In March –

Important Voting Center Announcement!

A few people who cast their ballots on March 3 at the Vienna Voting Center at Frank’s Restaurant mistakenly wrote their US address in the box where their Austrian address should have been written. In this case, the ballots were counted as spoiled and the voter may vote again.

If you think you might have written your full US address on the ballot instead of your Austrian address — there were two fields: an address outside the US & your US voting state — please come back to the voting center on Saturday rom 12-7pm or vote remotely until March 10 (PST/+9 in Austria) by going to democratsabroad.org/primary

— Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Voting Center Manager, chair@democratsabroad.at


In This Issue –

Events:

Issues & Actions:

  • Super Tuesday’s Over But You Can Still Vote!
  • 2020 Annual General Meeting & Wine Tasting
  • Why the FBAR and FATCA Are Important for Americans

Reviews:

  • Solidarity Sundays — DAA’s Grassroots
  • It Was a Super Super Tuesday!
  • Ballot Assistance Events – Thank you Volunteers Outside Vienna!

 

Our Executive Committee meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of the month. The next meeting will be held on:

  • Thursday, March 12, 2020

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

DAA is making a strong effort to include in our monthly newsletter all the information you need to stay up to date 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. Thanks for reading!

Follow us on:

   

 


Events:

 

Global Presidential Primary / Austria

Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary will run from March 3 to March 10, 2020. As an official arm of the Democratic Party, DA members will be able to vote for their choice for presidential nomineeand send 21 delegates to the Democratic Convention in Milwaukee in July. See the article below for details on how to vote.

Where: Frank’s Laurenzerberg 2

When: Saturday, March 7 from 12:00-19:00

 

Black Caucus Book Club

Please join us for our next book: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson.

Where: Cafe Weimar Währingerstrasse 68, 1090 Vienna

When: Friday, March 13 at 19:00

 

March Debate Watch Party

Join us for another round of Democratic debates, drinks & discussion!

Where: TBA

When: Monday, March 16 at 19:00

Visit us on Facebook!

 

Experienced Dems

Join us for the monthly meeting of Experienced Democrats of Democrats Abroad Austria

Where: Café Museum Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna

When: Tuesday, March 17 at 18:00

Visit us on Facebook!

 

Volunteer Training Workshops

Before the Annual General Meeting we’ll be training volunteers on how to phone bank and how to register voters to get out the vote in 2020. Come learn the skills you’ll need to mobilise voters and turn out the numbers we will need to dump Trump–it’ll take all of us! Interested?

Where: SPÖ Neubau Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna

When: Sunday, March 22 at 12:00 (sandwiches will be provided)

RSVP on our website or on Facebook

 

DA Austria Annual General Meeting

See Issues & Actions for details.

Where: SPÖ Neubau Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna

When: Sunday, March 22 at 15:00

RSVP on our website.

 

Solidarity Sundays

The old way to communicate with voters was getting a speech covered by media. Today, politicans think “what’s my Facebook or Instagram play?” Democrats are getting drowned out in the political conversation on social media. After 40 years of hating the media and building an alternate news ecosystem, Republicans are adept at creating content and pushing it onto Facebook. Where does that leave us? Outgunned by Fox, Breitbart, and 1,000 outlets you’ve never heard of. To persuade voters and win elections, Democrats need to create content and get it to the voters who need to see it. We don’t need fiction over fact – we need a choir to sing the progressive song. Join Solidarity Sundays on March 29 and learn how to create content and amplify the progressive message within your social media network.

Where: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna

When: March 29 at 16:00

RSVP on Facebook

 

Tax & FATCA Information Evening

DA Austria invited a few companies that specialise in filing US taxes for Americans living abroad to a tax workshop and the company, My Expat Taxes, responded! Please join us for an informative evening about the tips, tricks, and common pitfalls of filing your taxes and FBAR forms from abroad. Please note that DA Austria does not endorse any particular company nor give tax advice.

Where: Republikanischer Club

When: Tuesday, March 31 at 19:00

RSVP on Facebook

 

Salzburg Meet-Up

We will discuss current political topics over a meal, snack, drink or the like at Imlauer Restaurant on Rainerstraße 12-14 in downtown Salzburg. Parking places are directly behind the hotel and restaurant. Please RSVP by Tuesday so that we get a large enough table and space for the evening. All are welcome. Visit us on Facebook!

