Topic: DACN Leadership Board Meeting
Time: Jul 19, 2020 08:00 PM Beijing, Shanghai
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 872 6805 9922
Password: bluewaveWHENJuly 19, 2020 at 8pmWHEREZoom Call
Meeting ID: 872 6805 9922 | Password: bluewave
Shanghai, SH 201103
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Elaine Chow published DACN Speaker Learnings: Quentin Palfrey on 2020 Voting Challenges in News 2020-06-18 00:10:53 -0400
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
Elaine Chow published DACN Speaker Learnings: June Shih on Activating AAPI in News 2020-05-28 01:13:17 -0400
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
Elaine Chow donated 2020-05-17 00:00:11 -0400
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As we continue through a delayed primary season, Democrats Abroad China has invited several prominent figures in academia, media and politics to provide food for thought and inspiration in the lead up to the Democratic National Convention.
We are excited to introduce you to our speakers:
Elaine Chow published Meet a DA China Member: Jasmine Cochran, Global Black Caucus Poet Laureate, in Guangzhou in News 2020-04-29 08:51:16 -0400
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!
Elaine Chow published WHAT WE ARE DOING POST-GPP IN DEMOCRATS ABROAD CHINA in News 2020-04-03 01:17:45 -0400
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.
Chair, DA China
Elaine Chow published IMPORTANT INFO: THE GLOBAL PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY IN CHINA in News 2020-02-20 08:37:43 -0500
CANCELLED: Beijing/Shanghai In-Person GPP Voting on March 7
Sadly, with coronavirus worries still causing quarantines and clampdowns all over China, we’ve decided to cancel the in-person voting events we were to hold on March 7, 2020.
BUT the Global Presidential Primary is still the easiest Democratic Primary for overseas voters to participate in thanks to:
EMAIL & MAIL IN VOTING
E-Mail Your Ballot: The Easiest Primary Voting Process Ever
Registered Democrats Abroad members should have received a ballot for DA’s global primary in their email inbox earlier today (Feb 18 2020). Be sure to check the email information on your account at DemocratsAbroad.org and that Democrats Abroad emails are not set to go to spam!
If you didn’t see it in your inbox, you can also download the ballot here on the Democrats Abroad website.
I Prefer Snail Mail Please
Packages leaving China are at risk of getting stopped right now, so we don’t recommend this route. However, if you still prefer sending a physical paper ballot, please:
- Print out the ballot [linked again] & fill it in
- Message us directly by adding our WeChat QR code at the bottom of this message!
Deadline: March 10, 2020
While coronavirus is exceptionally frustrating, don’t let this pathogen disenfranchise you! Democrats Abroad represents 9 million Americans living abroad and has as much weight as any US state party in the Democratic Primary. Your vote for your favorite Democratic candidate can have potentially 4x more impact than back home!
CAUTION: You CAN NOT vote for a Presidential Candidate in both your home state primary and the GPP.
So we hope you choose to use your vote for the GPP!
It’s right now!
Elaine Chow published First China Kitchen Table Talk with the Women's Caucus in News 2019-12-13 01:51:35 -0500
China held its first Kitchen Table Talk, run by the Women's Caucus in Beijing, on Sunday December 8th, where they focused on the topic of Equal Rights - including the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and the recent transgender ban in the military.
Kitchen Table Talks are small group events held by Democrats Abroad members to discuss policy issues that matter to Americans abroad. The feedback from these talks can help shape the Democrats Abroad 2020 Platform and ensure that DA represents the issues that matter the most to its global constituents.
In China's case, the group found that they largely agreed with Democrats Abroad Global's memorandum on Equal Rights but felt that some issues weren't being covered.
For instance, the topic of childcare and parental leave is one that Americans overseas often have much better experiences with than Americans inside America. China felt we could contribute deeper to this conversation in the same way we could for International versus American healthcare.
Additionally, they felt violence against women, racism and voter disenfranchisement in America needed more attention on the 2020 agenda.
Sound interesting? Here's how you can hold your own Kitchen Table Talk:
All you need are some friends to gather anywhere and discuss one or multiple topics you can find through the following link:We hope to see you at our next event!
