Regional Vice Chair–EMEA, Member-at-Large–DA Austria

  • published February Newsletter in News 2018-02-05 04:32:03 -0500

    February Newsletter

    DA members from Prague and Vienna at the March to the Ballot Box demonstration at Stephansplatz, Vienna  on January 21. (photo: Andreas Beckman)

    In This Issue:


    • Experienced Democrats
    • Young Dems
    • SolSun #12

    Issues & Actions

    • AGM Announcement
    • Unity Reform Commission Update
    • Black History Month
    • Understanding Special Elections
    • Election Calendar
    • Help us Get Out the Vote!
    • DA's global teams are growing and they need our help!


    • Women’s March Anniversary
    • Solidarity Sundays Vienna #11



    The Inaugural Experienced Democrats Meet-Up was such a resounding success that we have decided to make it a regular event. We are looking forward to seeing even more of you experienced Democrats!


    The mid-terms are approaching, and we need to make sure that all of our American friends and family in Austria are registered to vote. In February we'll be killing two birds with one stone with a voter registration pub night at our favorite American hang out. We look forward to seeing you! :-)


    Join us to learn more about how you can make an impact your way in this year's midterm elections. We need your help to register other American's living abroad and to make sure they vote. Come and learn how easy it is to register to vote from abroad and discover the creative ways of getting other Americans to do the same.

    We will be writing postcards to folks back home and in Austria reminding them to register to vote, phone-banking to other Democrats, and some of our members are even hosting brunches in their homes for their friends and making them sign up to register to vote on the spot.

    We will also have a recap of the Democrats Abroad EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Regional meeting on strategies and projects that are being done around the world that we can implement here in Austria.

    Finally, we will also be celebrating our one year anniversary of Sunday Solidarity in Vienna, join us for cake and coffee!! 


    At May 26th's Solidarity Sunday, we'll be doing a group Phone-banking Sprint, complete with beer and pizza.


    Your participation, activism, and donations have made Democrats Abroad Austria a strong and vital organization over the past fifteen years. 


    You are cordially invited to the Democrats Abroad Austria 2018 Annual General Meeting.

    We'll present brief reports on 2017, discuss plans for 2018, and conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws. Along with our Caucus and grassroots leaders, we’ll show a presentation of 2017’s activities that illustrate how DA Austria continues to grow and strengthen almost 15 years after DAA's founding.

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

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

    Your participation, activism, and donations have made Democrats Abroad Austria a strong and vital organization over the past fifteen years. In 2018, we’ll continue working to strengthen the voice and the vote of all our members. We’ve got an important midterm coming up in November and we are relying on your help to make it a blue wave! Remember, Americans living overseas must request their ballot each calendar year. Do it here at Vote From Abroad.

    I look forward to seeing you at our AGM!

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria, Chair

    • When: Sunday, March 11, 2018 from 2:00-5:00 p.m.
    • Where: SPÖ Neubau, Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna
    • 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.

    Click below for more information about the Agenda, copies of the current and Amended Bylaws, Voting and Proxies, and directions to the AGM.


    Democrats Abroad on the Unity Reform Commission ReporT

    DA leaders have written a piece on the DA and the URC Report – 

    "Democrats Abroad’s Executive Committee and its DNC Delegates have endorsed a series of proposals from the party’s Unity Reform Commission, in a report delivered to the DNC at the end of 2017.

    The Unity Reform Commission (URC) was created at the 2016 Democratic National Convention to address concerns regarding the presidential primary process, and to ensure that this process is accessible, transparent and inclusive.

    Dems Abroad leaders were able to support these recommendations in part because they so closely reflected what Democrats Abroad adopted in its 2016 Global Presidential Primary and Delegate Selection Plan.

    Speaking to Democrats Abroad in Paris and Toronto, URC Vice Chair Larry Cohen has praised the organization’s high levels of openness, inclusion, and transparency in its 2016 global primary, pointing out that other state parties could learn much from their example."

    Click on the following link to read it in it's entirety:


    Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” started by the noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

    It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February, as well as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in October.

    This year, Black History Month is more important than ever. We have an overtly racist, sexist, homophobic government that wants to take America back to a time that never existed. Black history is American history, not a footnote.



    Extract from Flippable

    "Special elections happen when a lawmaker dies, resigns, or gets a new job in the government. They occur all year round, every year. With low levels of funding and low voter turnout, you might think these elections are no big deal—but they’re actually hugely important.

    That’s because:

    • Special elections are anyone’s game. Most voters don’t show up at the polls for them, so the normal rules don’t apply. The party that’s paying the most attention has the best chance of winning.
    • There are dozens of special elections every year—and each one gives us an opportunity to flip or defend a seat. Since November 2016, Dems have won more than 30 special elections.
    • By getting out the vote for these low-profile races, Dems can make quiet progress nationwide.

    We don’t have to wait for the next election cycle to start making a difference."


    Extract from Tiny Actions

    Q: Elections aren’t until November. Why request your ballot in January?

    It’s really not too early!

    • Sending in your ballot request now will allow you to vote in primaries
    • Your Local Board of Elections will get busier as we get closer to elections. If things are delayed - or if something goes wrong - sending in your ballot request now will ensure there’s time to address any issues.
    • Do it now so you don’t have to worry about it later!



