Earlier this week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed by voice vote the following bills:
1) H.R. 2943 (introduced by Rep. Gil Cisneros [D-CA-39]), a bill to provide benefits information in Spanish and Tagalog for veterans and their families,
2) H.R. 2942 (again, introduced by Rep. Cisneros), the HEALTH Act – a bill directing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out the Women’s Health Transition Training pilot program through at least fiscal year 2020,
3) H.R. 617 (introduced by Rep. Ralph Norman [R-SC-5]), the Department of Energy and Veterans’ Health Initiative Act – a bill to authorize the Department of Energy to conduct collaborative research with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in order to improve health care services for U.S. veterans, and
4) H.R. 3504 (introduced by Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R-FL-12]), the Ryan Kules Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act – a bill to provide for improvements to the specially adapted housing program and educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Earlier this week, by a vote of 89-1, the U.S. Senate confirmed Mark Milley to be the Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman.
Earlier this week, by a vote of 90-8, the U.S. Senate confirmed Mark Esper to be the Secretary of Defense.
The U.S. Senate is expected to soon debate and vote on the confirmation of David Norquist to be the next Deputy Secretary of Defense.
(Ramos recommendation: contact your senators and tell them to VOTE NO on this.)
Earlier this week there was a subcommittee hearing in the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on the topic of: “VistA Transition: Assessing the Future of an Electronic Health Records Pioneer”
(Video begins at 15:23)
Earlier this week, there was a subcommittee hearing in the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on the topic of: “Learning From Whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs”
(Video begins at 16:02)
Earlier this week there was a full committee hearing in the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on the topic of: “True Transparency? Assessing Wait Times Five Years After Phoenix”
(Video begins at 15:58)
U.S. Sens. Rounds (R-SD) and Tester (D-MT) are expected to introduce the G.I. Bill Work Study Improvement Act of 2019, a bill to streamline the processing and administration of VA benefits through the VA Work-Study Allowance Program, providing veterans with timelier benefits.
Article: Senate Confirms Mark Esper As Defense Secretary
Article: “Senate confirms Milley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs”
Article: “Supreme Court clears way for Pentagon to use $2.5 billion for border wall”
New CRS Report: “Hazing in the Armed Forces”
New GAO Report: “Opportunities Remain to Improve Appointment Scheduling within VA and through Community Care”
3-min. video: Top five riskiest scams a military family can face
Article: “MassHealth Finally Implements "Brave Act" Protections For Veteran”
Article: “Retired Marine and farmer Mike Broihier joins race challenging McConnell for Senate”
1 ½-min. video: Tom Steyer’s talk with veterans who support impeaching Trump
IL Governor Press Release: Gov. Pritzker signed into law a bill to ensure that U.S. Marine Corps license plate funds are used to benefit Illinois’ veterans and/or veterans' families
IL Governor Press Release: Gov. Pritzker signed into law a bill to expand the allowable forms of proof for veterans when they get state ID cards and drivers' licenses
IL Governor Press Release: Gov. Pritzker signed into a law a bill to allow high schools to award a diploma to students who left high school to serve in the military and made the ultimate sacrifice
Article: US Tax Professionals in Vancouver Publish Tax Breaks for Members of the Armed Forces
22-min. video: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remarks at the 120th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention
Letter-to-the-editor: “U.S. military families must not go hungry”
Article: “Congress takes up military housing issues in new bill”
Op-ed by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8): “Peer support is key to veterans reconnecting back home”
Op-ed by Bill Himpler (President and CEO of the American Financial Services Association): “Time to fix the Military Lending Act”
Article: “VA secretary, House Democrats spar on Twitter over wait times for veterans health care”
DoD Article: “Program Makes Moves Cheaper for Military Spouses”
Article: “US Army Garrison Italy says ‘ciao’ to its outgoing and incoming commanders”
Article: “Do American political divisions impact troops? Here’s what enlisted leaders have to say”
(Of note – this comment: “About 22 percent of troops who participated in the Military Times survey last fall said they have seen signs of white nationalism or racist ideology within the ranks.”)
Article: “Lawmakers nominate far more men than women for military service academies each year: Report”
Article: “New Law Will Allow Thousands More Veterans to Join American Legion”
Article: “Special duty airmen: Shorter tours will help maintain family balance, career edge”
Article: “Military Parents Want ‘Choice-Driven’ Policy in K-12, Report Finds”
Article: “An official survey shows Army families are even less happy with their privatized housing”
Article: “3 ways military veterans can successfully transition into the civilian workforce”
Article: “Top Albuquerque City Officials Get Big Raises, Report Shows Mental Health Care Delayed For Veterans”
Take-action petition for Congress to include pro-arts language as an option to physically/mentally-wounded service-mambers in therapy
Article: “Military Consumers at Higher Risk for Marketplace Losses, According to BBB Report”
William Prescott published Declaración del Caucus Hispano Sobre la Aprobación de Enmiendas a Resoluciones de la Reunión Mundial in News/Noticias 2019-07-23 17:54:55 -0400
Declaración del Caucus Hispano Sobre la Aprobación de Enmiendas a Resoluciones de la Reunión Mundial
El 20 de julio de 2019, los miembros del Comité del Partido Demócrata en el Extranjero (DPCA) se reunieron para debatir y votar sobre varias resoluciones que no pudieron recibir consideración en la reunión mundial de mayo de 2019 en el Distrito Columbia debido a restricciones de tiempo. Una de las medidas aprobadas por los miembros de la DPCA fue una resolución que apoya el “Nuevo Acuerdo Verde” en el Congreso. El Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano de los Demócratas en el Extranjero fue el autor de una enmienda de correcciones técnicas a la resolución que los miembros de la DPCA incluyeron por unanimidad.
