News

Sat Jan 21 7th annual Women of the World March Online event.

Thanks to everyone who joined on Sat Jan 21 for the 7th annual Women of the World March Online event.  

The event aimed to bring together interested in gender equality to discuss how the Dobbs decision is impacting women and problems beyond abortion access.

There was much discussion about how we need to think more broadly about sexual discrimination and gender equality as well as the need for a long term, multifaceted strategy. We discussed how issues were both complex and interconnected and as such required actors engagement from multiple sectors.

Materials from the event may be accessed here.

Please feel free to watch and share the event recording on YouTube.

Please take 5-10 min to share your feedback on the event by filling in this survey.

Some of the issues discussed

  • importance of role models and using the right language
  • We need to think more broadly and consider the interconnectedness of issues
  • We need to focus on education, eg what does abortion really mean?
  • The earlier people understand equality, human rights, abortion, etc. develop, the better
  • Reproductive rights is a big concern, as part of a broader concern about the state of healthcare. Criminalization of miscarriages, prioritizing policy over health of half of the nation
  • We can’t rely on the law alone to protect us and ensure progress, as the other side is not working from a perspective of fairness
  • LGBTQIA discrimination is sex discrimination
  • The State should not in the business of asking your gender
  • Important to be advocates for what we believe in
  • Respect for Marriage Act
  • The Democratic Party has been selling itself short in terms of public support/opinion => need to highlight achievements
  • Beautiful thing is that millions of LGBTQAI+ people speak up and take part
  • SCOTUS seems to be reshaping the role of the judiciary vs legislature
  • Impact of Dobbs on marginalized groups
  • Abortion as a reflection of the growing divide in what feels like a ‘social civil war’
  • Abortion is not just a women’s issue bc bodily autonomy, decision making for families has more far-reaching impacts
  • EMTALA (protection for underinsured at federal level)
  • Are hospitals required to provide emergency medical care for abortions?
  • We need the mindset that one person suffering impacts us all
  • Ideas of how me might, at different institutional levels, work together for gender equality
  • Movement as a force of water, advancing in any crevice it could => To courts, to legislature, to wherever there was an opening
  • there is a space for protesting but we have to move beyond that => What matters most is what you do the day AFTER the protests
  • We need data scientists, academics, etc. to collectively get involved in quieter ways
  • Movements must involve people who may seem not to have anything in common
  • highlight the relevance of personal stories, humanizing the impacts on and lives of people
  • Often the left is about anger and criticizing what’s wrong, but marriage equality had a more positive spin- advocating people being able to celebrate, affirm love, etc. positive messaging works!!!
  • Use the internet  to not only bring up topics but also build solidarity on issues
  • highlight and spotlight young people besides Malala and Greta→ “I can do that too!”
  • Stories have power
  • we need to engage people who feel that the system is stacked against them
  • Youth participation in voting in 2022, turnout as huge potential in US
  • we need to emphasize success stories, Rome wasn’t built in a day => Midterms were a hopeful point if we keep building
  • “pocketbook impact” of marriage equality was an important one - need to review this point as well
  • we need clear goals to unify diverse actors from all sectors - academics, researchers, lawyers, activists/civil society, business, students from difference backgrounds
  • Actions you can take
  • Share, Impact, Develop
  • Donate, Promote, Organize

 


Student Loan Debt Relief update by Asia Pacific DNC representative John Baumlin

While election season has been a hard fought effort, we can't forget those fighting for real tangible change everyday. When the Student Loan Debt relief application opened, it wasn't available to everyday overseas Americans. Democrats Abroad Japan leapt into action. Our members made certain that the form would be available to everyone overseas, despite them initially being blocked by an outdated security feature blocking overseas IP addresses. Through a successful security analysis accepted by the Department of Education's experts, our effort - entirely by Democrats Abroad - opened up the form to millions of citizens overseas, right in the midst of while elections were happening during a key time people needed help. Even with political interests on the line, the Democratic Party was working to make this happen.

