We Can & We Must Fight Back

MUNICH–The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is an abhorrent and unprecedented assault on our fundamental human rights. Today is a dark day, a hard day in American history. 

Stripped of protections and freedoms the past 50 years had granted us, we now confront a new, grim reality where our health, marriages, and basic bodily autonomy are on the chopping block. Make no mistake: the radical Republican Party has no intention of stopping with Roe

We can and we must fight back. We must show up to the polls this November — and make sure that every single American we know has a plan to vote, too.  

In this moment of despair, let us not forget that the power still resides with us – and that the overwhelming majority of Americans support the freedoms Roe upheld. A net gain of only two more U.S. Senators will allow for abortion rights to be codified at the federal level. The America we want, need, and deserve is within reach, and Democrats Abroad is committed to making it a reality.

We still have each other — and our resolve to fight for our basic rights. Let’s do this.


Enough Is Enough

Democrats Abroad joins our nation as it grieves the latest round of senseless shootings with innocent lives taken. We extend our deepest sympathy to all those impacted by these tragic events and resolve to fight every day for a country where everyone feels safe. However, it is not enough to be horrified by these events. We must act.

In the past ten days, the United States has had 17 mass shootings with 43 killed and 79 injured. Two of them – in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas – made global headlines. In both cases, the 18-year-old suspects were able to acquire assault weapons – legally.

Democrats Abroad deplores Republican lawmakers’ failure to enact legislation that would protect the people of America. Why do we continue to allow opponents of gun control to stand in the way of legislation that would prevent innocent lives being taken during their daily routines? Americans need to break that cycle – and legislators who will prioritize our children’s lives over money from the gun lobby. It’s time we acknowledge that what we are doing isn’t working.

Americans around the globe can do more than offering heartache, thoughts and prayers. We owe families more than condolences. Globally, we are more than six million strong, and we must vote to change the laws that allow these attacks to happen. We must elect Democrats who will stand up for the American people, against the gun lobby, and for sensible gun legislation.

Stand together. Take action. 

  • Call your Congressional Representative and US Senators to demand they take action on guns and gun violence. Look up their contact details here.
  • Commit to asking five Americans living abroad to request their ballot at VoteFromAbroad.org.
  • Show your support on National Gun Violence Awareness Day and Wear Orange Weekend on June 3-5. Find out more at wearorange.org.
  • Like and share our voting information on social media, including on our Democrats Abroad Facebook page and Vote from Abroad Facebook page.
  • Be the margin of victory! Our record of bringing home the overseas vote has proven to make the difference in close races. Consider a donation to support our efforts at democratsabroad.org/donate.

Press inquiries can be directed to [email protected].


The Path Forward

The Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, leaked late last night by Politico, makes unmistakably clear what the Republican agenda is: an unprecedented assault on women and families in the United States. 

For more than a generation, the right to reproductive freedom has been the law of the land. When a far-right administration took office in 2016, we knew that this right was in grave danger. Fast forward to 2022, and we now have three more ultra-conservative, anti-choice justices on the Supreme Court. The looming fate of Roe is the direct consequence of the 2016 election.

That many of us saw this coming does not make the blow less painful or severe. But we can fight back2022 is also a decisive election year. Together, we must put in place both federal and state legislatures that fairly represent the will of the majority. This cannot wait.  

Let us not forget in this dark moment that we have the power to elect legislators who will respect the law of the land and the will of the people this November. We must wield it. 34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. Representative seats, 46 state legislatures, and 36 state governorships are on the ballot. These are the offices that will determine access to abortion and reproductive health care in the absence of Roe.

REQUEST YOUR BALLOT FOR 2022

What you feel right now: do not forget it. Instead, resolve to turn this moment into collective action. Ways to fight back can be found in this statement from DA's Global Women's Caucus.

Raise your voice. Vote. And bring other people with you. 

