1) is at Rathausplatz/Burgtheater and goes back towards Schottentor. See the Pride Parade map for more info.

    WHEN: June 15, 2019 at 11am - 4pm

    WHERE: Near the University/Schottentor (exact location to be announced), 1010 Vienna

    CONTACT: Joey Eckhart · lgbt@democratsabroad.at

     

     

    Primary Debate Watch Parties

    The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that they will hold twelve debates in the run-up to the presidential primary. The debates will be held monthly over two consecutive nights with ten candidates on stage each evening. There are a number of requirements a candidate must fulfil to get a spot in the debate and the top tier candidates will be equally divided on each night. DA Austria will be streaming the debates at two watch parties on June 27 and 29. Note, this is the day AFTER the debate because of the time difference.

    We'll be meeting on Thursday, June 27 at Beaver Brewery and Friday, June 28 at Kung Wu. Come early to get a bite to eat and a beer and then settle in as we listen to the wealth of talent that makes up the slate of 2020 democratic presidential candidates. 

    We hope you'll join us!

    WHEN: June 27 & 28, 2019 at 7pm. Come early and eat!

    WHERE: June 27- Beaver Brewery, Liechtensteinstraße 69, 1090. June 28- Kung Wu Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020.

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

     

     

    Solidarity Sundays 25:  The Green New Deal & You

    The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts we have a decade to get carbon emissions under control before catastrophic climate change impacts become unavoidable. The Republican party ignores the problem. The Democratic Party claims to accept and understand it -- but does not have a plan to address climate breakdown.

    Young activists have a plan:  The Green New Deal. GND refers to a massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform the energy sector and entire economy. There is immense political energy around the GND, but converting that to real results on the ground will involve a lot of political and policy engineering.

    Join Solidarity Sundays and explore how the GND became a priority, what's next, and how you can help shape political priorities.

    WHEN:  June 30th from 4-6 pm

    WHERE:  Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna.

    CONTACT:  Tanya Lolonis · solidaritysundays@democratsabroat.at

     


    Issues & Actions

     

    DA’s Annual General Meeting in Washington D.C.--17 to 19 May 2019

    Meeting with 125 dedicated Democrats Abroad from all over the world just a stone’s throw from the Capitol, and with 75 or more equally energized leading members, including our DA Austria Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, online is an experience I will not soon forget. Our highly principled discussion and attention to rules of order inspired me, even more so because it helped us to elect an excellent Global Team, adopt well-vetted bylaw changes, and pass progressive resolutions, including our endorsement of Medicare for All. Several Presidential candidates, including Kirstin Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Marianne Williamson, Joe Biden, and Cory Booker offered in-person or video messages. Even more Democratic Party leaders conveyed messages of confidence and encouragement as we gear up to maintain control of the House, win back the Senate, and put a Democrat in the White House in 2020! Immediately after the AGM, dozens of us spent two days visiting our representatives in targeted efforts to communicate our key messages in Congress. Now it is our turn to give it our all as the Democratic presidential debate season draws closer, campaigns at all levels of government take shape, and we continue our advocacy work for our big plate of issues!

    – Bruce Murray, Counsel and Voting Representative

     

     

    A Step Forward On the Road to Residency-Based Taxation

    Following a series of meetings on Capitol Hill this week and last week we are pleased to confirm that Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) is partnering with Rep George Holding (R-NC02) on the development of legislation to enact Residency-Based Taxation (RBT). There's still much work to be done, but securing bi-partisan support for RBT from important members of the tax writing subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee is a critical step forward on the road to Residency-Based Taxation legislation.

    What can you do to progress RBT?

    The best thing you can do to progress RBT is to reach out to your elected representatives to remind them of the importance of this reform to you and your family and to ask for their support. Personal stories are the most effective. Include as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. Call, write or send electronic messages to your House member and Senators. All outreach to those counting on your electoral support is helpful. If you get a boilerplate response that scarcely relates to the message you sent, write again demanding more. If you get an interesting response that you think would be useful for us to know about in progressing our work, please send it through to us.

    For more information visit Taxation Task Force. Send questions or comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

     


    Reviews

     

    Global Black Caucus Book Club 

    The members of the GBC book club met once again at Café Phil, this time to discuss The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. James Baldwin succinctly and powerfully articulates many of the issues that are still being discussed today in a book that is only two chapters and about 100 pages long. The group spent most of the evening discussing the first chapter, which is a letter entitled "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation". Baldwin explains to his nephew the clear and nuanced historical events that have led to the current state of black oppression in the US. He also shares how he learned to cope with the many daily aggressions and stresses of being a black man in America, with the hope that his nephew would use this primer to succeed in spite of his environment. It was both logical, uplifting, but for the group, a hard pill to swallow because the events and mentalities that Baldwin discussed are still a reality. The question that hung in the air was "What can we do as Americans living abroad to change the way people of color are treated back at home"? Our answers: (1) we can acknowledge that racism still exists in America and it is present here in Austria, (2) we must take a more active role in confronting friends or family members who make racist comments, (4) we have to continue having open conversations about race and its intersection with class and gender, (5) we can continue to donate to causes that are fighting to end systemic racial discrimination because equality for the most marginalized member of our society means equality for everyone.

    Due to Pride Week and all of the events in June, the GBC book club will resume in July where we will be discussing We were Eight Years in Power,  a collection of writing and essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Time and date TBD, but we hope to see you there!

    – Faith Hall Herbold, Coordinator DAA Black Caucus, Member-at-Large

     

     

    Solidarity Sundays 24: Death By A Thousand Cuts

    Creeping normality, or death by a thousand cuts, is the way major change can be accepted as normal when it happens slowly, through incremental change. We are watching it live.

    On Sunday, April 26th, LGTB Caucus leader Juan Cerda reviewed the legal status of lesbian, gay, transgender and bi-sexual citizens before and after the 1969 Stonewall Riots. In the 1960's homosexuality was essentially illegal in the US. Lesbian and gay citizens were deemed “diseased”, banned from serving in the military, viewed as security risks, and police crackdowns against gay-friendly bars were violent events. Resistance to the police raid of the Stonewall Inn led to several nights of rioting, and is cited as the first major protest against the criminalization of homosexuality.

    After Stonewall, advocates challenged discrimination against LGBTQ people. A year later, the first Gay Pride march declared the desire for equality. Throughout the 1970s, activists in many states successfully overturned laws banning homosexuality. In 2003 the Supreme Court decided states could not criminalize homosexuality, and in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage. Human rights activists continued fighting discrimination in employment, education, public housing, and healthcare, as well as to reduce hate crimes against LGBTQ citizens.

    With the Trump-Pence Administration, attacks against marginalized Americans are increasing, and increasingly promoted by government policy. The administration has attacked LGBTQ Americans in policy and rhetoric over 100 times since January 2017. Juan explained how the removal of Obama-era civil rights safeguards for transgender citizens exposes the cruelty of the Trump administration.

    Last week, the House passed the Equality Act of 2019. The bill expands the Civil Rights Act to explicitly include protections for LGBTQ people. The Senate majority refuses to consider it. Solidarity Sundays attendees wrote postcards to their senators demanding they support S.788, The Equality Act. To urge your Senators to act against the death of LGBTQ civil rights by a thousand cuts, find their address at www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm and send them your instructions. Be brief, be polite, be an ally.

