Women's March Statement

On behalf of Democrats Abroad I want to thank you for standing with us over this last year.

John Lewis, civil rights hero, and Congressman from Georgia, has this to say about how to stand up for democracy. He says, “Your vote is precious and almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society and we must use it.”

You may have found this hard to believe after the 2016 election. You may have felt that your vote was a grain of sand, lost in an ocean of votes.

But listen. Your vote is not a grain of sand to be brushed away. It is a building block that you can use to stand on, to make your voice heard in the years to come. It is a building block, and one you can add strength to by reaching out to other people – your family, your friends, people you know from work, people you meet on the street, people around the world, and helping them to vote too.

YOUR VOTE COUNTS, even from abroad. Thanks to overseas votes, Democrats won the Roy Cooper's race for Governor of NC in 2016. Our votes won Maggie Hassan's senate race in New Hampshire. Just last year Democrats flipped 34 special elections that we weren't supposed to win. Because those building blocks of votes add up. And although they might not always win us elections, they do win us a voice.

Because YOUR VOICE counts too. Thanks to overseas votes last year, legislators are paying attention to what we have to say this year. Around the US, states are reaching out to Democrats Abroad to let us know that they will support us. They have realized the strength of our voting bloc and told us we will not be forgotten. To anyone voting outside the US, I encourage you – build your voting bloc and you will build your voice as well.

I'll be working this year to help grow the number of Americans who vote – and to make it easier for those who do. I'll be working with our teams to strengthen Democrats Abroad’s global voice, to help hone the tools we need to effectively reach Congress from outside the U.S. This is how I will take my stand for democracy.

I’m proud of you all for standing up for democracy last year, and I am looking forward to hearing from you how you will make your stand this year. Thank you for your voice, thank you for believing in it and thank you for using it. And please, don’t forget to back it with your vote. Democracy is counting on you.

Stand Up Against the Tax Scam

This week’s Tiny Action focuses on the horrific tax bill on the floor of the Senate right now. Today is the day to stand on our street corners and shout, loudly, about it. Now is the moment to encourage your friends to call their senators, not tomorrow after it passes. We need everyone who’s called Congress this year to help with this, and we need each of them to get a friend to do it, too. So please, reach out and help make this happen. This is not just a tax reform bill. It is a tax hike bill that guts the social safety net and the middle class to permanently benefit corporations and the very rich.

The tax team is keeping a close eye on the Senate right now, keeping track of any amendments that might be suggested which would affect Americans abroad directly. They will keep us posted on developments as they occur. 

The DA Global Auction is live for only four more days. Check out your country’s offerings and share them with friends – remember, your country committee takes home 50% of the proceeds for anything successfully auctioned off from your country. Please also send the link to your friends and family back home – the US-based vacation offerings are particularly great for US family! 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fifty years ago Dr. King said, “Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the stars - for all of you who have risen to the challenges of our times. Our resistance grows stronger as we stand together, creating constellations of light that overcome the dark.

Next year’s midterms promise the opportunity to grow our resistance and make an even bigger difference. With our votes from abroad, we can make change happen in every election across the US, following our wins this year with many more, taking back the House and Senate, and flipping state legislatures from red to blue.

In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, full of friends, family and your favorite food. May your pie crusts not crumble, your turkey cook to perfection and your dinner table debates all end with a round of reminders about what you are thankful for this year.

P.S. If you are ready to make a difference next year, please volunteer to help get out the vote, to help organize, and to help support our volunteers’ work. And please do add a note to your calendar to request your ballot for the midterm elections, starting on January 1, 2018.

VA election update and more

Virginia’s 28th House District race remains undecided. Currently the VA House Democratic Caucus has filed suit with the Stafford County electoral board for mishandling their absentee ballots and it appears that hundreds of voters may have voted the wrong ballot. Three recounts are underway in Virginia's state legislature, threatening the Republicans' 51/49 advantage in the House. Many thanks to the Comms team, and especially Amanda Mohar, for their help with our outreach this weekend. It led to great connections with grass roots leaders on social media, and good conversations with several media orgs, including DemList, who made the issue their lead story on Monday after we spoke with them.

This week’s Tiny Action encourages us to call our Senators and stand against Trump’s judicial nominee Brett Talley, the environmental council nominee Kathleen Hartnett White, and Jim Bridenstine at NASA.

