It’s Black History Month, and the Black Caucus has begun the month with an excellent kickoff article. There are lots of great ways to celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history. More resources and ideas here.
This week’s Tiny Action asks Americans abroad to support Congressional bills protecting Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation.
The EMEA regional meeting is right around the corner, on February 9-10th. If you haven’t signed up yet, register now. Don’t miss out on dinner with Howard Dean!
We have thousands of members who aren’t contactable by email – but are by phone. Join our current global Phone Only Phonebanking campaign to call these voters and remind them to send in their ballot requests now. And if you are one of those voters, let us know if you've already requested your vote. We'd love to hear from you!
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.
Phones are buzzing, posters drying and plans are in place as we prepare to march to the ballot box this weekend in countries around the world. Check out the 29 events our teams are hosting – and if there isn’t an event near you to join, our Tiny Action team has a few suggestions too!
Pod Save America gave DA a fantastic shout out recently in their "Our American Apology Tour" pod broadcast. Many many thanks to the DA teams in Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam and London for bringing DA to their attention through voter registration efforts and great team spirit at every stop on the tour.
The Excom is delighted to note that after a great deal of thoughtful work on their Terms of Reference (TOR) by the Progressive Caucus, we have voted them in to become an official caucus within Democrats Abroad. We are thrilled to have them join the caucus teams. Expect to see their caucus webpage up and a global email out shortly inviting us all to join!
As noted last week, DA Toronto and local members of the Progressive Caucus will be broadcasting a program with Larry Cohen, from Our Revolution, online on January 20th at 4pm DC time. Please tune in to DA’s Facebook page for the live event, and definitely share the show far and wide.
This weekend’s a busy one, and when you’re not marching, listening to Larry Cohen’s broadcast, or checking out facebook for live coverage of marches around the world, consider tuning in to a live stream of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee meetings this Friday and Saturday to hear their deliberation on the Unity Reform Commission’s recent suggestions. Democrats Abroad looks forward to hearing the results of these meetings.
Happy New Year! There are few things more thrilling for a voting advocate than rolling into an election year. Finally, we can help folk get registered and request their ballots. All the planning comes to fruition, our help desk queues fill up, we start pinging our friends and stopping strangers with American accents in the street.
In case we haven't talked yet, go ahead and request your ballot today. Start the year off well as we head towards winning back the Senate and House.
Remember - Americans abroad CAN vote in midterm elections. US Senate and Representative elections are Federal elections that every American abroad voter is entitled to vote in.
Americans abroad CAN make a difference in these midterms. Every vote counts and even a few votes can swing an election (or a state legislature!) from red to blue.
Finally, please remember that Americans abroad need to request our ballots every year we’d like to vote. Even those of us who requested a ballot in December 2017 must request their ballot again for this calendar year. That way, our ballots will be counted in every 2018 election.
Happy New Year to you from Democrats Abroad! I’m looking forward to helping turn 2018 into a year we can all be proud of. I very much appreciate your help making it happen.
Any questions, just let us know. We love to answer voter registration questions.
I hope everyone is soon heading off to enjoy a relaxing, fun filled next week or so. Rest, and rejuvenate!
If, though, Trump decides to fire Mueller, you might add one more R to the holiday combination and also RESIST.
In case Trump crosses the red line, we’ve put together suggestions for what you can do quickly – including a rally, a meet up, or a virtual protest. We’d love to hear your ideas as well (and if you come up with a resistance carol or two, please also let us know).
The tax bill’s looming vote could not overshadow the fantastic news from Virginia yesterday, where a recount in House District 94 ended with a win by ONE vote for Shelly Simonds. If all goes as expected, by January the Republicans will have lost their majority in VA’s legislature for the first time in 18 years. We are delighted that Americans abroad helped this happen.
Do you know someone abroad who votes from Newport News, or Virginia Beach, VA? If yes, please introduce us. We would love to speak to some of these voters who made this difference.
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!
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.
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 donations. Women’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
Democrats Flip 33 State Legislative Seats in 2017
Throughout this past year, the Democratic National Committee has been focused on rebuilding and electing Democrats up and down the ticket. Through the Every ZIP Code Counts program, the new DNC is investing in state parties and races all across the country. The result? Democrats have flipped 33 seats from red to blue, including in deep red districts that Trump swept in 2016.
“When we said the new DNC’s strategy is to organize and compete in every ZIP code, we meant it and it’s working. This year, Democrats flipped 14 seats in elections in New Hampshire, Florida, Oklahoma, New York, Georgia, and Washington, and on Election Day, we flipped at least 19 more seats in Virginia and New Jersey. This isn’t just a fluke, this is a trend,” said DNC CEO Jess O’Connell. “And what we’re seeing all across this country is that women are at the center of these wins. Not only are we seeing women elect Democrats, but Democrats won a majority of these seats because we had strong women candidates. Our work here is far from over. We will continue to mobilize and organize the way we did this year in order to be successful in 2018, 2019 and beyond.”
Democratic State Legislature Seat Flips in 2017:
- Jennifer Carroll Foy, HD-2
- Wendy Gooditis, HD-10
- Chris Hurst, HD-12,
- Danica Roem, HD-13
- Kelly Convirs-Fowler, HD-21
- Elizabeth Guzman, HD-31
- David Reid, HD-32
- Kathy Tran, HD-42
- Lee Carter, HD-50
- Hala Ayala, HD-51
- Karrie Delaney, HD-67
- Dawn Adams, HD-68
- Schuyler VanValkenburg, HD-72
- Debra Rodman, HD-73
- Cheryl Turpin, HD-85
- Troy Singleton, LD-7
- Vin Gopal, LD-11
- John Armato, AD-2
- Roy Freiman, AD-16
- Allison Ikley-Freeman, SD-37
- Jacob Rosecrants, HD-46
- Karen Gaddis, HD-75
- Michael Brooks-Jimenez, SD-44
- Deborah Gonzalez, HD-117
- Jonathan Wallace, HD-119
- Georgia SD-6*
*Runoff in December with two Democratic candidates
- Erika Connors, Hillsborough County District 15
- Edie DesMarais, Carroll County District 6
- Charlie St. Clair, Belknap County District 9
- Kari Lerner, Rockingham County District 4
- Manka Dhingra, LD-45
- Annette Taddeo, SD-40
- Christine Pellegrino, AD-9
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
4 recounts are still underway in VA. Americans abroad have the chance to turn the VA legislature blue.