Global IT Team Member / DPCA Voting Rep / DA Mexico Board Member-at-Large / DA Guadalajara - Board Member-at-Large

I am Geophysicist with interests in the crustal deformation associated with earthquakes and volcanoes, worked for the USGS, was President of the university consortium, UNAVCO, came to Mexico with the Peace Corps, worked for the Comisión Nacional Forestal (CONAFOR) and worked for Trek Medics International. I have a son and grandson in Boston, Massachusetts and a daughter in Berlin, Germany. I have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Mexico.


  • signed up on DC Signup 2023-02-03 11:28:54 -0500

  • rsvped for Medicare - What You Need to Know 2023-02-03 11:28:34 -0500

    Medicare - What You Need to Know

    Medicare and Americans Abroad

    Join us on February 19th for a practical explanation of what Medicare is, how it is funded, to whom it is available and the nature of coverage it does or can include.  Find out what kind of decisions you will have to make – either now or in the future – and how these decisions and programs can significantly impact your future financial and insurance coverage situation.  These decisions are important for people with disabilities and seniors, but knowing what is coming is important for all Americans overseas – whether you plan to stay abroad or move back to the US.

    Our panelists are Democrats Abroad members and Americans living abroad who are working on legislation to better the opportunities of Americans abroad and who will share their knowledge, experience and plans for the future with you. Please note that this panel will give neither financial advice nor expert opinion on individual situations.  The webinar will be recorded, and all the documents presented in this webinar will be sent to anyone who RSVPS for the event.

    RSVP Below!

    Our Panelists:

    Heather Stone, Chair Medicare Medical Portability Task Force
    Philippe Blumenthal, CEO of the Government Savings Institute
    Toni Kamins, Medicare Medical Portability Task Force and Chair of GSC Medicare Part B Committee

    This event is co-hosted by DA's Global Seniors Caucus, Medical Portability Task Force, and Global Disability Caucus.

    LOCATION LOCAL TIME
    Vancouver, CA 5:30 AM
    Washington DC 8:30 AM
    London, UK 1:30 PM
    Berlin, Germany 2:30 PM
    Tel Aviv, IL 3:30 PM
    Nairobi KE 4:30 PM
    Mumbai, IN 7:00 PM
    Beijing, CN 9:30 PM
    Tokyo, JP 10:30 PM



    WHEN
    February 19, 2023 at 8:30am
    43 rsvps rsvp

  • rsvped for DA GDL AGM announcement 2023-01-24 15:14:06 -0500

    DA GDL AGM announcement

    SAVE THE DATE for Guadalajara’s 2023 Annual General Meeting

    Why is your support vital?

    We are electing a new board for this next two-year term and need your vote!

    Saturday, February 25th at 3:00

    Meeting will be held in Colonia Providencia with more information to come but count on having a great afternoon with great food and great people!

    Interested in running for a board position? There is still time. The deadline to announce is February 5th. Email us here if you are interested!

    [email protected]


    RESERVE LA FECHA para la Asamblea General Anual de Guadalajara 2023

    ¿Por qué es vital su apoyo?

    ¡Estamos eligiendo una nueva junta para este próximo período de dos años y necesitamos su voto!

    Sábado, 25 de febrero a las 3:00

    La reunión se llevará a cabo en Colonia Providencia con más información por venir, ¡pero espere tener una gran tarde con excelente comida y gente!

    ¿Interesado en postularse para un puesto en la junta? Todavía hay tiempo. La fecha límite para anunciar es el 5 de febrero. ¡Envíenos un correo electrónico aquí si está interesado!

    [email protected]

    WHEN
    February 25, 2023 at 3:00pm
    9 rsvps rsvp

  • published GSC October 2022 Newsletter in Newsletters 2022-10-25 09:38:55 -0400

    GSC October 2022 Newsletter

    EDITION 8 October 2022

     

    CONTENTS


    Are you ready to WIN in November?

    This month we’ll continue to look at all of the indictments coming from the DOJ in anticipation of the next January 6th Committee hearing, which is scheduled for 28 September, as the lawyers and the Special Master squabble over the documents obtained by the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.

    We’ll also look at the recent wins for Democrats in key primaries, while keeping our fingers crossed for our hopes for Dems taking back the Senate and holding the House in the November election. - Lauren Hakulinen, Editor

    Connect with us
              

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    VOTING NEWS

    Can we flip the Senate? Here again are the Key Senate Races for November 2022

    Mark Kelly - Arizona
    Raphael Warnock - Georgia
    Catherine Cortez Masto - Nevada
    Maggie Hassan - New Hampshire
    John Fetterman - Pennsylvania
    Mandela Barnes - Wisconsin

    10 Actions to take NOW to elect Dems on November 8th!

    Please do one or more of the "10 Things" today, then send this list to 3 friends, and urge them to take action today!

    #1 - request your ballot at Vote From Abroad (VFA)

    #2 - add VFA to your email signature — you can copy & paste this link: Vote From Abroad

    #3 - share VFA & voting info on social media

    #4 - send an alma mater letter to your university

    #5 - phone bank with Dems Abroad. DA is determined to call 100,000 fellow DA members who vote in battleground states in the coming weeks. These calls work!

    #6 - get trained online to help voters (on Intercom). It’s fun. Try it and see.

    #7 - join a State Team — even if your voting state doesn’t have a team

    #8 - adopt a campaign & push on social media

    #9 - help 3 people get ballots & get them to help 3 more get ballots

    #10 – donate to get out the overseas vote

    Polls are beginning to favor Democrats keeping the House and perhaps even regaining the Senate now that people are feeling the key economic factors we mentioned in last month’s newsletter -

    “Inflation is slowing, gas prices keep coming down, and President Biden just signed the most sweeping climate change legislation in history."

    In addition to the voters of Kansas overwhelmingly rejecting an anti-abortion referendum, in Alaska a Democrat won a special election.

