Message from the Chair
It may be an off election year for most of us, but our Democrats Abroad phone bankers have been hard at work making thousands of calls. We mobilized overseas voters for the California election and for the past few months have been calling DA members who vote in Virginia and New Jersey. As someone who was an active phone banker in 2020, I can attest that it is one of the most rewarding and impactful forms of activism you can do (I guess I should add, from the comfort of your own home). Yvonne Richard, our phone bank coordinator, and her deputy, Marjorie Rosenberg, have done an amazing job leading a small and dedicated team of phone bankers in Austria. Next year, we will need a bigger team, so I urge you to contact Yvonne at [email protected] and get trained and ready to go. After you get over your first call jitters, you will feel like you and your fellow phone bankers around the world are single-handedly saving US democracy! And know what? You will be!
— Richard Miller, Chair, DA Austria
In This Issue —
- ProDA Monthly Meeting
- Experienced Dems Get Together
- Black Caucus Book Club
- Thanksgiving Feast with all the Fixings
- Solidarity Sundays — Prosecco, Postcards & Politics
- Global Black Caucus — Global Meeting
- Happy Holidays Happy Hour
- Punsching for Democracy
Issues & Actions:
- Set a Calendar Reminder! Renew your registration
- DA Voter Protection update: 2021 issues
- Those emails aren’t from DA
- Wine Tasting Fundraiser
- Solidarity Sundays
Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at 7 p.m. Members are welcome to join us at the meetings. Please contact Richard 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!
ProDA Monthly Meeting
When: Saturday, November 6, 2021
Time: 3-4:00 p.m. CET
Experienced Dems Get Together
When: Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Time: 6-8:00 p.m.
Where: In-person. Cafe Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna
Black Caucus Book Club — Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
When: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Time: 6-8:00 p.m.
Where: Hybrid — TBA
Thanksgiving Feast with all the Fixings
When: Thursday, November 25, 2021
Time: 6-9:30 p.m.
Where: In-person, 2G rules. Melker Stiftskeller, Schottengasse 3, Vienna 1010
Solidarity Sundays — Postcard Writing Party
When: Sunday, November 28, 2021
Time: 4-6:00 p.m.
Where: In-person, 2G rules. Private home, Vienna 1080
Email for address: [email protected]
Global Black Caucus — Global Meeting
When: Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m. (CET)
Happy Holidays Happy Hour
When: Saturday, December 11, 2021
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Where: TBA in Vorarlberg
Punsching for Democracy
When: Thursday, December 16, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm
Where: Punschstand in 1010 Vienna
Issues & Actions:
Set a Calendar Reminder! Request Your 2022 Ballot
December will be busy. So now is the time to mark January 15, 2022, on your calendar to go to Vote from Abroad to request your ballots for every election in 2022 and automatically renew your voter registration. This is required by law for Americans who live overseas and, as you know, Republicans are in a flurry to keep us from voting.
As the Brennan Center wrote, “In an unprecedented year so far for voting legislation, 19 states have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote.” Although “access to the right to vote increasingly depends on the state in which a voter happens to reside.” Regardless of what state you vote in, ALL Americans living overseas must register to vote in every calendar year.
And the benefits? Your ballot will be sent 45 days before the election and if it doesn’t arrive you’ll be able to vote with the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot, which is only available for overseas voters.
Are there other benefits? Yes! You’ll save DA volunteers loads of time (and money) as they call to remind you, your family members, and friends to Vote Blue in ‘22.
So, open your calendar right now and enter VotefromAbroad.com on January 15, and you’ll be ready for the midterms!
DA Voter Protection Update: 2021 Issues
We are in the throes of the 2021 election season, and 2022 is just a few months away! DA’s Voter Protection Team wants to keep you informed of some of the voter protection issues that could crop up and we need to be aware of.
Read more to find out about signature matching, misinformation, voter roll purges, geoblocking, NIXIE issues, and more. If you or someone you know is experiencing these issues or anything else that is stopping them from voting their ballots, please write to [email protected].
