Here's your roundup of Democrats Abroad events and happenings from September 2017 across China.
New this Month:
- Sister District Project - We are excited to be working with Sister District Project to to help Jennifer Carroll Foy, Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, take District 2 and flip it blue! This is one of the most competitive districts in Virginia and Jennifer's success will be critical to turning Virginia blue this November, when the entire Virginia House of Delegates will be up for election. This is our first day of calls to Virginia voters. You can participate from your home or join us in-person in Beijing. Learn More.
- DA China Book Club - Emily Johnson is leading our book club for Democrats Abroad China members. While she is based in Beijing, virtual participation is encouraged. You can join our book club on GoodReads, as well as on WeChat.
September Happenings around China:
Welcome to New Shanghai Expats (September 1, Shanghai): On Friday, September 1, a group of Democrats Abroad volunteers led by Wenfei Zhou spearheaded this event at NakedHub, a centrally located co-working space.
House Party for New Arrivals in Shunyi (September 2, Beijing): Angie Bergeson -- a Democrats Abroad member, teacher, and mother – opened her home last week to current Democrats Abroad members and Americans who recently moved to the area. Democrats Abroad China Chair, Aaron Kruse, also attended. We look forward to continuing to connect and grow with this community of educators and concerned voters.
Live Worldwide Video Call with Elizabeth Warren (September 17, Global): On Sunday, September 17, Elizabeth Warren spoke with members of Democrats Abroad all over the world. In China, members hosted watch parties in Shunyi and CBD Beijing.
How to Watch China: A Conversation with John Holden (September 20, Beijing): Co-hosted with Young China Watchers and presented at The Bookworm, Democrats Abroad members in Beijing welcomed reflections from John L Holden on his career in China and what the future might bring. Holden is a leading expert on China with over three decades experience in business, diplomacy, and education. He steps into his new role as CEO of the US-China Strong Foundation at the end of September.
Expat Connection Picnic (September 24, Beijing): DA China members in Beijing volunteered at a booth to connect with American expat families. While the equestrian club offered pony rides, our offerings for the kids were relatively humble: coloring pages featuring a loving demoCAT.
Want to get involved?
Want to join us on WeChat?
Have questions about voting from abroad?
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Democrats Abroad - China is excited to be working with Sister District Project to to help Jennifer Carroll Foy, Democratic candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, and flip District 2 blue! VA-02 is one of the most competitive districts in Virginia and Jennifer's success will be a momentum-building victory in the lead up to November, when the entire Virginia House of Delegates is up for election.
We'll be phonebanking, fundraising, and engaging in other opportunities to support Jennifer. Find out more about how you can help below.
About Jennifer and VA-02
As a former Magistrate and now public defender, Jennifer has dedicated her life to public and community service. Jennifer is passionate about protecting women's access to reproductive health care, fighting for equal pay for equal work, advancing criminal justice reform, expanding pre-k education, and supporting VA's teachers and first responders with better pay.
VA-02 comprises of Prince William and Stafford counties southwest of Washington D.C. and is one of the most competitive districts in Virginia this fall. It was last held by a Republican but Hillary Clinton carried it last year. The Republican incumbent is retiring and Jennifer’s initial opponent recently dropped out of the race, making this seat a prime target for us this year.
You can find out more information about the race here: https://www.sisterdistrict.com/vahod02
How to Get Involved
If you're interested in joining us to help elect Jennifer to the VA House of Delegates, please sign up here. Activities to support Jennifer will be organized through your DA-China leadership, in partnership with Sister District.
If you’re excited and eager to make an impact in other ways, you can also donate to Jennifer’s campaign here. Jennifer’s campaign is operating on a very tight budget in a low-spend district, so every dollar will make a huge difference in the race for this district.
(This is a DA China-specific link so we’d be grateful if you donate/spread the word using it so we can keep track of how much we are able to help raise: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/sdp-da-china?refcode=china
About Sister District and the Virginia Races
Sister District Project is a grassroots organization that channels the explosive people power of Democratic volunteers in blue areas towards strategic, winnable races in purple districts where such mobilization can make a significant impact. Phonebanking, fundraising, and other activities are just some of the ways we'll be supporting Jennifer Carroll Foy for VA House of Delegates.