    (photo: Christine Fahrngruber)

    Arizona – February 27 – Special Primary Election Congressional District 8

    • Register by January 29
    • Request ballot by February 16

    Texas – March 6 – State Primary

    • Register by February 5
    • Request ballot by February 23

    Pennsylvania – March 13 – Special Election Congressional District 18

    • Register by February 12
    • Request ballot by March 12

    Illinois – March 20 – Primary

    • Register by February 18
    • Request ballot by February 18



    Becky Ellis is DAA's new GOTV Coordinator

    As few as 5% of eligible overseas voters vote in midterm elections. From now through November, Democrats Abroad Austria will be making it as easy as possible for fellow expats to cast their ballots. You can help!

    • Registering voters We'll be registering voters at events throughout the city. Spend an hour or two at a registration table helping people fill out their registrations and ballot requests.
    • Phonebanking Call registered Democrats Abroad members and remind them to register and request their ballot (and send it in!). Calls are made online through CallHub, at no cost to you. You can call from the comfort of your couch or join one of our Phonebanking Sprints, where we gather with pizza and drinks and call as many voters as we can together.

    Contact Democrats Abroad Austria's GOTV Coordinator, Becky Ellis, at [email protected] to find out more, and join us at February's Solidarity Sunday to learn about other ways you can help GOTV by doing whatever you love to do most -- whether it's biking, baking or brunching!

    For more information on phonebanking and online training materials, click here.

    – Becky Ellis, DA Austria, GOTV Coordinator


    March to the Ballot Box Demonstration in front of Stephansplatz, Vienna (photos top and bottom: Lee Rubin-Jacober)


    It was a damp and dreary day, but even the miserable weather couldn’t dissuade more than 70 dedicated DAA members, friends, and onlookers from turning out for our “March to the Ballot Box” in Vienna on January 21.

    Margaret Carter, Faith Hall-Herbold, and Laura Holgate (l to r) 

    The rally was part of a larger organization of marches, demonstrations, and events that took place over the weekend of Jan 20-21 under the headline “Power to the Polls.” Globally, more than 100 marches over 38 countries took place – not including those in the US where hundreds of thousands marched in LA, NYC, and cities between. Women’s March Global organized a live stream that broadcast women from Uganda to Buenos Aires and Wellington to Frankfurt rising up and speaking out. 

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria, Chair




    We're back from holidays and focused on November's midterms — elections that can potentially turn the House blue. With more close elections than at any time in modern history, overseas votes are poised to make a critical difference. That’s the kind of role our activists like.

    Sunday’s meet-up focused on registering more Americans in Austria than ever. DAA’s new Get Out The Vote coordinator, Becky Ellis, laid out goals and resources for the nine months ahead, and ran the Solidarity crew through the nuts and bolts of registering overseas voters.

    –Tanya Lolonis, Juan Cerda, and Antje Lewis, Solidarity Sundays Coordinators


    Solidarity Sundays gathered to discuss 2018 GOTV plans


    Becky Ellis, DAA’s new Get Out The Vote coordinator, prepared a quiz to test how much the Solidarity Sundays Vienna crew knows about the most important issue we deal with — voting from abroad. At the latest meet-up, we were a bit stumped. See your knowledge about overseas voting — answers below.

    1. How many Americans are living abroad and eligible to vote in the November election?
    2. If Americans living abroad formed their own state, how would it’s population rank?
    3. What percent of eligible overseas citizens voted in the 2014 elections?
    4. What percent of overseas voters who requested a ballot voted in 2014, the last Mid-Term election?
    5. How often do you have to submit a new overseas voter registration?
    6. What is the most common reason overseas voters give for not voting?
    7. What is the second most common reason given for not voting?
    8. Which five countries have the largest number of eligible citizen voters?
    9. How many Senate seats are up for reelection in 2018?
    10. How many of those seats are Democratic seats?
    11. Which state has the earliest registration deadline for primary voters?


    DA's global teams are growing and they need our help!

    • Fundraising – The fundraising team is looking for volunteers who can help in outreach to current sponsors and potential donors as well as with program planning and execution. Contact: [email protected] for more information.
    • IT - The IT team is looking for volunteers interested in diving deep into membership database work, helping with common IT help desk problems, and even helping out with javascript issues. Contact: [email protected] for more information.
    • Volunteers – join the Global Volunteer team and help match our volunteers to the many opportunities available for them. Contact: [email protected] for more information.

    Skill sets for all positions:

    • Ability to use Excel OR Google Sheets (required)
    • Ability to work independently with a remote/virtual team (required)
    • Comfortable working online via a variety of communications channels – Slack, Skype, etc (required)
    • Comfortable speaking on the phone (desired)

  • published January Newsletter in News 2018-01-08 13:02:19 -0500

    January Newsletter

    In this Issue –


    Issues and Actions

    • Women’s March One Year Anniversary – Rally

    • DA Taxation Tax Force Year-end Update

    • Overseas Voters Must Register Every Election Year

    • January Registration Drive

    • DAA Needs Your Help

    • Join Us at Democrats Abroad Regional Meeting!

