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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.




Tiny Action: Trump's Latest Nomination Fails

It’s no secret that 45 has nominated a string of frightening candidates to join his administration. While his latest may not be getting top headlines, they are grossly unqualified and, unless Senate blocks them, could take on roles that could create long term damage.

This week, call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Trump's latest nominees. 

1. Vote NO on the nominations of Brett Talley and Jeff Mateer to lifetime federal judgeships.

“My name is [NAME] and I vote in [state]. I’m calling because I strongly oppose the confirmation of Brett Talley to be a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Alabama, and I hope that the Senator’s vote reflects the same.  This  lifetime judgeship position should be given to someone with the experience to do the job well, but Mr Talley has never even tried a case in court and was given a unanimous “unqualified” rating by the American Bar Association. This is not someone who has earned a lifetime appointment, and the fact that his vocal extremist ideology seems to be the driving factor in his nomination is very disconcerting.

I’m also calling to oppose the nomination of Jeff Mateer for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Mateer has said he discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and that he does not believe in the constitutional mandate of separation of church and state. He is an appalling choice for a lifetime judgeship.”

Who are Brett Talley and Jeff Mateer: Of the many ways Talley isn’t qualified for the role, he’s only the fourth judicial nominee since 1989 to receive a unanimous “unqualified” rating by the American Bar Association and has never tried a case in court himself. Talley also pledged his allegiance to the NRA just weeks after Sandy Hook, maintains an array of other extreme conservative viewpoints, and failed to disclose that he’s married to an attorney on Trump’s payroll.  

Mateer, on the other hand, is an experienced constitutional lawyer who has repeatedly insisted that the separation of church and state should not exist. He compared the treatment of Christians in America to that of Jewish people in Nazi Germany. In 2015, he described transgender children as part of “Satan’s plan,” has likened same-sex marriage to people “marrying their pets,” and is an active proponent of dangerous conversion therapy.

Why it matters: Such judgeship appointments rarely make headlines, but it may be the one place the Trump administration has been (quietly) very productive. He’s outpacing Obama and has 145 vacancies to fill -- and he’s filling those seats with very young, very conservative judges. More here and here on how Trump is reshaping the judiciary, perhaps for decades to come.

As for Mateer, considering him for a lifetime judgeship is an attack on both the separation of church and state and on LGBT individuals who remain vulnerable to abuse and discrimination.  
 

2. Block the confirmation of Kathleen Hartnett White.

“My name is [name] and I vote in [state].  I’m calling to ask the Senator to block the nomination of Kathleen Hartnett White to lead the Council on Environmental Quality. She is a dangerous right-wing climate change denier sponsored by the fossil fuel industry; holds extreme, anti-science views that would lead to damaging environmental policy decisions; and has proven in her recent Senate hearing that she is incapable of discussing even the most basic issues related to climate change. She is absolutely wrong for the role of advising the president on climate-related issues and policy."

Who is KHW: Kathleen Hartnett White is an extreme right-wing climate-denier, senior fellow at the Koch brothers and Exxon-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation, believes carbon dioxide is harmless "plant food," equates belief in climate change to "paganism," and calls solar and wind power "unreliable and parasitic." She also claimed that coal use in the 1800s “dissolved the economic justification for slavery" in the US. She did not do well in her recent Senate hearing.

Why it matters: The role is essentially Trump’s lead advisor on directing environmental policy across agencies, even over EPA head Scott Pruitt. This uninformed, extreme climate-denier could have an oversized and dangerous influence over permit applications for fossil fuel infrastructure projects, like dirty oil pipelines or fracked natural gas export terminals.

3. Stop climate change denier Jim Bridenstine from taking over NASA.

“My name is [name] and I vote in [state].  I’m calling to ask the Senator to block the nomination of Jim Bridenstine to be the next Administrator of NASA. He lacks any qualifications in science and engineering and supports increased privatization of military space activities as well as civilian. Perhaps most alarming is his flat out rejection of the scientific consensus on climate change while criticizing NASA’s spending on climate science research. Bridenstine would be a dangerous lead for the organization  responsible for gathering and analyzing scientific data that is used to create new environmental regulations and related health standards."

Who is Jim Bridenstine: Currently representing Oklahoma’s 1st District, the former Navy pilot has a history of denying basic climate science, introduced legislation that would eliminate Earth science from NASA’s mission statement, supports LGBT discrimination, and defended Trump after the infamous “grab them by the…” recording.

At his recent Senate hearing, in addition to displaying a lack of understanding of what climate change is, Bridenstine said his science-denying, politically polarizing comments came with the job of being a Republican congressman and that he would be apolitical at NASA. There is no reason to believe his change of heart, and his “new views” of climate change remain in line with the harshly anti-science Trump administration -- unequivocally wrong.

Why it matters: Congressman Bridenstine would be the first NASA Administrator to come from a political, and not scientific, background -- a cause for concern from Florida’s Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. This has been the most anti-science administration in American history, and it began with these same watered-down climate science denial position that Bridenstine took in his hearing. The Trump administration’s actions, combined with Bridenstine’s own history of climate science denial and opposition to NASA’s significant climate science research, should trigger alarm bells for all of us.