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

     

     

    Progressive Pizza

    Thanks to the more than 20 hungry progressives who joined our Progressive Pizza event at L’Osteria on May 30! Our group included people who vote in states from New York to California, including Midwestern swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, as well as Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, and others!  We affirmed our commitment to protect the democratic achievements of our revolutionary founders and transform our society in accordance with the goals they set and we have not yet achieved. Following our high-cholesterol dinner, and with Scott Witmer in charge of our sign-up list, Raina Saul-Ganev provided information about the current Medicare for All legislative proposals in the House and Senate. We learned that HR. 1384, led by Representative Jayapal, has 110 co-sponsors and that S. 1129, led by Senator Sanders, has 14 co-sponsors including four presidential candidates: Senators Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, and Warren. Raina and others also commented on the foreseen transition to Medicare for All, its coverage and financial provisions. Our discussion was in a word--progressive! More information is available from sites like these:

    The evening ended with June event information from DA Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper and thoughts about our next meeting. One option will be to consider collaborating with DA Black Caucus Chair Faith Herbold, who will lead the next Solidarity Sunday discussion on the Green New Deal (30 June). Look for more information in the DA Event Calendar. Also look for our ProDA Facebook page, which will go online very soon!

    – Bruce Murray, ProDA Liaison


  • published DA on Capitol Hill in DC in News 2019-05-23 12:11:39 -0400

    DA on Capitol Hill in DC

    June 15 is tax day for Americans living overseas and DA has been on Capitol Hill this week talking with our Representatives about issues important to Americans living abroad – including Residency Based Taxation. 

    Read more about it here.

    Read more

  • signed up on bc_signup 2019-05-18 14:25:27 -0400

  • donated via 2019-05-07 17:42:40 -0400

  • published May's Newsletter in News 2019-05-03 13:11:37 -0400

    May's Newsletter

     

    In this Issue:

    Events

    Issues and Actions

    • In The News – DA 2020 Presidential Primary
    • Running for Democracy!

    Reviews

    • Solidarity Sundays: The Candidates (So Far)

    Members‘ Corner

    • Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen


    Trouble viewing this in email? View this in a browser.

     


    Events

    Salzburg Meet-Up

    Join us at our next Democrats Abroad Meet-Up for members and guests living in the Salzburg area! This is a chance to connect with fellow expats and discuss current events. Please BYOB and no RSVP required. We're looking forward to meeting you!

    WHEN:  May 10, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm 

    WHERE:  The English Center, Haunspergstraße 37A, Salzburg 5020

    CONTACT: Mary Beth Kollert · mary.b.broadwater@gmail.com

     

     

    Global Black Caucus

    Come join us at Cafe Phil on Friday, May 10th at 7pm, where we will discuss The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin. Please make sure to read the book so that we can all have a great discussion!

    WHEN: May 10, 2019 at 7pm - 10pm

    WHERE: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorfer Str 10-12, Vienna 1060, Austria

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT: Faith Hall Herbold · gbc@democratsabroad.at

     

     

    Experienced Dems

    Join us at the May Meet-up of Experienced Democrats. All ranges of experience are welcome!

    WHEN: May 21, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm

    WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com 

     

    Solidarity Sundays 24:  Death By A Thousand Cuts

    The Stonewall Riots 50 years ago catalyzed modern LGBT political activism. Widespread political awareness and pressure led to the repeal of oppressive laws, lifted bans on civil service and military employment, and won civil rights protections for LGBT individuals.

    Solidarity Sundays kicks off Pride Month with a look at the LGBTQ civil rights movement and its achievements, and how these hard-won rights and protections are being erased and eliminated by the Trump Administration.

    WHEN:  Sunday, May 26 at 4pm - 6pm  

    WHERE:  Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

    DAA Facebook Group

    CONTACT:  Tanya Lolonis · solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at



    DAATalks – A View of America and Journalism in the Age of Trump

    Democrats Abroad Austria is honoured to welcome Dr Eric Frey (der Standard), MEP Eugen Freund (EU Parliamentarian), and Dr Raimund Löw (FalterPodcast) for our next DAATalkslecture series on Thursday, June 13.

    WHEN: June 13, 2019 at 7pm - 9pm (doors will open at 6:30pm)

    WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, 1010 Vienna

    Entrance at Hebenstreit Restaurant (5 min. from U2 Schottentor).

    Google map and directions

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



    Stand Together and Proud at the 2019 Pride Parade

    Despite the fact that a 2020 candidate is a married gay man, fifty years after Stonewall LGBTQ rights are still under threat in the Trump administration and the Supreme Court. DA Austria stands together and proud with the 2019 EuroPride events in Vienna. Don't be a bystander. We hope you will stand with us as we march for all of our rights.

    This is the most outlandish party on the DA Austria calendar and this year Vienna is home to EuroPride, so expect a wild and wonderful day!

    WHEN: June 15, 2019 at 11am - 4pm

    WHERE: Exact location to be announced. Vienna 1010

    Google map and directions

    CONTACT: Joey Eckhart · lgbt@democratsabroad.at

     


    Issues & Actions

     

    Democrats Abroad Calls on Overseas Americans to Participate in 2020 Presidential Primary

    DA makes push to reach historically underrepresented minority groups

    WASHINGTON, May 03, 2019 – Democrats Abroad, the largest organization for Americans living overseas and the official arm of the Democratic Party for the millions of Americans living outside the United States, today announced the adoption of its 2020 Delegate Selection Plan.

    The Delegate Selection Plan outlines how Democrats living abroad can participate in the presidential primary process and takes its place alongside plans from all other state Democratic parties. Key elements include rules and processes for the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary (March 3-10, 2020), and how delegates will be selected to represent Americans abroad at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

    READ MORE

     

    Running for Democracy!

    Democrats Abroad made a tremendous effort in 2018 to Get Out The Vote (GOTV), especially through its use of phonebanking – DA Austria had the highest success rate of any country committee, with 53% of our membership using VFA! – Our wonderful volunteer phonebankers don't get paid, but the system we use for phonebanking as well as the platform we use generally to run this organization cost money. In order to prepare for our GOTV efforts for the 2020 election, please consider sponsoring a runner to benefit DA Global’s fundraising effortin this year's "Running for Democracy" half-marathon and 10K run in Mannheim on May 11th. Here's the linkfor more information and to pledge.

     


    Reviews

     

    Solidarity Sundays:  The Candidates (So Far)

    FEC donor statistics indicate an engaged Democratic base isn’t worried by a drawn-out primary. Several DAA members who are keeping an early and close eye on the 2020 race participated in a lively Solidarity Sundays event on April 28th. Led by Progressive Caucus members Bruce Murray and Scott Witmer, the group brainstormed qualities, experience, and aspects of character they are looking for in the candidate to run against Donald Trump. It turns out that people had been thinking a great deal about this and had a lot to say:  it was challenging to keep the meeting under 2 hours.

    Bruce and Scott surveyed sources people can use to evaluate candidates – from campaign websites to Wikipedia, media outlets to issue-based organizations that rank candidates on policy. People exchanged media and polling sites they trust. Bruce and Scott encouraged a systematic approach to prepare for June’s Presidential debates.

    While the race to replace Trump stokes enthusiasm, the GOP is waging a comprehensive effort to dilute democratic votes in 2020. They are attempting to re-draw congressional districts with census changes and gerrymandering, and are introducing bills criminalizing voter registration workers. Registering Democratic voters is more important than ever.

    Tanya Lolonis explained how phonebanking played a key role in the historic turnout of Democrats Abroad voters in 2018. DA’s Phonebanker Extraordinaire, Andreas Beckman, shared his phonebanking experience and the pleasure of connecting with members. With so many hurdles being thrown up for voters, DA is committed to registering as many members as possible so they can participate in the 2020 elections. Solidarity Sundays and DA Caucuses will be organizing phonebanking parties to make it fun and easy to call Democrats around the globe. Help mobilize the Resistance -- watch this spot for details.