    Members Corner

    • Upcoming Events at the Republikanischer Club – Neues Österreich

    A Note from DA Austria –

    Democrats Abroad is thrilled that 2018 is finally here and we can get to work helping people to get registered, request their ballots, and create a blue wave in November.

    The past year has shown us that despite dark times, not only does resistance work but that literally every vote matters. Therefore, over the next eight months we’ll be planning many get-out-the-vote, social, grassroots, and fundraising events – we hope to see you!

    DAA is making a strong effort to include all the information you need to stay up to date in our monthly newsletter in order to avoid the flood of emails that occurs in an election year. 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.

    Happy New Year! We look forward to working with you in 2018 to generate the biggest turnout ever of overseas voters for Democratic candidates in elections right across the country. Request your ballot today and start the year off well as we head towards winning back the Senate and House.

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair



    Women’s March One Year Anniversary – Vienna

    One year ago, women in Washington DC and around the world changed the face of 2017 and began the resistance movement that has successfully thwarted many of Trump’s and Congress’s plans.

    A year later, from San Francisco to Washington and from Berlin to Vienna, thousands of people will hold marches and rallies. We’re organizing a rally (and a flashmob surprise) on January 21 (see event info above) to remind everyone to March to the Polls and commemorate 365 Days of Activism. Bring a poster. Bring your pussy hat. Bring your friends, family, and loved ones. Join us at the rally! Women's March Global will be doing a livestream of events around the world.

    We'll be meeting up afterwards (location tba) to make plans for the midterm election and help folks register to vote. Please be sure to RSVP at

    Remember a year ago? Women in Washington DC and around the world changed the face of 2017. One year later, we'll be having a demonstration (and a flashmob surprise) to remind everyone to March to the Polls and commemorate 365 Days of Activism. Bring a poster; bring your pussy hat; bring your friends, family, and loved ones. 

    Women's March Global will be doing a livestream of events around the world. Join us!

    We'll be meeting up afterwards at Flannagan's. One year later #daresists  #marchtotheballotbox  


    After the Women's March Rally, Dem's of all ages in conjunction with the Youth Caucus will be taking it indoors to continue the conversation, register voters, and warm up with some food and refreshments. Everyone is welcome! Please RSVP here so we can reserve enough tables.

    We'll meet up close to the rally location but the venue is still to be decided. We'll update as soon as it's fixed. 


    The inaugural meeting of the “Experienced Democrats” group of Democrats Abroad Austria will be held at Café Museum. Although we will be focusing on the interests of our more mature members, all Democrats of all ages are welcome. Questions or comments to John Cahill. Looking forward to seeing you! 


    2018 is the year we take our country back. Are you ready to take action and get involved? Join us as we learn from a representative from Democrats Abroad Austria on how we can each do our part to turn the US blue this year. Plus join us for a glass of wine ;-) (or a cup of tea!) 



    Carmelan Polce and other members of DA’s Taxation Tax Force work tirelessly throughout the year on multiple campaigns and advocacy initiatives to bring our tax filing and financial account reporting problems to the attention of our elected representatives.

    Because of their efforts and the outreach of DA Leaders and members, there isn’t a member of Congress on Capitol Hill who doesn’t know that there is a laundry list of ways in which the U.S. tax code discriminates against Americans abroad and that the Americans abroad community is determined to make them change that. Year in Review

    See below for our further notes on:

    • the end of the tax reform legislative process;
    • the remarks published by Rep Dina Titus in the Congressional Record about the need for tax reform for Americans abroad;
    • the FATCA Repeal lawsuit making application to be heard by the Supreme Court;
    • the tax reform clean-up bill coming in the next few months; and
    • the new Taxation Task Force strategic plan.



    Time for voter registration has arrived! US citizens who will be abroad can request their 2018 ballots now at One form gets you all your ballots for the year: primaries, special elections and the all-important November election where all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 35 U.S. senators are on the ballot. Think of the opportunity for a new congress!

    DA recommends that you register and request your ballot even if you have a “friendly” voter registrar in the States. If you don’t re-register your vote could be void.


    We’ll be starting off 2018 with a January Registration Drive to make sure that every US citizen in Austria has registered to vote and requested their ballots for the 2018 midterms. We’ll have a registration table at the following January events: Post March meet-up on Jan 21 and Sol Sun #11 on Jan 28. Keep an eye out for other upcoming times and locations and make sure to bring your friends.

    Indivisible is working hard to get Americans in the States to register. Send the following information to your friends and family back home.



    There is a lot to do over the next few months and we need volunteers to help us get out the vote. 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 [email protected]

    Current needed volunteer positions:

    • Get-Out-the-Vote Coordinator (2hrs/week)
    • Study Abroad Contact Coordinator (1hr/week)
    • Phonebanking (flexible)
    • Staff a Registration Table (2hrs/month)
    • Research Position (to track when US Politicians or Notables are in Vienna) (2hrs/month)
    • DAA Contact Person for Global Black Caucus (periodic global meetings)
    • DAA Contact Person for Women’s Caucus (periodic global meetings)


    The EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) Region and Democrats Abroad Spain will host a meeting of leaders, volunteers, and members from all over DA’s largest region. We expect about 100 participants from countries all around the region and we will focus on strategies and projects to elect Democrats in 2018.

