News

Coronavirus Impact on Mailing Your Ballot

Earlier this year, the pandemic impacted Portugal’s international mail system. Mail flights to the US were less frequent and for a short while, they were halted. 

Many states require voters to snail-mail their overseas ballots. Some DAP members have voiced concern about the impact of a second wave of Covid-19 on overseas voting this fall. 

Senator Tim Kaine assured Democrats Abroad that overseas voter ballots are vital, and the State Department is working with all US Embassies and Consulates across the world to secure their help. As of now, voters can hand-deliver or mail their properly enveloped ballots to the US Embassy in Lisbon. Your ballot will then be delivered to the USA in the diplomatic pouch and given to the USPS for the rest of its mail journey to your voting state. If your state allows voting by email or fax, we encourage you to use that method vs. mail.

Watch www.DemocratsAbroad.org, the Democrats Abroad Portugal Facebook page, or email info-portugal@democratsabroad.org for related registration and voting updates.


This Summer, You May Be Phone Banked by DAP

Democrats Abroad is helping DA Portugal conduct its first phone banking effort since 2016. A small, committed team of 10 DAP volunteers started contacting all DA Portugal members on Tuesday, June 23. Using Democrats Abroad’s CallHub technology to make calls and send texts from laptops or tablets, the team’s purpose is to reach out to DAP members, remind them to register, confirm voting-state details to ensure members are safely on their state voter rolls, and ask to spread the word to other Americans in Portugal. 

Overseas Americans don’t get contacted as much as those living in the States. Feedback from those called say they like and appreciate the connection and reminder. And phone banking is measurably impactful: DA data shows members called by a phone banker are twice as likely to vote as those who aren’t contacted. That’s especially important this year as the overseas voter turnout in 2018 was just 12% of all Americans living abroad.

So, this summer, when you see a PT number on your phone that you don’t recognize, it might be a Dems Abroad Portugal volunteer with a reminder to register, vote, and spread the word. We hope you pick up, chat, and thank them for their time!


Connect with Dems Abroad Portugal Regional Volunteers

Dems Abroad Portugal is a growing group, supported by a “small, but mighty” team of “Super Volunteers” spread across the country. We came together informally given our common desire to help Americans in Portugal register as overseas voters and cast their ballots in the upcoming election to win back the Whitehouse! 

Connect with a Dems Abroad Portugal Point Person in your area to meet (virtually or in-person with all the right safety measures) and get involved in DA local or global events and actions. The Point People have three roles: 1) GOTV (Get out the Vote) by registering new voters, engaging registered voters, and providing voter assistance; and 2) Key contact for virtual and live events in their geographic areas; and 3) Amplify information on social media to spread the word about Democrats Abroad and encourage Americans in Portugal to join. 

Contact your Point Person today to say, “Hi!” and ask how you can help them GOTV and spread the word about Dems Abroad! We’re looking for a Point Person for the Algarve and Oeiras/Cascais/Sintra. Email info-portugal@democratsabroad.org to join the Point Person team!

Point People
Lisbon District: Terry Recht tkrecht@gmail.com WhatsApp +1.415.297.7605 and Carolina Ramirez carolinaramirez88@hotmail.com WhatsApp +351 915 993 269

Porto, Coimbra, Guarda, Viseu, Aveiro, Bragança, Vila Real, Braga, and Viana de Castelo Districts: Kristi Espineira kespineira@gmail.com WhatsApp +1 720-314-8626

Leiria, Beja, Evora, Portalegre, Castelo Branco, Setubal, and Faro Districts:  Caryl Hallberg fatcat2@gmail.com


Online DAP Discussion Event a Success

We recently held our first virtual “Front Porch Views” event, hosted by DAP regional point person, Caryl Hallberg. Caryl lives in Ericeira, and put together a virtual chat for U.S. citizens living in Portugal to talk about issues, get to know one another, and build community. 