In Solidarity,

Ann HesseDA Global Women's Caucus Chair

Candice KerestanDA International Chair


Democrats Abroad Celebrates Confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson

Today is a momentous day: For the first time in history, a Black woman was confirmed to sit on our nation’s highest court. Throughout her career as a public defender, and most recently during nearly 20 hours of grueling questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson repeatedly demonstrated her competence, level-headedness, and commitment to doing the right thing. 

At her confirmation hearings, Judge Jackson thoughtfully and thoroughly answered questions, demonstrating the depth and breadth of her decades of experience across the legal system. She also masterfully explained the law in her answers – underscoring her commitment to transparency in her decision-making and demonstrating her true love of the law.

Democrats Abroad celebrates this moment and is excited by the lived experiences Judge Jackson will bring to the U.S. Supreme Court. She is a brilliant legal mind who will undoubtedly shape our nation’s future for the better for generations to come.

On this occasion, we would also like to express our gratitude to President Biden for his leadership and nomination of Justice Jackson. Additionally, we are grateful to all overseas voters who cast a ballot in 2020: Your vote helped make this moment possible! 

By voting from abroad in 2022’s crucial midterm elections, you can help ensure that Democrats grow their majorities and can continue moving our country forward. Request your ballot today at www.votefromabroad.org



HOW WE REMEMBER AND HONOR DR. KING’S LEGACY

The past year has further exposed the inequalities in American society. From the pandemic to affordable housing, access to education and the effects of climate change. Nowhere has the inequality gap grown more than exercising the right to vote. 

While January 6th culminated with a violent act to deny our legal and constitutional right to vote, the assault has persisted. To date, 19 state legislatures have passed laws that make it harder for students, people of color, low income and physically challenged Americans to vote. And there are no less than 163 congressional candidates who believe and campaign on the big lie that the election was stolen.

As we remember Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on what should have been his 93rd birthday, let us not only honor his legacy but uphold it … not fail it! As Americans of all races and creeds living abroad and stateside, our right to vote is not a forgone conclusion. 

The pace of voting rights for all citizens has been long and arduous. It has taken over a century for America to give all U.S. citizens the right to vote. Yes, 100 years. When Black men were given the right through the 15th amendment, restrictive state laws, poll taxes, literacy tests and grandfather made it nearly impossible to vote. When women got the right to vote in 1920, it did not include minority women. From 1924 to 1962, Indigenous, Asian and Washington D.C. residents were enfranchised.

It was not until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that enforced the 15th amendment at the federal level to become one of the most far-reaching and important civil rights legislation in U.S. history. 

This was the life’s work of Dr. King … his legacy. Dr. King gave his life for this. We stand on his and the shoulders of Hosea Williams and John Lewis. We must uphold the dream.

Since the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, 18 year olds, non-English speaking citizens  and Americans abroad, had been given the right to vote in 1971, 1975 and 1976, respectively. And in 1982, the Reagan administration … the Reagan administration … extended it for 25 years.

Today, our voting rights lie in peril as states have, 100 years later, enacted laws that restrict all of our access to the ballot. How will we meet this moment? How will we honor Dr. King’s legacy? 

Why is this taking so long? If segregationists and trickle down theorists can protect voting rights, Senators Manchin and Sinema can support the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act.

Rest in power, Dr. King. We honor you. We will not fail you.

Leedonal (Jazz) Moore, Chair 
Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus

Video Excerpt of Dr. Martin Luther King's speech - I HAVE A DREAM

JOIN THE GLOBAL BLACK CAUCUS

SUPPORT THE GLOBAL BLACK CAUCUS


New Year, New Elections! Request Your Ballot NOW for 2022!

As we enter the new year, Democrats Abroad would like to remind you to (re-)register to vote and request your ballot NOW for 2022 elections at www.votefromabroad.org

Even if you’ve voted from abroad in the past, we urge all overseas voters to (re-)register and request a ballot at the start of each calendar year. Republicans love to purge voters like you and me from the voter rolls–don’t let this happen to you in such a critical election year!