 

While courts have temporarily blocked the application, we can be certain that it will be available to everyone following a successful ruling. This is why our executives and judicial appointments we will make following the successful re-capture of the Senate matters so much. If you want to keep tabs for when the form opens, check Top News from the Department and subscribe here: https://www.ed.gov/subscriptions

 

A one-time plan will make a huge difference in the lives and families for millions, but millions more will still be saddled with debt throughout the fallout to the economy following the Covid Pandemic. President Biden and Secretary Cardona have extended the pause on repayment, but we are about continued action. Let's continue to advocate for extended pause through cancellation so we can help as many people as we can, and make it clear to our legislators this will not end here and will continued to be addressed for the financial health of the next generation of Americans. https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/biden-harris-administration-continues-fight-student-debt-relief-millions-borrowers-extends-student-loan-repayment-pause

 

This is another big win for Democrats Abroad, to have the executive branch adjust action on our direct advocacy to help normal everyday people to help those with student loan relief. This is what it means to keep democracy running well for everyone. More details are available here about the current plans: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/debt-relief-info

Copy of the letter Democrats Abroad sent to the Department of Education and Financial Student Aid about the Federal Student Loan Relief application form being inaccessible for Americans Abroad. https://www.democratsabroad.org/democrats_abroad_letter_to_dept_of_ed


DA Japan Voter Outreach Volunteer Opportunities

Get Out the Vote - voter outreach volunteer opportunities: Hang out with some cool Democrats Abroad Japan members, meet new people and make a difference! sign up for an event - select a 2-3 hours shifts and lets make it happen!
Sign up here - Check as many as you like.
Elections are coming up on November 8 and we need Kanto area volunteers to help spread the word about voting at all of the following events:
  1. Oct 14 to Nov 3: Design Touch 2022 at Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi (11:00am – 9:00pm) https://www.tokyo-midtown.com/jp/event/designtouch/en.html
  2. Oct 19 to 23: College Women's Association of Japan's 65th Print Show at the Hillside Forum in Daikanyama (11:00am-5:00pm) https://cwaj.org/print/find-us-at-print-show/
  3. Oct. 22 to Nov 6: Shibuya Scramble Crossing (12:00-2:00pm) https://www.jrailpass.com/blog/shibuya-crossing
  4. Oct 24 to Nov 3: Tokyo International Film Festival in Yurakucho (times and venues shift depending upon film/day) https://2022.tiff-jp.net/en/
  5. Oct. 27 to 30: The Tokyo Art Book Fair at the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art in Kiba (11:00am-6:00pm) https://tokyocheapo.com/events/tokyo-art-book-fair/
  6. Oct 27 to Nov 6: Tokyo Ramen Festival in Komazawa Olympic Park (10:00am – 8:30pm) https://tokyocheapo.com/events/tokyo-ramen-show/
  7. Oct. 28 to 30: Aoyama Matsuri at Aoyama Gakuin University in Aoyama (11:00am-4:00pm) https://tokyocheapo.com/events/aoyama-festival/
  8. Oct. 28-31: Halloween at Roppongi Crossing in front of Almond Cafe in Roppongi (7:00pm-11:00pm) https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/restaurants/almond-roppongi
  9. Oct. 28: Tokyo Comedy Club's Improvazilla at the Crocodile in Shibuya (7:30pm-10:00pm) https://www.improvazilla.com
  10. Oct. 29-30: Ikebukuro Halloween Cosplay Festival in Higashi Ikebukuro Central Park (12:00-4:00pm) https://tokyocheapo.com/events/ikebukuro-halloween-cosplay-festival/
  11. Oct. 29: Roppongi Hills Halloween Parade at Roppongi Hills (11:00am-1:30pm) https://tokyocheapo.com/events/roppongi-hills-halloween/
  12. Oct. 30: Omotesando Halloween Pumpkin Parade in Omotesando (1:00pm-2:30pm) https://tokyocheapo.com/events/omotesando-halloween-pumpkin-parade/
  13. Nov 3: Meiji Jingu Shrine Yabusame Archery Competition in Harajuku (1:00pm-3:00pm) https://tokyocheapo.com/events/meiji-jingu-shrine-yabusame/
Enjoy attending local events and festivals while getting out the vote! Bring your clipboard and Vote from Abroad cards and fliers, mingle and help people register to vote on the spot with www.votefromabroad.org .
If you want to help out but have never done the Voter Assistance Training or done canvassing before, please contact us at [email protected] for a quick online training session.

