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Voting from abroad in US elections (update)

If you’re American and live abroad, that does not mean you have to put your political views on hold come election time.

Make sure to check out this website Vote From Abroad for information on how to vote from other countries. A video is below. (Disclaimer: This is a Democrat-affiliated organization).

The US Embassy in Paris has also send out helpful information, below the video. The US Embassy’s page on Facebook is also a great resource.

In addition, the non-partisan, non-profit association Union of Overseas Voters has a site at WeVote.fr for tips. You can join them on Facebook.

They have also made these information sheets available for you:

Important Voting Facts for US citizens

About the Union of Overseas Voters

Flyer for help sessions in person in Paris (1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 2-5pm at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris)

Merci for the helpful documents!

If you have any stories about voting from abroad, feel free to post a comment. Happy voting!

Message from US Embassy Paris

Have a say in our country’s future. One of our most treasured values is the right and the privilege to vote – to participate actively in our country’s democratic process. This November, U.S. citizens will elect a President, a Vice President, one-third of the Senate, and the entire House of Representatives. The U.S. Embassy in France encourages all U.S. citizens to participate in this year’s elections, and stands ready to help you vote.

Almost all overseas U.S. citizens can vote. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now allow adult children who have never resided in the United States to vote using their parents’ state of voting residence. Details are available on the FVAP website at http://www.fvap.gov/reference/nvr-res.html.

Register and request a ballot. To vote, new laws require you to complete and submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) this calendar year. The FPCA allows you to register to vote and request an absentee ballot. If you haven’t yet done so, we urge you to do so now. The easiest way to complete it is online at www.FVAP.gov. Depending on your State’s rules, you then send it to your local election officials electronically or by mail.

Mailing guidance. Print out the completed FPCA and the (U.S.) postage-paid envelope containing the address of your local election officials. You can drop off the postage-paid envelope (containing your FPCA) at the Embassy, and we will mail it back home for you without the need to pay international postage. If it’s easier for you to use France’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.

Embassy Paris drop box: You may drop your signed, dated, sealed FPCA registration or ballot in the Consular Section drop box:

a. Go to the Consular Section entrance of the Paris Embassy with your registration or ballot;

b. Announce that you would like to drop off voting materials;

c. Present suitable ID (preferably a passport);

d. Present the registration or ballot;

e. After the security check, place the ballot in the ballot box.

Need help? Go to the Embassy’s voting website page to receive assistance. Voting Assistance Officers or private U.S. citizen volunteers in France may also help you. (NOTE: It is acceptable for private U.S. citizens or U.S. citizens’ groups to collect FPCAs and deliver them to the Embassy on behalf of other eligible voters, as long as each FPCA is in its own U.S. postage-paid envelope.)

Make your vote count! Follow your State’s absentee voting procedures carefully. Send in your FPCA before the registration deadline. When you get your ballot, vote and mail it promptly so it reaches local election officials by your State’s absentee ballot receipt deadline.
Questions? If you have any questions about registering to vote, please contact the Paris Voting Assistance Officer by email at VoteParis@state.gov

US college basketball teams to play in Paris August 11-16

The Euro Jam Paris Basketball Festival will take place from August 11 to August 16, 2012 at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris 16ème.

US college teams featured will be Kansas, Virginia, Colorado and Penn State, each taking on AMW Team France.

You can check out more information on the festival and tickets at the official site and on their Facebook page.

Come on out for this great event!

Paris Power Networking on entrepreneurship March 13

Hi everyone, I’m back after an absence. I know you missed me!

There is a very interesting event coming up to learn more about entrepreneurship while networking with fellow professionals in a great setting in Paris. I’ve been to several Paris Power Networking events and know the directors Fabien and Géraldine. Fantastic people, fantastic organization.

Registration required. Sign-up information and detailed information are below, and available on their website.

Happy networking!

