August 30, 2018

September Newsletter

The clock is ticking! There are 67 days until the Midterm Elections but even less time until the cutoff date for overseas voters to request their ballots. If you have not registered to vote/requested your ballot, now is the time. Go to and do it today!

If you are already registered, it doesn't hurt to check your registration at This election is extremely important: don’t be disenfranchised by Republican tricks. Also, if your state's primary has already occurred and you didn’t receive a ballot for that election, you might not be registered.

Need information on the candidates running in your state's elections? You can use Ballotpedia’s Sample Ballot Lookup Tool. All you need is your voting address and you can find out who’s running in the various elections. There are links to the candidates' website’s, information on ballot measures and more. If your state has not had its primary elections yet, you can get information on primary candidates there too.


In September's Newsletter:

Midterm Elections

  • Election Calendar: Register, Request, Return!
  • Protect Your Vote


  • Phone-banking parties in September
  • Experienced Dems
  • Fiesta Funraiser
  • Solidarity Sundays
  • Young Dems

Save the Dates!

  • November 6, Election Night Party with special guest performer
  • DAA Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Thursday, November 22 in 1010 Vienna

Issues & Actions

  • Meet Salem Madlo-Islas
  • We’re Democrats. In Vorarlberg
  • Thanks to our Sustaining Donors
  • Flipping the House - Phone-banking parties in August & September
    • Tuesday, Sept. 4– SolSun Civics Special
    • Thursday, Sept. 13– Don’t Wait, It’s Late!
    • Monday, Sept. 20– 46 Days to the Midterms


  • Summer Voter Shout-Out
  • Graz Phonebanking Event
  • On the Road in Innsbruck

Members Corner

  • The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder



Election Calendar – Register, Request, Return!

Time is running out! States will start sending out ballots in mid-September. Don’t be a victim of voter purges. By law, overseas voters MUST register every calendar year!

Register to vote today at Vote from Abroad and you’ll have registered and requested your ballot for the midterms and any remaining primaries in one easy step. Midterm elections are Federal elections and you CAN vote in them.

Do you vote in one of these states: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, or Rhode Island? Then READ MORE for your State’s upcoming deadlines and mark your calendar today!

Protect Your Vote

Federal law states that Americans living overseas MUST request an absentee ballot for every election calendar year they want to vote. Using Vote From Abroad ensures that you are on the federal list of overseas voters and can not be purged by a local election official or state law. Use and be certain that your vote is locked in. 







Fiesta FunRaiser

Margaritas, Enchiladas, Music, and a Blue Wave – we're ready for a fiesta! Proceeds raised will be used to fund our Get Out the Vote effort and we're making it fun – there will even be a (You-Know-Who) piñata to take a swing at. Join us as we enter the midterms with a bash. 

WHEN: September 29, 2018 at 7-10pm

DONATION: €30/person YOU MUST RSVP VIA THIS LINK TO ATTEND You'll be sent payment information after you've RSVP'd.(Donations must be made by American citizens. Non-American guests are welcome)

WHERE: A private home in central Vienna

CONTACT: Tanya Lolonis · [email protected]







Flipping the House - Phone-banking parties in September

Join Solidarity Sundays, the Women's & Hispanic Caucuses, and the LGBT & Black Caucuses to meet fellow members and make some calls for democracy!

Bring your laptop, charger, and earbuds/headphones with microphone. We'll supply the pizza and beer.

You've never phone-banked before? No problem! We have a training session for newbies. We'll walk you through it, you'll be comfortable in no time. We're calling our members and they LOVE hearing from us! READ MORE






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: September 18, 2018 at 6-9pm

WHERE: Café Museum, Operngasse 7, Vienna 1010

CONTACT: John Cahill · [email protected]


Solidarity Sundays 17:  Know The Enemy

You can describe what youbelieve in, but when an Austrian asks you, why „America“ voted for Trump, are you scratching your head along with them?
On Sunday, September 30th, Solidarity Sundays applies the strategic insight of the ancient general Sun Tzu to the challenge of winning in November and beyond:
„If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.“
Knowledge wins wars — and political campaigns. So how well do we understand Trump supporters? Who are they? Why did they vote for a reality TV star for President? Why do they cheer when he breaks things?
As Democrats construct campaigns for state legislators, governor, congress and — in 2020 — the White House, many are asking whether we must win over Trump voters, or get more Democratic voters to the polls. Understanding what Trumpers want and where they live and vote can help us answer that question. 
We‘ll also check our registration status and confirm our ballots are on their way, and get an update on the Cycling for Sanity tour through America’s Midwest.
Join our civics lesson and enjoy coffee, cookies and friends at Amerlinghaus. Visit us on facebook.

WHEN: September 30, 2018 at 4-6pm

WHERE: Amerlinghaus, Stiftgasse 8, Vienna 1070

CONTACT: Juan David Cerda · [email protected]

Young Dems Pub Night 

Join us at our September meet-up. We hope to see a lot of you and you’re welcome to bring friends! Please look for updated information on our facebook page.

WHEN & WHERE: TBA, September 2018

CONTACT: David Heckenberg · [email protected] 


Issues & Actions:


Meet Salem Madlo-Islas

DAA Chair of the Women’s and Hispanic Caucuses

I have the sacred honor and privilege to draw from a rich, indigenous heritage of Yaqui lineage as a Mexican-American living abroad in Vienna since 1999. I’m a poet, writer, educator and speaker with an academic background in art therapy, M.Ed., and a BA in communication disorders. Compassion is an integral part of my mindfulness practice which is deeply ingrained in both my personal and professional vision for living life. As an Intuitive and Creative Life Coach at Deep Wild Coaching, I support women to trust the gift of their presence as they open to their own innate wisdom and creative power to embrace a life where their natural rhythms can thrive and flourish alongside the cycles of Mother Earth.

