2022 March #2 Newsletter contents:
- Message from your national officers
Upcoming DA Japan Events
- Learn to Phonebank, Sun March 20 5pm
- Kanto Hanami, Sun March 27th, 6pm
PhoneBanking Practice, Sun March 27, 3pm
Gun Violence Prevention Event, Sat April 2nd, 11am
- Annual General Meeting and Meet the Candidates Event April 9th, 1:30pm
- Online Speakeasy Thurs April 14, 7:30 pm
- DAJ Proposed Bylaws Amendments
Message from your national officers
The proposals and recommendations from the Bylaws Committee need to be published today, March 19th, to be ready for discussion at our Annual General Meeting on April 9th. To spare you from a flood of emails we will include an abbreviated newsletter of event announcements as a preface.
We hope to see you soon - or hear from you about the bylaws!
From your DA Japan Executive Committee
Sarajean (Chair), Dave (Secretary), Regina(Treasurer)
🌟 Upcoming DA Japan Events
1️⃣ LEARN TO PHONEBANK, Sun, March 20, 5pm
Asia Pacific Phonebanking training and practice
March 2022 Trainer: Layne Mostyn, DA Australia
2️⃣ Kanto Online Hanami Party, Sun, March 27, 6pm
Trivia games and other entertainment - come join the Kanto Team to celebrate the season.
3️⃣ Phonebanking Practice session, Sun. March 27, 3pm
4️⃣ Gun Control event, Sat, April 2, 11am
Gun Violence Prevention: what you can do even from overseas
5️⃣ Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Meet the Candidates, Sat, April 9, 1pm, online 2022 AGM Sat April 9 1:30-5:00
6️⃣ Online Speakeasy Thurs, April 14, 7:30pm~10pm JST
As always, bring your favorite beverage and hang out with friends old and new.
DID YOU KNOW:
$5 a month - Just 1 bowl of ramen - Can have a big impact for DA and DAJ!
Even if you don't have the time to call, you can help us by making a contribution.
🌟 DAJ Bylaws Proposals and Recommendations
The 2022 Bylaws Committee was formed in response to recent vacancies in the National Executive Committee, as the circumstances under which our National Secretary and National Treasurer can be appointed are currently in conflict with the Global Democrats Abroad Charter (the “state” party that represents us in the Democratic Party). The Bylaws Committee has directly drafted and recommended specific proposals to remedy this and other common organizational issues.
The Bylaws Committee felt a responsibility to directly address this issue and serve the membership by opening acceptance of any and all proposals on the Bylaws. We have three suggested amendments for discussion at the Annual General Meeting, and three recommendations to the organization regarding interpretation of the Bylaws and related issues.
We are circulating these for discussion amongst the membership and will make changes accordingly before we finalize them for voting at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday, April 9th, 2022.
The Bylaws Committee Members are:
Leslie Anne Rogers (Committee Chair)
Raymond Terhune (Committee Vice Chair)
Max Sternberg (National Counsel)
Article IX Section 6
They shall be subject to and operate solely in accordance with these Bylaws and Chapter Guidelines as well as the Bylaws of the Democrats Abroad and its Standing Resolutions.
They shall be subject to and operate solely in accordance with these Bylaws and Chapter Guidelines as well as the Bylaws of Democrats Abroad and its Standing Resolutions.
Article IX Section 5
Each Chapter shall be headed by a Chapter Chair elected from amongst the membership of the Chapter at a meeting of the Chapter held in accordance with Chapter Guidelines in the first half of odd numbered years. The Chapter Chair may appoint a Vice-Chair, Chapter Secretary, and a Chapter Treasurer from the Chapter membership. Chapter Chairs and Vice-Chairs must not be of the same sex. Chapter Elections should be in line with the Nominations and Elections procedures as outlined in Article XI of these Bylaws.
Section 5: Each Chapter shall be headed by a Chapter Chair elected from amongst the membership of the Chapter at a meeting of the Chapter held in accordance with Chapter Guidelines in the first half of odd numbered years. The Chapter Chair shall use all reasonable efforts to appoint or form an election committee to fill the vacancy for Vice-Chair, Chapter Secretary and Chapter Treasurer from the Chapter membership. Chapter Chairs and Vice-Chairs must not be of the same sex. Chapter Elections should be in line with the Nominations and Elections procedures as outlined in Article XI of these Bylaws.
Suggested Amendment for Vacancy
Article XII Section 2
Any vacancy, except for the position of Chair as described above, shall be filled by appointment by the Chair with approval from the Executive Committee, no less than thirty (30) days and no more than sixty (60) days from the date of the vacancy. Until such vacancy is filled, the National Chair may appoint at the Chair’s discretion a member to fill the vacancy on a temporary basis. Any member appointed to replace a vacancy shall serve only until the next regularly scheduled election pursuant to Article XI. A person elected to serve out the balance of a term for a period of less than 365 days shall not be deemed to have served a full term.
