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DAMX Bylaws Commentary for Amendments

In May 2019, a Governance Task Force was convened by DAMX Chair, Will Chapman, with the charge to review the current bylaws and make recommendations for amendments, as it had been many years since there had been a comprehensive review, and many issues needed to be addressed. The bylaws were presented to and approved by the DAMX Executive Committee at the November 25th meeting. Early in the process, the task force made the decision to refer to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) Model Chapter Country Bylaws for guidance in amending the current DAMX Bylaws. For areas not addressed in the Model Chapter Country Bylaws the task force looked to other large country committees bylaws for guidance in how they addressed particular issues.

 

This commentary is to aid members in their review of the DAMX Bylaws so approved by the Executive Committee and being presented for vote to the DAMX Membership at the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Original members of the Governance Task Force: Hope Bradberry, DA San Miguel de Allende Chapter Chair; John Boothby, DA Lake Chapala Chapter Chair; Will Chapman, DAMX Chair;  Emily Raskin Perey, DA Lake Chapala Chapter Vice Chair; and Sam Stone, former DAMX Counsel; Contributors: Alan Barson, former DAMX Treasurer; Sam Crockett DA Costa Banderas member, Erik Markeset, former DAMX Member at Large; Jana Nelson, former DAMX Member at Large and Fundraising Chair; Gary Sandblom, DAMX Member at Large, former acting DAMX Counsel, DA Merida Chapter Chair.

Article I: Name of the Organization - directly from DPCA Model Chapter Bylaws. 

Article II: Purpose and Relationship to Democrats Abroad - directly from DPCA Model Chapter Bylaws.

Article III: Members This article is primarily drawn from the DPCA model, with the following exceptions: 3.1 defines the principles as stated in the preamble; 3.2(iv): DPCA actually states principal residence, the task force modified it to say residence. 3.8 introduces the Board of Directors (BOD), which is defined in Article VII, and gives notice to chapter leadership, in addition to the member if that person is going to be removed from membership. Article III also addresses the care of personal data, which has not been done previously. 

Article IV: Executive Committee This is a departure from current bylaws. The task force is proposing going with the Canadian model of a smaller Executive Committee that will handle most of the day-to-day management of the organization and a broader BOD meeting fewer times per year. This idea is to actually devolve most of the work down to the committees, working across chapters, with the BOD handling the more upper-level decisions. And also anticipating a growing BOD as more chapters are formed. 4.4 onward, provide more detail and definition of responsibilities of the officers of the Executive Committee. Also, 4.5 is another departure from current structure: the task force is again modeling this structure after other large membership countries, and specifically France, by proposing two ViceChairs: Vice Chair of Global and Regional Affairs and Vice Chair of Chapter Affairs. We believe that this will provide a better division of duties, make the Chair's responsibilities more manageable and increase the depth of the organizational chart. 4.7 & 4.8 A further division of duties, dividing the duties of Secretary into a Secretary for Membership and a Secretary for Administrative Records, since both of these roles are critical to our efficient functioning. 4.9 Immediate Past Chair language about limitations to the term of service is from France. 

Article V: Chapter Representatives Defines Chapter Representatives serving on the 

Board of Directors. This language is not in DPCA model bylaws but comes from Canada with some changes. The proposal for the Chapter Representatives to begin serving on the Board following the DAMX AGM is from Canada also. 

Article VI: Voting Representatives Voting Representatives are not addressed in the DPCA model bylaws, but we have drafted this language from Canada with simplification and gender balance language. The task force has also added the geographical balance language to encourage representation from all of Mexico. 

Article VII: Board of Directors Again, this is a structural departure from the current organization. This article defines the members of the BOD. This language is a mix of DPCA Executive Committee language, France and Canada. 7.3 is language from Canada providing representation for DNC or International Officers who may in the future come from Mexico. 7.4 addresses 1 Person, 1 Vote, which means that even though a person may hold two offices, that person only has one vote, which is a DPCA governing principle. 7.5 This is a departure from DPCA language, and a major change to how we have transitioned from one administration to the next in the past. The goal here is to allow a period of 30 days' transition from when the AGM elections occur until terms expire and the new board members take office. In chapter articles, we are also proposing that all chapter representatives come onto the board at the same time, 30 days after the national AGM. 7.7 and 7.8 This is also a major addition, and comes from Canada. This provides for the removal of Board Members for absence or detrimental conduct. 