Upcoming: An All Caucus Christmas Dinner in Shanghai. RSVP here.
Elaine Chow published Meet a DA China Volunteer: Zak Marcone in Beijing in News 2019-11-15 02:08:01 -0500
Zak Marcone has traveled a lot - he has spent significant periods of time in China, Uganda, Japan and Mexico, as well as having lived in four US States: New York, Rhode Island, Missouri and North Carolina. He is currently registered to vote in his hometown of Northport on Long Island, NY.
Zak has been interested in politics and history for as long as he can remember. “I owe a lot to my parents who took me to museums almost every weekend as well as to my wonderful teachers over the years.”
In the past he’s done work for the Democratic Party in a number of capacities. In college, he interned for the Democratic Coalition assisting with Democratic campaigns nationwide. He was most intimately involved with the 2017 special election in Alabama where they were able to get the first Alabama Democrat in decades, Doug Jones, elected to the senate.
Zak is most focused on healthcare, immigration, rooting out corruption, and ensuring that America plays a positive role as a leader on the world stage.
During the 2016 election Zak called out then House Speaker Paul Ryan on a CNN Town Hall.
The video “Paul Ryan: Not voting for Trump is a vote for Clinton” went viral and can be viewed at this link: https://youtu.be/9quPn38agjI
Currently a master’s student in Economics and China Studies at the Yenching Academy of Peking University, he graduated with a BA in Economics and History from Columbia University last year and is interested in a career in public policy or economic development.
He got involved with Democrats Abroad after hearing about the organization from a fellow American at Peking University’s campus.
He told Democrats Abroad China, “If I were to become president I would focus on implementing structural reforms that ensure the president and her/his cabinet is not above the law. Specifically, I would advocate for a constitutional amendment that explicitly states that a president cannot pardon her/himself or reverse a Justice Department policy that forbids any indictments against a sitting president. I would also give up my party membership in a symbolic move to overcome political partisanship. I do not hear these types of actions advocated very often and I feel they are of the utmost importance for the durability of the republic.”
Zak is young, educated, and plugged in. He knows that the biggest challenge facing the Democratic Party is the immense amount of disinformation spreading online and in the media.
Republicans and Democrats exist in two separate perceptions of reality and there is no longer an objective truth that everyone can agree upon. This makes it nearly impossible to identify wrongdoing on behalf of the president. “Most Democrats do not recognize this and have trouble connecting with people outside of cities and blue states,” he warns.
Justin Fischer is an At-Large member of the board for Democrats Abroad China and is currently living in Shanghai. He is registered to vote in Missouri.
He has lived in six states in the past - Michigan, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, Arizona, and Georgia - but China is the only foreign country he has lived in.
Justin became earnestly interested in politics when George W. Bush became president after the 5-4 vote of the Supreme Court in Bush v Gore.
He voted third party back then, which he now thinks was a mistake. The long-term consequences of that election made him realize how important it is to vote, and be engaged with a major political party.
Wealth disparity, curbing excessive corporate power, banking reform are important issues to him.
He believes in building a humane policy toward immigrants and refugees. To that end, he has done volunteer work for the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
The IRC responds to some of the world's worst crises, delivering aid that saves lives while paving the way for long-term recovery. Justin is currently a regular donor to that organization as well as to No Mas Muertes, which advocates for humane treatment of desperate immigrants crossing the southern border of the United States.
Justin works for a public relations agency in Shanghai that helps foreign companies get recognized in China and the APAC region.
If he were President for a day, he would "clean the ketchup stains and Diet Coke can rings off the Resolute Desk.”
Fighting the apathy and cynicism that seems to infect so much of the electorate is job number one for Justin.
“As activists, we are surrounded by like-minded people with the same level of passion. But there are a lot of people out there who think the blame for our problems falls equally on both sides and have just thrown up their hands in frustration.”