     

     


    Around Town

     

     

    Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

    WHEN: Thursday, 09. May, 7pm

    WHERE: Judenplatz, 1010 Vienna

    Free Entry

    No seating available

    »The work of memory is in the present. In our century, a place such as the Judenplatz is not simply a square within a city, but a site that might be viewed from a distance, anywhere in the world, through technology. Jews were once taken from Vienna to be murdered, and that crime cannot be undone. Yet we can bring those who wish to learn from that history to Vienna, to this place.

    READ MORE


  • published April's Newsletter in News 2019-04-05 13:34:50 -0400

    April's Newsletter

    DA Austria’s 2019 Survey

    Are you satisfied with DAA? What do you think we should be doing? Please take a few minutes to help DA Austria’s Executive Committee better fulfil your wishes and expectations in the next two years. The questionnaire will take just about five minutes of your time and will be invaluable for us. Please fill it out here! Thank you for your participation!

    – DAA Executive Committee

     

    In This Issue:

    Events

    Issues & Actions

    • Announcing 2019-2021 DAA Executive Committee
    • Progressive Caucus
    • 2020 Delegate Selection Plan Open for Public Comment
    • Running for Democracy!
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office Closures

    Reviews

    • Global Black Caucus
    • Annual General Meeting
    • Solidarity Sundays
    • Graz – Women's Day

    Members Corner

    • Peace Puzzle
    • Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

     


    Events:


    Experienced Democrats Meet-up

    Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. Join us!

    When: Tuesday, April 9, 6:00 pm

    Where: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

    Contact: John Cahill • jmcahill47@yahoo.com • +43 676 695 2766

     

    Salzburg Meet-Up

    Join us at our next Democrats Abroad Meet-Up for members and guests living in the Salzburg area! This is a chance to connect with fellow expats and discuss current events. Please BYOB and no RSVP required. We're looking forward to meeting you!

    When: Friday, April 12, 7:30 pm

    Where: Haunspergstraße 37a, 5020 Salzburg

    Contact: Mary Beth Kollert • mary.b.broadwater@gmail.com

     

    Solidarity Sundays 23: The Candidates (So Far)

    They have Exploratory Committees and Campaign Committees, they‘re raising money and wooing activists, they’re visiting diners and schools and churches and union halls, and their number is ... hard to keep track of. They are the growing list of Democratic candidates vying to put Donald Trump to bed in 2020.

    Ahead of the first primary debates June 26 & 27, Solidarity Sundays goes past the Vanity Fair profiles and soft-focus videos to break down what you need to know: where do they stand on key issues? What do they offer in terms of youth vs experience? Who appeals to middle state voters vs coastal voters? We‘re not advocating for any one candidate: we aim to equip you to find yours and be able to articulate why. Join the discussion April 28th and practice democracy with coffee, cookies, and civics. Go to our Facebook Page for full details and to RSVP: https://m.facebook.com/events/2287321898041907?ref=page_internal&_rdr

    The 3 C’s — Coffee, Cookies, and Civics —

    When: Sunday, April 28, 4-6 pm

    Where: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

    Contact: Tanya Lolonis • solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at

     

    Global Black Caucus Book Club Vl

    Come join us at Cafe Phil on Friday, May 10th at 7pm, where we will discuss The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin. Please make sure to read the book so that we can all have a great discussion!

    When: Friday, May 10, 7:00 pm

    Where: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorferstraße 10-12, 1060 Vienna

    Contact: Faith Herbold • f.hall-herbold@democratsabroad.at• 0660 2776485

    Visit us on Facebook!

     


    Issues & Actions:

     

    Your 2019-2021 Executive Committee Team

    Democrats Abroad Austria is thrilled to announce our 2019-2021 Executive Committee! It’s a great group of committed and energetic leaders. We hope you’ll join us at one of our monthly Executive Committee meetings (2nd Wednesday of the month) or by helping out at an event. It’s going to take more than a village to win the White House in 2020 and we’re starting now!

    READ MORE

     

    The Progressive Caucus is up and running!

    ProDA is the “youngest” Democrats Abroad caucus. Its doors are wide open for Democrats of all ages!

    Who We Are

    The Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad works proactively to transform the United States into a society rooted in economic fairness, as well as social, racial, and environmental justice, particularly for the most vulnerable among us. We seek increased inclusion, fairness, accountability, and transparency in our domestic political processes. We support international cooperation, mutual respect, and peaceful methods of conflict resolution.

    – Bruce Murray, ProDA Founding Member

    READ MORE

     

    2020 Delegate Selection Plan Open for Public Comment

    Democrats Abroad's 2020 Delegate Selection Plan is now online for a public commenting period from March 8 to April 8, 2019.

    https://www.democratsabroad.org/2020dspcomments

     

    Running for Democracy!

    Democrats Abroad made a tremendous effort in 2018 to Get Out The Vote (GOTV), especially through its use of phonebanking – DA Austria had the highest success rate of any country committee, with 53% of our membership using VFA! – Our wonderful volunteer phonebankers don't get paid, but the system we use for phonebanking as well as the platform we use generally to run this organization cost money. In order to prepare for our GOTV efforts for the 2020 election, please consider sponsoring a runner to benefit DA globals fundraising effort in this year's "Running for Democracy" Half-Marathon and 10K runs in Mannheim on 11th May. Here's the link for more information and to pledge.

     

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office Closures

    Last month the Trump administration announced its intention to close the more that 20 USCIS offices outside the U.S.

    Officials in these offices process applications for visas, adoptions, green card abandonment and more. The proposal is for these services to be instead provided by embassies and consulates. The affect will be the lengthening of already intolerably long processing wait times, causing multi-National families to become separated.

    DA wishes to profile the harm this policy could cause Americans abroad and recommend changed. A small team (including an immigration lawyer) is in place but requires the support of others with immigration law expertise to articulate DA’s position, prepare a letter to elected officials and others, draft a one-pager for the May Door Knock and a Resolution to be considered at the May global meeting in Washington DC.

    Please contact me urgently if you can contribute to this work.

    – Carmelan Polce, New York and Australia • carmelanpolce@gmail.com

     


    Reviews:

    Graz International Women’s Day Workshop

    On Sunday, March 10th, we gathered at the cozy Seddwell Center over cupcakes and tea for a fascinating afternoon learning about the Equal Rights Amendment and discussing strategies for improving the situation for women - with guests from Austria and our host from New Zealand! We viewed the film Legislating Equality, discussed the best ways that we in Austria can promote women’s rights, and wrote postcards to legislators in Arizona who have been attempting to hold ERA legislation hostage. At the end we took a picture using the International Women’s Day hashtags #BalanceforBetter. We look forward to more actions in Graz this year!

    –Caitlin Ahern, Member-at-Large, Graz Coordinator

     

    Global Black Caucus Book Club V

    Democrats Abroad members enjoyed a light dinner at Cafe Phil before digging into the New York Times bestselling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemptionby Bryan Stevenson. Excitement about the democratic candidates overshadowed the discussion of the book, but nevertheless, the group persisted. The group discussed the stories of the individuals that Stevenson and his dedicated legal team had helped by freeing them from lengthy prison sentences and even saving them from death by state sanctioned execution.

    – Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large, DAA Black Caucus Coordinator

    READ MORE

     

    DAA’s AGM – Business and Fun!

    Despite being a beautiful spring day, more than forty dedicated DA Austria members and numerous guests gathered on Saturday, March 30 in Vienna for DAA’s Annual General Meeting and the election of our 2019-2021 Executive Committee. We were honored to welcome International Chair Julia Bryan as our guest speaker and also that Katie Solon, former International Chair, former DAA Chair and current DA Germany Voting Representative, as well as Merrill Oates, Current DA Hungary Chair, were able to join us!