El promotor principal de la enmienda, Will Prescott (DA México), declaró: “Me complace que haya habido un gran apoyo entre los miembros con voto global para apoyar esta enmienda que fortalece la resolución Nuevo Acuerdo Verde. No solo el cambio climático es un tema importante para mí y estoy seguro para muchos miembros de nuestro grupo, si no que contar con el respaldo a la enmienda de los líderes mundiales de los Demócratas en el Extranjero es indicativo de que la resolución es la correcta para la aceptación unánime de la membresía global.”
Otra líder del Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano, Alison Maciejewski (DA República Checa), emitió también su opinión: “Alentar a nuestros funcionarios electos a tomar medidas para
salvar el planeta es una obviedad. Con la aparición de los escépticos del clima en contra de la ciencia y la ignorancia voluntaria de los Republicanos en el poder, la raíz de la resolución exige acciones firmes por parte de nuestro Partido para contactar a nuestros miembros del Congreso e instarles a que se comprometan a apoyar H. Res.109 y S. Res. 59 - legislación en apoyo de empleos verdes y de reducción de gases de efecto invernadero.”
El Caucus Hispano espera continuar encontrando formas de fortalecer nuestra Plataforma del Partido en la reunión global de mayo de 2020 programada para llevarse a cabo en Toronto.
El texto completo de la enmienda adoptada por el Caucus Hispano se incluye a continuación.
ENMIENDA A LA RESOLUCIÓN DEL NUEVO ACUERDO VERDE
Patrocinado por el Comité Directivo del Caucus Hispano Global de Demócratas en el Extranjero.
Propuesto por Will Prescott, representante con derecho a voto de la DPCA, Demócratas en el Extranjero México
CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de los Demócratas en el Extranjero del 20 de julio de 2019 que respalda el “Nuevo Acuerdo Verde” hace referencia dos veces a una legislación pendiente en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos, el 116 ° Congreso, titulado “H.R. 109”; y
CONSIDERANDO QUE, la H.R. 109 es en realidad un proyecto de ley relacionado con la inmigración patrocinado por un representante Republicano de Estados Unidos; y
CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que apoya un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde presumiblemente se refiere a H. Res. 109, una resolución que reconoce el deber del gobierno federal de crear un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde, patrocinado por un representante Demócrata de Estados Unidos; y
CONSIDERANDO QUE, la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde establece que hay 103 copatrocinadores hasta el 15 de abril de 2019 en referencia a las resoluciones del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde del Senado y la Cámara de Representantes; y
CONSIDERANDO QUE, hay un total de 106 copatrocinadores de las resoluciones del Nuevo Acuerdo Verde en el Senado y la Cámara de Representantes hasta el 13 de julio de 2019,
SE RESUELVE, que la resolución de Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde reemplazará todas las referencias de “H.R. 109” con “H.Res. 109”; y
SE RESUELVE ADEMÁS, que la resolución de los Demócratas en el Extranjero que respalda un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde reemplazará “15 de abril de 2019” con “13 de julio de 2019” y “103 copatrocinadores” con “106 copatrocinadores”
William Prescott published Hispanic Caucus Endorsement: Soto for City Council in Endorsements/Apoyos 2019-07-13 23:18:35 -0400
Dominican-American Nicarol Soto is our choice on November 5, 2019 for the at-large, Hazleton city council seat in this eastern Pennsylvania town where nearly half the population is Hispanic but no Hispanic-Americans occupy a council seat. Soto has called for unity among voters of all descents and seeks to work for all residents of Hazelton in order to balance the budget. After engaging with several community leaders, creating youth programs and improving access to affordable housing are among Soto’s top priorities.
“We’ve had our eye on Ms. Soto’s campaign for a while now and congratulate her on her Democratic primary victory. She is a terrific Latinx candidate who’s bilingual, is committed to working with local minority-owned businesses and helping them flourish, and understands everyday kitchen-table issues as a working mother,” stated Greg Dolezal, a leader within the Hispanic Caucus.
The Hispanic Caucus urges all Democrats Abroad members and all other Americans abroad who vote in Hazelton to request their ballot and send it back well before the November 5th General Election.
William Prescott published Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For June 2019 in News/Noticias 2019-07-13 23:16:23 -0400
June was a busy month for the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Podcast! We had terrific discussions with several notable Latinx guests: a Berkeley professor, a late-night comedy host, a Red Cross executive, and a foreign affairs in expert in U.S.-Latin American relations. All of the guests offered insightful commentary, and if you’re ready to check ‘em out, feel free to stream or download these episodes at your convenience.
***All of our podcast episodes can be found here at our newly re-designed site.
You've heard her several times on NPR, and now, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus was pleased to have G. Cristina Mora, Ph.D., as a guest on our podcast to discuss a range of issues under her expertise. Dr. Mora spoke on Latinos and the potential impacts of next year's census, how we came to use the term "Hispanics," and provided details about her book chronicling Hispanic Americans' rise in political and economic power stemming from years of activism and a push by the media. Check out our conversation with Dr. Mora - and afterward, we're confident you'll agree that the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast once again provides not only a quality educational lesson for all, but legitimate reasons to vote!
Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 21:02 en la conversación. (Dr. Mora’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 21:02 into the conversation.)
