Michael Ramos published Virtual Museum in Global Veterans & Military Families Caucus 2022-05-21 03:38:46 -0400Thank you for visiting our Virtual Museum page! We are thrilled to share with you several “virtual exhibits” of current and historical significance to the Democrats Abroad Global Veterans & Military Families (VMF) Caucus, such as photos of only a sample of those proudly identifying with our special community, photos of a few of our past events, some VMF-created artwork, VMF documents, and VMF-related actions since we officially became recognized in 2018, and more.
The virtual exhibits all comprise one or more main themes of: HONOR & RESPECT, VOLUNTEERING & ACTIVISM, PATRIOTISM & HISTORY. It is under these themes that future additions to the virtual museum will be incorporated.
Have a scroll through the several images and please feel free to share this page with others. We hope you enjoy learning about us, and if you are an overseas veteran, servicemember, military family member, or ally of veterans and military families, we hope to get to know you, too. If you feel like our community is for you, consider signing up with the VMF Caucus here. And if you are already a VMF member, thank you for being a part of the family!
If you are a Democrats Abroad member and would like to be included in these highlighted exhibits, please know you are welcome to participate and we would encourage you to contact us with sharing your military story along with any relevant photos or willingness to assist in any of our efforts (e.g. virtual museum, advocacy, voter registration, language translation, writing/editing, etc.).
Questions related to the VMF Virtual Museum, the Democrats Abroad Veterans & Military Families Caucus, how to find and/or contact your specific Members of Congress, how to become more involved with VMF volunteering, or how to request an overseas voting ballot as a civilian or Armed Services member abroad – all of these can be directed to: [email protected].
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.
"We support women and girls in elected office." "We support women and girls getting paid the same as men in professional sports." "We support women and girls in S.T.E.M.M. [science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine] fields." ...All too often we hear these phrases, but without a constitutional guarantee that the United States practices what it preaches and indeed protects, supports, and encourages women and girls to thrive in American society, the current practice of sex discrimination will continue to make an appearance in America's schools, board rooms, military bases, sports fields, and everywhere in between. It is unconscionable that in the 21st century women are still often told things like they're not allowed to breastfeed in public, they're not "tough enough" to do traditionally-men's roles in the Armed Forces, and "because they dressed like that, they had it coming." It is time for policymakers to walk the walk and defend women by passing the Equal Rights Amendment and taking one step further to realizing true equality among American citizens. As an American who has spent enormous time living and traveling abroad, I have seen first-hand what equality looks like and what it certainly doesn't look like in various parts of the world. The United States needs to step up and be the democratic role model its citizens and others look for it to be. #EqualRightsAmendmentNow! -Michael Ramos, Democrats Abroad, Resident of Australia and Absentee Voter in Illinois
Michael Ramos published Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For August 2019 in News / Noticias 2019-08-26 03:19:40 -0400
Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus members spoke to several notable guests during the month of August. We heard from an “undocu-queer” Chicanx artist in Oakland about how he incorporates art into his immigration activism; we chatted with a Latina who was named her state’s 2019 Teacher of the Year for her outstanding methods as an educator; we learned from a Democratic ally in Washington, D.C. about why each state’s attorney general is a critical elected position in fighting the Trump agenda; and we caught up with an amazing professional singer and businesswoman also in California who engaged with us in a bilingual discussion about her experience growing up on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Check out the names below in bold font to see who we spoke to this month.
ICYMI: We’re also on Apple Podcasts/iTunes! Click here to check us out.
An Engaging Bilingual Discussion With All-Around Super Woman Martha Soledad
The amazing Martha Soledad, an accomplished businesswoman, published author, and professional singer, took some time out to join the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus in our most recent podcast. Like so many other Hispanic Americans, Martha can identify with two cultures, two languages, and fully knows the immigration struggle. In Martha's case, she is U.S.-born but has proud roots all the way from Oakland to Michoacán.
In this episode, we speak to Martha about the absolute need for civic engagement from every available voter. While addressing the unique community of U.S.-born-but-foreign-raised Latinos, we explore this rarely-discussed community within the spectrum of Latinx identity. Our guest also shares her experience of people affected outside our borders and across Latin America. Finally, we discuss the urgency of the next presidential election in the U.S. and Martha encourages us all to not merely talk about “doing something,” but to actually take meaningful action. Have a listen to this episode with Martha Soledad and we guarantee you won't be disappointed. ¡Sube el volumen!