The election to fill a vacancy for the National Vice Chair, National Secretary, or National Treasurer shall be no earlier than two months and no later than four months following the date that the vacancy first arises.
After a vacancy arises, the National Executive Committee may appoint a DPCA Representative on a purely interim basis until an election can be held as described above; provided, however, that the nominated individual so appointed must have previously been elected by the entire membership of Democrats Abroad Japan.
Currently, National Vice Chair, National Secretary, and National Treasurer can be appointed in the event of a vacancy under the DAJ Bylaws. Currently, these members also serve as DPCA voting representatives ex officio, which must be elected, where the conflict occurs. The DAJ bylaws state that DPCA reps in the event of a vacancy can be appointed, however the DA Charter states that they must be elected. We recommend that the following language be added to the bylaws to ensure that DPCA representatives are all directly elected by the membership.
Define designated geographic areas
Article V Section 3, b
Current areas are designated as Eastern/Northern Honshu, Western/Southern Honshu, Hokkaido, and Shikoku, and Kyushu/Okinawa and each are awarded a Member-at-Large, elected by those regions. The National Secretary has currently designated specific geographical locations. It is worth noting that the classification of these regions by each Nominations and Elections Committee ("NEC") has been a discussion topic in the meeting minutes of several previous NECs, so it was raised if we should clearly define borders for geographic regions. We determined that we should not pursue language on this because it can be determined by the NEC.
We recommend that the future NECs specifically add a prefecture section to each ballot and determine which regions are eligible for each position to make it easy for the National Secretary to identify in our database where each voter is voting from. Deciding on a prefectural basis is simple, referenceable, and responsible.
Ranked Choice Ballots for the Chair and Vice Chair
What happens if there is a close election? Does the chair take precedent? Should we go with Ranked Choice Voting?
Such questions have been asked in recent years by DAJ Members. Ranked Choice Ballot Initiatives have shown to increase the outcome of voter preference in a democracy - the voter is able to make more choices and “rank” their prospective candidates and thus, their platforms, which can alter the outcome to more closely align with a constituency.
However, the current level of participation in our elections is lower to the point where it is uncommon for more than two candidates to run for any given position. Currently, as an off-year committee, we have many special elections and vacancies open across the membership. While the bylaws committee generally supports Ranked Choice Voting as an ideal, as a purely logistical issue given the conditions of our elections at this time, we did not see it as an item to take up at this time and instead to be pursued in future bylaws committees. With more pressing urgent issues facing the committee given the reality of vacancies, we did not choose to make a specific recommendation now, but if this wants to be pursued, we recommend those who want to undertake this volunteer for future Nominations and Elections Committee and administer an election in this fashion, clearly record the results and challenges, and then bring it forward to the membership. This is an item for an NEC to experiment with, as we recognize they have the authority to undertake this and we should try it for one cycle to see the results before mandating the change in our bylaws.
In the difficulty of deciding the DPCA vote distribution to ExCom members, one idea raised within the Bylaws committee was the potential for moving Japan’s votes to a purely direct democracy setup for Japan’s DPCA votes. We would be the first country committee to do this and there is no precedent for it.
It was decided that this is not something that can be taken up at this time for mandate, but rather, requires direct testing. As such, for this upcoming DPCA Global meeting, as your DPCA representative from Japan, John has volunteered to put his DPCA vote up to public ballot for the entire membership in the upcoming meeting. He will send and circulate the Global Resolutions and Global Bylaws when he receives the first drafts for input, and he will publicize the votes, results, how he voted, and the challenges therein. It would be great if we could get a quorum of our membership (20 people, same as this meeting) to participate to validate the effort.
We ask everyone to make this a successful test and support the distribution of materials, that the next bylaws committee review his findings at the next AGM, time allowing.
Please send DA Japan National Bylaw Proposal Comments to this e-mail address:
For reference, the current DA Japan National Bylaws can be found HERE:
Please keep in mind the following dates:
All submissions and proposals regarding the National Bylaws were accepted until:
Saturday, March 12th, 2022
Proposed bylaws amendment, drafts, and recommendations are being sent to members on:
Saturday, March 19th, 2022
Final discussion and amendments will take place at the next annual meeting of the general membership, which we currently anticipate will be held on:
Saturday, April 9th, 2022
Voting will then begin the following day and be open for approximately one month until:
Sunday, May 8th, 2022
We look forward to reading any and all membership feedback throughout this process.
Bylaws Committee Members
Democrats Abroad Japan