Cory Stroik Candidate Statement

Hi everyone, my name is Cory Stroik and I hope to be your next secretary.

The past few months for DACN have been very chaotic, I believe this is because there is inadequate communication between the board and the members. If all members had easy, direct communication with the board we would have more stability within the organization. If we put more value on transparency, we could be a more effective organization. This is what has motivated me to run for this position. As secretary my goal is to make sure minutes, files and other resources are available to all members, easily and quickly.

 

I am a registered Michigan voter. I grew up in a union family in a small town north of Detroit. Before moving to Asia, I was heavily involved in local charity work through several fraternal organizations along with activism in support of various labor unions.  My personal politics are strongly defined by these experiences. I prioritize direct, local action and a focus on workers’ rights. I believe that our organization should, like an ideal union, function with the leadership answering directly and openly to the members.

 

In 2011 I graduated from Saginaw Valley State University and left Michigan for South Korea. In 2018 I moved to Zhengzhou, Henan, China where I work as a history teacher at Zhengzhou Foreign Language High School. Before the 2020 election I noticed that DACN was very active in the larger Chinese cities. Shanghai, for example, is well represented. I also noticed that this was not true for the provinces further west.  I was apparently the first person to express interest in organizing a local Henan group for Democrats Abroad. I understand why the organization is focused on the larger cities but I think we can do better than this. I think it would be a useful use of our resources to try and grow the organization to be more active throughout all of China. For the past 15 years I have been involved in the open-source software community. This is a community that is spread wide and thin, yet it works and members are engaged and active. If we use technology the right way to expand our reach, if the board members work together and work with the membership, we can do this too. I hope, as a board member, to be able to help our organization accomplish the same thing.