“Martha is a spitfire with superwoman energy in her professional life. Her passion for civic engagement is positively contagious.” - caucusita Alison Maciejewski
“With deep roots in the binational community that she loves, Martha connects with people on a personal level, on both sides of the border, in a way few others can.” - caucusito Sam Stone
Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), Sam Stone (DA Mexico), and Rebecca Lammers (DA United Kingdom). Podcast intro/outro music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
“¡Defend DACA!” A Brief Chat With Chicanx Artist/Activist
If you’ve been to Oakland, California within the last few years, you've likely seen the work by this episode’s podcast guest. This week the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus caught up briefly with the talented Nicolas González-Medina, an artist and long-time political activist. An expert with his paint brush, screen printing and woodwork, Nicolas has his art proudly displayed on buildings, at pro-immigration rallies, on political advertisements, in fashion shows -- you name it.
As a self-identified “undocu-queer” Chicanx artist, Nicolas is an undocumented immigrant who was born in Mexico but arrived in Chicago as a child. He spent his childhood there, his adult life in California, and is just as “American” as his Chicagoan friends who happened to have been born in the U.S. Check out this brief conversation we had with Nicolas to hear first-hand yet another moving story of someone needing the Senate to do the will of the American people and pass the Dream and Promise Act. #SinPapelesSinMiedo
Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic) and Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
Raising The Education Bar With 2019’s Kentucky State Teacher Of The Year Jessica Dueñas
Somewhere on the south side of Louisville, a teacher is providing boys with the knowledge and tools to be America's next generation of leaders. On this week's podcast, Jessica Dueñas, the 2019 Kentucky State Teacher of the Year, chatted with the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus on a variety of topics, including her experience in declining a White House formal ceremony invitation earlier this year based on the Trump Administration’s “values” conflicting with her own set of principles.
It’s no secret that young men of color may encounter negative future life experiences due to ongoing stereotypes, racial profiling, low expectations, and so forth. But she and her school, the W.E.B. DuBois Academy, have raised the bar for having a bold curriculum based on the diversity of the student body such as including minorities’ contributions to our country rather than excluding them (per “traditional” teaching methods). Of Cuban and Costa Rican heritage and unapologetic of pointing out certain politicians’ attacks on public education, Jessica is one Latina educator in the Bluegrass State of which we’re all extremely proud of and grateful for. Have a listen to this insightful discussion and remember to subscribe via Podomatic or iTunes to get notified of new episodes!
Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 15:22 en la conversación. (Jessica’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 15:22 into the conversation.)
Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Nelleke Bruyn (DA Costa Rica), Greg Dolezal (DA Vietnam), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
DAGA’s Lizzie Ulmer And Understanding The Critical Role Of Your State's Attorney General
With an incompetent Trump Administration and extremist lawmakers pursuing a far-right agenda, each state's attorney general is the last line of legal defense for the American people. Working hard to get these elected officials into office is Lizzie Ulmer with the Democratic Attorneys General Association, or “DAGA.” Have a listen to Lizzie explain why having Democratic AGs is critical in protecting our democracy from those who seek to do harm to our communities of color, our environment, women’s reproductive rights, and more. Make no mistake - the dozens of court cases by states winning against the Trump Administration over the last two years are directly attributable to the hard work of Democratic AGs.
Lizzie also touched on the diversity of DAGA-supported AGs, including one candidate of color who would be an amazing addition to DAGA if elected. If you’re an American living abroad, we hope you find Lizzie’s commentary just as enlightening as we did and that you learn a bit about a branch of the Democratic Party not often on the front pages. Because every year there are elections for state AGs, requesting your ballot should always be a top priority.
Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), Lori Smith (DA Mexico), and Angelo Goode (DA Philippines). Podcast intro/outro music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
Michael Ramos published Declaración del Caucus Hispano sobre la aprobación en la Casa de Representantes de H.R. 6 in News / Noticias 2019-06-07 09:06:46 -0400
A principios de esta semana, los Demócratas de la Cámara mantuvieron su promesa hecha desde el comienzo del 116 ° Congreso y aprobaron una solución legislativa para proteger a los Dreamers (Soñadores): niños traídos ilegalmente a Estados Unidos sin culpa propia. La legislación también prevé la protección del estatus migratorio a personas con estado de protección temporal (TPS) y salida forzada diferida (DED) que huyeron de la violencia o desastres naturales en su país de origen. Y dado que estos grupos de inmigrantes han tenido sus vidas en el caos debido al completo e inmoral cambio de opinión de Donald Trump para terminar con estos programas, H.R. 6 proporcionaría un camino para obtener la ciudadanía estadounidense a estos inmigrantes que trabajan, que pagan impuestos y que sirven en el Ejército y que llaman a los Estados Unidos su hogar.