"Siempre, siempre, siempre es importante votar dondequiera que estés - cada voto cuenta." -- G. Cristina Mora, Ph.D. (Twitter: @GCristinaMora)
DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Lori Smith (DA Mexico), Thomas López (DA Australia), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
We all know it's hard to be an activist 24-7 in pushing for societal change and demanding sound policies of our home country. Helping folks relax after a long day is Ernie Bustamante, a Boricua-Chicano mestizo, highly-accomplished Los Angeles-based writer and late-night comedy host who's giving the American public some much-needed social/political laughter to keep all of us sane during the chaotic Trump era. Ernie joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast in discussing his series "Border Patrol," how 2020 presidential candidates each have an effective personal story to tell voters, how the late-night talk show scene recently lacked a Latino presence, and how he eventually decided, "¡Basta - necesitamos más de nosotros!"
Ernie is a great example of a Latinx activist who's highly educated and paying close attention to politics. If any of our members happen to visit the LA area, make sure to check out his free live show at the UCB Theatre (Upright Citizens Brigade's "Inner Sanctum"), located at 5419 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, 90027. You can also check out Ernie and his show on Twitter: @votebustamante and @TheLatinoVote. Have a listen to this episode y por favor compártalo con amigos!
DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Alison Maciejewski (DA Czech Republic), Greg Dolezal (DA Vietnam), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
Joining our podcast episode this week was a Latinx superstar who's made a positive difference in every community he's ever lived. Jarrett Barrios, former state legislator on the east coast and now leading the Red Cross on the west coast, is no stranger to working on behalf of the American people. As a nonpartisan guest, he joined the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast and not only let us know how laser-focused he's been on emergency preparedness and response, but also gave us a fascinating brief history lesson on the Red Cross' international origins. In addition, Jarrett and his team of Red Cross volunteers continue to strive in assisting Latino communities with Spanish-language outreach and welcoming all those affected by natural or human-caused disasters to seek safety in their shelters. Good stuff!
After listening to this insightful conversation, your homework shall consist of: 1) subscribing to our podcast by clicking the "Follow"/iTunes button, 2) following Jarrett (@JarrettBarrios) on Twitter, and 3) sharing this podcast with other Americans living abroad!
(Fun fact: Latinos are more likely to have an O-positive blood type, thereby indicating they are extremely valuable for blood donations due to the universality of O blood and making it the highest in demand. It's important to remember that Latino blood donors make powerful contributions to patients in the emergency room!)
DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Lori Smith (DA Mexico), Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
This week the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus welcomed polyglot and foreign affairs expert Jana Nelson (Twitter: @anajanaina) as a special guest on our podcast. Jana has considerable experience as a congressional staff member, professional researcher, and working in diplomacy at the State Department. Among her many areas of specialized knowledge, Jana spoke with us about the various services provided by U.S. embassies and consulates which are available to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad. The Hispanic Caucus was lucky to secure some of Jana's time and get her input on what an ambassador does and what the purpose of an embassy is, the role of Congress as it relates to U.S. embassies and consulates, why it's important for Americans abroad to vote, and several other important items. Please check out Jana's insightful commentary!
DA Hispanic Caucus participants in this episode: Amerika García-Grewal (DA Fiji), Luis Ore (DA Peru), Melanie García (DA Dominican Republic), and Michael Ramos (DA Australia). Podcast music provided by Carlos Colao (DA Spain).
William Prescott published Trump’s Trade and Tariffs Deals in News/Noticias 2019-07-08 12:27:49 -0400
By: Bernardo Javalquinto, Ph.D.
Virtually every nation which began as a colony and gained independence has benefitted from having an open economy, as opposed to those opting for closed, “protectionist” trade policies. There is a mountain of evidence demonstrating that closed economies carry a number of problems which negatively affect their citizens, and many are unaware that the damage is not only applicable to the wealthy and powerful but rather extends to its working-class citizenry on a local level. In the case of the Trump Administration, every day that passes takes us one step closer to a closed economy, and Americans living abroad are seeing first-hand the global damage being done by the U.S. threatening new tariffs and striving for unilateral trade demands.
Let’s be clear: a wide range of respected economists agree that Trump’s tariffs will hurt most Americans. The United States was – and still is – interdependent with the global economy. Despite the financial crisis of the Depression era, it taught us many lessons about economics, markets, trade, and tariffs. The United States has traditionally thrived in being one of the most prosperous industrialized nations but now risks remaining economically competitive and reminds us of the threats brought on by the Depression era.
Incredibly, the President’s policies reverse America’s long, slow shift towards a more open economy. Economists, the Democratic Party, and the American people fully realize what the Trump Administration is currently doing on trade and tariffs. Mr. Trump believes he is all-knowledgeable on business deals, but it is clear his business experience has led to policies which are beneficial to the top 1 percent of income earners and Wall Street, and not the workers and families of Main Street.
Furthermore, as the Trump Administration pushes us further toward a closed economy, its trade policies will inevitably continue to affect other issues such as migration. The administration is already indirectly raising the cost of goods and services through tariffs, but basic economics tells us that when prices start to rise, inflation follows suit. This is significant because the purchasing power of the American people is decreased nowadays due to the fact that prices are higher for imported goods and services. As economists, academics, and others who understand what is currently happening by the Trump Administration have warned us of an economic slowdown, it is imperative that we act now to avoid the emotional strain of America’s families having to somehow get by on worse trade deals and tariffs. Protectionist economies do not allow for fair economic competition to maintain a balance in prices; it only creates an extremely nationalist economy that is not able to compete with other free-market economies to become more efficient, more innovative, and maintain sustainable growth over time.
