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Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Summer Democrats! August/September DACH Newsletter

Although Holiday season is upon us, Democrats Abroad is still very active, with many events planned around Switzerland. Plus, we have a very busy fall planned, and we have some initial dates for you to pencil into your calendars now so you won't miss all the fun.

Be sure to scroll to the end of this message to find the list of events !


Keeping Informed
A brand new section went live on www.democratsabroad.org called ''Obama Administration''. The goal of this page is to provide easy access to White House speeches, remarks, press conferences etc... that are relevant to citizens living abroad. You will find transcripts and videos of the various kinds of statements touching on foreign policy matters, nominations of ambassadors and envoys, as well as other key domestic issues, such as Health Insurance Reform and the Economy etc... You will also find President Obama's weekly addresses.
Happy Birthday to . . . US!
This Fall Democrats Abroad will celebrate our 45th anniversary with events around the world starting October 4th 2009. In Switzerland, we'll have a month of celebrations with events in Vaud, Geneva and Zurich.
We will celebrate the important accomplishments of the past 45 years, including those of the last general election where Demoncrats Abroad member votes made the difference in key senatorial and congressional races across the US.
Kick off to Mid Term Elections!
We have lots of work to do here in Switzerland to get ready for the mid-term election, including membership drives, voter registration, fundraising, and grass roots activities both here and back in the US. So we hope you are ready to volunteer both your time and your financial support to our important work.
Mark November 4th in your calendars : We'll celebrate our victory in the elections 1 year ago and the 1 year to 2010 mid-term elections. Kick off parties and meetings will be held that day around Switzerland.
We need you!
We are forming two important committees and need your participation. Whether you have a lot of free time, or just a bit of time to offer, we need your help to make these important projects a reality:
  • 45th Anniversary celebration planning & fundraising committees (Short term project culminating in the events in October - need people in Vaud, Geneva, and Zurich areas!)
  • Voter registration committees around CH (We need people in all regions of Switzerland for this important project. Voter registration is at the heart of our mission and is one of our most important functions.)
If you would like to get involved with either or both of these important committees, please contact Maya Samara at chair@democrats.ch.
In a recent poll . . .
Democrats Abroad surveyed its members earlier this summer to get your opinions on what sort of activities and topics are of most interest to you. We want to thank all who replied, as this information will help us plan events that are most relevant to our members. Here is a brief synopsis of our findings. The issues most on the minds of our members (in descending order of importance) are Health Care reform, Energy reform, Climate change, Education, and Tax/Banking issues for Americans living abroad.
The types of events that generated the most interest were smaller, in-home events such as film viewing/discussion, held during the weekday evenings. Over 70% of respondents said that they would be willing to make phone calls or write letters on important issues. All respondents said that they would be willing to pay at least a nominal fee for attending some of our events, although most felt that CHF 25 was a normal amount depending on the venue and the program. Half of respondents said they were interested in volunteering (plus we asked for their emails, so we'll be contacting them!)
When asked why they joined Democrats Abroad, respondents answered in a variety of ways including:
  • "To stay engaged in US Political process" - 40%,
  • "To register to vote" - 17%,
  • "To participate in volunteer projects" - 14%,
  • "To meet other Americans" - 12%,
  • "To participate in community events" - 11% and
  • "To participate in fundraising activities for the Democratic Party" - 6%
As an incentive to participate, we offered a random drawing for one of two free Obama t-shirts - winners will be notified by email.
Upcoming Events and Important Dates
Go to www.democrats.ch and click on CALENDAR for more details on each of the events.
August:
September
  • Wednesday 2 September - Basel Movie and Health Care discussion at Centrepoint 7pm-9pm. Screening of PBS Frontline documentary Sick Around The World
  • Thursday 3 September, Zurich Happy Hour 6pm-7:30pm
  • Wednesday 9 September, Zurich Health Care Forum: Featuring the film ''Sick Around the World'' at AWCZ clubhouse 7-9pm. More info at zurich@democrats.ch
  • - Thursday 17 September, Geneva After Work meet up, Brasserie des Halles de l'Ile, 7pm-8 :30pm
  • Sunday 27 September, Leman Expat Fair, Morges, Vaud Dems Abroad will be there. We need volunteers for 1-2 hour shifts. Sign up at chair@democrats.ch! (See www.lemanevents.ch for info on fair)
More September events and meetings in the works but dates not yet set :
  • Health Care Reform meetings in Geneva and Zurich
  • Town Hall in Geneva ''Americans Abroad Speak Up on the Issue of Banking & Taxes''
  • DA Executive Committee September meeting
  • September monthly meet up in Vaud (please send your ideas for where to hold this social meet up !)

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