National Secretary, Democrats Abroad Japan

  • published Overseas Voter Info in News 2020-09-12 20:57:36 -0400

    Overseas Voter Info

    With election day drawing nearer, we all want to check in one last time to make sure everyone has requested their ballot and has relevant, accessible information to successfully return their ballot in their state.

    Read more

  • published Fukuoka Black Lives Matter Peaceful March in News 2020-06-17 10:04:33 -0400

    Fukuoka Black Lives Matter Peaceful March

    There will be a peaceful march for Black Lives Matter in Fukuoka on Sunday, June 21st. The organizers aim to spread awareness of the movement and expect the event to be well-attended. Previous Black Lives Matter marches in Osaka and Tokyo attracted over 4500 attendees combined. 

    Democrats Abroad Japan fully supports this event and encourages members to attend if possible. It would be wonderful to see Fukuoka bring the combined attendance up to 5000 attendees! Please follow any precautions for coronavirus as set by the organizers and follow all local ordinance for a peaceful march.

    EVENT DETAILS

    Time: Sunday, June 21st, 13:00 JST (1:00pm)

    Location: Tenjin Central Park

    Address: 1 Chome-1 Tenjin, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka, 810-0001

    For more information, check Black Lives Matter Fukuoka’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

     


  • 3 Events - BLM March, Webinars, and Phonebanking to join!

    You voted in the primary & did the work for the platform! Now it's time to get out there and do some grassroots work! Time to go meet people, learn about issues, and get on the phone with members! 

    There's a number of events happening in Tokyo this month we thought we'd let you know about! 

    Here's 3 events for you to look at for June!  

    • Black Lives Matter Peaceful March, Yoyogi Event Plaza
    • Nerd Nite Watchwords - Tools for Democracy, Online
    • Phonebanking Training, Online

    See below for details about each of these events!

    Read more

  • published CARES Act and DNC Delegation in News 2020-04-05 23:50:14 -0400

    CARES Act and DNC Delegation

    Coronavirus Aid for Americans Abroad

    Thanks to the Corona Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, relief is being distributed for working people amongst the current pandemic crisis. We have done the research, and Democrats Abroad wanted to let you know that Americans living abroad who filed their taxes and made a gross income of less than $99,000 are eligible for the relief under the package! You can receive up to $1,200 (plus $500 for each child) to help with everything going on right now. Furthermore, Americans with federal student loans automatically have their interest rate set to 0% for 60 days and can request a 60-day payment suspension.

    Click here for more details on the act. 

     

    Delegates for Democratic National Convention

    Democrats Abroad will send 21 delegates to the National Convention in Milwaukee on August 17th. The deadline to apply for a delegate position is April 17th. This is a great honor and among the most important civic roles for U.S. citizens living abroad. Any DA member is eligible to run, and the Affirmative Action Committee strongly emphasizes the importance of DA members from historically-underrepresented backgrounds to run as delegate candidates in showing the world the diversity of our Party and our members around the world.

    Forms to declare delegates’ candidacy are now available online


  • published How We Work for You - Prepping for 2020! in News 2019-12-23 18:20:12 -0500

    How We Work for You - Prepping for 2020!

    2019 may be winding down, but your Executive Committee (ExCom) is getting fired up! 2020 is a critical election year, with the Global Presidential Primary (GPP) in March and the Presidential Election in November. It is imperative to get Americans living abroad registered and ready to vote for the sake of our democracy. Get Out The Vote efforts are crucial, and we call on our membership to help make this happen.

    1. The Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary will be held from March 3rd until March 10th for Americans living abroad to vote for their Democratic candidate. This is essential in giving Americans abroad the opportunity to make their voices heard. In Japan, we will set up voting centers for the GPP in Kanto, Kansai, and Tokai. Running these voting centers successfully requires the support of volunteers, such as greeters, voter registration assistants, and Democrats Abroad registration assistants. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact DAJ Secretary Anna Costello at anna.democratsabroadjapan@gmail.com.

