January 31, 2019

February's Newsletter

In This Issue:


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


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



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 · [email protected]· 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 [email protected]or 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
RSVP: Caitlin Ahern • [email protected]

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 • [email protected]

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  [email protected].  

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

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




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 [email protected]no 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.



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




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 [email protected]for 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.



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.





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.