July 01, 2021

July's Newsletter


In This Issue —


  • July 4 Party–Vienna 
  • July 4 Party–Vorarlberg 
  • DAA Black Caucus Book Club  
  • Seattle Mayor Candidate Forum 

Issues & Actions:

  • Fourth of July Party in Vienna’s Augarten 
  • Constituent Abroad Zoom Project - Connecting Americans abroad to Congress about tax reform
  • Advocating in DC: The Benefits of Membership


  • Pride Parade
  • Solidarity Sundays


Our Executive Committee meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month. Our next meeting will be held online on: Wednesday, July 14, 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!


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Message from the Chair

We all bring our own individual talents and passion to Democrats Abroad. Some of us are activists. Some are organizers. Some are tech savvy. Some are poets, artists, and graphic designers.

As for me, I’m a drummer.

Well, not just that, of course. But playing music is something I love, and I’d like to incorporate more music into our DA events where we can.

At my day job at SOS Children’s Villages, we have started a rock band made up of staff members. We called the band the G-Meiners, in homage to the Austrian founder of SOS, Herman Gmeiner.

So, I thought it would be cool if the musicians among us could form our own DA Austria rock/pop/funk band! We are starting off at this year’s July 4 party with a small but powerful trio, led by our own Jacki Hafellner, a professional singer/pianist/oboist from Graz, who is also founder of the Schneider vocal academy. We’ll be joined by a buddy of mine from the G-Meiners, Paul Bastos, on guitar, and I’ll be on drums (a souped-up Cajon). We decided to have a name-the-band contest at the July 4 party. An early contender is Jacki and the Bidenettes!

As an all-volunteer organization, it is great if everyone contributes their skills and energy to help us reach our goals. Next year, especially, we will need many more volunteers to support our get-out-the-vote efforts, be it at in-person voter help tables, phone banking, or elsewhere. There are many options. Please let us know what your talents are and how you might like to help. Fill out the form here

And if you want to join the DA Austria band, you are more than welcome (although, as long as I’m chair, I have dibs on the drums).

— Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria



July 4 Party–Vienna

When: Sunday, July 4 

Time: 12:00-4:00 p.m.

Where: In-person. Die Schankwirtschaft im Augarten

RSVP: Sold OutHosted by DA Austria



July 4 Party–Vorarlberg

When: Sunday, July 4

Time: 3:00-7:30 p.m.

Where: In-person. Schwarzbad, Lochau

RSVP to attendHosted by DA Austria, Vorarlberg



Seattle Mayor Candidate Forum July 10 at 7:00 p.m. 

When: Sunday, July 10

Time: 7:00-8:00 p.m. CET

RSVP for linkHosted by DA Global



DAA Black Caucus Book Club 

When: Sunday, July 18

Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Where: In-person. TBD

RSVP to attendHosted by DA Austria

Issues & Actions: 

Fourth of July Party in Vienna’s Augarten

For those who have RSVP’d (we need to cap the total at 100), we look forward to seeing you Sunday, July 4, from noon to 4 p.m. at Die Schankwirschaft im AugartenWe'll have live music performed by our new—and hopefully to be expanded—Democrats Abroad band (don't miss the name-the-band contest!). We will also have a raffle with prizes including some must-have goodies, like an Inauguration Day t-shirt straight from Washington DC, a Notorious R.B.G. bobblehead, and other fabulous DA collectible swag.

Remember, Austria’s 3G rule applies. In the customary Austrian style, everyone pays the wait staff for their own food and beverage. More details at the event link on the DA website.

See you Sunday! 

— Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria


Constituent Abroad Zoom Project — connecting Americans abroad to Congress about tax reform

The DA Taxation Task Force is organising zoom meetings in July to connect selected members of Congress to their constituents for a discussion about tax reform for Americans abroad. We are very excited to add this exciting new initiative to our multi-pronged strategy for getting tax reform for Americans abroad into legislation Congress will enact this year.  

They will be sending out an email announcement to constituent-members soon. Those constituents interested in attending are asked to register.

