VMF Caucus News

Items of Interest August 2019

CONGRESS

 

U.S. House

*On 8/22, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a subcommittee hearing on Housing our Heroes: Addressing the Veteran Homelessness Crisis”

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Enhancing the Presence of DA Overseas and Improving the GOTV Program by Gene Gerth, August 17th, 2019

This article relates to ways used in the past by those of us in Democrats Abroad Korea to implement the above statements. The author of this article, however, is retired US Army, living in Korea, and many of the suggestions presented here require access to military-base facilities located overseas. Let me begin by stating that during my association with DA Korea, it has included times that we were a committee in formation, a fully recognized country committee, and a period of time when the committee seemed to be non-functional. I first became associated with DA in the early years of the Bush II Presidency. At that time DA Korea was in its formative stages. We did however, associate with Republicans Abroad Korea and conducted a few joint projects. The primary one was a joint sponsorship of a forum at a major Seoul Hotel with North Korean defector Kang Chol-Hwan, and author of the book “The Aquariums of Pyongyang”. The forum concerned human rights abuse in North Korea and was attended by several prominent Korean politicians and faculty members from various Korean Universities. However, this sort of cooperation would probably not be available today, due to the Trumpification of the Republican Party. When these events took place the Republican party folks in Korea primarily consisted of honest conservatives, who were interested in debating the issues in a sensible manner, rather than vilifying the opposition as enemies.

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Leah Daughtry, former CEO of the 2016 DNC Convention talks about GOTV for the DA Veterans and Military Family Caucus

Leah_Daughtry_Talks_to_the_DA_Veteran_and_Military_Family_Caucus.mp3

Leah Daughtry, co-author of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics. came to Paris in July to talk to Democrats about the critical 2020 Get Out The Vote effort. She took time out to answer questions for the Global Veteran and Military Families Caucus of Democrats Abroad giving keen advice on how to move forward.

Daughtry has worked as Chief of Staff to notable political figures, such as former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexis Herman, and former Chairs of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean and Terry McAuliffe. She served in 2008 and 2016 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention, she is the first person in Democratic Party history to hold the position twice.

Named one of the 12 most influential Democrats in the nation on faith and values politics by Religion News Service, Leah also works with Faith in Action, the Democratic party’s outreach program to communities of faith. Leah currently serves as pastor of the House of the Lord Church in Washington, D.C. Further, Leah served as Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics where she focused on the role of faith and values play in American politics. Leah sits on the Executive Committee of the National Council of Negro Women. An electrifying speaker full of power and charisma, she transforms corporate teams, congregations, and communities for the better. Beyond her amazing career, she’s also a loving aunt, dedicated mentor, and avid shoe lover.


Veterans and Military Family Caucus Introduction

The Veterans and Military Family Caucus is made up of DA members from around the world who are willing and able to advocate on issues important to the veterans and their families within the United States of America and those living abroad. The Caucus will accept any DA member.

Democrats Abroad (DA) honors the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces; their service deserves our deepest gratitude and respect. Government policies must reflect the interests of those who are serving and those who have served, including their families. This caucus will work within DA to achieve this endeavor. 

We share and adhere to the principles and demands expressed in the platforms of both the Democratic Party and DA regarding veterans, active military and their families abroad.

We recognize and appreciate that all of the various groups, ethnicities, persuasions, identities, and beliefs that make up American society are present in our military; we share issues and concerns in common with the other DA caucuses. Discrimination has no place in the military and its ancillary organizations, nor the Veterans and Military Family Caucus.

GOALS

∙ Reach out to veterans, active duty and reserve military members as well as their dependents living abroad to encourage them to register to vote and to engage them in advocacy for our policy positions;

∙ Provide a forum for DA members to understand better the issues and concerns affecting our military forces, veterans, and their families outside of the United States;

ACTIONS

∙ Provide support for visits to wounded/recovering warriors and caregivers at overseas U.S. military hospitals in conjunction with like-minded external organizations;

∙ Exchange information and concerns with other DA caucuses and interest groups regarding relevant issues and shared concerns to ensure that as they impact veterans and military families, they are communicated among the broader DA community for a successful joint response;

∙ Organize participation in Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies at U.S. landmarks abroad such as military cemeteries, battle sites, and places of historical U.S. military significance;

∙ Facilitate get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts for veterans and military families; also develop sensible and sensitive strategies for encouraging active service members at U.S. overseas military bases to vote;

∙ Establish and maintain contact with other American political organizations to find areas of joint concern regarding U.S. veterans and military dependents;

∙ Always strive to improve the DA Platform and organize advocacy efforts towards U.S. law and policymakers for issues pertinent to veterans, active military, and their families living abroad;

RESPONSIBILITIES

ORGANIZATION

Email:  VeteransCaucus@democratsabroad.org