We hope you will join us!

– Mary Beth Kollert, DAA Salzburg

When: Saturday, March 21 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Where: Braurestaurant IMLAUER Rainerstrasse 14 Salzburg 5020

Contact: m.kollert@democratsabroad.at

 

DA Global Annual General Meeting

Where: Toronto, Canada

When: May 13-15

 


Issues & Actions:

Global Presidential Primary

Did you know Democrats Abroad holds its own primary election? We send our own delegates to the Democratic Convention. And we have our say in choosing the Democratic nominee for president. Voting in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary instead of your home state is easy for you — and good for all of us.

To vote in the Global Presidential Primary, join Democrats Abroad today!

EASY FOR YOU. No need to request a ballot and post it home again. Simply drop into your local Voting Center. Or download a ballot and email it back. You’ll still need to get an absentee

ballot for the general election in November. But, for now, join US voters around the world and vote where you live.

GOOD FOR ALL OF US. Concerned about issues like taxation, FATCA, or Social Security? Voting in the Global Primary shows Congress that we’re out here, in our millions, all around the globe. It gives Democrats Abroad the clout to lobby for us all and make a difference.

VOTING CENTERS IN AUSTRIA

Vote in Vienna | March 7

12–7 p.m., Tuesday, March 7, 2020

Frank's American Bar & Restaurant, Laurenzerberg 2, 1010

REMOTE VOTING

Vote online or by fax:

Voters abroad may also vote by downloading a ballot at democratsabroad.org/primary and returning it by email or fax to Democrats Abroad starting February 18, 2020. Ballots must be received by DA prior to midnight March 10, 2020 PST.

Or mail your ballot to:

Democrats Abroad Austria

Postfach # 2020

1051 Wien

Ballots must be received by the close of the working day in Vienna on March 10, 2020.

NOTE: This is a primary for president only. To vote in local primary races, you can request a ballot from your state. If you do, leave the choice of presidential nominee blank. Don’t vote twice!

 

2020 Annual General Meeting & Wine Tasting

Please join fellow Democrat Abroad Austria members on Sunday, March 22, to recap 2019 and have a bit of food and fun.

2020 AGM Agenda:

  • Welcome

  • Chair's Report

  • Treasurer's Report

  • Auditor's Report

  • GOTV Coordinator’s Report

  • Meet our Caucuses – The Year in Review

  • Brainstorming: Ideas for 2020 and Beyond

  • Closing Remarks

 

Come for business –

Join fellow DA Austria members on Sunday, March 22 to recap 2019. We'll present brief reports on 2019, discuss plans for 2020.

With our Caucus and grassroots leaders, we’ll show a presentation of 2019’s activities that illustrate how DA Austria continues to grow and strengthen more than 15 years after DAA's founding.

All DAA members are welcome. Any American over 18 (by November 3, 2020) 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 2020, we’ll continue working to strengthen the voice and the vote of all our members. We’ve got an important election coming up in November and we are relying on your help to make it a blue tsunami!

 

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 to Caitlin at database@democratsabroad.at and for the dinner to Bruce at b.murray@democratsabroad.at

 

Help us start the meeting on time –

Please contact Caitlin Ahern at database@democratsabroad.at 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. 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 to Bruce at b.murray@democratsabroad.at by Saturday, March 15!

WHEN: Sunday, March 22, 2020 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

WHERE: SPÖ Neubau, Lindengasse 64, 1070 Vienna

RSVP: Caitlin Ahern • database@democratsabroad.at

 

Why the FBAR and FATCA Are Important for Americans

You may know that filing US taxes is a task every American abroad needs to do once a year. But when it comes to reporting your foreign financial details to the IRS, some Americans may be unsure if they have to do that, too.

The truth is, knowing how much is in your foreign financial accounts is crucial in determining whether you need to file for the FBAR or Form 8938. These are two important forms, that if not filled out, could cost you unnecessary penalty fees.

The Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) is a required form every American abroad must fill out if all their foreign financial accounts total over $10,000 at any one time during the year. This also includes accounts you have signature authority over (ie: your child’s overseas bank account, etc). The Department of Treasury needs to know no off-shore money laundering is happening!

