In This Issue:
- Experienced Dems
- Pride Parade
- Debate Night
- Sol Sun June
Issues & Actions
DA Global Meeting
- Progressive Pizza
Democrats Abroad Austria is excited to welcome Dr. Eric Frey, Senior Editor of der Standard, for our next DAATalks lecture series.
US or Austria? Trump or FPÖ? Politics or journalism? With everything going on in the States and the recent upheavals in Austrian politics there will be a lot to discuss!
WHEN: June 04, 2019 at 7pm - 9pm
WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, 1010 Vienna
Entrance at Hebenstreit Restaurant (5 min. from U2 Schottentor).
The June Meeting of Experienced Democrats of Democrats Abroad Austria
WHEN: June 06, 2019 at 6pm - 8pm
WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, 1010 Vienna
CONTACT: John Cahill · [email protected]
2019 marks 50 years since the historic Stonewall Riots, arguably the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement, which catapulted queer activism and rights ahead. Today we see more equality and visibility than ever. However, the paradigm of progress has shifted. LGBTQIA+ rights are once again under threat in the Trump Administration and the Supreme Court. Democrats Abroad Austria stands together and proud with the 2019 EuroPride events in Vienna this June. Don’t be a bystander! We hope you will stand with us as we march for all of our right for rights!
This is the most outlandish party on the DA Austria calendar and this year Vienna is home to EuroPride, so expect a wild and wonderful day! We'll update our event page and fb page as soon as we know our start number. The parade start (#1) is at Rathausplatz/Burgtheater and goes back towards Schottentor. See the Pride Parade map for more info.
WHEN: June 15, 2019 at 11am - 4pm
WHERE: Near the University/Schottentor (exact location to be announced), 1010 Vienna
CONTACT: Joey Eckhart · [email protected]
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that they will hold twelve debates in the run-up to the presidential primary. The debates will be held monthly over two consecutive nights with ten candidates on stage each evening. There are a number of requirements a candidate must fulfil to get a spot in the debate and the top tier candidates will be equally divided on each night. DA Austria will be streaming the debates at two watch parties on June 27 and 29. Note, this is the day AFTER the debate because of the time difference.
We'll be meeting on Thursday, June 27 at Beaver Brewery and Friday, June 28 at Kung Wu. Come early to get a bite to eat and a beer and then settle in as we listen to the wealth of talent that makes up the slate of 2020 democratic presidential candidates.
We hope you'll join us!
WHEN: June 27 & 28, 2019 at 7pm. Come early and eat!
WHERE: June 27- Beaver Brewery, Liechtensteinstraße 69, 1090. June 28- Kung Wu Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020.
The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts we have a decade to get carbon emissions under control before catastrophic climate change impacts become unavoidable. The Republican party ignores the problem. The Democratic Party claims to accept and understand it -- but does not have a plan to address climate breakdown.
Young activists have a plan: The Green New Deal. GND refers to a massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform the energy sector and entire economy. There is immense political energy around the GND, but converting that to real results on the ground will involve a lot of political and policy engineering.
Join Solidarity Sundays and explore how the GND became a priority, what's next, and how you can help shape political priorities.
WHEN: June 30th from 4-6 pm
WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, 1070 Vienna.
CONTACT: Tanya Lolonis · [email protected]
Issues & Actions
DA’s Annual General Meeting in Washington D.C.--17 to 19 May 2019
Meeting with 125 dedicated Democrats Abroad from all over the world just a stone’s throw from the Capitol, and with 75 or more equally energized leading members, including our DA Austria Chair, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, online is an experience I will not soon forget. Our highly principled discussion and attention to rules of order inspired me, even more so because it helped us to elect an excellent Global Team, adopt well-vetted bylaw changes, and pass progressive resolutions, including our endorsement of Medicare for All. Several Presidential candidates, including Kirstin Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Marianne Williamson, Joe Biden, and Cory Booker offered in-person or video messages. Even more Democratic Party leaders conveyed messages of confidence and encouragement as we gear up to maintain control of the House, win back the Senate, and put a Democrat in the White House in 2020! Immediately after the AGM, dozens of us spent two days visiting our representatives in targeted efforts to communicate our key messages in Congress. Now it is our turn to give it our all as the Democratic presidential debate season draws closer, campaigns at all levels of government take shape, and we continue our advocacy work for our big plate of issues!
– Bruce Murray, Counsel and Voting Representative
A Step Forward On the Road to Residency-Based Taxation
Following a series of meetings on Capitol Hill this week and last week we are pleased to confirm that Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) is partnering with Rep George Holding (R-NC02) on the development of legislation to enact Residency-Based Taxation (RBT). There's still much work to be done, but securing bi-partisan support for RBT from important members of the tax writing subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee is a critical step forward on the road to Residency-Based Taxation legislation.
What can you do to progress RBT?
The best thing you can do to progress RBT is to reach out to your elected representatives to remind them of the importance of this reform to you and your family and to ask for their support. Personal stories are the most effective. Include as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. Call, write or send electronic messages to your House member and Senators. All outreach to those counting on your electoral support is helpful. If you get a boilerplate response that scarcely relates to the message you sent, write again demanding more. If you get an interesting response that you think would be useful for us to know about in progressing our work, please send it through to us.