If you are traveling next week and heading through London, don’t miss the opportunity to meet up with Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, Indiana), who is meeting with DA members next Friday at 12:30pm for a DAUK fundraiser. 

Have you browsed through the auction offerings yet? We have more than 120 to choose from, thanks to your wonderful generosity and the indomitable energy of the auction team! The Global auction starts on November 24th and the team is still accepting donationsWomen’s Caucus calendars are also on sale still. Check them out – deliveries still possible before Christmas!

Many thanks to our fantastic phone bankers for Alabama – Dean Shuey (Philippines) tops the list, followed by Paul Miller (CZ) and Wendy Abondolo (UK). The Czech Republic leads country committees in callers – dekuju to that local team!! If you’re interested in calling, there are still calls to make for both the Americas and EMEA (Dean has wrapped up AP). Sign up on our phone banking page and get started!

Mark your calendars

DA Global Auction – November 24th to December 3rd
Alabama Senate seat election – December 12th

Fab Facts
Democrats have flipped 33 state legislative seats from red to blue in 2017 so far.
Doug Jones is ahead of Roy Moore by 12 points in Alabama senate race poll (from the NRSC). 

Election News

Are you dancing around singing happy tunes since Tuesday’s election results? I am, and I’d love to bottle this happiness and save it for inspiration next year. Songs are the closest things we have to bottles of happiness though, so here’s one to keep for later. (Thanks to our tax team for a new theme song ;-).

Speaking of the taxation team - they are on the Hill this week knocking on doors and working hard to let our representatives know about Residency Based Taxation (RBT) and why they should consider it. Many thanks to Carmelan Polce, Joe Smallhoover and DeeDee Gierow for the work you are doing supporting an issue that is so important to so many of our members. Do also check out Dina Titus’ shout out to our team and DA.  

Yesterday’s call with James Carville was thought provoking, fun, and inspiring. Listen to the call here.

James Carville believes Doug Jones’ has a chance in Alabama, and we do too. Please consider phone banking to help out. Winning this senate race would make a big difference in protecting vital legislation over the next year. Phone bank this weekend so Alabama voters have time to get their ballots in by December 12th.

The Global auction starts on November 24th and the team is still accepting donations. Large or small, these auction items are great ways to support Democrats Abroad. Women’s Caucus calendars are also on sale now and have their own page on the website. Check them out – deliveries still possible before Christmas!  

Mark your calendars
Veteran’s Day – November 11th
DA Global Auction – November 24th to December 3rd

Fabulous Facts
 4 recounts are still underway in VA. Americans abroad have the chance to turn the VA legislature blue.

Helping out in Alabama

Join us today on a call with Stephanie SchriockPresident of Emily’s List, at 2pm DC time. Stephanie will be speaking with DA about how Democratic women can make their voices heard, how to make gender parity a reality, and more. Please keep in mind the time change and RSVP now

Our GOTV team is counting down to next week’s elections in New Jersey and Virginia (and still doing phone banking – consider helping too). 

We are also looking toward December 12th and the senate seat election in Alabama, where Democratic candidate Doug Jones is running against Bannon-supported candidate Roy Moore.

To help out in Alabama, we’re thrilled to announce that the Ragin’ Cajun from Louisiana, James Carville, has agreed to join DA in a call next Wednesday, November 8th, at 9am DC time. He’ll be speaking to us as a surrogate for Doug Jones, and we’re looking forward to hearing his thoughts. We’ll be posting the event on the site very shortly!! 

Larry Cohen, co-chair of the Unity Reform Commission and chair of Our Revolution, met with DA France in Paris last week at an event hosted by Connie Borde. He answered many questions about the Unity Reform Commission's work and also the Las Vegas DNC meeting. Read a summary of his remarks here.

Last week’s call with Phil Murphy, the Democratic candidate for NJ governor, and his wife Tammy Murphy, went very well. Together they spent almost an hour answering questions from our members about everything from NJ infrastructure plans to the public bank program Phil is interested in setting up. In case you missed the call, check out the video.

This week’s Tiny Action will focus on raising money this year to make a difference in elections next year. We’re asking our Tiny Action activists to ask their family and friends to help support phone banking and other get out the vote actions to make sure Americans abroad provide the margin of victory in 2018.

