In this Newsletter —
- Black History Month Marathon
- AAPI & Black Caucus: Film Screening & Discussion
- ProDA: Biden-Harris Progress Report #1
- Black Caucus: 3rd Annual Open Mic Night
- Solidarity Sundays: GOP and the Armed Right
- Annual General Meeting & Officer Elections
Issues & Actions:
- AGM Announcement
- Amendments to the Bylaws
- Election Announcement & Deadlines
- Inauguration Night Watch Party
- Solidarity Sundays
Having trouble viewing this email? You can read the newsletter online.
Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Jennifer at [email protected] to join.
DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date. By sending you fewer emails, we hope you will read those you receive. Thanks for reading!
February 6, 9:00 AM (CET) – Online
February 11, 7:00 PM (CET) - Online
February 18, 7:00 PM (CET) - Online
February 25, 7:00 PM (CET) - Online
February 28, 4:00-6:00 PM (CET) - Online
March 21, 3:00-5:00 PM (CET) - Online
Issues & Actions:
2021 Annual General Meeting and Officer Elections
DA Austria’s Annual General Meeting will be held online on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 3 p.m. All DAA members are welcome to participate in the elections and join the meeting. We especially hope to see many of our members who live outside of Vienna and may not normally attend the AGM! Any American 18 or older by the next federal election and residing in Austria may also join the meeting and vote.
Come for business –
Special guest DA Global Chair Julia Bryan will give her expert insights into the fantastic work that was accomplished by Democrats Abroad members around the world in the 2020 and Georgia runoff elections. She’ll also talk to us about DA’s outreach with our representatives in DC in order to inform them on the issues that matter most to all Americans who live abroad.
At the meeting we'll present brief reports on 2020, discuss plans for the upcoming year, and conduct a vote on amendments to the DAA Bylaws (see changes below). There will also be an Elections Meeting to elect an Executive Committee for the 2021-2023 term (see article).
Join us for a wine-tasting –
DA Austria is required by our By-Laws to hold an Annual General Meeting prior to March 31 of each year. We also have a quorum requirement to make the meeting valid. Please help us meet these challenges by joining us in our online AGM!
As a thank you for your loyalty and help through this difficult period, AGM attendees will be able to attend a wine-tasting fundraiser with Seymann's Winery for free! We'll set the date just as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Your participation, activism, and donations have made Democrats Abroad Austria a strong and vital organization for more than eighteen years. In 2021, we’ll continue working to strengthen the voice and vote of all our members.
Please RSVP for the meeting on our events page at democratsabroad.org/at_events You will receive a confirmation email with the meeting link.
Thank you for your support,
– DA Austria Executive Committee
Amendments to the Bylaws
At the Annual General Meeting, the DA Austria Bylaws Committee will submit amendments to DA Austria’s Bylaws for a vote by the membership. Recent changes in the DPCA Charter, compliance with Austrian association statute requirements, and enhanced clarity motivated the committee’s proposed amendments.
The proposed amendments intend to accomplish the following:
- Establish more effective notification deadlines for members affected by Removal of Membership provisions (See 3.9 and 9.1)
Clarify terms, including:
- 4.1 Members of the Executive Committee
- 4.3 Meetings of the Membership
- Expand scope of membership review for DA-AT documents (see 4.5 and 4.6)
- Specify provision for DPCA voting representative exemption from term limits (see 4.11)
- Clarify and expand election procedures in view of increased remote participation (see 8.2) & gender balancing requirements
- Introduce provision for membership confirmation of Executive Committee office-holder replacement in cases of resignation, etc. (see 9.4 and 9.5).
Proposed changes to the document can be seen here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N9QT0oBpMKD6hYT21KueiQNw3HNYrflB/view?usp=sharing
— Brett Carnito, Marcy Fowler, Bruce Murray, and Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DAA ByLaws Committee
Call For Nominations: Democrats Abroad Austria Executive Committee Elections 2021
The 2021-23 Executive Committee will be elected at this year’s Annual General Meeting on March 21, 2021. Due to Covid-related restrictions, all voting will be conducted electronically or by mail.
The 2021 Nominating and Elections Committee (NEC) is seeking qualified candidates for the following positions:
- DPCA Voting Representative
- Up to six Members-at-Large positions -- In the past, Member-at-Large responsibilities have included: Province Coordinators, Database Manager, Media Contact, Social Media and Communication, and Membership Engagement.
A description of these offices’ responsibilities can be found in the DAA’s Bylaws on the Executive Committee here.
If you are interested in running for any of these positions or would like to nominate someone, please send your name or that of the nominee and a short bio/candidate statement to the NEC at [email protected] by March 4, 2021. All nominations must be seconded via email to the NEC by the March 4 deadline. Information about candidates and their platforms will be published in the March issue of the DAA Newsletter. In addition, candidates are encouraged to attend upcoming meeting/s of the Executive Committee to learn more about the work of the group. Please contact [email protected] for more information.
- February 4: Call for nominations
- March 4: Nominations close
- NLT March 7: Ballots will be sent electronically to all DAA members and will be available on the DAA website.
- March 20: Early voting ends at 23:59
- March 21: Elections are held at the Annual General Meeting. Early votes and those cast during the AGM will be tallied, and the NEC will announce the results.
Our victories in 2020 were a direct result of the actions of committed Democrats around the globe. Please consider how you might contribute to the Party’s future success as part of the DAA leadership team. If you have any questions, please contact the NEC at [email protected].
— Susan Ball (Chair), Nathan Fowler, Amanda Grossman, and Antje Lewis, 2021 Nominations and Elections Committee
Inauguration Night Watch Party
DA Austria members and others from around the world gathered online on January 20, 2021 to witness the swearing in of our 46th President, Joe Biden, and the first female Vice President, Kamala Harris. Many thanks to Marcy and Nathan Fowler who moderated; Liberradio performers, Stefanie Don and Diego Heatherman; Liberal Libations mixologists, Kate McGrath and Keith Jacomine; and everyone who attended. Now the real work begins!
—Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria Chair
Solidarity Sundays: Can We Talk?
Trump is out of office and off Twitter, but the Capitol attack reminded us how radicalized many fellow citizens have become. How can we talk with friends and family in the thrall of conspiracy theories and fake news?
Ingrid Brodnig, prize-winning Austrian journalist and author, told us there are evidence-based skills we can learn. Her latest book* shared methods to put facts in the foreground of your argument. Among her tips:
- Don't argue facts — that entrenches their view. Focus on the logic behind their claims.
- Repetition makes information stick, so don't repeat the lie. Do repeat facts — over and over. Repetition is a powerful rhetorical tool.
- It's hard to change someone’s view. Better: leave them with a little bit of doubt.
Ingrid generously stayed on to answer many questions. Her clear-eyed message: there's no instant kumbaya, but with practice, we can correct misinformation and get people to open their closed thinking.
*Einspruch! Verschwörungsmythen und Fake News kontern — in der Familie, im Freundeskreis und online, Christian Brandstätter Verlag (Jan 2021)
Have a contact in publishing? We‘d love to help her book get printed in English so non-German readers can access it. Email: [email protected]
— Tanya Lolonis, Solidarity Sundays Co-Coordinator
Thank you for reading February’s newsletter!