    Members of Democrats Abroad from every region are welcome to join us. RSVP below to receive more information as it becomes available. Registration and program details will be available in the next 7-10 days but we encourage you to mark your calendar and make travel plans now.

    The three-day program in the heart of Madrid will begin with a session from the Women’s Caucus on Friday afternoon, followed by an evening reception highlighting the best of Madrid’s culture and food. Saturday presentations, training sessions, and workshops will be followed by a Global Black Caucus Cocktail Reception and a “gala” dinner with a special guest speaker. Sunday training sessions and presentations will end around 1pm.



    The Republikanischer Club – Neues Österreich generously lets us use their clubrooms for our DAATalks lecture series. They have a number of interesting readings and events (in German) coming up in January and February.



  • March to the Ballot Box – 365 Days of Activism

    Remember a year ago? Women in Washington DC and around the world changed the face of 2017. One year later, we'll be having a demonstration (and a flashmob surprise) to remind everyone to March to the Polls and commemorate 365 Days of Activism. Bring a poster; bring your pussy hat; bring your friends, family, and loved ones. 

    We'll be meeting up afterwards at a location tba. Everyone is welcome! Please RSVP on our event page so we have an idea of numbers.

    One year later #DAResists #marchtotheballotbox #powertothepolls #lookbackmarchforward


  • posted about December Newsletter on Facebook 2017-12-05 14:41:46 -0500
    Check out our December Newsletter. Now online!

    December Newsletter

    In this Issue–


    Save the Date

    • Meet-Up Wednesday, January 24th. Details TBA

    Issues & Actions

    • A Meet-Up for the Mature Crowd
    • January Registration Drive
    • Born Abroad Americans – No Guarantee to Vote


    • DAA Talks with Laura Rockwood & Nadja Schmidt
    • Sol Sun #10
    • DAA Talks with Tom Hicks

    On the Social Side

    • Thanksgiving
    • Graz Member Xmas Meet Up


    Young Dems Christmas Punsch

    As always, Democrats Abroad will be getting together for our annual Christmas "Punsch" at the romantic Christkindlmarkt at Spittelberg. To celebrate "Nikolo" & each other. We'll be in the Spittelberggasse at the first "Punsch" stand on the left hand side (if you are coming from Burggasse) – just after the roasted almonds! Please call Ashley Arreola if you have trouble finding us as it will be crowded +436503749481

    We look forward to seeing everyone one last time this year. All are welcome! :-)


    WHEN: December 06, 2017 at 7pm - 9pm
    WHERE: Spittelberggasse Weihnachtsmarkt. Spittelberggasse 15, Vienna 1070
    CONTACT: Ashley Arreola · [email protected] · +436503749481

    Issues & Actions

    A Meet-Up for the Mature Crowd

    DAA Member John Cahill got an overwhelmingly positive response when he posted the following on Facebook in the DA Austria Group, “While I believe that the Young Democrats Meet-Ups are a splendid idea for keeping young people involved, I really miss the open meetings in which the more mature(?) members participated. So, I am asking: Are there others, aged 50 and older like me, who would welcome periodic informal meet-ups at which we could have a drink or two, share our concerns and vent our spleen about the state of American politics? Nothing formal, no agenda or minutes or other such annoyances.” The first Meet-Up will take place on Wednesday, January 24th. Details to be announced in the January newsletter, on Facebook, and on our website. Thanks for the great initiative John!


    Watch this space! We’ll be starting off 2018 with a January Registration Drive to make sure that every US citizen in Austria has registered to vote for the 2018 midterms. Keep an eye out for times and locations and make sure to come and bring your friends.

    Also, If you are interested in becoming DA Austria’s Get-Out-the-Vote Coordinator or are willing to help out for a couple of hours, contact Jennifer at [email protected]. DA Austria will be coordinating with the global GOTV Team to work on GOTV plans for 2018, pool resources, set up trainings and discuss the best ways to provide voting information to overseas voters, both DA and non-DA members. For more information on phonebanking and other GOTV efforts go to

    Born Abroad American and Can't Vote?

    It’s true! Federal laws enfranchising military and overseas voters do not automatically extend voting rights to US citizens born overseas who have reached voting age without having resided in the US. The voting laws of too many states also lack provisions guaranteeing these Americans the right to vote. This oversight perpetrates a grave injustice on those who are otherwise recognized as citizens (including for federal tax purposes).

    Do you know about the Uniform Law Commission’s Military and Overseas Voters Act?

    In 2010 the Uniform Law Commission drafted the Military and Overseas Voters Act. The law simplifies the process of absentee voting for United States military and overseas civilians by making the process more uniform, convenient, secure, and efficient. The Act covers all military personnel and their dependents, as well as US citizens residing outside the United States who are unable to vote in person. This includes US citizens born overseas who have reached voting age without having the opportunity to reside in the United States. The Act applies to all state-wide and local elections, as well as to all federal elections, both including primary and general, as well as special run-off elections.

    For more information about this model act, go to the Uniform Law Commission’s website,, and search for Military and Overseas Voters Act.

    Democrats Abroad can help!

    Democrats Abroad would like to support states that have not as yet enacted the ULC’s Military and Overseas Voters Act. Please contact us at MOVA for more information and to discuss an advocacy plan.