    2. As of December 10th, we have achieved 45% of our fundraising goal! Our matching campaign closes on December 27th, so there’s time to double your money and reach our goal of funding a campaign the size of 2008 at 1 million yen! Donations to DAJ will be used to fund the GPP, Get Out the Vote activities, and anything else required to help achieve victory in 2020! Information on how to donate can be accessed here: https://www.democratsabroad.org/daj_fundraising_2019

    3. Thank you for attending our Thanksgiving events in Kanto and Tokai! Traditionally, the DAJ Thanksgivings events have been our largest social and fundraising gatherings. This year was no exception, with both events having close to 70 attendees combined and raising over 135,000 yen. We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    4. Women’s March: We need people to set up and manage the DAJ participation on January 18th. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact DAJ Secretary Anna Costello at anna.democratsabroadjapan@gmail.com.

    5. The Democrats Abroad Affirmative Action Committee is conducting a diversity and inclusion survey, open to all members of Democrats Abroad. The survey is approximately 3-5 minutes long and can be accessed here: https://demsabroad.typeform.com/to/VGYo1c

    Have a happy holiday and get ready for 2020!

    Sincerely,
    Anna Costello
    DAJ Secretary

    +

  • Recap: Policy Forum on Restoring American Democracy and U.S. Leadership

    On October 20th, 2019 in Tokyo, Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) hosted their first policy forum: the Policy Forum on Restoring American Democracy and U.S. Leadership. This policy forum served as the beginning of DAJ platform discussion and the lead-up to the 2020 election.

    Americans gathered to discuss key policy issues bound to affect all Americans. The forum featured four speakers, including former leaders in the United States Government and the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA), who spoke on the direction of such issues.

    The Unity Reform Commission - the document that contains everything the Democratic Party learned after 2016 - brought them together. This wasn't a time for minor differences on how to advance health care - it was about the major issues that face the entire party, regardless of who the presidential nominee would be.

    Ambassador Robert Orr (Former United States Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank) kicked off the discussion, helping people understand the reality America's international presence and discussing how to rebuild international relationships.

    Democrats Abroad (DA) Progressive Caucus Co-Chair, Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) Representative, and Former DAJ Vice Chair Gordon Gaul informed the forum of different organizations approach to fixing democracy, getting money out of politics, and the different approaches each of them are taking.

    Tsukuba-based activist Cheryl Okubo gave a real-life look at the issue of Climate Change and what people can do better in not just policy, but their own lives to improve this issue.

    Former International DA Counsel and Form DAJ Chair Tom Schmid finished off the discussion with a talk on the history and way forward for the Supreme Court.

    Current DAJ Chair John Baumlin facilitated the discussion for these topics. In kicking off the DAJ platform discussion, he gave a public initiative to all chapters and members of DAJ to send feedback to the DAJ Executive Committee for 2020. 

    +

  • published Speakeasy on November 14th is Cancelled in News 2019-11-08 23:41:48 -0500

    Speakeasy on November 14th is Cancelled

    This November's Speakeasy (scheduled to be held on the 14th) is cancelled. The next Speakeasy will be held on December 12th at 7:30pm at the Aldgate Pub in Shibuya.

    Thank you for your understanding and hope you can join next time.


  • published Revised 2019 DAJ National Election Results in News 2019-09-17 10:25:37 -0400

    Revised 2019 DAJ National Election Results

    Dear DAJ members,

    THE 2019 DAJ EXCOM in coordination with the 2019 DAJ NEC would like to announce the revised results of the 2019 national elections.

    Votes in the 2019 National officers election were counted on 6/16 and recorded by the NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS COMMITTEE, however after inquiry it was discovered that 1 faxed ballot was not counted. For clarification, there was no change to the outcome of the election. Below are the revised results:

    Total ballots cast: 51

    Total ballots which were complete and where membership could be confirmed: 50

    Chair:

    Votes for John Baumlin - 50 votes, 100% total valid votes (WINNER)

    Vice-Chair:

    Votes for write-in candidates

    Votes for Kiyoko Ayukawa 36 votes, 72% of total valid votes (WINNER)

    Votes for Denise Treuting 1 vote, 2% of total valid votes

    Votes for Gordon Gaul 1 vote, 2% of total valid votes

    Votes for Frederick Gunlach 1 vote, 2% of total valid votes

    Votes for no one: 11, 22% of total valid votes

    Secretary:

    Votes for Anna Costello - 50 votes, 100% total valid votes (WINNER)

    Treasurer: write-in candidates

    Votes for write-in candidates

    Votes for Dave Brauer – 34 votes, 68% of total valid votes (WINNER)

    Votes for Timothy Trahan 1 vote, 2% of total valid votes

    Votes for Jenise Treuting 1 vote, 2% of total valid votes

    Votes for Frederick Gunlach 1 vote, 2% of total valid votes

    Votes for no one: 13 votes, 26% of total valid votes

    DEMOCRATIC PARTY COMMITTEE ABROAD (DPCA) VOTING REPRESENTATIVE

    Votes for Gordon Gaul - 42 votes, 84% of total valid votes (WINNER)

    Votes for Kiyoko Ayukawa – 5 votes, 10% of total valid votes

    Votes for no one: 3 votes, 6% of total valid votes

    Member-at-Large for Eastern/Northern Honshu:

    Votes for Elena Morlock - 34 votes, 100 % of total valid votes (WINNER)

    Member-at-Large for Western/Southern Honshu:

    Votes for Raymond Kunikane Terhune - 5 votes, 100 % of total valid votes (WINNER)

    Member-at-Large for Shikoku/Kyushu/Okinawa:

    Votes for Rose Turck - 2 votes, 100% of total valid votes (WINNER)

    Member-at-Large for Hokkaido: write-in candidates only

    No votes

    Sincerely yours,

    The DAJ 2019 Nominations and Elections Committee

    Sarajean Rossitto

    Leslie Anne Rogers

    Steven Breyak

    Jenise Treuting

    DAJ2019elections@gmail.com

    +

  • published DAJ 2019 Kansai Chapter Election Results in News 2019-09-17 10:22:28 -0400

    DAJ 2019 Kansai Chapter Election Results

    Dear DAJ Kansai membership,

    The 2019 Kansai Nomination and Election Committee (KNEC) is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 Kansai Chapter election. Votes in the 2019 Kansai Chapter election were counted on September 15th and recorded by the KNEC as follows:

    Total ballots cast: 4 (completed and confirmed membership)

    Chair:

    • Kevin Lane - 4 votes, 100% of total votes (WINNER)

    Vice-Chair

    • Margaret Tomoko Brennan - 4 votes, 100% of total votes (WINNER)

    Secretary

    • Steven Breyak - 4 votes, 100% of total votes (WINNER)

    Treasurer

    • Raymond Kunikane Terhune - 4 votes, 100% of total votes (WINNER)

    Thank you to everyone who ran as a candidate and voted in this election. For future elections, the KNEC would like to see more active campaigning to reach at least 20 voters. However, due to the circumstances of this election, we understand the depressed turnout.

    Looking forward to see what you’ll accomplish for the DAJ Kansai Chapter!

    Sincerely,

    Kansai Nomination and Election Committee

    Kiyoko Ayukawa, Anna Costello, and John Baumlin

    +

  • published 2019 Kansai Chapter Election Ballot in News 2019-08-31 19:28:10 -0400

    2019 Kansai Chapter Election Ballot

    Voting for the 2019 Kansai Chapter Election for chapter officer positions has opened (as of September 1st, 2019).

    You may download the ballot and instructions at the link below anytime between the voting period September 1st - September 14th. Ballots must be complete and received on time in order to be counted.

    Download your ballot here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1exJTpn8Ckzs5NELj2xsVdrQp4l4phSOB/view?usp=sharing

    Read Candidate Statements here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1R2YI4-btcnaQrIVoRizpy62rmrZhuM6G?usp=sharing

    To submit your ballot, print, scan, and attach your completed ballot in an email to dajkansainec2019@gmail.com. All ballots must be received by September 14th at 11:59pm.

    If you have any questions concerning the ballot or procedures, please contact the Kansai Nomination and Election Committee at dajkansainec2019@gmail.com. We look forward to receiving your ballots.