    The voters of Kansas overwhelmingly rejected an anti-abortion referendum; in addition, a Democrat in Alaska won a special election.

    Democrats have a narrow lead are showing a narrow lead in the latest polling data from a number of sources — including this one from Daily Kos. We’ve also checked 538 and 270 to Win.

    And yet, we must keep fighting with all we’ve got. This alarming headline is why:

    Election Deniers Are Gearing Up to Take Office

    Republicans who claim the 2020 election was rigged are on the ballot for 60 percent of the electorate. Their influence on future elections could be devastating.

    Less than two months out from the 2022 midterm balloting, the national commentariat remains fixated on how the balance of power between the two major parties will shift, and how the ensuing convulsions will play out over the rest, remainder of Joe Biden’s term in office. But a far more ominous power shift already took place at the outset of this year’s election cycle. As FiveThirtyEight reports, ….. Read more

    Get ready for November!

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    MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY

    HR.82, the "Social Security Fairness Act" by IL Rep. Rodney Davis, which would fully repeal the unfair Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), is scheduled for a mark-up by the House Ways & Means

    Committee on Tuesday, September 20 at 10am ET. You can watch the livestream here.

    This session will allow legislators to discuss & make changes to HR 82. Of particular concern to foreign pensioners about this mark-up is the fact that the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, Richard Neal (D-MA), who will preside, has his own WEP relief bill that he's promoting, HR.2337. Neal specifically excludes foreign pensioners who are not receiving totalized benefits from any WEP relief in his bill. We are watching the mark-up with concern that Chairman Neal may try to incorporate aspects of his bill, i.e., the exclusion of foreign pensioners, when HR.82 is marked up.

    Another bill, HR.5723, "Social Security 2100" by Rep. John Larson (D-CT), is also due to go into mark-up soon. It offers a 5-year suspension of the WEP. Both bills would provide a full WEP repeal for all foreign pension recipients; the difference is that HR.5723 would only be in effect for 5 years, while HR.82’s repeal would be permanent.

    We are in a historic position right now with unprecedented support for the repeal of the unfair WEP. We have never seen a WEP bill reach the House floor before. Tune in to the livestream of the House Ways & Means Committee mark-up of HR.82 on Tues. to see it happen!

    Our Medicare FAQs page

    Special thanks go out again to Diane Daniel and Toni Kamins for researching and writing the new FAQs page for our Seniors Caucus website, and to the WEP committee for their hard work on this issue. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions.

    Are you or a loved one receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to? If you or someone you know is struggling, counseling expertise is available. Try it now.

    Keep Writing — it’s working!

    You can find out more information about what our caucus is doing and how you can help repeal WEP from these resources:

    TOP


    JUST POLITICS

    PoliticsGirl talks gun reform with Shannon Watts, founder of Mom’s Demand Action

    Listen in for some interesting perspectives, updates and what to do about the American gun culture.

    Defending and Expanding the Senate - Interview with Ambassador Suzi G. Levine

    Ambassador Suzi G. LeVine joined Leedonal Moore for an insightful and empowering conversation on what we, as Democrats Abroad, can do to save our democracy.

    Recorded on July 16, 2022 …

    Martha's Vineyard migrant flight may have been illegal as well as inhumane

    The 50 Venezuelan migrants who were flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard will be taken to Joint Base Cape Cod. Many were in need of hospitalization.

    They were induced to board the planes with "representations of work assistance and immigration relief in Boston," the Lawyers for Civil Rights group said in a news release.

    "This cowardly political stunt has placed our clients in peril," the Lawyers for Civil Rights group said in a news release Friday. "Some now have immigration hearings as early as Monday, thousands of miles away." Read more

    The Man at the Center of the New Cyber World War

    Ukraine has long been Russia’s cyberwarfare sandbox, a proving ground for the Kremlin to test out new techniques and new malware viruses. Since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of the country on Feb. 24, Ukraine has seen those attacks increase threefold, according to Ukrainian officials — hitting everything from civilian and military agencies to communications and energy infrastructure. Read more

    Five Things Democrats Can Do about the Supreme Court

    Tough decisions lie ahead, especially if things don’t go well this November. Here are five steps Democrats can take to prevent further damage. Read more

    The Conservative Takeover of the Southern Baptists and Jared Kushner’s New Book

    On this week’s episode of Start Making Sense, Sarah Posner explains how the Baptists became conservative, and Amy Wilentz comments on Jared’s White House memoir. The transformation of the Southern Baptist Convention into a powerful right-wing political force has developed over the last 50 years. Before 1973, when abortion became a constitutional right, the Southern Baptists did not have a political position on abortion. Then came what they call the "conservative resurgence" — we call it the "fundamentalist takeover." Sarah Posner explains that history in her book “Unholy: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, and the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind,” which is out now in paperback. Listen to both podcasts.

    Under subpoena, Meadows turned over tranche of Jan. 6 records to the DOJ

    Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows — who is still under investigation by the state of North Carolina for possible voter fraud — has complied with a subpoena tied to the Justice Department’s sprawling probe of the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

    Important to note, however, is that this recent bout of cooperation has apparently not precluded Meadows from keeping close to Trump or doing his bidding. He’s currently joined a lawsuit with former Trump adviser Stephen Miller targeting county officials in Pennsylvania over the use of ballot drop boxes. They, and the America First Legal Foundation, are citing issues with vote integrity in the state. Read more

    Call Them Out: Corporations Funding Jan. 6 Pro-Insurrection

    In American politics, money is power. Elected leaders often make decisions based on how much it will raise for them — or how much it will cost them. Too often what’s best for the country never even enters their minds. The same is true for corporate America, which turns its wealth into political power by giving massive amounts of money to empower political candidates. Read more

    That’s why it’s so disturbing that corporate America is aiding and abetting the insurrectionists who are a threat to our democracy. And how was it okay to default on PPP loans — which amounts to corporate welfare?

