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.