DAJ Newsletter July 28,2022: DAJ needs you!

Are you ready to make a difference this year?

Did you know 

  • since the 2020 elections, 30 states have made changes to their voting regulations?
  • most changes have not made it easier to vote? 

For DA Summer is preparation time for the Fall elections. We are building teams and the plan of action.  Starting this weekend the Chair will hold regular new member and volunteer meetups online (see below). Learn more about the people in DA Japan, our GOTV work and what you can do!  Whatever your interest or skills - we need you! Join 1 of the DAJ teams

Read more

Supreme Court Decisions: DA Japan Leaders response and what is next.

Supreme Court Decisions: DA Japan Leaders response and what is next.

In the past week it has been more than crystal clear that the Supreme Court does not respect precedent, women’s rights or the opinions of the American people. 

Despite knowing that most Americans support availability and safe abortion for all women and that sexual health is integral to women’s lives, the extremist Court ruled to overturn Roe vs. Wade.  While other previous decisions have been overturned - this represents the first time a right granted has been removed. We know this will have devastating results for millions of women and families, across the nation especially women of color and the economically marginalized.

Despite knowing that most Americans - including gun owners - support policies that prevent gun violence and regulate firearms access, the Court struck down the regulation of concealed weapons by states. The Court made the latter ruling despite the fact that the Congress finally came up with the first major gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years. Though limited and not inclusive of the full background checks and military weapons limitations  - it does represent a tinystep in the right direction. 

Both of these hard right rulings by an extremely conservative Court dominated by ideologs who have personal motivations out of sync with the majority of Americans demonstrate how fragile democracy is, and how important it is to choose the right people. 

Many of us are exhausted, frustrated and fed up. Now is the time to act not withdraw, the time to amplify our voices and not stay silent. 

As of this writing, abortion is banned in nine states and likely to be banned or rigidly restricted in 12-20 more. 

Despite the fact that some say that they are not concerned about other issues such as sexual health, gender and sexual minority rights, or marriage equality, we know that this is simply not the case. Thomas called upon the court to reconsider due process cases such as Lawrence, Obergefell and Griswold. Stepping back in time to when access to birth control was limited or banned when homosexuality was a crime, and when marriage equality was not allowed is simply not acceptable. 

We must step up - not back down! To be listened to - we need to speak loudly and act. To be seen - we must be visible in the fight to regain and guarantee our rights and freedoms. 

 In the past year we have held monthly action events on topics such as Gun Violence Prevention (June, see the report and link to materials below), the need to keep abortion safe and legal, the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA (Oct, Jan and May Link to materials) and voting rights (June, Sept). Each time we come up against the same obstacles - we need to have more like minded people making decisions and to do that we need a long term plan to build new leaders and then we can elect those people.

We need to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in every state who will protect voting rights, not prosecute women, their doctors or helpers, and enable people from out of state to get reproductive health care in Pro-choice states.  We need state and federal legislators who not only think and pray about violence in the US society but are willing to take action and develop policies which will change the situation.

To win elections this November, to maintain control of the House and Senate we need more than good turnout - we must elect  two more Senators so we can stop the filibuster. We must choose Governors and State officials that are committed to both women’s freedoms and rights as well as creating a safer society for all.  That is the only way we are going to bring about change. 

Winning in November is 1 step in a long process. The Right’s 50-year strategy paid off for them. Do we have the stamina or interest to achieve our goals? Are we angry enough to make a commitment to impact not just in 2022 but 2024 and 2026?  See the ideas listed below for how you might have an impact OR stop by the bi-weekly Zoom Chat with the Chair, OR drop us a line NOW [email protected] 

Join us as we speak out about the right to live in safe communities and without the fear of being shot at. 

Join us as we stand with Americans across the globe standing together for the right to healthcare.

Join us as we speak out about gender and sexual minority rights.

Join us as we stand up for the rights of all Americans, everywhere.

Sarajean, Chair, DA Japan

 

🏃 🌋Actions to have an impact in November and beyond!