Not surprisingly, absent from the administration’s trade playbook is how it intends on helping the lowest-earning Americans from being affected by teasing new tariffs which would undoubtedly further discourage international cooperation. Meanwhile, the administration continues to negotiate trade deals behind closed doors on behalf of corporate America while America’s labor leaders are patiently waiting to see any shred of evidence where the administration is serious about including 21st-century worker protections.
To summarize, this administration is creating 3:00 A.M. policies on Twitter and not having a serious discussion with the American people in explaining the rationale for aggressive tariffs which will hurt Americans both domestically and abroad. This administration continues to not be transparent in detailing trade plans despite Mr. Trump claiming to have “unprecedented” negotiating skills. And while this administration’s rhetoric is about promoting the protection of American workers, evidence shows that the only stakeholders who have the president’s ear are his campaign donors.
For these reasons, I would invite every U.S. citizen to think about the damage that our country is experiencing with Donald Trump’s trade and tariff policies, unless, of course, America’s citizens are yearning to experience another economic slowdown.
Dr. Bernardo Javalquinto is an economist, a member of the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee, and the Chair of Democrats Abroad Chile.
William Prescott published 4th of July in Guadalajara - 4 de julio en Guadalajara in News/Noticias 2019-07-07 10:05:54 -0400
William Prescott published Why I Vote - ¿Por Qué Voto? -- Amerika Garcia-Grewal in Our Voices/Nuestras Voces 2019-06-23 06:08:08 -0400Why I Vote -- by Amerika Garcia-GrewalSince I turned 18 I've lived in Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, and New York. I've been to each state capital and to Washington, DC to visit my legislators and share my concerns about different issues over the years. Voting is more than "something to do" every four years; it's a way of building up our country's leadership, beginning at the local level, and supporting them all the way to the White House.My move to Fiji in 2014 made it more challenging to participate in local elections. Because of the lengthy mail times I have never received a ballot from my hometown election office in time to vote on that ballot. Luckily, the tools at VoteFromAbroad.org make it easy to make sure I'm registered to vote and that I'm using the right ballots to vote.So why do I vote? I vote because I love my country. I vote because I saw my parents vote when I was a child. I vote because I want my voice to be heard. I vote because I am a role model for my family. I vote because I know that not every country allows its citizenry to participate in democratic elections.I vote because it matters.___Por qué voto -- por Amerika Garcia-GrewalDesde que cumplí 18 años, he vivido en Texas, Tennessee, Kansas y Nueva York. He estado en la capital de cada estado y en Washington, DC para visitar a mis legisladores y compartir mis preocupaciones sobre diferentes temas a lo largo de los años. Votar es más que "algo que hacer" cada cuatro años; es una forma de construir el liderazgo de nuestro país, comenzando a nivel local, y apoyándolos hasta la Casa Blanca.El venir a vivir a Fiji en 2014 hizo más difícil mi participación en las elecciones locales. Debido al lento servicio de correo, nunca he recibido una boleta de la oficina de elecciones de mi ciudad natal a tiempo para votar en esa elección. Afortunadamente, las herramientas en VoteFromAbroad.org hacen que sea fácil estar segura de que estoy registrada para votar y de que estoy usando las boletas correctas para votar.Entonces, ¿por qué voto? Voto porque amo a mi país. Voto porque vi a mis padres votar cuando era niña. Voto porque quiero que mi voz sea escuchada. Voto porque soy un modelo para mi familia. Voto porque sé que no todos los países permiten que sus ciudadanos participen en elecciones democráticas.Yo voto porque importa.
The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges all members to contact your U.S. representative and your two U.S. senators regarding the below issue.
Background: One of the lesser talked-about issues of importance is the major lack of Hispanic Americans serving in the U.S. military’s highest officer ranks. It’s unclear as to exactly why that is, but given that Hispanics comprise a large percentage of all U.S. service-members, clearly there needs to be some changes to ensure fairer officer representation of Hispanics and that they are able to fill these top leadership roles. (A broader discussion of this topic can be heard on our podcast episode from May 2019.)
For the purpose of filling out the online forms on the web sites of your members of Congress, see below for a basic template where you simply need to add in your personal details, or modify to your liking.
* * * * *
Dear Representative ______ / Senator _______,
My name is [your name] and I’m your constituent from [name of home town]. I’m writing because I believe there is an important issue currently happening within our military that needs to be immediately addressed.
When it comes to diversity in our Armed Forces, there are Americans of every color who fill the ranks and serve our nation with pride. However, within the very top officer ranks -- such as generals and admirals -- Hispanic Americans are almost completely absent. This is significant considering that America’s top officers make life and death decisions on the battlefield, contribute to our nation’s national security intelligence, advise strategies to the White House, serve as role models to younger service-members of color, and provide critical input on countless other issues.
Latinos not only comprise a decent percentage of America’s military, both enlisted and officer, but they are also nominated to U.S. military academies, earn Medals of Honor, and are adequately represented in almost all other aspects of the U.S. military. Numerous studies have proven that having diversity in leadership contributes to beneficial outcomes. Why there’s a lack of Hispanic representation among America’s top officer ranks is an important question in which we all deserve to know the answer.
Therefore, I urge you to create a Defense Advisory Committee on Latinos in the Services to formally investigate potential solutions to this lack of diversity such as demanding adequate mentoring, development and promotion of Hispanic American officers.
I respectfully request your response to this message.
