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Tiny Action: Marching for their Lives

Democrats Abroad has long been in support of gun safety reform. We have called for legislative reform in the past, have addressed this issue in our platform, but Congress has offered little more than thoughts and prayers. This is not enough.

The resilience of the students in Florida have inspired the Marching for Our Lives movement that is rapidly spreading across the country. We stand with them today (our statement here), and we will stand with them to help take the March 24 national day of action, and the March 14 national school walk out day, into a global call for change.  

This week's Tiny Action: Demand that Senate pass common sense gun legislation and start making your plans for March 24. 

1. Help your local Dems Abroad organize a “Marching for our Lives" event on or around March 24.

We’ll be organizing an online action to support the events in the US (stay tuned!), but there are also many people who would like to join an event in person. This requires organizing. If you live in an area where this might be possible, and if you’d be able to help organize, reach out to your local Dems Abroad team to let them know.

Not sure who to contact? Visit DemocratsAbroad.org and find your Country Committee under “Countries.”


2. Call on your Senators to take immediate, urgent action.

“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [VOTING STATE/ZIP]. I’m calling today to ask Senator [NAME] to take action to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. This is not a states rights or second amendment issue. This is a safety issue that has plagued our nation for far too long and must be addressed urgently.

Specifically, I ask that the Senator move to:

  • Close the loophole that lets people buy guns at shows and through private sellers without background checks
  • Institute universal background checks for ammo and gun buyers
  • Vote in favor of S.2095, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017
  • Remove the Dickey Rider from the federal budget and finally allow the CDC to research gun violence prevention

I’m also incredibly disturbed that H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House, and it’s essential that the Senate stop it from becoming law. I’d like to see the Senator commit immediately to opposing this legislation. It’s as important as ever not to weaken gun safety standards, and prevent firearms from falling into dangerous hands. This is why every major law enforcement agency has opposed this bill.

As an American voter living abroad, I know that it doesn’t have to be this way. The US must be a positive example to the world, not the opposite. We cannot afford to wait any longer to protect innocent lives from gun massacres. Thank you.”

 **You can also find out how your Representative voted on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and call them to voice your support/disapproval.


MORE INFO

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Tiny Action: Help Dems Abroad GOTV

If you’ve been following our Tiny Actions for 2018, you’ve already registered to vote. Getting yourself registered is a great start, but if we want to mobilize the millions of voters overseas, we’ll need your help to get as many people registered as possible. The time to do that is now.  

This week's Tiny Action: Sign up to be a phone bank volunteer, and start making those calls! 

New to phone banking?

  1. Log in to democratsabroad.org and sign up to help with phone banking: https://www.democratsabroad.org/voter_support_team
    If you have already volunteered, you will see a “thank you for volunteering” image.
  2. Review the materials for first-time phone bankers: https://www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking
  3. Check your email for instructions to activate your CallHub account - the system we use to call Americans abroad. Follow the instructions and be sure to write down your username and password.
  4. You’re ready to start making calls. Log in at https://callhub.io and get started!


Returning phone banker?

  1. Review the refresher materials and info on current campaigns here: https://www.democratsabroad.org/phonebanking
  2. Go to https://callhub.io to enter your username and password.
    - Your username is probably country code and name. Ex: CA-Heidi-Burch
    - Forgot your password? Click Forgot to receive CallHub instructions to set up a new one.
  3. Start making those calls!


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Tiny Action: Dream Act NOW

Last September, Donald Trump eliminated the DACA program for NO reason, putting the lives of 800,000 recipients and their families on the line. Since then, the administration has continued to take drastic measures to vilify immigrants (both documented and undocumented), spread misleading and false information, and propose a hardline immigration plan that holds Dreamers hostage to further his hateful agenda.

While immigration is a complicated issue, it is unacceptable to use the lives of our undocumented family and community members as a bargaining chip for political gains. Across the country on February 7 (and globally with our help), Americans from all walks of life will join the National Day of Action for a Dream Act Now, calling on Congress to pass a clean Dream Act, with no concessions to Trump’s unnecessary demands.  

