Friday, January 16, 2015

Newsletter to our members, January 2015

☆ Democrats Abroad Switzerland
January 2015 Newsletter CH

 Message From The Chair

Dear fellow members,

Last week's uprising of millions in protest against the tragic events in Paris following other unbelievable acts of barbarism in far away places riveted the world and brought forth an outpouring of support and solidarity behind universal and human values, our values.
With so much to accomplish, now, more than ever, we have to work together to overcome apathy, lack of faith and cynicism. The only path to change is making it happen ourselves.
This is also the time for new year resolutions.
As U.S. Democrats head into a new year with a Republican congress, I want to add resolutions to my usual list, as an American and as a Democrat. The majority of Americans harbor some Democratic or progressive values, don't agree with extreme Republican legislation, and need only a spark of encouragement to vote. I speak for myself and for the committee when I say we are going to do everything we can this year to reach out to American Democrats living in Switzerland. We ask our members to think about what you too can do. If each of us resolve to reach out to five to ten people, to join Democrats Abroad, to register to vote or to vote by absentee ballot, together we will make a difference.
Happy new year to you all.
Anne-Shelton Aaron
Chair, Democrats Abroad Switzerland
Virginia voter

 Letter From Washington

Tom Fina's monthly letter from the eve of this new year looks at the health of U.S. politics, highlighting many of the positives that seem to get burried by the negative. It is a helpful message for those of us still searching for inspiration and motivation to move beyond November's elections:

To Democrats Abroad
31 December 2014
Tom Fina
Executive Director Emeritus

The clock has about run out on 2014 and the Obama score for the year is a lot better than any Republican and many Democrats expected.
No issue has been more on the public mind than our economic condition. Now, for the week ending December 28, the Gallup Index of Economic Confidence has hit its highest point since 2008. It measures of public judgment about economic conditions and whether economic conditions are getting better or worse. Public perception is catching up with reality.   Continue reading →

 Important Upcoming events

Elections for the Executive Committee, 2015 – 2017

We encourage all eligible members to run for one of the nine elected leadership positions, for a very exciting opportunity to play a key role in the 2016 Presidentatial Election. Nominate a member or declare your own candidacy before the deadline, Friday, 6 February before Midnight. The elections will be held during our Annual General Meeting in March.

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, 20 January • 3:00 am in Switzerland / 9:00 pm local time in Washington D.C.

2015 State of the Union Address

President Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union Address. If you plan on watching the live broadcast from home, the White House website will be streaming an enhanced version of the speech on that features graphics, data, and charts that help explain issues and policies the President is discussing alongside the remarks. You can also tune in live on YouTube and Google+.
Thursday, 22 January in Geneva • Evening

Watch Party for the State of the Union Address

Join Dems Abroad Switzerland at a private home in Geneva to enjoy drinks, nibbles and the President's SOTU address at a civilized hour, by delayed streaming. Discussion to follow: You're invited to predict what 2015 may actually bring. Attendance free. Respond to and we will send you address and details.
19 February • Maison de la Paix in Geneva • 6:30 - 8:00 pm

International Affairs Today:
Towards Order or Anarchy?

A distinguished panel of diplomats, officials, academic scholars and opinion-shapers will discuss the state of the world and world order in early 2015. Each will draw on their experience and insights to seek to identify ways forward. Organized by the Graduate Institute and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, the event will be chaired by Michael Parmly, Democrats Abroad Member-at-Large, International Policy Issues.
Saturday, 14 March in Geneva • 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Annual General Meeting

Our Annual Meeting this year will take place at the Hotel d'Angleterre, downtown Geneva. All members are encouraged to attend and support Dems Abroad Switzerland as it organizes for 2015 and the 2016 presidential elections. We will elect our new Executive Committee and enjoy a stimulating presentation on one of the high-profile issues in America today (TBA). We encourage members from Basel, Bern, Zurich, Lugano and further to come for the whole day or weekend: Homestays with local members; Saturday AM walking tour of Geneva; no-host dinner gathering Friday or Saturday night.
So, nominate someone for the ExCom now (see above) and stay tuned for full meeting details later.

First Special Election of 2015

New York Congressional District 11 will be voting for a new Member of the House following the resignation of Republican Representative Michael Grimm after pleading guilty to felony tax evasion. This is a swing-district that can go blue: Staten Island, Brooklyn voters, register to vote/request your absentee ballot from today!

 Members' Corner

Democrats Abroad international continues to reflect on the midterm elections and the voting issues faced by citizens overseas. The DA data team is preparing a report evaluating this subject for the Democratic National Committee. All experiences are important for the most comprehensive results, so please add your voice to the review. If you did not yet respond to the 9 December mailing request, please take a moment to fill in the very brief voter survey: →

Big Data

Each Winter, Democrats Abroad Switzerland follows a verification process to ensure our member data is current and accurate, to better manage group communications. We expect to receive information that will need to be carefully updated in the database, and we would be happy to welcome a couple of volunteers who find satisfaction in the meticulous entry of data.
If you'd like to help, please contact Emily at →
The project runs from now to the end of January.

 Update from the FBAR/FATCA Task Force

News on FATCA and Citizenship

This very interesting news update includes a FAQ answering many recent questions and explains current DA efforts in Washington to "fix" FATCA. Read the news posted on Democrats Abroad →
Of special note is the Survey on Citizenship and Renunciation. U.S. Citizenship renunciations were at their highest level in 2013; FATCA is said to be one reason that Americans consider taking this step.
Dr. Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, of the University of Kent at Brussels, is researching this question: U.S. citizens' thoughts on maintaining or renouncing their citizenship, for FATCA-related or other reasons. Her survey is being distributed by a number of overseas American organizations and she would welcome your participation. It takes about 15 minutes to complete and the results could have far reaching implications. Please consider participating: →

 DACH Organization

Executive Committee

Chair: Anne-Shelton Aaron
Vice chair: Peter Butterfield
Secretary: Radhika Garland
Treasurer: Emily T. Blitz
Counsel: Karen A. Monroe
Immediate past Chair: Maya Samara
Member-at-Large, International Policy Issues: Michael E. Parmly
Member-at-Large: Mark Pasquesi

Zurich Chapter

Chair: AnnaMaria Fato
Vice chair: Myrtle Alexander
Secretary: Madeline McSherry
Communications: Sheela Pawar de Groot

Committee Contacts

U.S. Citizens Abroad Issues: Karen A. Monroe
GOTV Coordinator: Bob Samors
Volunteer Coordinator: Emily T. Blitz
Community Manager: Radhika Garland
Digital and Social Media: Eileen Weinberg
Events & Fundraising Committee:
Press and Media Team:

Elections Nomination Committee

Committee Chair: Maya Samara
Emily Blitz, Treasurer DACH (2013-2015), Secretary DACH (2007-2009)
Judy Brown, DACH member, Zurich Chapter
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Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) is open to voting-age American citizens living in Switzerland.
© 2015 Democrats Abroad Switzerland.

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