Women’s Caucus calendars are on sale now and have their own page on the website. Check them out– it’s not too early to start your Christmas shopping! 

Mark your calendars

“Give to Win” fundraising month is running! – October through Nov 8th
Women’s Caucus hosts Emily’s List – November 2nd at 2pm DC time
James Carville webinar – November 8th at 9am DC time
DA Global Auction – November 24th to December 3rd

Announcing the DA Global Black Caucus

Join us today on a call with Phil Murphy, New Jersey’s Democratic candidate for governor, former ambassador to Germany, and great friend of Democrats Abroad! He will speak to us about his campaign and plans moving forward. RSVP now for a zoom link. 

We’re thrilled to announce that the Global Black Caucus is now an official caucus within Democrats Abroad. The caucus team, led by Angela Fobbs, warmly welcomes new members and is busy planning their first events and projects. Join today! 

Following the DNC fall meeting in Las Vegas, our DNC members are all back home, and catching up with work, family (and sleep). Many thanks again to the team for their tireless work in Las Vegas and their fantastic advocacy for Democrats Abroad.

In case you missed it, check out Ralph Northam’s interview with the DA Comms team. He’s running for VA governor and we were delighted to be able to hear from him about issues that matter to Americans abroad. 

What’s new with Give to Win this week? Check out the site and see! 

Women’s Caucus calendars are on sale now and have their own page on the website. Check them out– it’s not too early to start your Christmas shopping!  

This week’s Tiny Action highlights the elections we are working on. Please take some time and phone bank for these elections. They matter – wins in AL, NJ and VA will make a huge difference for the Democratic party next year and we need to pull out the stops to make these wins happen. 

Mark your calendars
“Give to Win” fundraising month is running! – October through Nov 8th
Phil Murphy, NJ governor candidate webinar – RSVP now - today at 11am EST
Women’s Caucus hosts Emily’s List - November 2nd at 9am DC time

Reporting in from Las Vegas

Hello from Nevada! The DNC fall meeting is just over and we are already working on what comes next. But first a recap:

If you’re wondering about the state of the DNC let me tell you – the new DNC is up and running and in full motion forward. New is the byword in all conversation, and work across all zip codes (even abroad) is too. National has studied the game video, taken notes and are rolling out their game strategy with no holds barred to get out the vote and win.

That’s the summary for anyone with thirty seconds. Now for the details!

We kicked off the week with state chairs and executive director workshop meetings on Wednesday. The meetings were invaluable for getting to know state leaders, hearing their approaches and sharing our own. I attended the workshop for state chairs and vice chairs while Adrianne George and Ken Sherman helped make sure DA was represented in the executive director meeting.

The Unity Reform Commission also met Wednesday -  Connie Borde, Martha McDevitt Pugh, Adrianne George, and Katie Solon represented us and will be sharing their notes later this week.

In the Association of State Chairs general meeting that evening, Democrats Abroad was honored to get a shout out of thanks for our work on Resistance Summer by DNC deputy Chair Keith Ellison.

Thursday I attended the state chairs’ IT committee meeting and shared some of our best practices and major tech asks with the group. It’s a privilege to be a member of that committee and I’m delighted that DA has been added to it!

Thanks to the advocacy of Liz Jaff I was able to meet with DNC CTO Raffi Krikorian, who is very interested in our data project and has pledged to help us meet our goal of gathering all fifty States absentee presidential voter data and matching it with more robust contact information.

During the week I met with DNC CEO Jess O’Connell and Advisor to the Chair Will Hailer to discuss our strategy for 2018 and the funding opportunities needed to fulfill that strategy. We will be able to submit a formal grant request on November 1 and we have already sent in a draft of the grant to their team for consideration.

States are organized by four regions within the DNC, and our DNC team is, uniquely, a part of each region. During Thursday’s regional caucus meetings we were each able to let our region know about our efforts this summer and next year through our state report.

Friday morning we all attended the resolutions committee meeting in support of our resolution. The committee tabled it for further consideration at the next meeting in the early spring.

The DA DNC team were proud to add our names to a resolution in support of Puerto Rico. The resolution passed unanimously. 

The day was packed with caucus meetings and the team split up to attend as many meetings as possible. By the end of the day, Martha McDevitt-Pugh had won a seat on the board of the Women’s Caucus and Orlando Vidal on the board of the Hispanic Caucus.

