Join Democrats Abroad as we talk with Senator Michael Bennet about his Presidential campaign and hear from him about issues important to Americans abroad.
When: November 19, at 10am Eastern Time
Where: Zoom call (RSVP below for the link)
Note: this is an online call, so you will need an internet connection in order to attend.
Note from Democrats Abroad: We have invited every Democratic Presidential candidate to speak to our members in individual online calls. We are looking forward to discussing issues that matter to Americans abroad during these calls and hope you will join us as we get to know our candidates.
Campaign statement: Michael is running for president to build opportunity for every American and restore integrity to our government.
Michael represents the State of Colorado in the Senate, but he has not spent a lifetime in politics. He turned around failing businesses in the private sector and improved outcomes for kids as superintendent of the Denver Public Schools.
Michael has more experience winning tough races than anyone else running for president. He won elections in 2010 and 2016—both difficult cycles for Democrats—in a state in the middle of the country that is a third Republican, a third Independent, and a third Democratic.
He lives in Denver with his wife, Susan Daggett, and their three daughters: Caroline, Halina, and Anne.WHENNovember 19, 2019 at 10amWHEREZoom call
Shari Temple published Women in the US Military in State of American Women 2019-11-10 05:45:26 -0500
Women in the US Military: Trends and Challenges in 2019
FOR eight years, Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager flew Black Hawk helicopters in Iraq, conducting aeromedical evacuations of injured troops. A graduated of the Reserve Officer Training Corps at California State University, Long Beach, she began serving in 1986 as a second lieutenant. After leaving active duty following the birth of her son, she redeployed to Iraq as the deputy commander of the California National Guard’s 40th Combat Aviation Brigade, steadily rising through the ranks and eventually leading Joint Task Force North with Northern Command at Fort Bliss, Texas.[i]
This past June, Yeager became the first woman in history to lead a US Army infantry division, assuming control of the 40th Infantry Division of the California National Guard.
Yeager’s career is inspiringly barrier-busting, but it is also a hard reminder of the relative recency of female advancement in the US Armed Forces. As of 2017, women made up only 16% of active-duty personnel across all branches of the military, which represents less than a 2% increase from 2007.[ii] Moreover, the Department of Defense only opened all combat jobs to women in 2015.
This statistic is shocking when one considers how long women have been involved in the military. During the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, women served as cooks and nurses – and some even disguised themselves as men to fight on the front lines and deliver covert information past British troops. During World War I, women began working as phone operators, architects, secretaries, and administrative assistants. During World War II, as part of FDR’s Women’s Army Corps (WAC), women worked with Air, Ground, and Service Forces as radio technicians, doctors, surgeons, and cryptographers. The 1970s finally saw women fully included into the service, with military service academies starting to accept women in 1976 and forces officially integrated in 1978.[iii]
Since 2015, more and more women have enlisted across every branch of the military, but despite their growing representation, they still face severe challenges before and after service. Female soldiers are often unable to access adequate healthcare, bring charges against sexual offenders, or advance in their careers. Female veterans often feel unsupported in the reintegration process as they deal with mental illness, physical disabilities, and difficulty finding sustained employment.
A healthcare system geared towards men
Healthcare is one of the biggest areas where women face more challenges than men—mostly due to limited research focused on women’s healthcare. Pentagon-contracted researchers are preparing to conduct an in-depth study of women’s health services only this year, the first since 1989.
The data available paints a lackluster picture. A 2006 military survey of female soldiers who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom found that 22% of respondents had not received a gynecological examination, including a Pap smear or other cytologic study, and 44% could not access gynecological care once they enlisted. Almost a quarter of women surveyed reported having to change contraceptive methods due to unavailability, and more than a fifth experienced gynecologic problem.[iv]
Even more recently, in a 2018 survey by the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), 41% of veterans surveyed said that they were unable to access birth control after deploying. These barriers to contraceptive care were usually caused by limited prescriptions that did not cover the full deployment, inadequate storage options, and physician refusal to prescribe birth control.[v]
The SWAN study also highlighted the lack of support for women seeking an abortion following an unintended pregnancy. Among these women, half were denied medical advice by military health care providers while the other half did not even seek their advice. All defaulted to off-base abortion services, which cost $300-600; none received follow-up care from the military.
