April 22, 2019

Democrats Abroad Taiwan 2019-2021 Board of Directors and Board of Supervisors Candidate Statements

From the DA Taiwan Nominations Committee: 

On May 5, 2019, DA Taiwan will hold its AGM at the Brass Monkey in Taipei. We will also be distributing e-mail ballots to members in the coming days. We are going to be electing a Board of Directors (7 members + up to 2 alternates) and a Board of Supervisors (2 members + up to 2 alternates). The following candidate statements for DA Taiwan director and supervisor positions are listed in alphabetical order by family name.

1. Board of Supervisors Candidates

Dr. Candace Aiani: I am a member of the Democratic Party and a registered voter in Nevada. I have lived in Taiwan since 1999, back when it was nearly impossible to figure out how to vote from abroad. During my first year in Taiwan, George W. Bush was elected for the first time, and overseas Democrats started to organize more. Having previously voted as an Independent, I registered as a Democrat, and over the years have participated in various ways: efforts to get out information about registering to vote, an occasional fund-raiser, watch party, and volunteering at the primary polling location in the last presidential election.

I am a career educator and librarian. I believe the current political situation and the upcoming presidential elections are so critical that it is impossible for me to sit on the sidelines. I am--like everyone--busy with my career and family, but I want to step up and contribute to the effort by Dems Abroad to ensure the future of our country and lives by participating in the political process and by helping others to do the same. Our time is now, so count me in.

Peter Wang: Hello, my name is Peter Wang. I'm a product of west coast public schools and have also spent many years in Asia.

I see the democratic party as the best choice for substantive improvement for the lives of many Americans. However, the recent history of the Democratic party has been very disappointing. I want the democratic party to live up to its namesake as believers in democracy and represent the majority.

I work in the blockchain space at a cryptocurrency exchange and believe innovation and technology can make our lives significantly better but we need a government to confront the challenges new technology brings.

This is my 3rd tour of duty in Taiwan and I have been here for two years this time around. I've recently had twins and want a better USA for them.

2. Board of Directors Candidates:

Sally Champagne: With 2020 on the horizon, the statement I wrote in 2017 when running for the Board applies triple for me today. To quote in part from my brief bio then, “The Election of 2016 was a political awakening for me as a born and bred New Englander, living in Taipei since 2009. The breathtaking veer to the far-right the new administration in Washington has taken is dizzyingly stunning and the America where I grew up is becoming more unrecognizable by the hour. Never before have I felt so empowered to combat the waves of alternative facts and compelled to become more involved in the political process as one voice to help make a difference.”

I’ve been deeply honored to serve as the Chair of Democrats Abroad Taiwan and have helped spearhead various events for our members: Get Out the Vote, Thanksgiving Dinner and our 2018 Election Celebration Party to name a few. Going forward, I’d hope to help increase involvement in our activities to draw more of us together so that the 2020 election will be a Democratic tsunami and our next Presidential election night party will be a true Democratic celebration. Please consider casting your vote for me. Thanks!

Peter Chworowsky: I moved to Hong Kong as a youth and have lived most of my life in Taiwan, establishing a number of businesses, primarily the export of industrial components from Asia to worldwide markets. I'm a lifelong Democrat and have twice served in Democrats Abroad as Treasurer.

My initial fears when Trump was elected have all been borne out, and then some; we must do everything possible to insure that we put a Democrat in the White House in 2020. We need to both vigorously oppose dangerous and autocratic tendencies of this administration. We had success in the mid-terms, but must build on that to address the legitimate concerns of Americans who turned their backs on the party and make sure all Democrats vote in the 2020 election. Our strategies must be pragmatic and effective, reaching a broad majority of Americans, not just those who already think like us.

As Democrats Abroad, we also need to work toward specific goals to expand the rights and relevance of expat Americans in the US political process. In Taiwan, we'll continue to reach more US voters through local events and media to increase participation and strengthen both the Democratic Party and our local organization.

I pledge to work toward these goals on your behalf if elected as a director of Democrats Abroad Taiwan.

John Eastwood: I'm a long-term Taiwan resident and DA Taiwan member who has served locally as Chair, Vice Chair, Counsel and as an at-large board member. I am also in my second 4-year term as a Dems Abroad representative for the Asia-Pacific region to the Democratic National Committee. In the past, I've served on the Int'l ExCom as International Counsel, and during the 2016 presidential campaign I served as chair of the global Presidential Campaign Liaison Committee. Over the many years of my involvement with Dems Abroad, I've worked hard to be fair and open-minded, helping members communicate with the bigger Democratic Party and participate directly in shaping its future. I care deeply about the progressive values at the heart of our party, and I will stand with you to make our party a better and stronger one. We must protect the most vulnerable in our nation and world because they face real risks from the Trump presidency.

Lianna Faruolo: After serving as DA Taiwan Secretary from 2013 through the 2016 elections, I am happy for the opportunity to re-join the team. In Taiwan I celebrated Obama's victory, and in Taiwan I mourned the 2016 election loss. I now look forward to the fight for the 2020 victory ahead. Today, I hope we can help reverse the current administration's racist, bigoted, and violent aims and actions which threaten both American domestic and worldwide security. I have a Taiwanese-American daughter and it is my goal, through democratic forums and activities, to help future generations know a United States which promotes a healthy and secure society in which all are treated with equal respect and dignity. Thank you, and get out that vote!

Mary Godwin: I’ve served as secretary to the Democrats Abroad Taiwan board for a few years now, and have helped organize activities in which we got people registered to vote, as well as events supporting Democrats in local races in the US, particularly for the 2018 midterms. I look forward to stepping up these efforts as 2020 approaches, when Democrats will take back the Senate and the White House!

I have lived in Taiwan for more than 20 years with my Taiwanese husband and two kids. I have a PhD in English and American literature from the University of Virginia and I am a professor of English at National Taiwan Normal University. Following our Women’s March in Taiwan in 2017, we founded Indivisible Taiwan (follow us on Facebook), which supports the US Indivisible mission of getting Democrats elected and furthering the Democratic agenda of healthcare for all, swift action on climate change, reasonable and humane immigration reform, greater investment in education, and a return to civility in public discourse.

Dave Hall: I wish to serve on the Board of Directors for the Democrats Abroad Taiwan Country Committee. As a member of the LGBT community, I would serve to represent divergent interests and fight for equality for all. As an environmental activist and member of The California Native Plant Society, I strive to protect endangered species and wilderness. As a teacher's union president, I stand for labor rights. Finally, Medicare for all. DAT can help us to win in 2020. Let's reach out to Taoyuan as well as Taipei.

Benjamin Schwall: I would like to run for the Board of Directors for Democrats Abroad Taiwan. I have served for the last 2 years on the board as well as Vice Chair. As we enter the next election cycle, I look forward to continuing our work with Post card writing get togethers, rallying the troops an trying to make a difference.