    DAA Talks with Laura Rockwood and Nadja Schmidt

    U.S. Nuclear Policy under the Trump Administration

    On November 16th at the Republikanischer Club, DA Austria were proud to host an event featuring Laura Rockwood, executive director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP), and Nadja Schmidt, executive director of ICAN Austria.

    Ms. Rockwood, who retired in 2013 from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the Section Head for Non-Proliferation and Policy Making in the Office of Legal Affairs, was at the IAEA in 2005 when it won a Nobel Peace Prize for its “efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way”.

    Speaking in her personal capacity, Ms. Rockwood presented an in-depth look at nuclear policy issues in the U.S. under the Trump administration. Ms. Rockwood discussed the benefits to international security of the Iran nuclear deal, disagreeing with the critical assessments of the White House. She also expressed concern about the recent nuclear weapons and missile tests performed by North Korea, and the posture of the Trump administration in relation to North Korea.

    Ms. Schmidt’s organization, ICAN Austria, is an affiliate of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, for “its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian 

    consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. Ms. Schmidt discussed her organization, how the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty came about, and what steps remain to be taken, in particular by the United States. She pointed out the important role played by the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons conferences in changing the conversation about nuclear weapons, and allowing for the perspectives of the non-nuclear weapon states to be heard.

    Solidarity Sundays Looked at the News and How to Fake It

    On Sunday, November 26th, Marcy Fowler gave Solidarity Sunday attendees a deep look at misinformation and disinformation. She showed us how to spot it – and how to help people we know think critically about what they find online and on TV. Marcy’s top insights:

    • There are different kinds of propaganda: White propaganda is somewhat accurate information but biased, incomplete or in a misleading context. Example: social media trolls playing up existing racial divisions to deepen those divisions.
    • With Black propaganda, both the source and information are false. Example: Bill O’Reilly stating that Black Lives Matter is „Killing Americans“.
    • Not all fake news is propaganda: misinformation is sloppiness, disinformation is deliberate.

    We learned how to apply the classic Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions both to the source and to the content to unpack news items. Combating fake news takes time and effort, but the more we do so, the more we help our community and democracy.

    Join our next Solidarity Sunday where we take aim at the November midterm elections and learn how each of us can help Get Out The Vote, and how to organize a group for change.

    –Tanya Lolonis

    DAA Talks with Tom Hicks

    Democrats Abroad Austria was honored to host a discussion with U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Thomas Hicks. Mr. Hicks briefly introduced his organization, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the law that created the EAC, the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Under HAVA, overseas absentee ballots must be tabulated separately from domestic absentee ballots; it is the EAC that oversees the process of data collection from the states on the number of ballots sent, received, counted and rejected. Mr. Hicks discussed the implications of the January 6th, 2017 Department of Homeland Security decision to designate election systems as critical infrastructure (later reaffirmed by DHS Secretary Kelly, now White House Chief of Staff), and highlighted some of the EAC activities in standard setting and certification for U.S. voting machines.

    Of particular interest to the DA Austria audience, Mr. Hicks discussed the activities of his organization in working to facilitate the right to vote for U.S. citizens abroad. DAA greatly appreciates the work of Mr. Hicks and the EAC, and it echos Democrats Abroad’s calls for Congress to enhance its support for the organization, including fully funding the EAC and HAVA and by filling all commissioner positions.
    –Marcy Fowler, Treasurer


    “U.S. Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure”, U.S. Election Assistance Commission,

    “Leave Behind Packs: Election Assistance Commission”, Democrats Abroad Spring 2017 Door Knock Campaign, 16-17 May 2017,

    On the Social Side...

    Members enjoying Thanksgiving with Juan Cerda (center left),  DAA LGBT Caucus, and Marcy Fowler (center right), DAA Treasurer.

    Thanksgiving Dinner

    On November 23, DA Austria members, family, and friends gathered for a sold out Thanksgiving dinner at Restaurant Sperl in Vienna’s 4th district. The room was packed with democrats of every age – from families, to Young Dems, to those of an older variety – who feasted on a traditional dinner and a splendid offering of homemade pies brought by volunteers. DAA was also pleased to welcome former International and DAA Chair Katie Solon, who came from Germany, and former EMEA Regional Chair Merrill Oates, who drove from Budapest to join us.

    There were many new faces and it was wonderful to have the chance to talk with people about their interests and concerns. Despite the horrifying actions of our current President and Congress, DAA members found something to be thankful for.
    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair

    Graz Member Xmas Meet-Up

    On Friday, December 1st we met with fellow Dems (and a few little Dems-to-be) on Franziskanerplatz in Graz for some Glühwein and Kinderpunsch. It was a beautiful evening and a great chance to catch up on the latest political scandals. Both international news, such as the in-court poising of war criminal Slobodan Praljakin at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, as well as national news, such the revelation about the Michael Flynn guilty plea, which happened as we were meeting, were hotly discussed news topics over the even hotter Glühwein. Of course, some 

    fun had to be had as well with some chocolate pretzel sharing, which was especially appreciated by our little Dems-to-be.

    We are looking forward to planning more events in 2018. If you have ideas or requests for topics/events/venues feel free to contact Alma ([email protected]) or Caitlin ([email protected]).

    All Graz/Styria members are encouraged to join the Democrats Abroad in Graz Facebook group [].

