DA China - Communications IT Director

  • is hosting Official DACN Black Caucus Opening Brunch 2019-08-24 00:10:58 -0400

    Official DACN Black Caucus Opening Brunch

    The DACN announces the official opening of the Black Caucus with a Sunday Brunch and screening of Dear White People. Join a community of people from diverse backgrounds for a great time filled with laughs and discussions at our welcoming event. Make sure to RSVP. We hope to see you there!

    Dear White People Synopsis

    A social satire that follows the stories of four Black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive Black-face party thrown by White students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world.

    WHEN
    September 15, 2019 at 11:30am
    WHERE
    Roadhouse
    1140 W Beijing Rd
    Shanghai, CHINA
    China
    Google map and directions
    3 rsvps rsvp

  • is hosting Meet the DACN Leadership Board in Shanghai! 2019-08-13 11:05:36 -0400

    Meet the DACN Leadership Board in Shanghai!

    WHEN
    August 24, 2019 at 8pm
    WHERE
    Cages
    325 Changhua Rd Jing An District
    Shanghai 200032
    China
    Google map and directions
    6 rsvps rsvp

  • Meet a DA China Volunteer: Luc Bronder-Giroux in Shanghai

    DA China is taking a moment to highlight members of our community and board.

    Interview of Luc Bronder-Giroux by Alexander Lee

    Luc 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.”


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  • published Meet a DA China Board Member: Faith Gary in News 2019-08-09 07:09:15 -0400

    Meet a DA China Board Member: Faith Gary

    DA China is taking a moment to highlight members of our community and board.

    Interview of Faith Gary, Member-at-Large, by Alexander Lee

    Faith Gary is in her third year as an at-large board member and the self-described “Auntie” of Democrats Abroad China. A native Atlantan, though she has lived in about eight other states, Faith says, “Georgia will always be home.” 

    She has seen most of China’s major landmarks, and has lived in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. While she has traveled a bit, China is the only country outside of the United States where she has lived. She has taught the lower primary grades in international schools throughout China over the past ten years. 

    She grew up watching television alongside her dad. From the nightly news broadcasts of the late 1960s, wherein they tallied the daily death toll of American soldiers in Vietnam, to the Watergate coverage in the early ’70s, to the numerous Olympic and professional sports events in between. Her dad would pontificate on his liberal Democratic ideals and she came to adopt those same ideals — Truth, Liberty and Justice for all, racial equality, and a belief in science (her dad was a biologist with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), based in Atlanta).

    She watched as her dad sang the national anthem with all his heart before each sporting event and during the Olympic medal ceremonies, and she learned to do the same. When she was in her high school marching band, she played the anthem more times than she can recount…and she never tired of it!

    That patriotic strain has always been present in her life. Even on the morning of September 11, 2001, she was dressed in a red, white, and blue souvenir T-shirt from Washington, DC, and American flag earrings at a Mothers in Prayer meeting at her daughter’s Christian school when the first news of the attack came in. That moment, when several moms’ phones went off simultaneously, she will never forget.

    In the ensuing days and months, she found it laughable when Republicans decried any wish to improve America as “hating” America. Any desire to improve the country for all Americans became, in their rhetoric, a desire to change America into something unrecognizable... a socialist state! These partisans swore that Obama “hated” America, even as he won re-election.

    So in 2016 when her Dad, by then blind with age, warned her that 45 was going to win, she, like so many of us, could not take that possibility seriously. “Noooo, we’re better than that, aren’t we?” thought Faith, but her Dad warned, “He’s telling [xenophobic, homophobic, anti-choice, and racist voters] exactly what they want to hear.” Her Dad’s prediction was right.

    After looking at statistics, it became apparent to Faith that Steve Bannon had helped 45 play the Electoral College game. By appealing to enough racists in three key states, 45 won the majority of Electoral College votes by less than 78,000 votes.

    78,000 votes. The entire direction of our great nation turned on that paltry number, because millions of eligible voters passed up on the election, or cast so-called “protest votes.” Faith got involved in DACN because she wanted to play a role in recapturing those lost votes.

    Her primary interest is in voter education and registration. She is passionate about helping expats vote absentee from abroad.

    “It’s my heart’s desire to see a Blue Tsunami sweep over the nation in November 2020,” she told me. “If the other 98% voted, the top 2% would lose power.”