Sister District Project is proudly supporting 13 candidates running for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017. Virginia is the quintessential purple battleground state, and its districts are among the most gerrymandered in the country. It is essential that we fight to flip Virginia blue so that its districts can be redrawn fairly ahead of the 2020 census. Also, our fight for the state legislature in Virginia will send a strong message to the rest of the nation that Democrats are ready to retake our government at all levels. Remember, what happens in these off-year elections in Virginia is often a sign of what will happen nationally in the next midterm election. After going blue in ’08 for the first presidential election in decades, Virginia's state legislature swung right in 2009, which foreshadowed the Dems huge losses in 2010. Let's get the pendulum swinging in our direction ahead of the incredibly important 2018 midterms next year!
Please feel free to reach out to Phong Quan (email@example.com) or any other member of the leadership board if you have any questions. We’re here to help!
On June 11, 2017, Democrats Abroad (DA) members in China gathered to celebrate the first elected leadership team and pay tribute to the contributions of members saying farewell to China, including Ada Shen, Rich Welch, Erin Campeau, Christine Pernin, Radha Chaddah, and Avery Ince.
This celebration included DA members - new and old - and was held in Beijing. Some members even traveled in from other cities in China to participate in this inaugural event. Also in attendance from Hong Kong was Shaun Barnes, DA Asia-Pacific Regional Vice-Chair.
The occasion was marked by farewell speeches from our friends Ada Shen and Rich Welch, both of whom have plans to leave China. They spoke to the gathered members about their hopes for the future of DA China and offered their continued support especially to the incoming leadership. DA Asia-Pacific Regional Vice-Chair Shaun Barnes and DA China Chair Aaron Kruse also shared remarks expressing their enthusiasm and optimism for the start of the new China country committee.
Both Ada and Rich helped usher the membership through the process of establishing a country committee for China within the global Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) structure. They laid the groundwork for the incoming leadership team -- communicating with the DPCA about requirements, proposing bylaws, notifying members, and so much more. They organized the election for DA China leadership on May 6, 2017 with gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai, and connected by WebEx to allow members in other locations to participate remotely. Finally, Ada and Rich, along with DA China leaders Aaron Kruse (Chair), Samantha Wong (Vice-Chair), and Randi Miller (Legal) traveled to Washington, DC to attend the Annual DPCA Global Meeting, witnessing the official vote to admit DA China on May 15, 2017.
Original Event: Celebrate with Democrats Abroad China, 6/11/2017
Ready to Join Us? You can become a member of Democrats Abroad China online. Membership confirmation will include an invitation to join us on WeChat.
Questions? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
For immediate release
Jun 14, 2017
Democrats Abroad China Elects an Executive Committee, Gets Confirmed as an Official Country Committee at 2017 AGM
China - Democrats Abroad China elected its first-ever Executive Committee at their Annual General Meeting on May 6. The following week, from May 12-15, five representatives of DA China attended the DA Global AGM in Washington DC, where DA China was unanimously accepted into Democrats Abroad as an official country committee.
The incoming DA China leadership is responsible for upholding and supporting the work of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad among American expatriates in China. DA China announces the following newly elected leaders:
Chair – Aaron Kruse
Vice Chair – Samantha Wong
Secretary – Elizabeth Jenkins
Treasurer – Jim Spear
Legal Counsel – Randi Miller
Communications/IT – Chris Zombik
Members-At-Large – Kira Leinonen, Phong Quan, James Flanagan, Faith Gary, Joshua Lally
The creation of an official country committee for China is notable as the result of more than 10 years of informal organizing by dedicated Democrats in China. An official presence for DA in China is more important than ever now that American politics has come to the forefront of global concern under the Trump administration. DA China aims to be the point of contact for Americans living in China to more actively connect with government and civic engagement back home.
“We are thrilled to finally have an official country committee for DA China,” says Aaron Kruse, DA China’s newly-elected Chair. “This milestone coincides with our reaching a critical new level of engagement and interest from Americans living in China. We are incredibly excited to grow this organization and help our members get involved politically with what is happening back in the U.S.”
The leadership elections were just the first step in an upcoming program of activities planned by DA China. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.democratsabroad.org/cn.