    – Caitlin Ahern, Database Manager & Alma Stankovic


    An iconic xmas gift for 2017. Get one for all the women you know who joined in the Women's March and persist! Just €5 (not including shipping).

    Contact Jennifer at [email protected] to place your order. Limited quantities available.


  • posted about November Newsletter on Facebook 2017-11-07 05:48:38 -0500
    The DAA November Newsletter is online. Make sure to check it out and see what's going on this month!

    November Newsletter

    In this Issue:


    Upcoming Events

    • Young Dems Holiday Punsch on December 6th

    Issues & Actions

    • Meet DAA Youth Caucus Coordinator
    • 2018 Women First Calendar
    • Update on Get Out The Vote Activities
    • Taxation Task Force – Washington DC Visit
    • DA DNC Officer on the Unity Reform Commission


    • DA Webinar Series
    • Solidarity Sunday #9

    Members’ Corner

    • More Podcast Love
    • IWM: Science Speed Talks



    Join us for our annual Martinigansl feast in the heart of Grinzing, where you can find Vienna's vineyards and heurigen restaurants.

    The restaurant will need the exact count of people attending and ordering goose, so if you are vegetarian, please make sure you write it in the Facebook discussion, so I can inform them in advance. Hope you can join us!

    Our reservation is for 10, so we'll need to update it if more people would like to come, so please RSVP via Facebook

    WHEN: November 11, 2017 at 7pm - 10pm

    Cobenzlgasse 34, Vienna 1190, Austria Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Ashley E. Arreola · [email protected] · +436503749481


    U.S. Nuclear Policy under the Trump Administration: Strengthening or Hindering International Security?

    Former legal counsel at the International Atomic Energy Agency and current Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation Laura Rockwood.

    With the dramatic policy shift in the White House, many decades-long U.S. nuclear policies are being modified or even reversed. At this DAATalk, Laura Rockwood will discuss how the new U.S. policies on issues such as the Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea nuclear tests, and the nuclear weapons ban can impact global security.

    Additionally, Nadja Schmidt, chairwoman of the Austrian branch of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), will present on the recently signed Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty. ICAN, a global alliance of more than 460 organisations in over 100 countries, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 "for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons."

    Join us beforehand for a glass of wine at 18:30. The talk will begin at 19:00.

    WHEN: November 16, 2017 at 7pm - 9pm

    WHERE: Republikanischer Club – Neues Österreich (Eingang Café Hebenstreit)
    Rockhgasse 1, Vienna 1010, Austria Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Democrats Abroad · [email protected]



    On Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 23rd at 7PM, we invite our democratic friends and families to our annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

    We have made reservations for 60 at Restaurant Sperl in the 4th district (not Café Sperl in the 6th). It's a typical Viennese Gasthaus and we’ll have a large private room all to ourselves. There will be a buffet with a 3-course feast including pumpkin soup, turkey with all the fixings – mashed potatoes, roasted red beets and sweet potatoes, green beans, red cabbage, stuffing – and dessert. If you can, please bring a pumpkin or pecan pie. They are always very appreciated!

    To purchase your tickets, RSVP on our website and transfer €25 for each adult guest and €15 for each child (12 and under) to the DA Austria account:

    If you have any questions, write Jennifer at [email protected] or call at +43 6991 108 7981.

    WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 23rd, 2017 7pm-10pm
    WHERE: Restaurant Sperl (not Café Sperl in the 6th!), Karolinengasse 13, 1040 Vienna, Austria. Google map and directions

    CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · [email protected] 

    TICKETS: €25.00 EUR adults & €15 children under 12 

    Purchase tickets


    Black Lives Matter! But what do you *really* know about the movement? What you read is probably ... well ... not very *real*.
    Join us as our *real-live* fellow Democrats Abroad members show us how to hunt down honest journalism, balanced news, and no less than the truth. Plus a glass of wine ;-) (or a cup of tea!)

    Get all the voting and action info you need here:

    WHEN: November 26, 2017 at 4pm - 6pm

    WHERE: Amerlinghaus
    Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070, Austria Google map and directions
    CONTACT: Antje Lewis · [email protected]



    My name is David Heckenberg and since May 2017 I have been responsible for the Youth Caucus of the Democrats Abroad Austria. Currently my goal is to extend the outreach of our organization and keep members of the Youth Caucus - members under 35 years old - connected by organizing monthly meetings and group activities. I feel honored and motivated to fill this position and hope to bring positive change for the future together with your help! Feel free to contact me at [email protected] for any questions or ideas you would like to share.

    2018 Women First CALENDARS 

    Democrats Abroad Women’s Caucus has produced a calendar as a fund raising project for Democrats Abroad. Profits will go to the Get Out The Vote campaign for the 2018 midterms.

    The calendar has a good theme — WOMEN FIRST— and highlights 86 American women who were the FIRST to do various historic, wonderful things. Other features include: US calendar format, profiles of 12 featured women, all major US holidays, a unique holiday for each committee country, 2018 state election dates, and 2 pages of interesting “on this date” events. The calendar is printed on folded A3 paper with a photo on top and calendar on the bottom half.

    Expect to learn a lot—and hey, with holidays coming up this would make a great Christmas/holiday gift for American daughters, nieces, sisters, friends and family.