I often share my poetry and writing in order to raise awareness and protect what is sacred. During the demonstration for Families Belong Together, I spontaneously read my poem “Dare to Be Human.” Afterwards, Jennifer Rakow-Stepper asked if I might be interested in leading the Women’s and Hispanic Caucuses and my heart leapt at the opportunity. So I joined Democrats Abroad. My passion for social justice and healing has been ignited on a whole different level since I completed a course called Coaching as Activism earlier this year, which is why I am stepping up to establish an Austrian chapter of the Global Women’s and Hispanic Caucuses.

It is my intention to connect and collaborate with other members of the Global Women’s and Hispanic Caucuses to foster growth and increase voter participation for both women and Latinx folk, and to support them living abroad through creating a nurturing community, while being an active and compassionate presence as we rewrite the unfolding narrative of our national and international political saga. Let’s reclaim the power back from a system that doesn’t understand the first thing about sacred living!

Salem Madlo-Islas


We’re Democrats. In Vorarlberg.

Some of us fled.

Some of us came for love.

Some of us couldn’t resist the call of the mountains.

And then a funny thing happened. A cosmic burp shook the galaxy … and landed in the White House. We were all far away from home, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t our problem. It was time to join forces and become part of the solution. Et voilà, Democrats Abroad Austria found a new home in Vorarlberg.

Between cooking, working, writing, mountain biking, raising kids, skiing and dealing with an Überflussof cows, we are pretty busy people. But we always manage to find time to meet up. Not so often to be anstrengend, but enough to catch up - on the news, our lives and the latest idiocies gurgling out of D.C. Sometimes there’s food involved (like bulgogi or créme brûlée … yum!), and there’s always, always good wine.

Yes, we like to talk politics, but it doesn’t stop there. For the midterm elections, we’re putting together a video called “How far would you go to get out the vote?” Taking some of our favorite activities in Vorarlberg over the course of a year, we show our fellow voters the obstacles we’re able to overcome to get our ballots in. Once the video is released, please help us by sharing it with your friends back home or wherever they may be in the world - and remind them to vote!

We’re open to ideas, we’re open to (well-researched) information, we’re open to foreigners!

We’re Democrats.

In Vorarlberg.

And you?

If you want to come to one of our meet-ups, contact us at: [email protected]

– Patti, Paul, Yungjin, Chrystyna, Stephanie, Andrea & Paul


What can €5 buy? DAA Sustenance.

We’d like to give a huge Thank You to our two new sustaining members, Katie Solon and Bill Holaday. Their monthly donation helps keep us running.

With only 67 days until the election, DA Austria is actively seeking as many Americans as possible to persuade them to register, request their ballots and vote. Advertising, making calls, paying local registration fees, and buying postage all require money. Help support these activities and consider becoming a DA Austria Sustaining Member.

DA Austria is a member-funded, 100% volunteer organization. With the 2018 midterms approaching, we are appreciative of all the financial support we receive. In 2016, we calculated that each euro spent resulted in 3 new members/voters, and in this year's midterms, every vote counts! Please consider making a donation to us, whether one time, monthly or quarterly. For the price of a cup of coffee you can sustain DA Austria!

Account name: Democrats Abroad Austria

IBAN: AT271200050390623001


To make it a recurring donation, you can set up a Dauerauftrag. Let us know if you need assistance with this process — we’re glad to help! Thank you in advance for your support.




Summer Voter Shout-Out

While all of us are new to Call Hub, some DA Austria members have had lots of practice making those calls the “old” way.  Karin Tripp is one of those experienced phone-bankers, which made an email I received with her opinion of the new system a real pleasure to read.

“Thank you so very much for the Telephone Banking Training Session last week. I have participated in Telephone Banking for the past two or three presidential elections and am overjoyed with this new system over the internet.  In 30 minutes at least 10 Democrats Abroad can be contacted. My contacts were all grateful for the reminder! I encourage all members to participate—be active!! This election is so very important!”

READ MORE about our Summer Shout-Out.

–Jennifer Rakow-Stepper, Chair



Graz Dems Gather for Phone-banking

On August 27, six Graz-based Democrats - including 2 new DAA members! - gathered at my apartment to learn how to phonebank using CallHub. We had a lot of fun role-playing calls and were pleasantly surprised by how many friendly conversations we had in a short amount of time. With people coming and going we still managed 40 meaningful interactions, reminding fellow Dems to register and helping troubleshoot any problems. It was a great time had by all and we were all motivated to continue making calls from home that evening. We can’t wait to see our scores on the CallHub Leaderboard!

–Caitlin Ahern, Database Manager and Graz Coordinator


On the Road in Innsbruck

"A wildly successful evening in Innsbruck!" Marcy, our DA Austria treasurer was in the neighborhood and reached out to fellow Democrats to share an evening and meet other like-minded Americans living in Tirol.

Marcy said, "Everyone is energetic about organizing a group here!! They are already talking about holding callhub parties, movie events, and a Democrats Abroad Innsbruck hike in late September. Thanks so much to Caitlin for her help in contacting everyone to put this together. I have several follow up actions coming out of this that I’ll start on tomorrow, but for now, I will just enjoy the warm feeling of a successful evening :)." 

It's fantastic that members in Vorarlberg, Styria, and Tirol have all come to the forefront. We’re looking forward to hearing from (and meeting) more of you!

Member’s Corner:


Timothy Snyder in Vienna

Timothy Snyder will be opening the 3rd Vienna Humanities Festival from September 27-30, 2018. Find out more about the program on the IWM website. He has also recently published a new book. 

The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, Americaby Timothy Snyder

With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final. READ MORE