Wrapping up Resistance Summer

This week marks the close of Resistance Summer. Many thanks for all of your efforts to make the summer a success - attending events, helping DA expand our membership, and more! We are in the process of writing up a full report for the DNC summarizing all of these wonderful actions over the summer.  

To wrap up the summer, we have one more Resistance Summer Speaker Series event coming up tomorrow. During the call we'll be discussing climate change with a guest speaker from the League of Conservation Voters. The webinar starts at 9am EST this Friday, September 8th. RSVP today and send in any questions you'd like to ask too. 

The Taxation task force, led by Carmelan Polce, this week released a survey for Americans abroad taxpayers. With more than 3000 participants already, the survey is getting mentions across the internet. Please help keep the momentum going by sharing it on your facebook page. Do participate – the more data we have the more powerful our message back in the States will be during these next few critical weeks as Congress works on tax reform. 

A shout out also to the Congressional Contact team! They responded to DACA news with a comprehensive set of DACA scripts to use when emailing Congress about DACA. Please do contact your Congressional reps and share these scripts too.

Elizabeth Warren will be speaking on September 17th at 9:30am EST. RSVP today.

Save the Date

  • Environmental webinar – September 8, 9:00 am EST
  • Informal discussion of the Resolution Proposing the Adoption by the Democratic Party of a "Compact with the American People For Election Reform" – September 12
  • Online vote on the above resolution – September 15 (over a 24 hour period)
  • Elizabeth Warren webinar – September 17, 9:30 am EST
  • (Inter)National Voter Registration day – September 26, all day

Labor Day News

This Labor Day weekend, committees have planned more than a dozen events to celebrate the season and prepare for next year. A big shout out to Germany, whose chapters are hosting six!

As part of our Labor Day action outreach, we’ll be sending out a global email tomorrow (Friday the 1st) with lots of ways for you to get active as September begins.

Look for a follow up email about specific volunteer opportunities on Monday to all volunteers.

The Resistance Summer Speaker series continues next week. This time we'll be discussing climate change with guest speakers from the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club on Friday, September 8th at 9 am EST. Details coming very soon. 

If you didn’t have a chance to attend the excellent Immigration webinar with Nick Steiner and Jay Jimenez from the ACLU, you can view the video here.

 

Save the Date
Environmental webinar – September 8, 9:00 am EST
Elizabeth Warren webinar – September 17, 9:30 am EST
(Inter)National Voter Registration day – September 26, all day


Elizabeth Warren scheduled to speak to DA

Happy news from the U.S. - Elizabeth Warren has generously agreed to join us on a call on September 17th at 9:30 am EDT to speak to our members and help DA raise money. We will be sending out invites this week as well as house party helpful hints, but please save the date now. 

Our Resistance Summer webinar series continues this week with a Q&A session with the ACLU’s Nick Steiner. Nick will be speaking about the Muslim/Travel Ban, the “Wall”, deportations,the RAISE Act, and what we can do to help resist the administration's immigration policies. RSVP today for the link.

This seminar follows in the footsteps of last Friday’s Voter Rights webinar with Tom Hicks at the EAC. Hundreds of Americans abroad joined in on zoom and Facebook live for a lively round of discussion. If you missed the webinar, no worries – you can watch it here.


Remembering Charlottesville

Silence is no longer acceptable. We know this, every one of us. We have held vigils this week to mourn the death of Heather Heyer, to push back against the hatred of racism and the white supremacist movement, creating a massive unified front of members willing to stand up and publicly proclaim what they believe.

Now we must turn our energy and anger into action, pushing legislation that combats racism, doubling down on our get out the vote efforts, and joining with the Democratic party in a call out to Republicans to stand up to Donald Trump’s hate filled rhetoric.

This weekend the GOTV Team is kicking off phone banking campaigns for VA and NJ. In our calls we will be asking voters to request their ballots, and then call their representatives and senators and ask them to condemn Trump’s actions.

The Comms team is rolling out a global social media campaign today and tomorrow with a similar call to action message to all of our members. For anyone with Democratic representatives, we urge you lucky folk to join Tom Perez in a shout out to RNC Chair McDaniel, asking that the Republican party stand up to Trump. We will Rise and we will Organize.