34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. Representative seats, 46 state legislatures, and 36 state governorships are up for grabs in November 2022. From voting rights to climate protection to access to affordable healthcare and education, too much is at stake to sit this one out!


HELP NEEDED! 

Protecting and expanding Democratic majorities across the United States will be an all-hands-on-deck effort. Please help us get out the vote and win critical elections this year by…

Spreading the Word to Other Americans (including dual citizens!)

Who else do you know who’s living abroad? Forward them this email and remind them to (re-)register to vote and request their ballot early!

Phonebanking

We’re calling overseas voters from battleground states, starting with Texas on January 15, and we need callers! Attend our phonebanking training on January 11 at 1:30pm Eastern to brush up or learn the ropes. All members welcome! RSVP here.

Following Us On Social Media

Like and share our voting information on social media, including from our Democrats Abroad FacebookDemocrats Abroad TwitterVote from Abroad Facebook, and Vote from Abroad Twitter

Becoming A Sustaining Donor

Help us realize our extensive outreach plan for reaching and supporting voters abroad – from social media and phonebanking campaigns to live voter assistance and website maintenance – by signing up to make a monthly donation in 2022. As an entirely volunteer-run and donation-funded organiatzion, every bit helps!


UPCOMING EVENTS

Wednesday, January 5 

1:00pm Eastern – Meet Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick, the Democratic candidate running in the January 11 special election in Florida's 20th Congressional District

Thursday, January 6

1:30pm Eastern – Defending Democracy: In Conversation with Malcolm Nance and Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Friday, January 7

1:00pm Eastern – The Re-United States: A Documentary Film Screening and Live Q&A with Filmmakers

Saturday, January 8

2:00am Eastern – Voting Rights, Swing States, and Justice Inequality: In Conversation with Black Lives Matter Tokyo

Tuesday, January 11

1:30pm Eastern – Phonebanking Training

Saturday, January 15

All Day – International Voter Registration Day (be sure to share our social media posts about this with your friends and family!)

Sunday, January 16

11:30am Eastern – Why We Can't Wait: A Conversation About Reparations With Human Rights Watch


We’re excited to have you on board during this critical election year and thank you for already (re-)registering and requesting your ballot at www.votefromabroad.org. May you have a peaceful and healthy 2022!

Yours,

Candice Kerestan

International Chair

Pennsylvania voter in Germany


Help End Prison Gerrymandering!

As states across the US review their maps and plans for redistricting, advocates against prison gerrymandering are hoping to seize a rare opportunity (happening only once every ten years), to put an end to the unjust and discriminatory practice of prison gerrymandering. 

Democrats Abroad has taken a position against prison gerrymandering as detailed in our 2020 platform and made a commitment to advocate against it in a resolution adopted by unanimous consent in May 2021. 

Please help elevate this issue and contribute to this advocacy work by finding out where your state stands on prison gerrymandering via Common Cause and ACLU and then calling/writing to your state legislators NOW, and over the next ten days using resist bot. You may wish to use the sample letter below and include detail about why the issue is important to you. Refer to the links in the further reading section below if helpful.

If you vote in one of the 11 to 16 states who have ended prison gerrymandering, please make a special point of thanking your legislators! 

Thank you for your activism, and for supporting the push to end prison gerrymandering!


Sample letter to send to your state legislators

Headline: Please Stop Prison Gerrymandering!

Please stop prison gerrymandering within the state of xxxx. 

The Census Bureau has supplied data allowing states to make their own determinations on whether to count incarcerated individuals as residents of prisons, or as residents of their pre-incarceration, home communities. 

Counting prisoners as residents of prisons artificially inflates the districts housing prisons and deflates the districts of the prisoners home community. This negatively impacts fair representation and local and state democracy. 

I urge you to count prisoners as residents in their home community, rather than in prison for the upcoming redistricting process thus stopping prison gerrymandering. 

Thank you for all that you do and thank you for representing me.