During the 2020 elections, we handled over 500 cases, helping voters abroad to successfully cast their ballots. Most importantly, don’t delay in seeking help if you’re experiencing a problem and always check for confirmation that your voted ballots have been received by local election officials. Voter protection issues usually crop up unexpectedly and addressing them at the last minute risks missing the election deadline. Let’s help ensure that ALL votes are counted in 2021!
Please be sure to share this information with your networks and colleagues!
– DA Voter Protection Team
No, Those Emails Are Not From Democrats Abroad!
I don’t know about you, but my inbox has recently been awash in messages asking for donations from seemingly every Democratic candidate and left-leaning group in the US. And the fact is, I did it to myself by signing a petition or donating to a candidate at some point. But those emails aren’t coming from Democrats Abroad.
Although OTHER groups and candidates loan and give and sell their email lists, Democrats Abroad doesn't. Ever. Period.
This has been a topic of conversation in some of DA’s channels. So former DAA Chair and current DNC member Katie Solon will again put up her hand at DNC and ASDC meetings and tell those folks that the deluge of fundraising is "breaking" email for the rest of us.
In the meantime, make sure to stay subscribed to DA Austria emails. We’ve made a promise to only send one per month with our newsletter, which includes all the events and voting information you need!
And we will never share, sell, or loan your address — ever. Period.
– Jen Rakow-Stepper, DA Austria Member at Large, RVC-EMEA Region
The IRS Can Do Better with Stimulus Payments!
DA's research survey on the experience of Americans abroad accessing pandemic aid has not received a representative response from Americans in Austria. Please fill out this survey about your experience with the stimulus payments. The research will be used to pressure the IRS to provide better service and support to the Americans abroad community.
Also, on November 15 DA Portugal is hosting a webinar about the work DA is doing to persuade Congress to provide tax relief to Americans abroad in 2021 that is open to the public.
– Carmelan Polce, Chair, Taxation Task Force
Open Volunteer Positions
Database Manager –
Do you have an extra hour or two per week to help DA Austria with vital back-end administrative work? Are you computer savvy and personable? DAA is looking for a new Database Manager.
- Variable, with more work during the end-of-the-year database-cleanup phase and before the Annual General Meeting, Global Primary, and presidential elections
- Nationbuilder and GDPR trainings and certification (roughly 2-hour time investment each)
- Signed confidentiality agreement
- Comfortable cold-calling members
- Comfortable using a database
- Daily/Weekly: Login to Nationbuilder database to approve new members (check their files for missing information / spam / repeated members)
- Monthly: Report to DAA ExCom on membership growth
- Annually: Database cleanup to locate expiring members
This critical role helps DA Austria function at its best. There is so much important work to be done to get out the vote in 2022 in order to keep the House and Senate blue. Please add your skills to the team!
Contact: [email protected]
Wine Tasting Fundraiser
Great wine, great conversation, a lovely home and hostess — all the ingredients for a wonderful wine-tasting fundraiser. A big thank you to Yvonne Richard for opening up her home to us, and for the organizational support from Josh Friedman. Thanks to everyone who attended, and a special thanks to DA member Nancy Lee Seymann of Seymann winery in Karlsdorf, Austria, for sharing her spectacular wines and her passion for wine making. The plan is to next year, possibly in late spring, hold another wine tasting out at her vineyard. Stay tuned.
– Richard Miller, DA Austria Chair
Solidarity Sundays — Getting Real
October 20, 2021
Solidarity Sundays took its first steps out of Zoom in October. A new group met in Paris, France, and a small group of us met up at our old Vienna haunt, Amerlinghaus.
For those of us in Vienna, it had been a long time. Over drinks, we caught up with each others’ lives, exchanged thoughts on US politics, and shared ideas for the future. It was a very special meetup.
Solidarity Sundays learned about the Democrats Abroad effort to get Americans in Austria registered for next year’s midterms. SolSunners are passionate about voting, fun, and community — so we’re throwing an in-person Postcard-Writing Party to help (details available above in Events). Join the movement to save Democracy — we’re doing it with pens and prosecco.
– Tanya Lolonis, DA Austria Member at Large, Solidarity Sunday Co-Coordinator