    The various Chair, Treasurer and Auditors’ reports showed that DA Austria is an active and growing organization. We were able to cover costs incurred by our many events and demonstrations in 2018 through the generosity of our sustaining donors, a fundraiser, and swag sales. The number of US citizens in Austria who used the Vote From Abroad website to request their ballots was 116% of DA Austria's membership, and 53% of DA Austria's members used the service the highest of any country committee. In terms of VFA use, DA Austria ranked 5th among all country committees globally - as Julia said, "These are outstanding results!"

    During the meeting members passed amendments to our Bylaws that bring them into compliance with new DA rules and our Austrian Vereinsstatuten, and voted for DAA’s new executive committee (see article Your 2020 Team!). The electronic voting, which took place for the first time, was a huge success – doubling the number of members who voted in our election.

    After the business was done, the meeting was adjourned and the fun began. Member Laurin Seymann guided us through a tasting of wines from Seymann's Winecrafting, his family’s vineyard, and Walt and Jane Schwarz shared their Peace Puzzle project with us. We all got busy trying to find those positive words that are so hard to locate in today’s political discourse while enjoying a glass of delicious wine.

    Thank you to everyone who attended and especially those who traveled from Graz, Salzburg, Linz, Prague, Budapest, and Germany to join us, as well as to the volunteers who helped at the event to make it run smoothly!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

     

    Solidarity Sundays #22: What’s Immigration Reform Look Like?

    On a sunny March 31st afternoon, Juan Cerda led attendees through a comprehensive look into the history of immigration policy, beginning with Article 1 of the Constitution bestowing power on Congress to regulate naturalization and immigration. Over time, presidential power has carved out a growing role: before the current President tried closing borders at airports and down south, President Obama wielded presidential power to establish DACA. So powerful are executive orders that courts ruled in 2018 that President Trump‘s executive order to end Obama‘s DACA executive order is unlawful; only an act of congress can supersede it.

    READ MORE

     


    Members Corner

     

    The Puzzle Project

    Annual General Meeting attendees had the opportunity to field test Jane and Walt Schwarz’s challenging Peace-Puzzle at the meeting. They’ve improved the colors thanks to our feedback. The puzzle (the help sheet, password=sos and the solution password=easy) are in the links for those of you who would like to take on the challenge. Be forewarned – finding peace isn’t easy!

     


    Timothy Snyder at Wiener Festwochen

    »The work of memory is in the present. In our century, a place such as the Judenplatz is not simply a square within a city, but a site that might be viewed from a distance, anywhere in the world, through technology. Jews were once taken from Vienna to be murdered, and that crime cannot be undone. Yet we can bring those who wish to learn from that history to Vienna, to this place.

    When: Thursday, May 9, 7pm

    Where: Judenplatz,1010 Vienna

    Free Entry, No Seating

    READ MORE


  • published Global Black Caucus Book Club V in News 2019-04-05 07:24:58 -0400

    Global Black Caucus Book Club V

    Democrats Abroad members enjoyed a light dinner at Cafe Phil before digging into the New York Times bestselling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemptionby Bryan Stevenson. Excitement about the democratic candidates overshadowed the discussion of the book, but nevertheless, the group persisted. The group discussed the stories of the individuals that Stevenson and his dedicated legal team had helped by freeing them from lengthy prison sentences and even saving them from death by state sanctioned execution. The overarching story of Walter McMillian, who was falsely accused and sent to death row, was interwoven throughout the book. The sense of injustice increased as the group discussed the major factors Stevenson identified that have contributed to the large number of incarcerated Americans, including a lack of mental health services, the for-profit prison system, racial discrimination and poverty. Walter was eventually freed, but he would never be the same after losing six years of his life for a crime he had not committed. Even though the book concluded with Walter’s untimely death, the group was reminded that for every injustice, there are people like Bryan Stevenson and his staff at the Equal Justice Initiative who are working to bend the arc towards justice.

    Come join us at Cafe Phil on Friday, May 10th at 7pm, where we will discuss The Fire Next Timeby James Baldwin. Please make sure to read the book so that we can all have a great discussion!

    – Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large, DAA Black Caucus Coordinator


  • Solidarity Sundays #22: What’s Immigration Reform Look Like?

    On a sunny March 31st afternoon, Juan Cerda led attendees through a comprehensive look into the history of immigration policy, beginning with Article 1 of the Constitution bestowing power on Congress to regulate naturalization and immigration. Over time, presidential power has carved out a growing role: before the current President tried closing borders at airports and down south, President Obama wielded presidential power to establish DACA. So powerful are executive orders that courts ruled in 2018 that President Trump‘s executive order to end Obama‘s DACA executive order is unlawful; only an act of congress can supersede it.
    Juan explained how immigration policy has been shaped by Pull-Push forces. Economic need — the Gold Rush, seasonal agricultural work, labor shortfalls during world wars — has pulled waves of undocumented immigrants to America since the mid-19th century. When economic fortunes waned, McCarthyite anti-communist paranoia grew, or servicemen returned from wars, the government pushed back against immigrant flows with quotas or deportation action. In 1954, Operation Wetback rounded up and deported over one million people. What’s happening today has happened before.

    The last immigration reform, under President Reagan in 1986, granted amnesty to nearly 3 million undocumented immigrants. Since Congress has stalled on updating US immigration policies, presidents have asserted their prerogative to address aspects of the problem. Obama used executive power to award work permits to immigrants brought to the US as children; Trump used executive power to reverse it, and to declare the current National Emergency.

    Until Democrats take back both the Senate and White House, Juan foresees a continuation of stop-gap executive orders in place of comprehensive immigration reform. It is estimated there are currently 10 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in America today.

    Tanya Lolonis reviewed best practices for identifying and contacting your legislators on this — and other — issues. Attendees shared experiences and strategies communicating with representatives, and a reference sheet with useful links was shared. Anyone who would like a copy can contact Tanya at solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at.

    – Tanya Lolonis, Member-at-Large, Solidarity Sunday Co-coordinator


  • The Progressive Caucus is up and running!

    ProDA is the “youngest” Democrats Abroad caucus. Its doors are wide open for Democrats of all ages!

    Who We Are

    The Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad works proactively to transform the United States into a society rooted in economic fairness, as well as social, racial, and environmental justice, particularly for the most vulnerable among us. We seek increased inclusion, fairness, accountability, and transparency in our domestic political processes. We support international cooperation, mutual respect, and peaceful methods of conflict resolution.

    We Believe in

    • Medicare for all, debt-free college, and a livable minimum wage;

    • a Green New Deal to create new jobs while fighting climate change;

    • ending mass incarceration and police brutality;

    • common-sense gun safety legislation;

    • humane immigration practices and honoring the right to asylum;

    • fundamental campaign finance reform to ensure all politicians are beholden to their constituents, not lobbyists, corporations, and the wealthiest 1%;

    • increased inclusion, fairness, accountability and transparency in the Democratic Party;

    • international cooperation, mutual respect, and peaceful methods of conflict resolution;

    • continued introspection and transformation as progressive ideals evolve.

    Our Principles and Methods

    Politics of inclusion: We stand on the bedrock of compassion and empathy, unequivocally committed to the belief that whatever affects any one of us, affects all of us. This commitment moves us to honor our human commonality in the pursuit of justice to end suffering and oppression. Wherever we confront it, we must supplant the power dynamics of exploitation, injustice, manipulation, and oppression with systems of shared power distribution, enabling and empowering the disenfranchised. We strive for community healing and community-driven decision making. To achieve these goals, we nurture cooperation, demand mutual and shared accountability, and condemn the cycle of abuse, perpetuated by toxic power structures.

