Chair, Global Disability Caucus - Steering Committee Global Women's Caucus; Lead Violence Against Women Team - Secretary, Aix-Marseille Chapter - Medicare Portability Task Force - Senior Caucus-In-Formation Committee - Advocacy Committee

  • rsvped for Framing Political Discourse 2022-01-14 04:01:07 -0500

    Political Framing: Building Bridges in Divided Communities

    Join us to hear Dr. Dustie Spencer guide us through how to use the tool of “framing” to bridge Democratic messaging to a larger and often sceptical constituency of voters.  Dr. Spencer has pointed out that “Republican framing is very efficient, but framing an issue doesn’t need to be a lie.”   It can be highlighting a less important aspect of an issue, as Republicans do with citing “national security” as threatened by a more humane policy that offers a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.    

     Dr. Spencer teaches Global Studies as a visiting Assistant Professor at Pusan National University, South Korea.  She earned her PhD from the University of Edinburgh where her studies focused on transnational activism and social movements framing. 

     During her talk, Dr. Spencer will offer an overview of how frames work to impact our opinions and thus voting habits.  She will suggest ways that Democrats can effectively listen to the narratives of those around us and structure an effective response.  Dr. Spencer notes that listening to the grievances of our friends and families can help us identify which frames they are using.  Once their frames of reference are clear, we can use them to connect on their key issues so Democratic policies can resonate with them. Spencer cites human rights as an issue where campaigns in this field have become excellent at stressing the universal human rights of all humans as an important and critical frame to the success of global social movements today. 

     After Dr. Spencer’s presentation, there will be time for questions, so do email you questions in advance to [email protected]

    WHEN
    January 22, 2022 at 11:00am
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  • Bi-weekly Meetings - Global Disability Caucus Steering Committee

    Join the bi-weekly meetings of the Global Disability Caucus (GDC). Please RSVP below to receive the meeting link!

    We are dedicated to building a stronger Democrats Abroad - by making all information, events and activities more accessible and being more cognizant of, and sensitive to, disability issues.

    In addition to Democrats Abroad members with disabilities, we welcome and encourage the involvement of supporters of our members and our issues.  We hope to form an inclusive, diverse, active and effective community which provides fulfilling experiences for all.

    Please check the Global Disability Caucus Wiki-Page or the DemsAbroad Global Calendar to find future dates for these meetings and other GDC events!

    Consider making a donation to HELP get out the vote in 2022. Donate TODAY at: https://www.democratsabroad.org/dc-donations

    The Future is Accessible! 

    WHEN
    January 26, 2022 at 8:00am
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  • rsvped for Books Abroad: Women and Power 2021-12-20 11:32:04 -0500

    Books Abroad: Women and Power

    ATTENTION: EVENT DATE AND TIME CHANGE. EVENT WILL TAKE PLACE ON Wednesday, Jan 26 1:30pm EST/ 7:30 PM CET.

    Books Abroad, The Global Women’s Caucus Feminist reading group, is excited to kick off the new year with an unforgettable read about the roots of misogyny, written by world renowned classicist Mary Beard.

    You might wonder what a learned Cambridge don, professor of classics, scholar of Ancient Roman and Greek civilizations, and Britain’s best-known classicist can tell our modern “me-too” world about feminism, but the answer is, “a lot.”

    Beard is an indomitable feminist, and her new best-selling book Women and Power, is an engaging and educated search back into antiquity to find the roots of misogyny.  To quote The Guardian, “[r]eading it in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it seems utterly, dreadfully convincing. Mute women; brutal men; shame as a mechanism for control; androgyny and avoidance as a strategy for survival.”  But Beard doesn’t keep us in the past.  What she uncovers for us in the classics has bearing on our leaders today and sensitizes us to the world around us. And she even offers remedies.  It’s a slim volume (115 pages), but what Mary Beard writes is powerful and complex.

    A manifesto that is erudite, powerful and complex… and more importantly, for non-classicists, delightfully readable.

    Join us Tuesday Jan 26 at 1:30 PM ET, 7:30pm CET on Zoom.

    RSVP for the Zoom meeting information.

    WHEN
    January 26, 2022 at 1:30pm
    WHERE
    Zoom - RSVP for link
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  • donated on ActBlue via 2022-01-14 04:20:20 -0500

  • VAW Project: Call for Volunteers!

    The Violence Against Women Project is urgently seeking volunteers to gather information that will help American women overseas who are victims of violent situations.
    We’re looking for a minimum 6 month commitment, a passion for this cause, and people who are team players.
    Either email us at [email protected], or join one of the upcoming Zoom calls . We look forward to meeting you!