    On the heels of the January 6 insurrection, corporate PACs appeared to register the dangerous moment democracy faced and pledged to suspend donations to the Sedition Caucus — the 147 GOP members of Congress who objected to the certification of the 2020 presidential election and helped fuel the Big Lie.

    But since then, many of those same corporations — including American Express, Toyota, Walgreens, UPS, Lockheed Martin, Home Depot, AT&T, Marathon Petroleum, Valero Energy, and Publix — have abandoned their pledges or resumed supporting the Sedition Caucus. Read more

    We must get big money out of politics for good. Consider signing this petition to demand that these corporations stop funding pro-insurrectionist members of Congress.

    TOP


    Tech Corner

    We can all fall prey to spam emails. I nearly did this week — then I looked closely at the email return address: [email protected] That is exactly what would have happened to my computer had I clicked on any of the links in the email. It would have been toast! Here are some red flags to watch out for:

    • Never give personal info
    • Never give out your home or work address, phone number, date of birth
    • Never give out any bank information. Your bank never contacts you via email.

    TOP


    CHAIR'S CORNER

    This comes with a friendly but urgent request for All Seniors in Democrats Abroad to vote in the upcoming election. There are 9 million Americans abroad and our votes can make the difference, but sometimes Americans abroad are stymied by the process. Please defend Democracy. Please VOTE. Request your absentee ballot at VoteFromAbroad.

    American law does not require citizens to vote, but voting is a particularly important part of any democracy. By voting, citizens are participating in the democratic process. Citizens vote for leaders to represent them and their ideas, and the leaders support the citizens' interests. As Seniors, we surely need these kinds of leaders. The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching. These elections hold tremendous importance, and the results will impact every American. That’s why it’s essential to vote. We need to protect democracy, Social Security, women’s reproductive rights, Medicare and to move to eliminate WEP.

    I was looking around online for voting information and found this helpful California site, AltaMed, which published five reasons why we should vote:

    1. Elections have consequences. Every vote matters.

    You have the power to make key decisions on the quality of life you want for yourself, your family, and your community. Voting is your chance to stand up for the issues you care about, like affordable housing, economic justice, environmental protection, and quality education. While Presidential or other national elections draw significant attention, midterm and local elections typically see less voter turnout…. Low turnout means that important local issues are determined by a limited group of voters, making a single vote even more statistically meaningful. While certain propositions may be popular, and therefore seem like a sure thing, they can fail if people stay home.

    2. It’s your right. Not voting is giving up your voice.

    Today, most American citizens over the age of 18 are entitled to vote in federal and state elections, but voting was not always a right for all Americans. Because the Constitution did not specifically say who could vote, this question was left to the states in the 1800s. While voting is no longer explicitly excluded for some citizens, voter suppression is a problem in many parts of the country. It was not until the 15th Amendment was passed in 1869 that Black men were allowed to vote. But even so, many would-be voters faced measures meant to discourage them from exercising that right. This would continue until the 24th Amendment in 1964, which eliminated the poll tax, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which ended Jim Crow laws. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920, when the efforts of the women’s suffrage movement finally resulted in the 19th Amendment. Later, in 1971, the American voting age was lowered to 18, building on the idea that if a person was old enough to serve their country in the military, they should be allowed to vote. It took many years of marching, protesting, and fighting for all of us to have the right to vote. Use your right. Exert your power.

    3. It's your money.

    Do you want to make a positive impact in your community? Voting gives you that chance! There are many social issues affected by elections, including (but not limited to) gay marriage, reproductive rights, environmental issues, and public education. Social issues affect everyone in one way or another. To have a say in who gets to determine social agendas, it’s essential to vote.

    5. The community depends on you!

    Our communities are made up of family, friends, loved ones, neighbors, and children. Some may not know how important voting is, while others cannot vote. Make the decision to vote to be a voice for yourself and those around you.

    Make sure your voice is heard – your vote is your health.

    Thanks to fellow US Senior citizens around the globe.

    PS - Remember to Write and call your Members of Congress to ask them to help repeal WEP.

    Betsy Ettore

    Chair, Global Seniors Caucus

    TOP


    EVENTS

    Friday, 30 September: Casual Social

    Everyone is very welcome to join the Seniors and Disability Caucus monthly chats via Zoom from 9am to 12 noon Eastern Time (US & Canada). RSVP to get your local time and add to your calendar.

    Meet the Candidate events

    Our State Teams are putting together very interesting events in September and October. Check this Events page for one near you!

    1 & 2 October: Oktoberfest Extravaganza in Munich!

    SOLD OUT!!! Better luck next year!

    TOP


    STATE TEAMS — ARE WORKING!

    Last month our New Jersey and Massachusetts State Teams made an impact on state voting rights. NJ regained the right to vote in down-ballot races (for state and local offices) for overseas voters, while MA voters overseas can now return their ballots ONLINE.

    This month the Maryland state team is forming. These are significant achievements because, as we’ve seen ourselves, voting from overseas can be vastly improved, and just a few votes in any race can put a Democrat in office.

    ➔ Join the State Team Slack group to get the meeting links, or email us
    ➔ Join your Voting State group on Facebook

    TOP


    IN SEARCH OF VOLUNTEERS...

    Volunteers are the backbone of our organization.

    The Global Senior Caucus is looking for aa "Tweeter" - someone who loves to post on Twitter. We are also in need of an Events Coordinator and two other Steering Committee members. Visit our website for details on our volunteer opportunities.

    The Global Black Caucus is searching to fill more positions. Get in touch here.

    The Global Communications Team is also looking for volunteers as they ramp up for the midterms! Do you have a communications background and are interested in helping? If so, please fill out the Global Communications Team Interest Form.

    TOP


    THIS MONTH IN U.S. HISTORY

    Saturday, October 1 is INTERNATIONAL OLDER PERSONS DAY!