We are happy to announce that we found generous support for our efforts to make sure the Veterans hot line works abroad. South Carolina DNC member Clay Middleton has already approached Rep Jim Clyburn about the issue, and the Mississippi state vice chair has vowed to work with the VA on the problem too. As well, Adrianne George and John Eastwood’s advocacy led the Veterans Council to pass a motion regarding the issue.

Anyone who got to meet Liz Jaff during her visit with us this fall will not be surprised to hear that her pitch-a-thons were tremendous successes. State parties are excited and eager to learn about new technologies - a fantastic development for our party.

During our time in Vegas we were able to speak with every member of the DNC executive committee. They are very eager to work closely with us and visit as well. Tom Perez was particularly interested in our Alabama work and asked me to make sure we push as hard as we can on getting out the vote there.

The entire DA team also had the opportunity to meet with Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and let her know about our efforts.

I’m excited to note that our first visitor post meeting will be Larry Cohen, chair of Our Revolution, who kindly agreed to meet with DAG France next week at an event hosted by Connie Borde.

The general meeting on Saturday was inspiring as we heard Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator Harry Reid and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto give rousing speeches. Sen. Tim Caine and Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia, joined remotely. Tom Perez capped off the meeting with a fantastic call to action for this fall’s elections (particularly the Alabama senate race) and a last take away focused on the goals and direction of the new DNC.

Saturday was also Ken Sherman’s birthday and we were delighted to wish him many happy returns before we parted to begin making the long trip home.

Tremendous thanks to the team for the time spent together and the work that everyone did making sure the hundreds of DNC members knew Democrats Abroad, our value and what we can do to help them in their election efforts.

Revving up for the DNC Fall Meeting

Next week the DA DNC team heads to Las Vegas for the 2017 DNC Fall Meeting. We’ll be meeting with DNC and state party leaders, voting on resolutions (including the Compact) and electing regional and caucus leaders. Keep an eye out for Facebook and Twitter posts of the meeting at #DAinVegas. 

Ralph Northam, Virginia’s gubernatorial candidate, wants every Virginian abroad to vote if they can. We’ve worked with his team on a video we’re circulating on social media now. Please share the post widely! 

Speaking of social media - the #GunControlNOW social storm this weekend took off on both Twitter and Facebook with thousands of participants joining in. Many thanks for taking a moment from your weekend to help out, and to Amanda Mohar, Angela Fobbs and the rest of our social media team for their work on this fantastic initiative! 

Have you checked out the Give to Win fund raising campaign yet? If you have an idea for another project you’d like to add to the list, please email Kari Hiepko-Odermann at fundraising@democratsabroad.org. She’d also love to hear from you about donor phone banking – calls work and are a great way for you to help fund the tools you use in your outreach each month.   

This week’s Tiny Action highlights the Tax team’s Tax Reform Campaign in a box. Tax reform is under discussion in DC now, so call your representative and senators about how citizen based taxation affects you (and your members), and don't miss this narrow window of opportunity to make a change! 

Mark your calendars

 “Give to Win” fundraising month is running! – October through Nov 8th
 Women’s Caucus hosts Emily’s List - November 2nd at 9am DC time

Demand Gun Control Now

Sensible gun control legislation is important to Americans abroad, regardless of where we live. To help us raise our voices, the Comms team and Congressional call team are working together to roll out call scripts and Tweet samples for a united Call and Tweet storm. The scripts will be out and posted very shortly!

Virginia and New Jersey elections are coming up soon and we’re delighted to be working with both governor candidate campaigns.  Do keep an eye out for upcoming news stories and videos from these candidates.

Many thanks to Carmelan Polce for her excellent taxation advocacy webinar last Friday! The team also composed a letter to the Senate Finance Committee regarding DA’s stance on overseas taxation reform. The DNC hand delivered that letter for us on Monday, prior to the Tax Reform Hearings on October 3rd.

Next up – the Tax team and volunteers from the Comms team are working on a Tax Reform Campaign in a box. It’s an extension of this summer’s RBT campaign in a box, and includes talking points, call scripts, and sample email and postcard scripts.

Mark your calendars
 “Give to Win” fundraising month begins – October 9th
Women’s Caucus hosts Emily’s List - November 2nd