Democrats Abroad UK Newsletter
April is Voting Rights Month at DAUK! Our Committees, Caucuses, Chapters and Regions have organized an exciting lineup for events for our members. This is a great opportunity for existing, new and potential members to find your passion and get involved. Our voting rights are the most precious gift of our democracy. Please see our Voting Rights events highlighted below in blue.
April 06 – Monthly Action Night–Support Voting Rights! (GOTV/Voter Registration)
April 10 – The Big Lie & the Battle to Protect Voting Rights (DAUK Policy Network)
April 11 – How to Keep Track of the US Legislative Pulse! (BillTrack50)
April 13 – DA GWC: The Epic Potential of Women’s Empowerment
April 14 – Political Book Club: Disloyal! by Michael Cohen
April 15: Tax Day Special: Tax Lunch Power Hour
April 15 – Women’s Caucus: Girls Education & Menstrual Poverty
April 16 – Film Night – Suppressed 2020-21: The Fight to Vote (Film Committee)
April 20 – Voting Rights Month (Black Caucus)
April 20 – Speakeasy on Gerrymandering (Scotland Chapter)
April 21 – Speakeasy on ERA (Devon & Cornwall)
April 21 – LGBTQ+ C aucus: How to fight for voting rights, Georgia style
April 22 – Speakeasy on the For the People Act (HR1/S1) (NW England and West Midlands)
April 22 – Women’s Caucus Podcast Club: Earth Day
April 26 – Voting Rights Speakeasy Pub Quiz
April 26 – Family Fun: Exploring Why We Vote
LETTER FROM THE CHAIR
Dear DAUK members, volunteers and leaders,
First, thank you for your commitment to DAUK which you wholeheartedly demonstrated during our elections at the end of March. The new officer team – Brett McHargue, Elizabeth Kelly, Steph Ryde and I – are enormously grateful for the confidence you have placed in us to lead our wonderful organization.
I would like to thank the other talented and dedicated candidates who ran for office. I warmly welcome them, as well as our immediate past officers – Inge Kjemtrup, David Wenk, Nicole Satullo and Josh van der Ploeg – and another 26 DAUK members elected, to our formal DAUK leadership groups: the DAUK ExCom, the DPCA Voting and Non-Voting Representatives, and the DAUK Council. I thank the outgoing leadership for their incomparable service over the last 2 years.
I would also like to thank our Caucuses, Committees, Chapters and Regional groups (CCCRs) in advancing DAUK’s mission, which is to provide the Americans abroad a Democratic voice in our government and to elect Democratic candidates by mobilizing the overseas vote. Your contributions have been critical and I look forward to fully incorporating your views and your contributions in DAUK.
DAUK holds its internal elections every two years. This time, as in years past, the process is managed by an Elections Committee who give freely of their time and skills, to ensure that we successfully complete our elections. I would like to express gratitude, personally and on behalf of DAUK, to the five Elections Committee members who led us to a successful conclusion and for sacrificing their personal time, for the good of DAUK. An additional heartfelt thanks to our International Chair, Julia Bryan, for her assistance.
The election process was long, but we arrived at a successful conclusion. The leadership and I will be working over the next several months on a forward-looking solution to build a robust and resilient election system suited for the new post-Covid and pan-UK future, to foster the small “d” democratic values that we hold dear..
To our members and volunteers: the last 4 years have required enormous faith, fortitude and perseverance. There is so much for us to be proud of: control of the White House, both chambers of Congress, a re-energized Party. Within our organization, we’ve had wonderful successes, including:
- Remarkable growth in our membership,
- Successful voter turnouts in 2018 and 2020,
- The proliferation of new Committees, Caucuses and Regional Groups, in addition to our Chapters,
- The global expansion of our Voter Registration Committee,
- A large role contributing to the strongest policy platform in the history of DA,
- Strengthened relationships throughout the global DA family,
- A full coffer due to our consistently successful July 4th picnic, Comedy nights, tax webinars, our film, theatre and other events,
- Extraordinary fundraising efforts in the DA Call the World campaign, founded by DAUK members,
- The recruitment, mentoring and promotion of new and diverse talent into our ranks, many of whom ran and were elected to leadership positions in March.