    Sincerely,

    Kansai Nomination and Election Committee

    Kiyoko Ayukawa, Anna Costello, John Baumlin

    +

  • Democrats Abroad Japan Announcement of Kansai Chapter Election for 2019

     

    The Kansai Nomination and Election Committee (KNEC) of Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) is proud to call upon our Kansai membership to submit their nominations for the 2019 Kansai Chapter Election. The call for nominations is for the following positions:

    • Chair of Kansai Chapter
    • Vice-Chair of Kansai Chapter
    • Secretary of Kansai Chapter
    • Treasurer of Kansai Chapter


    If you are interested in holding an officer position, you must fulfill the following requirements in order to qualify:

    • Be a member in good standing pursuant Article III of the By-Laws of Democrats Abroad Japan. You can confirm your membership by signing into DemocratsAbroad.org.
    • Not be completing a 2ndconsecutive term for the office in question, as per the term limits set out in our by-laws pursuant to Article X, Section 1: “No National, or Chapter Officer, nor any Members-at-Large can serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same position.”
    • In the case of running for Chair or Vice Chair, pursuant to Article V, Section 1, “The Chair and Vice Chair shall not be of the same-sex.”

     

    Nomination Procedure

    In order to join the election process, members may nominate themselves or another member by sending an e-mail to dajkansainec2019@gmail.com no later than midnight Japan time on August 22nd. All nomination emails should include the following:

    1. Complete name of the person nominated.
    2. Contact information including phone number, mailing address, and email address.
    3. Name of the nominated position.

    The KNEC has enclosed a calendar of the important dates regarding the election cycle so that we can ensure a transparent and fair election process, which can be accessed here. Please direct all questions to the KNEC by email: dajkansainec2019@gmail.com.

    We look forward to receiving your nominations!

     

    Sincerely,

    Kansai Nomination and Election Committee

    Kiyoko Ayukawa
    Anna Costello
    John Baumlin

     


  • published Kansai Chapter Election for 2019 in News 2019-08-16 01:08:32 -0400

    Kansai Chapter Election for 2019

    Democrats Abroad Japan Announcement of Kansai Chapter Election for 2019

    The Kansai Nomination and Election Committee (KNEC) of Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) is proud to call upon our Kansai membership to submit their nominations for the 2019 Kansai Chapter Election. The call for nominations is for the following positions:

    • Chair of Kansai Chapter
    • Vice-Chair of Kansai Chapter
    • Secretary of Kansai Chapter
    • Treasurer of Kansai Chapter


    If you are interested in holding an officer position, you must fulfill the following requirements in order to qualify:

    • Be a member in good standing pursuant Article III of the By-Laws of Democrats Abroad Japan. You can confirm your membership by signing into DemocratsAbroad.org.
    • Not be completing a 2ndconsecutive term for the office in question, as per the term limits set out in our by-laws pursuant to Article X, Section 1: “No National, or Chapter Officer, nor any Members-at-Large can serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same position.”
    • In the case of running for Chair or Vice Chair, pursuant to Article V, Section 1, “The Chair and Vice Chair shall not be of the same-sex.”

     

    Nomination Procedure

    In order to join the election process, members may nominate themselves or another member by sending an e-mail to dajkansainec2019@gmail.com no later than midnight Japan time on August 22nd. All nomination emails should include the following:

    1. Complete name of the person nominated.
    2. Contact information including phone number, mailing address, and email address.
    3. Name of the nominated position.

    The KNEC has enclosed a calendar of the important dates regarding the election cycle so that we can ensure a transparent and fair election process, which can be accessed here. Please direct all questions to the KNEC by email: dajkansainec2019@gmail.com.

    We look forward to receiving your nominations!

     

    Sincerely,

    Kansai Nomination and Election Committee

    Kiyoko Ayukawa
    Anna Costello
    John Baumlin

     


  • published Announcement regarding Kansai Chapter Election in News 2019-08-13 19:08:06 -0400

    Announcement regarding Kansai Chapter Election

    Members of the Democrats Abroad Japan Kansai Chapter,


    Thank you for participating in the recent Kansai Chapter election. Democrats Abroad aims to host fair and transparent elections and give everyone an equal opportunity for candidacy and voting.

    Unfortunately, we regret to inform that the election did not directly follow procedures as described by the Country Committee Election Procedures. Specifically, there were 4 issues.