    DA Austria is taking orders to buy a box of 25 calendars that we will offer to our members at cost for an inexpensive Correction: pre-orders are €6,20 per calendar– a €9,28 savings on the first calendar not  €10 per calendar – a savings of €5.47 for the first calendar. Calendars will be available for pick-up, by arrangement, at Thanksgiving Dinner on Nov. 23. Solidarity Sunday on Nov 26, the Young Dems meet-up on Dec 6th, or can be mailed to you within Austria for an extra shipping cost.

    Please complete this form to order your calendar(s). To make this offer, we need to have 25 calendars pre-ordered by Nov. 13th!


    The GOTV Team has been working to get out the vote for the Special Elections happening in Fall 2017 as well as preparing for the 2018 Elections. Here is an update and ways you can get involved. Go to the new GOTV page on the DA website for easily accessible voting information.

    If you are interested in becoming DA Austria’s GOTV Coordinator contact Jennifer at mailto:[email protected]. The GOTV Coordinators will get in touch to schedule a group call to work on GOTV plans for 2018, pool resources, set up trainings and discuss the best ways to provide voting information to overseas voters, both DA and non-DA members. READ MORE


    The Taxation Task Force was on Capitol Hill the week of October 16 to talk to members of Congress about tax reform for Americans abroad. They had meetings in 10 offices - a mix of Republicans and Democrats, representatives and senators – talking about the findings of our research on the problems faced by Americans filing from abroad and our recommended reform: a switch from citizenship based taxation to residency based taxation. To read the full email with detailed information, READ MORE here.


    On Wednesday, October 18, in Las Vegas, many Democrats Abroad DNC members attended the fourth and next-to-last meeting of the Unity Reform Commission, a dynamic effort initiated by DNC Chair Tom Perez.

    The Unity Commission is made up of members appointed by Secretary Clinton, Senator Sanders, and Tom Perez. The chair of the Unity Reform Commission is Jennifer O’Malley Dillon. Larry Cohen is the vice chair. 19 highly experienced and educated members of the party, from “the big tent” all across the spectrum of opinions, sit across from one another listening, agreeing, disagreeing and coming up with solutions for making the Democratic Party more democratic, transparent and effective. READ MORE



    You’ve probably been receiving emails from Democrats Abroad (global) announcing webinars and training sessions that have been bringing important information and resources to our members. The topics have been varied: taxation, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, the climate, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and most recently, Stephanie Schirock from Emily’s List.

    Many of our members have participated in a webinar and Marian Pink (Immigration Rights webinar) said, “I found the webinar helpful and certainly interesting. The graphics were really good and the structure of the whole package was excellent. … I would very definitely encourage other people to take the time to work through the program, it is very good.”

    Next up, watch James Carville as he speaks about Democratic candidate for Senate Doug Jones and his upcoming election in Alabama, and briefs us on this year's elections. The call begins at 9am DC time on November 8, 2017. RSVP to join!


    Solidarity Sunday with Democrats Abroad Austria -- this time focused on social systems and framing arguments. Antje Lewis drew from her experience as a social worker in Austria to give perspective on the US versus Austrian social systems and the premises on which they are based. There are advantages and disadvantages to every system, but comparing the full costs in terms of %GDP is revealing -- spending on social welfare (including health, unemployment and old age) accounts for 29.6% of GDP in Austria versus 30.2% in the US, the key difference being that 11.4% of the US figure is private while virtually all of the Austrian spending is via the state. Most jarring is the cost of health care: 14% of GDP in the US (of this 6% is private) versus 7% of GDP in Austria -- and guess which cheaper system has the better results in terms of actual health care.

    Tanya Lolonis followed with a synopsis of Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind (, describing the deep moral foundations which all humans use to inform or frame their political beliefs, and how we can become aware of these in order to better communicate with and understand our fellow citizens.

    –Andreas Beckmann, DAA Member

    DA Austria members at the 9th get together of the community building and activism grassroots group – Solidarity Sundays Vienna



    In order to attempt to pull myself out of my Facebook-algorithm-driven bubble, I decided a few weeks ago I needed to put aside my standby Crooked Media podcasts and listen to something elsewhere on the political spectrum.

    Googling “best political podcasts” landed me at an article, The 10 Best Political Podcasts To Help You Become A More Informed Citizen, that claimed to be “picking the best political podcasts from both sides of the aisle.” The suggested podcasts ranged from Glenn Beck to Bernie Sanders as well as others including The Federalist and Pod Save America. Despite the author’s claim that, “Whether you believe in the rhetoric of the hosts and guests or not, there’s value and information to be gleaned from each.” I would need to work myself up to Beck –The Federalist seemed a good place to start.

    The Federalist Radio Hour: The first thing that struck me was that I often had no idea who the host was talking about. I’ve clearly been living in Europe too long to know who “The Rock” is or that he is considering running for president in 2020, but I was relieved to hear that the hosts, despite or because of Trump’s presidency, were also not convinced of his presidential qualifications.

    In another episode, Emily Ekins, Research Fellow and Director of Polling at the Cato Institute, discussed the findings of a survey she recently did about contemporary views of free speech rights. Her consistent use of “Liberals” and “emotional” in the same sentence had me pulling out my ear buds, but I did pause when she brought up that, according to her polling, ‘60’s era Liberals have a much more tolerant view of the kinds of speech that should be banned than those of younger generations.