This week's Tiny Action: Call your Senators and your Representative and demand Congress pass a clean DACA bill NOW.

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I vote in [STATE/ZIP]. I’m today to ask Senator/Representative [NAME] to support a clean Dream Act and reject Trump’s demands to include massive, unnecessary spending on border security to the bill. It is unfair and immoral to use the lives of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients as bargaining chips to score political gains.

This is not about partisanship; it’s simply the right thing to do. Nearly 19,000 Dreamers have already lost their protections since Trump terminated DACA, and that number is growing every day. While this emergency was created by Trump, Congress is just as responsible for failing to address it.

Furthermore, the attempts by the White House and complicit members of Congress to discredit the FBI and the intelligence community is not something that I will tolerate, and I will be watching closely to see if the Senator/Representative takes an active role in stopping this blatant obstruction of justice and stands up for the American people, or if s/he will be complicit.

We must see a clean Dream Act now, before the lives and families of even more Americans are destroyed. Thank you.

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MORE INFO

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Tiny Action: Protect Robert Mueller

We are reassured to see Robert Mueller push full steam ahead on his investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign. But we can no longer ignore the very clear, consistent reminders that the president will do anything in his power (and sometimes more than that) to obstruct the investigation. We cannot let this happen. This behavior must not be normalized. 

This week's Tiny Action: Call your Senators and your Representative to demand Congress protect Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation by supporting both S. 1741 / H.R. 4669 and S. 1735 / H.R. 3654.

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I vote in [STATE]. I’m calling to insist that Senator/Representative [NAME] support both the Special Counsel Integrity Act (S. 1741 / H.R. 4669) and the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act (S. 1735 / H.R. 3654). Both of these bipartisan bills would ensure that Trump can’t unilaterally fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller — something we have now learned he explicitly tried to do last year. I have no reason to trust that he will not make other attempts to do so, directly and indirectly. We need to protect our democracy from foreign influence and ensure that Trump is not being influenced by Russia.

Furthermore, the attempts by the White House and complicit members of Congress to discredit the FBI and the intelligence community is not something that I will tolerate, and I will be watching closely to see if the Senator/Representative takes an active role in stopping this blatant obstruction of justice and stands up for the American people, or if s/he will be complicit.

I urge the Senator/Congress(wo)man to move quickly on this issue before it is too late. Thank you

.

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Tiny Action: Register NOW for 2018!

We’ve said time and again how important Midterm elections will be. And while all eyes may be focused on November, Americans abroad need to take action now to ensure they have requested their ballot this calendar year and are ready to vote.

This week’s #TinyAction: Visit VoteFromAbroad.org to complete a ballot request — and then send in that request!

  1. Just click “start here” on the homepage, fill out the required fields, and follow the prompts on the site.

  2. You can ask questions from any page on the site, and a Dems Abroad volunteer will help find the right answers for you. 

  3. Don’t forget to send in your ballot request once you have completed it! You will be instructed on whether your voting state allows ballot requests to be submitted electronically, or if you must mail in by post. 

  4. Encourage your American friends and colleagues to do the same!

MORE INFO

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Tiny Action: Marching to the Ballot Box

After a few weeks off for the holidays, we hope you’re ready to get back to work!

We’re just a few days out from the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, but also the anniversary of the Women’s March — the largest single-day protest in history that sparked a year of activism for gender equality, from the #MeToo movement to record-shattering numbers of women running for public office.

Last year, we didn’t just march against Trump. We marched for equality.

This year, we’re not just marching in the streets. We’re marching to the ballot box.

This week, stand up and speak out. Show Washington that you’re still watching and that you’ll be voting this year for candidates who support women’s rights.

  1. Visit our listing of women’s march events to find local activities in your area, and RSVP to support in person this weekend.

