Remembering Patrick Werner

On November 30, 2019, the Americas Region of Democrats Abroad lost a respected colleague, trusted friend, great Democrat, and the founder and courageous leader of Democrats Abroad Nicaragua, Patrick Werner, to a heart attack. Patrick had not been ill, so his sudden death brings not only sadness but shock as well. He is survived by his wife, Chilo, two sons, and several grandchildren. During 2016 and into 2017, under the guidance of the then Regional Vice Chair, Jody Quinnell, and personal visits to Nicaragua from her then Deputy, Kathy Rothschild, Patrick organized the Democrats Abroad Nicaragua country committee which was voted in as a full member of the DPCA at the May 2017 Global Meeting in Washington, DC. Then in early 2018, as protests inside Nicaragua over increased taxes and reduced benefits for Social Security erupted and spread, all non-Sandinista political groups became targets, which by extension, included Democrats Abroad. The new country committee had to assume a low profile and led by Patrick’s understanding of the local social and political climate; the country committee strove to maintain active status. Looking toward 2020, Patrick attended the Americas Regional Meeting held in San Jose, Costa Rica, October 25 and 26, of this year.

In addition to guiding Democrats Abroad Nicaragua, Patrick was a very accomplished person and a master of many pursuits. He was a university professor, a journalist, an anthropologist, a historian, an orchidologist, a silver and gold miner, a horse aficionado, and a Democrat. He resided in Nicaragua for more than 30 years, most of the time in Diriamba, near Managua.  He loved Nicaragua and wrote that “It is not for nothing that I stay in Nicaragua. And if it can be said that, to me, its politics are the most boring aspect of Nicaraguan life, its cuisine, its origins, elements, and subtleties, maybe its most interesting.” Patrick was prolific in his personal and professional writing. He produced Nicaragua’s first complete book of its 600 native orchid species, along with other books and articles on Nicaragua’s botanical attributes. He led Eastern European journalists through the mountains of Nicaragua during the Contra war years and wrote about those times, and about his search for lost silver mines, and explorations to uncover colonial-era horse paraphernalia. Central American colonial history was dear to him, and he pursued many studies and produced numerous articles related to that interest.  


Andrew Yang Qualifies for Global Presidential Primary

Democrats Abroad announces that Andrew Yang has qualified for the Global Presidential Primary

On Monday, December 2nd, Andrew Yang finalized filing to participate in the Democrats Abroad 2020 Global Presidential Primary.

The primary will run from March 3rd to March 10th, 2020. Americans abroad will have the opportunity to vote at more than 100 voting centers around the world, as well as via postal mail, fax and email. 

“The Global Presidential Primary and Delegate Selection Process ensures Americans abroad have the opportunity to easily participate in the Democratic primary process while also bringing our unique issues to the attention of Democratic presidential candidates,” explained Julia Bryan, Democrats Abroad Global Chair. 

Democrats Abroad represents the millions of Democratic voters living abroad and voting in all 50 states. All Americans living outside the United States may participate in the Global Presidential primary and run for a convention delegate position, provided they are eligible to vote and turn 18 on or before November 3, 2020, and that they are Democrats Abroad members. 

Democrats Abroad will send 13 pledged delegates and 8 automatic delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next July. The results of the Global Presidential Primary will determine which candidates the delegates represent at the Convention.  

Democrats Abroad looks forward to hosting the first Super Tuesday Democratic primary elections, with first ballots cast in New Zealand more than 24 hours before voting centers open on the U.S. East Coast. 


Senator Elizabeth Warren Qualifies for Global Presidential Primary

Democrats Abroad announces that Senator Elizabeth Warren has qualified for the Global Presidential Primary

On Monday, November 18th, Elizabeth Warren became the second presidential candidate to finalize filing to participate in the Democrats Abroad 2020 Global Presidential Primary.

The primary will run from March 3rd to March 10th, 2020. Americans abroad will have the opportunity to vote at more than 100 voting centers around the world, as well as via postal mail, fax and email. 

“The Global Presidential Primary and Delegate Selection Process ensures Americans abroad have the opportunity to easily participate in the Democratic primary process while also bringing our unique issues to the attention of Democratic presidential candidates,” explained Julia Bryan, Democrats Abroad Global Chair. 

Democrats Abroad represents the millions of Democratic voters living abroad and voting in all 50 states. All Americans living outside the United States may participate in the Global Presidential primary and run for a convention delegate position, provided they are eligible to vote and turn 18 on or before November 3, 2020, and that they are Democrats Abroad members. 

Democrats Abroad will send 13 pledged delegates and 8 automatic delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next July. The results of the Global Presidential Primary will determine which candidates the delegates represent at the Convention.  

Democrats Abroad looks forward to hosting the first Super Tuesday Democratic primary elections, with first ballots cast in New Zealand more than 24 hours before voting centers open on the U.S. East Coast. 

For more information about Senator Warren and where she stands on the top issues that matter to Americans abroad, please visit her questions and answers page here


Democrats Abroad announces first qualifying candidate for Global Presidential Primary: Mayor Pete

Democrats Abroad announces first qualifying candidate for Global Presidential Primary: Mayor Pete 

On Thursday, November 14th, Pete Buttigieg became the first presidential candidate to finalize filing to participate in the Democrats Abroad 2020 Global Presidential Primary.

The primary will run from March 3rd to March 10th next year. Americans abroad will have the opportunity to vote at more than 100 voting centers around the world, as well as via postal mail, fax and email. 

“The Global Presidential Primary and Delegate Selection Process ensures Americans abroad have the opportunity to easily participate in the Democratic primary process while also bringing our unique issues to the attention of Democratic presidential candidates,” explained Julia Bryan, Democrats Abroad Global Chair. 

