Happy Fourth!

When asked what form of government the Constitutional Congress had created for America, Benjamin Franklin replied:  “A republic...if you can keep it.”

The United States turns 242 years old today. We are no longer the sole democracy on earth, but are joined by a majority of the world's countries - countries that derive their just power from the consent of the governed. Countries where many of our members live, work, and raise our families.

In the course of the past year, we've been reminded that democracy's many blessings - civil rights, the freedom to express our thoughts and opinions, the right to due process, the right to vote itself - can be subjected to abuse and injury. We've been shown that we must strive to nourish the very flame that spread the fire of independence around the world two centuries ago.

In a few short months Americans abroad and in the States have the opportunity to vote in the most momentous midterms of our lives. When we cast our ballots in November, we will be casting them not just for individuals but in support of democracy, in support of equality, political freedom and the rule of law.  

I urge you today to not allow this opportunity to pass you by. Request your ballot, learn who your candidates will be. And then fan that flame of support - reach out to every American you know and ask them to do the same thing. 

Thank you for your efforts. Thank you for your support, and happy Fourth of July!

Keep Families Together

On Father’s Day we made ice cream for my husband, went on a long walk, and then our ten year old son obliged him with a game of catch. And it was good.

Thousands of children did not have the privilege of spending time with their parents yesterday. Thousands of children instead spent this weekend locked in cages along the border of the United States, criminalized and dehumanized by new, cruel policies of the Trump administration because their parents followed US immigration law and requested asylum, or committed a misdemeanor by crossing into the US without a border inspection.

As my family and many of yours celebrated, we also cheered on as families across the US took to the streets for a Father’s Day of Action, in the latest day of immigration related protests.   

Now is the time to stand up against these cruel and intolerable actions of the current administration. Please take a moment today and do one (or more!) of the following:

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Tom Perez in London

Tom Perez spoke with Democrats Abroad last week at a reception in London, UK. We were delighted to be able to meet with Chairman Perez, and were also able to fundraise for our Global Study Abroad outreach project, helping our country committees reach the tremendous numbers of students studying abroad this fall and help them to vote. If you'd like to volunteer, get in touch with us at studyabroad@democratsabroad.org

Michael Blake, DNC Vice Chair and a good friend of Democrats Abroad, has just let us know that he'll be joining us at the 2018 DA AGM in Tokyo at the end of this month! Other speakers so far include Henry Munoz, DNC Finance Director, Will Hailer, Senior Advisor to Tom Perez, and Ken Martin, chair of the Association of State Democratic Committees. If you're in Tokyo on May 26th, join us for dinner with these special guests. 

The GOTV team is keeping pace with the primaries, and has just sent out second notices to voters in WV, ID, NE, IN, NC, AR as well as an email about the upcoming TX primary runoff election. 

The Taxation task force, led by Carmelan Polce, is door knocking in Washington this week, meeting with Congress to discuss RBT, and the disasterous transition taxes that the GOP has forced onto American owned small businesses abroad. Find out more here about how you too can be involved in this outreach.

The Blue Wave Races Across the South

Beto O'Rourke is tied with Cruz in Texas, Phil Bredesen is ten points ahead in TN, and in Arizona the 8th district special election is a dead heat. It's a good day to be a Democrat! 

Okay, yes, I'm a wonky Dem who follows the polls - and, like you, I know that this is an important year to vote. But many many many of our fellow Americans abroad don't realize this. That's why our GOTV team is working hard to try to call every DA member this year. We know that these calls work. In 2016, 88% of the members we reached by phone requested their ballot!

This week's Tiny Action urges our action team to sign up for phone banking and start calling to make sure every member knows that they can and should vote in midtems. Please consider calling - it's free for you, and it's easy to do! 

Next week Chairman Tom Perez will be in London, helping raise money for our Study Abroad Outreach campaign. We're delighted to be fully booked and very grateful to our supporters who have stepped forward to help fund this important work. Interested in more information about the program and how you can help? Check out our Study Abroad campaign doc, or get in touch with our Study Abroad Outreach team leader at studyabroad@democratsabroad.org.