Global Black Caucus Book Club
The members of the GBC book club met once again at Café Phil, this time to discuss The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. James Baldwin succinctly and powerfully articulates many of the issues that are still being discussed today in a book that is only two chapters and about 100 pages long. The group spent most of the evening discussing the first chapter, which is a letter entitled "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation". Baldwin explains to his nephew the clear and nuanced historical events that have led to the current state of black oppression in the US. He also shares how he learned to cope with the many daily aggressions and stresses of being a black man in America, with the hope that his nephew would use this primer to succeed in spite of his environment. It was both logical, uplifting, but for the group, a hard pill to swallow because the events and mentalities that Baldwin discussed are still a reality. The question that hung in the air was "What can we do as Americans living abroad to change the way people of color are treated back at home"? Our answers: (1) we can acknowledge that racism still exists in America and it is present here in Austria, (2) we must take a more active role in confronting friends or family members who make racist comments, (4) we have to continue having open conversations about race and its intersection with class and gender, (5) we can continue to donate to causes that are fighting to end systemic racial discrimination because equality for the most marginalized member of our society means equality for everyone.
Due to Pride Week and all of the events in June, the GBC book club will resume in July where we will be discussing We were Eight Years in Power, a collection of writing and essays by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Time and date TBD, but we hope to see you there!
– Faith Hall Herbold, Coordinator DAA Black Caucus, Member-at-Large
Solidarity Sundays 24: Death By A Thousand Cuts
Creeping normality, or death by a thousand cuts, is the way major change can be accepted as normal when it happens slowly, through incremental change. We are watching it live.
On Sunday, April 26th, LGTB Caucus leader Juan Cerda reviewed the legal status of lesbian, gay, transgender and bi-sexual citizens before and after the 1969 Stonewall Riots. In the 1960's homosexuality was essentially illegal in the US. Lesbian and gay citizens were deemed “diseased”, banned from serving in the military, viewed as security risks, and police crackdowns against gay-friendly bars were violent events. Resistance to the police raid of the Stonewall Inn led to several nights of rioting, and is cited as the first major protest against the criminalization of homosexuality.
After Stonewall, advocates challenged discrimination against LGBTQ people. A year later, the first Gay Pride march declared the desire for equality. Throughout the 1970s, activists in many states successfully overturned laws banning homosexuality. In 2003 the Supreme Court decided states could not criminalize homosexuality, and in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage. Human rights activists continued fighting discrimination in employment, education, public housing, and healthcare, as well as to reduce hate crimes against LGBTQ citizens.
With the Trump-Pence Administration, attacks against marginalized Americans are increasing, and increasingly promoted by government policy. The administration has attacked LGBTQ Americans in policy and rhetoric over 100 times since January 2017. Juan explained how the removal of Obama-era civil rights safeguards for transgender citizens exposes the cruelty of the Trump administration.
Last week, the House passed the Equality Act of 2019. The bill expands the Civil Rights Act to explicitly include protections for LGBTQ people. The Senate majority refuses to consider it. Solidarity Sundays attendees wrote postcards to their senators demanding they support S.788, The Equality Act. To urge your Senators to act against the death of LGBTQ civil rights by a thousand cuts, find their address at www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm and send them your instructions. Be brief, be polite, be an ally.
– Tanya Lolonis, Co-Coordinator Solidarity Sundays, Member-at-Large
Thanks to the more than 20 hungry progressives who joined our Progressive Pizza event at L’Osteria on May 30! Our group included people who vote in states from New York to California, including Midwestern swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan, as well as Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, and others! We affirmed our commitment to protect the democratic achievements of our revolutionary founders and transform our society in accordance with the goals they set and we have not yet achieved. Following our high-cholesterol dinner, and with Scott Witmer in charge of our sign-up list, Raina Saul-Ganev provided information about the current Medicare for All legislative proposals in the House and Senate. We learned that HR. 1384, led by Representative Jayapal, has 110 co-sponsors and that S. 1129, led by Senator Sanders, has 14 co-sponsors including four presidential candidates: Senators Booker, Gillibrand, Harris, and Warren. Raina and others also commented on the foreseen transition to Medicare for All, its coverage and financial provisions. Our discussion was in a word--progressive! More information is available from sites like these:
- National Nurses United: https://medicare4all.org/
- #Medicare4All: http://www.fight4medicare.com/
- Public Citizen: https://publiccitizen.salsalabs.org/m4apetition/index.html
- Social Security Works: https://socialsecurityworks.org/2018/05/24/medicare-for-all-legislation/
The evening ended with June event information from DA Chair Jennifer Rakow-Stepper and thoughts about our next meeting. One option will be to consider collaborating with DA Black Caucus Chair Faith Herbold, who will lead the next Solidarity Sunday discussion on the Green New Deal (30 June). Look for more information in the DA Event Calendar. Also look for our ProDA Facebook page, which will go online very soon!
– Bruce Murray, ProDA Liaison