- END -
For more information, you may email DA China at: email@example.com
About Democrats Abroad
Democrats Abroad is the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of Americans living outside the United State. Democrats Abroad strives to provide citizens living abroad with a voice in government and elect democratic candidates by mobilizing the overseas vote. Democrats Abroad currently has 41 country committees throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. These country committees keep Americans abroad informed of their rights and help them participate in the U.S. political process. Members live in more than 190 countries around the globe and vote in every state and Congressional district in the U.S. Democrats Abroad is recognized as a "state" Party by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and is represented on the DNC by eight voting members, as well as at the quadrennial Democratic National Convention.
The Democrats Abroad online voter registration tool - votefromabroad.org - makes it easy to request a ballot and vote absentee from any place on the planet.
Democrats Abroad China (DACN or DA China for short) is the country committee serving U.S. Democrats living in China. We help Americans abroad participate in U.S. domestic politics by providing voter registration support, voting resources, and activism opportunities. Member activities include conversations with leading activists and elected officials, social events and parties, and more.
DEMOCRATS ABROAD CHINA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Last updated Wed May 3, 2017.
• Day and Date Registration will be accepted for the AGM. Please join DA China before coming to register and bring your DA member/account number with you.
• Optional Early Voting E-Ballot link can be used by new members who missed the email that went out earlier this week. Their new DA China Member/Account ID is required. Vote before the end of day, May 4th. (details below). DA CHINA EARLY VOTE E-BALLOT: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dachinaearlyvote
UPDATE: With Location and RSVP Details
UPDATE: Nominations closed on April 19, 2017. We have 18 Candidates for Leadership Board! Check them out here!
DA CHINA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)
All US citizens who are registered members of Democrats Abroad, residing in China, and of voting age by the next general federal election (Nov 6, 2018) are eligible to participate in the DA China Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday May 6th, in person in Beijing and Shanghai, or via remote videoconference (WebEx).
As announced April 6th, we will pass Bylaws and Elect Leadership at the AGM, necessary steps towards making China an official country committee of Democrats Abroad. Our country committee application will then be ratified at the Democrats Abroad Global Meeting in Washington DC, May 12-15.
DA CHINA BYLAWS: To view the current Bylaws Draft, click here: Bylaws.
The comment period is now open and will close May 4th.
To send questions or comments on the Bylaws draft, please click here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ELECTIONS: LEADERSHIP BOARD & EXCOM OFFICERS
We will elect the DA China Leadership Board and then ExCom Officers in two rounds.
Round One: Leadership Board Elections. 18 Candidates are running for 11 positions on the Leadership Board. To read Candidate statements, please click here. For this part of the elections only, there will be an early e-voting option for those who cannot attend the meeting. See details below.
Round Two: Executive Committee Officer Elections. Once we have elected a Leadership Board, out of their number we will then elect six Officers who comprise the Executive Committee (ExCom); they shall be the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Legal Officer and Director of Communications and IT. The Chair and Vice Chair must be of opposite genders. To read about ExCom Positions, scroll down.
Note that only those who have been successfully elected to the Board in Round One can be then nominated and run for Officer positions in Round Two. When voting, please also take into consideration regional balance and other factors to ensure we have a diverse and dynamic leadership team representative of DA China as a whole.
EARLY VOTING (OPTIONAL) BY E-BALLOT APRIL 29 TO MAY 4 - LEADERSHIP BOARD ELECTIONS ONLY
If you are not able to attend the AGM, as a DA Member in China you will have the option to Early Vote by e-ballot for Round One: Leadership Board Elections. DA Members in China received an email from the Nominations and Elections Committee of DA China on April 30, 2017 containing the link and instructions for Early Voting. (Subject line: IMPORTANT - DA China Early Vote E-Ballot - Vote Now) NOTE that if you elect to Early Vote, you may not vote again or change your vote at the Leadership Board elections at the AGM -- attempting to vote more than once will disqualify you. (There is no early vote option for ExCom Officer elections, you must participate in the AGM on May 6th either in person or via WebEx to vote that round.) If you need assistance, please email email@example.com.
DA CHINA EARLY VOTE E-BALLOT - PLEASE CLICK HERE:
* * For those eligible and interested who have not yet joined DA in China, they can join now at http://www.democratsabroad.org.
Day and date new member registrations will be accepted to participate and vote at the AGM. Bring your new DA China member/account number after joining. See below to RSVP.
