Direct from the Chair of Democrats Abroad Munich:
Thank you to everyone who joined the March For Our Lives sister march a few weeks ago. About 350 to 400 of us added our voices to the growing chorus that enough is enough, and we need gun reform.
In particular, I wanted to acknowledge the touching memorial Samantha, age 15, held for the victims of massacres. As she read aloud the names of those killed at Parkland, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Pulse, Columbine, and many other locations, everyone was in tears. And when Patrick, 20, spoke about the human toll of gun violence, we were all struck by the scale of our collective tragedy.
Finally, we were both saddened and blessed to have the Feldman family speak. The Feldmans reached out to us a few days before the March to say that their daughter is a student at Parkland. They had long planned a family vacation to Munich, but when this tragedy struck she decided to join her classmates in DC, while her family honored her friends’ memories with us.
The Feldmans gave a heart wrenching account of that day — of their daughter hiding for hours in a closet, and then having to walk past the pools of blood to be evacuated, of father and mother waiting for three hours outside of the school, not knowing if their daughter was dead, of learning that the shooter was a boy that their daughter tutored as a peer-to-peer counselor. It was gutting.
After a 17 year old local student Samantha read out a selection of names of American students killed since Columbine, the assembled group joined in song. Tears.#MarchForOurLives #NeverAgain #Enough #MSDStrong
Posted by Munich NOW on Saturday, March 24, 2018
As mental health professionals, the Feldmans added a unique perspective. Their message was clear: more mental health services would be nice, but ultimately it was a gun that was the problem. The shooter had severe emotional issues, but was being treated, and was not ostracized at school. The police knew he had issues, but were not legally allowed to disarm him. They called for gun reform, and crucially the passage of “red flag” laws allowing police to take weapons from those who would be a danger to themselves or others.
So where do we go from here? Someday soon, these amazing students who have awakened America will have to go back to school, heal, remember, and move on with their lives. It is up to us to move change forward. So what can we do?
> Obviously, vote. But not just in federal elections, in your state elections (if your state allows it). It’s at the state level that the NRA has real influence over gun policy.
> Call your federal representative and ask that they have a town hall on gun reform. This is something that the students from the March for Our Lives called for.
> Call your state and federal representatives and demand that we have universal background checks and get the weapons of war off of our streets.
> Talk to a student in your life about what it is like to go to school in the US today. If you are in your 30s and above, you never had to pretend someone was gunning down your classmates in an active shooter drill. Kids in kindergarten practice this. Or you never had to be prepared to tell an adult when a classmate looked like they were going to break. Understanding, as an adult, what mental strain we are asking kids to take on is a key step in us all realizing this has gone way, way too far.
11 April, Annual Tax Session with Certified Tax Consultant Natalie Pollinger, HPKJ e.V., 19:00
Please note the location change: HPKJ e.V. Saarstraße 5, 80797 München
Join us at our April meeting to hear a presentation from US Tax Consultant, Natalie Pollinger
Mrs. Pollinger is registered as an Enrolled Agent in the US. In the last 12 years Natalie worked for 8.5 years as a Senior Manager at PwC in New York and also in Luxembourg. Prior to that Natalie worked for Siemens and also for KPMG in New York and Munich as a tax consultant. Natalie is specialized in US income tax matters for US citizens and permanent residents (Green card holders) living outside of the US and also foreign nationals living in the USA or with US connection. In addition she supports clients with tax advice for expatriate issues and individual tax planning.
In addition, we will briefly discuss the Tax bill and action Democrats Abroad have been taking over this past year. This event is open to non members as well.
Beer, cocktails and water as well as baked goods will be available for purchase and all proceeds go to the Munich Chapter Get Out the Vote efforts for 2018.
14 April—March for Science, 9:30-12:00, Start: Königsplatz
26 April — 8th Bavarian-American Friendship Evening, Hippodrom tent at the Frühlingsfest
Get a spot at the DA table for some good political banter and dancing. This spring Oktoberfest is not to be missed and during Bavarian-American Friendship Evening- there will be burgers and some American rock classics to sing and dance to!! Tracht encouraged. Please respond to this email if your interested in joining.
Here are some more ways to get involved. Follow Democrats Abroad on Facebook for up-to-date actions you can take in response to events:
- 1 Coffee = 1 Voter: In 2016, we calculated that each Euro spent resulted in 3 new members/voters. Donating a ‘cup of coffee’ to DA each month allows us to budget for ads, printed materials, voting booths, signs and other items to get information out to more Americans in Germany. Any and all donations are appreciated – one time or monthly or quarterly. Here’s the bank info for the transfer. To make it a recurring donation, you would do a Dauerauftrag.
Account name: Democrats Abroad Germany
IBAN: DE04 5405 0220 0140 2702 99
Volunteer! The limit of our impact is only the limit of how many volunteers we have. If you want to donate your time or expertise, please write back to this email letting me know or update your DA profile at democratsabroad.org and be sure to check off “interested in volunteering” so that we can follow up with you.
Meghan Driscoll, Munich Chapter Chair and the rest of DAMIT
Democrats Abroad Munich