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The March For Our Lives movement is an excellent chance to promote your local Youth Caucus, give younger members a chance to take a leading role, and engage younger potential new members, who may not otherwise be exposed to Dems Abroad. We understand and appreciate that March for Our Lives is nonpartisan, but much like the Women's March and other events, there are still opportunities to encourage Americans to commit to staying engaged through Democrats Abroad and Vote From Abroad. We hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities, but please use your best judgement. 

The following resources may be helpful for your activities:

NECESSITIES

1. Please be sure you have added your event to the DA website EVEN IF YOU HAVE POSTED IT ON FACEBOOK OR ELSEWHERE.

2. If you wish, you can also add your event to the March For Our Lives website (link).

3. Please report any coverage afterward to [email protected] using this template for media coverage (to edit, you will need to download or select "make a copy" under the File menu)


EVENT TIPS

Review the guide to DA marches, demonstrations and vigils (link).


MEDIA OUTREACH

1. Click here to access the Press Release Template
Download or select "make a copy" under the File menu to edit, and then revise text in red. 

2. Tips for Successful Media Pitches

Remember that a press release doesn't sell the story, it just gives the details the journalist needs, after they are inspired to read further. Encouraging the journalist to respond and engage is what you'll need to do within your pitch, most frequently done via email.

    • Keep your email short - under 200 words - and get straight to the point.
    • Address the recipient by their name. 
    • Every email should be unique and add a personal touch if possible. If you copy/paste an email, they will know it. 
    • Give a very brief intro into who you am and who your organization is. 
    • Give an emotional hook for the recipient to want more information. 
    • Explain how writing about the event will be mutually beneficial.
    • Have a good understanding of what the recipient publishes to ensure that the content is completely relevant to them. 
    • Email subject should be short and encompass the content idea within it.
    • Consider reaching out to journalists via social media first.
    • Don't be afraid to follow up in email or other means. Some journalists will have their desk phone number and/or social media handles publicly available.

3. Talking Points

Democrats Abroad is the state Democratic party for overseas Americans. We represent the 6.7 million eligible voters overseas (out of 9 million total). That’s a bigger voting bloc than all but 12 US states. We have members in over 190 countries around the world, and 43 country committees. We provide our members with tools to help them stand up for democracy - through regularly published actions, events they can participate in, and a friendly community of like minded American citizens living abroad. Our primary focus is to get out the vote abroad and advocate for overseas American issues... More here: http://bit.ly/StandardDATPs

Talking Points on the latest issues - including gun safety - can be found here: http://bit.ly/InTheNewsTPs


4. Dems Abroad Statement

Democrats Abroad invites all members to join with us as we March for Our Lives. On March 24th we will rise in solidarity with US marches, and rally in cities and towns around the world. We will speak out for gun control and demand that Congress protect the youth of America, and enact gun legislation to end violence and mass shootings in our schools today. (posted to website, Feb 19)

Democrats Abroad strongly supports common sense gun legislation. We deplore Congress' unwillingness to enact legislation that would protect the people of America.

Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, states: "Sensible gun legislation is the norm in nearly all other developed countries, where leaders are not beholden to organizations like the NRA to fund their next political campaign. In Japan, death by firearm is as uncommon as death by lightning strike. In the United States, gun fire is as likely to kill our friends and family as a car accident. To accept this reality as the inevitable fallout of protecting the second amendment is to deny the rights our country was founded on - that all people are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (posted to website Feb 20)

5. Dems Abroad 2016 Platform excerpt

GUN VIOLENCE

Gun violence is a serious AMERICAN problem. Every year 30,000 people are killed by guns. The reputation of the U.S. around the world is damaged by the killing by guns in our homes, on our streets, in our businesses, but especially in our schools.

We: DEPLORE systemic gun violence in America, and the failure to address these issues, especially the presence of guns in educational institutions.

CALL FOR Congress to pass legislation that helps ensure dangerous people are prohibited from having guns, including: 

Background Check System - 
• Requiring every gun buyer to go through a criminal background check;
• Ensuring that the background check system has complete information on people prohibited from having guns; 
• Addressing unnecessary legal barriers that prevent states from reporting information about those prohibited from having guns;
• Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system;
• Holding federal agencies accountable for sharing reliable information with the background check system; 

Assault Weapon Control - 
• Reinstating and strengthening the ban on assault weapons; 
• Limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds; 
• Removing armor-piercing bullets from the marketplace; 
• Eliminating restrictions that force the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to authorize the importation of dangerous weapons deemed of collectible interest that are abused and to permit the importation of fully functional and powerful military weapons; 

CALL FOR Congress to pass legislation to, with the support of governments at all levels, put a stop to senseless gun violence in the U.S., including:

Supporting Law Enforcement – 
• Closing loopholes on new gun trafficking laws and to create serious punishments for gun trafficking; 
• Enacting the Obama administration’s $4 billion proposal to fund 15,000 police officers in cities and towns across the U.S.; 
• Funding the provision of effective training for active shooter situations for 14,000 law enforcement officers, first responders, and school officials; 

Mental Health – 
• Funding for “Mental Health First Aid” training for teachers; treatment referrals for students with signs of mental illness; support for 16-25 year olds at high risk of mental illness; training for 5,000 mental health professionals serving students and young adults; 
• Requiring private health insurance plans to cover mental health services through the ACA; 
• Requiring quality mental health coverage for the millions of Americans covered by Medicaid; 

Also – 
• Ending the freeze on gun violence research and providing $10 million for the Center for Disease Control to investigate the causes and prevention of gun violence, including the relationship between video games, media images and violence; 
• Empowering health care providers with avenues for providing warnings to law enforcement authorities about threats of violence; 
• Launching a national responsible gun owner program; 
• Funding a review of safety standards for gun locks and gun safes and the development of innovative gun safety technology; 
• Providing incentives schools to hire school resource officers, such as the COPS Hiring Grants. 

URGE the Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the Government of Mexico, to focus resources on dismantling the operations of “coyotes” and human traffickers who prey on the vulnerable, and on disrupting drug smuggling from Mexico.

URGE the Senate to confirm an Obama administration appointment of Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has not had a confirmed director for six years. 

FAVOR the abolition of all “Stand Your Ground” laws. 

FAVOR the abolition of “Open Carry” laws.


ENGAGING PARTICIPANTS

Connecting with students? These Study Abroad resources may help.

Read these suggestions on Adding Diversity to Your Events.


DESIGN RESOURCES

Click to download.


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To be added:

Direct gun control TPs link

Postcard design

Social Media posts

Chants, DIY sign examples

Youth Caucus FAQ (TBC)

Explainer on relationship w/ MFOL (TBC)

Op-ed, letter writing, outreach tips (TBC)

Call scripts (TBC)



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