  2. If you can’t join, or if there aren’t events taking place near you, voice your support online. Post a picture of why you stand with the women’s march and why you will be marching to the ballot box in 2018

  3. Whether participating in person or online, be sure to send your best pics to comms@democratsabroad.org

Democrats_Abroad_Women's_March_Online.jpg
Can’t join the 2018 Women's March in person? Join online! 

MORE INFO

 

As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Do you have suggestions for our next tiny action? Email info at democratsabroad dot org and let us know.

Visit the main Tiny Actions page to sign up for weekly actions in your inbox: www.democratsabroad.org/tiny_actions


Tiny Action: Block the Tax Scam Vote

We’ve continued closely watching the GOP Tax Scam - perhaps the worst legislation in decades - move forward, and just yesterday Republicans in Congress announced that they have reached a deal on final tax legislation.

This “deal” continues to be anything but business as usual, fails to serve the middle and working classes, and only benefits the richest Americans and biggest corporations. Now after Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama, Republicans have a choice: They can wait on voting for the tax scam until Doug Jones takes his seat in Senate as they insisted on during the health care vote of 2010, or they can continue on their current sprint to get this horrible bill passed at any cost.

This week, call and write your senators and demand they WAIT until January to vote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and vote NO when it comes to a vote in the Senate. After you’ve called and written them, flood their Facebook and Twitter accounts with messages of #NoJonesNoVote.

Hi, my name is [NAME]. I vote in [State] and I live in [country of residence].

I ask that Senator [NAME] "withhold her/his consent" and refuse to vote on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act until Doug Jones from Alabama is seated.  I also ask that s/he vote NO once the bill comes to a vote in the Senate.

I believe that it is wrong to jam through the tax bill without giving a duly elected senator the opportunity to cast his vote. Senate Majority Leader McConnell asked that the Senate hit “pause” when it came to voting for the health care bill in 2010, after Scott Brown won a special election, and it would only be fair and just to do the same thing now and wait until Senator-Elect Doug Jones is seated. There is no reason to hold this vote now, rather than waiting just a few weeks.

I am strongly opposed to the bill itself. Analysts on all sides admit the bill gives large, permanent tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and fails to deliver to the middle class as promised. The tax cuts will not trickle down to average Americans.

Please record my contact information so you can let me know what the Senator decides to do. 

MORE INFO

The GOP Tax Scam will be bad for the country, bad for middle class Americans and the poor, bad for women, minorities, disabled people, and bad for our national security.

The GOP Bill:

 

Visit the main Tiny Actions page to sign up for weekly actions in your inbox: www.democratsabroad.org/tiny_actions

As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Do you have suggestions for our next tiny action? Email info at democratsabroad dot org and let us know.




Tiny Action: Doubling Down on Key Issues

The GOP is saving the worst for last, hoping that Americans are too distracted by holiday cheer to fight the many horrible things being pushed through at the end of the year. That’s why this week, we’re revisiting several key issues.

This week, double down to defend our Democracy. 

 

1. Double down on the fight against the GOP Tax Scam.

Since our Tiny Action on the GOP Tax Scam, a lot happened, including the passage of the Senate Tax Bill.  But there’s still (some) hope. A GOP-led conference committee will now seek to harmonize the Senate and House bills, which both chambers of Congress must pass before it goes to the President. The next few days are critical, which is why we’ve launched a detailed action pack for what to do next.

Call your Senators and your Representative: Demand they oppose any tax plan that helps corporations and the rich, paid for by the middle class and by gutting critical federal programs.

- Email/message them as well (yes email AND call): http://bit.ly/aBetterTaxPackage

- Scripts and background info can be found here: http://www.democratsabroad.org/ttf_december_2017_tax_action_pack  

 

2. Double Down to save Net Neutrality.

Since our Tiny Action on Net Neutrality, the FCC is still set to repeal net neutrality in a vote Dec 14th, despite many calling for a delay  New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, and 28 senators  due to 1 million fake pro-repeal comments as well as a pending court case, which could create a regulatory gap that leaves consumers utterly unprotected. BOTH the FCC and Congress need to hear from you.