Per Tricare, the military’s health and insurance provider, abortion on military bases is only covered in cases of danger to the mother’s life, incest, and rape – and certain countries in which the military operates ban the procedure altogether.[vi]
Sexual assault: increasing despite public attention
Sexual assault is arguably the most publicized issue facing service women. A 2019 report on sexual assault in the military showed almost 21,000 instances of unwanted sexual contact—a 38% increase from 2016.[vii] Though women make up less than 20% of service members, they are the targets of 63% of assaults, and one out of every sixteen women has reported being groped during their service.[viii]
The effects of such sexual assault are evident after service – and disproportionally affect women. Nearly 25% of women veterans who seek health care services from the Department of Veterans Affairs report experiencing at least one sexual assault while in the military compared to slightly more than 1% of male veterans.[ix]
In addition to the obvious effects on mental and physical health, sexual assault and harassment impact career development for women, even if indirectly. Women report hesitation from their male superiors to interact or mentor them due to fears of sexual harassment allegations. Women service members report sexism and targeted harassment and physical tests, and they often feel that their male superiors do not have a clear vision for women’s roles in the military. These superiors often have lowered expectations for women and refuse to promote women due to ingrained biases, for instance relating to family responsibilities, which are often exacerbated by shortsighted military policies.[x]
Far from receding, sexual violence against women has increased even at military academies, where sexual assault has trended upward over the past decade despite prevention programs. An anonymous 2017 survey found that instances of unwanted sexual contact had increased 50% compared to two years prior, with many victims choosing not to make reports.[xi]
Female veterans in search of community
Even after they leave the military, women often face more acute challenges than men. Because there are so few women in the armed forces, female veterans often struggle to find a community that truly understands the reintegration process. Many report that they do not feel accepted by civilian women, and they struggle to find groups or friends that can discuss female-specific challenges with reintegration. Some veterans also report a reluctance to self-identify as a veteran because civilians do not readily accept female soldiers.[xii]
Economically, employment is a major challenge for women in particular. Over 33% of female veterans report lost income as a problem after leaving service, and women take three months longer on average to find jobs. Women are also more likely to be single parents than men, which then adds on the challenges of finding affordable childcare and keeping medical appointments at the Veterans Association.[xiii]
Finally, women often face greater medical challenges than men. Because women are more likely than men to have experienced sexual trauma during their service, they are more likely to experience post-traumatic stress disorder – not only from combat experiences but also from harassment and assault. As of 2017, women were 20.6% more likely to have a disability from service, creating physical challenges and compounding employment difficulties.[xiv]
Women encounter major difficulties in the armed forces today, but these problems are far from novel. Neither Democratic nor Republican administrations have pressured the military into focusing on women’s issues, from healthcare to sexual assault to post-service employment. As we begin Military Appreciation Month, it is our hope here at Democrats Abroad that more candidates will highlight the challenges faced by our brave women in uniform—and thank them by providing them with basic services and support.
The Global Women's Caucus will be writing articles about the State of the American Women. New ones will be posted on a periodic basis.
Click on the links to read the articles:
Traditional Cookie Party for newcomers and old timers. This is the meeting with the highest attendance throughout the year and always lots of fun.
~ comparing, rediscovering and sharing your favorite cookies and getting into the Christmas spirit!!WHENDecember 11, 2019 at 7pmWHEREEineWeltHaus, Werkstatt
Munich, Bavaria 80331
Google map and directions
2020 is going to be a pivotal year for the future of American democracy. At Democrats Abroad Germany, we remain committed to mobilizing the over 100,000 Americans in Germany to restore respect, dignity, and ingenuity to our nation’s highest offices.
Getting Republicans out and Democrats in next year, however, is going to be a collective effort. It’s going to require us to work together nationwide like never before, keeping our eyes set on one main goal: getting each and every American in Germany to vote.
As 2020 approaches, we would thus like to cordially invite you to join us in our efforts by attending the
2020 Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Germany focused on “Getting Out the Vote – At Home and Abroad” from Friday, January 24 to Sunday, January 26, 2020 at the Literaturhaus München Salvatorplatz 1, 80333 Munich
A great series of events are planned to help us – Democrats across Germany – connect and discuss our voter outreach efforts in 2020. These events are outlined in our tentative
- On Friday, January 24, we’ll kick off the weekend by volunteering with the Münchner Tafel, a local food bank, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day (10:00-14:00). We’ll also hear from the Women’s Caucus, which has put together a fantastic panel and performance centered around the topic “Don’t Get Mad, Get Even – Electing People Who Will Create Balance” (16:00-20:00). The first evening will come to a close with a welcome cocktail reception where we can connect with each other over drinks (starting at 19:30).
- On Saturday, January 25, the main meeting focused on “Getting Out the Vote – At Home and Abroad” will be held (9:00-17:30). We will begin with an introduction to our organization and briefly highlight our activities across Germany over the past year. Our full attention will then be directed at how we can work together nationwide to get out the vote in 2020. We will round off the main meeting by reviewing our organization’s bylaws as well as vote on any suggested changes to them. Suggested changes may be submitted until December 31, 2019, and should be directed to email@example.com. Following the meeting, we’ll gather for a three-course gala dinner at the nearby restaurant Zum Franziskaner and hear from a guest speaker passionate about getting out the vote in 2020 (19:30-22:00).
- On Sunday, January 26, we want to make sure that those from out of town have some time to see the city and have scheduled a walking tour of Munich (11:00-12:30). Following the tour, everyone is welcome to join us at the tasty vegetarian restaurant Prinz Myshkin for a farewell luncheon that will leave us invigorated for the election season ahead (12:30-14:00).