— Nathalie Goldstein, CEO of MyExpatTaxes and Enrolled Agent (IRS)

READ MORE

Please note: Democrats Abroad does not endorse companies or service providers. DA Austria reached out to a few tax companies for contributions for both this article and the talk on March 31st at the Republikanischer Club. Only MyExpatTaxes responded. They have also offered Democrats Abroad members a 10% discount to try out the MyExpatTaxes software with code: DemocratsAustria. DAA would like to thank them for sharing their expertise with our members.

 

Show Your Country & DA Austria Some Love in 2020! 

We need your support — and sent out a valentine, but haven’t heard back! Even though DA Austria is a 100% voluntary organisation, we still have a lot of costs especially in a presidential election year when expenses add up from holding a voting center and then printing and mailing all the ballots. This is work we love and a bit of your financial love would help us to know we’re not scraping the bottom of our account each month. Please make a donation today or consider becoming a sustainable donor for the price of a cup of coffee per month. Your euros enable us to do more and make it pay on election day!

We’re working on a donation button, but until then let’s do it the old fashioned way.

DA Austria AT27 12000 5039 0623001

Donations can only be made by American citizens.

 


Reviews:

Solidarity Sundays # 30: The Global Presidential Primary 

Three years of Trump attacking and weakening the rule of law is despair-worthy stuff. Beyond the psychodrama of national politics in D.C., however, the President’s antics have generated a boom in civic engagement.

Happy Birthday, Solidarity Sundays Vienna! We launched monthly meet ups 3 years ago. How have we engaged? We explored the importance of Planned Parenthood, withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, dismantling of LGBTQ rights, the dilemma of Dreamers and the shameful number of incarcerated men and women of colour. We studied how gerrymandering and voter suppression are eroding our vote. We learned the ways de-regulation of big business has shaped the economic insecurity of our era.

Three years of discussion — and action. We wrote to hometown papers, to legislators, and to voters in Austria and back home.

On February 23rd, people learned how Democrats residing abroad can help choose our nominee by voting in the Global Presidential Primary. Democrats Abroad is launching its biggest outreach yet to help every member vote, both in the GPP and in races up and down the ticket in November. Phone banking played a critical role in taking Democrats Abroad voter participation from 4% in 2014 to over 50% in 2018. This fall, we’re aiming for 100%. To support this democratic exercise, we learned the ins-and-outs of phone banking.

Want to join a phone banking party? We will soon announce dates and locations for parties in Vienna – contact t.lolonis@democratsabroad.at and we’ll put you on the list to get details. Learn to phone bank on your laptop in 20 minutes, then call with pizza, friends, and encouragement.

 

  

It Was A Super Super Tuesday

Our Vienna Global Presidential Primary voting center was packed and festive last Tuesday as almost two hundred DAA members — and some visitors from other countries — came to cast their ballot for the presidential nominee. Kids also had a great time learning about the voting process in a kid’s activity corner.

Super Tuesday may be over, but we’ll be back again on Saturday! Come join us on Saturday, March 7 from noon to 7pm at Frank’s or votre remotely until March 10.

 

Ballot Assistance Events

DA Austria held three ballot assistance events to help voters fill out their remote ballots and mail them in. Huge thank-you’s to Nathan Shackow who ran an event in Innsbruck; Katie-Solon and Husarich who ran an event in Salzburg; and Caitlin Ahern who ran an online event for Graz.

 

Members Corner:

 

Transatlantic Perspectives on Social Policy in Challenging Times

Event hosted by Bruce Murray

In the aftermath of Brexit, EU citizens confront tough questions about what they can accomplish with the EU 27. US citizens face equally challenging questions about their future in a presidential election year.  Join us for a transatlantic discussion on three key social policy issues EU and US citizens share!

 Healthcare • Higher Education • Labor

Georg Fischer, Retired Director for Social Affairs in the EU Commission DG Employment, and Dr. Bruce Murray, Retired Director, Illinois in Vienna Programs will share their perspectives and invite open discussion on each topic. Together we will strive to discern best practices, explore opportunities to collaborate, and strengthen the transatlantic partnership.

Where: Wirtschaftsuniversität (Vienna University of Economics and Business) TC 2.03 Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna

When: Wednesday, 18 March 2020 from 18.00 to 19.30 (Some will continue the conversation at one of the fine campus eateries afterwards.) 

Please sign up for the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/222112658836672/

If you have any questions, please contact Bruce Murray at bamurray1954@yahoo.com