La propuesta American Dream and Promise Act (Sueño y Promesa de Estados Unidos) está pendiente de consideración por parte del Senado de Estados Unidos. El Caucus Hispano de Demócratas en el Extranjero insta a todos los estadounidenses en el extranjero a: 1) comunicarse con sus dos senadores para apoyar H.R. 6 y para exigir una votación sobre esta legislación atrasada, y, 2) si representado por uno de los 230 demócratas o 7 republicanos que votaron para aprobar el H.R. 6, a contactarlos con un mensaje de agradecimiento por estar en el lado correcto de la historia estadounidense.
Después de la votación de la Cámara, cientos de asistentes en la galería de la Casa irrumpieron en un estruendoso aplauso. Julia Bryan, Presidenta Internacional de Demócratas en el Extranjero, declaró: “Estoy encantada de que la Cámara haya aprobado esta importante ley, apoyando a un grupo de jóvenes adultos a los que debemos sentirnos orgullosos de dar la bienvenida a Estados Unidos como ciudadanos. Insto al Senado a llegar a trabajar y a hacer lo mismo. Los Demócratas en el Extranjero apoyamos a los Dreamers, y continuaremos luchando por una reforma migratoria sensata que acoja a los inmigrantes de la forma en que muchos de nosotros hemos sido acogidos en los países en los que vivimos en todo el mundo.”
Ya hemos visto a esta desvergonzada administración separar familias, enviando inmigrantes indocumentados a países donde a menudo no tienen familiares ni apoyo, no están familiarizados con el idioma local, y se enfrentan a intentos para suprimir libertades tales como la libertad de expresión. Después de años de los Congresos Republicanos que no hacer nada, nuestros legisladores Demócratas electos tomaron medidas decisivas para proteger a los Dreamers y a otros grupos inmigrantes vulnerables que han sido constantemente amenazados con la deportación a países en los que simplemente tienen una conexión limitada o nula.
H.R. 6 no se trata solo de los Dreamers ni de una persona en particular; esto es sobre cuál es la posición de nuestro país para acoger y proteger a los inmigrantes vulnerables que han abrazado nuestra cultura y que han llegado a amar a los Estados Unidos. Con el voto de esta semana sobre H.R. 6, los Demócratas de la Cámara han demostrado su apoyo a los valores simbolizados por la Estatua de la Libertad, que desde hace años ha acogido a grupos de inmigrantes que huyen de países donde atrocidades inhumanas han ocurrido.
El Senado de mayoría Republicana ahora deberá escuchar a la gran mayoría de los estadounidenses que piden la protección inmediata de los miembros de servicio de los Estados Unidos, maestros, médicos y otros inmigrantes en nuestras comunidades, y llevar la propuesta American Dream and Promise Act a votación.
Michael Ramos published Hispanic Caucus Statement on House Passage of H.R. 6 in News / Noticias 2019-06-07 09:02:03 -0400
Earlier this week, House Democrats kept their promise from the beginning of the 116th Congress and passed a legislative solution to protect “Dreamers” – children illegally brought to the United States through no fault of their own. The legislation also provides immigration status protection to individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who fled violence or natural disasters in their country of origin. And because these immigrant groups have had their lives thrown into chaos due to Donald Trump’s complete and immoral flip flop to end these programs, H.R. 6 would provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for these hard-working, tax-paying, military-serving immigrants who call the United States home.
The American Dream and Promise Act is now pending consideration by the U.S. Senate. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges all Americans abroad to: 1) contact their two senators to support H.R. 6 and to demand a vote on this long-overdue legislation, and, 2) if represented by one of the 230 Democrats or 7 Republicans who voted to pass H.R. 6, to contact them with a thank-you message for being on the right side of American history.
After the House vote took place, hundreds of attendees in the House gallery erupted into thunderous applause. Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, stated, “I’m delighted that the House has passed this important piece of legislation, supporting a group of young adults we should be proud to welcome into the U.S. as citizens. I urge the Senate to get to work and do the same. Democrats Abroad stands with Dreamers, and we will continue to fight for sensible immigration reform that embraces immigrants the way so many of us have been embraced in the countries we live in around the world.”
We have already seen this shameless administration rip families apart, sending undocumented immigrants to countries where they often have no family members or support, no familiarity with the local language, and face efforts to suppress liberties such as freedom of speech. After years of do-nothing Republican Congresses, our elected Democratic lawmakers took decisive action on protecting Dreamers and other vulnerable immigrant groups who have been constantly threatened with deportation to countries in which they simply have limited or no connection.
