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.