- Call and email FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai: +1 202 418 1000, Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov, as well as FCC members Mike.ORielly@fcc.gov and Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov.

Call your Senators and your Representative, especially if they sit on the Senate Commerce Committee or House Commerce Committee.

- Scripts and background info can be found here: http://www.democratsabroad.org/tiny_action_net_neutrality

 

3. Double Down on Gun Safety.

Since our tiny action on safer gun laws, 75 people have died in American mass shootings, including 27 in Sutherland Springs, Texas. There’s been virtually no progress in banning bump stocks. And just this week, the House voted to sharply expand concealed-carry gun rights, requiring all states to recognize any other state’s permit (including those states where people convicted of domestic abuse and/or stalking can still purchase guns, among other looser restrictions). The bill now moves to the Senate.

- Tell your Senators to vote NO on this horrible bill, championed by the NRA.

"Hi, my name is [NAME]. I vote in [DISTRICT/STATE] but I live in [COUNTRY], where citizens do not have to fear mass shootings in their schools, places of work and worship, or public spaces. I am incredibly concerned and opposed to the Concealed-Carry Reciprocity Bill (H.R.38/S.446). The Senator must vote NO.

This bill is incredibly dangerous and must be stopped. It would invalidate state-level concealed-carry restrictions, make it difficult for law enforcement to verify whether a weapon is legally carried, and essentially allow permitless carry across the country. I will be closely watching this Senate vote, and it will have a serious impact on how I vote in the future."

- Looking to do more on this issue? Check out our suggestions from October’s Tiny Action: http://www.democratsabroad.org/tiny_action_gun_rights

 

Additional References

- Intro for first-time callers: http://www.democratsabroad.org/congressional_call_storm

- Fax Congress for free: https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.php

- Message Congress via Resist Bot: https://resistbot.io/

 

As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Do you have suggestions for our next tiny action? Email info at democratsabroad dot org and let us know.




Tiny Action: Stop the GOP Tax Scam

Last night, Senate voted to begin debate on the “Tax Cuts and Job Act” in a strict party-line vote, marking the start of 20 hours of debate, which resumes at 10:30am EST Thursday. It is CRITICAL that we continue to voice our concerns to Senate, even as this debate continues. 

This week, call your Senators and write to them to demand they VOTE NO on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Hi, my name is [NAME]. I vote in [State] and I live in [country of residence].

I do not support the tax bill and urge you to vote NO when it comes to a vote in the Senate. Analysts on all sides admit the bill gives large, permanent tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, paid for by stripping thousands and thousands of people of their health care and raising taxes on middle class families. No matter how many times I hear it it I simply don’t believe the tax cuts will trickle down to average Americans.

If you want to highlight a particular issue that concerns you: I am especially concerned about [see links below for some details]

If you want to highlight issues specific to Americans abroad: I am also concerned that the bill once again includes no provisions whatsoever to address the tax problems of Americans like me who live abroad. Filing taxes on income earned abroad is incredibly complex, expensive and unjust. Many of us pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for help filing the forms that show there is no tax to pay, and those of us who do owe are paying tax on the same dollar of income to both the US and our country of residence. [Personal story about your tax situation, if you have one.]

If the US had a system of residency-based taxation, like nearly every other nation, then I’d still be required to report my US-based income to the IRS, but not the income I make in and pay tax on to [name of country].

I understand that there are some potential amendments that may address this during the debate process, but they have yet to be made public. We need the Senator to be fighting on this issue, and we need to ensure that reform IS addressed and is done so in a way that is revenue neutral, boosts opportunity and helps reduce inequality.

If your Senator is a Democrat: It’s not enough just to vote no, he/she needs to actively work to slow down the Trump Tax Scam and expose it for the scam it is. Democrats started withholding consent during the health care fight—and it worked.