As your Chair and with the help of our leadership, I will devote my time and energy to bringing the organization to the next level. In unity, we can advance our mission as the margin of victory at home.
A challenging battle lies ahead in 2022 and 2024. Democrats need to turn local districts blue – school boards, local councils, redistricting committees – the granular work of expanding the Democratic majority county by county, household by household, person by person. Let us work together with joy and purpose to achieve this mission.
To wrap up this month’s letter, please see our events calendar for an exciting April featuring a full line-up of events dedicated to Voting Rights, which sit front and center in our priorities as Democrats. If you know any Americans in the UK who have never attended a DAUK event, please encourage them to attend and get to know us. There’s no better time to get involved than right now!
Warm wishes and a pleasant holiday weekend to all.
Chair, Democrats Abroad UK
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely my personal views. These shall NOT, in any way or form, be deemed as the views of my employer or any of its affiliates and/or person deemed to be associated with them.
WANTED: Volunteers to Work with Gen Zers!
What: We are a working group setting up to work with and for our young future voters: Gen Zers who will be of voting age in 2022-24 (between the ages of 14-17).
Why: To build engagement on the social and policy issues that they care about most.
Who can volunteer: Anyone who has a teen in their life or has experience working with or on projects aimed at teens, including older Gen Zers (aged 18-21) who want to develop strategy, project management and leadership skills.
Any communications or involvement with teenagers on this initiative, will only be done through and with the consent of the adult DAUK members in their lives.
For more information write to: [email protected] (future voter engagement project in the subject).
WANTED: Specialist in UK copyright law
Are you a specialist in UK copyright law? Do you know someone who is? As we expand our content and events listings on the new DAUK website, the website team is looking for leads to provide some guidance on fair dealing and other copyright-related matters. If you can help, please email [email protected]
WANTED: New Member Welcome and Leader Training Project Group
We are putting together a project group to create a welcome event for new members and a training session for all new leaders to help them transition into their new roles. The goal of this project is to make sure that all new members and leaders have the tools and information they need to participate in DAUK to the fullest. The project is estimated to last 2 months with an estimated total time of 2.5 hours per week. Do you have an interest in training? Are you a powerpoint whizz? Do you know DAUK like the back of your hand? Want to join a group and learn some new skills? Great! We would love to have you! If interested please email [email protected]
WANTED: Membership Survey Working Group
This working group’s aim is to create surveys to understand the wants and needs of our members so that we can ensure DAUK works for everyone. The working group will be an ongoing group that comes together twice a year to create the survey and analyse the data. There may be additional ad hoc surveys that will require additional support throughout the year. The commitment for the bi-annual survey is estimated to be about 2 hours per week in the month before and after the survey is sent. If you are interested in surveys, data, have experience with similar projects or want to learn a new skill please email [email protected] we would love to hear from you.
WANTED: Diversity & Inclusion in DAUK Working Group
This group is being formed to create and introduce a Diversity and Inclusion strategy to make sure that DAUK is inclusive of all Americans abroad. The group will be working on overall strategy, forming and holding focus groups, mapping the membership journey, producing an inclusivity guide for our touchpoints with our members and potential members, and overall actions to increase diversity, inclusion and intersectionality across DAUK. The working group will be an ongoing group that continues to identify new opportunities for inclusion. The commitment is estimated to be about 2 hours per week. If you have experience in diversity & inclusion, feel passionate about this topic, or want to learn more please email [email protected] we would love to hear from you.
Monthly Action Night–Support Voting Rights!
Tuesday, April 6, 2021. 6-7pm via Zoom.
For Democrats Abroad, April is Voting Rights Month. The GOTV/VR team will kick it off with actions to protect the voting rights of all Americans. At our last Monthly Action Night, we called our representatives in support of the HR1 For the People Act. It passed (albeit with no Republican support)! Actions we can take this month may include: calling senators to request support of HR1; asking them to end or amend the filibuster; asking state legislators to speak out against new voter suppression laws, and contacting corporations who are funding legislators who support voter suppression. Sample scripts, emails and links to resources will be provided. All are welcome!