Article VIII: Board of Directors Responsibilities Further defines the Board of Directors. This language primarily comes from Canada, which has a similar structure. Some of the responsibilities in 8.2 are in the DPCA model for the Executive Committee, but those responsibilities now reside with the Board of Directors in this structure. 8.3 defines the fiscal year. 8.4 introduces the Code of Conduct which is DPCA language. 8.5 is added by the task force to give the BOD the power to establish Policies and Procedures, as nothing was provided in our current Bylaws. 

Article IX: Committees Defines the Standing Committees, sub-committees and how ad hoc committees are created. This language comes from the DPCA model language, except for requiring each standing committee to hold meetings every other month. The task force also debated the challenges of open meetings for committees, in particular notifications and logistics. It was decided to remove that requirement. 

Article X: Standing Committee Responsibilities Defines the six DAMX Standing Committees and their responsibilities. DPCA actually has more standing committees, but we feel these are sufficient for our country. Please note that all the committees may recruit additional members with expertise in their respective areas upon consultation with the Country Chair. 

Article XI: Chapters DPCA model bylaws do not provide Chapter language and our current bylaws have very little. These sub-articles provide more comprehensive language and primarily come from Canada and France. 11.2 The decision not to include a minimum number of members for a chapter was made to provide the BOD the flexibility to adjust the number in its policies and procedures, based on experience with new chapters going forward. 11.7 A Funding Task Force was convened to determine an alternative to the previous chapter financial obligation. A range consisting of a minimum and maximum was established based on the size of the chapter, and a formula was articulated to address the following challenges: 

  • DAMX needs to be be able to have a steady base of income to fund certain central functions; 
  • We wanted it not to be so high as to disincentivize chapters; 
  • Nor to be so low as to be insignificant; 
  • Both DAMX and its chapters need to be able to budget and plan; 
  • The chapter contribution is not meant to be the sole source of income in future for DAMX; 
  • DAMX cannot charge dues to individuals to join Democrats Abroad, according to DPCA. 
  • It needed to be verifiable and enforceable. 

We settled on a minimum flat amount based on membership size and a maximum based on actual expenditures the chapters are making to fulfil the mission and execute the strategic plan. 11.8 Determines the criteria for a chapter to be dissolved. 11.9 Introduces the option of precincts to DAMX. 

Article XII : Nominations and Elections This language is from the DPCA model updated according to the 2019 Country Committee Election Procedures. 

Article XIII: Elections and Removal from DAMX Office This is primarily drawn from model DPCA bylaws and DPCA Country Committee Election Procedures, with the addition of Voting Representatives. 

Article XIV: Meetings This language is primarily from the DPCA model bylaws, with the only change being what meetings are open to members: AGM, special membership meetings, Board of Directors and Exec. Comm because those meetings are held via WebEx or in public spaces and can be held at regularly scheduled times, making public notifications easier. A web page News posting will be utilized to list the scheduled meetings for the year for the ExCom and BOD. A member desiring to attend would contact the Secretary for Administrative Records to RSVP and request a link to the meeting. Non-board members attending can be muted on WebEx by the admin, and if public comment is going to be allowed, unmuted for a specified period of time, or via chat. 

With the number of committee meetings, the notification of such can be burdensome. The minutes would be available upon request from the Secretary for Administrative Records. 14.6 This is from DPCA and helps resolve challenges DAMX may have with the current quorum requirements. 14.8 Goes into further detail on the notice of meetings, specifying that additional agenda items shall be presented to the chair two weeks in advance of a meeting. 

Article XV: Rules Applicable to the Country Committee Directly from DPCA model country bylaws. 

Article XVI: Amendments Directly from DPCA. 

The Executive Committee has made the decision that the bylaws will be considered effective January 1, 2020 upon ratification.

You may review our current bylaws HERE.

