News

Our Lives are on the Line! Post your healthcare story using #ourlives.


Health care is one of the defining issues of our time. The Affordable Care Act is by no means perfect, but the Republican plan for health care will be a giant step back, no matter which one they end up voting on this week.

On July 29th, Democrats Abroad Japan is joining Our Lives On the Line in a national and worldwide day of action to change the health care debate.

What can you do? On July 29th, post a picture of yourself holding a sign that highlights the advantages of the health care system we experience as Americans living abroad. Keep it short, keep it simple, but try to address an issue that opponents always bring up: cost, waiting times, quality of care, doctor choice, etc. Post your photo on your favorite social media platform, and ask your friends and followers to spread the word. It literally will take you 5 minutes but it could reach millions of Americans.

Don’t want to post a photo of yourself? Post just the sign, post a picture of the bill, post a short story. Help us with anything you can do to help explain how having health care for all is NOT insurmountable.

Please tag your post with #democratsabroadjapan, #ourlives and #DAresists, and if you are interested in other DAJ activities in your area, please go to http://www.democratsabroad.org/jp.

Our Lives On The Line is a nationwide day of action that is being hosted by a diverse group of organizations including The Tax March, The Women's March, Indivisible, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Our Revolution, Center for American Progress, and others.

Join the resistance.

In solidarity,

Democrats Abroad Japan

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Statement on the USS Fitzgerald

Friends,

This morning at approximately 2:30AM the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) was involved in a collision with the Philippine flagged merchant vessel ACX Crystal. The cause of the collision is unknown at this time. 

It is with a heavy heart that Democrats Abroad Japan extends its condolences to the U.S. Navy community of Naval Base Yokosuka and to the families and crew members of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) as they mourn the loss of seven Sailors who have have unfortunately perished in the collision. We would like to offer our deepest sympathies and support to those affected by this terrible tragedy. We would also like to commend the brave crew members of the USS Fitzgerald for their best efforts in keeping the ship afloat and returning the rest of the crew safely ashore.

Our thoughts are also with the three Sailors taken to the Yokosuka Naval Hospital and we wish them a speedy recovery. We offer praise to our Japanese allies for their assistance in the search and rescue operations and for guiding the ship safely home. If you would like to find out more about providing assistance for those affected by this tragic event, please visit the Naval Base Yokosuka Facebook page by clicking here.

Democrats Abroad Japan understands the remarkable service our men and women in uniform undertake each and every day. Today we pause to honor those fallen who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

On behalf of our community, fair winds and following seas Shipmates. Your watch is over.

In Solidarity,
Alexander C. Gonzalez
Chair, Democrats Abroad Japan
U.S. Navy Veteran


2017 Ballots for National and Kanto Elections

The ballots for the national and Kanto elections have been emailed to the DA Japan membership list. In case anyone missed that email or was unable to receive your ballot, you can download your ballot here.

 

DAJ National Ballot

 

DAJ Kanto Ballot

 

Please note that you must be a member of Democrats Abroad Japan to vote in these elections.  All ballots will be checked against our membership records to ensure that ballots are only counted tallied for members who are US citizens of voting age.

And questions regarding voting in the DA Japan elections should be sent to:

For the national election: dajelectioncommittee@gmail.com

For the Kanto election: kantodajelectioncommittee@gmail.com  


2017 Candidate Statements for National and Kanto Chapter Offices

The Democrats Abroad Japan 2017 Elections are officially underway.  Candidates for national office and Kanto Chapter office have been given the opportunity to submit candidate statements to the Nominations and Election Committees for the national and Kanto elections. A "Meet the Candidates" event was held on April 9, and candidates' videos are posted below. 

 

Please note that a link to the ballots will be e-mailed to the DAJ membership. Ballots must be returned per the instructions of the applicable nominations and election committee (national or Kanto) by May 5, 2017.  Ballots can be cast remotely. The only in-person voting for the national and Kanto Chapter elections will take place at the Democrats Abroad Japan Annual General Meeting at the Wesley Center in Tokyo, Japan at 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 30th. 

National Office: Candidate Statements

Please click here to read the written statements of candidates for national office.

Kanto Chapter Office: Candidate Statements

Please click here to read the written statements of candidates for Kanto Chapter office.