This bill doesn’t help me or any working class American. Please vote NO on the Senate’s tax reform bill. Thank you

 

MORE INFO

Many details still have to be worked out during this debate, which is why we won’t have a firm idea of exactly what the bill features until just before the final vote. But based on what we’ve seen until this point, we know that the bill will be bad for the country, bad for middle class Americans and the poor, bad for women and minorities, and bad for our national security.

The GOP Bill in its current state:

We are also aware that Sen Heller (R-NV) has put forward two “place holder” amendments (see Heller Amendments 9 and 10) that may be specific to foreign earned income, and Sen Paul (R-KY) may also propose an amendment to repeal FATCA. However, none of this has yet been made public or scored. We commend any discussion around these issues that will bring attention to the concerns of Americans overseas, and we will continue to push hard on this issue. That being said,  we have yet to have any details that would allow us to review properly, and we will not be able to support an overall tax bill that cheats so much of the country for the gains of the .1%. We look forward to closely watching the debate for further updates on this issue in particular. 

 

As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Do you have suggestions for our next tiny action? Email info at democratsabroad dot org and let us know.




Tiny Action: Save Net Neutrality

While Americans and friends around the world come together to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the FCC is making major moves to reverse net neutrality rules that preserve an open and fair internet -- and it’s looking even worse than we expected.

This week, speak up to DEFEND net neutrality.

1. Call and email FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai: +1 202 418 1000, Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov, along with FCC Members Mike.ORielly@fcc.gov and Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov

“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I'm a concerned American from [your voting location]. I'm calling to express my extreme concern that the FCC is trying to kill net neutrality as well as strong oversight of ISPs. An open internet is important for equitable access to the resources and information available on it. Thank you for your time and attention.”

Of the FCC’s five members, these are the three to target. The other two (women!) have already said they will vote against rolling back net neutrality - with one even calling for your help.

In addition to the sample text provided here, we encourage you to make your message personal if you can and ask that you include your FULL US voting address when sending email/voicemail.  

2. Call your Senators and your Representative and tell them that this is important to you, too.

“My name is [NAME] and I vote in [ZIP CODE/STATE]. I’m calling because I support ‘Title Two’ net neutrality rules and I would like you to publicly oppose the FCC's plan to repeal them. I understand that [MoC/Senator] may be limited inhis/her abilities to demand certain actions from the FCC, but this is a critical issue that will impact how I vote in the future. I ask the [MoC/Senator] to:
1. Contact the FCC Chairman and demand that he abandon his current plan and cancel the December vote.
2. Publicly push for open hearings across the nation, in advance of any sort of vote.
3. Introduce a telecoms bill that will address what the FCC is trying to roll back."

If the FCC ends up revoking its authority to enforce net neutrality, it will be up to Congress to reform the law to ensure protections. Tell your reps how much you value net neutrality -- especially if they sit on the Senate Commerce Committee or House Commerce Committee.
 

MORE INFO

What is net neutrality?
We’ve shared a lot of info about net neutrality before. Net neutrality prevents internet service providers (such as Comcast or AT&T) from controlling what reaches consumers at what speed. It also: 

  • Prevents the richest organizations and corporations from controlling the internet.  
  • Stops wealthy, extreme lobbying groups. from blocking access to accurate information they don’t like.
  • Ensures small businesses, low-income individuals and much of rural America have access to more affordable, reasonably fast internet.  

Why does it matter?
We need the open internet to foster job growth, competition, innovation and to protect our rights. It means activists can turn out thousands of people in the streets at a moment’s notice.  And small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs can launch businesses, create markets, advertise, and reach customers. Without net neutrality, the internet would be changed from a free space to one controlled entirely by corporate interests.

Earlier this year, comment periods were spammed with hundreds of thousands of anti-neutrality messages from fake or stolen identities. Many, including NY’s AG Eric Schneiderman, argue that this was unfair and even unlawful, but that makes it all the more important that we are as vocal about this issue as we can be. 

 

As always, our aim is to turn tiny actions into big results, so we hope we can continue to count on your help! Do you have suggestions for our next tiny action? Email info at democratsabroad dot org and let us know.