You may review our proposed bylaws HERE. 

 


FAQs for US Citizens in Mexico

  • Should I stay in Mexico or return to the United States?
    • The answer to this question will be different for every person or family, depending on what resources you have available to you – including housing, money, and health insurance. If you live in the US and are in Mexico temporarily, the US State Department recommends that you return home as soon as possible unless you are prepared to stay in Mexico indefinitely.

  • I’m in Mexico on a tourist visa. Will the Mexican government extend my visa so I can avoid traveling?
    • The Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) has not provided any information about coronavirus-related tourist visa extensions.

  • Is the US-Mexico border closed?
    • No. The US and Mexico governments have agreed to restrict non-essential travel across the land border between the two countries. You can read more about these restrictions at mx.usembassy.gov/wha-press-guidance
    • There are currently no government restrictions on air travel; however, many airlines are canceling flights due to low traffic, sometimes with little notice.

  • What if I need help from the US Embassy?
    • The US Embassy has suspended most routine services, however, appointments are still available for essential services including lost, stolen, or expired passports. Email ACSMexicoCity@state.gov or call 55-8526-2561.

  • How can I get updates from the US Embassy or the US State Department?
    • Sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at step.state.gov to receive email updates from the US Embassy and US Consulates in Mexico.

  • Where can I get information about coronavirus in Mexico?
    • Official updates from the Mexican government are available at coronavirus.gob.mx. For information specific to Mexico City, visit covid19.cdmx.gob.mx, text covid19 to 51515, or call (55) 5658-1111.

  • What should I do to stay safe?
    • Mexico is encouraging all residents to stay at home (#QuedateEnCasa) as much as possible. If you do need to go out, try to maintain a healthy distance (Sana Distancia) of at least 1.5 meters or 4 feet from other people. Avoid using public transportation, especially during peak hours. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • What if I think I have COVID-19?
    • You can use the diagnostic tool at test.covid19.cdmx.gob.mx (also available by texting covid19 to 51515) to determine whether your symptoms are consistent with COVID-19. The tool is available in English and Spanish and will generate a case number that you can use to call (55) 5658-1111 for further instructions. 
    • Your doctor’s office and/or insurance company may offer consultations via video or phone. You can also use Doctoralia to search for physicians in Mexico that offer virtual visits.
    • If you are exhibiting symptoms, make sure to call ahead before visiting any health care provider so they can instruct you on appropriate precautions to limit possible exposure to others. 
  • Am I eligible to receive the COVID-19 stimulus payment under the CARES Act?
    • US citizens living outside the United States are still eligible for the stimulus payment. Payments will be issued by direct deposit if you provided bank information on a 2018 or 2019 tax return, or if you receive direct deposits from the Social Security Administration. The IRS has also said they will set up a website to allow people to submit direct deposit information rather than receiving checks in the mail. Visit  IRS.gov/coronavirus for the latest information.

  • When do I need to file my taxes?
    • The deadline for filing and paying US tax returns has been extended to July 15, 2020. The deadline for FATCA reporting for US citizens with foreign bank accounts has also been extended to July 15, 2020.

  • Can I participate in the US Census?
    • Citizens living abroad are not counted in the census unless they work for the US government. If you live in the United States and are in Mexico temporarily, you should respond to the census based on where you normally live as of April 1. (Note that for security reasons, the online census form at 2020census.gov will reject attempts to complete the census from outside the US; however, you may be able to complete the form using a VPN, or on a US cell phone data plan).

  • Can I vote from Mexico?
    • Yes! Visit votefromabroad.org to register and request your ballot for the 2020 elections! Reach out if you need any help, and we’ll be happy to walk you through it!

In the News - Democrats Abroad Mexico commentary on the impeachment process and US-Mexico relations

In this post, you can hear CDMX chairperson Gricha Raether (far right) participate in a debate on US-Mexico relations and comment on the latest on the impeachment process.

https://mvsnoticias.com/podcasts/victor-sanchez-banos/venta-del-avion-presidencial-caravana-migrante-proveniente-de-honduras/  

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Video: Gricha Raether, Representante del Partido Demócrata en México

Programa de entrevista corta, dura, directa y en tono desenfadado e intimista. Fernando del Collado entrevista con Gricha Raether, Representante del Partido Demócrata en México.