“SUCCESS FORUM: ENTREPRENEURIAL ROUNDTABLE”
Peer Group Brainstorming Session to Promote and Support Entrepreneurial Endeavors


Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 7:30pm

Location: 1st Avenue Restaurant & Bar, facing 119-121 Boulevard Pereire, 75017 Paris: MAP

REGISTRATION: €30 FOR GUESTS / €15 FOR MEMBERS (Select “Member Discount”)
Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND:

In its effort to support entrepreneurial success, Power Networking is proud to introduce the popular “Success Forum Series” to the Paris community: an exclusive platform for CEOs, Start-Ups and Investors to meet and share valuable expertise in a highly creative environment.

Brainstorm with business owners, entrepreneurs, financiers, legal and I.T. specialists
Every participant will walk away with new ideas, contacts and business opportunities
Meet Fabien Bertault, Founder and CEO of Power Networking
Congratulations “Baby Plume” for being selected as the Empowered Business on March 13!

French airport strikes continue, though will likely improve

December 20th, 2011 1 comment

Great news out of France for travelers (including me tomorrow):

Several security service teams working at airports around France are striking to receive more benefits and a pay raise.

This has affected Lyon St. Exupéry Airport, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (Roissy CDG), Toulouse and this may soon expand to Nice, Bâle-Mulhouse (Basel-Mulhouse) and Rennes. Video below.

The Aéroports de Paris website states the following at 3pm today: “Paris-CDG: Industrial action by security companies, 3 pm update Paris-CDG Terminal 2 : 15 mn wait time at security checks, up to 60 mn at peak times. No flight cancellations. Paris-Orly : normal situation.”

Normally the strikes before were also in terminals 1 and 3 of CDG. The Lyon website says strikes should continue to cause delays today but should not result in cancellations. To be confirmed.

Now the French government is looking into having a law obliging airports to have minimum service during strikes. They’ve also named 2 official mediators to try to resolve the crisis.

For the latest updates, call your airline and please check the respective airport websites and France 24 for latest information.

I’ll be writing a bit less during the holidays. Safe travels and Happy Holidays!

French technological innovation and efficiency for cutting costs

November 25th, 2011 2 comments

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and for those celebrating this weekend (comme moi), enjoy the festivities!

The Economist has an interesting piece in this week’s issue that talks about the newly automated line 1 of the Paris metro system which was completely outfitted with new technology and revamped to make it driverless.

Besides having better and more service during rush hour and a lower risk of accidents (automated line 14, which I take quite often, has had no accidents since its launch in 1998), the modernization of services also results in a welcome side effect for many: these automated lines will not be affected by the occasional public transport worker strikes since there are no drivers (see excerpt below).

What is your view on technology and innovation in France? Do you think labor costs are too high and discourages employers from hiring more often?

“…Strict labour laws, costly payroll charges and erratic strikes seem to make French firms especially keen on technology. Supermarkets, for instance, have enthusiastically adopted self-checkout tills. “All French hypermarkets have adopted this strategy over the past few years,” says Alexis Lecanuet at Accenture, a consultancy. The idea is to speed up queues at peak times for impatient non-technophobes carrying light baskets. But it also cuts costs. “Self-checkout has worked better in countries where labour is expensive,” says Serguei Netessine, a professor at INSEAD, a business school.

France excels at high-tech services: credit-card operated petrol stations, touch-screen fast-food counters, automatic car-washing. Two years ago, McDonalds pioneered the use of touch-screen, credit-card-based ordering in its French fast-food restaurants. Eléphant Bleu, a self-service high-pressure car-washing chain, has 472 outlets in France, and is expanding. All this in a country where the labour code runs to over 3,300 pages, an employer pays an average of 39% in payroll taxes, and unemployment is at 10%. Spot the connection.”

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé ! Wine bar hop tonight in Paris

November 17th, 2011 No comments

If you’re in France today, you’ll see signs in many bars and restaurants windows touting the message “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!” in some variation (“The New Beaujolais region vintage has arrived!”).