Thank you for your consideration,
[your name and contact details]
p.s. I strongly encourage you to read this article from The Hill which directly speaks on this topic: https://thehill.com/latino/398139-latinos-arent-reaching-top-military-positions-study-shows
Democrats Abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico began existence in 2017. A Lake Chapala Chapter existed before that. Chapala has more than a thousand members. Prior to 2017, members in Guadalajara were affiliated with the Lake Chapala Chapter. When the Guadalajara Chapter formed, some 200 of the Chapala members, those with a Guadalajara address, were transferred to the Guadalajara Chapter.Demócratas en el Extranjero Capítulo Guadalajara, México, comenzó a existir en 2017. Antes de eso, existía un Capítulo del Lago Chapala, el cual contaba con más de mil miembros. Antes de 2017, los miembros de Guadalajara estaban afiliados al Capítulo del Lago de Chapala. Cuando se formó el Capítulo de Guadalajara, unos 200 miembros de Chapala, aquellos con una dirección en Guadalajara, fueron transferidos al Capítulo de Guadalajara.Board of Directors/Junta DirectivaJuly/Julio 2017 – February/Febrero 2019
Will Chapman, Chair/Presidente
Jude Wallesen, Vice Chair/Vicepresidenta
William Prescott, Treasurer/Tesorero
Cam Esser, Secretary/Secretaria
Michaele Rivera, Member at Large/Miembro General
Rick Rice, Member at Large/Miembro General
Hector Dueñas, Member at Large/Miembro General
Elaine Halleck, Member at Large/Miembro General
Franklyn Dunne, Member at Large/Miembro General
February/Febrero 2019 – February/Febrero 2021
Jude Wallesen, Chair/Presidente
William Prescott, Vice Chair & Treasurer/Vicepresidenta y Tesorero
Cam Esser, Secretary/Secretaria
Michaele Rivera, Member at Large/Miembro General
Bob Patience, Member at Large/Miembro General
Miguel Rivera, Member at Large/Miembro General
Will Chapman, Immediate Past Chair/Presidente Anterior InmediatoLaura Santa Cruz Traductora
La organización Democrats Abroad (Demócratas en el Extranjero) Guadalajara tiene el gusto de anunciar su primer concurso:
Somos un grupo de personas que vivimos en la ZMG, ciudadanos de los EEUU y tenemos la meta de encontrar a mexicanos o residentes en México que son ciudadanos de los EEUU para que sepan que pueden votar desde acá. Nuestro proyecto como organización incluye proteger el planeta para futuras generaciones, luchar por el respeto para la dignidad humana y cuidar las relaciones bilaterales y multilaterales. Queremos apoyarnos en un buen diseño para una camiseta que llevaremos puesta en futuros eventos; la idea es que la parte de atrás de la camiseta lleve la pregunta: “¿Naciste en Estados Unidos?” La misma camiseta deberá llevar un diseño que nos identifique: “Democrats Abroad GDL” por el frente. El diseño que buscamos en el concurso debe incluir lo siguiente (nuestro nombre) en texto legible: “Democrats Abroad GDL”; en las camisetas quedará el diseño elegido en el tamaño del bolsillo de una camisa. El color de la tela de la camiseta será azul fuerte. Recomendamos que su diseño incluya opciones para imprimirse en 1, 2, o más colores.
El concurso está abierto a estudiantes y profesionales en Diseño Gráfico y el ganador se llevará un premio de $5000 pesos. Por favor, lea las reglas del concurso a continuación.
¡Agradecemos su interés!
William Prescott published Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For May 2019 in News/Noticias 2019-06-03 22:14:16 -0400
It’s that time, again: time to kick back and have a listen to the Hispanic Caucus’ most recent podcast episodes from May. We’ve been having terrific discussions with several notable guests, including: a UNICEF advocate who specializes in communicating with Congress, one of the nation’s most visible union bosses fighting for public schools and their workers, a Latina congressional candidate in the Peach State, and a former F-16 jet pilot now fighting for Hispanic representation in the military’s most senior ranks. All of these guests provided us with great reasons for us to vote from abroad, and after listening to them, we’re sure you’ll agree!
All of our podcast episodes can be found here: https://www.democratsabroad.org/hc_podcasts
May 24, 2019
One of the lesser-talked about issues of our time is the serious lack of Hispanic representation in the upper-most ranks of the United States Armed Forces, such as generals and admirals. Among those fighting to raise awareness of this issue is Edward Cabrera, president of the Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance (https://www.casabagroup.net/). "Eddie" is a former U.S. Air Force aviator who's now trying to educate both the public and federal lawmakers on this important issue. With an April 17th letter to the Defense Department backed by a May 7th letter from Congress, Eddie and his Alliance have been busy in 2019 in not only pointing out the problems with Hispanics being absent from senior officer positions, but he's also been proposing strategies to key officials to increase Hispanic representation in these role-model and mission-critical positions.
As someone who previously flew F-16 fighter jets and other combat-ready aircraft in addition to continuing to serve our country by working as a NASA programs manager, members of the DA Hispanic Caucus and the DA Military and Veteran Family Caucus were grateful that Eddie joined our podcast to spread his important messaging. As Eddie mentions on the podcast, Americans living abroad can help the cause in doing a take-action item by contacting your members of Congress - ¡Escúchalo ya!
May 17, 2019
From immigrating to the U.S. as a young child to finishing law school to being elected as the first Latina in the state legislature, Brenda López Romero now aspires to be the next congresswoman representing the 7th Congressional District of Georgia. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus had a great discussion with Rep. López Romero in learning more about why she's running and what her platform issues are.