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: GIVE TO WIN needs your help!

We are so grateful for advocacy work of our volunteers each week, standing together with Democrats Abroad to make a difference through our tiny actions.

We are a party of volunteers, all living abroad, and we are made strong by each other. But volunteers are only one part of what makes DA tick. The other, not so obvious bit, are the tools that we use for phone banking, answering questions, reporting on news, advocating issues you care about, and finding the millions of Americans in the billion people we live among. Those tools and outreach efforts are not free, nor are they paid for by anyone except us.

This week, help us GIVE TO WIN. 

Read more

Tiny Action: Help G-O-T-V for the team!

As Democrats, we believe that voting is a fundamental right in America, and that our democracy is stronger when more people participate in our elections, not fewer.

We also believe that each and every election matters -- perhaps now more than ever -- and that’s why we’re asking for all of you to help.  

This week, help us GOTV (get out the vote) among Virginia and New Jersey voters abroad, as well as those who vote in Utah and Alabama, to ensure we do everything we can to help get out the vote in upcoming November special elections (and December in Alabama).

1. Volunteer to call DA voters in key states. It’s easy, it’s scripted, and it is something you can do from home with a free 10 minutes at any time of day.

All you need is an internet connection and a headset/microphone to get started, and we need all the help we can get -- from both new and old phone bank volunteers. There are thousands of DA members who need to hear from us.

2. If you vote in NJ, VA, AL, or parts of UT -- your action is the most important of all because you have VERY IMPORTANT deadlines coming up VERY SOON! Details here.

Waiting until the last day only risks the chance that something will go wrong, so whether it’s time to request your absentee ballot, send it in, or even register to vote (Alabama voters only), PLEASE get moving this week. And be sure to tell us on social media that you’ve done your civic duty!

3. Vote elsewhere? Stay informed and spread the word.

Tell your friends, remind folks at home, and spread the facts about these critical elections and deadlines. And if you vote in any of these states, be sure to check your email -- you may have received an important recent reminder from us about local November elections. NH, MA, ME, MI, MO, MS, SC, WA, OK

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 us and let us know.

 


Tiny Action: Women's Health is a Critical Necessity, October 19, 2017

Concerned about government spending, poverty, children’s health, equal pay and equal rights, or graduation rates in America? This week’s Tiny Action is for you, because women’s health and family planning have both a direct and indirect impact on all of the above.

This week, tell Congress that ALL women in America need access to the health care that they need. 

 

1. Call your Rep to express your outrage over the threat to rollback the contraceptive mandate in the ACA.

“My name is [NAME] and I vote in [zip code]. I’m calling because I am strongly against rolling back the contraceptive mandate in the ACA. Adding more exemptions will erode access to preventative health care for millions of Americans, leading to higher rates of abortions and negatively impacting the economy over the long term by not allowing women to plan for their futures. I demand Congress take immediate actions to ensure all women have affordable access to the healthcare they need, and I ask that you please support the Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 510/H.R.1322).”

What it is: Trump’s rollback of the ACA birth control mandate risks access to birth control coverage for millions of women. Certain organizations are already exempt for religious reasons, but the new rule allows even publicly-traded, for-profit companies to make this decision for employees on the basis of religion or “moral convictions.”

Why it matters: When young, unmarried women first got access to birth control, rates of college-educated women entering professional programs soared. Today, for every ONE public dollar spent on contraception, the government saves $5.68 to $7.09. This is one of the most effective areas of spending in the entire budget, something even conservatives can support.  

 

2. Call your Senators to oppose a federal 20-week abortion ban.

“My name is [name] and I vote in [zip code]. I'm calling to express my serious opposition to the ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’ (S.1922/H.R. 36) and any similar proposals in the future. A federal 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional, not based on science, and jeopardizes women's health and physicians' ability to care for patients. Please vote against this bill. These deeply personal and emotional decisions should be between a woman and her doctor and not involve politicians playing games with partisan agendas and junk science. This is why I also ask that you please support the Women’s Health Protection Act (S. 510/H.R. 1322).

What it is: The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortion after 20 weeks, with the exceptions of rape and incest if reported to authorities. A similar bill recently passed in the house before Lindsay Graham introduced the act in the Senate.

Why it matters: For starters, the claim that a fetus can feel pain that early is pure fiction, and simply taking this claim seriously will have a dangerous impact. This is a medical necessity, not an epidemic of careless women, as Graham and his  45 co-sponsors seem to think. Just 1.3% of abortions take place after 20 weeks and “late term abortions” (those after 24 weeks) are conducted by only four doctors in the entire country.

 

The truth is, women’s health in America is on the defense. With more than 2,500 pieces of legislation put forward since 2011 and steps that show they’re just getting started, we need your help before the entire country takes the lead of states like Texas: Within five years of slashing budgets and aggressively working to shut down Planned Parenthood, the state has seen steady increases in teen abortions and births, an increase in maternal health spending three times larger than the original budget cut, and the worst maternity mortality rate in the developed world. We must stop this trend before it becomes worse.

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.