H.R. 6 is not only about Dreamers nor is it about any particular individual person; this is about where our country stands in welcoming and protecting vulnerable immigrants who have embraced our culture and have come to love the United States. With this week’s vote on H.R. 6, House Democrats are on record as siding with the values symbolized with the Statue of Liberty, which for years has taken in groups of immigrants fleeing countries where inhumane atrocities have occurred.
The Republican-majority Senate must now listen to the vast majority of Americans calling for the immediate protection of U.S. service-members, teachers, doctors, and other immigrants in our home communities, and bring the American Dream and Promise Act up for a vote.
Michael Ramos published Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Statement on House Vote Opposing Trump's Wall in News / Noticias 2019-03-01 02:24:32 -0500
Earlier this week in the U.S. House of Representatives, a joint resolution was passed expressly opposing President Trump’s so-called “emergency” declaration on the southern border. Thirteen Republicans joined a united Democratic majority in supporting H.J.Res. 46, which now heads to the Senate which is expected to consider the legislation in the coming days. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus applauds Congressman Joaquín Castro, chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, for sponsoring the joint resolution and congratulates the House for passing it.
Several leaders within the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus offered their thoughts on last night’s historic vote:
“This is yet another completely fabricated claim coming out of the White House. Let’s be clear: persons seeking asylum in the U.S. are not ‘bad hombres,’ but rather human beings deserving to be heard and having to state their case in federal court. Mexico even agreed to host migrants during the asylum process and has offered temporary work permits and public services to them – because they do not represent a security crisis.”
– Lori Smith (DA-México)
“I’ve lived in Mexico for nearly a dozen years. That doesn’t make me an expert on border issues, but the numbers are clear for anyone paying attention. The total number of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. has decreased since 2006. Mexicans constitute about half of the total undocumented population and most of the decline is due to the decreasing number of immigrants arriving annually. According to the U.S. Border Patrol, apprehensions every year have declined from a high of 1.6 million in 1986 to a current rate of about 300,000 per year – for the border from California to Texas. If there ever was an emergency, it started to end over twenty years ago.”
– Will Prescott (DA-México)
“There is no crisis. Even by looking at the number of people involved in these caravans, it’s actually pretty small compared to the total number of people who enter the US every year – legally, illegally, or both. And despite the atrocities that many Central American migrants experience, such as rapes or beatings, Mexico is actually doing a lot to help them deal with the situation while they wait to present themselves to the U.S. And despite Republican claims that Mexico is a ‘safe’ alternative for asylum seekers – which is not a realistic option for them – the bottom line is that they must be allowed to seek asylum in the U.S.—as U.S. federal law requires.”
– Sam Stone (DA-México)
“Trump is leading us to an authoritarian regime by using the emergency declaration to circumvent Congress and increase the power of the Executive Branch. Virtually every American in my country of residence believes that the constitutional checks and balances among the Executive Branch, Congress, and the Courts must be respected. While Trump and his right-wing extremist base have chosen to try and force the U.S. Constitution down a paper shredder to build his useless wall, Democrats are proudly fighting back in nullifying Trump’s non-existent ‘emergency’ declaration.”
– Nelleke Bruyn (DA-Costa Rica)
“Yet again, we have witnessed more falsehoods from both the president and congressional Republicans regarding the border ‘crisis.’ Democrats believe in utilizing technology that’s proven effective such as drones, tightening the rules at ports of entry, and many other sensible measures. Fortunately, the House-passed bill clearly shows that this isn’t really about protecting Americans. Even after looking at the administration’s own data, I have yet to see anything of the magnitude of an ‘emergency’ in which the president could justify yanking federal funds from other important resources and using it to instead build his ‘vanity’ wall. Even Republican Congressman Hurd, who represents an enormous Texas border district, strongly disagrees with the president on this issue. Once the president knew that there was no way another country was going to pay for his wall despite his repeated campaign pledge to do so, the American people, unsurprisingly, saw right through it.”
– Michael Ramos (DA-Australia)
The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges the United States Senate to immediately bring up this important, filibuster-proof resolution to a vote so that all members of Congress can be on record as to whether they respect and honor the Legislative Branch as a constitutional co-equal branch of the federal government, or if they choose to believe that Congress should be subservient to Donald Trump.
Michael Ramos published 2018’s Primary Season Wraps Up With The Granite State in Endorsements / Apoyos 2018-09-17 04:42:57 -0400
Once again, Democrats have proven that they will come out in large numbers when the election stakes are high, like we just saw in New Hampshire. Now that we know who will be on the ballot for November, we are ready to finalize our candidate endorsements.
As such, the names you see below in bold font are proudly endorsed by the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus. They deserve your support in November.