If you are unhappy with either or both of the Supreme Court’s decisions:

  1. Start with you -  Make sure you are registered to vote, have requested your ballots and  then make sure you submit your ballot in time for all elections. Know Your Rights, Register & Vote! https://www.votefromabroad.org
  2.  Commit to asking five Americans living abroad to request their ballot at VoteFromAbroad.org.
  3. In the community - Get more people registered to vote.Did you know that most of the 85,000 eligible US voters who are not members of Democrats Abroad Japan DO NOT VOTE? do not vote. You can help change that - Join the GOTV team.  Contact us to find out how.  [email protected].
  4. Be heard - Call your Congressional Representative and US Senators.  or Look up their contact details here.
  5. Make DA Japan more visible - Eet out the vote (GOTV) members will join summer and fall festivals and talk to potential US voters. It’s a fun opportunity to enjoy nice weather, social events and then encourage Americans to vote. Find out how to join the GOTV team.  [email protected]
  6. Write a column or letter to the editor about the issues that matter to you most. 
  7. Call voters -  Phone banking is the most effective way to make sure people vote. Take a training and start calling. We will be calling Democrats Abroad members from late August through early November. Find out how to get started  [email protected]
  8. Organize an event - In person. Online. A fundraising party. A night of music or comedy. An issue oriented event. There are many options. We are open to all suggestions. Let us know what you are interested in doing: [email protected]
  9. Enhance the DAJapan network -  Invite us to speak at your university, club or community organization about issues or voting. Contact us to set a date!  [email protected]
  10. Like and share our information on social media, including on our Democrats Abroad Facebook page and Vote from Abroad Facebook page.
  11. No time? No worries! If you do not have the time - make a donation. resources are needed to call, write and organize. Check the DA Japan DONATION PAGE

Anything else? Have an idea not listed above - contact us to chat about other possibilities. Let us know: [email protected]


Democrats Abroad Japan 2022 Bylaws Election Results

The 2022 DAJ Bylaws Committee reports the results of the Bylaws Amendments Election as follows:

28 Total Votes
Question #1 - Removal of extraneous "the" - 100.00% In The Affirmative
28 Aye
0 Nay

Question #2 change to require chapter chairs to make all reasonable efforts to appoint or elect a full slate of officers - 78.26% In The Affirmative
23 Aye
5 Nay

Question 3 - Addressing the conflict between the DAJ Bylaws which allowed appointment of ExCom vacancies, and the DA Charter which requires DPCA Representatives who vote in the international governing body to be elected, by requiring elections to fill vacancies - 92.04% In The Affirmative
26 Aye
2 Nay
As a result all three measures passed.  Your National Secretary observed the counting, and then certified the results.  These results remain provisional for 30 days to allow for challenges. They will be incorporated into the Bylaws. 
First a big thank you to the DAJ Bylaws Committee of 2022, Leslie Anne Rogers (chair), Raymond Terhune (vice chair), Max Sternberg (National Counsel), John Baumlin (DPCA Rep)., Regina Salathe(National Treasurer) 
And a big thank you to all the members who voted in this election making it a success.  
 
Dave Brauer
Secretary, Democrats Abroad Japan
Additional Message from John Baumlin, previous DAJ Chair and current DPCA Rep
Ready for another round of voting? The experimental direct democracy ballot recommended by the Bylaws Committee is ready!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5qbZYg_vRCJTJdRjjh_gDN4nKcEPPJe2U9ukCzX-_FL_05w/viewform
This experiment in Direct Democracy was approved by the DAJ 2022 Bylaws Committee.

As one of DA Japan's DPCA Members, I will be taking feedback and through the democratic process, amendments, and motioning process, attempt to follow the results provided in this form and an explanation of the results. The outcomes and challenges will be compiled for the next Annual General Meeting of Democrats Abroad Japan for consideration of the general membership. We're hoping 20 people submit their ballot for quorum and/or feedback to validate the experiment, so if you cast a Bylaws Ballot, cast a ballot for our State Party's future before the Global Meeting this week!
John Baumlin,
DAJ DPCA Representative
Videos of the pre-meetings can be found here:
 

DAJ Early May 2022 Newsletter

DA Japan Wide Logo--

2022 May 8 Newsletter contents:

  1. Message from your national officers
  2. Small action - DAJ Bylaws - May 10th Deadline
  3. Leadership Position Openings
  4. Upcoming DA Japan Events
  5. DA regional and Global Meeting for May

🌟Message from your national officers

Getting back rested from the Golden Week holiday, we reach out to you, our members, with three key issues that require our action: the Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe, Get Out the Vote and the DAJapan Bylaws Ballot.