    Progressive realism: Our work takes place at the intersection of ambitious ideals and the circumstances of reality. We reject the notion that progressive change is unrealistic. It is entirely plausible when we demand attention to the complete range of possibilities that transcend the status quo. At times compromise is necessary, however we will not be compromised in the process.

    Dedication to Democrats Abroad: We are dedicated to the work of Democrats Abroad and, where feasible, eager to lead it. Like our other caucuses, we unite behind critical issues which define--and marginalize--specific identity groups. These issues often are not captured by traditional identity politics. We seek to ally our progressive goals with those of all democrats, reaching out to the wider community in support of the issues we promote. In this way we strive to recruit for Democrats Abroad among independents and others who share our perspective.

    Our uniting principle: It is our uniting principle and challenge to strive unerringly for progressive change and greater unity globally, respecting the value of our differences in our shared struggle.


    Like and follow us on Facebook: @prodacaucus

    Join ProDA: https://www.democratsabroad.org/pc

    Look for a ProDA Austria launch event in our DA social media very soon!

    • Progressive Pizza
    • Turning “Vice” into Virtue
    • Surveying Presidential Candidate Platforms

    Submitted by Bruce Murray (ProDA founding member)


  • Announcing the 2019-2021 DAA Executive Committee

    Congratulations to Democrats Abroad Austria's 2019-2021 Executive Committee! l to r: Brett Carnito, Caitlin Ahern, David Heckenberg, Fred Robinson, International Chair Julia Bryan, Tanya Lolonis, Bruce Murray, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, and Faith Hall Herbold – missing: Keith Jacomine and Marcy Fowler. #DA2020

    Democrats Abroad Austria is thrilled to announce our 2019-2021 Executive Committee! It’s a great group of committed and energetic leaders. We hope you’ll join us at one of our monthly Executive Committee meetings (2nd Wednesday of the month) or by helping out at an event. It’s going to take more than a village to win the White House in 2020 and we’re starting now!

    2019-2021 DA Austria Leaders –

    Executive Committee:

    Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper

    Vice Chair Keith Jacomine

    Secretary Brett Carnito

    Treasurer Marcy Fowler

    Counsel Bruce Murray


    DPCA Voting Representative:

    Bruce Murray


    Members-at-Large:

    Caitlin Ahern

    David Heckenberg

    Faith Hall Herbold

    Fred Robinson

    Tanya Lolonis


    Other Groups & Caucuses:

    Black Caucus – Faith Hall Herbold

    Experienced Dems – John Cahill

    Hispanic Caucus – unoccupied

    LGBT – Juan Cerda

    Progressive Caucus (ProDA) – Bruce Murray

    Solidarity Sundays – Tanya Lolonis, Juan Cerda

    Women’s Caucus – unoccupied

    Youth Caucus – David Heckenberg

    Veterans and Military Families Caucus - unoccupied


  • published 2019 Ballot for Election of Officers in News 2019-03-18 17:37:15 -0400

    2019 Ballot for Election of Officers

    Democrats Abroad Austria is pleased to offer electronic voting for the members of the Executive Committee in advance of the Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. While we are happy to provide this convenience, we strongly encourage you to participate in the meaningful Annual General Meeting, meet the candidates and vote in person on March 30. But if that is not possible, you can vote by proxy or electronically via the attached link below. If you choose to vote by proxy, you must provide a member your authorization in writing prior to the meeting. If you vote electronically and you also go to the meeting, please do not vote then.

    At the meeting, DA International Chair and DNC Representative Julia Bryan will speak to members regarding the 2020 election plans and will be happy to take questions and comments. There will also be committee updates - come hear about activities from the previous year and plans for mobilization during this important upcoming election cycle. And as a special treat, we will celebrate the year and look forward to all the great work ahead with a wine tasting from an Austrian vineyard!

    Please note, if you choose to vote electronically, you must vote by March 29, 2019, at 11:59 pm CET. You also must sign (via email) and provide your name and address on the form to have your ballot counted.

    Link: 2019 Ballot for Election of Officers - Click HERE

    If you have any questions, please contact us at daa.elections@gmail.com.

    Nominations and Elections Committee
    Democrats Abroad Austria


  • published March's Newsletter in News 2019-03-06 05:03:09 -0500

    March's Newsletter

    In this Issue:

    Events:

    Issues & Actions:

    • DAA 2019 Survey
    • Thanks to Tax Survey Participants
    • Call for Nominations
    • Elections Announcement

    Reviews:

    • Global Black Caucus
    • SolSun

     


    Events

    Sunday, March 10 - International Women's Day (weekend) Women's Rights Workshop in Graz

    Ladies and gentlemen alike, join us for an afternoon focused on women's rights - with information and action - in Graz. We'll be viewing a fascinating documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S., discussing and writing postcards to legislators. On-site childcare is available by prior arrangement.

    Check out the welcoming, bohemian Seddwell Center, a hidden jewel near Griesplatz. Our hosts are committed to helping women and our communities, and we’re looking forward to hearing from non-Americans working to advance the status of women!

    Contact Caitlin to get involved!

    When: Sunday, March 10, 2019 from 2:00-5:00 p.m.

    Where: Seddwell Center, Dreihackengasse 32, 8020 Graz

    Contact: Caitlin Ahern • database@democratsabroad.at

    RSVP: On the event page or on Facebook

     



    Experienced Democrats Meet-up

    Monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats. Join us!

    When: Tuesday, March 12 6:00 pm

    Where: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

    Contact: John Cahill • jmcahill47@yahoo.com • 06766952766

    RSVP: On the event page



    Young Democrats - Drinks for a good cause

    The Under 35s are gathering again, and this time it's for a good cause!
    Young Democrats are getting together at VinziRast, a bar/restaurant running a charity organisation by the same name. So it is your chance to eat good food and drink and feel good about it - all profits go to the homeless!


    There is plenty to talk about with the ongoings in our beloved home across the pond, political or nonpolitical, and we are happy to welcome some new faces!

    Contact David for more information. We are hoping to see as many of you as possible. Spread the word and bring your friends!
    In Love and Solidarity, Your Young Democrats

    When: Monday, March 18,  7:30 pm

    Where: VinziRast-Lokal "mittendrin", Währinger Str. 19

    1090 Vienna

    Contact: David Heckenberg • youngdems@democratsabroad.at • +43 664 378 2040

    RSVP: On the event page



    Global Black Caucus Book Club V

    Another month, another transformative book! "Just Mercy: A story of justice and redemption" is a personal memoir of lawyer-turned-activist, Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson reflects upon his experiences and his clients, while offering a critique of the American criminal justice system. Some of the stories will inspire, while others will infuriate, but the book offers a poignant theme, quoted by Stevenson at his TedTalk: "We will ultimately not be judged by our technology, we won’t be judged by our design, we won’t be judged by our intellect and reason. Ultimately, you judge the character of a society...by how they treat the poor, the condemned, the incarcerated." Join us at Café Phil as we explore this beautifully written book! And make sure to bring a donation to Bryan Stevenson's organization, The Equal Justice Initiative (www.eji.org).

    When: Friday, March 22, 7:00 pm

    Where: Cafe Phil, Gumpendorferstraße 10-12, 1060 Vienna

    Contact: Faith Herbold • f.hall-herbold@democratsabroad.at • 0660 2776485

    RSVP: On the event page or on Facebook



    2019 Annual General Meeting & Wine Tasting

    Come for business –

    Join fellow DA Austria members on Saturday, March 30 to recap 2018 and elect members to the 2019-2021 Executive Committee. We'll present brief reports on 2018, discuss plans for 2019 and 2020, conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws, and hold elections.

