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DEMOCRATS ABROAD CHINA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Last updated Wed May 3, 2017.

UPDATE:
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!

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RSVP TO ATTEND THE AGM IN PERSON, click here to email us: democratsabroadinchina@gmail.com
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RSVP TO ATTEND THE AGM BY WEBEX or phone, click here to email us: democratsabroadinchina@gmail.com
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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: democratsabroadinchina@gmail.com

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 democratsabroadinchina@gmail.com.

DA CHINA EARLY VOTE E-BALLOT - PLEASE CLICK HERE:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dachinaearlyvote


* * 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: democratsabroadinchina@gmail.com

In Beijing: Beijing United Family Hospital
Building 2, Fifth Floor, 2 Jiangtai Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
北京和睦家医院2号楼5层会议室 北京朝阳区将台路2号
Map: http://beijing.ufh.com.cn/locations/main-campus
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
Map: http://www.smartshanghai.com/venue/13458/the_market
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: democratsabroadinchina@gmail.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

CHAIR
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.

VICE CHAIR
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.

SECRETARY
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.

TREASURER
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 democratsabroadinchina@gmail.com

Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC)

Ada Shen
Rich Welch
Radha Chaddah

 


Leadership Board Candidate Joshua Lally

Interested in
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

 


Leadership Board Candidate Kira Leinonen

Interested in
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


Leadership Board Candidate Chris Zombik

Interested in
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


Leadership Board Candidate Faith Gary

Interested in
ExCom Positions: Director of IT and Communications
At-Large Board Member: At-Large Member
Based in: Shanghai

I earned my degree in Public Relations and Communication, and I am currently an ICT teacher at an IB World School. I am a passionate Democrat who (thanks to my two daughters) is fully immersed in and familiar with various social media platforms and ways people have adapted with the changing of technology to spread awareness and knowledge about subjects. Having lived overseas for years, I've also experimented with different digital platforms for finding the easiest, most successful way to hold conversations across city and country lines. 

During this Trump Era, I've realized spreading knowledge and awareness, coordinating with our fellow Democrats, and making a stand, will be the key to regaining the America I used to know. I was born during the Civil Rights Movement, and I have witnessed and experienced the different struggles over the decades in order for all Americans to be seen and heard by those in power. We cannot return back to those times. EMAIL


Leadership Board Candidate James Flanagan

Interested in
ExCom Officer Positions: Undeclared
At-Large Board Member: Communications and Information Technology Adviser
Based in: Beijing

Hi everyone, I am James Flanagan and I am running for a non-Executive Committee leadership position for the Democrats Abroad in China while being based in Beijing. I am interested in advising the executive committee by hopefully taking on an official role as Adviser to the Communications and IT Director.

IN SHORT: 10 years in Beijing+HK. Social entrepreneur for 5 year+, founder of TEDxBeijing, and WEF Global Shapers Beijing. Large amounts of volunteer management, event production, and sponsorship raising experience.

LONGER: So far, I've had the opportunity to volunteer and plan voter registration in 3 presidential election cycles while in Beijing. Today, we all know the importance of being involved in our political system, and I feel compelled to help where I can. I would be proud to serve the board in the advising on this year's activities.

Being supportive is important, especially for those of us who live overseas and can't participate enough at home. Although I vote in Florida, I have lived more than 20 years in Asia, including the past 10 years in Beijing and HK. I spent the rest of my time in Asia growing up in Singapore and attending the French school. Like many Americans I've had the opportunity to meet and work with, I am also a third culture kid. My French side has always been easy to add to my American side since the histories and cultures of both countries are so intertwined, including, of course, the formidable ideas that underpin both system. Cross cultural understanding, especially given the direction of global politics, is what I also hope to bring to my position.

An additional important asset that I would like to bring to the position is my long experience building volunteer networks and activities. While in Beijing, I have had the honor to lead the development of the TEDx event series and the development of the youth community attached to the World Economic Forum. Combined, they represent more than 30 events and thousands of attendees.