With recent news about the worldwide conversation about Black Live Matters and other equity issues, our first Front Porch Views discussion could not have been more topical. A group of people convened online for a lively discussion of the intersectionality of support between LGBTQ, Black, Women, and POC rights, and what it means to be an “ally." Our special guest, Tre’ Shawn L. Griffin-Noordermeer, Secretary, Democrats Abroad Netherlands and Co-Chair, Global LGBTQ+ Caucus, joined in the discussion. Also, Caryl shared a video by Pastor Da Vita D. McCallister, from First Church Somerville (Massachussetts), an activist leader who frequently speaks on issues of equality. 

We look forward to hosting more Front Porch Views sessions on different topics soon; please join the Democrats Abroad Portugal Facebook Page for news of future events.


Meet Kristi, Democrats Abroad organizer in Portugal

Kristi Holmes Espineira's Democratic Party roots cross generations. Growing up, both her parents were professional educators with a strong commitment to working in economically disadvantaged communities with the long term goal of improving American diversity. Throughout the 60s, her mom helped to transition recently integrated schools; her dad worked directly for the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Arizona. Kristi's parents did not regard their work as "political party activism," per se. Rather, their goal was simply and literally to "do what was right." The intrinsic importance of diversity and equality was regularly the focus of dinner table conversations. Kristi's mom remains both socially and politically active today. Among Kristi's favorite "mom" memories is attending together a Barack Obama rally in 2012 and marching together in the Women's March in 2017.

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Americans to Vote in Portugal to Choose the Democratic Nominee

Democrats Abroad Portugal is organizing Ballot Assistance Events across Portugal to help Americans vote in the Global Presidential Primary. Ballot Assistance Events are not official polling stations, but are opportunities to pick up your remote ballot and get help sending it in, as well as to connect with like-minded expats. 

These events will be held in Portugal between March 3 and 10, 2020. Events are being planned for Porto, Lisbon, Oeiras, Setúbal, Sintra area, Caldas da Rainha, Coimbra, and Tavira. See our EVENTS tab for up-to-date information.

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“The Brink” Film Screening Draws Democrats in Lisbon and Porto

The documentary film "The Brink" had its Portugal premiere in Lisbon on October 24, as part of the doclisboa film festival. Over 40 Democrats Abroad members attended the premier to view the film, in which award-winning filmmaker Alison Klayman takes on former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, following him for over a year as he tries to promote his brand of extreme nationalism and unite the far-right anti-immigrant parties of Europe. 

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Candidate Statements for 2017 DAP Executive Board Election

Tristan Averett

Alcântara

Information, communication, outreach and coordination are the keys to an active, thriving and effective organization. I believe that I can contribute to the leadership team using my skills and experience. My career spans 30 years of IT work with various databases. I served as Secretary for DAP in 2015/2016, making me familiar with the tools and requirements for this job. I volunteered with the Sanders 2016 campaign and am the Portugal coordinator for Our Revolution Abroad. I assisted in organizing the Dems Abroad Global Primary in Portugal and acted as the voting center manager in Lisbon. I've volunteered for earlier presidential campaigns as well as local races and issues wherever I lived. And I have run or participated in an annual voter registration drive every year since I was old enough to vote.

 

Nando Cruz (Fernando Aidos da Cruz)

Oeiras

At Democrats Abroad Portugal we need to pull together to fight for a future with dignity. These are concepts that have driven my professional and personal life.  I’ve served in consulting roles related to technology and quality engineering at HP, IBM, Siemens and Charles Schwab. Nearly 5 years ago, I founded Grassroots Communities, aimed at enabling developing country’s citizens’ use of technology in order  to live their lives  with dignity. I also volunteered in Africa with the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. I’m also doing pro-bono work, developing and teaching leadership training modules for not-for-profits, as part of a McKinsey program. I was graduated by the University of Colorado with an MBA in Marketing and by the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg with a BSEE.

 

Marsella Gilbert

Principe Real, Lisboa

I decided to run for DAP Counsel for a very simple reason: If we want our political leaders to know our priorities, not only do we need to tell them repeatedly, but it’s imperative we also have those priorities show up in the polls. We have a lot of work to do for the upcoming elections in 2018 and 2020.  I believe my background as a politics major at the University of San Francisco, a paralegal certificate from Merritt College paired with my experience in labor organizing and as a district office volunteer coordinator to California Assemblywoman, Fiona Ma, prepare me to help revive the voter participation that we especially need as Democrats living abroad.