This Friday, August 18 at 2pm EST, EAC Commissioner Tom Hicks will join us in a webinar to talk about Voter Rights and how we can work to combat voter suppression. Please RSVP today if you haven’t already.

Getting out the vote also means expanding our voter outreach, and our Data team is hard at work gathering 2016 voter data from all 50 states. This data is not free though, so please consider sponsoring your state’s data. If you are interested in the possibilities of being sponsor for your state, please contact the fundraising team.


Kicking off the DA Speakers Series

Despite the tensions of this week, the conflicting rhetoric from the White House, and North Korea’s response, I applaud you all for keeping your eye on the ball and for your tremendous work this summer as we prepare for next year and do all that we can to make sure such an administration does not come to office again.

This week we kicked off a series of webinars on issues that concern Americans abroad, and we are happy to see the great response so far. Our first event will be an issues webinar by our very own Martha McDevitt-Pugh (LGBTQ Caucus chair), who is holding a Q&A session online about LGBTQ civil rights, how they are threatened right now and what we can do to help. The Q&A will be both on Zoom and facebook live, so if you have any trouble logging on, or just want to dip in for a few minutes head to our facebook page and join in.

The GOTV team is in the process of putting together a phone banking campaign for NJ and Virginia voters. We’ll be running a Weekend of Action calling campaign over the weekend of August 18th. Any caller that logs more than 30 calls wins a sample of the famous DA Donkey bag. The Weekend of Action is a DNC action and we need to promote and encourage phone bankers across our regions and country committees, so please consider sharing with your friends!


Defending Immigrants

Yesterday Trump announced his support for a bill that would cut legal immigration to the US in half within a decade. Heartless, once again, comes to mind when describing the bill's sponsors and their insensibility to the effect of this bill on the many American citizens and legal aliens who would suddenly not be able to bring their families into the United States. These citizens include us.

America was not built on ethnic purity tests, and we will not stand for xenophobia thinly disguised as immigration reform. We’ll be sending out a statement tonight regarding this legislation. If the bill continues to gain momentum, we will roll out a global campaign to mobilize membership. Stay tuned.

Speaking of...if you’re following leadership listserve these days you might be asking yourself – why is this legislation an issue that the Excom is focusing on, and how did they choose it?

Our response to the bill is based on several factors: 1. the bill directly subverts one of the key planks that DA supports in our platform – immigration reform. 2. it directly affects many of our members and other Americans abroad. 3. it is news NOW.


Healthcare Saved

Did you watch the healthcare vote late last night? I missed the live votes, but was thrilled by the results, and inspired by the speeches. Check out Senator Hirono’s moving speech for your own inspiration today. Many thanks again to the leaders and members who called and protested around the world. 

Yesterday, as part of our healthcare campaign push, we launched this summer's membership growth program. The gist? Sign up 5 new members and we'll celebrate by sending you DA's own donkey tote bag. The bag was a big hit, and it's been fun to watch the new members roll in. If you have a moment, take the time to send your link to any US friend abroad who isn't yet a member and earn yourself a tote bag too.  

A big shout out to our partners over at Indivisible, who listened to our requests and tweaked their calling system so that Americans abroad could call in to West Virginia voters for free, urging them to encourage their senators to vote against the repeal bills. We are working with Indivisible to ensure this feature is replicated in the future. If it is, we will be advertising it widely!


July 20 - Resistance Wins

This week’s news from Washington points out the power of resistance – thanks to thousands of voices raised against the Senate health care bill, Mitch McConnell backed away from calling a vote on it. Many of those voices were ours and I am very thankful to everyone who contacted Congress about AHCA and how it would affect Americans abroad and our families and friends back home.

Republican senators don’t seem interested in learning from their mistakes though, so we will continue in our efforts to push against their health care agenda – especially as the Senate threatens to vote on a repeal of ACA next week. More soon on our next health care initiative!  