As a fully-bilingual lawmaker, we definitely appreciated López Romero speaking directly to GA-7 voters living abroad and to our Spanish-speaking caucus members. Please feel free to share this podcast episode with any and all Americans who vote in Georgia's 7th district! "No podemos mejorar como estado, no podemos mejorar como país, sin tener buenos trabajos y desarrollo económico." - Brenda López Romero Sus comentarios en español comienzan a las 27:20 en la conversación. (Rep. López Romero’s Spanish-language remarks begin at 27:20 into the conversation.)
May 11, 2019
Sadly, even in twenty-first century America, the horrible and illegal practice of human trafficking exists. Joining us on this episode brought to you by the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus was special guest Alejandra Colmenero (https://www.cllaro.org/staff/), a Denver-based expert in communicating this issue and other critically-important issues affecting children to the nation's top policymakers: members of Congress.
Alejandra's experience as a leader on UNICEF's Congressional Action Team has led her to use her passion for activism to train dozens of others in how to approach lawmakers to support policies that make the world a far better place, especially for children. She also touched on why all Americans abroad should cast their votes from wherever they are in the world, because, as Alejandra rightly mentions, American citizens have a democratic voice and they should exercise their right to vote. Have a listen to this highly educated, passionate, and bilingual #StrongLatina to hear what she has to say on combating human trafficking and improving communications with lawmakers through effective citizen activism.
May 10, 2019
How is the United States currently doing as far as public education goes? How much is the current administration supporting teachers? Is there any connection to voting from abroad and supporting education policies to improve America's schools? And is anyone paying attention to schools in Puerto Rico? To answer these questions and more, we turn to an expert.
Among the titans of those advocating for sound education policy and representing workers in the education industry is none other than Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. It's no secret Randi is widely admired by America's teachers, those (and allies of those) who push for sensible education reforms, the LGBT community, people of color, Democratic elected officials, parents, and so many more. The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus was very fortunate to have Randi speak with us on the current direction of U.S. education under the Trump Administration.
William Prescott published Political Donation History of Meeting Venues - El historial político de los lugares de reunión in News/Noticias 2019-05-21 21:18:40 -0400
DPCA Voting Body Adopts Hispanic Caucus Language Calling for Closer Scrutiny of Political Donation History of Potential Meeting Venues
Washington, D.C.—On May 17, 2019, the international body of voting representatives within the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) passed a Hispanic Caucus-authored resolution which encourages a check of the political donation history of potential meeting venues. The resolution was considered on the first day of the 2019 Democrats Abroad (DA) Global Meeting.
The resolution was amended after an April 2019 meeting held by the Resolutions Committee in which some members raised points on the original draft. The chair of the caucus, Michael Ramos (DA Australia), responded to those who commented and engaged the steering committee with edits to accommodate the concerns made by the Resolutions Committee. “Our caucus is active in not only electing candidates and holding elected officials accountable, but also in looking for ways to improve our Party. This weekend was no different. We were happy to discuss the resolution, make edits, include new ideas, and take into consideration others members’ concerns before re-drafting. The end result? Another successful global meeting, another Hispanic Caucus resolution passed,” he stated.
Will Prescott (DA Mexico), a leader on the Hispanic Caucus and principal sponsor of the resolution, stated, “I’m pleased that members voted in favor of this common-sense measure to make sure that our money isn’t going to political candidates and parties that don’t align with our core beliefs. While we always strive to improve our Platform and processes, I know that when our caucus members have a seat at the table, great ideas are put forward.”
Also at the Global Meeting, Hispanic Caucus member Lissette Wright (DA Canada) was unanimously re-elected as DA International Treasurer. The Hispanic Caucus is extremely proud to have a Latina and one of its members continue as a leader on the International Executive Committee.
Founded in 2017, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus represents more than 500 members living in all parts of the globe.
Propuesta del Comité Hispano que examina el historial político de los posibles lugares de reunión ha sido adoptada por el DPCA
Washington, D.C.—El 17 de mayo de 2019, el cuerpo internacional de representantes con derecho a voto dentro del Comité del Partido Demócrata en el Extranjero (DPCA, por sus siglas en inglés) aprobó una resolución propuesta por el Comité Hispano (Hispanic Caucus, en inglés) que busca realizar una verificación mucho más a fondo sobre el historial de donaciones políticas de los posibles lugares de reunión, como hoteles y centros de convenciones. La resolución fue considerada durante el primer día de la Reunión Global de Demócratas en el Extranjero (DA) del 2019.
La resolución se enmendó después de una reunión de abril del 2019 celebrada por el Comité de Resoluciones en la que algunos miembros plantearon puntos de contención sobre el borrador original. El presidente del Comité Hispano, Michael Ramos (DA Australia), respondió a quienes comentaron y comprometió al comité directivo a realizar los cambios para satisfacer las inquietudes del Comité de Resoluciones. “Nuestro comité está activo no solo para elegir candidatos y responsabilizar a los funcionarios electos, sino también para buscar formas de mejorar nuestro Partido. Este fin de semana no fue diferente. Nos complació discutir la resolución, hacer modificaciones, incluir nuestras ideas y tomar en cuenta las preocupaciones de los miembros antes de volver a redactarlas. ¿El resultado final? Otra Reunión Global exitosa y otra resolución del Comité Hispano aprobada,” declaró Ramos.
Will Prescott (DA México), un líder del Comité Hispano y principal patrocinador de la resolución, declaró: “Me complace que los miembros votaran a favor de esta medida de sentido común para asegurarnos de que nuestro dinero no vaya a partidos políticos y candidatos que no se alinean con nuestras creencias. Si bien, siempre nos esforzamos por mejorar nuestra Plataforma y nuestros procesos, sé que cuando los miembros de nuestro comité tiene un lugar en la mesa, se presentan grandes ideas.”