Beyond the professional understanding of brand management, event production, and community building, working on both of these initiatives have given me the insight of what is possible in China and Asia for foreign networks. My experiences range from working on communication and IT issues for both networks, following the development of nonprofit activities in China, and how to connect China based networks to the rest of the world. I would like to bring this experience and insight to the work that Democrats Abroad will need to take on while we engage in activities while we are far from home.

If elected, I will look forward to working to serve our community and help us be engage with the important work that we need to undertake as so many aspects of our lives change, in America and around the world. I am happy to talk with anyone, and answer any questions.

I look forward to helping us work together to meet the challenges ahead. EMAIL


Leadership Board Candidate Randi Miller

Interested in
ExCom Positions: Vice Chair, Legal Officer
At-Large Board Member: Women's Caucus Lead; Progressive Caucus Lead; Chapter Liaison
Based in: Beijing


I am Randi Miller, I vote in NY, I am based in Beijing, and I am running for Legal Counsel (or Vice Chair or to be an At-Large Board Member).

I am an experienced, NY licensed attorney and my strengths include critical and strategic thinking and analytical skills. I am also good at anticipating potential problems or obstacles to attaining a goal so that they can be avoided or solved in advance.

In law school, I was involved in several projects involving women's issues, including an internship for which I wrote a policy paper advocating that states adopt comprehensive domestic violence legislation, an independent study paper on culture as a defense in domestic violence cases involving immigrants, and working as a research assistant for two professors in my school's Sex Discrimination Clinic.

I have studied in 3 countries and volunteered in 3 countries. After volunteering with orphans and girls rescued from slavery in Nepal for 2 months, I served for 5 years on the Board of Advisors for a non-profit that operates an orphanage in Kathmandu. During this time, I created and was the first editor of a newsletter that raises money and keeps volunteers connected when they return home.

In 2009, during a mid-career break, I went to Beijing to work as an intern at an English language magazine. This was my first time in China and I arrived alone, as a middle-aged woman, without being able to speak Mandarin, without knowing anything about the culture, without a network or any kind of support system, and without a plan beyond the 2 months of my internship. I ended up staying in Beijing and have been involved in a number of different business activities since that time. I have a consulting company and I am now launching a company that will help Chinese businesses enter markets outside of China and/or invest overseas and US businesses enter the China market.

As a strong thinker/problem solver with a legal background, I will be able to make valuable contributions to DACN not only as a legal advisor, but also with respect to consideration of various issues with which the Board will have to grapple and navigating the many challenges and opportunities that are ahead of us as we build a new organization. I also intend to support other Board members in their efforts to build membership, encourage member engagement, and organize activities and events, because I want to have a cohesive team that will be successful and ensure that our Country Committee makes an impact. EMAIL


Leadership Board Candidate Phong Quan

Interested in
ExCom Positions: Legal Officer
At-Large Board Member: At-Large Member
Based in: Beijing

I'm a corporate attorney at a US law firm and currently based in Beijing. I'm running for the Legal Officer position. I last worked in and voted in New York for Hillary one long night a lifetime ago, right by her campaign headquarters at the Javitz center in Manhattan.

I also previously worked in Vietnam and helped DA Vietnam organize fundraisers and absentee ballot collections for the first Obama campaign. I also interned for a Democratic congresswoman in D.C. and worked on Democratic campaigns in California. I learned a lot about organizing from these experiences and hope to be able to put some of that knowledge to use for us here in DA China.

As a lawyer, I hope to be able to use my legal experience working with corporate clients in New York to help the leadership team operate in compliance with DA China's bylaws and navigate any legal issues DA China may come across. 

As a liberal and a Democrat though, my main passion is to do everything I can to help us build up our membership and organize/engage us in the Resistance back home. I firmly believe that should be DA China's primary goal right now and think we should be a big-tent platform for organizing Americans of all stripes for this most important of fights.  

If any of the above connects with you, I hope you will give me your support. And if not, I still look forward to doing everything I can to help us continue the good fight here in China, whether as part of the DA China leadership team or not. EMAIL


Leadership Board Candidate Soren Bergeson

Interested in
ExCom Positions: Undeclared
At-Large Board Member: Progressive Caucus Lead
Based in: Beijing

The direction America is taking under Trump and the Republican Party is terrifying. Sitting passively on the sidelines is no longer an option.

