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Monday, April 13, 2015

May Newsletter

☆ Democrats Abroad Switzerland
April 13, 2015 Newsletter CH

 In This Newsletter


 Message From The Chair


Dear Members and fellow Democrats,


As we never tire of repeating, our mission would be impossible without a dedicated team of volunteers. Following our recent Democrats Abroad Switzerland Country Executive Committee elections in March, we would like to welcome our new Executive Committee Members: Alison Bradley, Emma Clarke, Ashley Jackson, Christian Jordan, Renee Rousseau and Eileen Weinberg.
To introduce you to these new (and former) Members, each month our newsletter will highlight and give voice to one of them (see below). This dynamic group is already moving ahead with Young Democrats meet-ups, International Policy blogging, outreach to Zurich members, social media and on-line outreach, and brainstorming has started to strategize for the next two year cycle. Stay tuned!
We take this occasion to reiterate our gratitude and awe to the following outgoing Members for their personal and unique contributions to our organiztation in the last two years: Emily T. Blitz, Nicole DeFeo, Radhika Garland, Michael Parmly and Mark Pasquesi have left their official positions with DACH, but as democrats, friends and colleagues we wish them all the very best in their endeavors and look forward to their continued support in that capacity.
Anne-Shelton Aaron
Chair, Democrats Abroad Switzerland
Virginia voter

 International Policy Focus


Ashley Jackson is Democrats Abroad Switzerland's Member-at-Large, International Policy Issues. In this new column, she discusses cross-border U.S. politics of particular interest to our members and Americans everywhere.
Switzerland is no stranger to high-level diplomatic talks. Still, March was notable for its diplomatic flurry in Montreux, Geneva, and Lausanne where world powers attempted to come to an agreement around Iran’s nuclear program.
During the talks, there was the controversial letter from Republicans to Iran’s supreme leader. Then there was Israeli president, Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. Tennessee Republican... continue reading →

 Members' Corner


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 VotefromAbroad.org today!

It's Tax Season

Fretting about April 15th? No need... U.S. living abroad receive an automatic 2-month filing extension, so our tax returns are due 15 June. You will have to pay interest on any taxes due from April, but penalties will only apply to those who miss the June deadline. More details on the IRS website.
And then there's FATCA... Democrats Abroad posted extensive updates on the progress being made in Washington regarding safeguards for U.S. citizens and the foreign banking institutions we patronize. Find the Report on the February Door Knock on the DA website, or check out the quick summary on our blog.
⋮⋮ Special Call to action ⋮⋮
And we urge you to help: Send redacted copies of bank communications—letters, emails or policy statements—that document a link between the bank’s rejection of U.S. customers and their obligation to comply with FATCA to FATCA@democratsabroad.org.
American Citizens Abroad, one of our partners in the D.C. FATCA Door Knock, recently launched an online directory of tax preparers qualified to complete U.S. tax returns as well as providing other services for Americans overseas. Read the press release on our blog.

Young Democrats Column


We are excited to add a new feature to our monthly newsletter: A column written by young Democrats, for young Democrats, on the issues that we care about. Please contact me, Emma Clarke at secretary@democrats.ch if you'd like to contribute or if you have ideas for topics you'd like to read about!
Emma Clarke
Secretary, Democrats Abroad Switzerland

 Letter From Washington


Another of Mr. Fina's (Democrats Abroad Executive Director Emeritus) excellent monthly analyses of the state of affairs in the White House, Congress and, in this case, the policy concerning the Middle East. Originally published 27 March 2015.
Middle East policy has replaced the King v Burwell attack on Obamacare as the 400 pound gorilla on the national political stage.
Republicans offer fratricide and budget theater, reflexive Obama hate and its presidential race to the right. Democrats are anguished at Hillary’s delayed announcement and frustration that their candidate will be too conservative. That is small potatoes compared to the Middle East conflagration. Continue reading →

 Calendar of events


Wednesday, 22 April in Geneva • 12:30 and 6:30pm
⋮⋮ New Event organized by DACH ⋮⋮