Elaine Chow published Tribute to Rep. Elijah Cummings from DACN Board Member Devika Koppikar in News 2019-10-22 08:17:17 -0400
To escape construction noise typical of high-rise living in China, I left my apartment on Thursday evening, October 17, when my WeChat lit up. A fellow DA-China member had written, “(U.S. Congressman) Elijah Cummings has died.”
Wait, what? DIED?
I had once worked as his speechwriter and kept in touch with him regularly. I knew he had been ill, but had the end really come? I believed it after reading a news article. Still, I needed more confirmation. So, I called his longtime legal counsel and to my surprise, I was the one who informed him of the tragic news. “How did you find out (before staff)?” he asked. “DA-China,” I replied.
Because the Congressman had taken his last breath overnight, Americans in China had been privy to the (awful) news even before his best friend of 50 years heard it.
I begin my tribute this way because I want to highlight the critical link that DA provides to Americans in China. We don’t necessarily get news before our fellow Americans, as I did. But through DA-China, we can stay informed of various political happenings as if were on U.S. soil.
Currently, I’m still grieving the loss of my former boss, mentor, hero and role model, who died at the age of 68. Months before his death, he had reached a pinnacle in Congress: Committee Chair of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee (a key player in the impeachment inquiry).
Mr. Cummings (D-Maryland) had risen from humble beginnings. A son of sharecroppers, he was mistakenly marked as a “special ed” student in school and told that he’d never graduate. He not only defied this prediction, but went on to college, law school and spent more than 35 years in politics. Yet, he never forgot where he came from and gave a voice to the voiceless, whether it was to advocate for better schools, quality healthcare, voting rights or increased economic opportunities for all. My most vivid memories of him involve how he would spring into action the minute he heard about an injustice.
After learning of his passing, I broke down at the realization that he would never be able to see through the crusades he had undertaken. Then, suddenly, his poignant words echoed in my mind.
“A 100 years ago, none of us were here; 100 years from now, none of us will be here. So, we must ask ourselves, what do we do while we are here?” he often said.
Mr. Cummings is no longer with us. He won’t be able to vote in the primaries or the general election. He won’t be able to speak up for patients who struggle to afford lifesaving prescription drugs or children locked in cages. There is however, someone who can: us.
We won’t be here 100 years from now. But right here, right now, we can seize this moment by voting, participating in our democracy and advocating for the issues that concern us.
Devika Koppikar is an At-Large Board Member of DA-China. She works as an AP teacher in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. Previously, she worked as a speechwriter to U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings from 2002 to 2007. She left that job to seek more of a work-life balance, but is still active in politics.
Elaine Chow published Meet a DA China Volunteer: Grace Gary in Shanghai in News 2019-10-17 09:02:33 -0400
Grace Gary has lived in Georgia and New York before coming to China. She is currently registered to vote in Gwinnett County, Georgia (named for Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Button Gwinnett, who died from wounds received in a duel with Lachlan McIntosh, a Continental general, whose brother Gwinnett had arrested.
Her interest in politics began while she was living in New York in 2015. “You see a lot of injustice and anger living there, and the Trump campaign didn’t help. I got involved with DA in 2016, when I wanted to vote in my first presidential election.”
She is most interested in spreading accurate information through awareness posts, and providing voters what they need to get their ballots and check on its status.
Grace is an English tutor and college student working towards her forensic psychology degree.
“If you were President for a day, what would you do on Day One?” I asked.
“Not even sure if all of this is legal, but… I’d remove the Andrew Jackson portrait from the Oval Office, then issue executive orders to ending our inhumane and disease-ridden immigration detention camps. Some heads would roll for the dead/missing Latinx children. I would stop NASA from trying to desecrate a sacred place in Hawaii; get Flint clean water; and seek justice for however many people were responsible for the water crisis.”
DA China takes a moment each month to highlight members of our community and board.
Kimberly “Kim” Wong has lived in New Jersey and New York, Japan and China. She is registered to vote in New Jersey.
While she had never been heavily involved with politics in the US, she cared about large-scale positive systemic change, and being an active contributing member of society.
“I like to get it DONE,” she says.
