October 08, 2018

October Newsletter

In this issue:


  • Young Dems Pub Night
  • Experienced Dems Meet-up
  • DAATalks: Timothy Snyder
  • Sol Sun #18
  • Election Night Party
  • Thanksgiving

Midterm Elections:

  • 2018 General Election Deadlines - by State
  • Texas Voters – Alert!
  • Pennsylvania Voters – Alert!
  • Help! I haven’t received my ballot!
  • Embassy Pouch

Issues & Actions:

  • #Cycle for Sanity
  • Webinar: Dan Pfeiffer from Pod Save America
  • Webinar: Equal Rights Amendment


  • Phonebanking Parties
  • Fiesta Fundraiser
  • Solidarity Sundays



Young Dems Pub Night

We're looking forward to meeting many of our new young dems who recently became members and registered to vote at our voter registration tables at Webster and IES. Bring along anyone you know who hasn't yet requested their ballot – we'll have our printer with us and can help you with any questions you might have!

WHEN: October 11, 6:30pm - 10:00pm

WHERE: Beaver Brewing Company

CONTACT: Ashley E. Arreola · [email protected]· +43(0) 650 374 9481


Experienced Dems September Meet-up

Join our group of experienced democrats for a friendly meet-up! All ages are welcome. Visit us on facebook.

WHEN: October 16, 2018 at 6-9pm

WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, Vienna 1010

CONTACT: John Cahill · [email protected]



DAATalks with Professor Timothy Snyder

DAA is honoured to once again welcome Timothy Snyder to our DAATalkslecture series. Professor Snyder will discuss his new book, “The Road to Unfreedom”, and answer our questions.

We expect this event to be sold out! Professor Snyder spoke at the opening of the Humanities Festival to a room of approximately 500 people in a Festsaal in the Vienna’s Rathaus. This will be an opportunity for our members to listen to and ask questions of Professor Snyder in a small venue. Be sure to RSVP to secure a place for you and your non-American guests by October 17, 2018. At that point we will open reservations to members of the Republikanischer Club. Professor Snyder spoke at the opening of the Humanities Festival to a room of approximately 500 people in a Festsaal in the Vienna’s Rathaus. This will be an opportunity for our members to listen and ask questions to Professor Snyder in a small venue.

We have ordered a limited number of copies of Professor Snyder’s books, Road to Unfreedom and 20 Lessons on Tyranny, to be available for purchase at the event – he’ll also be signing books at the end of the evening. Let me know if you you’d like to pre-order a book(s) and we’ll reserve it for you. Please include the title and number of copies. 

Read more about Professor Snyder’s new book in the Guardian



WHEN: October 24, 2018 at 4-6pm

WHERE: Republikanischer Club, Rockhgasse 1, Vienna 1010

CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper [email protected]

RSVP REQUIRED: democratsabroad.org



Solidarity Sundays 18

The Lucrative Business of US Prison

Civics Lessons continue at Solidarity Sundays.

On October 28th, DAA members are invited to attend Solidarity Sundays Vienna #18, where we will explore the complex issues of America’s justice and prison systems. We will learn about the system’s contours – How many Americans are incarcerated? How do we compare with other nations? Who is incarcerated? What are the social and economic costs? -- and the major players -- Who contributed to the crisis? Who benefits from it? Who is trying to reform it? We’ll turn our attention to policy choices being discussed and learn of some surprising reform allies. Is this an issue that can rise above partisan politics? Is there anything you can do to support reform from Austria? At a dark time in American politics, join us to shine much-needed light on this uniquely American crisis.This is the last Solidarity Sunday before the November 6th midterm elections. Help decide where Solidarity Sundays go from here. We’re a grassroots effort, and work best when we reflect the priorities of our members. Tell us you’re coming hereor on Facebook.

Bring a friend.

Visit us on facebook.

WHEN: October 28, 2018 at 4-6pm

WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070

CONTACT: Juan David Cerda · [email protected]



Election Night Party

We've canvassed, we've phone-banked, we've voted, and on election night we'll be watching for the wave! Join us for dinner and drinks and stay late as the election results come in.

WHEN: November 6, 2018 at 7-?


CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · [email protected]

RSVP: democratsabroad.org




Join DA Austria at our annual Thanksgiving Dinner. This year’s Feast with all the Fixings will be held at the Melker Stiftskeller in Vienna’s first district.

WHEN: November 22, 2018, 7-11pm

WHERE: Melker Stiftskeller, Schottengasse 3, 1010 Vienna

CONTACT: Jennifer Rakow-Stepper · [email protected]

RSVP REQUIRED: democratsabroad.com


November 6 Midterm Elections


2018 General Election Deadlines - by State

You should have already received your ballot. If you haven't contact your Local Election Official. When you receive your ballot, don't wait to send it in! Check the your States deadlines here.



Texas Voters – Alert!