Molly Kelly (challenger to pro-dirty energy, incumbent GOP Gov. Chris Sununu)
U.S. House of Representatives
NH-1: Chris Pappas (challenger to open seat)
NH-2: Annie Kuster (INCUMBENT)
And there it is, ladies and gentlemen, y damas y caballeros. Unfortunately, we have two more months of having to deal with a pro-locking migrant children in cages administration, state legislatures who oppose women’s reproductive rights, unqualified Cabinet members, and other dreadful political conditions. The good news, however, is that some ballots for the General Election have already been sent off to U.S. citizens overseas (a.k.a. “UOCAVA voters”).
So before you get caught up and busy with your favorite NFL team, before you get too busy with Halloween plans, and before those of you in the Northern Hemisphere start your winter vacation planning, please make sure that filling our your ballot and mailing/e-mailing/faxing it back is among your highest priorities. Now that, friends, is patriotic.
Michael Ramos published A Year In Review & Forecasting 2018 in News / Noticias 2018-01-01 22:59:04 -0500
Democratic Brothers and Sisters,
Another year gone, another full agenda on our activist radar. So what’s been happening and what can you expect the Hispanic Caucus to be involved in? Please keep reading for answers…
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
There are four relevant bills currently pending in Congress that affect DACA enrollees, one of which, the Dream Act, is the ideal legislation Democrats have been pushing Republican leaders to hold a vote. Protecting Dreamers is simply the right thing to do, and their stories are indisputably and uniquely pro-American. To summarize the issue, Obama created DACA through executive order, Trump utilized his presidential authority to rescind the program, and now the fate of nearly 800,000 Dreamers lies in the hands of congressional Republicans. We must not stop fighting for these individuals. Why is passing the Dream Act critical? Gracias to our DNC rep, Orlando, for passing along this great video explaining it.
Keep in mind that comprehensive immigration reform is still urgently needed, but don’t expect Republicans to work in a bipartisan manner anytime soon as their go-to policies include “build the wall,” “no funding for sanctuary cities,” “increased border patrol,” “ban refugees from Muslim countries,” etc.
Unfortunately for many Americans and indeed for all Americans living abroad, the GOP Tax Scam is now law (P.L. 115-97). Don’t be misled – the new law is a massive giveaway to millionaires, billionaires, Republican campaign donors, and corporations already sitting on massive record profits. Instead of actually helping America’s working-class, congressional Republicans voted to put America over a trillion dollars in yet more debt, open up drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, kill the health care mandate in the Affordable Care Act which essentially means healthier people will not voluntarily pay for coverage and therefore destabilize the insurance market and increase everyone else’s health premiums, and the list goes on and on. The absurdity alone of this new tax law is enough to justify booting out every single Republican in the next election.
Other Important Issues
Sheriff Joe Arpaio – President Trump pardoned this highly-controversial Arizonan. From blatant racial profiling to false accusations about President Obama’s birth certificate to total abuse of power in office, Arpaio is a symbol to many Americans of who should be jailed, not entrusted with elected office and enforcing the law while disrespecting civil rights.
Charlottesville, VA – The president of the United States failed miserably to adequately denounce the hateful rhetoric and detestable violence of Klansmen, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists.
Cabinet – Pitifully, there is only one high-ranking person of Hispanic descent in the Trump White House: U.S. Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta.
Virginia’s House of Delegates – Latinas were elected for the first time, increasing much-needed diversity in the commonwealth’s legislature representation.
Puerto Rico – The devastation from the summer’s hurricane season led to mass dysfunction from the White House leadership and—quite despicably—rolls of paper towels being thrown by our Commander-in-Chief to fellow U.S. citizens desperately pleading for help. Keep an eye on Carmen Yulín Cruz, currently mayor of San Juan, as a rising Democratic star.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus – The CHC consists of all Democratic members of Congress. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) attempted to join the caucus but was rejected after it was determined he was doing it simply to appear more “bipartisan” in his own tough congressional race. The Democratic Party does not have an official position on this particular issue, but several persons I’ve spoken with have mixed feelings on this occurrence. Perhaps this topic merits further discussion if anyone is so inclined..?
Congressional Legislative Scorecard for 2017
Please take a few moments to see how your members of Congress voted on key bills affecting the Hispanic community.
(Methodology: How is this scorecard determined? Only items voted on by the full House or Senate chamber are included. Not included are other congressional actions or inactions such as co-sponsoring particular bills, speaking out on an issue, committee votes, or condemning Republicans.)
House of Representatives
6/29/17 – H.R. 3003, No Sanctuary for Criminals Act. This bill is an extreme enforcement proposal which blurs the lines between federal immigration enforcement and local police.
