December 06, 2018

December Newsletter


In this issue:


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

Issues & Actions:

  • GOTV Statistics
  • Progressive Bikeathon


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

Members Corner:

  • Viel Mehr für Alle: Charity Auction



Hindsight is 2020

Join us for our “Hindsight is 2020” rally!

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

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

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

– Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel

WHEN: December 8, 2018 at 1pm - 3pm
WHERE: Beaver Brewing Company, Liechtensteinstraße 69, Wien 1090
Google map and directions
CONTACT: Bruce Murray · [email protected]


Experienced Democrats Meet-Up

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

WHEN: December 12, 2018 at 6pm - 8pm
WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, Wien 1010
Google map and directions
CONTACT: John Cahill · [email protected]· 06766952766


Annual Punsch Get Together @ Spittelberg 

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

WHEN: December 13, 2018 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
WHERE: Spittelberggasse 18, Vienna 1070
Google map and directions
CONTACT: David Heckenberg · [email protected] · +43 664 378 2040


Glühwein Evening

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

Visit the event on Facebook!

WHEN: December 18, 2018 at 5pm - 10pm
WHERE: Franziskanerplatz, Graz 8010
Google map and directions
CONTACT: Aryo Winterblack · [email protected]


Issues & Actions


DAA's Get Out The Vote Statistics

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

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




Progressive Bikeathon

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

– Bruce Murray, Counsel



Midterm Parties in Graz & Vienna -  


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

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

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

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

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

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




A Thanksgiving for Giving Thanks

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


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

Young Andreas Nighswander was thrilled to win the grand prize!  

– Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA Chair


Great Aunt Sally’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Sharing the recipe because many asked. Serves 10


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



melt butter in pan

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

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

brown Italian sausages in butter, remove and set aside

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

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




Solidarity Sundays Vienna #19:  2018 Midterm Recap

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

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

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


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

Tanya Lolonis, SolSun Coordinator, Member-at-Large


Members Corner


A Present with a Purpose

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

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

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

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

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