    She truly believes that if we voted the Democratic Party into power in both houses of Congress and the Oval Office, following up the election with a steady stream of pressure for progressive reforms, we could see the changes our country so desperately needs.

    Interested in becoming a Democrats Abroad member? Join us on our Facebook or WeChat.

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  • rsvped for DACN Book Club & Take an Action Event 2019-08-07 23:43:07 -0400

    DACN Book Club & Take an Action Event

    A two-part event in which we first discover Mary Matsuda Gruenewald's book "Looking Like the Enemy" over Happy Hour drinks.

     

    During World War II, America committed the shameful act of interning American citizens of Japanese origin. Now, internment camps are back in the news and we find our current administration routinely detaining refugees, asylum seekers and, in several cases, already naturalized American citizens because of their "looks."

     

    The second half of the event will be for aiding participants in contacting their representatives through writing, emailing and calling. This event is organized by the Women's Caucus. 


     

    WHEN
    August 31, 2019 at 5:30pm
    WHERE
    Pronto Cafe & Bar
    179 Maotai Road near Loushanguan Rd
    茅台路179号,附近娄山关路
    Shanghai 200040
    China
    Google map and directions
    1 rsvp rsvp

  • Meet a DA China Volunteer: Brian Kloosterman in Kunming

    DA China is taking a moment to highlight members of our community and board.

    Interview of Brian Kloosterman, volunteer in Kunming, by Alexander Lee

    Brian Kloosterman is actively building a group of Democrats Abroad China in Kunming so we picked him as our first volunteer to profile. If you are based in Kunming and interested in working with him, please add WeChat ID: DemocratsAbroad to be connected into the DA China Kunming WeChat group.

    Brian has lived in three states—Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Massachusetts, and Michigan—and now resides in China. He is registered to vote in Michigan. 

    He was born in the New England region, where his father was serving in the Navy. Afterwards, the family returned to their hometown of Detroit. Brian has lived all over Michigan, a state that he loves. But sadly, he feels the difficulties that region faces make it hard for him to see a good future there. In fact, Brian believes Presidential candidates are consistently failing to recognize and present substantial solutions to the problems faced by the working classes in the USA, where systemic lack of opportunity and low quality of life is eroding society from within.

    Besides visiting Canada, Brian had never been to another country before coming to China. Originally here for a short term programming project, he has extended his stay to five years now, working as a teacher in AP computer science, chemistry, physical education, music and physics, as well as a student manager at a high school in Kunming. He completed his MEd while in China, and hopes to continue either computer science teaching or programming when he goes back to the USA.

    Brian also participates in a local maker group, where he has done some fun robotics projects and carpentry. If you need data visual coding, electronic art projects or games, he is your guy. In addition, he is working on an educational project in cultural evolution theory and a first-person ESL video game for web browsers.

    Brian got involved in DA after the 2016 election because he felt it was his responsibility to participate in the democratic process.

    He was a teenager when the wars in the Middle East began and he felt disillusioned by the US to see so much money being spent there instead of being utilized to help people back home. At that time, his family and friends were going through major financial hardships. They had to rely on government aid programs, but he says, “those programs have oppressive architectures.” 

    Additionally, Brian was becoming more aware of the threat of global warming. “I see poverty, low quality of life, poor education, and lack of opportunity as primary drivers in feedback cycles such as violence and racism in the US,” he observed. 

    If he were President for a day, he would drop most tariffs, pardon or reduce sentences of all non-violent criminals, commute all those on death row to life in prison, loosen the barriers to entry into the US, and deploy the US military in a more productive resource and alliance building manner. 

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  • published Meet a DA China Board Member: Eileen Walsh in News 2019-07-14 04:18:04 -0400

    Meet a DA China Board Member: Eileen Walsh

    DA China is taking a moment to highlight members of our community and board. 

    Interview of Eileen Walsh, Member-at-Large, by Alexander Lee

    Eileen Walsh was born and brought up in Ohio, where she is registered to vote. She is now a LEAP (Learning English for Academic Proficiency) teacher at Daystar Academy in the Sanlitun area of Beijing. She helps her students develop their abilities in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing in English, in the context of what they are studying in their classrooms.

    Ada Shen (currently the National Chair of DA France) helped Eileen get involved with the Democrats Abroad organization. 

    Her top issues of importance are racial equality and gun control.

    She says, “I have no idea what it means to be discriminated against for any reason, and I dislike the idea that there are people who have to always be on their guard. I feel it is my responsibility as a white person to fight for a time when no one has to allow for the possibility that they will be discriminated against, for any reason.”