  • signed up on Global Disability Caucus - Signup 2021-07-30 11:17:57 -0400

    Global Disability Caucus Signup Page

    Join the team working on our newest caucus, the new Global Disability Caucus!

    We would like to build the broadest possible membership in this new and important team within Democrats Abroad. 

    The mission of the Democrats Abroad Global Disability Caucus is to provide a voice for individuals with disabilities across its global membership. In addition to participating in voter and electoral support work the team will collaborate with allies within the Democratic Party and disability rights groups to ensure that all activities and venues are accessible; advocate on proposed legislation addressing disability rights; and educate and empower Democrats Abroad members and leaders about the issues impacting individuals with disabilities.

    In addition to Democrats Abroad members with disabilities, we welcome and encourage the involvement of supporters of our members and our issues.  We hope to form an inclusive, diverse, active and effective community which provides fulfilling experiences for all.

    **Please note that if you sign up to volunteer with us, you may be contacted directly via email by Chair, Marnie Delaney.

     

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  • Call to Action: The Military Justice Improvement and Increased Prevention Act

    Immediate attention needed from across the globe - You CAN make a difference.

    OUR GOAL IS TO HAVE EMAILS SENT BY NEXT WEEK SO PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO YOUR MEMBERSHIP ASAP!!

    We have shared our support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s MJIA legislation -now called The Military Justice Improvement and Increased Prevention Act (MJI-IPA) with you over the past several months. At this very moment, we have the opportunity to help push it over the finish line!

    This legislation has been introduced consistently since 2013 and has, just as consistently, been blocked in the Senate. We believe that there must not be any further delay in implementing the changes reflected in the Military Justice and Increased Prevention Act. This past week we saw major shifts in support and greatly increased possibility for passage. Senator Gillibrand has worked hard to refine and strengthen the legislation, now called The Military Justice Improvement and Increased Prevention Act. As a result, it has gleaned additional co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle (see the New York Times article below for more information on this powerful coalition which has continued to grow.

    The object of Senator Gillibrand’s plan is to create a fair and impartial military justice system, for all felonies (rape, murder, child abuse, etc), to create a professional system, less subject to unqualified or improperly motivated decision-making.

    In essence, it removes the power to make investigative and prosecutorial decisions from the purview of 3% of Commanders within the accused’s chain of command and puts them into the hands of professional, trained senior military prosecutors.

    For more comprehensive background information on the MJI-IPA go to: https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/mjia

    Ways to help ensure the necessary changes are made:

    1. CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TO THANK THEM OR TO ASK FOR THEIR SUPPORT

    Use the link below to find the latest position of your Senators (and a direct link to send messages via their email and twitter).You can be sure that every communication is being counted and will count.

    It is critical that our messaging be positive - Use a light touch. Aggressive advocacy will backfire. Our targets currently are Whitehouse, Sinema, Rosen and Carper. BUT again, a light touch is imperative.

    FYI - On the chart it appears we have the 60 votes needed. But that is just a list and certainly no guarantee. A lot can happen between now and the conclusion of the process which will occur over the coming month(s). This is the time to both solidify support and increase the numbers.

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/senate/

    The link below is a fact sheet if you’d like to incorporate more specifics in your message. But don’t worry! That you’ve taken the trouble to contact them is what matters most.

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/factsheet/

    2. SEND A LETTER TO YOUR LEGISLATOR

    Here is a link to obtain addresses:

    https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

    Sample letter for survivors:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m a US Air Force veteran. Like so many service members, I left the military after I was sexually assaulted. All I ever wanted to do was serve my country. Thousands of servicemembers and civilians are sexually assaulted each year. Sadly, the number of reported sexual assaults keeps rising, and the number of convictions is falling.

    To fix our military justice system we need to put the prosecution of serious crimes like rape and murder into the hands of trained military law professionals. I urge you to support veterans like me by voting for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act. Thank you.

    Sample letter for general public:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m writing to you about the issue of sexual assault in our military. Today, the Department of Defense reports increasing sexual assaults by servicemembers, but decreasing conviction rates. Despite years of Congressional inquiries, thousands are raped or sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their heinous, violent crimes.

    The bipartisan Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act is designed to professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes like sexual assault, and to remove the fear that survivors of military sexual assault experience when deciding whether to even report these crimes. A Pentagon survey found that 64% of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. Please vote for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act

    3. USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA to ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO CONTACT THEIR LEGISLATORS

    Tag your Senators if you can because their staff monitors social media mentions.