    What, Who, Me??? Yes, we have arrived. And that’s okay because we have each other to lean on and learn from. This year the United Nations theme is: The Resilience and Contributions of Older Women.

    Important dates in U.S. history are listed here for October.

    TOP


    Final Thoughts

    30 Things Donald Trump Did as President You Might Have Missed

    This article summarizes the previous administration — the good (yes, there is some!), the bad, and the ugly — and is a good reminder of what we lived through, and although he’s still making appearances and menacing the election, we can appreciate how much the Biden Administration has done, and how much better we feel.

    My wish list for 2023

    Daily Kos puts out a lot of petitions which are listed below. To read or sign them, click on the text to open. Daily Kos will ask for your email address. I’ve probably signed them all.

      • Sign the petition to corporations: Keep your pledge. Stop donations to insurrectionistsSign the petition: Major networks must televise the final January 6 committee hearings during prime-timeSign the petition: The Jan. 6 committee is doing critical work. They must keep going.

    • Sign the petition: Expel members of Congress who supported the Jan. 6 insurrection
    • Sign the petition: Elect the president by national popular vote
    • Sign the petition: Justice Clarence Thomas must resign
    • Sign the petition: Trump attempted a coup on January 6. He will try again.
    • Sign and send a petition to the Senate: Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Pass the DISCLOSE Act.
    • Sign the petition: Stop Manchin's Dirty Deal
    • Sign and send the petition to Congress: Defund ICE and CBP.
    • Sign and send the petition to your U.S. senators and representative: Cap insulin prices – save lives!
    • Sign now: Impeach Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh for lying under oath
    • Tell Congress: Make college without debt a reality. Pass free college for all.

    Margaret Atwood on Envy and Friendship in Old Age

    The author of The Handmaid’s Tale read my story about losing friends in midlife. She had some thoughts. By Jennifer Senior

    This is what Margaret Atwood wrote to me on February 9, about 14 hours after I’d tweeted an essay [in The Atlantic that] I’d just completed about the heartache and complexity of friendships in midlife. Weirdly, no one else had made this observation. Atwood is 82.

    How? I asked.

    How?

    How?

    Her reply: Your old enemies may become pals because there’s only the two of youse left who can remember the Dark Ages before there were computers. :D Or pantyhose. :D :D Or plastic bags. :D :D :D

    See the whole conversation on Twitter

    TOP


    TOP


  • The 5 Warning Signs

    Republicans Threaten Social Security and Medicare 

    Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of security for seniors, people on disabilities and families. Social Security provides guaranteed, inflation-adjusted earned benefits. Medicare provides assured access to care. Together, they are part of our national fabric. 

    Yet, their future and our well-being are in danger from Republican candidates with plans to cut benefits, raise costs and even eliminate Social Security and Medicare altogether. Here are 5 warning signs about what could happen to our financial and health security if Republicans take control of Congress: higher costs, fewer benefits, greater risk. 

    Warning #1: Every Republican in Congress voted against lowering prescription drug prices. 

     

    Read more

  • Call to Action

    Discharge Petition 

     

    Below you will find an EMAIL and a CALL script to use to contact your House Representative asking them to Sign the Discharge Petition to allow a House vote for HR.82. 

    To contact your Representative, follow these steps:

    1. Click here and enter the zip code where you last lived in the U.S. It will then display your Representative.
    2. Check here for the House to see if your Representative has already co-sponsored the bill.
    3. Customize the scripts below to email or call (better yet, do both!) to ask them to sign the Discharge Petition to allow a House vote for HR.82. 
    4. Email [email protected] and say “Discharge Petition DONE" in the subject line to let us know that you contacted your Representative.
    5. Optional: If they have already co-sponsored, write or call to thank them for their support! See that script below. 

     

    Email

    Subject line:  Need your support to repeal Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)

    Dear Senator (Congressperson) _________,

    I am respectfully asking for your committed support in passing H.R. 82 — the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021. The House is being blocked from voting on HR.82. I would like you to sign the Discharge Petition filed by Rodney Davis (IL) to allow the House to vote on HR.82.

    My name is_________, I am a U.S. citizen who lives in (Country of Residence) and I vote in your district in (U.S. town and state you vote).  My Social Security benefits earned from my prior work history in the United States are being/will be unfairly reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision or WEP by the Social Security Amendments of 1983. 

    As I am sure you are aware, WEP applies to most people who receive both a pension from non-covered work (including certain foreign pensions) and Social Security benefits based on fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings in SS covered employment or self-employment.

    • Many retired Americans who live, or once lived abroad, have paid into Social Security. But they do not receive their full benefits or fair share of them from Social Security when they retire.
    • WEP was meant to eliminate the advantage some workers received from overlapping full-retirement pensions supplemented by partial Social Security-covered employment. This is not the case with many people affected by WEP. 
    • Also, some beneficiaries only learn of WEP after they have retired, and the reduced benefits substantially affect their and their family’s financial standing in later years.
    • I am (will be) personally affected by these deductions (describe in what way), so this issue an important voting consideration for me when I vote by absentee ballot.

    The problem that WEP was meant to resolve didn’t consider, in a fair and equitable way, the impact on overseas retirees. I ask for your support in finding a fair solution for all.

    I hope that you can assure me that these bills will reach the floor for vote in this legislative session.  Please commit and give your urgent support in helping to pass HR.82 Social Security Fairness Act.

    Respectfully,

    (name of sender)

    Voter in (Name your town again)  

    If your Representative or Senator has already committed to supporting H.R. 82 thank them for their support.

     

    Call 

    Script to use to urge your House Representative to sign the Discharge Petition to allow a vote on HR.82 — the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021

    Hello, I am a constituent who votes in [CITY/TOWN, STATE], but I am currently residing in and calling from [CITY, COUNTRY].  I was hoping to speak to the Senator/Representative or their staffer about the repeal of the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) that impacts your constituents like me who live outside the United States.