Democratic position: VOTE NO.
Click here to see how your representative voted.
6/29/17 – H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law. This bill is another unnecessary measure which expands already-severe penalties for immigrants who re-enter the U.S., and thus waste resources and simply lead to an increase in the prison population without addressing other aspects of overdue immigration reform.
Democratic position: VOTE NO.
Click here to see how your representative voted.
9/14/17 – H.R. 3697, Criminal Alien Gang Member Removal Act. This bill creates new rules for preventing entry to or deporting immigrants based on the mere suspicion of gang affiliation.
Democratic position: VOTE NO.
Click here to see how your representative voted.
12/20/17 – H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This bill is possibly the worst to come out of Congress in a decade. It would have been more accurate to call it the “Tax Cuts Only for the Wealthy, No Tax Reform for Americans Abroad, and Massive Giveaway to Corporations Act.”
Democratic position: VOTE NO.
Click here to see how your representative voted.
2/7/17 – Confirming Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education
Democratic position: VOTE NO. She was and still is completely unqualified, is simply a long-time Republican donor, does not believe in LGBT fairness and equality in schools, and remains unclear as to whether she even believes in wanting the U.S. public education system to succeed.
Click here to see how your senators voted.
2/17/17 – Confirming Scott Pruitt as U.S. Administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Democratic position: VOTE NO.
Click here to see how your senators voted.
4/7/17 – Confirming Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court
Democratic position: VOTE NO. Gorsuch is an arch-conservative who has consistently sided with corporations over workers, and has an overall record of unpopular judicial decisions.
Click here to see how your senators voted.
12/20/17 – H.R. 1, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Democratic position: VOTE NO.
Click here to see how your senators voted.
There were many other issues of importance which were also voted on in the first half of the 115th Congress – raising the debt ceiling, the continuing resolution, appropriations, the numerous attempts to gut ObamaCare and more, but for the sake of keeping the above list short, I just focused on those bills.
Of course, there were some happier moments from 2017 which brought pride to the Hispanic community and raised awareness of Latinos. Disney’s “Coco” was (and still is) a box office smash, “Despacito” rocked the air waves, the Latino cast of Broadway’s “Hamilton” toured the U.S., and other notable moments happened in politics, the arts, and education.
Things to do in 2018
The new year brings a few special congressional elections, must-pass spending bills to keep the federal government operating, reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, “entitlement reform” (this is GOP code for slashing Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and Social Security—expect several take-action items from us on this), possibly another #GOPTaxScam v. 2.0 in April, and likely a huge transportation-infrastructure bill in Congress. Although transportation is not necessarily an expat issue, it is massively relevant to the Hispanic community which deserves its fair share of public transportation service with taxpayer dollars. Expect Congress to work on a massive “farm bill,” too. We will keep an eye on these and all other issues that could pop up which directly affect us living abroad. In addition, we will continue to closely monitor issues affecting the U.S. Hispanic community.
Starting with winning gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, Democrats all across the country—with our help—have been winning state legislative seats, local races, and even a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama—something unthinkable to political experts even a year ago. We will need to carry on this momentum and redouble our efforts in 2018 in order to take back Congress. This starts with repealing and replacing Republicans.
For items shown below which pertain to you, please mark these dates on your calendar (hopefully you’re now using the fantastic DA Women’s Caucus calendar!).
* Jan. 2018 – Every single member of the DA Hispanic Caucus should triple-check and update your voter registration status to ensure your eligibility to vote, and also request a ballot for the upcoming several primary elections. Please don’t delay this action! And similar to changing the battery in your ceiling fire detector, it’s that time of the year where you should log on to the DA web site and update your details if anything’s changed, such as your U.S. voting address and which newsletters you want to subscribe to.
* Jan. 2018 – Please consider answering our chair’s call for assistance in either writing a testimonial or recording a short video about why you plan to vote. Contribute in either English or Spanish!
* Jan. 30, 2018 –Trump will make his first official State of the Union address. (Last year was an “address to the nation” type of speech.)
* Feb. 27, 2018 – Primary for special election for Arizona-8 congressional seat.
* Mar. 13, 2018 – Special election for Pennsylvania-18 congressional seat. The Democratic candidate is Conor Lamb – let’s get him some support!
*Apr. 24, 2018 – Special election for Arizona-8 congressional seat.
* May 2018 – The DA Hispanic Caucus will turn 1 year old. Pat yourself on the back and eat some “Freedom Fajitas” or “Tío Sam Tamales.”
* May 24-27, 2018 – DA international annual general meeting (open to all members of DA). Are there any Hispanic Caucus members planning on attending? Please let Ana and I know!
