For the October 2019 - March 2020 Period
The Current Situation
- There are 50,000 United States Citizens living in Japan, but only ~3,100 are Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) Members.
- Of those ~3,100 members, fewer than 5% are actively volunteering, and resources for the activists to run training sessions and engage membership are insufficient.
- Democrats Abroad Japan has major obligations and plans that need funding, in particular, we must stage the Global Presidential Primary, which needs polling stations, advertising, and GoTV.
- The DAJ National Bank Account was below $500 in funds after membership certification.
Our administration is very transparent about how money is spent, and you can publicly check our national ledger at any time. Here’s how your donation will help:
- We currently plan to open three polling stations on Honshuu, one in each of the population centers of Kanto (Tokyo), Kansai (Osaka), and Tokai (Nagoya). In 2016 we registered hundreds of new members on polling day, and with more funding, we hope to triple those gains by hosting voting centers in more areas next year.
- Print Advertising - The Japan Times, Stars and Stripes, and American Chamber of Commerce in Japan have many readers both online and in deliverables, for both primary and general elections.
- Phone Banking - These are campaigns all members can easily engage in.
- Debates and Event Hosting - By being able to subsidize the cost of food and attendance, we can reach younger members who have more time than money to donate.
- Operating Expenses - Keeping in physical communication helps keep our activists dedicating their time.
National ExCom Donation Matching
On October 20th, 2019 in Tokyo, Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) hosted their first policy forum: the Policy Forum on Restoring American Democracy and U.S. Leadership. This policy forum served as the beginning of DAJ platform discussion and the lead-up to the 2020 election.
Americans gathered to discuss key policy issues bound to affect all Americans. The forum featured four speakers, including former leaders in the United States Government and the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA), who spoke on the direction of such issues.
The Unity Reform Commission - the document that contains everything the Democratic Party learned after 2016 - brought them together. This wasn't a time for minor differences on how to advance health care - it was about the major issues that face the entire party, regardless of who the presidential nominee would be.
Ambassador Robert Orr (Former United States Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank) kicked off the discussion, helping people understand the reality America's international presence and discussing how to rebuild international relationships.
Democrats Abroad (DA) Progressive Caucus Co-Chair, Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) Representative, and Former DAJ Vice Chair Gordon Gaul informed the forum of different organizations approach to fixing democracy, getting money out of politics, and the different approaches each of them are taking.
Tsukuba-based activist Cheryl Okubo gave a real-life look at the issue of Climate Change and what people can do better in not just policy, but their own lives to improve this issue.
Former International DA Counsel and Form DAJ Chair Tom Schmid finished off the discussion with a talk on the history and way forward for the Supreme Court.
Current DAJ Chair John Baumlin facilitated the discussion for these topics. In kicking off the DAJ platform discussion, he gave a public initiative to all chapters and members of DAJ to send feedback to the DAJ Executive Committee for 2020.
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