I am an educator teaching in Beijing"my wife and I moved here with our son and daughter in 2015. I have been involved in Democratic and progressive politics before, and I was a volunteer in the 2004 and 2008 Presidential and Senate campaigns"collecting thousands of signatures, recruiting volunteers for phone banking, and working with local Democratic organizations in New York City. My home, in New Paltz, New York is the center of a newly invigorated activism that is trying to put pressure on John Faso (R), the 19th District's Congressional Representative. Waiting around until 2020 to become politically active is not an option. Special elections, midterms, town halls, and pressuring Members of Congress"action should be ongoing and immediate.

My background also includes decades of educating, protesting, and civil disobedience around issues including mass incarceration, the Iraq war, climate change, Black Lives Matter, unions and labor rights, antiracism, the minimum wage, and financial regulation. As a teacher, school administrator, and professional development director, I have experience coordinating, running, and presenting at workshops for parents, teachers, administrators, and Boards of Trustees.

I also have a long history and interest in China, "first visiting in 1989 and visiting or studying here many times in the past 28 years. My Mandarin Chinese proficiency would be a useful tool for my work serving DA China.

At a time when the world seems perched at the brink of disaster because of the political dysfunction at home in the US, it is invigorating to know that the Democratic Party is unbelievably energized. Every day brings a new list of reasons to rise up and resist, and I want to lend my hand in the fight. Many of the causes progressives have been fighting for are overwhelmingly popular"Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, reducing gun violence, etc. etc. Getting people to feel empowered instead of helpless"to lend our voices to these causes"can lead not just to defeating the Trump and GOP agenda" it can lead to building a better world for all of us. I am happy to support DA China in any way or role that would be helpful. EMAIL 


Leadership Board Candidate Angie Bergeson

Interested in
ExCom Positions: Chair, Vice Chair
At-Large Board Member Positions: Women's Caucus Lead
Based in: Beijing

This is a time in American history when the organization and mobilization of citizens concerned about health care, human rights, and democratic values are vital. Resisting and rejecting the Trump agenda is imperative. The level of enthusiasm and energy on the left throughout the country and the world is at an all time high and I want to do my part while living abroad.

During high school, in Indiana, I served as a page for a local representative from my hometown. This was in 1983. Since then, I have continually found ways to be informed and involved in political movements and organizations. Prior to moving to Beijing last year, I was living, teaching, and voting in New York City for 25 years. During this time, I co-founded, and was the Head, of a K-8 inclusion school. I was directly involved with every aspect of the Board of Trustees and was a close partner with the Board Chairs that served throughout the 10-year timeframe I was in this position. Currently, I am also Board member of a new public school that launched last year in the South Bronx.

In addition to experience with Boards, I have a significant volunteer background in the Democratic party. I became a member of the Upper West Side Democrats and served as a delegate, appearing on the ballot, for the 2004 elections. I canvassed for signatures, organized events, attended fundraisers for the candidate, and made several trips to DC on the behalf of the group.

Now, I am working at Keystone Academy in Beijing, and looking for ways to stay involved politically. I have a long history with China, dating back to my first visit in 2001, and am committed to raising my children here for several years. I strive to build bridges between our cultures and nations in my work with my students and have a great respect for the history and culture of China. I was very happy to learn I could join Democrats Abroad to build a bridge back home too.

Given my background in leadership, my involvement with several Boards, and my experience with political organizations, I am seeking to serve on the Leadership Board of DA China, in whatever capacity is needed by the new leadership team, but I would lend whatever support is needed in whatever capacity I am able.

I would hope to help register, inform, and involve as many democrats as possible, focusing initially on upcoming mid-term elections and ways to build momentum for change. The time is now and there is much to be done. Democrats Abroad in China is at an important developmental stage directly due to the passion, patience, and thoughtful actions of its current leaders and members. It would be an honor to partner with a team of Democrats in China to continue to shape and drive the mission, create short and long-term strategic plans, and take the Board to the next phase. If nominated, I will serve with integrity and inclusivity. EMAIL