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Call for Nominations: DA Asia Pacific RVC

Call for Nominations:
Democrats Abroad Regional Vice Chair Asia Pacific

We are now accepting nominations for the bi-annual election of Regional Vice Chair (RVC) for the Asia Pacific (AP) region! This election will take place during the AP Regional Meeting on the 16th of May as part of the Democrats Abroad Global Meeting. One vote is allocated to each AP country committee and will be cast solely by country committee chairs and vice chairs. The chair and vice chair each carry ½ vote. If either is not present, the other will carry the full vote.

Democrats Abroad has three RVCs, one for each region, who:

  • Are elected to a two year term that begins and ends with the regional election.
  • Cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
  • Serve as one of 8 voting members of the International Executive Committee. Meetings are currently held weekly and typically last from two to three hours, but this is subject to change with the new leadership. 
  • Organize and lead monthly regional calls of about one to two hours to encourage, inform, and create a sense of community among regional country committees. 
  • Organize and lead a one to three day annual regional meeting to encourage, inform, and create a sense of community among regional country committees. When practical, these annual meetings are held as in-person events with remote participation available. 
  • Act as a liaison between the International Executive Committee and one or more of the Democrats Abroad committees, lending a hand to the committee chair and assuming chair responsibilities should that position not be filled.
  • Assist in organizing and attend the annual Democrats Abroad Global Meeting, preferably in person when conditions allow. Note that travel costs are the responsibility of the RVC.
  • Work with existing country committees to mediate and resolve issues within their committees including election issues, membership queries, etc. 
  • Track compliance status of country committees with Charter requirements and work with emerging and out-of-compliance countries to help bring them into compliance.
  • Communicate International Executive Committee decisions, policies, and Democrats Abroad best practices to the country committee leaders.
  • Bring regional issues to the International Executive Committee for discussion and resolution.

The eligibility requirements for AP RVC are as follows: 

  • Be a citizen of the United States. 
  • Be a member of Democrats Abroad residing within a country in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.
  • Due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of the AP region who are temporarily residing outside of their country of residence due to the pandemic may still run for AP RVC (example: resident of Singapore who is temporarily residing in France due to quarantines and travel restrictions). There must be an intent to return to the AP region following the lift of travel restrictions.

Self-nominations and nominations of others are both welcomed and encouraged! Please submit any nominations via the nomination form at this link no later than 23 March 11:59 PM EDT (UTC-4). Each nominee is required to accept their nomination no later than 31 March 11:59 PM EDT (UTC-4). Nominations from the floor of the election meeting will be accepted as well, and all official candidates will be given time to make a short speech.

A list of candidates will be released on 1 April following the nomination acceptance deadline. 

Please direct any questions to [email protected].

On behalf of the 2021 AP Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC),

Anthony Nitz (Vietnam, Chair)
Christine Valverde (New Zealand)
Michael Ramos (Australia)
Phong Quan (Singapore)




Democracy Has Prevailed

 

For there is always light,

if only we're brave enough to see it

If only we're brave enough to be it

  • Amanda Gordon, Inauguration Ceremony

 

 

On 20th January, President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office from the west side of the Capitol building, and with this, a new era for America was born. This historic day shall also stand the test of time as Kamala Harris is now the first Vice President of our great country. 

In his inauguration, President Biden spoke about not just about the issues that our country currently faces including systematic racism and a global pandemic but the hope and vision for the next four years.  This administration is extremely determined to bring stability and normalcy to the citizens of America. They aim to tackle many issues simultaneously including healthcare, immigration, unemployment and climate change to name a few. 

As the inauguration ceremony went on live, people watching at home got to see a few familiar faces of celebrities and artists. From Lady Gaga to Garth Brooks, many artists performed after the President was sworn into office. However, one performer stood out from among the rest, Ms. Amanda Gordon.  She is the nation’s current poet laureate and the youngest one in America’s history.  Her performance of her poem was riveting, emotional and full hope. Ms. Gordon reiterated much of President Biden’s speech, a country that is currently suffering but can and will fight for a bright and better future. 