* June 2018 – U.S. expat taxes and FBAR forms due.
* Aug. 7, 2018 – Primary for special election for Michigan-13 congressional seat.
* Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, 2018 – Hispanic Heritage Month
* All throughout 2018 – Always a great cause if you can spare any donation is to contribute money on the DA web site. No other organization supports both the work of U.S. Democratic interests and the interests of Americans living abroad.
* Nov. 6th (Tuesday) – ☆☆☆ ELECTION DAY ☆☆☆
I will resist, rise, organize, and commit to vote. Will you join me in this New Year’s resolution?
DA Hispanic Caucus
Michael Ramos published Upcoming Congressional Tele-Town Halls – Mark Your Calendar! in News / Noticias 2017-11-26 04:12:52 -0500
Amigos – If you are a voter from within any of the below congressional districts, please consider joining your member of Congress’s tele-town hall.
The upcoming tele-town halls are for voters in: Utah; North Dakota; Colorado-6; Pennsylvania-3; Texas-17; and Texas-30.
An essential part of political activism involves engaging directly with elected officials. In this case, the next best thing from an in-person meeting is a “tele-town hall.” Remember, members of Congress are accountable to us, the American people, regardless of where in the world we live. This is your chance to get some straight answers out of congresspersons live on-air and in a public forum.
If you need any guidance in trying to figure out what to ask your elected official, feel free to use any of the following:
For Latino-related items:
*What are you doing for the Hispanic community in your district?
*Will you support the Dream Act? If no, then why not?
*Every article I’ve seen talks about the negative effects on Hispanic-Americans if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. How would this be a positive thing for your Hispanic constituents?
*To cut taxes for the richest individuals and corporations, the Republican tax bill increases taxes for graduate students by 300 to 400 percent. These students typically earn $30K per year. Latino and African American students are more likely to receive Pell Grants & many take student loans. How is this good for your constituents, especially Latinos?
For general overseas items:
*I support residency-based taxation for American citizens living abroad to be included in the Republican tax package. This would replace the current and unfair system of citizenship-based taxation. Why was this not included?
*As your constituent, I would appreciate it if you joined the Americans Abroad Caucus. Will you join? If no, then why not?
*As an overseas voter, what have you done to support your constituents living abroad?
If you have a U.S.-based mobile or Skype phone number, it’s best to use that. If you have a foreign phone number only, you can notate that in parentheses in the name or address field in the congressperson’s registration page.
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (Democrat-TX-30). November 28th, 7:00 p.m. CST. To participate, dial +1-877-229-8493 a few minutes before the start of the event. Then, dial the PIN number 114175.
Rep. Bill Flores (Republican-TX-17). November 28th, 6:55 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., and November 30th, 6:55 p.m. – 8:00 pm. To participate in either of his “multimedia town halls,” dial +1-877-229-8493 a few minutes beforehand, and then PIN number 111954 (same number and PIN for both dates).
Rep. Mike Kelly (Republican-PA-3). November 28th, starting at 7:10 p.m. EST. To participate, dial +1-877-228-2184 the night of the event. From there, enter the ID event number 19013.
Rep. Mike Coffman (Republican-CO-6). November 29th, 6:30pm-7:30pm MST. To participate, you must register for the event beforehand.
Rep. Kevin Cramer (Republican-ND-At-Large). November 29th, 10:00-11:00 a.m. CST. The congressman hosts radio-based “town halls” on a regular basis. There are several avenues for you to submit questions, but I recommend sending them straight to the congressman over his email form, or you can submit questions (even over social media) to one of the radio outlets intended for the congressman.
Sen. Mike Lee (Republican-Utah). December 13th at 6:00 p.m. MST. To participate, you must first register on the senator’s web site beforehand.
If you are able to get on the line with your congressperson, please let us know how it went!
Keep in mind that the congressional tax debate is about to re-convene and we should all be wary of the #GOPTaxScam / #TrumpTaxScam.
¡Sí se puede!
DA Hispanic Caucus
Michael Ramos published Hispanic Caucus: Update on DACA & Tax Reform in Congress in News / Noticias 2017-11-24 04:01:00 -0500
I'd like to update you briefly on two things: DACA and tax reform. Unsurprisingly, congressional Republicans have not taken any action to protect the future of Dreamers. However, there is a Democratic effort to force a vote on the Dream Act in the House of Representatives, and all hands on deck are needed to urge representatives to support it. ...As for the tax package moving through Congress, I have an update for you on where it stands, what it means for U.S. expats and Hispanic Americans, and why we should all oppose this so-called "reform." Please see the below information on these two important issues.
