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 Login information for WebEx meetings on 17 May

Main Room

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Sanders Presidential Preference Group Room


he Google Group for Candidates and Electors: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/2020delcandidate-meet-elector

Public statements by Candidates for DNC member (all regions): https://www.democratsabroad.org/2020_dnc_candidate_statements

Public statements by Candidates for delegate (all regions, all presidential preferences): https://www.democratsabroad.org/2020_delegate_candidate_statements

Electors & Candidates Training and Sandbox will be run together in one session   - 10 May 2020 beginning at 10:30 AM EDT (DC Time)
 
(Look for other training and sandbox sessions in EMEA and AP if you can’t make this or want additional training.  They will be similar)

Agenda for the Regional Convention

The Americas Regional Convention will commence sharply at 11 am EDT (11 am DC time) on Sunday, 17 May 2020.

The regional convention involves four (4) major tasks and a few procedural reports. All electors will have the continuous opportunity to participate in the proceedings online. The regional convention involves two simultaneous meetings during the Presidential Preference Groups (PPGs).

Procedures

Each elector must be registered as a supporter of one of the two (2) Presidential Candidates who met the 15% threshold and did not withdraw from the DA delegate selection process - Biden or Sanders. The Credentials and Rules Committee for the Americas Regional Convention reports on this registered list of electors, the weight of each elector's vote, and the rules for elections. This committee also resolves any disputes and reports on the results.

The quorum for the meeting is 40% of the electors who do not opt-out of the convention. Electors may opt-out until Roll Call by sending an email to mtorresdacr@gmail.com

Election of 2020 - 2024 Americas DNC Member

According to our Delegate Selection Plan and the DA Charter, DNC elections are won by an "absolute majority of all regional convention Electors in attendance" which means the winner of the election must get more than 50% of the total votes cast in a round of the election.

The DNC elections of the 2020 AMERICAS Regional Convention will be held as follows:
1. Each elector will vote for one candidate in the first round, with voting weights as calculated and reported by the Permanent Regional Convention Secretary and the Credentials and Rules Committee.
2. If one candidate gets more than 50% of the total votes cast in that round, that candidate will win and be elected to the DNC position.
3. If no candidate gets more than 50%, then candidates who got less than the threshold will be eliminated from subsequent rounds. The threshold will be 15% of the total votes cast in that round or one-half of the vote share of the top vote-getter, whichever is lower.
4. We will repeat rounds on this basis until a candidate wins.

Presidential Preference Groups - Biden & Sanders Delegates

The convention will divide into the two (2) presidential candidate groups who have been allocated delegates from the AMERICAS region. Each group will elect a Chair, receive report(s) on goals for affirmative action, and elect one delegate allocated by the results of the Global Presidential Primary.

Voting for each delegate will be by two (2) rounds of Ranked Choice Voting. In the past, there have been speeches by candidates at various points; for 2020, the number and length of speeches will be set ahead of the meeting.

We will use a platform called OpaVote and distribute instructions on how to vote in advance. We will also have a training session with live voting using the system.

Each Presidential Candidate has been assigned one delegate from the AMERICAS region. There will be one election (of two rounds per election) for each delegate, normally with a report on goals for affirmative action and gender balance.

Platform Committee Members

We come back together as a full convention, with all electors voting, to elect two (2) members to the Platform Committee of the Global Convention, discuss and adopt items for submission to the Platform Committee, and any other business as necessary.  There are two members running for the Platform Committee Rachell Eugster - Canada and Sam Goodman - Costa Rica

2020 Progressive Platform Proposal -- Americas

 

Progressive Platform Proposal

Proposer: David Mivasair (DPCA Rep - Canada)

Co-Sponsors: Sue Alksnis (Secretary - Canada), Ed Ungar (Vice-Chair - Canada)


The 2020 Progressive Platform Proposal (PPP2020) is a bundle of proposals to modify the 2020 Global Platform to be more in line with the will and endeavors of voters in our Country Committees. The Progressive Caucus of Democrats Abroad sponsors this set of resolutions as specified as a single amendment to be voted on in the Regional Convention. The specific nature and support of each amendment is specified below.


2020 Progressive Platform Proposal -- Americas                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Wealth Tax 1                                                                                   1

Prioritizing an Economic Bill of Rights                                       2

Modernizing Our Monetary Policy                                               3

Extending Healthcare proposals to all persons in the United States                                                                                              4

Not Curtailing Medicare for All                                                    5

Including All Workers in Retraining Programs                          5

International Organizations - Remove Specific Mention of World Trade Organization                                                            6

Student Loan Reform                                                                    6

Wealth Tax 2                                                                                   7


Wealth Tax 1

Proposer: Sue Alksnis (Secretary - Canada)

Co-Sponsor: David Mivasair (DPCA Rep - Canada)


Page number: 57


Exact text in platform: “In line with our support for equitable taxation of all Americans and the redistribution of wealth concentrated to the degree that 0.003% of the population holds 13% of all wealth, we support a wealth tax. “

                                        

Nature: SUPPORT  


Text of Resolution: Preserve support of a wealth tax.