 

 

Andrew Hafenbrack

Benfica, Lisboa

I am running for DAP’s Executive Board because I think that the Democratic Party has the potential to help make the U.S. fair and reasonable. I would like to see a reduction in wars, healthcare and drug prices and private prisons. I would like GMOs to be labeled, parental leave to exist and the financial industry to be meaningfully regulated. I think there are enough impediments to third parties that the only way to make progress on these issues is to help Democrats get elected then hold those people accountable. I served Democrats Abroad Portugal for the last 9 months as Secretary.  I’m currently a professor at Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics. I graduated with a PHD in Organizational Behavior from INSEAD and received my BS in Decision Science from Carnegie Mellon. www.andyhafenbrack.com

 

Amy Kraushaar

Paço de Arcos

Voting is the most impactful method of putting our government back on track; therefore, this is my priority. As Vice Chair of DAP in 2016,  I led and/or participated in:  our  2016 elections night event in Lisboa;  revitalizing our Facebook page;  expanding DAP elections via absentee voting. I’m working on Democrats Abroad Global’s ‘Get Out The Vote’ Committee focused on 2017 special elections, which connects me to our global resources.  My career in strategic marketing prepares me as Treasurer to focus on funding improved member communications and creating high-value events and local support across Portugal. My goal is for you to feel part of a DAP community that is informed, ready and able to change our US government in 2018 and 2020.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/amykraushaar

 

Deb Simpson (Deborah)

Alandroal

Democrats Abroad Portugal has an influence on American politics; let’s increase our impact by working together to build our volunteer base, to find every Democratic voter in Portugal and to ensure they vote in the 2018 elections. We will reach our members across Portugal to involve, listen, communicate and participate.  The generosity of volunteers donating their time, energy and skills to campaigns enabled me to serve 10 years in the Maine legislature, so I remain mindful of everyone’s time and effort. In Maine, I was accustomed to working as part of a team, from Chairing the House Judiciary Committee to working with other legislators on the Taxation and Natural Resources Committees as well as on the boards of public organizations, including Head Start. Let’s all work together to increase our impact on the crucial 2020 vote.


Report on Historic Democrats Abroad Global Town Hall Event

On February 21st, Democrats Abroad held a historic event -- a Global Town Hall where the presidential nominees were given the opportunity to directly address citizens abroad and speak to their issues and concerns. Each campaign had a segment where they delivered an opening statement and then the forum was opened up to questions submitted by Dems Abroad attendees.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright represented the Clinton campaign and shared a lot of her own insights and experience as well as highlighting her long-standing history and relationship with Secretary Clinton. During the question period, when asked about the Same Country Safe Harbor proposal for FATCA and Residence Based Taxation (RBT) Secretary Albright re-iterated the campaign's positions on these issues impacting American citizens abroad -- saying that Secretary Clinton had heard of the issues on FATCA and RBT, and that Clinton believes we need to examine these complex issues in more detail.

During the break, the Dems Abroad team presented some shout-outs to groups around the globe, highlighting events and house parties in Barcelona and Edinburgh. I saw groups checking in on Twitter from India and New Zealand, and all over Europe and Asia. They also gave us some fun facts -- did you know that there are anywhere from six to nine million Americans living abroad? Democrats abroad sends 21 voting delegates to the Democratic National Conventions (13 pledged and several super-delegates). If we were a state, we would be the 12th largest state in the U.S.

Senator Sanders then joined us, taking a short break during a campaign stop in South Carolina to make his opening statement and then go directly to the two questions impacting citizens abroad. He emphasized his agreement with the Same Country Safe Harbor proposal and again thanked Democrats Abroad for their work and leadership on these issues. As for RBT, Senator Sanders' answer offered more definite support for residence based taxation, saying "we can do better" for our citizens living and working abroad.

You can see the candidates written responses on the issues most impacting U.S. citizens abroad by checking the Democrats Abroad website -- http://www.democratsabroad.org/our_candidates. Check it out, and VOTE!