Constituents are the keys that open doors, hearts, and minds to our issues.



The Benefits of Membership

Democrats Abroad actively advocates in DC on issues affecting Amerians living abroad. Here are two recent examples that have also been picked up in major newspapers.

— Jen Rakow-Stepper, Regional Vice Chair–EMEA, DAA Member-at-Large


Vaccines for U.S. Citizens Abroad

The DA Global Executive Committee recently sent a letter to the Office of President Joe Biden to raise awareness that many US Citizens living abroad remain unvaccinated and will be at the back of the line to receive a vaccine in their host country. The letter urged the U.S. government to take appropriate steps to ensure that vaccines are available to all of its citizens worldwide.

The letter came about as an action from DA Thailand where many DA members are unable to be vaccinated or to return to the US to do so. The story was picked up in the Washington Post which mentions DA’s involvement. 

Read More


Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

Carmelan Polce, DATaxation Tax Force Chair, wrote an open letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen on the impacts of tax policy on U.S. citizens abroad. Her Letter to the Editor was published in the New York Times. Thank you Carmelan for all the fantastic work you do on our behalf!

Read More



Vienna Pride Parade 2021 

Some 20 DA Austria members came out on a steamy Saturday to march in this year’s Vienna Pride Parade. We were expecting a more or less socially distanced parade (no trucks this year), and we all came prepared with masks (thanks to Eva Ciabbatonni for handing out rainbow-colored FFP2 masks). Ultimately, most faces—like some bodies on the parade route— were uncovered. But we happened to get the lead position in front of the second wave of marchers, allowing us to keep some distance and with the added benefit that in photos it looks like we’re leading a throng of thousands!

A big thanks to Jessica Mijnssen for stepping in to be our lead Pride organizer, printing up our rainbow-themed Democrats Abroad t-shirts (designed by Sophie Spiegelberger) and putting together the paper flags we waved and handed out to fellow marchers.

Why do we march each year at Pride? It means something different to everyone. We know from the past four years that the hard fought rights of the LGBTQ+ community can be taken away if we don’t elect leaders who respect and protect those rights. Pride is about joy and freedom; it is also about staying engaged to ensure that the rights of all are secure.

— Richard Miller, Chair DA Austria


Solidarity Sundays:  The Paris Agreement -- Where the Rubber Meets the Road,

June 27, 2021

“Can I still be optimistic? Is there time to make a difference?” 

Yes, you can, says Olivia Coldrey, a leading expert in the global transformation to clean energy. National pledges to reduce emissions are increasing, but not enough—elected representatives need to act. “Best thing you can do? Speak up, vote.” (Solidarity Sundays reminds you to register to vote at VoteFromAbroad.org!)

The US is a key actor in the world economy. Biden is moving on clean energy faster than anyone saw coming. He set the goal of net-zero by 2050, placed climate at the center of his policies, and appointed Cabinet secretaries committed to transforming our energy sector. The world’s financiers are noticing. 

Biden wants America—the highest per capita CO2 emitter—at the forefront of climate investment. He is pulling the US out of fossil-fuel energy projects abroad and pivoting to cleaner ones. “We’re not reading it in the paper, but fundamental developments to the financial system are underway.” The Federal Reserve, for example, has signaled support for mandatory climate disclosures by companies. Businesses relying heavily on fossil fuels would become risky for investors; the attractiveness of cleaner companies would transform the global economy. Want to know more? Read Coldrey’s PDF presentation here.

Solidarity Sundays is exploring ways to engage with our elected officials. Calling the US from abroad is prohibitive, but Skype Credit lets you phone your senators for pennies. Find step-by-step instructions here. The Equality Act has stalled in the Senate—your senators need to hear from you.

Have a great summer break! Solidarity Sundays goes back to work fixing democracy in September!

— Tanya Lolonis, Member at Large DA Austria, Solidarity Sundays Co-Coordinator


Thank you for reading the July Newsletter! We'll see you in September.