Next week we’ll be rolling out our Resistance Summer membership growth program, designed to grow membership this year so we can better get out the vote next year! We will be asking every DA member to reach out to at least five American friends abroad and help them join Democrats Abroad. Anyone who signs up five new members earns a shout out on the DA website. High flying membership all-stars who bring in 25 new members or more earn a DA Resists t-shirt, and special prizes go to regional winners.

For all of you avid Get Out the Vote (GOTV) volunteers, now is the time to send in your comments on the latest version of the FPCA form. The Federal Voter Assistance Program (FVAP) team is being very responsive so it’s definitely worth taking the time to review and consider suggestions. Any feedback, please send to gotv@democratsabroad.org and we will compile and send it in. 

The Senate Finance committee has just recently sent out a call for recommendations regarding tax reform. Our taxation task force responded this week with an in-depth document spelling out the difficulties for Americans abroad. For a summary and a link to our submission check out this article on the DA site

The DA France rally during Trump’s visit to Paris last week provided another great example of a country committee rallying for Democratic issues during a Trump trip abroad. We also love how DAF partnered with PAGE and Indivisible. Working together makes us all stronger. If you know a partner group that would be interested in working with us, get in touch and let us know. 

Thank you for all that you do.

 


July 4 - Happy Fourth of July

We hold these truths to be self-evident - that all people are created equal, and that we are endowed with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

As we celebrate July 4th around the world, we celebrate how far we’ve come since a brave few signed the Declaration of Independence and sent it boldly on its way to a monarch who considered its very concepts of freedom and democracy to be treasonous.

We celebrate democracy’s spread to many corners of the globe since that time, and with it civil rights, freedom of speech, freedom of mobility, and the freedom to vote.

And we remember that we carry the American vision with us everywhere we live and work. It’s that same vision that inspires us to stand up and fight for democratic values, and to work to make our world a more equal place, where many more than a select few can enjoy the rights we hold so dear.

Today I want to thank you for your efforts to support democracy and protect our rights: your letters and calls to Congress, your phone calls to fellow citizens to get out the vote, and your advocacy for the issues we value most. Thank you, and I hope you have a wonderful Fourth!

June 22 - Welcome Hispanic Caucus + Focus on Healthcare

I’m proud to announce that the Hispanic Caucus is now an official caucus within Democrats Abroad. Caucus chair Ana Blackstad (Czech Republic), will be putting out a global call for caucus members next week, but's not too early to join now  - head to our volunteer page to easily sign up! The caucus has exciting plans that we'll be hearing more about very shortly. Stay tuned!  

Our other caucuses will also be taking part in the global call for caucus members. That global email should go out on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. 

Our global teams are ramping up left and right thanks to Resistance Summer, and I’m delighted to announce the newly formed Design Team. Led by Quaide Williams (Germany), the team will focus on improving and expanding our graphics, print materials, social media memes and more. If you would like to volunteer for the team, please get in touch at designteam@democratsabroad.org

Our Comms, Design and Action teams have been busy this week rolling out a coordinated response to the Senate’s backroom AHCA dealings. Be sure to check out our news story on the effect of the healthcare bill on Americans abroad. We also have easy to use call scripts and would appreciate you sharing these scripts and the call to action widely! To help push the calls, we’ll be sending out a global email today or tomorrow asking you to contact your senators.

Last Thursday’s Residency Based Taxation Call Storm Campaign was a great success. Based on the response form feedback, we estimate that we made over 1000 calls. It was gratifying to hear from several senate and representative offices that they were impressed by the numbers of Americans abroad that they’d heard from that day.  

Many thanks go out to our GOTV teams of volunteers who put in many hours calling SC and GA voters recently. Although the results were disappointing, I’d like to particularly highlight the numbers in the SC race - in a gerrymandered district in one of the most conservative areas of SC, Archie Parnell lost by only 3% of the vote. Opportunity knocks for Democrats Abroad in many races across the country next year, we just need to keep up the work. Next up for GOTV we’ll see global efforts underway for getting out the vote in Utah for Chaffetz’s seat and in Alabama for Sessions’.

The DNC is currently helping us organize a meet up with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who will be in Berlin on July 6th and who has agreed to a meeting with Democrats Abroad that day. More information on this visit to come!