She got involved with DA as a volunteer around the time of the Women’s March when she hosted Democrats Abroad at Sproutworks, a restaurant where she was involved. She also tapped her friend Elaine Chow (our current Comms Director) to get a video from Krista Suh (creator of the Pussyhat) to help promote voter registration.
“We got 100 registrants that day and I knew I could probably do more!”
“I care about electing Democrats, and want to do as much preparation as possible leading up to 2020,” she told me. She also cares deeply about Health and Education and has done extensive work for Food Heroes, a non-profit that aims to teach children about healthy eating.
Kim just launched her first clothing line under her brand cukimber. It’s colorful fresh and fun. She taught herself how to make compositions from paintings, and then create them into products — not just clothing, but accessories and home-ware. She designs for other brands, too.
If Kim were President for a day, what would she do? She said, with a smile, “Reunite kids with the parents. Welcome people into the country! Reduce emissions, gun control, pass ERA…all of it. A girl can dream, right?”
Anything that stops Democrats from voting is in Kim’s way.
Look out! Each state has different rules and it’s a little complicated, but she has become one of our old hands at registering people to vote and going the next step: making sure they secure and return their secret absentee ballot.
"Thank goodness that we are going to have tons of Get Out The Vote volunteers!” she said and reminded me that we need to re-register to vote from abroad every year: “You better know what you’re going to be doing on January 1, 2020! The earlier the better.”
It’s hard to know what to do with all the news and crises everyday and it gets truly frustrating to see headline after headline that induces panic and fear. Being part of DA gives Kim and many others some peace of mind, to know that we can contribute proactively to get people onto the Blue Wave, and actually surf towards better solutions.
Recently on our @democratsabroadchina Instagram, we've been posting tiny actions you can take to stave off our climate apocalypse (#doom). One of them was our initiative to help us all eat a little less meat: #DAVegtober
#DAVegtober is a pledge to eat more vegetarian than you normally do, whether that's just one day a week, one meal a day or committing to fully vegetarian/vegan! It's up to you, but we would love to see you publicly commit to it (hashtag and all) and hopefully raise awareness of Democrats Abroad in your communities.
But, as we were careful to stress, the most EFFECTIVE action is to follow up individual action with collective action: voter registration for the 2020 elections begins on Jan 1.
We are now beginning fundraising efforts to help us reach out to more of the Americans in China community with phonebanking events, media pushes and swag! If you have some spare change to donate to our pledge to register the votes that make all the difference, please find out how to do it by scanning the QR code in WeChat below:
A Message from Aaron Kruse, Democrats Abroad China Chair
After three debates it is clear that the eventual Democratic Party nominee will have their hands full cleaning up the mess that President Trump has created. From healthcare to student loans, gun control to foreign policy, our party has a lot of work to do.
As the primaries draw nearer and the Democratic Party chooses a candidate to take on Trump in 2020 it can feel like we’re very far away from the action, but the reality is that our Leadership Board is working hard to build a post-Trump world.
Recently, all 11 members of DA China’s elected Leadership Board met in Shanghai to strategize how we can contribute and how we can organize to make sure that the White House has a new occupant come 2021.
Among the work that we did during the retreat was to discuss issues that should be part of the Democratic Party platform. The world looks different for Americans living abroad, and part of the mission of Democrats Abroad is to make sure that our issues are addressed. For example, President Trump’s trade policy will make it harder for millions of Americans living overseas to vote – directly jeopardizing our voting rights.
In order to ensure that the Democratic Party hears our voices on the issues, DA’s global team has launched the 2020 Platform Committee. And, to ensure that DA’s global team hears the voices of its members, the committee is rolling out an initiative to allow members to share their voices through “Kitchen Table” conversations.
Over the next few months we will be encouraging our members to take part in these conversations and share feedback with the Platform Committee. Interested members can get involved by first reviewing the 2016 Democrats Abroad Platform and then getting in touch with any of our 11 elected DA China leaders.
Elaine Chow published Meet a DA China Volunteer: Brittni Young in Shanghai in News 2019-09-09 23:00:25 -0400
Each month we take a moment to highlight a volunteer in Democrats Abroad China. This month's star: Brittni Young in Shanghai!