Video Statements

Please click here to watch the candidate videos posted on the DAJ YouTube page.  NOTE: If you are a candidate and you did not have the opportunity to participate in the Meet the Candidates event, please feel free to submit your own video to jp-secretary@democratsabroad.org.  You can also post your video on the DAJ Facebook group.   

 

Elections for the Kansai and Tokai Chapters

In principle, officer elections for National and Chapter offices were supposed to have been held by March 31st in odd-numbered years.  However, the Democrats Abroad Charter was amended in May 2016 by a resolution co-sponsored by DAJ Chair Tom Schmid. This gives all country committees until June 30th of odd-numbered years to hold their elections. Although the Bylaws of Democrats Abroad Japan still indicate, that elections shall be held by March 31st in odd-numbered years, the nominations and elections committees exercised the discretion granted to them in the bylaws to hold the elections by June 30th as a result of extraordinary circumstances, i.e., the change in the rule at the international level.

Thus, the Kansai Chapter will be holding its elections on or before June 30, 2017. Our newest chapter in Tokai currently has provisional officers who will lead the chapter until such time as elections can be called.   If you have any questions about chapter elections, please email DAJ Chair Tom Schmid at jp-chair@democratsabroad.org.

 


Meet the Candidates for National and Kanto Chapter Offices

On April 9, 2017, the Nominations and Election Committee (NEC) hosted a "Meet the Candidates" event at the Wesley Center in Tokyo.  Click here to watch the statements from the candidates who were able to attend.  Voting will begin later this month, and the NEC will prepare and distribute ballots to the membership. 

The list of candidates who declared their nomination for National Office are:

Chair of Democrats Abroad Japan
Alexander Gonzalez

Vice-Chair of Democrats Abroad Japan
Kiyoko Ayukawa
Rebecca Ferderer

Secretary of Democrats Abroad Japan
Rachel Mae Boellstorff 
Gordon Louis Gaul IV

DPCA Voting Representative 
Leslie Anne Rogers
Rachel Covington

Member-at-Large Representing Hokkaido
Ayse Yeager

Member-at-Large Representing Eastern & Northern Honshu

Jenise Treuting

 


Update from the Nominations and Election Committee

Upcoming Election Items

Election season for Democrats Abroad Japan is here, and the Nomination and Elections Committee (NEC) would like to remind you of some very important upcoming events and items concerning the 2017 election cycle.

Meet-The-Candidates Night
Sunday, April 9th, 6-8PM. Room #205.
Candidates and members alike, come meet and discuss the future of Democrats Abroad Japan!
Location: Wesley Center
6-10-11, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0062, Japan

Election Meeting and Ballot Tallying
Sunday, May 7th, 2-4PM. Room #201.
In the interests of transparency, the ballots for the 2017 election will be counted and tallied for any neutral observers to come watch. In the event of a tie, an immediate special election will be held on-site to determine the election winner for any national office position.  
Location: Wesley Center
6-10-11, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0062, Japan

Membership Survey
In the 2017 election cycle, the NEC is asking the membership to vote on a question to ask all candidates running for national office. Voting for this survey question will close on Friday, April 7th, at 11:59PM. You can participate by clicking the link below:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeg9O2LOaeCBEVvK_ue0fzN0TpIUEp8-E8HVPEeyNLdO-vDLA/viewform?c=0&w=1

As mentioned in a previous notification, the NEC will also be available at the DAJ General Meeting on Sunday, April 30, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. We will have blank ballots available and have in-person voting at this event.

Best Regards,
John Baumlin
Nomination and Elections Committee Chair
Democrats Abroad Japan 


Japan to Elect DPCA Voting Representative

STATEMENT ON THE ELECTION OF A DAJ VOTING REPRESENTATIVE

 

Rationale for Electing a Voting Representative

The Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) is the highest authority of Democrats Abroad and has general responsibility for the administration and work of Democrats Abroad. The DPCA is composed of the Chair and Vice Chair of each country committee, country committee voting representatives (if any), Democrats Abroad’s elected DNC members, and the officers of Democrats Abroad, such as the International Chair, International Vice Chair, etc.