You may have seen the news that TX rejected 2400 voter registrations that used Vote.org's camera signature capture method. Vote.org says they are challenging the decision--while getting the hard copies in to TX by the deadline--so we're keeping an eye on it and hope that the site will be back online soon.

But couple of things to remember about TX:

  • Oct 9thdeadline is to register to vote for a full ballot (federal and state)
  • TX voters have until Oct 26th to register to vote for a federal-only ballot (or for registered voters to request either type of ballot). Federal voters can still vote against Ted Cruz and for Beto O’Rourke.
  • TX only allows overseas voters to vote in state elections if they "intend to return"-- although there is no state income tax -- so there's no state tax downside to saying "intend to return" if that's even a remote possibility
  • Overseas voters can return FPCAs by email without the need for a hardcopy follow-up and are encouraged to do so rather than use fax return. See https://www.fvap.gov/guide/chapter2/texas:

"IMPORTANT NOTE: Under new state law effective December 1, 2017, a timely faxed FPCA must be followed with a hard-copy mailed FPCA that must be received by the early voting clerk by the fourth business day after the fax. This rule does not apply to an emailed FPCA. Texas strongly recommends using email transmission instead of faxing if you wish to use the fastest delivery method for your FPCA."

– Heidi Burch, DA GOTV Coordinator



Pennsylvania Voters – Alert!

Pennsylvania voters abroad have been unable to access the ballots that were emailed to them. After much back and forth with the DNC, the Election Assistance Commission, the Coordinated Campaigns in PA and the PA Democratic party and PA’s Dept of State agreed to allow voters abroad access to ballots through an email request. The solution is not perfect but the improvement is encouraging. Many thanks to the DNC Voter Protection team, Giulia Marchiori Ceresa, Carmelan Polce, Susan Schoenfeld Harrington, Jeffrey Cheng, Joe Smallhoover, Heidi Burch and Eileen Weinberg for their help pushing this important issue. DA’s International Secretary and PA voter made the local news.

Information for PA Absentee Voters Abroad



Voter Registration FAQ #24

“I haven’t received my blank ballot yet, what should I do?

  • Check your Spam folder (if requested electronically)
  • Contact LEO to find out why you didn’t receive a ballot
  • If your state requires a FPCA before FWAB: Verify FPCA received; if not, send in first
  • If your state allows a FWAB to register or request -- watch deadlines!
  • Go to FVAP or VFA to fill in a FWAB -- return immediately
  • If an official ballot comes later, vote and return immediately (if both received on time, only the official ballot will be counted)

How do I vote using the back-up ballot?

Email, Fax or Mail In: https://www.democratsabroad.org/fwab

Mail In Only: https://www.democratsabroad.org/fwab_mail

Read the entire list of FAQ's

Returning your ballot via the US Embassy

We received the following message from a member who made an enquiry at the embassy. They say it takes approximately 10 days, so be sure to drop it off ASAP if you plan to use their service!

“We can send your ballot via diplomatic pouch which will take about ten days. Just leave it with our reception desk. ...You may mail your ballot to the U.S. Embassy, ACS, Boltzmanngasse 16, 1090 Wien. Or you may submit it to the Consulate directly in person at U.S. Consulate, Citizen Services, Parkring 12a, A-1010 Vienna, Austria, Mon-Fri 8.00 am to 3.00pm.”


Issues & Actions:



Hello Bikeathon (www.mmpbike.weebly.com) followers near and far! During the past few days we have made our way from Chicago to Hammond, Gary, Michigan City, and South Bend, learning from DNC Chair Tom Perez, Indiana State Chair John Zody, State Senator Karen Tallian, County Commissioner Dr. Vidya Kora, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

On October 3 we canvassed in Mishawaka, and on the 5th, we met with the ProKzooers, NextGen Michiganders, State Representative Candidate Terri McKinnon, and "local" microbrewer David Beaver at Bell's Brewery from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Among other things, we reported on the political work we have experienced and asked Kalamazooers to share with us their insights about campaigning in Southern Michigan. What can we do together to turn our ripples into a blue wave of progressive change in November?

Please join our "on-the-road" story, share it on your timeline, and talk to friends and family! Oh--and, if you are voting absentee, post a selfie with your enveloped ballot and encourage all to follow you!

– Bruce Murray, DAA Counsel


Webinar – Dan Pfeiffer of Pod Save America

Join us October 17, 2 PM DC time (8pm Austria), for a lively discussion on the current American political scene in the US with Dan Pfeiffer of Pod Save America.

RSVP below to reserve a spot for the webinar which will be both informative and a call to action.

If you have questions you would like asked during the call, please send via email before October 14, to [email protected] the subject line "Questions Webinar with Dan Pfeiffer."