INTERVIEW BY: ALEXANDER LEE
Brittni Young was born and raised in Texas, where she is registered to vote. She now resides in Shanghai as a full-time English teacher while working with an art collective on the side.
Brittni is leading up the efforts of China’s newly formed Black Caucus. If you are interested in issues of diversity and racial equality, join us for our Inaugural Black Caucus Brunch on September 15 in Shanghai and follow the Global Black Caucus on its social media streams!
The rule “you should never discuss politics, and religion at the dinner table” never held any weight in her home. When Brittni was a child she used to campaign with her family and neighbors asking them to vote for her as the first Black female president. “That particular slot has yet to be filled so a girl can still dream,” she said. In college, she worked with the College Democrats’ organization to keep classmates involved and registering them to vote, and has since kept up a litany of volunteer actions at food donation centers, beach clean ups, donations to women’s shelters and educating people.
Brittni first got involved with Democrats Abroad through a Women’s Caucus Event for Women’s Day. “I was unaware there was this organization abroad so I was very excited when I met Sarah and Kim at this event, and learned more about the Democrats Abroad.” After this event she found how simple it was to get involved with the organization, stay engaged with the political process, and help our country while living abroad.
She is interested in women’s rights, black rights, climate change, and “just being kind to each other, and caring for our planet.”
In her opinion, the Democrats’ greatest challenges are single issue voters and voter suppression. In Texas, communicating social policies to conservative voters is also a challenge. Texans have a very strong mindset about working hard and not receiving handouts. “I think it’s great that they have a mindset about working hard, but I think we need to re-educate people about our social policies that they are calling handouts. People feel ashamed for receiving something they already paid into, and they should naturally receive as American citizens, and human beings. We need to be more effective at reaching out to these communities.”
If Brittni was President for a Day, "I would allocate resources to release the children and families locked up in cages at our southern border, and provide them with resources to sustain them as we create a pathway to citizenship. I would also take necessary actions needed to protect the DACA program the current administration is attempting to end. "
“Next, I would focus on climate change, because no one will be around to debate or enjoy anything if we continue at the destructive rate we are going. I would rejoin the Paris Agreement, and pass the Green New Deal. I would also allocate resources to cleaning up the water of cities such as Flint, Michigan, where residents are unable to access drinkable water in the “richest” nation of the world.
“Also, I would focus on making access to medication affordable for all Americans, and pushing forward with Universal Healthcare.
“I would also have the United States sign the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
Join Brittni and other Democrats Abroad members working to ensure change in 2020! Check us out on Facebook or WeChat.
Today we take a moment to highlight the man who’s been behind the interviews of our Democrats Abroad China board members and star volunteers, Alexander Lee, who also serves as General Counsel for our board.
Alexander currently works at an international program in one of Guangzhou’s top public schools. He votes in Barre, Vermont, which is named after the Member of Parliament who coined the term “Sons of Liberty.”
Participating in a rally was actually what led to Alexander moving to China. At the Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’ in 2010, he met the director of Perfect English and, some months later, moved to Changchun to become the Director of Studies. Additionally, he has lived in Beijing as well.
He has been to 95 cities and towns in China, many of which are documented on his blog Waking Green Dragon. He is particularly interested in tea, and now runs the Guangzhou Internations Coffee & Tea group.
One reason he pursued an adventure outside of America was because he needed a change after running a nonprofit. His organization, Project Laundry List, worked on “right to dry” legislation encouraging Americans to use nature to dry laundry instead of energy-sucking machines. Under his watch, it had a slew of media coverage, including having a film crew follow them around for a year to produce a prize-winning documentary called Drying for Freedom.
Even before being elected to DA China’s leadership board, Alexander has had a history of being involved in politics. He was the former chair of the Concord City Democrats and Merrimack County Democrats in New Hampshire, and was an early field office director for Howard Dean and a 2004 DNC delegate for him in Boston. He served as campaign manager for McKim Mitchell’s almost successful attempt to unseat the State Senate President in 2004.