    I am calling to ask Representative _____ to sign the Discharge Petition to allow a vote in the House on HR.82. 

    [Personalize your message using ideas from this script]

    I am an ordinary US citizen.  I moved to [Country] to [be with my partner/family/to take a job/other].  I am not wealthy. The complexity of investing for retirement due to double taxation of mutual funds and the unwillingness of banks in and outside the U.S. allowing pre-retirees to hold accounts and contribute to new investments, has left my pension funds lacking.

    Most of the urgent need for WEP repeal has been focused on and sympathizing with retired public servants and teachers at home, even with their prior knowledge about WEP deductions on their future Social Security because of their non-covered pensions. 

    But Americans living abroad often have worked at least part of their careers within the U.S. contributing to Social Security. Later, we entered the confusing and complicated environment of preparing for retirement while living abroad.

    WEP applies to most people who receive both a pension from non-covered work (including certain foreign pensions) and Social Security benefits based on fewer than 30 years of substantial covered employment or self-employment earnings.  Spousal Social Security benefits are also unfairly eliminated due to WEP, making my family’s long-term financial stability more worrying.

    The rules for WEP and the calculation for the deduction are complicated.  This leaves many retirees in the dark until they get the bad news that their paid-for benefits are being cut. Adding to this, the complexity of the Foreign Equalization Treaties and taxation of passive investing income affecting U.S. citizens abroad hinders us from properly preparing for our retirement.  Sometimes we can not even open a retirement account inside or outside the States for various reasons.

    The current WEP law is punishing and unfair.  Can we expect to see the congress(wo)man endorse H.R.82 Social Security Fairness act of 2021?

    I am (will be) personally affected by these WEP deductions, so this issue an important voting consideration for me, when I vote by absentee ballot. I hope that you can assure me that these bills will reach the floor for vote in this legislative session because American retirees living abroad are counting on you.

    Thank you for your time listening to my concerns.



    If your rep supports these bills:  I want to thank the Congress(wo)man for promising to support H.R. 82/S.1302 Social Security Fairness act of 2021.  I/My family relies on the security that my previously paid-in contributions provide for a secure future in my retired years.

    If your rep does not support these bills:  I was incredibly disappointed to see that Congress(wo)man_____ has not committed to supporting H.R. 82/S.1302 Social Security Fairness Act of 2021, which would provide more fairness to the Social Security program and security for retired senior constituents in our district. 

     


  • published Donate MX October Online Challenge in Costa Banderas 2022-10-10 18:50:30 -0400

  • published About Us in Global Seniors Caucus 2022-09-24 12:09:22 -0400

    About Us

    The Democrats Abroad Global Senior Caucus is made up of DA members of all ages from around the world who are willing and able to advocate on issues important to Senior Americans (i.e. retired and +65 persons) within the United States of America and those living abroad. All DA members are eligible to join the GSC and we encourage members of all ages to join.

    In 1997, the National Democratic Seniors Coordinating Council (NDSCC) was created as an official body of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The main purpose of the NDSCC was “to give older Democrats a voice within the DNC, to make use of their experience and expertise on issues such as Social Security and Medicare, to acknowledge their life-long dedication to Democratic Party ideas, and to mobilize older Democratic voters in election campaigns.” The NDSCC is made up of older Democrats from around the United States who want to be active in the national DNC, and in their state parties. These Senior activists come from a variety of backgrounds, and participate in many organizations at the national and local levels, including labor unions, senior citizen organizations and community groups.

    The DA Global Seniors Caucus (GSC) mirrors the NDSCC’s commitment to all DA members to better understand the issues and concerns affecting all Seniors living and home and abroad. Our purpose is to provide a forum for all DA members not only to better understand the issues and concerns affecting American Seniors, but also and most importantly, to empower and encourage Senior Americans living abroad to exercise their voting franchise rights.

    The Seniors Caucus supports the goals and ideals of the Democratic Party and Democrats Abroad, and encourages all members of Democrats Abroad and other U.S. voters at home and abroad to support the well-being of Senior citizens, and monitor the actions of other relevant organizations that support issues or legislation affecting Senior Americans. We advocate for laws, policies, and programs that improve the lives of Senior Americans, and educate all people on the experiences of Seniors.

    Our Mission

    • To support the goals and ideals of the Democratic Party and Democrats Abroad;
    • To maximize the participation of Seniors living abroad in U.S. elections;
    • To advocate on issues of concern to Seniors, especially Seniors living abroad;
    • To be a voice for U.S. citizens living abroad;
    • To support campaigns of Democratic candidates aligned with the interests of Seniors;
    • To work with other teams, task forces and Caucuses within DA to further our joint goals.

    Chair [email protected]
    Newsletter Editor [email protected]

     

    Members of the Steering Committee
    Chair Betsy Ettorre (Finland)
    Vice Chair Jim Dobson (Finland)
    Secretary Lois Floyd (Panama)
    IT Will Prescott (Mexico)
    GOTV (Get Out The Vote) Jim Mercerau (Spain)
    Legislation and WEP Brendan Read (France)
    Medicare Part B Toni Kamins (France)
    Communications, Social Media, Newsletter Lauren Hakulinen (France)
      Eric Jackson (Panama)
    Member/Volunteers Recruitment Tilly Gaillard (France)
      Dan Smith (Israel)
    Member-at-Large Karen Lee (Greece)
    Member-at-Large Melanie Gardner (Canada)
    Member-at-Large Robert Scott (Germany)
    Member (ex-officio) Candice Kerestan Chair, Democrats Abroad (Germany)
      Katie Solon, DNC, DA Member (Germany) 

  • published DA Mexico 2023 AGM in Events/Eventos 2022-11-15 19:54:48 -0500

    DA Mexico 2023 AGM—Buy Tickets Now

      Coming Together to Protect Democracy

    • You’re invited—in fact, every Democrats Abroad Mexico member is. :-)

    • EXTENDED! Buy your tickets by February 1, 2023and save!

