Take the Leap - Volunteer

You’ve decided you want to make a difference — to do your part for democracy, even while living abroad. But where to begin? We talked with Democrats Abroad team leaders Hilary Bown from Germany, and Heidi Burch from Canada to ask what you might find yourself doing if you decide to volunteer with Democrats Abroad.

Both leaders emphasized that it really depends on the potential volunteer. “There are so many ways for volunteers in our network to be active politically,” says Bown, who leads the Global Action team for DA and was just re-elected Vice Chair for Democrats Abroad Germany. “We’re trying to tease out all of those options and help people work on what’s easiest and most productive for them.”

Burch, a co-chair for the Get Out the Vote team who was also recently elected Vice Chair for her country committee, detailed some of the options. They ranged from talking with people at local events, to phone banking, to putting your marketing skills to work writing emails to members. She noted that phone banking requires the least amount of commitment; you can call voters from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, and choose the amount of time you spend doing it.

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FBAR/FATCA Task Force Report

In the notes below, our FBAR/FATCA Task Force reports in on what's happening on the Hill and in Treasury, and on changes in reporting requirements.  

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DA Germany Elects Its Youngest Ever Chapter Chair

Although he knew that he would not be eligible to vote in the 2016 presidential election, DA Germany’s John Grosser, then only 17, nevertheless wanted to make a difference. The son of a German father and American mother, John was, like many millennials, attracted to the politics of Senator Bernie Sanders, and so volunteered to do some phonebanking for the candidate from his home in Meschede, a small town in Germany’s rural Sauerland region. Using the digital calling tool provided by the campaign, John made thousands of calls via his computer to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire during the early primary season to help get out the vote for the Senator.

His activities were subsequently featured in an article in the German press about how expatriate Americans were engaging from afar in the politics back home, and this in turn brought him to the attention of DA Germany Chair Quaide Williams, who called John to discuss if he might be interested in helping with Democrats Abroad, and to invite him to the upcoming Global Convention in Berlin.

John Grosser (far right), new chair for DA Germany's NRW chapter, stands with former NRW chapter chairs Ellen Rosenbaum, Bill Purcell and Beret Roots

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Town Hall – Keith Ellison speaks to Democrats Abroad

Keith Ellison spoke to Democrats Abroad in more than 75 countries during this global town hall. This event was made possible with small donations from donors like you. Please consider donating what you can so that we can continue to provide programs like this for Democrats living outside the U.S.

Governor O'Malley and Robby Mook Visit Berlin

The Berlin Chapter of DA Germany had an exceptional treat this week. Both Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Hillary Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook were in town for an international conference, and agreed to attend a cocktail Q-and-A with local members. The Governor even played the guitar.

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DA Women Answer the Challenge

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day by reaffirming the basic human rights of women everywhere, many look to this year’s observances to be especially poignant in an increasingly hostile political environment.

The Trump administration has put the concerns of American women in the line of fire, with women’s reproductive choices, access to healthcare, paid family leave, equal pay, and protection from sexual harassment all vulnerable and especially threatening for minorities and women of color.

In the broadest sense, the new administration poses a threat to basic human rights. On a more nuanced scale, President Trump’s public comments have condoned a more permissible culture of misogyny.

As a result, many American women are answering back not just with just increased awareness of these threats, but also an outpouring of activism. The Women’s March defied expectations for turnout not just in the United States, but in countries around the world, from London to Toronto, to Mexico City to Paris that held sister marches contributing to an overall attendance in the millions. The activity kicked off a resistance movement that is galvanizing women to take up more engaged acts of political involvement.

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Breaking: Donald Trump Resubmits Discriminatory Travel Ban

This new travel ban is just a rehash of the first. As Tom Perez recently wrote,

"This ban, like the last one, is unconstitutional -- just ask the multiple federal courts that ruled against it the first time.

You would think that Trump might have taken a few minutes after that to read the Constitution. (I'd suggest starting with Article III for a refresher on the role of the judicial branch, and then move on to what the First Amendment says about freedom of religion.)”

As Democrats Abroad, we must fight against the Trump administration’s un-American actions and stand together with immigrants and our neighbors around the world.

Maybe Trump could learn a thing or two from this immigrant:


Letter from Washington - February 26

Tom Fina, Executive Director Emeritus

One month since taking office, the sociopath in the White House is probably more famous than any other living man in history. He has reached that level because of his symbiotic relation with the media, foreign and domestic. He lives for attention and approval. Cut that off, and he is dead. The media lives for readers and viewers. Today, Trump is the narcotic that gives the media a high when its advertising income is a downer. Neither can give up the other. Yet.

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Perez elected new DNC Chair, Ellison selected as Deputy Chair

Democrats Abroad Chair Katie Solon reports from Atlanta, where Tom Perez has just been elected the new chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and Keith Ellison appointed Deputy Chair.

“Today is Unity Saturday,” says Solon. “Because of our shared values, principles and purpose, we are going to leave Atlanta unified and ready to take this fight to the places we need to fight. As Tom Perez said, contrary to what the press has been reporting, during this meeting we have not focused on our divisions, but instead have focused on our issues.”

Perez is the first Hispanic elected to the Democratic Party Chair position. He served as the Labor Secretary under President Obama as well as Deputy Attorney General. His first action as Chair was to call for Ellison to be named as Deputy Chair. Ellison has served as a Congressman from Minnesota for the last 10 years.

Democrats Abroad is confident that the deep experience that Perez and Ellison bring to the DNC will take us in the needed new direction. Perez’s background in civil and voting rights, and worker advocacy, community organizations and organization management will be critical to the party, while Keith Ellison has demonstrated time and again that he knows how to win elections and speak effectively to Democratic voters.

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Watch the DNC in Action in Atlanta - Day 2

Watch the DNC in action in Atlanta on February 25. Click this post's title to view the video. #DAinATL

Our Democrats Abroad DNC Members prepare to vote in Atlanta.