After a Covid-caused hiatus, AARO successfully renewed its Overseas Americans Week (OAW) in Washington, DC from May 8 to May 12, 2023.
OAW serves as the focal point for AARO’s year-long advocacy efforts. The AARO delegation was composed of board members Laura Snyder (Tax), Paul Atkinson (Banking), and Fred Einbinder (Advocacy), and President Doris Speer, who were joined by long-time OAW team member, Johanna Dishongh, representing the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO).
The OAW team held 60 meetings during the week with Congressional offices and government agencies, including the State Department (Consular Services Bureau), the IRS (National Taxpayer Advocate) and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, as well as researchers, think tanks, the American Banking Association and American Citizens Abroad.
Highlights of this year’s OAW included the innovative use of 535 Campaign comments from constituents of each congressional office, as well as very positive meetings for future advocacy efforts with the office of the new chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus, Congresswoman Dina Titus (Nevada), and Erin Collins, the new National Taxpayer Advocate, the “Voice of the Taxpayer” within the IRS and before Congress. Another highlight was to meet with Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, the non-voting delegate for the US Virgin Islands, in light of AARO’s plan to advocate for a non-voting delegate for Americans overseas.
For more on OAW, including information on the status of several bills directly relating to Americans Abroad, which AARO’s supports, notably the establishment of a Commission on Americans Living Abroad and our plans for enhanced advocacy building on OAW’s success, please take a look at the video below of the OAW’s team presentation at AARO’s AGM on June 2.