 

Prioritizing an Economic Bill of Rights

Proposer: David Mivasair (DPCA Rep - Canada)

Co-Sponsors:

Page number: 19

Exact text of the platform: “Democrats Abroad supports economic policy that protects, preserves, and grows our economy sustainably and inclusively. Our Government must provide support mechanisms so that American workers can succeed and build happy and prosperous lives.


Free and open markets can coexist with social welfare systems. The United States can simultaneously embrace the principles of capitalism and fulfill our collective responsibility to care for each other’s well-being.”


Nature: ALTER


The Global Platform Committee should embrace language and platforms that work for our values and to what we aspire. The Platform should not embrace capitalist values that have created mass inequality, disadvantage and marginalization.


Our Economic Policy should proudly state that we believe an economy should work for all, substantially improving the lived experience of all Americans.


ALTER to as follows:

"Democrats Abroad supports economic policy that advances the well-being of all Americans and envisions an economic policy that works for all. Our Government can and should move towards providing and improving the lived experience and real economic well-being so that American workers can succeed and build happy and prosperous lives.


Crucial to the sustainability of our democracy and well-being is pursuing an Economic Bill of Rights – that are all afforded the decency of self-actualization as we have a collective responsibility to care for each other’s well-being. To achieve this aim, we can implement monetary policy that works for both the public and private sectors, to expand innovation as well as economic justice rather than pit one against the other."


Modernizing Our Monetary Policy

Proposer: David Mivasair (DPCA Rep - Canada)

Co-Sponsors:

 

Page number: 22


Exact text of the platform: ‘Fiscal Prudence - Trickle-down economic theory and promises that “tax cuts pay for themselves” – repeatedly offered by Republicans to advance tax-cut legislation – have actually exacerbated income inequality, and ballooned budget deficits and the national debt, serving then only as an excuse for cutting Government services. The Government’s financial choices with respect to revenue and debt should reflect the discipline of a well-run business or household while recognizing that sustainable debt levels reflect the commercial capacity and direction of the U.S. economy.’


Nature: ALTER

The last sentence is both inaccurate and is based in a right-wing neoliberal ideology, antithetical to what we stand for. Governments are not a household or business as the US government is a currency issuer, not a user. Furthermore, this section is completely antithetical to the Green New Deal which calls upon the US Government to ensure strategic investment in new, innovative and sustainable emerging sectors.


We ALTER the “Fiscal Prudence” section, retitling it “Fiscal Policy” to state that governments can utilize strategic deficit spending to ensure a sustainable future and the well-being of all Americans, specifically as follows:


The GPC should promote accurate and equitable approaches to fiscal policy that realize deficit can be used for public and private stimulus

Retitle this Section “Fiscal Policy”

"We will promote a new paradigm of economic thought and monetary policy that works in accordance to support well-being for all and for a sustainable future. Neoliberal austerity has dominated the paradigm of governmental spending and punitively oppresses the working class, poor and most marginalized. This approach of economic theory repeatedly offered by Republicans to advance tax-cut legislation has exacerbated income inequality and serves as an excuse for cutting Government services.


We believe in a bold fiscal policy that will ensure that the economy can reach its resourcing potential within ecological sustainability. Concepts of debt and deficits are based on inaccurate representations that treat the US Government like a household or business and inherently lead to punitive fiscal measures that strip away critical social protections. As a sovereign issuer of currency, the US Government can maximize public and private resources while balancing inflation to fulfill our innovative resource potential towards full sustainable employment. In accordance with proposals like the Green New Deal, Democrats Abroad advocates for contemporary approaches to monetary policy that utilize government deficits as public and private surplus as investment in our future ."


Extending Healthcare proposals to all persons in United States

Proposer: Sue Alksnis (Secretary - Canada)

Co-Sponsors: David Mivasair (DPCA Rep - Canada)

 

Page number: 40


Exact text of the platform: “Understanding that healthcare is the highest concern for many Americans – including many of our families and friends living in the United States, Democrats Abroad advocates for high quality, equitable, and affordable healthcare for all Americans and legal immigrants, which we regard as a fundamental human right. We advocate a comprehensive reform that can withstand assault from for-profit interests, in particular insurance and pharmaceutical companies; and avoiding patchwork solutions that are more vulnerable to piecemeal attack and dilution.”


