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Representation

representationHow overseas Americans should be represented in Washington is a key issue for AARO. It touches on the ability of Americans abroad to make their voices heard in Congress on the specific matters that concern us most – from voting rights to taxation to transmission of citizenship.

Although we are large in number – as large as the entire population of a state like Colorado, South Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana or Alabama – our representation is divided up across all 50 states and 435 Congressional districts in such a way that we are, on average, about 2% of any given Senator’s or Representative's constituents. This makes it particularly difficult for us to raise issues of importance to us.

 

 

 

 

Build support for the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act

In February 2013, Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced HR 597 to create a bipartisan Federal Commission to study the impact of government policies on Americans living and working abroad and to make recommendations to Congress to improve drafting and implementation of policies impacting the overseas population. Click here for the list of Representatives who have already co-sponsored this important bill.

It has been over thirty years since the government did a comprehensive study of the overseas community, now estimated by the State Department to number 6.32 million. HR 597 will make it possible to examine the impacts of U.S. laws and regulations on voting from overseas, transmission of U.S. citizenship, competitiveness in international markets, access to financial services abroad and more. In today’s global economy, it is indispensable that this key population be taken into account in the formulation of U.S. policy.

We need to build support for HR 597: click here for a sample letter you can adapt and send to your Representative, encouraging him/her to co-sponsor the bill (find your Representative’s website here). And send him/her the letter from Representative Maloney urging their support. But don’t stop there! Share it with family and friends overseas and with family and friends in the United States: click here for a sample letter they can send. When overseas Americans got the right to vote in U.S. elections in 1975, it was due in large part to the avalanche of mail their Congresspersons received from all around the world…

(updated December 2013)


 

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