March 14, 2017

UPDATED 2017-2019 Democrats Abroad Taiwan Board Elections Candidate Statements

The Nominations Committee's Dwight Jurling and Jeffrey Chen have requested the following Candidate Statements be posted. These are the candidate statements that the Nominations Committee had received as of March 12, 2017 that will be on the ballot. Note that the election is for 7 director seats and 2 supervisor seats.


Sally Champagne: 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 I grew up with 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. Last fall I was honored to become involved in Democrats Abroad and spearheaded debate watching events, as well as planned what should have been an election night celebration. Even though that evening was a wake, it was good to commiserate with fellow Dems. Going forward, I’d hope to help increase involvement in our activities to draw more of us together. We have work to do before November, 2018 and I look forward to helping to turn the tide. “Yes, we can” to coin a phrase from President Obama — I hope to serve on your board so that our next election night party will be a true Democratic celebration. Please consider casting your vote for me.


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 was formerly active in Democrats Abroad as Treasurer. The last election has shaken me; none of us can afford to sit out the next four years, so I want to help however I can to reverse our recent setbacks. We need to both vigorously oppose dangerous and autocratic tendencies of the incoming administration, and also address the legitimate concerns of Americans who turned their backs on the party in November. 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.


Terry Cullen: The events of the past few months have hit me in the head and feel I need to become more actively involved in the political process.  I am a life-long Democrat and am interested in contributing in any fashion I can to seeing positive electoral changes in the present and the future. I've lived and worked abroad for the majority of my career.  I've been in Taiwan for almost one year now and lived in several other countries (including one earlier stay in Taiwan several years ago).  I have been mostly involved in legal and real estate matters in the course of my work.  I have some prior political experience.  I've been privileged to meet and work with some outstanding individuals in the expat community and look forward to meeting new colleagues and contributing in some meaningful way to making positive change as a Director, supporter or any other capacity that might contribute and further progressive goals.


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.


Mary Goodwin: 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. A lifelong Democrat, I have always voted but never was transfixed by politics until the primary in 2016. Throughout the year I donated heavily to the Democratic effort. Like many, I was shocked and sickened by the outcome of the election, not only for the loss to my party but also the loss to science, to human rights, to principles of civility. Noting that Taiwan (and in particular the DA) did not participate in the international Women’s March on Jan 21, I rallied supporters through social media and we came together to witness our ideals in CKS Memorial Park on Jan 23. We posted pictures on the giant FB group Pantsuit Nation, where thousands of friends and supporters thanked us for our effort. As a board member for Democrats Abroad Taiwan, I would focus on voter registration and calls to action among Americans in Taiwan.


Dave Hall: I'd like to serve again as a Director for Democrats Abroad Taiwan. The Global Primary went great last year and everyone including myself had a tremendous time. As a former teacher union official in California and active environmentalist I can contribute to DAT. I appreciate all the good work done by DA around the world and certainly we need to work hard to change the House and Senate next election.


Ben Schwall: I have been a resident of TAIWAN for the past 26 years. I am a self employed entrepreneur and split my time between China and TAIWAN. I was very upset with the DNC after the last election and I wrote to the Democrats Abroad to share with them my frustration and anger at what I viewed as Cronyism, Hubris and perhaps even racketeering of the DNC. Trump did not win: the DNC lost! The reply I received basically said if I was so angry, I should try and change it. This is why I am interested in running as a director.


Dan Silver: I believe the U.S. is at a critical juncture in our democratic experiment. Progressive thinking is threatened in all branches of government. I haven’t been involved in party politics for a long time, but it’s become clear to me – as it has to many people – that we’ll all need to step up to protect what we care about in the U.S. What can DA Taiwan do? Whatever possible to help win back a majority of Congressional seats in 2018, the presidency in 2020, and state offices at every opportunity, including fighting gerrymandering in our home states and resisting the erosion of democratic norms. We can stand up for America’s liberal values whenever a bill, action or presidential order will undermine them. I’m interested in a Board seat to work to expand membership, engage stakeholders in Taiwan and the U.S., and help channel our ideas & organization to amplify the DA voice from Taiwan. I’m a lifelong Democrat. My family and I have lived in Taiwan for 7 years, where I work for a U.S. multinational I’m involved in U.S. civic organizations and committed to the relationship & common values of Taiwan and the United States.


Alton Thompson: Please consider me a candidate for a director or supervisor position with Democrats Abroad Taiwan. I am an orchestra conductor and college professor currently serving on the faculty of a national university in Taiwan. I have made Taiwan my home since 2004. I hold degrees from the Florida State University, the University of Memphis, and the John Hopkins University. My USA residence is in my state of birth, Florida--a crucial swing state, as you know. My goal is to see a United States of America that (1) pursues a principled foreign policy abroad that supports democracy and human rights on all shores; (2) supports policies of free trade and open borders, recognising that since 1990 extreme poverty in the world has been reduced from 40% of the population to 17%--an unprecedented improvement in the lives of millions of people; (3) opens opportunity for all of its people in the careers of the future; (4) builds a great culture that continues to attract the best arts and sciences minds from all over the world. I view with alarm my home country's recent election of a narcissistic incompetent who lacks the basic maturity and intelligence even to be a custodian at the White House. Something has gone wrong with the way voters get and process information. This is the great crisis of today for the world's democracies and we must get it solved. We need Democratic candidates that inspire the hope Barack Obama embodied, that stand up for democracies in Asia as in Europe (with unswerving support for Taiwan), that remember the working people who put FDR and Truman into office, and that articulate a vision of enduring freedom and opportunity for all. Above all, we need to be bold. I stand ready to do my part. Thank you for your consideration.


B. Supervisor Candidates

Teresa Lin: I am Teresa Lin and I have resided in either Taipei or the northern suburbs of Atlanta, GA, for the last fifteen years.  I respectfully submit my name for consideration to be a supervisor for Democrats Abroad Taipei.  The Trump administration in its short tenure has proven to be tumultuous; each day that goes by offers another crisis to our liberal democracy, our safety and the promising future of our nation.  In my lifetime, there has never been a more critical time to become an involved citizen, raising a voice with others to protect the ideals of our country and the position America holds on the worldwide stage as a democratic leader.  I am outraged by the inane behavior of Trump and frightened by the consequences of his administration’s actions.  I have decided that I cannot idly watch and hope that someone else will preserve what I hold dear.  To that end, for the first time in my life, I have become politically active with the local group of Indivisible making calls to senators and representatives and rallying others to do the same.  I humbly ask for your vote so that I may work with you and others who are passionately opposed to the direction Trump has taken America.



Alton Thompson: [See candidate statement above.]