 

In recent years, Japan had routinely been allocated four DPCA votes based on its population of verified members.  These four votes, pursuant to the DPCA Charter, are cast by the Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) Chair or Vice Chair at DPCA meetings.  If the Chair and Vice Chair are both present at a meeting, the Chair and Vice Chair have split Japan’s votes (two and two).  No DPCA voting member may cast more than four votes.

 

On February 25, 2017, Japan was informed that it had been allocated one extra DPCA vote for a total of five votes due to the increase in its proportion of the global membership of Democrats Abroad.  In order to ensure that Japan can cast all five of its votes on matters voted on by the DPCA, Japan is holding elections within the country committee to elect Japan’s Voting Representative.

 

Job Description of a DPCA Voting Representative

Under the Charter of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA), Voting Representatives may—and in some cases, must—be elected by country committees to cast votes on behalf of the country committee at DPCA meetings. A Voting Representative must be a member of the country committee he or she represents. 

 

Japan’s Voting Representative is expected to participate in the DPCA Global Meeting as a member of Japan’s delegation including the Chair and Vice Chair of DAJ. In principal, the Chair and Vice Chair will each cast two votes and the Voting Representative will cast one vote. The meeting will take place from May 12 to 15, 2017 in Washington DC.  The Voting Representative may travel to the meeting to participate in person or may participate via WebEx (DPCA’s web conferencing platform). Voting representatives must bear their own costs of travel or other expenses related to the meeting.

 

Between DPCA Global Meetings (held annually), voting representatives are encouraged to: (1) remain up to date on the business of the DPCA and the provisions of the DPCA Charter; (2) participate in the work of the DPCA by contributing to global committees, taskforces or caucuses; (3) remain active in the country committee share insights with local members about what is transpiring at the global level; and (4) participate in monthly AP regional teleconferences (via WebEx).

 

March 12, 2017

 

Tom Schmid, Chair

Democrats Abroad Japan


KEITH ELLISON A STRONG FAVORITE IN DAJ’S DNC CHAIR POLL

Tokyo — From February 11 to 17, 2017, members of Democrats Abroad Japan participated in an online poll to express their preference for the next DNC Chair. Keith Ellison, Democratic Congressman from Minnesota, was the overwhelming preference among those who responded. Ellison was the preferred choice of 65.5% of the respondents. Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez came in a distant second at 11.7%.  Ellison and Perez are generally considered the front runners in the race for DNC chair.

 

Thirty-four respondents (19.9%) preferred a candidate other than Ellison or Perez, and all but two of the candidates listed in the poll received at least two votes.

 

Only two of the respondents indicated that they had no preference or were undecided. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Howard Dean all received write-in votes, although some of them were excluded from the official total due to spoiled ballots.

 

The poll’s margin of error is estimated at 7% at a 95% confidence interval. The complete results of the poll are listed below.

 

 

Democrats Abroad Japan

DNC Chair Poll (February 17, 2017)

 

65.5%   Keith Ellison, U.S. Representative from Minnesota since 2007

 

11.7%   Thomas Perez, former United States Secretary of Labor (2013-2017)

 

3.5%    Robert Vincent Brannum, NAACP-DC Veterans Committee Board Member

 

3.5%    Sally Boynton Brown, Executive Director of the Idaho Democratic Party since 2012

 

3.5%    Jaime Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party since 2013

 

2.9%    Pete Buttigieg, Mayor, South Bend, Indiana

 

2.9%    Jehmu Greene, former head of Rock the Vote

 

2.3%    Sam Ronan, Ohio

 

1.2%       Raymond Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, current DNC Vice Chair (Buckley has dropped out of the race and endorsed Keith Ellison)

 

1.2%    Bernie Sanders (Write-in)

 

1.2%    Undecided / No Preference

 

0.6%    Howard Dean (Write-in)

 

0.0%    Peter Pecharsky, Wisconsin

 

0.0%    Vincent Tolliver, Georgia

 

 

Methodology

An email containing a link to the poll was sent to 2,681 members of Democrats Abroad Japan on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The email was received by 2,659 members, as 22 email addresses were either bad or the message bounced. The email was opened by 1,069 members. On Friday, February 17, 2017, a reminder email including the link to the poll was sent to the DAJ membership list. The reminder email was opened by 993 members. The poll closed at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2017.