To RSVP email: [email protected]
The Big Lie & the Battle to Protect Voting Rights – DAUK Policy Network
Saturday, April 10, 2021. 4-6pm via Zoom.
The Voting Rights and Democracy group of DAUK Policy Network is hosting fellow DAUK and DA leaders and members working on policy, voter protection and GOTV. Join us as we dive into the big issues of disinformation, big tech, voter fraud conspiracy and voter suppression and learn more on how to make change under our new Democratic administration. We’ll cover how to be a voting rights advocate, how to recognize and reject disinformation campaigns, and how we can “seize the moment” to support key initiatives advancing voter rights at both the state and federal level.
RSVP here: https://dauk-the-big-lie.eventbrite.co.uk
For more information contact: [email protected]
How to Keep Track of the US Legislative Pulse!
Sunday, April 11, 2021. 8:30am via Zoom.
Join us to hear Karen Suhaka, founder of BillTrack50, talk about how to track American state and federal legislative and regulatory actions on this impressive database, which DA members can access for free. Karen will walk us through the basics of how a bill goes through the various stages to become law, when state legislatures are in session, and how you can reach your representatives and staffers to take action on legislation important to you. On the website you can track policy issues in legislatures across the country and follow their progress (or lack of progress) in committees, etc. This event is sponsored by various DA Caucuses. Note early UK timing is set to accommodate DA’s Asia/Pacific region.
DA GWC: The Epic Potential of Women’s Empowerment
Tuesday, April 13, 2021. 5-6pm via Zoom.
Internationally renowned expert on women’s economic development and Emeritus DP World Professor for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Oxford, Professor Linda Scott will discuss the findings in her recently-published book: The Double X Economy: The Epic Potential of Empowering Women. Her analysis of international gender data shows the reality of a distinctive pattern of economic inequality which, when combined with cultural impediments, forms the shadow economy unique to women, the “Double X Economy.” Linda gives us a powerful argument going forward: “…equal economic treatment for women would put a stop to some of the world’s costliest evils, while building prosperity for everyone.” And she is looking to recruit everyone to the cause of women’s economic inclusion! RSVP at: www.democratsabroad.org/wc_professor_linda_scott
Political Book Club
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 via Zoom.
From 6:30- 8pm we will discuss politics and current events. From 8-9pm we will discuss Disloyal! by Michael Cohen. Everyone is welcome. For political discussion questions, suggested readings and notes, the study guide, and Zoom login info, email [email protected]
Tax Day Special: Tax Lunch Power Hour
Thursday, April 15, 2021. 1-2pm via Zoom
DAUK is contacted about filing taxes on April 15 (Tax Day!) more than any other day of the year. So, the Tax Committee has decided to host an open discussion on US taxes, debunking tax myths, self-filing and choosing an accountant. This event will not be recorded so everyone can share and talk freely. Email [email protected] to be added to the DAUK Tax Committee mailing list.
Women’s Caucus: Girls Education & Menstrual Poverty
Thursday, April 15, 2021. 7-8pm via Zoom.
Shockingly, 1 in 5 American high school girls and 1 in 10 American college girls have been forced to skip school because they cannot afford menstrual products. Beyond these US statistics, the global education gap for girls will be discussed and how it directly impacts income inequality, climate change and public health in communities and cultures around the world. Join Katherine Huang for a conversation on these vital topics including actions we can take to effect change today.
RSVP at [email protected]
Film Night – Suppressed 2020-21: The Fight to Vote
Friday, April 16, 2021. 6:30-8:15pm via Zoom.
“ If your vote didn’t matter, they wouldn’t be trying to stop it ” — Stacey Abrams
Join us to view and discuss the compelling documentary Suppressed 2020-2021 which explores the attacks we face on the foundation of our democracy: the right to vote. As the Senate considers the ‘For the People Act’, Republicans readily admit that their route to future electoral success rests upon fewer people voting. Massive voter turnout propelled the successes in 2020. Relying on testimonies of voters, this film clearly and comprehensively shows how voter suppression works on the ground. Like these voters and GOTV campaigners, we can meet these challenges, exposing the anti-democratic impulses that drive them. In the after-screening discussion, we will learn more about the tools we can use in this fight. Watch for updates about our exciting after-screening panel of experts.
