Because we ought to be proud of all the effort it took - especially from all the way in China!!
Please join our campaign to show off your vote and encourage friends and family in the US by hashtagging #IVotedAbroad and tagging us on Facebook (DAinCHINA) or IG (@democratsabroadchina).
You haven't voted yet?
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!
This week is your last chance. Here's what to do as a straggler:
3 Ways to Get a US Postage Paid Envelope and Vote by Mail from China
If you mail your ballot from the embassy or a consulate, it must be in a sealed envelope with U.S. postage.
- DIY! Download your mailing envelope from FVAP (PDF). Then print it, either directly on an envelope or on paper and paste to an envelope. Don't use staples or tape.
- Let us send you one! Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line "PLEASE KUAIDI ME AN ENVELOPE". Please include all of the delivery information: name, address, and phone number.
- Pick up a preprinted envelope. Check for a location near you.
- ICVS Animal Hospital, Futong W St, Wangjing Subdistrict, Chaoyang
- Pie Squared Pizza, Xiangjiang N Rd, Chaoyang
- Slow Boat Sanlitun Brewpub, 6 Nan Sanlitun Lu (South Sanlitun Road)
- WAB - Western Academy of Beijing, 10 Laiguangying E Rd, Chaoyang
- 13 Factories - 121 Huasui Rd, Tianhe District
- Bandidos - No.2 105-105, Zhujiang New town
- Tristan's CalMex Restaurant & Bar - Shop 131, Haiyun Jiayun Qun West Building, 1088 Wanghai Lu, Shekou Street, Nanshan District
- Boxing Cat Brewery, 82 Fu Xing Road West (near Yong Fu Road)
If you find any of these venues no longer have materials, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "VENUE NEEDS MORE ENVELOPES". Please include the venue name and location.
We have two events for you in this upcoming week for members in the Pearl River Delta area who'd like to connect with likeminded Americans to discuss the ongoing Democratic National Convention over food and drinks. Guangzhou will host a dinner discussing the keynotes so far on Tuesday, August 18. And near the end of the convention, Shenzhen will host a breakfast buffet for watching Biden's (presumed) acceptance speech.
Scan the WeChat codes of the groups you'd like to join - they are all in-person for Americans in China only.
Please bring a mask and follow all relevant local health guidelines.
Interview by Amber Li
Jacob grew up in sunny southern California, about 45 minutes outside of LA. He graduated with a degree in theology and, after realizing that he wanted to pursue more of a business career, began a Master’s degree in International Business at UC Irvine. This degree included a joint exchange program that first led him to China in 2007... and when the global recession hit a year later, he decided to stay.
Jacob’s interest in politics really began to shape up in 2015. Prior to the 2016 election cycle, he had always voted Republican, and while he admitted he was at first a supporter of Donald Trump, “that support waned as soon as the then-campaigning Mr. Trump began talking more."Read more
People crowded back-to-back into four-hour voting lines in Georgia during a pandemic. An ongoing attack on the postal service affecting mail-in ballots. Digital solutions that don’t work as well as everyone would hope… Americans are facing the hardest year to date for getting their vote counted in possibly the most important year to date for getting their vote counted.
Over the weekend, Democrats Abroad members from all over the world talked to Quentin Palfrey, co-director of the Voter Protection Corps, an experts-led initiative to protect voting rights from all angles.Read more
Thank you everyone for attending the Speaker Series!
Democrats Abroad China kicked off its speaker series this summer with locally-based political communications expert June Shih, who has worked as a speechwriter for both Clintons, was Senior Advisor to Global Women's Issues under Obama, and now heads University Communications for NYU Shanghai. With her unique background in politics and living as an expat abroad, she helped give perspective on political organizing, immigration and being a minority voice that's usually underrepresented in American government.Read more
On May 25, the Democrats Abroad China Country Chapter held a leadership transition meeting in order to fill an important vacancy in time for upcoming Democratic Party conventions.Read more
We are excited to introduce you to our speakers:
The DA China Annual General Meeting is coming up this weekend (RSVP if you haven't already!) and we are excited to welcome Global Black Caucus Poet Laureate Jasmine Cochran to unveil a new poem she's written for the occasion. We caught up to her to talk about her thoughts about politics, her love for poetry, and what she hopes people will work towards in 2020.
Jasmine Cochran grew up in Mississippi. Her first real face-to-face with the American political system happened in high school, when her AP government teacher had the class read the platforms of George W. Bush and Al Gore.
"At that time, Bush and Gore didn't have websites... it was a difficult and long text, and we had to read it as an assignment. It forced me to do research and was one of the most valuable lessons I ever learned. Most people don't learn the facts, which is why politicians can spend millions of dollars on campaign ads, and people just follow along." Later, that teacher took her class to nearby New Orleans to listen to Al Gore campaign, an experience she remembered as "really exciting to see people get riled up. I just remember the electricity in the air."
