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 [email protected].

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.  

Statement on Citizenship Denial to Children of Military Abroad

Julia Bryan, the Global Chair of Democrats Abroad, issued the following statement today:

The Trump Administration is once again demonstrating that Donald Trump does not support those that serve our country, including military and government employees working and serving abroad. In a policy statement recently issued from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the administration declared that children born abroad to naturalized Americans will not receive automatic citizenship, nor will many children adopted by Americans abroad.

Naturalized Americans serving abroad are the unsung heroes of our military and government work. These are Americans who have become citizens as a result of their work for the U.S. - work which requires US citizenship and which often causes them to lose their original citizenship. Creating a policy that effectively renders their children stateless is cruel, unjust, and absolutely unpatriotic. 

For more information on this policy and its impact please view this fact sheet

Watch the Debates with Dems Abroad!

The second Democratic presidential primary debate will take place July 30 and 31, and Americans will be tuning in from around the world, both live and in the days following the debate. We have lots of events lined up, so come join one of our watch parties!

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Dems Abroad Lights for Liberty

Thank you for joining with Democrats Abroad as we came together in support of the vigils held across the US on July 12. Lights for Liberty aims to shed light on what is happening at the US southern border and across the country: undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers being held in detention centers, facing inhumane conditions and continuing to be separated from their families.

Looking for other ways to get involved? 


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Happy Fourth!

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.” Barack Obama, 2008.

Those who fought for change generations ago knew this truth. We know it now. Working for change is our North Star, the reason Democrats Abroad volunteers do the work we do.

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