 

In total, 179 responses were received. The following responses were excluded from the final tally: 1 duplicate response, 2 invalid members, and 5 spoiled responses (i.e., respondents selected more than one candidate). A total of 171 valid responses were received.

 

Respondents were required to provide name and contact information. Email address and residential address were required. Respondents were also required to state whether or not they currently reside in Japan. Telephone number was optional. Each respondent’s name and/or email address was searched in the DAJ database to ensure that each respondent is a valid DAJ member.

 

Margin of error was determined using Survey Monkey’s online Margin of Error Calculator.


DAJ ENDORSES FEBRUARY 12TH "MARCH FOR AN INCLUSIVE AMERICA"

Tokyo, Feb. 6, 2017. Democrats Abroad Japan, the official country committee for Democrats living in Japan, is supporting the Alliance for an Inclusive America, a nonpartisan, multi-faith group, and its “March for an Inclusive America” to be held in Tokyo on Feb. 12.

 

DAJ supports the alliance’s goals and its message of building inclusive societies, and DAJ officers and interested members will be attending the upcoming march. Expressing public support for an inclusive America by opposing the Trump administration's recent executive order on immigration is a first step in the democratic process, and the energy and interest developed through these marches needs to be channeled toward voting in state and federal elections. DAJ calls on all Americans living in Japan, regardless of party, to register to vote and request their ballots each year at www.votefromabroad.org.

 

"I'm thrilled and encouraged by the response of so many Americans living in Japan who are speaking out in support of an inclusive society, rejecting discrimination and marginalization based on skin color, gender identity, faith or national origin,” said DAJ Chairman Tom Schmid. “We need to capitalize on this enthusiasm by making sure every American overseas is registered to vote and understands the voting procedures, in order to translate our sense of solidarity into action at the ballot box for this year's special elections and in preparation for the 2018 elections."

 

Contact information (for media only):

 

Tom Schmid, DAJ chair

jp-chair@democratsabroad.org

 

Jenise Treuting, DAJ secretary (Japanese-language media)

jp-secretary@democratsabroad.org

 

For details on the March for an Inclusive America, visit https://www.facebook.com/AllianceForAnInclusiveAmerica/posts/1849015578710763

(This link is not hosted by Democrats Abroad Japan and is provided for reference only.)


INAUGURATION DAY MARCH AND VIGIL IN TOKYO ON JANUARY 20

TOKYO, Jan. 13 – Americans living in Japan will hold a series of events that are open to the public in connection with the U.S. presidential inauguration, including a march and a vigil near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to thank outgoing President Barack Obama for his service and to thank our civil servants for the work they do for Americans overseas.

These events, coordinated by Democrats Abroad Japan, will be held in conjunction with others taking place across the world as a part of Democrats Abroad’s Global Week of Action.

“As Americans overseas, we want to thank President Obama for his service not only as a leader at home, but also globally,” said Tom Schmid, chairman of Democrats Abroad Japan. “Many Americans and our friends from other nations are concerned that President Obama’s progressive policies will be reversed by the new administration and a Republican-controlled Congress. We welcome all people who have the same concerns to join us as we organize worldwide to help protect President Obama’s accomplishments in the areas of health care, the environment, civil rights, equality, diversity, peace and international cooperation.”

On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, a vigil will take place outside the U.S. Embassy from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a march starting at Hibiya Park at 6:30 p.m. and ending at Mikawadai Park in Roppongi at approximately 8:00 p.m.

 

On Jan. 22, a teach-in featuring professor and author R. Taggart Murphy will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wesley Center in Minami-Aoyama to analyze the 2016 election and to discuss how the Democratic Party can move forward towards the 2018 Mid-Term Election. Other speakers include Alex Gonzalez, Democrats Abroad delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and former Democrats Abroad Japan Chair Mike Stensrud. All events are free and open to the public.

 

Further details on each event are available at:

http://www.democratsabroad.org/jp_events and

http://www.facebook.com/groups/demsabroadjapan/events/

 

Contacts (for press inquiries only):

Tom Schmid
Chairman, Democrats Abroad Japan
jp-chair@democratsabroad.org


Leslie Anne Rogers

Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad Japan

jp-vicechair@democratsabroad.org

For Japanese media:

Jenise Treuting
Secretary, Democrats Abroad Japan
jp-secretary@democratsabroad.org