    • Mark your calendar now for our Annual General Meeting (AGM): March 17–19.

    Add to your Calendar

    We made tremendous progress in 2022! But the fight goes on to Protect Democracy.
    So 
    let’s come together in magnificent Mexico City—and deliver even stronger results this year and in 2024!

    Scroll to bottom of this page—and buy your AGM tickets now!


    Speaker Preview: Former Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual, DA America's Katie Solon and Social Media Guru John Sinton.

    Preview! What You´ll Experience 

    At our DAMX Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2023, experience both
    Inspiring & Practical solutions for this year and beyond
    from a great mix of speakers covering:

    Growing Membership in 2023: Paving the way for GOTV 2024
    Working Smarter, Not Harder Volunteer Strategies
    Bi-Nationals (Dual Citizens) & Youth Game Plans

    PLUS: Fundraising, Event Planning, Communications and more.


    When and Where Highlights

    All our AGM 2023 events will be held at the Marquis Reforma Hotel & Spa in the heart of Mexico City.
    More hotel details below. Watch for the complete schedule later in January.


    EXTENDED: Buy Your AGM Tickets by Feb. 1—and Save!

    Scroll to bottom of this page—and buy your AGM tickets now.

    Registration also includes a welcome reception drink and hors d'oeuvres; coffee service and lunch on Saturday.
    The DA business meeting on Sunday, March 19 at 9:30 am is free to all members—but we appreciate attendees making a donation to help cover the costs of the venue.

    AGM 2023 Purchaser rules: The purchaser of AGM tickets must by law be a U.S. CITIZEN. Democrats Abroad members and anyone interested in learning more about and joining Democrats Abroad Mexico are welcome to attend.

    Watch for details to come about • Saturday, March 18 fundraiser & dinner. • Silent Auction
    • Raffle Tickets (you can buy now—just scroll to bottom of this page)


    Hotel Amenities + Costs


    Enjoy AGM 2023 at the gorgeous Marquis Reforma Hotel & Spa—on the spectacular Paseo de la Reforma in the heart of restaurants and shopping in Mexico City.

    • Recognized for its service excellence, Marquis Reforma provides guests with fabulous views and access to a full range of amenities, including American breakfast, fitness center, Wi-Fi, 24/7 room service, open-air pool and more. L’Occitane amenities. Of course, complete spa services are also available.
    • Rooms start at $165 usd plus taxes (special AGM rate) for king bed per night. 

    Book Hotel Now

    • You can cancel up to 48 hours before AGM 2023 at no charge.
    • Rooms are limited, so we encourage you to reserve your rooms now or early on. The offer is good until March 15, 2023.
    • Check-in 3:00 pm, Check-out 12:00 noon.
    • The hotel will honor the same price for up to 2 nights both before and after AGM 2023 dates. Come and stay longer and enjoy Mexico City! They will also accommodate a third or fourth person in a double room at $40 USD plus 16% VAT & 3% lodging tax per night/per person. This price includes breakfast.
    • Accessibility is very important to us. The hotel is fully equipped to welcome clients with impairments, including mobility, hearing, sight, learning disabilities, or any other hidden impairment. A ramp is available at the entrance. To arrange any assistance, contact Reservations at phone number below. Mention you are part of DAMX AGM for group rate.

    To contact the hotel by phone: +52 (55) 5229-1200.


    Fall in Love with Mexico City

    Stay a few extra days! Mexico City (CDMX) is one of the liveliest and most important cities in the world. It connects contemporary life with ancient history back to the Aztecs! World-class art, culinary and cultural experiences await you. The murals at the Museo de Palacio de Bellas Artes. Plus Ballet Folklórico de México, the incredible Museo Nacional de Antropología and Chapultepec Castle and tons more.

    And don’t miss the many open-air art and photography exhibitions and more on Paseo de la Reforma near the Marquis Reforma—including the world-famous Monumento a la Independencia.

    If you subscribe to New York Times, see their 36 Hours series Mexico City recommendations HERE!

     

    About the Monumento a la Independencia, our AGM 2023 symbol:

    One of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City, it has become an

    Inspiring focal point for both celebration and protest. Also called La Angel.


    Note: The Business Meeting on Saturday morning is free to attend.
    For many attendees, the meeting will wrap up Saturday evening.
    However, on Sunday morning, there will be events for new and continuing DA Leaders. See you there!

    WHEN
    March 17, 2023 at 3:00pm - March 19, 2023 at 12:00pm
    WHERE
    Hotel Marquis Reforma
    Paseo de la Reforma 465
    Col. Cuauhtemoc
    Ciudad de Mexico, CDMX 06500
    Mexico
    Google map and directions
    $2.50 USD · 108 rsvps rsvp

  • published Donate MX Costa Banderas in Costa Banderas 2022-08-24 20:32:36 -0400

  • published GSC 2022 September Newsletter in Newsletters 2022-08-24 13:06:50 -0400

    GSC 2022 September Newsletter

    EDITION 7 September 2022

     

    CONTENTS


    We’re back! How was your vacation, and are you ready to WIN in November?

    This month we’ll take a look at the explosion of news coming from the January 6th Committee, the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, and what it might mean for the November election.

    Connect with us
              

    TOP


    VOTING NEWS

    Our New Jersey and Massachusetts State Teams have made an impact on voting rights in their respective states. Nearly 200,000 overseas voters from NJ regained their right to vote in down-ballot races (for state and local offices); while overseas MA voters can now return their ballots ONLINE. These are significant achievements because, as we’ve seen ourselves, just a few votes in any race can put a Democrat in office.