    We're happy to announce that DA International Chair and DNC Representative Julia Bryan

    will be speaking to us about upcoming plans at the meeting!

     

    Stay for a wine-tasting & dinner –

    After the business part of the meeting, fellow DAA member Laurin Seymann will share with us a few wines from his family’s vineyard, Seymanns Weinhandwerkerei. Afterwards, we’ll be moving on to Le Burger for a no-host dinner.

    We hope you’ll join us! All members of Democrats Abroad Austria are welcome. Any American over 18 (by the next federal election) and residing in Austria may also join the meeting.

     

    Help us start the meeting on time –

    We ask you to pre-register with your name, address, phone number and voting state so that your record stays current and to 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 minimize long waiting lines.

     

    And if you’ll join us for dinner – 

    We’ll make a group reservation for dinner after the meeting at 6:30 pm at Le Burger (Mariahilfer Str. 114, 1070 Vienna, upstairs with an elevator)a five-minute walk from the meeting location. If you'd like to be included in the reservation, please RSVP by Saturday, March 23!!  

    When: Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. (doors open at 2:30)

    Where: SPÖ Neubau, Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna

    RSVP and Pre-Register: Please fill out this form to pre-register for the meeting and RSVP for the wine-tasting and no-host dinner. Contact Caitlin Ahern database@democratsabroad.at with any questions.

     

    You can find information about the agenda, information about the proposed amendments to the  Bylaws (including copies of the current and proposed Bylaws), and directions to the AGM here.

     

     

    Solidarity Sundays 22:  What’s Immigration Reform Look Like?

    How to make sense of the alphabet-soup that’s U.S. Immigration Policy today? — DACA. ICE. Wall. Chain Migration. Family Separation. Undocumented. Lawful. Caravan. Asylum. Every term is loaded.

    Sunday, March 31st, Solidarity Sundays takes a deep dive into US immigration policy — what it looks like, possible remedies, which committees and politicians are working on it (or not). We’ll help you make sense of a multi-faceted issue that’s key to our core values as Americans. Join the discussion, and write an email to your Congressperson about what you want them to do (we’ll help you write it).

    The 3 C’s — Coffee, Cookies, and Civics —

    When: Sunday, March 31, 4-6 pm

    Where: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

    Contact: Tanya Lolonis • solidaritysundays@democratsabroad.at

    RSVP: On the event page or on Facebook 


    Issues & Actions:

     

    DA Austria’s 2019 Survey

    Are you satisfied with DAA? What do you think we should be doing? Please take a few minutes to help DA Austria’s Executive Committee better fulfill your wishes and expectations in the next two years. The questionnaire will take just about five minutes of your time and will be invaluable for us. Please fill it out here! Thank you for your participation!

    – DAA Executive Committee

     

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

    Democrats Abroad has published its 2019 research on the tax filing and financial account reporting experience of Americans abroad.  Click here to download the report entitled "Tax Filing From Abroad: Research on Non-Resident Americans and U.S. Taxation."  At this link there is a short summary of the findings. Many, many thanks to the almost 10,000 people who answered the 2019 Tax Survey.

    Meetings With Congress Next Week

    Next week a delegation of Tax Task Force members and others will be on Capitol Hill to share the research and resume discussions with legislators about residency-based taxation. We are asking DA members to call or write to their elected representatives in support of our recommended reforms.

    This is an up-to-date campaign guide (call scripts, language for letters/emails/postcards, links to find your Congresspeople). All outreach is good outreach - in fact, it is essential for pushing for reform. Thanks in advance for your help.

    Our first meeting of the week is with the sponsor of the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act, introduced on the last sitting day of the 115th Congress and proposing a switch from our current system of citizenship-based taxation to residency-based taxation. As you know from our report on the bill, it was not a perfect bill but it serves as a valuable marker that there is sponsorship in Congress for real expat tax reform - and of course it is a wonderful milestone for expat tax advocates who have been working so long and so hard pushing for change. We look forward to providing updates on the bill (the design elements need work for it to attract co-sponsors) and the plan by proponents to move it forward.  

    Please send questions and comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

    – DA Taxation Tax Force

     


     Democrats Abroad Austria’s 2019 Elections

     

    Call for Nominations

    The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to run for a position.

    – Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Antje Lewis, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

     

    At the Democrats Abroad Austria 2019 Annual General Meeting in Vienna on March 30th elections will be conducted to fill the following positions for two-year terms:

    • Chair
    • Vice-Chair
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    • Counsel
    • DPCA Voting Representative (new)
    • 2 to 6 Members-at-Large - In the past Member-at-Large responsibilities have included: Salzburg Coordinator, Database Manager, Media Contact, Social Media and Member Communication, Membership Engagement, Graz Coordinator

    If you would like to run for any of these positions or you would like to nominate someone for office, please send your name or the nominee’s name and a short bio directly to the Nominations Election Committee (NEC) at  daa.elections@gmail.com.  

    Each nomination must be seconded, also via email to the NEC.

    Please note, nominations and seconds must be received by March 13.  

    READ MORE

     

    DA Austria’s 2019 Election and Voting Procedures

    The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to cast your ballot in the election.

    – Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Antje Lewis, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

     

    Important Dates:

    • February 28 Call for Nominations
    • March 13 Nominations close
    • March 17 Voting begins for those who would like to vote electronically
    • March 29 Deadline for eligible voters to become DAA members
    • Electronic voting ends
    • March 30 Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting. All ballots, including electronic ballots, will be counted and results announced by NEC

    Important Change:

    This year DAA will accept electronic votes. All members will receive a ballot via mail on March 17. If you would like to vote electronically, please fill out your ballot and return it to daa.elections@gmail.com no later than 23:59 CET on March 29.  

    In the past, nominations were accepted from the floor at the AGM.  Because we will accept electronic ballots this year we will not be accepting nominations from the floor.

    Below are the Rules Governing the Election for 2019 as excerpted from the DAA Bylaws.

    READ MORE

     


    Reviews

     

    Solidarity Sundays 21:  How Monopolies Hurt America‘s Economy

    America has a monopoly problem. Since 2008, there have been more than $10 Trillion in merger — that’s a BFD. Consolidation lies at the root of many of our most pressing economic & political problems.

    When a company buys smaller companies until no rivals are left, people’s welfare suffers. Farmers struggle against agricultural conglomerates. Corporate giants in coastal cities buy out middle America‘s banks and businesses. Wages fall because employers don‘t need to compete to attract and retain workers. Profits concentrate wealth in a few hands.

    Tanya Lolonis led attendees through the story of how Democrats traditionally led the fight to protect citizens from corporate power and corruption. The Reagan administration relaxed regulation enforcement to „liberate“ consumers with lower prices.

    Progressive antitrust enforcement is good politics for Democrats in 2020:  regulating Big Tech, Big Pharma, and Big Oil is a pro-business, pro-liberty message that plays in almost every section of every state. No need to re-invent ourselves:  anti-monopolism re-connects Democrats with our traditional belief that economic power is political power.


    Global Black Caucus Black History Open Mic Night

    Members and guests gathered together at Beaver Brewery for an evening of poetry, spoken word, music and comedy to celebrate Black History Month. First, the event opened with an introduction about the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) founded by Bryan Stevenson. The EJI not only fights to exonerate the falsely accused, but has also built and supports both the Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration.