Statement on the Mass Shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio

4 August 2019

This weekend, we are once again brought to grief and sorrow over horrific mass shootings in America. The nightmare of gun violence struck early Sunday morning in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, where a young man in body armor wielded an AK-47-style assault rifle, killing at least nine people and wounding 27. The dead included the shooter’s sister.

The tragedy in Dayton came less than 15 hours after the weekend’s first gun massacre, an act of domestic terrorism in which another young man with body armor and an assault rifle entered a Wal-mart in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 people and wounding more than two dozen. In a manifesto attributed to the shooter, he railed against immigrants and warned of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

To those affected by these violent acts, we extend our deepest sympathies. Today we learned from Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcelo Ebrard, that six Mexicans are among the dead in El Paso. We stand in solidarity with him and all others condemning this massacre as an act of terrorism.  We call on the U.S. government and Department of Justice to cooperate with those investigating this incident as an act of terrorism and support efforts to obtain all necessary legal evidence.

President Trump declared today that “hate has no place in our country.” We challenge the president to live up to his words and stop the hateful, racist rhetoric he has returned to time and again in his campaign and in his presidency. We urge the president to call out and condemn white supremacist terrorism in the same way that he has seized upon and condemned radical Islam. And we call on Congress to finally enact sensible gun reforms that a majority of Americans support. Let’s end this cycle of shock, grief, and rage once and for all.


Democrats Abroad Mexico

www.democratsabroad.org/mx

https://www.facebook.com/demsabroadmx/ 

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On the Immigration Frontlines

Sobre la situación en torno a la frontera México - Estados Unidos ¿Qué podemos esperar?
Entra al #Debate22 con Daniel C. Stein, representante de los Demócratas en la Ciudad de México, y  Yuli García del Canal 22.

 

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In the News

Board Member Samuel Stone provides commentary on Trump´s illegal efforts to curb immigration as we await the details of the agreement reached with Mexico. 


Welcome to Democrats Abroad Mexico

Welcome to Democrats Abroad Mexico!

An estimated 1.5 million US citizens reside in Mexico, and our job is to help ALL of them register to vote in US federal, state, and local elections. Votes from abroad were responsible for many democratic victories in the 2018 midterms, and they will make a difference again in 2020!

If you are interested in joining our team of passionate and dedicated volunteers, please fill out the form here. Every effort counts, whether at the national or local level. Help us be the margin of victory in 2020.

We hope to see you at our Virtual Annual General Meeting on May 27th to June 4th and follow our  events page and our social media accounts for details about other upcoming activities.

Donate with PayPal

¡Bienvenid@ a Democrats Abroad México!

Se estima que 1.5 millones de estadounidenses residen en México actualmente. Nuestro objetivo es ayudarles a TODOS a registrarse y a votar desde el extranjero. Los votos desde el extranjero fueron decisivos para muchas victorias democráticas en las elecciones intermedias de 2018, y ¡lo serán de nuevo en 2020!

Si está interesad@ en unirse a nuestro equipo de voluntarios apasionados y dedicados, llene este formulario, y luego siguenos en las redes sociales para conocer más detalles sobre nuestras próximas actividades. Aunque las elecciones de 2020 parezcan lejanas, ¡el mejor momento para organizarse es ahora!

No dude en contactarnos si en algo le podemos apoyar, y esperamos verlos en nuestra Virtual Reunión Anual General de mayo de 2020. 

Donar con PayPal

Saludos,

Will Chapman
DA Mexico, Presidente
Info-Mexico@democratsabroad.org

  

 


Democrats Abroad Mexico Annual General Meeting 2019 Schedule

Hotel Posada La Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15

San Miguel de Allende

Saturday, March 30th:

11:30-1:00 Conference registration at table in La Aldea lobby;

1:00- 1:10 Welcome to Conference in Sala Allende

1:10- 2:00 Leadership Development Workshop 1:

What does it mean to be a Democrat in Mexico?