* * * MAY 6th AGM MEETING LOCATIONS: Beijing and Shanghai
DATE: Sat. May 6th, 2017
REGISTRATION: 12PM. Free Pizza for early registrants. Come meet our Leadership Candidates.
MEETING: BEGINS PROMPTLY FROM 1P
Snacks and light refreshment will be available.
RSVP TO ATTEND THE AGM IN PERSON, click here to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Beijing: Beijing United Family Hospital
Building 2, Fifth Floor, 2 Jiangtai Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Many thanks to Roberta L., Carolyn W., Josh K., and Alan K. and the BJUFH IT team for their support.
In Shanghai: The Market
280 Ao'men Road, Near Changhua Road. Upstairs, first office right hand side.
THE MARKET上海普陀区澳门路280号, 近昌化路
Many thanks to Brent B., Chris C. and The Market IT team for their support.
* * * MAY 6th AGM PARTICIPATION VIA ONLINE VIDEO CONFERENCE OR BY PHONE
DATE: Sat. May 6th, 2017
REGISTRATION: Please RSVP to register, and we suggest setting up 10 minutes beforehand.
MEETING: BEGINS PROMPTLY FROM 1P
RSVP TO ATTEND THE AGM BY WEBEX or phone, click here to contact us: email@example.com
Open to all DA China members who are not able to attend in Beijing and Shanghai in person. We will be using WebEx, an online video conference service that you use with your computer and a web interface. (http://www.WebEx.com)
A local call-in number will also be provided if you wish to participate instead by phone (voice only).
DA CHINA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICER POSITIONS
The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the organization, shall call and preside at all meetings of members and of the Executive Committee, and shall have responsibility for all activities approved by the organization. The Chair shall sit ex-officio on all committees of the organization including Standing Committees, with full voting privileges.
In the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall call and preside at meetings of members and of the Executive Committee. The Vice Chair shall have such other duties as the Chair shall define. The Vice Chair shall be the opposite gender of the Chair.
The Secretary shall maintain a current list of verified members of the organization; individual members may review and revise their own member record, otherwise the secretary shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of membership list names and contact details. The secretary shall also maintain minutes of all meetings, and all files and administrative records of the organization and make them reasonably available for membership review.
The Treasurer shall manage the finances of the organization, maintain its financial reports to members, and make and maintain such financial reports as may be required by US law, particularly but not limited to those related to election campaign finance. All such records shall be open for inspection by members.
LEGAL COUNSEL OR COUNSEL
The Legal Officer shall advise the Committee or its officers on legal and procedural questions relating to DACN.
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT)
The Director of Communications and IT (“Communications Director”) shall direct and coordinate the efforts of the Committee to communicate with the membership, coordinate relations with the Press, and advise the Committee on appropriate and effective channels of communication, in particular use of social media and digital meeting platforms.
FIVE AT-LARGE LEADERSHIP BOARD POSITIONS: The roles and responsibilities of non-ExCom At-Large Board Members shall be defined by the Board as a whole.
Questions? Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)
ExCom Positions: Chair; Vice Chair
At-Large Board Member: At-Large Member
Based in: Beijing
My name is Joshua Lally, I'm a lifelong Democrat (dyed in the wool) who votes in Nevada's 1st Congressional District. I've been in Beijing, China now for over 12 years and I'm the Director of Food and Beverage for multiple popular restaurant brands in Beijing that have not only thrived, but have expanded to multiple locations around the city. I can also read and write Chinese, which can be a big asset here in China.
I mention my time in Beijing and experience in F&B because it relates to an understanding of how to create systems and structures that last the test of time, as well as how to navigate the unique challenges in this country that we call our adopted (or even temporary) home. I've studied and worked with really fantastic management and strategy methods and would love to apply that background to growing DA China. My passion in running for Chair or Vice Chair lies in helping the country committee to create a lasting structure that will focus on three essential goals: to build the membership for Democrats Abroad China, to sustain the enthusiasm of our members through various events and engagement, and through that engaged membership, activate them in times of need to assist the greater goals of the Democratic Party. To that end, I have also participated on the DA China Steering Committee in considering the organizational growth and direction of our new country committee.