También en la Reunión Global, miembro del Comité Hispano, Lissette Wright (DA Canadá) fue reelecta unánimemente como Tesorera Internacional de DA. El Comité Hispano está sumamente orgulloso de tener una latina y a uno de sus miembros continuando como líder en el Comité Ejecutivo Internacional.
Fundado en 2017, el Comité Hispano de Demócratas en el Extranjero representa a más de 500 miembros en todo el mundo.
William Prescott published Why I Vote? - ¿Por Qué Voto? — Melanie García in Our Voices/Nuestras Voces 2019-05-07 00:41:51 -0400
Why I Vote
As an American living in the Dominican Republic, I cherish the right to vote because it is a right that we as U.S. citizens all have, and we cannot be denied this sacred right to express our collective voices in American democracy. I choose to vote because I am exercising my right to choose who will represent us, who will help the overall American people, who will be the best choice in leading us while not causing further harm to our country, and who will respect the sovereignty of our shared American values.
My vote is important to both me and my electorate. It does not matter that I am not currently living within the U.S. and going to my designated polling place on Election Day. By casting a ballot from overseas, I am proud to demonstrate my deep caring for all that is happening within the U.S., and I will do everything I possibly can to defend my U.S. voting rights.
I look forward to each election back in New York because I can learn about the candidates running for office and I can then make an informed decision as to which persons would do the best job of representing me at the local, state, and federal offices. More than ever, I look forward to the upcoming elections because I want to choose candidates who are genuinely interested in working to find a solution to the many problems happening back in our home country.
Why do I vote? By always exercising our right to vote from abroad, we are setting an example for other Americans as to showing our civic duty in participating in the electoral process. All voting-age Americans abroad who care about our country should cast their ballot whenever they can. Because if we do choose not choose to participate in elections, we are not holding the government and politicians accountable for our well being.
I want a better future for me, my family, and all Americans. I vote because I want a seat at the table. I vote because if we choose to not vote, we might as well be on the menu.
¿Por qué Voto?
Como norteamericana viviendo en República Dominicana, valoro el derecho a votar porque es un derecho que todo tenemos como ciudadanos estadounidenses, y este derecho sagrado de poder expresar democráticamente todas nuestra voces es un derecho al que no podemos negarnos. Elijo votar porque estoy ejercitando mi derecho a elegir quien nos debe representar, quien ayudara a todos los norteamericanos, quien será la mejor elección en guiarnos sin causar daño a nuestro país, y quien respetará la soberanía de nuestros valores americanos.
Mi voto es importante tanto para mí como para mi electorado. No importa que no esté viviendo actualmente en Estados Unidos, voy a ir a mi correspondiente oficina electoral en el día de las elecciones. Ejercitando el derecho de voto desde fuera de Estados Unidos, estoy orgullosa de demostrar mi profunda preocupación y respeto sobre todo lo que está ocurriendo en Estados Unidos, y haré todo lo que esté en mi mano para defender mi derecho de voto.
Estoy involucrada en cada una de las elecciones que se celebran en Nueva York y puedo aprender de los candidatos que se presentan para así poder tomar un decisión informada sobre qué personas harán el mejor trabajo para representarme a nivel local, estatal y en las oficinas federales. Ahora más que nunca estoy pendiente de las próximas elecciones porque quiero elegir a los candidatos que estén profundamente interesados en trabajar para encontrar una solución a muchos de los problemas que pasan en nuestro país.
¿Por qué voto? ejercitando siempre mi derecho de voto desde el extranjero, estamos fijando un ejemplo para otros norteamericanos mostrando nuestra función cívica de participar en los procesos electorales. Todos los estadounidenses en edad de votar que vivan en el extranjero y que se preocupen por nuestro país deben ejercitar su derecho de voto siempre que puedan. Porque si elegimos no participar en los procesos electorales, no podemos hacer a los a los gobernantes y políticos responsables de nuestro bienestar.
Quiero un mejor futuro para mí, para mi familia y para todos los norteamericanos. Voto porque quiero una silla en la mesa. Voto porque, de no hacerlo, podemos acabar estando en el menú.
William Prescott published Hispanic Caucus Podcast Episodes For April 2019 in News/Noticias 2019-05-01 14:31:04 -0400
The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus has been busy lately in discussing issues and speaking to special guests on our podcast. Please take a moment to hear our most recent episodes: a New York-based university professor with expertise on Latinos and the U.S. labor movement, the chair of the Virginia Democrats' Latino Caucus, and a former Democrats Abroad member-turned-gun control activist in California.
All of our podcast episodes can be found here: https://www.democratsabroad.org/hc_podcasts
April 28, 2019
In this week's episode, Alison Maciejewski, Steering Committee Member of the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus, led a thoughtful discussion with our special guest based in New York, Stony Brook University's Lori Flores, Ph.D. Crank up the volume and hear Dr. Flores' thoughts on how Latinx agricultural workers have continued to endure unfair worker conditions, and how our classrooms' history books have been slow to include historical information about the significant contributions of Hispanic Americans during the organized labor movements over the years, such as proud Boricua Luisa Capetillo. Dr. Flores also highlighted why Americans abroad should vote for politicians who value worker protections and who will fight for safe working conditions in the agriculture industry.