Our Chair, Ana, recently polled some of our members on which issues you'd like us to focus on. One of the biggest responses was related to the DACA/Dreamers issue. As a reminder, "Dreamers" are those persons who immigrated to the U.S. at a young age -- mostly through no fault of their own -- and ended up becoming "American" in every sense of the word - except having a U.S. birth certificate. Around 800,000 Dreamers contribute enormously to the U.S. economy. They're our neighbors, colleagues, friends, students, doctors, and even military service-members. Through executive order, President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to give Dreamers legal status and enable them to come out of the shadows. In an absolute flip-flop, President Trump scrapped the DACA program, leaving Dreamers emotionally in chaos with their now-uncertain future, and leaving Congress with little time to rectify the issue before the mass deportations begin.
So what are we going to do about it? Let's first quickly review what's been happening in Congress.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives realize the importance of helping Dreamers. Because that's what Americans do: we always lend a helping hand to those needing assistance -- unlike congressional Republicans, who appear to enjoy throwing concrete lifesavers to drowning victims. Fortunately, legislation exists which corrects this grave injustice. The Dream Act, legislation introduced in both chambers of Congress, stands a real chance of passing -- but only if it's brought up for a vote. Democrats have cosponsored bills, given floor speeches, and appeared in the media - all in support of Dreamers. Despite overwhelming support for allowing Dreamers legal immigration status, Republicans refuse to listen to their constituents and continue to re-name post offices and congratulate high school football teams as their "priority."
Now it’s time to kick it up a notch.
In the House, Democrats can force Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to hold a vote on the Dream Act, but only if 218 members of Congress sign on to what's known as a "discharge petition." We're at 195 right now, so we really need to keep up the momentum and push representatives to sign on to it. Please check here to see if your representative is already signed on. If he or she isn't on there, send them an e-mail or call his or her office and 1) inform them that you are a constituent, and 2) ask that the representative "sign on to the House discharge petition for the Dream Act," especially if he or she is a Republican. If you do one tiny bit of activism today, this should be it.
Secondly, I'd like to talk to you about the tax "reform" happening in the Republican-led Congress. If you're not following this topic in the news, the first thing you should know is IT'S NOT TAX REFORM AT ALL.
So how do we respond? I'd like to echo the call-to-action previously mentioned by Ana in that it's time to pick up the phones to call your senators and demand that they vote NO on the Senate tax bill.
I also want to embed these phrases in your mind for use in social media: #GOPTaxScam and #TrumpTaxScam. Spread the word on why senators should oppose these sorry excuses for tax legislation.
As you're celebrating Thanksgiving, undoubtedly your Republican friend or family member will ask you, "Why are the two Republican bills "scams? " Here's why: Both the House and Senate tax bills 1) body slam Latino families harder than a congressman from Montana, 2) significantly add to the national debt, 3) do indeed create millions of jobs -- OVERSEAS, 4) only benefit the wealthiest of Americans, 5) include absolutely zero reforms for Americans living abroad, 6) and in the Senate bill, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis showing that it would result in 13 million fewer Americans with health insurance -- and the list goes on and on. But the House and Senate tax bills are being "sold" to the American people with patriotic phrases like, "pro-growth," "stimulate the economy," "everybody's taxes are lowered," and "bipartisan reform." ¡Mentiras!
As someone originally from urban areas, I know con artists and scams when I see them. Both the House and Senate tax bills are scams. Here is some additional information on how the Republican House/Senate tax bills would affect the U.S. Hispanic community and why we should all oppose these scams:
* Newsweek article on the the impact of the #GOPTaxScam on Latinos
* Remarks by DNC Chair Tom Perez on why this is a #TrumpTaxScam, especially for Latinos
* Press release by Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham
* Press release by the former CHC Chair Raúl Grijalva
* Blog post by Latino advocacy group UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza)Read more
Click below to receive periodic updates from the Taxation Task Force on our tax advocacy work. We will message you when there are important updates and developments to report.Sign up
Michael Ramos commented on Contact 2016-02-22 15:52:31 -0500Hello — I saw that someone from Dems Abroad recently posted on facebook that there are 8.7M Americans residing abroad. May I ask where that number came from? I am currently doing research on this topic and I haven’t been able to find an accurate number anywhere.
We want to hear from you! Send your message using the form below, or email [email protected].
Local inquiries, reach out to Democrats Abroad leaders in your country.
General press inquiries, email [email protected].
Voter questions? Email [email protected]
Register or request your ballot at votefromabroad.org
Democrats Abroad DPCA
PO Box 15130
Washington, DC 20003, USA