    1. The Kansai Nomination and Election Committee (NEC) consisted of 2 members when the NEC should have at least 3 members. (2a)

    2. There was no submission regarding the vote counts and meeting minutes. (1d, 3a, 3m, 3n)

    3. The Chair-elect and Vice-Chair elect were not registered members of Democrats Abroad when they ran for office. (5a1)

    4. Ballots were not officially distributed to all membership. Ballots were sent out to members on the activist mailing list and made public on the DAJK facebook page, but not through the DAJ website or email. (9d1, 9d2)

    Due to these issues, the Kansai Chapter election results cannot be accepted, and the elections will be reheld.

    A new Kansai Nomination and Election Committee has been appointed, and we aim to run this second election as smoothly and quickly as possible. On Friday August 16th, we will send out an announcement opening the call for nominations and informing you about the election schedule. The announcement will be set out via email and posted on the Democrats Abroad Japan website. If you have any further questions, you may address them to the committee at dajkansainec2019@gmail.com.

    Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to your participation!


    Sincerely,

    Kansai Nomination and Election Committee

    Kiyoko Ayukawa

    Anna Costello

    John Baumlin

    +

  • published Lights for Liberty in Odaiba in News 2019-08-01 10:02:52 -0400

    Lights for Liberty in Odaiba


    On July 13th, DAJ members Sarajean Rossitto, Jenise Treuting, and Linda Gould hosted a “Lights for Liberty” vigil in Odaiba, Tokyo. It was a solemn event fueled by the passion of people supporting immigrant rights. Attendees took pictures in front of the Statue of Liberty in Odaiba while holding up signs in protest of the immigration camps. One attendee shared his mother’s experience of living in a Japanese internment camp. The vigil finished with a group reading of The New Colossus.































    +

  • The Democrats Abroad have been the Democrats Out and About!

    Folks gathered on July 4th and 11th at the charming Aldgate Pub in Shibuya for two Speakeasy events.



    Things that were done include:

    • Making signs for the Lights for Liberty vigil

    • Talking politics

    • Drinking liberally

    • Getting to know new people

    • Drinking liberally

    • Generally enjoying the camaraderie of the resistance!

    Banter that was had ranged from:

    • North Korea policy

    • “What brings you to Japan?”

    • “What do you do here?”

    • Hopes and plans for DAJ

    ...to a reportedly friendly competition of ‘how long has everyone has been in Japan.’

















    To my knowledge, the combination of the Independence Day spirit with the old-timey pub atmosphere did NOT result in anybody running out shouting “The British are coming, the British are coming!”

    If any of that sounds even remotely like your thing, come join in next time!

    The more people that join, the more people we’ll attract! At least if Katamari Damacy taught us anything, that is.

    Hope to see you at the next one!



    Sincerely,

    David Odell

    DAJ Kanto Secretary

    +

  • published How We Work For You #01 - July 2019 in News 2019-07-29 00:06:14 -0400

    How We Work For You #01 - July 2019

    Members of Democrats Abroad Japan,

    Today we want to take some time to talk about what it means to setup an organization. There are few who understand the mechanics of our organization, and the overwhelming majority of activists are not focused on the month-to-month functions of the Executive Committee. That's understandable. It's not exciting, it's administrative - but it is important. It's important because what we're doing directly affects our representation to International, and to the Democratic National Committee.

    If you really want to create change in the Democratic Party, we invite you to join along with us each month for a few minutes to see about how we're representing you, and to give us feedback. We want to tell you what we've been doing the last month, why it was done, and what our next steps are going to be each month.

    Feel free to follow along with the Agenda and Meeting Minutes, that Anna took so diligently, as we comment on our focus here:

    We had our first meeting as the 2019-2021 Executive Committee on June 30th in a small room in Ikebukuro. It was our first time meeting face-to-face as a group, and we immediately started working out what is required of us. While we were eager to support our membership and start posting, Democrats Abroad has 6 certifications required for new leaders. You need to get membership database training, e-mail training, website content training, WebEx training and Nationbuilder training before posting to the web or sending emails. This is just to access the current existing knowledge and functions of the organization. We discussed transitions for new leadership, who would take those trainings, and began collecting the requirements of our organization. We decided on our fundamental goals and focuses for our term, and passed two propositions.