Presented by Larry Pihl & Mike Lambert

For most of us, living abroad in Mexico is a chosen option. At the same time, most want to remain connected with the United States and care what happens there. Grateful for the opportunities we enjoy in Mexico, we recognize the responsibilities of US citizenship. In this workshop, we will try to learn what US issues we share common concern for and the best ways, in addition to our vote, for us to influence the direction of the US.

2:00- 2:30 Coffee break

2:30- 3:20 Leadership Development Workshop 2: Funding our Mission

Presented by Hope Bradberry with Will Chapman

What are the current best practices for funding your mission? This workshop will include: Quickly articulating your mission to present to donors, better known as the elevator speech. How to identify, cultivate and steward donors. How the two most important words in the English language are Thank You! How special events can wear out your volunteers, and you, and what is their purpose. How the personal appeal is the most effective tool for long-term sustained financial security.

3:20- 4:00 Chapter & Member Recognitions

4:00- 5:00 Break & check-in/seating in Sala Colonial begins

5:00- 6:00 Robert Reich

Our first speaker, Robert Reich, is a celebrated American political commentator, professor, and author who served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. He was Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997 and a member of President-elect Barack Obama's economic transition advisory board. He is currently Chancellor’s Professor of public policy at the University of California Berkeley.

6:15 Book signing of his latest book, The Common Good. Reich’s book is available on Amazon.com to ship to Mexico! There will be a cash bar reception during the book signing.

Sunday, March 31st:

8:00- 9:00 Conference registration lobby of La Aldea

9:00- 12:00 Country business meeting Sala Aldama

9:00 Chair Report: Larry Pihl (includes Chapter reports)

9:30 Secretary report from 2018 AGM, Sam Stone

9:50 Treasurer's Report, David Fields

10:00- 10:30 DA Mexico, Officer elections including *. Survey Monkey results run by the National Nominating Committee

10:30- 10:45 Coffee Break

10:45- 11:10 Introductions of new officers

11:10- 11:30 Bylaw changes and vote

11:30- 11:45 Washington DC - Larry Pihl

11:45- 12:00 Will Chapman announcement

12:00- 1:30 Lunch Break - Standing committee chairs from different chapters go to

lunch together.

1:30- 2:30 Genaro Lozano

Genaro Lozano writes weekly in the newspapers of the Reforma Group and conducts daily "Foro Global". Presentation on: 1. US politics from the perspective of a Mexican political analyst. 2. Guidelines on how to have impact on MX media. 3. AMLO & perspective on the new Mexican Government.

2:30- 3:20 Leadership Development Workshop 3: Strategy for Effective GOTV Campaigns. Presented by Barbara Erickson.

A quick overview of important considerations when planning your GOTV efforts from FPCA to ballot return. Includes important do’s and don’ts as well as target dates for 2020.

3:30- 4:20 Leadership Development Workshop 4: The Art of Collaboration

Presented by Larry Pihl & Mike Lambert

We know GOTV gets Dems elected, but what do we do in between elections? We have lots of work to do to grow our numbers and keep them involved. An active organization is an attractive one. But just like with a successful election, no one way can do it all! Democrats need to keep the tent flaps wide open. In this workshop we will try to learn ways to include other individuals and join efforts with other organizations with whom we share common goals.

4:20- 5:00 Announcements concerning AGM 2020.

Monday, April 1st, Optional Activities
Upon registration, you will receive a form with a link with more information on each of the following activities:

El Charco Hike: 8:30 am - 10:00 am: The entry fee is about 50 pesos. Your volunteer experienced guide will be Michael Burns. Minimum of 4 persons (maximum 15).

Historical Walking Tour: 10:00 am - 12:30 am: 300 pesos to support Patronato Pro Niños.

Tour Mask Museum 10:30 am: Suggested donation is 50 pesos.

Sketch Your Way Around SMA with Meagan Burns 11:00 am - 1:30 pm: $25 USD or $500 pesos per person, a minimum of 2 participants, but no more than 6.

La Presa Allende Paddle 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: 300 peso/ kayak, paddle, PFD rental. Minimum of 4 persons (maximum 15). 

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