Global IT Team Chair; Global Women's Caucus Steering Team; ERA Project Coordinator; DPCA Representative, Germany

TX voter living in Munich, ERA warrior, life-long Democrat


  • ERA Update:  Do it for Ruth! Please Vote for Equality!

    The Equal Rights Amendment is now in the courts and Senate. Although Virginia became the 38th state to ratify it in January, the US Archivist has still not added it to the U.S. Constitution. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has advised that the deadline set in the preamble of the amendment had a deadline for ratification, and that Virginia’s ratification of the amendment came too late.

    Many legal scholars claim the deadline was not part of the amendment and is unconstitutional. There are two court cases – one at the Supreme Court and one in the DC courts. The U.S. House has passed a resolution to eliminate the deadline, but Mitch McConnell will not take it up in the Senate.

    There are several scenarios about what could happen next. YOUR vote could have some influence on the outcome. Here are some of the scenarios and how your vote can help:

    • The DOJ tells the Archivist to add ERA to Constitution—but this is only likely to happen if Biden is elected President;
    • The Senate votes to eliminate the ERA deadline– likely only to happen if Democrats win the majority in the Senate;
    • The Supreme Court rules that ERA has been ratified – likely only to happen if more liberal judges are added to the court, so Biden needs to win and Democrats need to control the Senate;
    • The Supreme Court rules that the deadline holds and that the ratification process must start over. This means we need pro-equality candidates winning up and down the ticket. This would require the House, Senate and President to approve the amendment and then two-thirds of the states to ratify the amendment by the state legislators

    Please Vote for Equality and please tell all your family and friends to as well.

     


  • canceled rsvp for Watch Party Luncheon 2020-10-13 06:30:04 -0400

    Watch Party Luncheon

    In the past, hundreds of us would have stayed up all night and waited for the election results. But that is simply not possible this year because of Covid. An hour or two in a room at a restaurant, taking all precautions, however, might be possible. But it is hard to say where things will stand in a few weeks.

    If you are interested in attending a luncheon on November 4, please RSVP. Seating is limited, so please let us know sooner rather than later if you’d like a spot. We will let you know by November 1 if the event will take place. 

    If there is no chance of us meeting in person, we will switch to Zoom for a post-election debrief.

    WHEN
    November 04, 2020 at 12pm
    WHERE
    RSVP
    Munich, BY
    Germany
    Google map and directions
    13 rsvps rsvp

  • rsvped for Election Results Waiting Room 2020-10-08 09:47:20 -0400

    Election Results Waiting Room

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    Look for somewhere to hang out and wait for the election results? Look no further. Our GBC Cafe has been turned into a post-election waiting room. Join us for companionship, solidarity, and discussion about the election and beyond. We'll also be streaming the news.

     

    We'll keep this channel open until we know the results of the presidential election, etc.

     

    RSVP to receive the Zoom link.

     

     

     

    WHEN
    November 04, 2020 at 1am - November 05, 2020 at 1am
    WHERE
    Zoom
    34 rsvps rsvp

  • Election Predictions and Insights from John McQueen!

     

    Please join us on the pre-election eve — November 1st, 2020 — for John McQueen's well-researched election predictions, and analysis. Leading up to this will be speakers on the issues near and dear to Democrats Abroad, and how they are relevant in this election: Women's issues (Nicole Colaianni), Black Lives Matter (Robert Scott), LGBTQ (Daniel Hoever-Eckhardt), Science (Rebecca Alvarado), Voter Suppression (Patrick Mears). Niki Vonderwell will be reporting live from the ground in Ohio, where she’s helping at one of the polling centers. At the end, John will use an interactive map to show how he predicts it will go on election day, including some important state races. Moderator will be Nancy Schimkat, and our tech team is Joe Butler and Matthias Luft.

    We are broadcasting this via Zoom from the Heidelberg Center for American Studies. Please RSVP to get the Zoom link.