U.S. Tax Advice

Tax Expert Ari Propis, CPA, will give a presentation covering the US tax compliance obligations for U.S. citizens living in Switzerland. Particular emphasis will be directed toward the tax consequences of:
1. Being married to a non-American
2. Owning Swiss investments
Sign up soon, spaces limited!
Where: Hotel d’Angleterre, Geneva
Time: Two sessions, 12:30 – 2:00pm and 6:30 – 8:00pm
Cost: CHF 20.- members of DA, CHF 30.- non-members
RSVP: Sign up here →
Questions: events@democrats.ch
Saturday 25 April in Zurich • 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Zurich Chapter Annual Meeting

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the Zurich Chapter of Democrats Abroad Switzerland, including the Elections for 2015-2017 Chapter Chairperson, will be held in downtown Zurich on Saturday April 25. All members in the German-speaking region should download the ballot to vote for their preferred candidate for Chair, then send it in or bring it to the meeting!
Special guest will be DACH Executive Committee Member-at-Large Alison Bradley, who will give a presentation on DA Switzerland's recent activities and plans leading up to the 2016 Presidential elections, and invite your ideas. All members are encouraged to attend.
What: Annual Chapter Meeting and Election
When: Saturday 25 April, 2015, 2 to 4pm
Where: American Women's Club of Zurich, Schöntalstrasse 8, 8004 Zürich
Questions: zurich@democrats.ch
Wednesday, 29 April in Plainpalais, Geneva • 6:30 pm

Young Democrats After-work Drinks

After a lively event at La Fabrique in mid-March, we are looking forward to the next Young Dems Afterwork Drinks event on Wednesday, 29 April at Bar l'Etabli, Rue de l'Ecole-de-Médecine 3 in Plainpalais. All are welcome. We hope to see you there!
Wednesday 6 May, Geneva • 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Democrats Abroad Apéro

Social event after-work at Café Cuba, Place du Cirque 1. Old friends, new members, an opportunity to relax when the workday is done and engage in like-minded conversation.
Thursday 30 April to Sunday 3 May
in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Annual Meeting of the DPCA

This year’s Annual Meeting of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (the governing body of Democrats Abroad international) will be held over three days in the Dominican Republic. DACH Chair Anne-Shelton Aaron and Vice-Chair Peter Butterfield will attend for the Switzerland country committee. The DPCA will elect new officers for the next two years, pass resolutions to submit to the Democratic Party, and advance plans for the 2016 election season. And let's hope they have a chance to hit the beach if time remains.

 Save the date


Wednesday 27 May, evening, in Geneva

Art Walk

Private guided tour of art galleries the evening before La Nuit des Bains for the public. Fundraiser for Dems Abroad Switzerland.

Coming up in June

Slugout in the Dugout

Annual Democrats v. Republicans softball game, Geneva area. Join in the action on the diamond, or in the bleachers!

 DACH Organization


Executive Committee

Chair: Anne-Shelton Aaron
Vice chair: Peter Butterfield
Treasurer: Christian Jordan
Secretary: Emma Clarke
Counsel: Karen A. Monroe
Immediate past Chair: Maya Samara
Member-at-Large, Social Media & Online Promotion: Eileen Weinberg
Member-at-Large, International Policy Issues: Ashley Jackson
Member-at-Large: Alison Bradley
Member-at-Large: Renée Rousseau-Osterwalder

Zurich Chapter

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

Committee Contacts

Events & Fundraising Committee: events@democrats.ch
Press and Media Team: press@democrats.ch

☆ Democrats Abroad
© 2015 Democrats Abroad Switzerland.
Democrats Abroad Switzerland (DACH) is part of Democrats Abroad, the global extension of the Democratic Party representing U.S. citizens living outside of the United States. DACH is open to voting-age American citizens living in Switzerland.
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If you have any problems with this newsletter, send a note to Eileen at socialmedia@democrats.ch.

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