    Sample Tweet: Senator @MittRomney, will you stand with military sexual assault survivors to pass the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act? Veterans like me need your help! #MeToo #MeTooMilitary #IAmVanessaGuillen #MJIIPA

    Below are links to articles and videos you can use as posts:

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/new-york-times-gillibrand-makes-major-push-to-reform-military-justice-system/

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/remarks-from-protect-our-defenders-president-don-christensen-at-the-senate-armed-services-committee-hearing-on-sexual-assault-in-the-armed-forces/

    https://www.facebook.com/DemsAbroad/videos/28886917629236

    4. SEND A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    Amplify your voice and reach the public and your legislators.

    This doesn’t need to be a massive missive.

    Sample letter for survivors:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m a US Air Force veteran. Like so many service members, I left the military after I was sexually assaulted. All I ever wanted to do was serve my country. Thousands of servicemembers and civilians are sexually assaulted each year. Sadly, the number of reported sexual assaults keeps rising, and the number of convictions falling.

    To fix our military justice system we need to put the prosecution of serious crimes like rape and murder into the hands of trained military law professionals. I urge you to support veterans like me by voting for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act. Thank you.

    Sample letter for general public:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m writing to you about the issue of sexual assault in our military. Today, the Department of Defense reports increasing sexual assaults by servicemembers, but decreasing conviction rates. Despite years of Congressional inquiries, thousands are raped or sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their heinous, violent crimes.

    The bipartisan Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act is designed to professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes like sexual assault, and to remove the fear that survivors of military sexual assault experience when deciding whether to even report these crimes. A Pentagon survey found that 64% of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. Please vote for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act.

    Here is another sample:

    :https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/denise.dpca%40gmail.com/KtbxLxgNKCnmdTjlrpNdJGnGvgcTFmkcPL?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1

    IF YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT WITHIN A MILITARY CONTEXT, YOU MAY CHOOSE TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH LEGISLATORS VIA A SHORT VIDEO

    The testimony of victims has been very powerful and has built support among the growing group of “pro” legislators. Protect Our Defenders (with whom we have been working) has set up a process:

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/upload/


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  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month

    Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

    The Global Women’s Caucus Violence Against Women Action Team hopes you will join us in observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

    The impact of sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence is felt universally throughout the world. No segment of society is unaffected, although some disproportionately suffer more directly than others. There is no country free of this raging epidemic, and the United States is certainly not a leading light in the prevention or prosecution of sexual crimes. 

    Read more

  • @kidartistry tweeted link to ERA Stories. 2021-03-14 16:04:09 -0400

    Why ERA is Important to Me

    2021 could be the year that women’s rights are secured in the U.S. Constitution – just 245 years after white men. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is positioned to be the 28th amendment once either the Senate removes the deadline from the 1972 resolution OR the Department of Justice instructs the US Archivist to add it. The threshold of 38 states ratifying it happened in 2020 but it has been held up due to some technicalities. YOU can help promote awareness and action on the ERA. 

    Would you like to tell Congress why the ERA is important to you? Here's how: Take a selfie, then add your picture and story in the textbox. You can also make a video and send in the url (just add the link in the textbox).   Your story can be up to 500 words.   If you need more words, just continue with additional posts.

     

    Please include your Country of Residence, and Voting State at the end of your story.  Including your Name is optional.

    We'll share these stories with Congressional allies to help them in their fight to finally add the ERA to the US Constitution. 
    Please note that the stories below are all user submitted and reflect individual opinions. By sharing your story here you are consenting to sharing your story publicly both on this site and with Congress. 

    Click here to read the first set of over 100 stories sent on March 25 to the Senate.


  • Too many generations of women in my family have died without seeing the ERA passed.