First, the FINAL call for Democrats Abroad Japan Bylaws Amendment Ballots! Ballots must be returned before midnight on May 10th. Please find your ballots HERE: at least 15 more ballots are needed to validate the election.

When being questioned under oath during the confirmation hearings, the three most recently appointed Supreme Court Justices agreed Roe was the law of the land. However, the recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion with its sweeping rejection of Roe and privacy rights should not come as any surprise to DA Japan members, who have been watching the erosion of rights under conservative leadership in the US.

This must be a call to action NOW! Voting in the fall elections is not enough. We must raise our voices about the issues that matter to us throughout the year, at all levels of government. This draft opinion represents more than the right to women’s healthcare choices. It demonstrates the fragility of rights protections, and threat to privacy laws, which will impact your legal access to birth control, marriage equality rights, gender and sexual minorities rights, interracial marriage and more. This is not just about access to abortion. This must be our wake-up call. We welcome the new members who have signed up this past week. In response, your leadership is calling an action meeting online: Now what? Roe, privacy and the Midterms on May 10th 8~9:30pm RSVP HERE:

GOTV: calling DA members voting in key battleground states will continue until early July. DA Japan will have our own phone banking campaign later in the month and we need ALL our member engaged! The reason we exist is to affect policy and change election outcomes. You can volunteer from anywhere in Japan to help get out the vote. There are many ways to get involved - let us know what you can do HERE:

❤️ From your DA Japan Executive Committee

Sarajean (Chair), Matt (Vice Chair), Dave (Secretary), Regina (Treasurer)

DA Japan - representing American Voters in Japan.

Together, We Win!

Know Your Rights, Register & Vote! https://www.votefromabroad.org

Have you seen the NEW DA Japan DONATION PAGE?

Help us reach new and more voters by sharing this newsletter with all your American friends!

http://www.democratsabroad.org/jp_news

🌟 One Action you can take today - turn in your DAJ Bylaws Ballot

There are 3 amendments to the DAJ Charter on the ballot. Please help us decide how to manage the organization. Voting is open through May 10th. Please find your ballots HERE:

🌟DA Japan leadership openings - At large positions

We currently have at least two at-large positions open => representing Northeast Honshu and Hokkaido. The role of at-large members:

  1. work on getting out the vote in their regions,
  2. active involvement in monthly advisory board meetings - which includes the executive committee leadership and the leadership from the chapters as well as leadership from the main committees.
  3. You must reside in the region you represent

The Chair is soliciting nominations for potential appointees through the end of May. If you’re interested or can introduce a member, please contact Sarajean ASAP.

🌟Upcoming DA Japan Events

1️⃣ SOS Meeting online: Now what? Roe, privacy and the midterms.

Tuesday, May 10th, 8:00-9:00pm meeting online: An open conversation for DAJ members. This event will consist of three key parts: 1) facilitated discussion, 2) sharing ideas from the global women’s caucus, 3) next steps and action items we will take.

RSVP HERE:

 

 

 

2️⃣ Online Speakeasy Thurs May 12, 7:30~10 pm JST

As always, bring your favorite beverage and hang out with friends old and new.

RSVP HERE:

 

 

 

3️⃣ DA Japan Advisory Board Meeting

Sun. May 15th, 10am to 12noon Japan time

See your leaders in action! Key discussion items 1) GOTV 2) calling campaign 3) chapters 4) new leaders 5) DAJ Day

RSVP HERE:

4️⃣ AP GOTV Phonebanking Action hour

Sun. May 15th, 12noon Japan time

Online phone banking party with people from throughout the Asia Pacific region. RSVP HERE:

 

 

 

 

5️⃣ DA Japan Global Resolutions Discussion #2

Tuesday, May 17th, 8pm

DA Japan review of bylaws and charter amendments in preparation for the global meeting

This is your chance to influence the DPCA and DNC stance on issues - feel free to join and share any issues that matter to you! RSVP HERE:

🌟 REGIONAL AND GLOBAL MEETINGS OPEN TO THE MEMBERSHIP

  • Asia Pacific monthly regional meeting Sun. May 15th, 3pm
  • Asia Pacific DNC elections Sat. May 22nd, 2pm
  • DA Global Meeting May 22-23 JST Open to all DA members. Online via WebEx.