For those of you who are not familiar with Beaujolais Nouveau, here is a little background on the wine and the event. This site also provides some insight (as well as the picture above, merci).

There are soirées all over the world to celebrate this annual event. One of my favorite places in Washington D.C. is Bistrot du Coin. I believe the French Embassy in D.C. and its Consulates have events as well.

My friend Miss Vicky Wine is hosting a wine bar hop tonight in Paris with Le Petit Ballon to celebrate the arrival of the 2011 vintage. You can find more information and RSVP on this Facebook event. Here is the itinerary, and more information on this site (in French). Have a good time tonight!

G20, Paris newspaper bombing, Madame Le Pen goes to Washington

November 8th, 2011 No comments

In the latest issue of Bonjour Paris news, I have an article that talks about these subjects. You can read it all here.

The Promenade Plantée in Paris

November 7th, 2011 1 comment

My fellow blogger Lucy wrote this great post on her blog about a well-known pathway among Parisians but little known among tourists. It is similar New York’s High Line though predates it, and as I live nearby in the 12th arrondissement, I can tell you it’s great for walks, strolls and runs. There are also many shops and boutiques under the archways of the old viaduct. Where to find it? You can find more here, even more in the French version, a walking guide in French and a jogging map.

It is near Gare de Lyon and runs from Château de Vincennces to near the Bastille in east Paris. Some metro stations nearby for access: Montgallet, Daumesnil, Gare de Lyon (though Montgallet is probably the best).

Lucy has great pictures on her site. UPDATE: The Boston Globe also has an excellent article.

Below one picture of the Jardin de Reuilly and one from the Promenade. There is a great YouTube video tour of the whole Promenade here (also embedded below).

“Autolib”, Public car sharing scheme to launch in Paris Oct 1

September 28th, 2011 1 comment

Autolib is a new public car sharing scheme that will launch in Paris at a limited number of places this Saturday October 1st. Its name from comes “Vélib” (vélo + liberté = bike + freedom), so it means “car freedom”.

Stations will be opening gradually throughout Paris, with the network completion date set for May 31, 2012.

The total number will be around 1120 stations throughout the region, with on average 6 cars per station, where they can be recharged. There will be a clear touch screen at each station to help customers with the steps for renting. As you could expect, they’re also hiring.

You can see some preview pictures here and below. Below the pictures you’ll see an article in French describing the launch.

You can also read this New York Times article from April that mentions the program.

Les Autolib de Bolloré en avance sur le timing
Stratégies
le 27 septembre 2011

Les premières voitures électriques en libre-service Autolib, conçues par le groupe Bolloré, circuleront dans les rues de Paris dès le samedi 1er octobre, soit deux mois avant le lancement précédemment annoncé. A l’occasion de la Nuit blanche parisienne, 66 Blue Car seront mises en service et 33 stations ouvertes, avant une montée en puissance progressive. Le Syndicat mixte Autolib avait signé le 25 février dernier une convention de délégation de service public avec le groupe Bolloré, qui va investir 50 millions d’euros dans l’affaire et prendre en charge l’entretien et l’assurance des véhicules. Vincent Bolloré, PDG du groupe, a affirmé au début de l’année que d’ici à 2016, jusqu’à 5 000 véhicules électriques pourraient être offerts en libre-service à Paris et dans sa banlieue. Le prix de l’abonnement devrait être de 7 euros la demi-heure et des abonnements mensuel et hebdomadaire seront aussi proposés.

Expat relocation workshop in Paris Oct 1

September 27th, 2011 6 comments

The “BLOOM Where You’re Planted” seminar and workshop is annual event organized by the Women of the American Church of Paris (WOAC). They have an all-day program full of workshops on adjusting to expat life in France.

It will take place this Saturday Oct. 1 at the American Church of Paris (in the 7th arrondissement).

You can find more details about the event here.

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