    “Not only do we help win elections, we protect and expand the voting rights of our members. This work will be a key part of our work in 2023.” ~ Candice Kerestan

    The Inflation Reduction Act

    This is the beginning of the end of Big Pharma’s iron grip on Washington. The Inflation Reduction Act is a critical step toward lower drug prices. It will ensure that Medicare beneficiaries pay no more than $2,000 a year for prescription drugs. It will stop pharmaceutical corporations from raising the prices they charge Medicare for drugs faster than the rate of inflation. At long last, it will give Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices on key prescription drugs.

    With the passage of the IRA, the U.S. government now has the legal ability to determine a "fair price” for prescription drugs. While that ability is currently limited to a few key medications, it can and should be expanded in the future.

    Senate News —

    In the past couple of weeks alone, our Senate pro-science majority has:

    – PASSED the most ambitious climate bill ever signed into law in U.S. history
    – PASSED the first major gun safety bill in three decades
    – PASSED a landmark bill to reduce inflation and drive down prescription drug costs
    – PASSED the largest investment in domestic computer chip and semiconductor production in U.S. history
    – PASSED the largest bill designed to aid and provide treatment for Veterans exposed to toxins and burn pits during their time in service
    – CONFIRMED dozens of Federal judges (nearly 100 since Joe Biden was elected!) who are pro-choice, pro-climate, and share our progressive and democratic values.

    But if we lose a SINGLE Democratic Senate seat in November, we lose control of the Senate. Then Mitch McConnell and Republicans will sweep back into power and they will block the remainder of Joe Biden’s Presidency and will bring our progress to a screeching halt. They also plan to advance a 50-state abortion ban.

    Can we flip the Senate?
    Key Senate Races for November 2022

    Mark Kelly - Arizona
    Raphael Warnock - Georgia
    Catherine Cortez Masto - Nevada
    Maggie Hassan - New Hampshire
    John Fetterman - Pennsylvania
    Mandela Barnes - Wisconsin

    Popular thinking is that Democrats are about to get their clock cleaned in November — media outlets have been pushing the "red wave" narrative for months already.

    But here's the thing: Inflation is slowing, gas prices keep coming down, and President Biden just signed the most sweeping climate change legislation in history. It feels like the tide is turning, and it's starting to have a major impact on the election that's just over two months away:

    • The backlash to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade caused an anti-abortion referendum to go down in  overwhelming defeat in deep red Kansas
    • Democrats  have a narrow lead in generic congressional ballot polling, a key indicator for House elections nationwide
    • Republicans have  cut back $13 million in spending in four major swing states as they struggle with fundraising
    • Polls show Senate Democratic challengers taking leads in not  one, not  two, but  three Republican-held seats, which could be a huge boost to Dems' Senate majority
    • The Senate GOP's biggest super PAC is dumping  $28 million into Ohio—a state that has trended sharply Republican in recent years and was considered a long shot for Dems until recently.

    Source: Daily Kos

    Every single Democrat voted "yes," and every single Republican voted "no." Now, imagine what could happen next year if the Republicans regain a majority in Congress.

    Get ready for November!

    TOP


    MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY

    In case you missed our August newsletter announcements, here they are again.

    Our GSC Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) committee teamed up with a group in the U.S. that has been working to get HR.82 - Social Security Fairness Act of 2021 passed. The team made calls to Congress, urging them to sign on as co-sponsors on HR.82 — and it worked! HR.82 now has 292 co-sponsors, and on July 15th, a motion to place the bill on the Consensus Calendar was filed. Next step: the House will vote on it. We will continue to update you on our next steps.

    Announcing our new Medicare FAQs page!

    Special thanks go out to Diane Daniel and Toni Kamins for researching and writing our new FAQs page for our Seniors Caucus website, and to the WEP committee for their hard work on this issue. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions.

    Help with Medicare Costs: What you need to know

    Low-income Americans on Medicare can get assistance paying their premiums and other expenses. Several states have allowed more people to qualify. Read more

    Medicare Rights Center Helpline

    Are you or a loved one receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to? If you or someone you know is struggling, counseling expertise is available. Try it now.

    We welcome the overwhelming Congressional support of the Social Security Fairness Act to provide relief for Americans abroad negatively impacted by the WEP. This is a major step to address one of the many inequalities that Americans abroad experience, to recognize the disproportionate unfairness, especially for seniors who can be particularly financially vulnerable as they retire and age. The bill has achieved bi-partisan support and will provide a fair calculation for those that paid into Social Security and deserve to receive a fair amount in retirement.

    Find Out More

    You can find out more information about what our caucus is doing and how you can help repeal WEP from these resources:

    TOP


    FRAUD corner

    This section could fill our entire newsletter this month with news reports from the January 6th Commission and the Mar-a-Lago raid in which 42 boxes of classified documents were found. The irony of the finding from the raid is that they were looking for Russiagate documents, and found a whole lot more.

    The Fraud Effect

    In June of this year, seven weeks before the FBI raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in search of classified materials, former Defense Department appointee and outspoken Trump loyalist Kash Patel vowed to retrieve classified documents from the National Archives and publish them on his website. Read on

    Lachlan Murdoch is Awfully Defensive About the Implication Fox News Helped Incite Jan. 6

    The Fox Corp. boss is threatening legal action over what he claims is a "defamatory" article suggesting his family bears responsibility for the Jan. 6 attack. Speaking of defamatory, an election technology company’s $1.6 billion libel case against Fox appears to be ramping up. Read on

    What Allen Weisselberg’s Guilty Plea means for Trump

    ALLEN WEISSELBERG, the Trump Organization’s former finance chief, has now confessed, which is the latest and largest development in New York State’s multiyear investigation into the company headed by the former president.

    Weisselberg pleaded guilty to 15 counts related to tax fraud and will serve five months in prison followed by five years of probation. He will also pay almost $2 million in back taxes and penalties. 

