Statement Celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act

Democrats Abroad is grateful to Democratic U.S. Senators for passing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, a bill that will have a positive impact on our world for generations to come. This legislation – a historic achievement and true cause for celebration – will ensure that big corporations and the wealthiest 1% pay their fair share, lower the cost of Medicare drug prices, and authorize an unprecedented investment of $369 billion in measures to promote renewable energy and mitigate climate change. Not a single Republican U.S. Senator voted for the bill

With this legislation, Democrats have risen to the moment and brought hope to our planet. The United States, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally, is now on its way to meeting our climate commitments and leading by example.  

As another summer of devastating climate catastrophes rages around the globe, the Inflation Reduction Act will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by utilizing renewable and clean energy sources to replace fossil fuels, significantly lowering production costs of wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries for electric cars and incentivizing the private sector to employ wind, solar, and geothermally generated energy. The bill also provides tax incentives for private citizens to install solar panels and heat pumps in their homes and to buy electric vehicles. In coordination with President Biden’s Infrastructure Bill, the construction of charging stations will be ramped up across the entire country, including rural areas.  

The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $27 billion for a “green bank” to invest in public-private partnerships that cut emissions. $8 billion will specifically be directed to disadvantaged communities, to further the cause of environmental justice, and $2 billion has been allocated for further research (e.g. fusion and high-energy physics). Most emissions reductions are anticipated in the power and infrastructure sectors, with carbon capture expected to increase 13-fold. 

It is hard to overstate the magnitude of this legislative achievement. We must continue this work – to bridge the remaining 10% gap in emissions commitments made by the Biden administration, to address environmental justice issues more broadly, to completely phase out fossil fuels, to block drilling on federal lands and waters, and to continue healthcare and economic reform. There is only one way to do it: by (re-)electing Democratic leaders in November. Please register and request your ballot at www.votefromabroad.org – and make sure your friends and family, at home and abroad, have a plan to vote as well. 

To keep up to date and active with Democrats Abroad efforts to tackle climate change, please join our Environment and Climate Crisis Council by clicking here. If you are not able to donate your time, please consider donating to Democrats Abroad today. $20.22 will help keep Congress – and the planet – blue. Thank you very much for your continued support of our organization. 

In solidarity and hope,  

Dana Freling, Environment & Climate Crisis Council Chair

Candice Kerestan, International Chair


Progress to Repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision

Democrats Abroad is encouraged by the advancement of the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R.82) which would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). WEP has unfairly and disproportionately impacted Americans abroad, particularly seniors who paid into Social Security and deserve to receive a fair amount in retirement.  Some beneficiaries only learn of WEP after they have retired, and the reduced benefits substantially affect their financial standing in later years.

Read more

Write Your Alma Mater Campaign

Democrats Abroad invites YOU to participate in an alumni outreach campaign to help encourage democratic participation by students studying abroad during the Fall 2022 semester. Our goal is to have members reach out to their alma mater(s) and make sure they’re providing accurate and current information about registering to vote to students while they're abroad.

Here’s How to Get Started

  • Find your alma mater's study abroad office 

The easiest way to do this is simply search “[name of university] + Study Abroad Office” – there will be a contact person or email listed on the website; this will be your target! 

  • Personalize the email template (see below)

We encourage participants to personalize the introductory portion of the email template below. It is important that we show the universities that it is personally important to their alumni that students studying abroad exercise their democratic rights. The more personal, the more likely a response!

  • Send the email from a personal email account and wait for a response!

Should you have any questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering, please forward them to [email protected] and a voter assistance volunteer will help.

  • Let us know what happens next! 

Please record whatever you hear back at www.democratsabroad.org/almamaterfeedback. If you don’t hear anything after a week has passed, please reach out to the contact again. If you still do not receive a reply, let us know that, too!

 

Email Template

Dear [Contact Name/Study Abroad Office],

I am [author’s name], an [alumnus/alumna] of [UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE, Class of XXXX], currently living in [CITY, COUNTRY]. From my own experience, I know how difficult it can be for U.S. citizens to vote while living or studying abroad, which is why I work with a group of trained volunteers who help U.S. citizens abroad register to vote and request and submit their absentee ballots.

As an [alumnus/alumna], I want to do all I can to support current students participating in our democracy wherever they may be in the world. Could you tell me what information, if any, students going abroad receive about voting while outside the country?

I’ve added a brief informative statement below, in case it is of any use! We are also happy to provide posters in a PDF format that can be printed out for distribution.

Thank you for your support of our democracy.

With kind regards,

[author’s name]

 

Useful Information on Voting from Abroad

Voting while studying abroad can seem like a challenge, but there are several ways to ensure that students are able to exercise their democratic rights by being registered and able to vote in federal, state, and local elections!

Registering or updating your registration to vote from abroad differs from voting as an in-state absentee voter. Registering to vote from abroad guarantees the right to receive ballots 45 days before elections and via email rather than by post (a requirement in many states). This greatly eases the return process and any potential delays due to the international postal system.

Requesting an overseas ballot only takes a few minutes. Voters simply need to fill out the one page Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). We encourage voters to use our platform https://students.votefromabroad.org, a user-friendly English and Spanish language non-partisan service that offers FAQs as well as state-by-state registration guides. The site also offers a photo signature option that allows most voters to submit the form via their phone or computer without having to print it out. Alternatively, students can fill out the FPCA at www.fvap.gov and then print, sign and email or mail a copy of the form to their local election official.

Volunteers at https://students.votefromabroad.org are encouraged to train as Voting Assistance Officers through the Federal Voting Assistance Program, run by the U.S. government. This is the same training that military officers and members of the Foreign Service undergo, ensuring that our volunteers are well-equipped to assist students studying abroad with their questions or any problems that may arise.

For questions regarding voting from abroad or about the Vote From Abroad platform, please do not hesitate to contact us at: [email protected].


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