    Another episode had me rapt as Josh Kraushaar and Ben Domensch analyzed the different factions of both parties – highlighting the benefit of stepping out of my comfort zone and getting a clearer view on what’s on the horizon.

    – Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair

    Have a podcast you’d like to share? We’d love to include it in our next newsletter. Write us at demsabroadaustria


    IWM Pop-Up in Wien Strebersdorf. Join IWM Fellows at the Weingut Schilling for a special evening. Instead of sitting in one chair all evening, you'll have the chance to circulate among the speakers, hear about the latest developments in their field, and challenge them with your questions.

    WHEN: Monday, 20 November 2017, 6:30pm - 9:00pm

    WHERE: Weingut Schilling, 1210 Wien

    Music: Ernst Molden & Walther Soyka 

    In German and English!

    In cooperation with Stadt Wien


  • posted about Recent Events in Pictures on Facebook 2017-10-20 17:36:28 -0400
    I just posted some DA Austria event pics from September and October on our website. If you missed these events, we hope to see you soon!

    Recent Events in Pictures

    Here are more photos from the Liberal Libations fundraiser, the Solidarity Sundays Medicare-for-All presentation and Call Hub training, and the Senator Warren watch party. If you missed these events last month, make sure to  read the October newsletter and see what's planned for October & November. We look forward to seeing you!

    Liberal Libations on October 7th:

    DAA members enjoying the libations and our hosts, Keith and Kate.

    Long time members, Bill & Gloria ...

    ... and young members, Kira & Ali...

    and Janet had the chance to meet and get to know one another.

    Our guest speaker Martha with Lin & Ashley

    And some liberal ladies discussing...politics?

    Solidarity Sundays on September 24th:

    Solidarity Sundays Vienna co-founder Tanya opened the event with a discussion of Medicare-for -All

    Which led to discussion and multiple looks from Sol Sun co-founder Antje, Nathan, and Sol Sun co-founder Juan.

    With some Improv, Juan led brave volunteers through the ropes of phone banking.

    Josh made the first online call and Juan set his phone banking goal...

    ...and the rest of us as well.

    After multiple calls, a Democrats Abroad voter picks up and Josh is ready to make sure that she has registered to vote and requested her ballot for the upcoming election.

    Senator Warren Watch Party on September 17th:

    Watching Senator Elizabeth Warren...

    Democratic politics from a different perspective.


  • Pictures from the Melissa Fleming DAA Talks

    Here are more pictures from the Melissa Fleming event. Many thanks to Melissa, Pari, Abdiwahab, and Sibylle for making this DAA Talks happen!


  • published RESISTANCE SUMMER SELFIE CHALLENGE in News 2017-07-11 09:52:51 -0400


    Here is the printer friendly version of the Resistance Summer logoPrint it out and take a selfie at an event, with a neighbor, or at a spot you feel represents your America. 

    Tim Snyder spoke to DA Austria on July 5th and his 20 Lessons from the 20th Century  strengthened our resolve to engage in the Resistance Summer.

    Get creative! Send your pictures to [email protected] or post it on our FB page by September 4th!

    Timothy Snyder (middle) and DA Austria ExComm members taking the Resistance Summer Selfie challenge!



  • published Congratulations New DA Global Leaders! in News 2017-05-15 13:38:13 -0400

    Congratulations New DA Global Leaders!

     photo crop2_18447677_1477178555635757_2166408299670811330_n_zpslscupfdf.jpg


    Meet the new Democrats Abroad International Executive Committee, elected May 14, 2017 at the DA Global Meeting in Alexandria, Virginia! From left to right: Tom Schmid, Counsel (Japan); Alex Montgomery, Vice Chair (Hong Kong); Julia Bryan, Int'l Chair (Czech Republic), Jeffrey Cheng, Secretary (Sweden); and Lissette Wright, Treasurer (Canada).

  • donated 2016-08-21 19:04:00 -0400

    Event Payment

    Make a supporting donation to Democrats Abroad and join us for a live video conference call and Q&A session with top Clinton Campaign staff to get the latest insight into the status of the race, and learn where the last pushes are needed to win.

    Donating: $15, $25, $45, or $500 will enable you to join this update briefing call


  • donated 2021-05-20 13:45:55 -0400



    Every dollar you give supports our work to elect Democrats who will fight to make a better life for ALL Americans. Join us by making a donation today.

    Candice Kerestan, International Chair - Democrats Abroad

    Donate to Democrats Abroad today and help us register Americans all over the world for the crucial 2022 elections, reach out on issues that concern you, and build a brighter future for our country and the world. With your help, we will make the difference. We MADE the difference in 2020! And in Georgia in 2021! And we will continue to fight for Democratic victories and for issues that our members care about!

    If you want to make a recurring monthly donation - these are VERY useful - or if you want to donate using PayPal or Amex, please go to our ActBlue donation page.

    If you are unable to contribute online, send us a US Dollar check with this form to the following address.

    Democrats Abroad
    PO Box 15130
    Washington DC 20003

    Thank you for your support!

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    Donations to Democrats Abroad are not tax-deductible.