    WHEN
    November 01, 2020 at 5pm
    WHERE
    Zoom Online
    Heidelberg, BW
    Germany
    Google map and directions
    31 rsvps rsvp

  • donated on ActBlue via 2020-10-04 04:54:36 -0400

  • donated via 2020-06-14 15:12:30 -0400

    D4D-FlagDayCallathon-FR.png

    Dialing for Democracy is a calling marathon
    and global Democrats Abroad fundraiser.

    Phonebankers will make as many calls as they can to DA members to ask them to request their absentee ballots. Calls will be made from 9:00am to 9:00pm CEST on Flag Day, June 14. Generous sponsors like yourself will push our callers to reach our calling goals and provide the critical funds to keep our voter outreach going strong through November 3! 

    DONORS: If you are sponsoring a specific caller, BEFORE you select an amount, write the caller's name in the box at left!

    Donate $50 and you’re sponsoring 200 calls! 
    $10—40 calls   $25—100 calls   $100—400 calls 
    $250—1000 calls   $500—2000 calls   $1000—4000 calls

    Democrats Abroad will be making 100,000s of calls this year, and your contribution will help make this outreach possible.

    Thank you! We appreciate your support!

    Don’t forget to check in on how the calls are going on Facebook Live from 7:30pm to 9:30pm on June 14 on the DA Germany Facebook page.  

    For a full overview of the call-a-thon, click here.

     

     

    Donations will be going to the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (Democrats Abroad) and not to any candidate for federal office.
    Donate

  • published Women in the US Military in State of American Women 2019-11-10 05:45:26 -0500

    Women in the US Military

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    Women in the US Military: Trends and Challenges in 2019

    Ramya Prabhakar

     

    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.

    ________________________________________________________

    [i] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/09/first-female-brig-gen-laura-yeager-lead-army-infantry-division/1401950001/

    [ii] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/magazine/women-military-stories.html?module=inline

    [iii] https://www.insider.com/women-in-us-military-history-2019-2

    [iv] https://academic.oup.com/milmed/article/171/3/216/4577762

    [v] https://www.servicewomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018ReproReport_SWAN-2.pdf

    [vi] https://rewire.news/article/2016/08/02/double-standard-military-pregnancy-what-contraceptive-access-wont-fix/

    [vii] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/us/military-sexual-assault.html

    [viii] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/us/military-sexual-assault.html

    [ix] https://www.bwjp.org/our-work/topics/military-sexual-assult.html

    [x] https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1184/MR1184.ch5.pdf

    [xi] https://www.npr.org/2019/02/14/694597943/despite-prevention-programs-sexual-assaults-rise-at-military-academies

    [xii] https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/27/women-veterans-have-unique-transition-problems-we-dont-see-them.html

    [xiii] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/magazine/women-veterans-network.html

    [xiv] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0095327X15610743


  • published State of American Women in Issues and Actions 2019-11-10 05:40:24 -0500

    State of American Women

    The Global Women's Caucus writes articles about the State of the American Women.  New ones are posted on a periodic basis.

    New content:

    GWC Celebrates Black History Month

    Disparities in Healthcare Access for American Women of Color

     

    Click on the below links to read earlier articles:

    Women in the US Military

    Party call: Gender parity in politics

    Women in US Politics: Looking back to look ahead


  • donated on ActBlue via 2020-05-04 04:27:45 -0400

  • wants to volunteer 2019-06-09 05:29:06 -0400

    Volunteer

    Join our tiny actions team and receive regular emails outlining actions you can take to support issues that matter to Democrats and our allies. 

    Democrats Abroad's country committees need local volunteers. Volunteer by clicking on the "Countries" tab above, find your country, and contact your leaders directly.

    Do you want to help at a global level? We have more than a dozen global teams that work to keep our organization running. 

    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 volunteer@democratsabroad.org

    Please check out our global team opportunities.

     

    Become a volunteer

  • donated 2019-05-02 08:44:38 -0400

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  • published Events in Dusseldorf-Ruhr 2018-05-17 09:59:41 -0400

  • published Dusseldorf-Ruhr in Chapters 2018-05-17 06:50:47 -0400

  • signed up on LGBTQ+ Signup 2018-01-16 11:56:00 -0500

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