April 24, 2019
From Hampton Roads to Alexandria to the capital of Richmond, there's much to be optimistic about for the future of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Joining the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus podcast this week was special guest Monique Alcalá, the current chair of the Virginia Democratic Party's Latino Caucus. Monique's valuable experience in working within the party and various candidates over the years makes her a true expert in Virginia politics, and we were lucky to learn straight from her about an amazing Latino candidate for state delegate, an effective peer-to-peer support program, and an interesting description of her role as Latino Caucus chair in creating opportunities for Virginians to engage with the party, Democratic candidates, and each other as a way of motivating activism. Get the latest scoop with what's happening on the ground in the Old Dominion State by checking out Chairwoman Alcalá's insightful commentary.
April 4, 2019
Will Prescott and Michael Ramos of the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus caught up with San Francisco-based, pro-gun safety activist Alex Navarro with Moms Demand Action (https://momsdemandaction.org/). As a former member of Democrats Abroad Netherlands, Alex has significant experience living abroad and has since advocated tirelessly for common-sense gun reforms to her California lawmakers. Have a listen to learn more about what Alex has been doing since returning back to the U.S. and why she is a clear leader in the ongoing fight again the gun lobby.
William Prescott published DA Hispanic Caucus Statement on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen’s Resignation in News/Noticias 2019-04-12 22:03:30 -0400
Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee Statement in Response to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen’s Resignation
In response to Kirstjen Nielsen’s April 8th resignation announcement, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee present the following statement:
There is no way to sugarcoat it – former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was a dreadful public servant who implemented brutal and inhumane policies.
Two years after the devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the catastrophically incompetent DHS is still struggling with how to respond to the more than 3,000 lives lost and billions of dollars worth of broken infrastructure. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders have every right to wonder when their federal government will address their critical needs. And while Nielsen may claim that under her leadership, DHS has “responded decisively to record-breaking natural disasters and helped Americans rebuild,” the facts tell a completely different story.
Furthermore, as the top Trump official in charge of the administration’s tragic and failed “large scale family separation” policy to control the fake “emergency” declaration of the border “crisis,” Kirstjen Nielsen is directly complicit in forcibly ripping children away from their refugee and asylum-seeker parents and put into camps. Nielsen’s unfortunate anti-immigrant legacy will be remembered long after the separated refugee families reunite, if DHS is able to reunite them at all. With the vacancy created by Nielsen, we also reject the appointment of Kevin McAleenan as Acting Secretary because of his own woeful record as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner.
Regardless of whoever next oversees DHS, we continue to believe that the only sure remedy to halt this administration’s reckless actions and heinous activities is to vote out Donald Trump and all of his Republican allies in Congress, in addition to Congress continuing with strong oversight of the executive branch’s never-ending controversies.
As American citizens living in all parts of the globe, we in the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus have witnessed first-hand the value of diplomacy, and investment in people and communities compared to the inhumane – and often illegal – Trump agenda. Instead of trying to justify anti-immigration policies as an “emergency,” the next DHS secretary would do well to listen to the unique perspective of Americans living in Mexico who truly understand the issues on both sides of the border.
William Prescott published Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Endorsement for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in Endorsements/Apoyos 2019-04-11 00:30:17 -0400
It is no accident that the North Carolina State Board of Elections has called for a new election to fill a congressional seat in the 9th District. What Republicans in this area immediately east and southeast of Charlotte call “voting irregularities,” we call FRAUD.
While North Carolinians have gotten a wake-up call in recent GOP scandals, Democrats are offering voters a fresh congressional candidate named Dan McCready. Dan honorably served in the Marine Corps, champions the protection of voting rights and strongly opposes any type of voter suppression -- especially among communities of color, and favors comprehensive immigration reform legislation which includes common-sense bipartisan measures such as protecting so-called “Dreamers” from deportation, among other critical issue stances.
The Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee heartily endorses Dan McCready as North Carolina’s next U.S. representative. We strongly urge all NC-09 voters living abroad to request their ballots from VoteFromAbroad.org and support Dan McCready in the 2019 General Election to complete the 2018 Blue Wave.
U.S. House of Representatives
NC-09: Dan McCready (challenger to open seat)
William Prescott published Hispanic Caucus Statement on Trump Nominee for U.S. Ambassador to México in News/Noticias 2019-03-25 15:58:29 -0400
For more than a year, the U.S. embassy in México City has been without an ambassador. On March 18, 2019, the White House eventually nominated Christopher Landau for the important role of United States ambassador to México, praising his law experience such as arguing before the Supreme Court.
Upon review of his overall qualifications, however, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus can conclude that this nominee is far from suitable for fulfilling America’s top diplomat posting to our southern neighbor. Although Mr. Landau does indeed have significant experience practicing law within our nation’s judicial system in addition to working on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, he possesses absolutely no diplomatic experience whatsoever.
Considering the role of U.S. ambassador to México will be a critical role in working with a variety of stakeholders for the next major international trade deal in addition to working for the well-being of American citizens abroad, Mr. Landau plainly lacks the critical diplomatic expertise needed for negotiating on behalf of U.S. interests. For this reason and several others, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus urges all Americans to contact their U.S. senators to strongly oppose the nomination of Christopher Landau as U.S. ambassador to México.
“This is not a serious nomination. Even the State Department’s newest intern has more diplomatic experience than Christopher Landau. Sure, he’s proven himself in court with legal arguments, but I wouldn’t want someone to fly the plane I’m on simply because he or she has professionally driven a race car, so why should the American people trust someone with no diplomatic experience to be their ambassador?
Donald Trump has managed to repeatedly insult Americans of every color; after the protests in Charlottesville he insulted every American veteran who ever fought off Nazis; and now, unsurprisingly, he’s managed to insult Americans residing in México by nominating someone realistically unqualified to fill an ambassadorship to our nation’s third-largest trading partner.” -- Michael Ramos, current chair of the Hispanic Caucus