He has many issues important to him, including protecting the environment, abolishing the death penalty and fair and progressive tax. Additionally, “I am former board member of Otter Creek Audubon and Peace & Justice Center of Burlington, VT so I care about birds and peace,” he said.
As general counsel, his role at Democrats Abroad is to ensure all initiatives follow American legal proceedings so that our organization can identify Americans, register them to vote and help them request absentee ballots as smoothly as possible.
Join us as a Democrats Abroad member! Check us out on Facebook or WeChat.
We are excited to announce the Democrats Abroad China has officially launched the Black Caucus, and we’d like to invite you to join us! Please join us for our Inaugural Brunch on Sunday, September 15 in Shanghai and be sure to scan our WeChat Group code to join the WeChat Group before the end of the week!
What is the Black Caucus?
The Democrats Abroad Global Black Caucus (GBC) is made up of DA members of all ethnicities from around the world who are willing and able to advocate on issues important to Black Americans within the United States of America and those living abroad. All DA members are eligible to join the GBC. We advocate for laws, policies, and programs that improve the lives of Black Americans and educate all people on the humanity of Black people.
What issues are we advocating for?
● Voting Rights
● Criminal Justice
● Police Brutality
● Police Militarization
● Mass Incarceration
● Prisoner Rights
● Economic Inequality
● Government Participation
● Human Rights and Anti-Racism
● Unconscious and Conscious Bias
● Black Lives Matter
● Environmental Racism
● Human trafficking
● Technology Industry Diversity & Inclusion
● Environmental Justice and Climate Change
The DACN Black Caucus will host events, call to actions, discussions and more to uplift the Black American community while living abroad. We may be an ocean away from home, but the fight for our rights doesn’t stop.
So how can you get involved?
First, you can officially register with the DA Global Black Caucus https://www.democratsabroad.org/join Once you have registered with the Global Black Caucus make sure you scan the QR Code to join our official WeChat group. The WeChat Group is a place for you to join or start a constructive conversation about the issues relevant to our community.
We are excited to have the Black Caucus up and running. We hope you will join us in making a better future for all of us!
Elaine Chow published Meet a DA China Volunteer: Luc Bronder-Giroux in Shanghai in News 2019-08-12 08:15:34 -0400
DA China is taking a moment to highlight members of our community and board.
Interview of Luc Bronder-Giroux by Alexander LeeLuc Bronder-Giroux grew up in the Boston area, where he still votes today. He moved to China for undergrad at Fudan University after high school and now works in corporate communications in Shanghai.
His political awakening was a process of rejecting American-style “liberalism,” which he saw repeatedly betraying “progressive” values. He has increasingly looked for solutions in leftist politics and theory.
He first encountered DA while attempting to get involved with the Bernie Sanders campaign. Since then, he has done some basic campaign canvassing at bars and festivals, met a ton of politically active Americans, and volunteered to register voters. In the last few months, he has also organized a few get-togethers to discuss progressive issues, started a small book club, and launched an ongoing series of “debate watch parties” for the Democratic National Primaries.
“Learning what issues people truly care about—and why—has been extremely rewarding. When we talk in those terms, the compassion and fundamental goodness that shines through is incredibly energizing and hope-inspiring,” says Luc.
He believes that our lack of power to force systemic change is the root of what he calls our “decaying democracy and the betrayal of the poor and working class.” So, building this political power—through radical labor organizing and social movements—is the necessary first step toward progress on any issue.
He believes that the Democrats are faced with an existential challenge: will they stand for the interests of the poor and working people, or will they continue to be a party of big business? This question must be answered at every level.
In its ideology and interests, our party is currently indistinguishable from the Republicans in his view, except in the most egregious acts of inhumanity (which suck up the majority of media attention). So, our task is to force the party to radically transform, both in its ideology (to some kind of eco-socialism) and in the group of people whose interests it represents (which should be those who primarily earn a living by working for a wage).
“I would encourage anyone who suspects there’s something wrong with our political and economic systems (and therefore society) to join a leftist reading group with an open mind,” says Luc, who volunteers with the Progressive Caucus for Democrats Abroad. “Getting involved offline and in real life is the key.”