Dan's Biography:

Our speaker tonight is the beloved Dan Pfeiffer from Pod Save America. After the 2008 presidential election, he ran the communications office for the Obama-Biden Transition team. Less than a year later, Pfeiffer was named White House Communications Director. He remained in this role for the entire first term of the Obama presidency. He was then promoted to Senior Advisor for Strategy and Communications until he left the administration in 2015.

In January, 2017, Crooked Media launched the popular progressive political podcast, Pod Save America, with the Thursday edition hosted by Jon Favreau and Dan Pfeiffer. His book, Yes we (still) can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter and Trump, was published in June of this year. It is 'An irreverent, no-B.S. take on the crazy politics of our time'

WHEN: October 17, 2018 at 2-3:30pm (DC)/8-9:30pm (Austria)

WHERE: Zoom Webinar

CONTACT: [email protected]

RSVP: Dan Pfieffer from Pod Save America Webinar



Equal Rights Amendment Project & Webinar

The Global Women’s Caucus is pleased to announce the kick-off to our Equal Rights Amendment project.

Check out our ERA Wiki Page.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Oct 16 2PM EDT to hear from the executive director, Kamala Lopez, of Equal Means Equal. She will be sharing with us information about why the ERA is important for women’s rights, what their organization is doing to help, and why it is so important to vote for state legislature candidates that support ERA in the 13 states where it has not yet been ratified. It should be an exciting hour. More details are forthcoming with the RSVP link. Please save the date.

The webinar is the only planned ERA activity until after the election. Then we have several things planned to help make the ERA not just a proposed amendment but actually part of the constitution.

– Shari Temple, DA Global IT Team Chair, DA Germany Voting Representative

WHEN: October 16, 2018 at 2-3:30pm (DC)/8-9:30pm (Austria)

WHERE: Zoom Webinar

CONTACT: [email protected]

RSVP: Equal Means Equal ERA Webinar




Phonebanking Parties

During August and September, DA Austria made phone-banking fun by hosting a series of parties to help volunteers get trained on the new CallHub calling system. In all, more than 30 volunteers have been telephoning our members in Austria. Globally, Austria came in 5th place in Vote From Abroad usage with 87% of our membership!

Big thanks to Tanya, Caitlin, Marcy, Salem, Juan, and Faith for organizing and hosting. And thanks to all those volunteers who overcame any initial hesitancy and spent literally hours reaching our members!

We’re now calling flippable states – want to help?

Help others vote! After you have requested your ballot and voted you can help by making calls to other DA Members to encourage them to register and to vote. You call using your computer, so there's no charge to you, and will be connected with other DA members from flippable States throughout the world. For more information about DA's phonebanking system and how to sign up, please go to our website.



Fiesta FunRaiser

35 amigos and amigas got together at Tanya’s home on September 29 for a Fiesta FunRaiser to support DA Austria’s get out the vote efforts. Both the margaritas and the buffet – enchiladas rice, beans, empanadas, salad, and blue wave cookies – were overflowing! Attendees took a swing at a piñata and won some great donated raffle prizes, which included a copy of Woodward’s new book, Fearand a signed edition of Timothy Snyder’s, Road to Unfreedom. Thanks to everyone who came and supported our efforts!



Solidarity Sundays “Know Thy Enemy“

On September 29th a band of Solidarity Sundays activists looked deeply into the emerging picture of Trump supporters. Five distinct groups exist within the Trump voting bloc, and a couple of them are open to sensible political appeals. The key is knowing what energizes them and speaking to shared priorities and issues. One core group remains out of reach, and it’s instructive to understand why. Conventional wisdom after the 2016 election was that economic suffering drove Trump’s base. Political scientists now debunk this analysis. Their finding: white, Christian, male voters supported -- and continue to support -- Trump out of fear their social status is dwindling. The successful GOP weaponization of #MeToo during the Kavanaugh nomination process demonstrates the political potency of resentment. In 1992 voter concerns were captured by the motto “It’s the economy, Stupid”; in 2016 what resonated was “It’s the culture, Stupid”. How to reason with a Trump supporter? A popular tactic that doesn’t work : mocking them. Pointing out their mistaken choice is instinctive to many Democrats, but it radicalizes rather than enlightens Trumpers. When everyone condemns them, they retreat into an extreme and hateful mindset. Solidarity Sundays attendees were treated to a terrific (and terrifically NSFW) Southpark episode to illustrate the phenomenon. Have a look at this nuanced and insightful analysis here – and have a think.


Member’s Corner:


Austrian Tax Information for Expats

The Vienna Business Agency has organized an information evening for expats to learn more about general Austrian tax and social security conditions.

Tax experts from Deloitte will be giving an overview of tax and social security issues related to your employment in Austria, especially filing due dates and deductible expenses.

WHEN: October 17, 2018 at 12-1pm

WHERE: Expat Center, Schmerlingplatz 3, 1010 Vienna

RSVP:Tax Information