DA Global Meeting Info HERE:

DID YOU KNOW:

For $5 a month - just 1 bowl of ramen - Can have a big impact for DA and DAJ!

  • Calling all DAJ members 2X per year => $3000 / 30 people @ $100 per year or 60 people @ $5 per month
  • THUS => If just 30 people gave $100 per year or if 60 people contributed $5 per month, we could call all our members 2X this year to get them to vote.

Even if you don't have the time to call, you can help us by making a contribution right on the DA Japan DONATION PAGE HERE. No more need to make bank transfers!

DA Japan - representing American Voters in Japan.

Together, We Win!

http://www.democratsabroad.org/


DAJ Bylaws Ballot DEADLINE SOON

As a reminder, we must meet a basic quorum of votes in order to make revisions to
our Bylaws, so please return your bylaws ballot as soon as possible so we can take care of these important issues!
Voting closes on Tuesday, May 10th, at 23:59 JST. All ballots must be received by this time.
If submitting by mail, it is recommended that you submit your ballot immediately in order to ensure it will be received and counted.
As a reminder, to vote in this election, you must be an American citizen, 18 years of age or older, a member of Democrats Abroad Japan, and a resident of Japan.
Ballots can be returned in one of three ways of your choice:
1) Fill out the ballot electronically and attach it in an email to [email protected]
2) Print the ballot, fill it out, scan or take a photo, and attach it in an email to
3) Send in your ballot via postal mail. To ask for the mailing address, please email
The Bylaws Committee Members are:
Leslie Anne Rogers (Committee Chair)
Raymond Terhune (Committee Vice Chair)
Max Sternberg (National Counsel)
John Baumlin
Regina Salathe

DAJ 2022 Bylaws Ballot Link

Subject: DAJ Bylaw Amendments Ballot


The 2022 Bylaws Committee was formed in response to recent vacancies in the National
Executive Committee, as the circumstances under which our National Secretary and National
Treasurer can be appointed are currently in conflict with the Global Democrats Abroad
Charter (the “state” party that represents us in the Democratic Party). The Bylaws
Committee has directly drafted and recommended specific proposals to remedy this and
other common organizational issues. After discussion with members who participated in the
AGM, we heard all concerns to make sure that we had consensus on the final language. The
results are the attached ballot, and we hope for a high turnout.
As a reminder, we must meet a quorum of votes in order to make even minor revisions to
our Bylaws, so please return your bylaws ballots so we can take care of these important
issues! What follows is a description of the proposed changes, our reasoning for each if
necessary, and some thoughts for future officers and volunteers.

Download your Ballot HERE:


2022 DAJ Special Election Results

Subject: 2022 DAJ Special Election Results

 

The 2022 Nominations and Election Committee (NEC) is pleased to announce the provisional results of the 2022 Special Election. Votes were counted on April 17th and recorded by the NEC as follows:

Total ballots cast: 22

Total legitimate ballots: 22 (Completed ballots and confirmed membership)

National Vice Chair

  • Matthew Axvig – 22 votes; 100% total valid ballots (WINNER)

Member-at-Large for Hokkaido

  • No votes – 100% total valid ballots (NO WINNER)

Alternate DPCA Voting Representative

  • Kiyoko Ayukawa – 18 votes; 81.8% total valid ballots (WINNER)
  • (write-in candidate) Elliott Davis – 2 votes; 9.1% total valid ballots
  • (write-in candidate) Raymond Terhune – 1 vote; 4.5% total valid ballots
  • No votes – 1; 4.5% total valid ballots

Thank you to everyone who ran as a candidate and who voted in this election!

Sincerely,
2022 Nominations and Election Committee
Anna Costello, Linda Gould, Martin Spang, Larry Staples