    The event continued with a little comedy from Okello Dunkley and Regi Bärris. Jennifer Lusser shared her journey in finding her ancestor and challenged the rest of us, especially those who are descendants of African slaves, to find and name ours. Lisa Rosenblatt gave a beautiful presentation about swimming and how Jim Crow-era segregation and racism have limited African Americans from learning how to swim and competing in national and international swimming competitions. She also highlighted the current African American competitive swimmers and their accomplishments. Margaret Carter gave a presentation about the concept of “Time” and how it is experienced differently by different civilizations. She highlighted the many ancient accomplishments of Africans. Kriti Sharma recited excerpts from various works by James Baldwin, Audre Lorde and  Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Sherri Spelic read a thought-provoking excerpt from Tressie McMillan Cottom’s book: Thick and other Essays entitled “Obama was because Trump is.” Bruce and Renee Murray gave an acoustic guitar rendition of John Legend and Common’s song Glory and Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Antje Lewis continued with a poem by Susan Griffin entitled: I’d like to think of Harriet Tubman. To close out the show and give a nod to Women’s History Month in March, host Faith Herbold read Ain’t I a woman? by Sojourner Truth. At the end of the night, 318 Euros ($362) were raised to support the ongoing efforts and projects supported by the EJI.

    Many thanks to all of the presenters and all those who attended and gave generously!

    If you would like to become a supporter of the EJI, please visit www.eji.org to learn more.

     

     

    Links and other Information:


  • published February's Newsletter in News 2019-01-31 15:03:04 -0500

    February's Newsletter

    In This Issue:

    Events:

    Issues & Actions:

    • Call for Nominations - 2019-2021 Executive Committee
    • DA Austria’s 2019 Election and Voting Procedures
    • ERA Notes
    • Medicare for All
    • Veteran's and Military Families Caucus
    • DAA Volunteer Positions

    Reviews:

    • Women’s March Looks at the ERA
    • Global Black Caucus Book Club IV Review
    • Solidarity Sundays #20 Examined Gerrymandering

    Events

     

    Experienced Democrats

    Join us for some food and conversation at our monthly meeting. All levels of experience are welcome!

    WHEN: February 12 6pm
    WHERE: Cafe Museum Operngasse7, 1010 Vienna
    CONTACT: John Cahill · jmcahill47@yahoo.com· 0676 695 2766

    Solidarity Sundays #21–

    Tackles The Biggest Economic Problem You’re Hearing (Almost) Nothing About

    Monopolies used to be a central concern of voters; now it’s called “antitrust” and is left to experts. What do monopolies do? Why are they bad? Do they affect you? Yes, if you travel by air, buy cat food, chat on social media, consume journalism, make health insurance co-payments, buy sunglasses, watch porn, or have an Amazon habit that your partner keeps on about. Is this unique to the U.S.? Pretty much. Join the Solidarity Sundays Monopoly Crash Courseand learn how the federal government went from protecting citizen welfare to consumer welfare, why this makes Americans miserable, and what remedies we have.

    WHEN: February 24 4-6pm
    WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8 1070 Vienna
    RSVP: on the website or on Facebook

    Black History Month Open Mic Night

    The Global Black Caucus of Democrats Abroad Austria would like to invite you to come celebrate Black History Month by participating in our first Open Mic Night. Everyone is welcome to contribute their African or African American inspired acoustic performances, comedy, poetry, or spoken word. Interested performers can sign up in advance for a 5-10 minute slot by contacting Faith Herbold at f.hall-herbold@democratsabroad.ator come and sign up at the event. Make sure to bring a small donation to support the Equal Justice Initiative, an American non-profit organization committed to exonerating the falsely accused and reforming the criminal justice system.

    WHEN: February 26 at 7:30-10:00pm
    WHERE: Beaver's Brewing Company Vienna 1070
    Google map and directions
    RSVP: on our website


    Save the Date!

    International Women's Day (weekend) Women's Rights Workshop in Graz

    Ladies and gentlemen alike, save the date to join us for an afternoon focused on women's rights - with information and action - in Graz. We'll be viewing a fascinating documentary on the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S., discussing and writing postcards to legislators.

    Stay tuned for more details or contact Caitlinto get involved!

    WHEN: March 10 at 2:00-6:00pm
    WHERE: TBD, Graz
    RSVP: Caitlin Ahern • database@democratsabroad.at

    2019 Annual General Meeting & Wine Tasting

    Come for business –

    Join fellow DA Austria members on Saturday, March 30 to recap 2018 and elect members to the 2019-2021 Executive Committee.We'll present brief reports on 2018, discuss plans for 2019 and 2020, conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws, and hold elections.

    Stay for a wine-tasting –

    After the business part of the meeting, fellow DAA member Nancy Lee Akinci Seymann will share with us a few wines from her family’s vineyard, Seymanns Weinhandwerkerei.Afterwards, we’ll be moving on to Le Burger for a no-host dinner.

    We hope you’ll join us! Please RSVP for the meeting hereand for the dinner on the RSVP button below. All members of Democrats Abroad Austria are welcome. Any American over 18 (by the next federal election) and residing in Austria may also join the meeting.

    Help us start the meeting on time –

    Please contact Caitlin Ahern to pre-register for the meeting by email. 

    Include your name, address, phone number and voting state in your email so that your record stays current 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 minimize long waiting lines.

    And if you’ll join us for dinner – 

    We’ll make a group reservation for dinner after the meeting at 6:30pm at Le Burger (a five-minute walk from the meeting location). If you'd like to be included in the reservation, please RSVP on this site by Saturday, March 23!!  

    You can find information about the agenda, information about the amended Bylaws (including copies of the current and amended Bylaws), and directions to the AGM here.

    WHEN: March 30 at 3:00-6:00pm
    WHERE: SPÖ Neubau, Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna
    RSVP: Caitlin Ahern • database@democratsabroad.at

    Issues & Actions:

    Call for Nominations -

    Democrats Abroad Austria Executive Committee Elections 2019

    The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to run for a position.

    – Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Bill Holaday, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

     

    At the Democrats Abroad Austria 2019 Annual General Meeting in Vienna on March 30th elections will be conducted to fill the following positions for two-year terms:

    • Chair
    • Vice-Chair
    • Treasurer
    • Secretary
    • Counsel
    • DPCA Voting Representative (new)
    • up to 6 Members-at-Large - In the past Member-at-Large responsibilities have included: Salzburg Coordinator, Database Manager, Media Contact, Social Media and Member Communication, Membership Engagement, Graz Coordinator

    If you would like to run for any of these positions or you would like to nominate someone for office, please send your name or the nominee’s name and a short bio directly to the Nominations Election Committee (NEC) at  daa.elections@gmail.com.  

    Each nomination must be seconded, also via email to the NEC.

    Please note, nominations and seconds must be received by March 13.  

    READ MORE

     

     

    DA Austria’s 2019 Election and Voting Procedures

    The 2019-2021 Executive Committee will be elected at this year's Annual General Meeting on March 30, 2019. Here's what you need to know to cast your ballot in the election.

    – Kate McGrath (Chair), Renee McCormack and Bill Holaday, 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

     

    Important Dates:

    February 28 Call for Nominations

    March 13 Nominations close

    March 17 Voting begins for those who would like to vote electronically

    March 29 Deadline for eligible voters to become DAA members; Electronic voting ends

    March 30 Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting  

    All ballots, including electronic ballots, will be counted and results announced by NEC

    Important Change:

    This year DAA will accept electronic votes. All members will receive a ballot via mail on March 17. If you would like to vote electronically, please fill out your ballot and return it to daa.elections@gmail.comno later than 23:59 on March 29.  

    In the past, nominations were accepted from the floor at the AGM.  Because we will accept electronic ballots this year we will not be accepting nominations from the floor.

    Below are the Rules Governing the Election for 2019 as excerpted from the DAA Bylaws.

    READ MORE

     

    Understanding the Equal Rights Amendment

    What is the ERA?

    The ERA is a proposed constitutional amendment which would add the following constitutional guarantee: “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

    The first proposal ever created that called for gender equality harks back to the 1920s. The above text is from the version created in 1972, which was approved by Congress.