Black Caucus Meeting – Voting Rights Month
Tuesday, April 20, 2021. 7-8:30pm via Zoom.
Recent events are a sad reminder that access to the ballot remains under attack – either because voters are unfairly purged from the polls, or due to voter suppression at the polls, in courts or state houses. We delivered votes for the Democratic Party, now Republicans are working overtime to change the rules. In his maiden speech on the House floor, Sen. Raphael Warnock reminded us that the right to vote is foundational and must be protected. So, let’s talk about what a return to Jim Crow 2.0 would mean for all Americans and what ACTIONS we can take to put an end to this latest assault on democracy. Please join. Email [email protected] for the Zoom details.
Voting Rights – Gerrymandering Brief & Discussion
Tuesday, April 20, 2021. 6-7pm via Zoom.
As part of our focus on Voting Rights, the DAUK Scotland Chapter is hosting a speakeasy on the topic of gerrymandering, the practice of manipulating voting district boundaries to achieve a predetermined electoral result. We will provide a brief introduction and before breaking out into smaller groups to share our thoughts.
To RSVP please email [email protected]
Voting Rights – Brief & Discussion about ERA
Wednesday, April 21, 2021. 6-7pm via Zoom.
As part of our April Focus on Voting Rights, the Devon and Cornwall regional group is hosting a briefing and discussion about the Equal Rights Amendment. This constitutional amendment designed to prevent discrimination on the grounds of sex successfully completed its passage through Congress in 1972. Since then, it has been on hold requiring ratification by the states. We will provide a brief explanation of the amendment and its history before breaking up into smaller groups to share our thoughts.
To RSVP please email [email protected]
LGBTQ+ Caucus: How to fight for voting rights, Georgia style
Thursday, April 21, 2021. 7-8pm via Zoom.
Join us with special guest Jeff Graham to hear his story of fighting for voting rights in Georgia. Jeff is the executive director of Georgia Equality, an organization that works to advance fairness, safety and opportunity for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities throughout Georgia.
To RSVP please email [email protected]
Voting Rights: Speakeasy – For the People Act
Thursday, April 22, 2021. 6-7pm via Zoom.
As part of our April focus on voting rights, the Northwest England and West Midlands regional groups are hosting a briefing and discussion of the For the People Act. Passed by the House as HR1, this act will regulate electoral activity across the country, preventing many restrictive state laws from being enforced. We will provide a brief overview of the act and its main provisions before breaking up into smaller groups to share our thoughts.
Women’s Caucus Podcast Club: Earth Day
Thursday, April 22, 2021. 7-8pm
Please join the Women’s Caucus for a Podcast Club to celebrate Earth Day. This month, we will be discussing “A Wind Farm in Coal Country” from the Daily Podcast which can be found here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/16/podcasts/the-daily/wind-power-wyoming-climate-change.html
We will give a brief summary and discuss how we can improve discussions of climate change with people on both sides of the aisle, as well as give an update for plans for the Women’s Caucus in 2021. Please RSVP at: [email protected]
Family Fun: Exploring Why We Vote
Monday, April 26, 2021. 5-5:30pm via Zoom.
Families! Join us to celebrate and educate our little ones to consider how their beliefs about the world matter! A family fun event exploring issues of ‘what do we care about’ and ‘why we vote’.
What: Music, stories, and fun!
Who: For all ages! Lead by child psychologist and former New York City teacher, Dr. Maile O’Hara. Why: To work together to bring up our children with a political sense of who they are in the world and what they can do about it!
Register here: https://dauk-family-activism-1.eventbrite.co.uk/
Speakeasy Pub Quiz: Voting Rights
Monday, April 26, 2021. 6:15-8pm via Zoom
Think you know your voting rights? Pour yourself a drink and engage in some friendly rounds of not-so-serious competition. From the silly to the obscure, schoolhouse rock to alphabet soup, there will be something for everyone. DAUK wide, all are invited! Win bragging rights or even a t-shirt! Drop by anytime. RSVP to [email protected]