     

    Read more

  • published This is your time! Committee slots open! in News 2019-07-27 12:27:36 -0400

    This is your time! Committee slots open!

    The newly elected Executive Committee for 2019-2021 would like to thank you for entrusting us to the enormity of the tasks that lie ahead in the upcoming term. Your newly elected Executive Committee consists of the following members:

        National Chair: John Baumlin

        National Vice Chair: Kiyoko Ayukawa

        National Secretary: Anna Costello

        National Treasurer: Dave Brauer

    As the Executive Committee of DAJ, we represent the voice and ambitions of all Democrats living abroad in Japan. All English teachers and all salaried workers. All spouses and children. All refugees and students abroad for the first time. And we want you to join us in our endeavors.

    The goals of our organization are to provide you the tools and means by which you can make yourself heard, even halfway across the world from America. This is how we plan to serve you this term:

    • Increase membership in DAJ to facilitate stronger representation in the Democratic Party.

    • Increase membership participation to raise awareness of Democratic Platform issues and to give members the means to take action.

    • Keep open communication and transparency between leadership and general membership.

    • Host meetings for membership for members to give feedback and input to leadership to promote said open communications.

    • Fundraise to reach more voters, host workshops, and run community events.

    • Engage in voter outreach to ensure Americans everywhere know they have voting rights and how to act upon them.

    • Run our primaries to inform voters about the goals of each candidate running for President.

    • Work to elect new leadership in 2020!

    We would also like to note some recent changes to our bylaws as of our last general meeting on June 9, 2019. We encourage you to read the updated bylaws here. It is the constitution that guides us overseas.

    With that, we would like to open a call on our membership to sign up and volunteer. We have several different committees with open positions and we would love your support on any of them. The committee openings are as follows:

    • Communications Committee – Drafting announcements, working on messaging, promoting our causes on social media sites (FB, Twitter, etc.) and helping to write articles on the DAJ website.

    • Events Committee – Helping to organize and plan nation-wide events.

    • Fundraising Committee – Helping to raise the funds needed to reach more voters and get the results you want.

    • Outreach Committee – Expand the DAJ membership into new areas and interface with our international committee!

    • Get Out The Vote – Directly Help Americans abroad get registered to vote and request their absentee ballots. Votes are what count the most.

    If anyone is interested in volunteering, please contact dajsecretary@gmail.com and join us on Slack - our dedicated organization hub.

    We look forward to serving as your Executive Committee! Let’s work together and restore the meaning of liberty for all in this challenging era of politics. 

    +

  • published #CloseTheCamps in News 2019-07-10 09:30:38 -0400

    #CloseTheCamps

    In solidarity with Lights for Liberty campaign

    We invite all Americans in Japan to join us in raising our voices and uniting with people around the world opposing the disgraceful treatment of immigrants by and the cruel immigration policy of the current US administration. It's more important than ever to use your voice to push back against inhumane border policies.

    TAKE ACTION:

    • July 4-13, Online campaign and calling our Members of Congress
    • July 13 4 pm, In-person action at the Statue of Liberty in Odaiba, Tokyo
    • More information and updates on the Facebook Event page 


    What we know

    Our families immigrated to the United States. We made the United States home to people from every nation, religion, culture, ethnicity and economic class. We may live far away from the United States, but still believe in the American ideals of tolerance, freedom, equality, and opportunity.

    Immigration has always been complicated and mired in political controversy. Today, we have a president whose main concern appears to be stopping families - just like our own - from fleeing poverty and strife and seeking a better life by making the Unites States their home.

    Caging people, mistreating them while in our custody, separating children from their parents, turning away from the sexual abuse at these facilities, and allowing people to die while in our custody are totally unacceptable. More than that – these action fly in the face of American ideals of justice, freedom and due process.

    We may be far away from the United States, but we will join with millions of people all over the globe protesting the inhumane treatment of immigrants held in US custody.

    Make your voice be heard. Together, we can. Together, we must. #CloseTheCamps #DontLookAway

    If you want to hold an action in your area, and want some ideas, please contact us.


    Best

    Jenise

    Linda

    Sarajean, sarajean.daj@gmail.com

    +