    Having been a political activist beginning in the 60's I have gotten used to "hurry up and wait" experiences and have heard many specious arguments . However, the absolutely baseless arguments against the ERA and the painfully long battle they have engendered is , as the expression goes, getting on "my last nerve". I quit my job to work on the ERA campaign full time after the deadline was extended to June 30, 1982. I worked in Washington and travelled to the three targetted, unratified states and lobbied, helped organize events and supported NOW's leader Eleanor Smeal in her efforts to coordinate the fight against, ignorance and disinformation,, the insurance industry and other business interests and against misogynistic and/or successfully lobbied legislators. I saw and heard things which ruined forever my blind admiration for "public servants" which several members of my family had created by actually delivering service to the public in their elected positions. The legislatures in Oklahoma, Florida and Illiinois didn't ratify and on June 30 I joined with many other men and women across the street from the White House, in shock and mourning. My grandparents, parents, sisters, all of my family struggled to understand why something so fair, reasonable and highly popular was so difficult to achieve. I still struggle 39 years later. Once again the ERA not only makes sense but is absolutely necessary to protect women against the regressive actions of an unprincipled group of leaders in the Republican Senate who have forced their members into similarly unprincipled obstructionism. The right decision would be to do whatever is necessary to get this done. The archivist should be signing, Congress should be overturning an unnecessary and unusual deadline and finally women should be written into the Constitution. The vast majority of people want this to happen. Most of the rest aren't paying attention or are misinformed or are involved with a business which profits from discriminating against women. If this doesn't happen, I can only say with confidence that the rising tide of women with political, social and economic power will use it to replace those who have fought against women's rights and opportunities. When I think of my grandmothers and my mother, I am very aware of how their opportunities were limited. When I think of myself and my sisters, I think of the many battles we had to fight , law by law, to even approach a playing field, never mind a level one. My nieces and my nephews daughters will not accept what we put up with. They won't fight over and over again for the same crumbs. They will demand and, I assure you they will get what we have always deserved and nothing less. Check the numbers, boys, and do the math. What you've been doing isn't smart, isn't popular, and isn't in the public good. So, let's try something different, shall we? Marnie Delaney/ Living in France/Vote in California


  • RED ACTION

    Reauthorization Of The Violence Against Women Act  

    The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a U.S. federal law, signed by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994.  It was authored by then-Senator Joe Biden (DE), and co-authored by Representative Louise Slaughter (NY). It was passed in Congress (234/195 House, 61/38 Senate).

    The law established a budget (initially $1.6 billion) to: 

    • Investigate violence against women crimes 
    • Prosecute perpetrators of such crimes
    • Impose requirements for restitution to victims by perpetrators
    • Provide reparations, if prosecutors opt not to prosecute a crime

    Extensions of the Law were passed in 2000, 2005 and 2013. In each case, there were changes which met with varying degrees of opposition, generally from Republicans and organizations such as the NRA and other conservative groups.  In 2019 reauthorization was defeated in the Republican Senate.

    Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is on President Biden’s 100-day agenda, and set to be taken up by the House the week of March 18th.

    CURRENT SITUATION

    • The House will take up and vote the week of March 18. Passage is expected but not guaranteed, therefore contacting Representatives is urgent.
    • We’ll be watching the Biden Budget to demonstrate his priority on this legislation
    • Senate battle will be difficult with opposition based on 1) the “boyfriend loophole”  2) indigenous people and immigrant components and 3) partisanship
    • The challenge is to demonstrate a strong commitment to this legislation, and make sure to only support legislators who recognize its importance, including all of the “controversial” elements.

    CALL to ACTION

    Contact your representatives in Congress to urge their support for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Here are sample messages, however, we encourage you to add any message about your personal connection to this issue with which you feel comfortable.  This will increase the impact of your message.

    Short version (appropriate for quick messages or for supportive legislators): 

    “Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, and a deterrent to an equitable and peaceful world. It is devastating and its impact is enormous and widespread. I support the Violence Against Women Act and call on you to support it as well.”

    Extended version:

    “The crisis of gender-based violence continues to grow, far outpacing available resources (many of which have been disappearing for lack of funds). The need for funds to prevent, prosecute and provide resources to victims is overwhelming and Congress has not done enough to provide these resources to all Americans.  This unending culture of violence has serious impacts on the majority of the population, either directly or indirectly, and inaction is not acceptable.  I support the Violence Against Women Act and will demonstrate that support with my vote. I call on you to support it too.”

    Ways to contact representatives:

    • Email
    • Phone call
    • Postcard

    Find your Representative here and your Senators here

    Encourage your family and friends, both in the US and abroad, to do the same.  Also, encourage anyone who can possibly visit the local or DC office of their legislator to do so in a more dramatic show of support and importance.


  • published Eliminating Violence Against Women in News 2021-01-17 06:00:04 -0500

    Eliminating Violence Against Women

    Twenty-seven years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), a landmark piece of legislation, authored by then-Senator Joe Biden. It was designed to support and protect survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. Since that time, the federal government has awarded more than $8 billion in grants to local, state, and tribal governments and organizations, enabling them to develop programs and services to best implement the law's purpose. 

    Read more

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