In the years since, she's remained cognizant of those lessons, "I had a lot of years wading through the waters of trying to figure out what everything meant, and who would keep their word, and how what they did would affect Mississippi and who even cares about what would happen in Mississippi.
"I've grown and changed a lot, but my political leanings have been pretty much the same. I've just become firmer and more educated in what I'm involved in. People need to know what they're voting for and all that it entails."
We are voting for so much more than the presidential seat.
"We are voting for who will be appointed to the Supreme Court, what bills will be debated and passed on the Floor, who will put together or dismantle committees that will actually work to solve our problems. But if you don't know that, you don't consider the implications of your vote. Especially of local votes too, because local legislators make such a difference between one State and the next. I know what it looks like for a State that's got it together. And I know what it's like to be in a State that's not."
Though she didn't end up going into politics in the United States, she admitted, "I have always been very vocal... I got in trouble for my political views. It seems like people just want you to be quiet and not disagree, and living in the South, I disagreed with most people."
Cochran and her family moved to China four years ago. "My husband and I had talked about moving abroad since before we got married, but we hadn't done it yet. Instead, we moved from Mississippi to Texas. After some time there, I asked him if this was it - if we were never going to [go abroad] and were we just talking the entire time? He said no, he wanted to leave. Within a month, we had an offer to come to China."
They moved first to Weihai, in the Northeast of Shandong Province, but have since relocated to Guangzhou. "Weihai was gorgeous, but just too cold! After a couple years of snow, I was like alright, let's find some heat."
Last year, she answered the Global Black Caucus' call for a 2020 Poet Laureate to create a poetry series that would explore societal issues and the 2020 elections. She is now a part of the GBC's Poet Laureate Circle.
She recalls her first moments with poetry with her great grandmother. "I would go to spend weekends with her and one day, she gave me two books - one of which was a gold poetry book called "Apples of Gold." It was so great! I don't know how many times I re-read it. I have been writing [poetry] forever - my mom has a big box of all these journals with poetry I wrote through years and years. Now I am getting to the point where I'm happy with what I'm writing and how people are liking it, and that always encourages you to do more."
Her poems don't sugarcoat the problems of America and its current political system, but also illuminate a way forward - something she hopes will be reflected by Democrats working towards the 2020 electoral outcome.
"My parents have always been very honest about our history. My dad grew up in Jim Crow Mississippi. It's hard there. You still see slave shacks and plantations and the reality of the United States all over there, and Alabama, and Georgia, and Louisiana. There's that James Baldwin quote - to be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time. Being a black woman, there are so many things I can say. There are so many things in our system that need to be changed."
"But there are a lot of us out here who want things to get better and we've got two powers: numbers and knowledge.
"I understand how hard it is to rally for something you didn't really want. I know what it feels like for your guy to not be IT. But I also understand what it's going to look like for the next four years if we don't vote, and especially if we don't vote locally. There are too many of us who will lose a lot. But there's power in our numbers - we've got to put those numbers together. Whether you vote with a smile in your face or tears in your eyes, you go vote!"
"Plus, we CAN HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. We shouldn't be living off just rhetoric. We are not powerless. A lot of time, we give our power away, but we aren't actually powerless against any of this. We can say - okay, we voted you in and these are our expectations. We will hold you to that. That needs to become our battlecry. My hope, wish, dream, is for people to unite with numbers and knowledge. If we don't get involved, there are never going to be checks and balances."
Jasmine Cochran will be presenting a brand new poem at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday, May 3rd. Please RSVP to attend!
DA China Members,
The month of March has felt like an absolute eternity, and many of us are scattered around the world and worried about family, friends, and the future of our country. With all that’s been going on, it is hard to believe that Democrats Abroad held its Global Presidential Primary just a few weeks ago!
Across the globe, thousands of Americans voted in 180 countries cast their votes. In total, 39,984 ballots were cast, representing a 15% increase in turnout compared to 2016. Senator Sanders won 9 delegates, while Vice President Biden won 4 delegates - full results are available on the Democrats Abroad website.
Despite the challenges of Covid-19, including having to cancel our in-person voting centers in China, more than 400 DA China members cast their ballots in the Global Presidential Primary this year.
Membership-wise, in the last three months we have welcomed over 400 new members to DA China! Thank you to all the members who have informed friends and family of our organization.
We were greatly aided on both efforts by a small team of phone banking volunteers that made hundreds of calls to DA members to help them cast their ballots, and by voting assistance volunteers that helped to answer questions. As we ramp up to the November election, more than ever we will need help from our volunteers to call constituents and help them get their absentee ballots in. Please consider joining our volunteer efforts by adding DA China on WeChat and letting us know you're interested:
Search WeChat ID: DemocratsAbroad
DA China’s Leadership Board is staying busy with organizing efforts, and we will be holding our Annual General Meeting in early May this year. Our hope is to have in-person events around the country, where like-minded Americans can meet and share ideas on how to repair the damage that has been done to our nation, and how we should lead once we take back the Presidency in 2020.
I hope all of you will stay safe, stay healthy, and stay focused on November.