The DA Tax team, led by Carmelan Polce, is fighting hard to push back against two tax laws that the 2017 Republican tax bill has inflicted on Americans abroad. As part of that work, we have submitted a statement to the IRS about the hardships these tax laws will cause, are working on a submission to the Senate Finance Committee, and will be door knocking in DC in early May. Repat and GILTI are brutal and will affect the livelihood of many of us. Please help push back by sharing information about our repeal campaign with your friends. 

April Actions

Paul Ryan is retiring, the Republicans are in nervous talks about how best they can preserve the Senate – it’s a great day to make a few calls and get out the vote (or fundraise for your committee)! 

I’m delighted to announce that DA is set to shortly receive our first tranche of funding from the DNC this year as a result of our grant proposal submission. We are also celebrating the news that Will Hailer, Senior Advisor to Tom Perez, will be working closely with us moving forward on US based fundraising, DNC and state coordination, as well as grant oversight. 

We’ve nearly reached our limit for tickets to the Tom Perez reception in London on April 26th. RSVP today before they run out!

Last Thursday, the France Diversity Caucus commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King. With over 150 people in attendance, it was a moving memorial. event. View the video here. Online, the Global Black Caucus remembered the day in a podcast focused on Dr. King’s legacy. 


In more recent news, we are also extremely concerned that Donald Trump will shortly fire Mueller or Rosenstein. We're asking members and leaders to be prepared to mobilize. More information here about how you can get involved and take action. 

Spring Has Arrived!

Everything is turning from grey to green here in Prague as April gusts clear the clouds away. The weather matches the month - which is busy as we prepare for the Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad in Tokyo, Japan, an exciting visit by DNC Chair Tom Perez, and run GOTV actions around the world. 

Do you have questions about voter registration or phone banking? Let us know at gotv@democratsabroad.org - our help desk team answers within 24 hours and is delighted to make voter registration as easy as we can make it. 

All the work that DA does wouldn't be possible without each of us volunteering our time, which is why April is a special month for us. It's Volunteer Month, and to help celebrate, our Comms team is writing a series of stories on the the volunteers that power your committees. Nominate a volunteer (or two!) here.

Thank you for all that you do!

Thank you for Marching for Our Lives

What a weekend! Hundreds of members rallied in March for Our Lives events around the world. It was fantastic to hear from our virtual marchers too. The New York Times, Huff Post and Twitter were the biggest promoters of our actions, with many smaller media agencies mentioning DA as well. Thanks to every organizer for your massive work, and to marchers for getting out there! And many thanks also for your social posts. #votefromabroad posts on Twitter from last weekend have reached nearly 1.3 million people so far!

Are you going to be in London, UK in April? If yes, please sign up for the Tom Perez reception on April 26th. This is a fundraising event for our study abroad outreach work and a great opportunity to meet with Chairman Perez to hear his thoughts on the future of the party. 

A month later, on May 25th, we'll be meeting in Tokyo, Japan for the Democrats Abroad Annual General Meeting. For more information on the meeting, visit the beautiful website made by the DA Japan team!

The Tiny Action for this week encourages Americans abroad to make sure we are registered, and warns of state voter roll purges. States such as Wisconsin are deactivating hundreds of thousands of voter registration records so we urge everyone to pay attention to this issue.

Getting Ready to March!

This Saturday's March for Our Lives will be a memorable day, as we march in more than 37 cities around the world. 

Our Tiny Action this week focuses on our March for Our Lives virtual rally that we are hosting for anyone not near a march. We've already received dozens of photos from Americans around the world and are looking forward to seeing more come in this weekend. 

Don't forget to join the webinar Black Women and Activism - Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round today at 2pm DC time (7pm CET due to the time change).

Tickets are going fast for the April 26th Tom Perez reception in London, so sign up now. We have early bird and student pricing available too. 

The Blue Wave Just Rolled Through PA

The blue wave keeps on rolling – this time through the hills of PA 18 where American abroad votes sent home the win to Conor Lamb this week! Many many thanks to the phone bankers who called our Pennsylvania voters to remind them to get out and vote. and to everyone from PA 18 who did so.