Further reading

Prison gerrymandering updates: https://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/news/2021/10/26/state_count/

Article (Mario Jimenez/NM specific): https://rrobserver.com/ending-prison-gerrymandering-makes-a-fairer-nm-map/

Article (Samantha Osaki, ACLU):

https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/news/dismantling-prison-gerrymandering-removing-barriers-to-fair-representation/

Article, The Intercept (Akela Lacy,  November 6, 2021) As States Prepare for Redistricting, Prison Gerrymandering Will Skew New Lines https://theintercept.com/2021/11/06/prison-gerrymandering-redistricting-census/


Call for Applications: Global Team Leaders

As we move towards 2022 and 2024, Democrats Abroad’s International Executive Committee is determined to make our systems and structures even more diverse, professional, and sustainable––and ultimately more effective for our work ahead. 

In order to do so, we continue building robust global teams and invite you to become a part of them through this call for applications! Our goal is to have an inclusive, transparent, and fair appointment process. We need you to be a part of our work!

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. All members of Democrats Abroad are encouraged to apply and to share the call for applications with other U.S. citizens who might be interested.

If you are not interested in acting as the team lead but rather in a supporting role, we still encourage you to contact us at [email protected] and share a bit about yourself. Thank you!

 

Available Positions

Deputy International Secretary (3 positions, one for each of DA's regions)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer

Events Coordinator

Get-Out-The-Vote Coordinator (Applicants from Americas Region only)

Membership Engagement Coordinator

Press Coordinator

Democrats Abroad is committed to the values and practices of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, with opportunities to provide and the ability to take feedback and learn. It is our policy to recruit, train, promote, and administer any and all personnel actions without regard to sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, pregnancy, economic status, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, ethnic identity, disability, or any other legally protected basis.


White House Eases US Entry in Time for Holidays, Reuniting Families Worldwide

Countless American families breathed a sigh of relief Monday as the United States lifted an 18-month restriction on international visitors, as long as they show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test.

Democrats Abroad celebrates the Biden administration’s decision to relax the restrictions as a critical step for reuniting families separated by the worst international public health crisis in a century.

“The pandemic has separated families for too long. We welcome the change of regulations which will allow vaccinated family members to visit their relatives in the US,” said Jennifer Westfall of Thailand, Co-chair of DA’s Covid-19 Task Force, which has been advocating for easing such entry restrictions. 

The nearly two-year-old pandemic has upended the lives of virtually every American at home and abroad in ways large and small.

But the rule change particularly impacts Americans with non-US citizen relatives and loved ones who will once again be able to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and everyday events together – as families.

“I am so thankful that my partner of 10 years will be able to join me and my family over Christmas,” said DA Asian-American and Pacific Islander Caucus Chair Emily Lines of Germany. “Due to the restrictions, he could not enter the US last year when I visited and hasn’t seen my family since 2018. It will be exciting to get to celebrate all together after so much time apart.”

The earlier rules, which were put in place by the Trump administration in March 2020, meant that many non-US citizen family members – including partners, siblings, parents, and grandparents – had been unable to visit loved ones based in the United States during the worst of the COVID pandemic.

The easing of restrictions applies to Britain and the 26 Schengen countries of Europe, as well as Ireland, China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, and India.

Meanwhile, American expatriates who have not been able to get a Covid-19 vaccine where they live will continue to be allowed back into the United States.

“We are also glad that the US will still accept unvaccinated American arrivals, since, for many expats, flying back to the US may be the only hope of getting vaccinated due to exclusionary rules in local vaccination programs in places like Indonesia, Taiwan, India, Vietnam, and Mexico,” Westfall said.

A survey of more than 1,000 Americans living in 30 countries conducted by Democrats Abroad earlier this year found that although vaccine access had improved for many

US citizens living overseas, 24% still lacked access to vaccines or were only partially vaccinated.

To contact the Covid-19 Task Force, please write to [email protected].

For press inquiries, please write to [email protected]