Register today for this exciting weekend with passionate and inspiring Democrats from across Germany! Registration will close on January 17, 2020. Payment must be received by January 20, 2020.
To attend the meeting, we are asking for a donation of 10€ for the Women’s Caucus event and 25€ for the main meeting on Saturday. This is an early bird offer. Beginning December 1st, the suggested donation for the main meeting will increase to 35€. Participants do have to pay for meals and coffee breaks, which are available at the following costs:
- Saturday lunch: 20€
- Saturday coffee breaks (includes two): 10€
- Saturday gala dinner (three-course meal): 40€
Under the rules of the Democratic Party and Democrats Abroad, a fee for attending the meeting is not allowed. However, we kindly ask for a donation to cover use of the Literaturhaus München, technical equipment, copies, and supplies. We ask that you donate this amount to cover the expenses of hosting the meeting and avoid drawing down the DA Germany treasury, which is devoted to getting out the vote. Participants do have to pay for meals and coffee breaks.
Stipends for Attending
DA Germany understands the accompanying financial cost of attending the Annual General Meeting. To ensure as many members are able to attend as possible, DA Germany will be offering eight stipends that will cover attendance on Saturday, the gala dinner on Saturday night, and up to 50€ for transportation costs. The deadline to apply is Saturday, November 30, and recipients will be notified by Saturday, December 7.
If you are interested in applying for a stipend, please complete this application.
Homestays will be available thanks to DA Germany members in the Munich area. If you are interested in having a homestay, please complete the following survey so that we can make sure you are matched with an appropriate host: “need a homestay” survey. As soon as a homestay has been found, you will be contacted via email.
For those in Munich who would be willing to host another member of DA Germany, please fill out this survey to sign up as a host: “homestay host” survey.
If you would prefer to stay in a hotel, the Munich Chapter has compiled a list of hotels, which include several hotels offering us a discounted rate.
We hope that you will join us for this weekend geared at bringing Democrats together and energizing us for the momentous 2020 election season. On behalf of the entire volunteer team already at work planning the meeting, we say:WHENJanuary 24, 2020 at 12pm - January 26, 2020 at 12pmWHERELiteraturhaus München
Google map and directions
Shari Temple wants to volunteer 2019-06-09 05:29:06 -0400
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Democrats Abroad's country committees need local volunteers. Volunteer by clicking on the "Countries" tab above, find your country, and contact your leaders directly.
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Our global teams provide get out the vote help, communications, technology support and more to the all the grass roots volunteers working at the local level in Democrats Abroad. Regardless of where you live there is a team that needs your talent and dedication. Now is the time to join fellow Democrats and help fight for what's right. Any questions, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Shari Temple donated 2019-05-02 08:44:38 -0400
Shari Temple donated 2019-03-29 08:58:10 -0400
Democrats Abroad is committed to a world where all persons have access to the same rights and benefits, regardless of sexual identity or gender expression.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus is the constituency group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members and any Democrat abroad who supports them.
The goals of the LGBT Caucus reflect the mission of Democrats Abroad to:
- engage and empower LGBTI Americans living abroad to vote in US elections;
- provide a platform for Democrats Abroad members, country committees and chapters to advance issues at the heart of the LGBTI community;
- support Democrats Abroad’s members in issues they face living abroad as LGBTI Americans, such as access to government services and benefits for same-sex spouses and family members, the legacy resulting from past discrimination and Defense of Marriage Act.
The LGBT Caucus:
- supports Democrats Abroad’s country committees and local chapters in organizing activities of interest to the LGBTI community, such as participation in pride events and voter outreach;
- disseminates information to Democrats Abroad members and promotes action on issues that affect LGBTI Americans and their families;
- ensures that the LGBTI perspective is effectively incorporated in all the work of Democrats Abroad, including issues advocacy, communication and GOTV strategy, planning and execution; ensures that issues and policies that impact LGBTI Americans are included in the Democrats Abroad and Democratic Party platforms;
- takes leadership in Democrats Abroad’s issues advocacy initiatives, including “door knock” visits to elected officials in Washington DC, to ensure that issues that impact LGBTI Americans living abroad and their families are included and addressed by elected representatives;
- encourages LGBTI members to run for elected leadership roles within Democrats Abroad and fulfill Democrats Abroad’s diversity and affirmative action goals;
- supports community building among Democrats Abroad’s LGBTI members and allies;
- promotes Democratic Party candidates who demonstrate commitment to policies that positively impact the lives of LGBTI Americans;
- supports and engages with Democratic Party LGBTI caucuses build capacity and achieve common goals.
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Julia Bryan, Chair - Democrats Abroad
We need Democrats like you to commit to Democrats Abroad - your Democratic Party for overseas Americans. Contribute to Democrats Abroad today and help us fight back against the Trump agenda, register Americans all over the world for upcoming elections, reach out on issues that concern you and build a brighter future for our country and the world. With your help, we can make the difference. We did it all over the country in 2018! And we are already working on 2020!
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