    As part of Weisselberg’s plea deal, he has agreed to testify against The Trump Corporation and the Trump Payroll Corporation at trial, which is scheduled for October. Read on

    Fox News Poll: A record 65 percent favor keeping Roe v. Wade

    Two-thirds of voters want to keep the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion decision Roe v. Wade in place, according to a new Fox News survey released Thursday.

    This comes as the court prepares for its new term, including hearing a case in December concerning a Mississippi abortion law that will challenge the landmark ruling

    There is and will be much more to report on, all of which affects senior voters, but we found this one to be especially horrific.

    Two Pennsylvania judges ordered to pay $200m to kids-for-cash scandal victims

    In Pennsylvania 2 judges were ordered to pay $200 million to hundreds of families of kids they victimized by sending them to for-profit jails in exchange for kickbacks. This from the “family values” party! Read more

    TOP


    Events

    Our GSC monthly coffee chats will continue via Zoom on the following dates:

    Friday 30 September from 9am to 12 noon Eastern Time (US & Canada).

    RSVP to get your local time and add to your calendar.

    1 & 2 October - Oktoberfest Extravaganza in Munich! After a two-year break, Oktoberfest is back on. If you’re in Europe you won’t want to miss this annual event. Tickets are $85 and include lunch, beer, a reserved seat, and a 10 euro coupon. Meet DA members and enjoy Munich.

    Meet the Candidate events Our DA State Teams are putting together very interesting events in September and October. There is something for everyone at Democrats Abroad.

    TOP


    CHAIR'S CORNER

    I hope you all have had a relaxing summer wherever you are in the world. In some ways, it has been a hair-raising summer. There is the Department of Justice’s seizure of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago; the success of pro–Trump primary candidates including Liz Cheney’s Wyoming primary defeat; the riveting hearings of the January 6th House Select Committee; Rudy Giuliani identified as a target in the Georgia election probe along with Lindsey Graham’s inability to duck a subpoena in the same probe, etc. Perhaps, it will go on and on until the DOJ indicts our former president.

    Let us be hopeful and encouraged by the advancement of the Social Security Fairness Act which would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Hopefully, you all received Candice’s and my email on August 11 noting this as I am aware that some of you have reduced benefits which affect your financial standing. Remember to Write and call your Members of Congress to ask them to help repeal WEP.

    I would like you to know that on August 1st, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC Chair of the Seniors Council, Steve Regenstreif, released a statement marking the 57th anniversary of the signing of legislation that established Medicare and Medicaid. They say: “Fifty-seven years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation that established Medicare and Medicaid. As a result, millions of seniors and low-income Americans finally got the health care they needed. Since then, these programs have provided millions of Americans dignity and peace of mind — knowing affordable, quality health care is within reach...”

    Also, on August 15th DNC Chair Jaime Harrison and DNC Senior Council Chair Steve Regenstreif issued the following statement marking the 87th anniversary of the signing of legislation that established Social Security: “Eighty-seven years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation that established Social Security. In the years since, this program has kept millions of seniors, children, people with disabilities, and low-income Americans out of poverty. It is one of our nation’s greatest achievements.

    The GOP’s plan to cut Social Security — which goes hand-in-hand with their proposals to cut Medicare and threaten our health care, and their opposition to lowering costs for families — is proof that every step of the way, Republicans side with the special interests and push an extreme MAGA agenda that costs the American people.

    While Republicans would put Social Security on the chopping block, Democrats will always fight to protect it. We will work to improve the benefits it provides and build on the legacy of this essential government program. We know that Social Security is too important to millions of Americans to do anything else.”

    Have a good rest of the summer!

    TOP


    STATE TEAMS — ARE WORKING!

    Already our New Jersey and Massachusetts State Teams have made an impact on state voting rights. NJ regained the right to vote in down ballot races (for state and local offices) for overseas voters; while MA voters overseas can now return their ballots ONLINE. These are significant achievements because, as we’ve seen ourselves, just a few votes in any race can put a Democrat in office.

    ➔ Join the State Team Slack group to get the meeting links, or email us
    ➔ Join your Voting State group on Facebook

    TOP


    IN SEARCH OF VOLUNTEERS...

    It is that time of year — GOTV time!

    We are gearing up now for DA’s GOTV drive through October. We need phone bankers — the backbone of our organization. Training is underway — sign up today!

    The Global Communications Team is also looking for volunteers as they ramp up for the midterms! Do you have a communications background and are interested in helping? If so, please fill out the Global Communications Team Interest Form.

    The Global Senior Caucus is looking for an Events Coordinator and two other Steering Committee members. Click here to find out more.

    The Global Black Caucus is searching to fill more positions. Get in touch here.

    TOP


    THIS MONTH IN U.S. HISTORY

    September 9, 1776 -  The U.S. Congress officially changes the name of the nation from United Colonies to The United States of America.

    September 22, 1862 - President Abraham Lincoln declares the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Many more historical events are listed here for September.

    TOP


    Final Thoughts

    If you like comedy, Cory Booker and informative videos, this might be for you - “Jordan Klepper Solves Guns”. You’ll hear quotes like,

    “Thanks to the NRA lobbying efforts, the AFT is not allowed to use a national database to solve gun related murders.”

    ~ Thanks to Karen Lee for sending us this video.

     

     

    Will we go right or left in November?

     

    TOP


    TOP


  • published Donate MX Oaxaca T-Shirts in Oaxaca 2022-07-15 18:36:47 -0400



  • published Donate - State Teams in State Teams 2022-05-18 13:57:30 -0400

  • published Donate GHC in Global Hispanic Caucus 2022-05-18 13:50:19 -0400




  • published Donate NL in Netherlands 2022-05-18 13:23:17 -0400

  • published Donate ProDA in Global Progressive Caucus 2022-05-18 12:55:38 -0400

Interests: geophysics, information technology, hiking, running and motorcycles. Intereses: geofísica, tecnología de la información, senderismo, carrera y motocicletas..