Welcome to Democrats Abroad San Miguel de Allende!
Welcome to the San Miguel de Allende Chapter of Democrats Abroad Mexico!
We want our members to know, that we are here in support of our membership and mission, to help U.S. citizens living abroad stay informed and exercise their right to vote and will continue to do so in future U.S. elections. We also offer fun, social events, as well as opportunities to participate as a volunteer each year. San Miguel is lucky to have a vibrant, diverse community of active U.S. citizens.
If we can help in any way, please reach out to us!
¡Bienvenido a el San Miguel de Allende Chapter de Democrats Abroad México!
Queremos que nuestros miembros sepan que estamos aquí para ayudar al grupo y su misión - apoyar a ciudadanos americanos en el extranjero a mantenerse informados para que puedan ejercer su derecho al voto. Seguiremos haciendo esto en todas futuras elecciones estadounidenses. También ofrecemos divertidos eventos sociales así como oportunidades para participar como voluntario cada año. San Miguel tiene la fortuna de contar con una comunidad vibrante y diversa de dichos ciudadanos americanos..
Si en algo podemos apoyarte, ¡no dudes en contactarnos!
Chair, San Miguel de Allende
Democrats Abroad SMA hosted the Annual General Meeting for Democrats Abroad Mexico the weekend of March 30th at the Hotel Posada de La Aldea. A highlight was having Robert Reich speak to the group. It was streamed live on Facebook and can be watched here. Or watch a pre-talk interview with Lauren Carlsen of the CIP Americas Program for The Real News here. We were also pleased to have Genaro Lozano from Mexico City speak to the group on Sunday, offering a perspective from Mexico media in the relationship of our two countries.
We were so lucky to have both speakers, and thank many of you for coming out to support the conference. New leadership was elected for the country, and it was a great opportunity for people to meet, network and share ideas on how we will be moving forward. A major goal of Democrats Abroad Mexico will be growing our membership base.
The attached toolkit was put together by two dedicated local Democrats Abroad SMA members to help all of us do the most we can, as easily and efficiently as we can, during these chaotic times. We think you will find the attached information helpful and informative in providing a road map to taking some meaningful action.
- get the contact information on your two senators and member of the House,
- pick three or four core issues that you feel are important and
- contact your representatives about them at least once a month, until things change.
How do I contact my legislators?
- Snail mail (currently, incoming letters are undergoing extensive scrutiny, so it might take up to six weeks to reach your legislator. Postcards get through faster.)
- Social Media - Facebook and Twitter in particular.
- Set up an in-person meeting with your legislators and/or their staff
- Introduce yourself. Immediately say that you are a constituent, give your name and where you’re from and, if you are calling on behalf of a particular organization, the name of the organization.
- Tell your legislator what you want - be specific! Include the bill number, bill name (if applicable), a one or two sentence summary, a few statistics for good measure, and discuss why the bill or issue is important to you.
- Make it personal! Do you have any stories about the issue at hand, or do you know people who do? Share those stories!
- Be sure to be concise. The reader will have limited time. As noted above, most contacts will simply be tallied as Opposed or In Favor.
- Thank your legislator for his/her time.
- Call the DC or District office, give the receptionist your name and ask to speak to the aide in charge of your issue.
- Provide the staffer with the information you would include in a letter:
How do I set up an in-person meeting with a staff person?
- Your congress people have several offices, both in DC and in your state. Staff in the state offices are more constituent-oriented; staff in DC are more focused on the legislator’s legislative agenda.
- Letters to the editor are great.
- Comments on websites. Most media outlets encourage readers to comment and the comments are appended at the bottom of the story. While sometimes those exchanges can get rude, it is a public space for discussion.
- Viral social media. Gaffs and outrages can spread throughout the world in minutes through Facebook and Twitter. For example, a Dairy Queen owner lost his franchise after a live recording of him insulting a black family went viral.
- Bumper stickers, buttons and tee shirts. Wear them and advertise your views.
- Public protests and demonstrations. Old school but still powerful.
"Just got back from a visit to Senator Pat Toomey's Johnstown office with 15 other Borough of State College & Penn State area people to talk about the immigration ban. Here are my takeaways:
1. Everyone we spoke with was rattled. They have never experienced this much constant feedback. The phones haven't stopped since the Inauguration and they admitted they can't check voicemail because there is no pause to do so.
2. Letters are the only thing getting through at this point [Note: I've heard that postcards are better because they can impound letters for five weeks to check for contaminants]. Regional offices are a much better mail destination because the compile, sort, and send everything. DC mail is so backed up right now it takes twice as long to send things there.
3. Toomey's staff seem frustrated with Trump. They said his barrage of Executive Orders are not how government is supposed to work, and was what they hated during moments of the Obama era. One of them said, "we have a democratic system and process. Trump needs to stop behaving like a Monarch."
4. Our representatives are listening because people are raising their voices. This feels like no other political moment in recent time for them.
5. Toomey's staffers are far more empathetic than I assumed. Also far more technology illiterate (one asked me how to use twitter, and how we already knew about Toomey's published statement). They resonate that the immigration ban feels immoral and unAmerican.
6. Regional offices are not designed to handle this volume of unrest.
7. Personal stories matter. Tell the stories of people being impacted by arbitrary religious and ethnic legislation. Staffers want to know.
8. Don't stop. Do whatever small part you can do to keep raising your voice to your representatives. Not just this issue, but every way marginalized people are being (or will be) exploited under this President."
From a friend:
I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like Trump is actually making America great again. Just look at the progress made since the election:
1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to google.
3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They're holding signs and marching every week.
4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone's forgotten he's kind of a jerk.
5. The Postal Service is enjoying the cash influx due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of antidepressants.
7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.
10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.
11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.
12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)
14. White people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
15. Stephen Colbert's "Late Night" finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today's Jon Stewart.
16. "Mike Pence" has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.
17. Trump has succeeded where thousands of history teachers failed - now everybody knows who Frederick Douglass was.
18. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
19. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
20. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
21. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
22. Massive cleanup of facebook friend lists.
23. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell's "1984" increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
24. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
25. Now, more than anytime in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.