Throughout the day, the President and Vice President participated in a plethora of events from visiting Arlington Cemetery to the traditional Pass-in Review with the military.  As the day went on, this inauguration deterred traditional events and introduced for the first time a Prime Time Special called, ‘Celebrating America’. This 90-minute special hosted by veteran actor, Tom Hanks aims as the name says to celebrate the rich diversity and talent of people from across the country. The special which could be watched live by people at home also included performances from different genres and states.  Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Demi Lovato and John Legend are just a few of the talented artists that performed.  The special also had remarks from the President, the Vice President and the First Lady. 

Thus, this historic day represents a new dawn for our country and is just one step of many to a better tomorrow.


First Time Voter experience

 

“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country, and this world.” – Sharon Salzberg

Do you remember the first time you voted? The feeling of adrenaline and excitement as you stepped into the booth, the realization that your voice will be heard through this vote. The experience of voting for the first time for any individual is not just the thrill but also, the feeling that arises in all of us as we leave the polls, that feeling of being a part of something special. In my opinion, it is that feeling that resonates in every single one of us that brings us together, uniting us in the spirit of democracy.

Looking back at the last election, many Gen-Z voters missed out on that special first experience of voting at the polls. However, making the best out of a bad situation, most voters quickly navigated the art of absentee and mail-in voting and just like that the experience of voting transformed from polls and booths to post-offices and homes. Considering the current scenario, it is heartening to watch youngsters still believe in making the world a better place. Some young voters do look at the glass as half-full, but in this tumultuous time when it is easy for us to be pessimistic, we should look at those that take strength in their choice to look at the bright side and strive to make a difference.

We talked to a couple of first-time voters on what it was like to vote during the pandemic, about absentee and mail-in voting and what voting means to them as individuals:

Question 1: How did you feel voting for the first time?

Answer 1: It felt really good and inspiring. It was a nice feeling, knowing that I could now directly contribute to seeing change and progress happen in both my state and the country.

Question 2: Was voting during the pandemic nerve-wracking?

Answer 2: Yes, it definitely was. While some of my friends voted in person, I voted through mail-in voting but it was comforting to know that precautions were followed for in-person voting. For example, in my city, apart from the temperature checks and six feet distancing, voters were given Q- tips so they didn’t have to touch the screen. 

Question 3: As a young person, why do you care about voting?

Answer 3: When I was 15, I saw the country, and especially my home state, go in a direction I didn’t approve of and felt helpless because there was nothing that I could do. However, when I turned 18, there was finally some sense of control I had, over who my elected representatives were and the policies they wished to implement. Additionally, as a woman of color and an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, these general and congressional elections were very important in ensuring we were heard and protected.

Question 4: Did anyone help you navigate absentee/mail-in voting?

Answer 4: The process at first for mail-in voting was a bit overwhelming but after getting in contact with the Democrats Abroad India Team and the officials from my State on the specific rules, the process became a whole lot easier and fun. The ballots had very clear instructions and my parents were very supportive and helped clear my doubts. 


अमेरिका का नेता कैसा हो, जो बायडन जैसा हो! Biden campaign reaches out in 14 Indian languages

 

 

Indian Americans constitute nearly 4.8 million (1.2%) of the total US population and play a vital role in the electoral process - specifically, in some of the key purple states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. With the presidential election fast approaching and Kamala Harris’ historic nomination as the vice presidential candidate, the Biden campaign has turned its focus on this key voter demographic.

In 2016, according to a National Asian American Survey, 77% of Indian Americans voted for Hillary Clinton. This was a decrease from the close to full support for Barack Obama in his years running for president.

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Welcome to Democrats Abroad India

Photo by Claudio Accheri

We are the official arm of Democrats Abroad in incredible India. Our goal is to inform and encourage every American citizen in India to register and vote in US elections and play a role in the political process back home in the United States. We invite you to visit our website and join us across the country as we work to regain the Congress and win the White House. We will assist you with registering to vote and keep you informed on the issues that impact Americans living abroad. We have several chapters across India and we are growing all the time. Visit our site often and no matter where you call home in India, welcome, you are home……

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DA India Intro

Photo by Claudio Accheri

Welcome to Democrats Abroad India!

We invite Americans living in India to get involved with DA-India,  the official country committee for US Democrats living here.  Watch this space for upcoming announcements of meetings and events - and if you are interested in putting on an event yourself or helping to get out the vote, please do get in touch with Kat Allikian, the RVC for Asia-Pacific ([email protected]), who will help you coordinate and promote the activity.