    Regarding gun control, she believes there is no reason for any private citizens to own AK-47s. The Second Amendment refers to a militia, not private citizens, and she feels that the Supreme Court’s activist interpretation of that amendment endangers lives.

    I asked her what she would do if she was President for a day and she responded, “Bring to a screeching halt the way migrants are treated. No more detention, no more separating children from their families and no more concentration camps, which is exactly what those facilities are.”

    She believes that the challenge Democrats face in 2020 in general is educating people. She is perplexed and baffled by the anti-vaxers, but also by people who justify poor treatment of immigrants. “Whether it’s Donald Trump or someone else, we need to ask questions and find the information we need to make informed decisions instead of accepting what someone else tells us. It is our responsibility, and we need to stop giving that responsibility to other people.”

    Eileen is frustrated by a coterie of Americans who are not tolerant of differing opinions.

    “I defend the rights of those who disagree with me, as well as the rights of those with whom I have more in common. Those of us who espouse an inclusive view of what it means to be an American and want a society where differences are celebrated and everyone is encouraged to be an active member of society have the responsibility to work toward making that the reality. We need to make our voices heard as we work to create an American society where everyone is welcome.”


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  • published DA China In DC: A Recap from the Chair in News 2019-06-10 10:18:26 -0400

    DA China In DC: A Recap from the Chair

    While it sometimes feels, as the proverb goes, that heaven is high and the President is far away, Democrats Abroad is a vital part of the Democratic Party. We may be the only one of the 57 “state parties” spread across over 50 countries, but we still meet regularly annually.

    This year’s Democrats Abroad country committee leadership global meeting took place in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., in May. Our focus: how local leaders can empower volunteers in preparation for 2020. Through our actions and learnings at the global meeting, DA China is better positioned than ever to fight Trump and the Republican agenda.

    This was the third global meeting I attended in person to represent DA China. Sam Wong, our former Vice Chair, was also present in DC, and Elizabeth Jenkins, our current Vice Chair, attended (and voted) virtually.

    As a volunteer on the Nominations and Elections Committee, and as Chair of the Bylaws Committee, the meetings felt especially productive this year. I want to share three personal highlights I feel are powerful strengths for our party heading into the 2020 election:

    1. Medicare-for-All Resolution: Each year, DA considers and passes resolutions that stake out our position on key issues, ensuring that they are being communicated directly to DNC leadership. This year we passed a resolution advocating support for a Medicare-for-All plan and expressing a strong view of healthcare as a right for Americans, regardless of their bank account balance. I was proud to vote in support of this resolution, and healthcare is shaping up to be a focal point of Democratic election efforts around the country.

    2. Communication Plans and Training: Amanda Mohar, the global communications lead, delivered a comprehensive overview of DA’s strategy from now through to the primary season and also conducted training on how to activate new volunteers and members. In addition, country committee leaders shared ideas on GOTV and voter registration efforts, with a special focus on reaching students and other overlooked groups. DA China, with support from some amazing volunteers, is working hard to identify opportunities to engage with more study abroad programs.

    3. Democratis Galore: Democrats Abroad is front-of-mind as a key part of the primary and election process. We had the opportunity to host many Presidential hopefuls and other guest speakers to share their ideas on the future of the country. Senator Doug Jones spoke passionately about the importance of defending voter rights, including those of Americans living abroad, leaving a huge impression on all attendees. As you know, voting from overseas can be daunting and confusing. DA has formed global voting rights task forces to identify, track and challenge instances of overseas American voter disenfranchisement.

    After the meeting a group of volunteers spent two days on the Hill door-knocking on issues that affect Americans overseas. One topic that resonated with many we met was HR1 and voting rights. HR1 currently includes language that refers to “paper ballots,” which may be used to exclude electronically returned ballots by Americans overseas.

    In many parts of the world the postal service is simply not reliable enough for receiving and returning paper ballots. Fax or scanning is a much more optimal solution that does not increase risk of fraud. We found a receptive audience and generated interest for easier overseas voting in California, New York, and Iowa.

    These next 18 months are going to be some of the most important in our country's history. We need your help!

    Please get in touch to learn more about DA China's work - we are always looking for more volunteers, and we very much appreciate donations to help fuel our efforts. On behalf of the DA China Leadership Board, thank you.

    Sincerely,

    Aaron Kruse
    Chair, DA China

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