    – Compiled by: Alma Stankovic, J.D. January 1, 2019

    READ MORE

     

     

    Medicare for All

    The Democratic Party endorses Universal Health Care.  Among those who have striven to achieve this goal are Senator Bernard Sanders and the 16 cosponsors of S.1804-Medicare for All Act of 2017, as well as former Representative John Conyers and the 124 cosponsors of H.R.676-Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.  This past summer Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Keith Ellison, and Debbie Dingell also initiated the Medicare for All Congressional Caucus, which now boasts 70 members.  The Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad(ProDA), too, is supporting Medicare4Allwith a variety of initiativesto strengthen the mass mobilization for H.R.676 in February.

    At the same time, other Democratic leaders favor more incremental steps, proposing expansions of the Affordable Care Act. As POLITICOreports: “That spectrum includes Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)'s bill allowing patients to buy into Medicare starting at age 55 and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Michael Bennet (D-Co.)'s plan to create a Medicare-style public option to compete with private insurers on up to bigger revamps, like Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)'s expansion of Medicare eligibility to nearly all Americans. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) would let everyone purchase Medicaid.”

    The Discussion about how best to proceed certainly will continue in the coming months, especially in the context of selecting the next Democratic presidential candidate. We recommend following and participating in the discussion. Stay tuned!  

    – Bruce Murray, DA Counsel and ProDA member

     

    Veterans and Military Families Caucus

    The VMF Caucus is up and running and we’re looking for members to join our Steering Committee. Contact usif you’re a veteran or a family member of a veteran and interested in joining us!

    – VMF Caucus: Anna Marie, Michael L, Michael R, Donald, Eric, John, and Raymond

     

    DAA Needs Your Help

    There is a lot to do before 2020 and we need volunteers to help us gear up for the biggest Get Out the Vote effort ever. Regardless if you can spare a few hours a week or an hour a month, we have something you could help out on. Ready and willing? Contact Jennifer at chair@democratsabroad.atfor a full description of the positions.

    Currently needed volunteer positions:

    • Research Position  
      • track and notify when US politicians or notables are in Vienna (2hrs/month)
    • Media Contact Coordinator (1hr/wk)
      • Should demonstrate verifiable experience and/or training in the fields of Media, Press and/or PR.

     


    Reviews:

    Women’s March Looks at the ERA

    The Women's Wave workshop brought a wave of women and men to the Amerlinghaus on the afternoon of the global Women's March.

    After a rousing and competitive trivia round, everyone settled in and watched the documentary film "Equal Means Equal," which detailed the history of women fighting for equal rights and protection under the law through the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Thirteen states have not ratified the ERA, which was introduced by Alice Paul in 1923.

     

    READ MORE

     

     

    Global Black Caucus Book Club IV Review

    The members of the Global Black Caucus gathered at Café Phil for their monthly meet-up, this time with a smaller, more intimate group. The book How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective,edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, was a compilation of a series of interviews by the founding members of the Collective and contemporary black activists. There was something in this book for everyone - whether they were a newcomer to feminism or had been a part of the feminist movement for quite some time. Even within this small group, everyone had different views on feminism and the influence that the Combahee River Collective had on black, radical and mainstream feminist movements present today. One thing is certain: if we are going to move forward, we need everyone – in places of power and privilege, in the margins, and from all walks of life – at the table.

    – Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large

     

    Solidarity Sundays #20 Examined Gerrymandering --

    Plus Democrats’ Number One Priority This Congressional Session

    Attendees took turns learning about civic issues to share with, and empower, fellow Americans. On January 27th, Solidarity Sundays member David Heckenberg took us through the history of congressional redistricting. We learned where it got the name “Gerrymandering”, and how phrases that sound like a rap song -- cracking, packing, andkidnapping-- are widespread tactics for stealing elections. He explained how the citizenship question for the 2020 census could impact redistricting, and which organizations are fighting the administration about its inclusion in the census.

    Tanya Lolonis took us through House Resolution 1-- the 571-page Magnum Opus legislation introduced to begin the new Democratic Congress. Top priorities are introduced first -- hence its number, ”1” -- and the Resolution has three aims: ending the dominance of money in politics, putting teeth back into ethics laws, and making it easier to vote. Without GOP support in the Senate, it is unlikely to become law, but is important for two reasons: first, HR 1 broadcasts that the new majority will emphasize voting rights in this Congressional session. Second, it lays the foundation to restore the Voting Rights Act, the gutting of which by the Supreme Court in 2013 initiated our current era of voter suppression.


  • Review: Women’s March Looks at the ERA

    The Women's Wave workshop brought a wave of women and men to the Amerlinghaus on the afternoon of the global Women's March.

    After a rousing and competitive trivia round, everyone settled in and watched the documentary film "Equal Means Equal," which detailed the history of women fighting for equal rights and protection under the law through the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Thirteen states have not ratified the ERA, which was introduced by Alice Paul in 1923.

    After the film, Dardis McNamee, the Editor in Chief and Publisher of METROPOLE Vienna in English, spoke to the group and combined her personal experiences with historical perspectives on feminism and equal rights. McNamee explained that the issue of gender equality strikes at the heart of every home, relationship and family. It creates a war within women because they feel they don't want to hurt the people they love. This is mainly because of the myth that equal rights for women is a zero-sum game, where it is perceived as personal abandonment in a husband and wife relationship. She had perceived early on that the fight for women's rights would take longer than the fight for equal rights for African Americans.

    She stressed that the only way to discuss this issue and gain our rights is to approach our loved ones with compassion by listening to their concerns, fears, and anxieties. Along with compassion and a listening ear, McNamee also urged the predominantly female audience to use "humor as ammunition," because sometimes that is one of the only ways we as women can get through the daily struggles we face.

    Next to speak was Laurie Richardson, Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Vienna and UN Liaison for FAWCO. She began with some interesting statistics, most surprisingly that out of 197 countries with a constitution, 18 have no provisions about equality or non-discrimination based on sex. She also cited data from the World Economic Forum about the nations with the lowest gender equality gap, with Scandinavian countries dominating the top of the list, but also some surprises. The most chilling information she shared with us is that the United States has signed, but refused to join, not only the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), but also other key UN conventions including on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and on Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She stated that the main reason the US has hesitated on such important conventions was the excuse that it would violate the rights of each individual state (i.e. federalism). She encouraged everyone to petition their state to adopt and join these conventions at the state level.

    For the final portion of the workshop, the group wrote postcards to the states of Virginia and North Carolina urging the leadership to vote to ratify the ERA.

    The organizers hope that the Women's Wave and the #MeToo movements will continue to fight for gender equality and hold our leaders accountable to addressing all social, economic and health issues surrounding women. Perhaps the Women's Wave and the Blue Wave will be enough to stem the tide of sexism in the US and result in lasting change in 2020 and beyond.

    To learn more about the ERA and what you can do to make sure it gets ratified, please visit: http://equalmeansequal.com/

    For more information on what UN Women does, visit: http://www.unwomen.org

    – Faith Hall Herbold, Member-at-Large




  • Understanding the Equal Rights Amendment

    What is the ERA?

    The ERA is a proposed constitutional amendment which would add the following constitutional guarantee: “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”

    The first proposal ever created that called for gender equality harks back to the 1920s. The above text is from the version created in 1972, which was approved by Congress.

    How does it become law?

    Under Article 5, any constitutional amendment has to be approved by Congress by a supermajority of 2/3 of both chambers as well as be ratified by the legislatures of at least 3/4 of all states. Today this means 38 states.

    – Compiled by: Alma Stankovic, J.D.

    Read more

  • 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