Nature: ALTER


ALTER by bringing into sync with stated positions of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who both stated that undocumented immigrants would be covered within their policies i.e., removing reference to 'legal immigrants' replacing with 'all immigrants'


Not Curtailing Medicare for All

Proposer: Sue Alksnis (Secretary - Canada)

Co-Sponsors: David Mivasair (DPCA Rep - Canada)

 

Page number: 40


Exact text of the platform: “We support Medicare for All as the preferred method for achieving these goals. Healthcare coverage should include preventive care and holistic health promotion, reproductive health and abortion services; pre- and post-natal care, pediatric and gender affirming care, dental, vision, and mental health care, and rehabilitation and end-of-life palliative care...”


Nature: SUPPORT


We SUPPORT and commend the inclusion of Medicare for All as healthcare is a fundamental human right and Medicare for All is the best way to achieve true, universal healthcare. There should be no curtailment of this statement.


Including All Workers in Retraining Programs

Proposer: Sue Alksnis (Secretary - Canada)

Co-Sponsors:


Page number: 40


Exact text of the platform: “We support retraining and a just transition for insurance administrators whose jobs might be at risk from such reform.”


Nature: ALTER


In paragraph two, “insurance administrators” must be changed to “medical administrators” or “healthcare administrative workers” as concerns around retraining include administrators not employed by insurance companies (hospital billing staff, for example).


International Organizations - Remove Specific Mention of World Trade Organization

Proposer: Sue Alksnis (Secretary - Canada)

Co-Sponsors:


Page Number: 36


Exact Text in Platform:                 

“We must strengthen institutions such as the World Trade Organization that the current Administration has attempted to derail. We call on all nations to return to full engagement with these organizations, and we denounce unilateral actions that defy U.N. directives or other treaty obligations.“


Nature: ALTER


Resolution:  ALTER to remover reference to the World Trade Organization as an international organization that DA wishes to strengthen.



Student Loan Reform

Proposer: Sue Alksnis (Secretary - Canada)

Co-Sponsors:


Page number:  25-26


Exact text of the platform: “We support simplified, automated, income-based student loan repayment plans, with payments, capped as a percentage of income, and the balance forgiven after a reasonable period of time. Unlike other consumer debt, such as credit card and mortgage debt, student loans cannot currently be discharged in bankruptcy. We support the discharge of student loan debt in the event of bankruptcy. The Federal Government must reduce the interest burden on Government-guaranteed student loans to zero and must require private student lenders to abolish prepayment penalties, to ease refinancing through third parties, and to provide pricing transparency.”

[...]

“The Federal Government must especially support colleges and universities that play unique and vital roles in their communities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.”


Nature: ALTER


Text of the proposed resolution: “Democrats Abroad supports the cancellation of all current federally-backed student debt, and making all public colleges and universities tuition-free. Unlike other consumer debt, such as credit card and mortgage debt, student loans cannot currently be discharged in bankruptcy. We support the discharge of both public and private student loan debt of any kind in the event of bankruptcy. Profiteering off a student's education is unacceptable at public institutions.


The Federal Government must also reduce the interest burden on government-guaranteed student loans for non-tuition related college expenses to zero as many other countries do. All remaining costs should be simplified, automated, income-based student loan repayment plans, with payments capped at a low percentage of discretionary income, and the balance forgiven after 10 years regardless of principal due. Private student lenders must be regulated to the same standard and abolish student exploitation in the form of prepayment penalties, refinancing restrictions, and non-transparency in pricing.


Pell Grant eligibility requirements should be loosened, and grants expanded, to help cover any non-tuition related expenses a student may acquire while building their life and career. The Federal Government must especially support colleges and universities that play unique and vital roles in their communities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions, by providing for debt-free education and related expenses at these institutions.“


Wealth Tax 2

Proposer: Ed Ungar (Vice-Chair - Canada)

Co-Sponsors:


Page number: 60, 57 to top of 59


Exact text of the platform:  p. 60 Tax Code Priorities for our 21st Century Economy or p. 57 to top of 59 CBT Vs RBT  Leave it to the committee to decide which one.


Nature: REJECT a portion of the draft platform


Text of the proposed resolution:  “A policy to support a U.S. wealth tax and allow the treasury access to trillions from the super-rich while rendering moot the need to deal with CBT to all but a few handfuls of Americans Abroad.


  1. Raise the foreign earnings exclusion from around $100,00 US to $1.75 million US so that double taxation would be eliminated for nearly all citizens outside the US.


  1. Those who fall under this exclusion need only submit a one-line tax return stating this, accompanied by a copy of your residence country tax return. (Note: A similar resolution was adopted by DA a few years ago)


  1. Given that citizens outside the US have not benefited from years of mortgage interest deduction tax credits, citizens outside the US shall not pay tax on the “profits” from home sales in the country of residence.


  1. FATCA reporting under $35 Million in institutions in countries of residence should be eliminated. The exception to this would apply if the country of residence holdings contribute to a total wealth of over $50 million. All holdings outside of the country of residence will be reported.


  1. This shall not apply to residents of, or to, financial holdings in counties deemed tax havens. All figures will be indexed to inflation-deflation.

  


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