Bill Derrough, the DNC’s Treasurer and a great guy to boot (he's chaperoning his son's class trip), will be in Rome on Tuesday, March 20th at 8:30pm. Join the DA Italy team for a memorable dinner with Bill and help raise funds for getting out the vote around the world.   

It’s Women’s History Month, and the Global Black Caucus is celebrating with the webinar Black Women and Activism - Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round on Thursday, March 22nd at 2pm DC time (7pm CET due to the time change).

We're standing with March for Our Lives on March 24th in more than 20 cities and towns around the world. If you're near any event, please consider joining. We'll also host a virtual march - more details soon!

The Global Progressive Caucus would love to hear from you at its first Action Update and How to Get Involved meeting on Sunday, March 25th at 7:30am DC time.

Update after the DNC 2018 Winter Meeting

What’s the state of the party, 238 days till Nov 6? Are we still headed in the right direction? Or are we already there? 

These were questions I asked myself as I flew to DC last week for the DNC Winter meeting. Since October, we’d seen stunning wins in Virginia and Alabama and an unprecedented number of candidates running for election in every district across the US. The Unity Reform Commission had submitted its report on party reform for consideration, and the DNC had expanded and strengthened its staff across all departments. But we’d heard this news from a distance. What would the party look like up close and in person?

Since our last meeting in October, the DNC has come a long way. New staff in October are veterans by now, seasoned through their in-state work in Virginia and Alabama. They know the state parties too, thanks to the visits they have made to each as they prepared for grant allocations and got to know the state parties better. 

The DNC wants to make sure its leaders know what we’re working for. They organized their messaging across speakers and repeated it often: we cannot accept the status quo, we must work for change, we must fight for health care for all, get out the vote among millennials, and keep our eyes on our voter base. They noted that voter protection is crucial, and partners are key to success and engagement. Their aim for 2018: to take back the House and Senate and reach 50 million Americans. 

We also got to see just how deep the bench was this year. We met the newly elected mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, and heard from Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Doug Jones. We also heard from state level politicians from county clerk to mayors and state legislators. The message was clear - every zip code counts.

Because there is so much opportunity in 2018 to pick up elections in red and purple districts (yes PA18!!!!), opportunities for Democrats Abroad to make a difference are huge as well. Many races will not be won by a wide point spread and every vote will count. Our DA DNC team worked all week to spread that message, making sure states knew that we were ready to be the margin of victory in their tight elections. State parties took note, and Tom Perez heard our message too: he mentioned Democrats Abroad in his Chair's report during Saturday's General Meeting, thanked us for our wins in 2016 and noted that he was looking forward to us helping win victories in 2018.

I’m excited by what our team achieved this last week. I’m also making a list of all that we have to do in the next few weeks as we follow up with states and the DNC and scale up the projects we have started so that we can truly be the margin of victory this year. 

A few highlights of what our DNC team accomplished in DC:

  • Democrats Abroad presented our targeted state outreach project during the general meeting of the Association of State Democratic Committees (ASDC). We were the only state party given time on the agenda. 

  • We met with 40+ state parties to discuss DA’s state outreach project.

  • We met with College Dems to finalize their state-side partnership on our study abroad outreach program.

  • Our DA DNC team met with Chairman Perez to discuss our 2018 plans and opportunities for this year. 
  • During Saturday’s General Meeting and in his Chair’s report, Chairman Perez thanked Democrats Abroad for our work and specifically noted our wins from 2016. 

  • During the General Meeting, we spoke in support of the Unity Reform Commission’s recommendations, noting that Democrats Abroad had already undertaken many of these in 2016, leading to a 50% increase in voter participation. Our comments met with support from a wide circle of DNC members.

  • We came home with a list a kilometer long of follow-ups with states and DNC members, and a wonderful amount of goodwill.

Many thanks to Adrianne George, Connie Borde, Ken Sherman, Martha McDevitt-Pugh and Orlando Vidal for their fantastic support. I couldn’t be more thankful for all their work and outreach and proud to be part of such a fantastic team.