How We Work For You #01 - July 2019

Members of Democrats Abroad Japan,

Today we want to take some time to talk about what it means to setup an organization. There are few who understand the mechanics of our organization, and the overwhelming majority of activists are not focused on the month-to-month functions of the Executive Committee. That's understandable. It's not exciting, it's administrative - but it is important. It's important because what we're doing directly affects our representation to International, and to the Democratic National Committee.

If you really want to create change in the Democratic Party, we invite you to join along with us each month for a few minutes to see about how we're representing you, and to give us feedback. We want to tell you what we've been doing the last month, why it was done, and what our next steps are going to be each month.

Feel free to follow along with the Agenda and Meeting Minutes, that Anna took so diligently, as we comment on our focus here:

We had our first meeting as the 2019-2021 Executive Committee on June 30th in a small room in Ikebukuro. It was our first time meeting face-to-face as a group, and we immediately started working out what is required of us. While we were eager to support our membership and start posting, Democrats Abroad has 6 certifications required for new leaders. You need to get membership database training, e-mail training, website content training, WebEx training and Nationbuilder training before posting to the web or sending emails. This is just to access the current existing knowledge and functions of the organization. We discussed transitions for new leadership, who would take those trainings, and began collecting the requirements of our organization. We decided on our fundamental goals and focuses for our term, and passed two propositions.


Proposition #01 applies to the entirety of leadership of Democrats Abroad Japan. The Democrats Abroad Japan Resolution designates Slack (which you can join here) as our designated leadership communication platform.

Proposition #02 is regarding the restructuring of the Tokai Chapter, which we hope to re-establish as a Chapter in Formation by the end of the month.

Both of these propositions were passed unanimously.

The way John decided to frame our term is that we have 24 months to accomplish all of our goals. A 24-month project in which our organization has the following requirements:

  • Host a General Meeting once per year with a quorum of 20 people, and submit this report, our yearly treasury report, and Bylaws updates to international. (1 Month)
  • That all leaders are trained during the transition period and have full access to the resources functions for members. (1 Month)
  • Keep our members verified and the database clean once per year. (2 Months)
  • Host our primaries, and make sure our membership has access to all the candidate information they need and has a geographically viable place to vote. (2 Months)
  • That your 5 representatives attend Global meetings and exercise full representation of Democrats Abroad Japan. (2 Months)
  • That we have a dedicated fundraising event each year. (1 Month)
  • That we have a lovely Thanksgiving event every year! (1 Month)
  • That we focus on our primary goal of getting out the vote before each election, and special election (6 months).

For our next meeting (on July 28th), we plan to discuss fundraising goals and guidelines for services and events. We will also have our first Advisory Board Meeting with incoming chapter leaders.

Also this month, Members of the Executive Committee, including Kiyoko, attended a regional meeting on July 13th (in which Democrats Abroad leaders across the Asia-Pacific area meet) and a special DPCA meeting on July 20th to vote on important resolutions, alongside your DPCA Representative Gordon Gaul.

The DPCA Resolution meeting had the following:

  • Pass a resolution in support for the USCIS, offices in select countries assisting US citizens overseas and their family members with visa, immigration, and financial matters, and condemning their closure.
  • Passed a Resolution in support of the Green New Deal.
  • Passed a Resolution in support for broad Gun Violence Prevention.

One major accomplishment that your Treasurer, Dave Brauer, brought up and was supported by all DAJ members on, is the need for a Climate Debate by the DNC. After speaking out on this issue, the body voted, 90-28, so send it to the International Excom for review within 3 weeks, to gain Global’s support to the DNC. Your representatives made this a real concern for action to the desk of global, and we all unanimously are doing our best to raise awareness of Climate Change, as a priority issue for our entire Executive Committee.

This month, Democrats Abroad Japan was also active on the ground and outside of the meeting room. Democrats Abroad Japan hosted two Speakeasies on July 4th and July 11th, both occurring at the Aldgate Pub in Shibuya. DAJ members Sarajean Rossitto, Jenise Treuting, and Linda Gould hosted a #CloseTheCamps campaign and #LightsForLiberty event, providing both virtual actions (like calling representatives) and an in-person virgil at the Statue of Liberty in Odaiba in protest of the inhumane treatment of immigrants held is US custody.

We look forward to serving you further in the coming months.


The Executive Committee
National Chair: John Baumlin
National Vice Chair: Kiyoko Ayukawa
National Secretary: Anna Costello
National Treasurer: Dave Brauer