It's as simple as that for me. I'm passionate about getting people involved to support the Democratic Party and push to take back all three branches of government. I want to get as many Democrat voters registered and involved with DA China as possible and see an engaged electorate working for change back home. We've seen such an amazing turnout and revitalized interest in American politics from this election and I want to help to build the organization that will serve these newly engaged minds in meaningful activities and involvement, hopefully putting them and the greater Democratic Party on a brighter and more successful path for the future. EMAIL
ExCom Position: Vice Chair, Secretary, Legal, Director of Communications and Information Technology
At-Large Board Member: Women's Caucus Lead; Progressive Caucus Lead; Issues Advocacy; Rapid Response Team
Based in: Beijing
My name is Kira Leinonen, registered Maine voter. I would like you to support me for a role as an At-Large Board Member, working on Issues Advocacy.
I am an independent film and documentary producer living and working in China since 2008. I believe that Americans living outside of the US need more effective engagement in US politics to be better represented, and to be better heard. I believe that as Americans overseas we offer an invaluable perspective on some the most pressing issues facing our nation and our planet, and the future for all. As a Board Member, I feel that my experience in communications and media would help DA China mobilize around issues that matter to large cross-sections of Americans abroad, such as climate change and specific US foreign policies, and communicate them effectively to our representatives in Washington. I hope to offer my experience as a communications and creative professional managing complex teams in in identifying, articulating and moving toward specific goals can be of service to the incoming Leadership Board, in better engaging voters and connecting with the issues relevant to our political system back home on both local and national levels.
Whether working on regional and global campaigns, or feature films and commercials, my production work has reinforced the importance of clear communication within and between teams, and the importance of understanding audience and the appropriate tones and channels through which to reach them. As the video producer at Greenpeace East Asia for several years, I collaborated with mixed teams of local and international activists, journalists, and media professionals. As an editor of a documentary series about China's environment, in collaboration with state media, I had the responsibility of distinguishing key elements of sensitive grassroots activism in order to shape their stories for broad domestic and international audiences. I believe the ability to gather, understand, and distill diverse issues and the opinions surrounding them into coherent narratives would be an asset to DA China in the effort of relaying our concerns and priorities to our representatives and allies in the US. As a delegate of Global Power Shift, the international movement that laid the groundwork for events such as the 2014 and upcoming 2016 People's Climate March, and through volunteer work for US unions and civil rights organizations, I have been able to apply my communications and advocacy skills to translating international concerns into US-based movements. I would like to continue building this momentum with DA China to impact US politics from abroad.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to this country committee leadership effort, and I thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions please contact me. EMAIL
ExCom Positions: Director of Communications and Information Technology
At-Large Board Member: At-Large Member
Based in: Shanghai
My name is Chris Zombik. I live in Shanghai and vote in Massachusetts. I am running for DA China leadership because I want this committee to be the best it can possibly be when it comes to connecting American expats in China and getting them involved in our democracy. I was also one of the main organizers for the DA China Global Presidential Primary in Shanghai.
I am running for Director of Communications and IT, with the general goal of fostering and strengthening the DA identity in China and around the world. I hope to achieve this through two main areas of effort.
First, I am well-prepared to handle the basic Comms/IT responsibilities: managing DA China's digital presence through social media and email activities, interfacing with press and other outside entities on behalf of the Executive Committee, and making sure that our communications systems are the best they can be for our needs as a geographically spread-out membership group.
Second, I will work hard to use the Comms/IT position as a creative, high-impact platform for new forms of outreach and engagement. I will explore the potential of digital platforms such as blogs, newsletters, and podcasts for telling stories about DA's amazing work, not just in China but around the world. I believe that by hearing about the struggles and successes of our counterparts here and in other countries, we will build a leaner, meaner, more engaged and effective membership. Storytelling is key: by getting the word out about what DA members worldwide are up to, Comms/IT can inspire unexpected connections and grassroots initiative. Importantly, these stories can easily be shared with other country committees to help them build engagement, too.
My background is well-suited to this role. My day job is helping Chinese kids apply for American colleges, so I am basically a communications and storytelling coach. In my free time, I'm an aspiring novelist and internet junkie. Running for Communications Director seems like the ideal way to combine my skills and interests in order to bolster expat political involvement in China and beyond. EMAIL