Congressman John Sarbanes, Democrat from the 3rd District of Maryland, graciously agreed to meet with ExCom members and supporters of Democrats Abroad Greece (DAGR) during his Athens visit, June 19, 2023.
Mr. Sarbanes wanted members views on the obstacles we face as Americans voting from outside the U.S., and described his own work as drafter of H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Once the Senate minority stops blocking it, H.R. 1 will provide uniform Federal standards protecting voting rights, especially voting by mail, cleaning up gerrymandered districts, and reducing the role of dark money in politics. DAGR strongly support this goal!
Members stressed the size of the overseas voter community, including Greece's many staunch Democrats. Members urged the congressman to join forces with the Americans Abroad Caucus of Congress to identify and remedy the obstacles we overseas Americans face in voting, banking, and paying taxes equitably.
The eight members of DAGR had a lively discussion. We were all impressed with Congressman Sarbanes' clear, pragmatic take on political polarization in the U.S. and what we can expect to see in the months ahead.
Congressman Sarbanes was exemplary in his willingness to engage DAGR in a substantive dialogue.
Many thanks to the American School of Classical Studies for providing a convenient venue (following his Gennadius Library tour) and to the Princeton Athens Center for passing the messages that brought us together on short notice.
Next visit the goal is to gather a much larger share of DAGR's membership to benefit from a speaker we all found worthwhile and indeed impressive.