Democrats Abroad represents the millions of Democratic voters living abroad and voting in all 50 states. All Americans living outside the United States may participate in the Global Presidential primary and run for a convention delegate position, provided they are eligible to vote and turn 18 on or before November 3, 2020, and that they are Democrats Abroad members. 

Democrats Abroad will send 13 pledged delegates and 8 automatic delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next July. The results of the Global Presidential Primary will determine which candidates the delegates represent at the Convention.  

Democrats Abroad looks forward to hosting the first Super Tuesday Democratic primary elections, with first ballots cast in New Zealand more than 24 hours before voting centers open on the U.S. East Coast. 

For more information about Mayor Pete and where he stands on the top issues that matter to Americans abroad, please watch his video interview


Remembering Steve Medeiros

Democrats Abroad lost a thoughtful voice and selfless leader last week - DA Greece Chair Steve Medeiros. Steve was beloved and respected in Greece and all over the world.

Stacey Harris-Papaioannou, dear friend of Steve and Vice Chair of DA-Greece alongside him, writes:
It is with profound sadness that I send this correspondence.

DA GREECE has lost its Chair, Steve Medeiros.

After a 5 year battle with prostate cancer, Steve died last night, at home, with his life long partner, Tony, at his side.

A service of remembrance and honor will be held in the morning on Saturday, November 9 at the First Cemetery of Athens.  Although Steve was not religious, it comes as no surprise that he has died on the eve of the "Feast of Angels" here in Greece.

Steve was truly an earth angel--an easy going, patient man, tolerant of all, a leader who always held everyone as an equal in both deed and thought.

A nurturer by nature, Steve spent 40 years as an educator, mentor, administrator and friend to thousands of students, parents and teachers in the American School Community of Athens.

Democrats Abroad enjoyed his leadership skills first as Counsel, next as Athens Chapter Chair, then Vice-Chair and as of January 2019 Chair of our Country Committee. He was instrumental in implementing study abroad, the global primary, GOTV and LGTBQ for Greece.

He will be missed for so many reasons.
May he rest in peace and may his memory be eternal in our hearts.

DA Tax Team back in DC next week - Time to Call Congress!

The DA Tax Team is back in Washington DC next week for meetings on Capitol Hill - our fifth and probably final Congressional Door Knock of 2019.  We are so appreciative of the members of the Taxation Task Force for all their hard work this year in support of tax reform for Americans abroad. Special thanks to the chair of the Task force, Carmelan Polce, for her remarkable support in driving this important issue forward!
 
We also want to thank all Democrats Abroad leaders who have supported the work of the Tax Task Force this year.  Their help in pushing out Tax Team reports, updates and campaign guides is greatly valued and essential to our success in engaging Congress to enact the reforms so urgently needed by Americans abroad.  
 
We are delighted to see that many of our Residency Based Taxation (RBT) activists are getting responses from the members of Congress they are contacting.  And the responses are more than generic replies referencing taxation in the broadest sense.  The responses indicate that the problems and concerns of Americans abroad - bank lock outs, tax pressure on small businesses abroad and the cost and complexity of tax compliance - are getting through.  That's great news and a testament to the hard work of tax reform campaigners in all of our chapters and committees.
 
Democrats Abroad asks all members once again to support a DA grassroots Congressional outreach campaign happening in tandem with next week's meetings. PLEASE SHARE WITH ALL AMERICANS ABROAD THIS GUIDE FOR CALLING AND WRITING TO CONGRESS ABOUT TAX REFORM FOR AMERICANS ABROAD.
 
Please also share this posting on the taxation task force blog about next week's meetings on your social media platforms.
Questions or comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

Honoring Rep. Elijah Cummings

To escape construction noise typical of high-rise living in China, I left my apartment on Thursday evening, October 17, when my WeChat lit up. A fellow DA-China member had written, “(U.S. Congressman) Elijah Cummings has died.”

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Democrats Abroad Statement on the US remaining in UPU

"Democrats Abroad is relieved that the US has agreed to stay in the Universal Postal Union, but we remain vigilant,” said Julia Bryan, Global Chair of Democrats Abroad. “We will closely follow the situation as postal rate changes are announced. Due to the uncertainty of the impact of these price increases, we strongly encourage all US states to provide secure online ballot delivery options for their voters living outside the States."

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Statement on Impeachment Inquiry

Statement from Julia Bryan, Global Chair of Democrats Abroad:

"I applaud Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House as they move to hold the president accountable for his gross abuse of power. Congress must protect the Constitution and the rule of law in the United States. We must protect our democracy." 


Rep. Maloney and Rep. Beyer introduce two bills designed to support Americans Abroad

Democrats Abroad is delighted to announce that Rep. Maloney and Rep. Beyer introduced two House bills today designed to support Americans abroad. The first helps mitigate the unintended harm that FATCA has on Americans' ability to open banking and savings accounts while living abroad, and the second bill is designed to ensure that such consequences are caught before they are baked into Federal law. We salute the Representatives and very much appreciate their efforts on our behalf.

"The Overseas Americans Financial Access Act" directs the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to exclude from Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reporting financial accounts held by American citizens in countries where they are bona fide residents. This bill eliminates the unintended and excessive reporting burden imposed on overseas Americans by FATCA, enabling them to more easily open and maintain private bank accounts with foreign financial institutions (FFI’s).

"The Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act of 2019" creates an Executive Commission comprised of a 10-member bipartisan panel to examine the concerns of U.S. citizens living and working abroad. The Commission would analyze, report on, and make appropriate recommendations to address the effects of activities, laws, and policies of the federal government on Americans citizens living overseas.

More information on the bills.