Japan to Elect DPCA Voting Representative



Rationale for Electing a Voting Representative

The Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA) is the highest authority of Democrats Abroad and has general responsibility for the administration and work of Democrats Abroad. The DPCA is composed of the Chair and Vice Chair of each country committee, country committee voting representatives (if any), Democrats Abroad’s elected DNC members, and the officers of Democrats Abroad, such as the International Chair, International Vice Chair, etc.


In recent years, Japan had routinely been allocated four DPCA votes based on its population of verified members.  These four votes, pursuant to the DPCA Charter, are cast by the Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) Chair or Vice Chair at DPCA meetings.  If the Chair and Vice Chair are both present at a meeting, the Chair and Vice Chair have split Japan’s votes (two and two).  No DPCA voting member may cast more than four votes.


On February 25, 2017, Japan was informed that it had been allocated one extra DPCA vote for a total of five votes due to the increase in its proportion of the global membership of Democrats Abroad.  In order to ensure that Japan can cast all five of its votes on matters voted on by the DPCA, Japan is holding elections within the country committee to elect Japan’s Voting Representative.


Job Description of a DPCA Voting Representative

Under the Charter of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA), Voting Representatives may—and in some cases, must—be elected by country committees to cast votes on behalf of the country committee at DPCA meetings. A Voting Representative must be a member of the country committee he or she represents. 


Japan’s Voting Representative is expected to participate in the DPCA Global Meeting as a member of Japan’s delegation including the Chair and Vice Chair of DAJ. In principal, the Chair and Vice Chair will each cast two votes and the Voting Representative will cast one vote. The meeting will take place from May 12 to 15, 2017 in Washington DC.  The Voting Representative may travel to the meeting to participate in person or may participate via WebEx (DPCA’s web conferencing platform). Voting representatives must bear their own costs of travel or other expenses related to the meeting.


Between DPCA Global Meetings (held annually), voting representatives are encouraged to: (1) remain up to date on the business of the DPCA and the provisions of the DPCA Charter; (2) participate in the work of the DPCA by contributing to global committees, taskforces or caucuses; (3) remain active in the country committee share insights with local members about what is transpiring at the global level; and (4) participate in monthly AP regional teleconferences (via WebEx).


March 12, 2017


Tom Schmid, Chair

Democrats Abroad Japan


Tokyo — From February 11 to 17, 2017, members of Democrats Abroad Japan participated in an online poll to express their preference for the next DNC Chair. Keith Ellison, Democratic Congressman from Minnesota, was the overwhelming preference among those who responded. Ellison was the preferred choice of 65.5% of the respondents. Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez came in a distant second at 11.7%.  Ellison and Perez are generally considered the front runners in the race for DNC chair.


Thirty-four respondents (19.9%) preferred a candidate other than Ellison or Perez, and all but two of the candidates listed in the poll received at least two votes.


Only two of the respondents indicated that they had no preference or were undecided. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Howard Dean all received write-in votes, although some of them were excluded from the official total due to spoiled ballots.


The poll’s margin of error is estimated at 7% at a 95% confidence interval. The complete results of the poll are listed below.



Democrats Abroad Japan

DNC Chair Poll (February 17, 2017)


65.5%   Keith Ellison, U.S. Representative from Minnesota since 2007


11.7%   Thomas Perez, former United States Secretary of Labor (2013-2017)


3.5%    Robert Vincent Brannum, NAACP-DC Veterans Committee Board Member


3.5%    Sally Boynton Brown, Executive Director of the Idaho Democratic Party since 2012


3.5%    Jaime Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party since 2013


2.9%    Pete Buttigieg, Mayor, South Bend, Indiana


2.9%    Jehmu Greene, former head of Rock the Vote


2.3%    Sam Ronan, Ohio


1.2%       Raymond Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, current DNC Vice Chair (Buckley has dropped out of the race and endorsed Keith Ellison)


1.2%    Bernie Sanders (Write-in)


1.2%    Undecided / No Preference


0.6%    Howard Dean (Write-in)


0.0%    Peter Pecharsky, Wisconsin


0.0%    Vincent Tolliver, Georgia




An email containing a link to the poll was sent to 2,681 members of Democrats Abroad Japan on Saturday, February 11, 2017. The email was received by 2,659 members, as 22 email addresses were either bad or the message bounced. The email was opened by 1,069 members. On Friday, February 17, 2017, a reminder email including the link to the poll was sent to the DAJ membership list. The reminder email was opened by 993 members. The poll closed at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, 2017.


In total, 179 responses were received. The following responses were excluded from the final tally: 1 duplicate response, 2 invalid members, and 5 spoiled responses (i.e., respondents selected more than one candidate). A total of 171 valid responses were received.


Respondents were required to provide name and contact information. Email address and residential address were required. Respondents were also required to state whether or not they currently reside in Japan. Telephone number was optional. Each respondent’s name and/or email address was searched in the DAJ database to ensure that each respondent is a valid DAJ member.


Margin of error was determined using Survey Monkey’s online Margin of Error Calculator.


Tokyo, Feb. 6, 2017. Democrats Abroad Japan, the official country committee for Democrats living in Japan, is supporting the Alliance for an Inclusive America, a nonpartisan, multi-faith group, and its “March for an Inclusive America” to be held in Tokyo on Feb. 12.


DAJ supports the alliance’s goals and its message of building inclusive societies, and DAJ officers and interested members will be attending the upcoming march. Expressing public support for an inclusive America by opposing the Trump administration's recent executive order on immigration is a first step in the democratic process, and the energy and interest developed through these marches needs to be channeled toward voting in state and federal elections. DAJ calls on all Americans living in Japan, regardless of party, to register to vote and request their ballots each year at


"I'm thrilled and encouraged by the response of so many Americans living in Japan who are speaking out in support of an inclusive society, rejecting discrimination and marginalization based on skin color, gender identity, faith or national origin,” said DAJ Chairman Tom Schmid. “We need to capitalize on this enthusiasm by making sure every American overseas is registered to vote and understands the voting procedures, in order to translate our sense of solidarity into action at the ballot box for this year's special elections and in preparation for the 2018 elections."


Contact information (for media only):


Tom Schmid, DAJ chair


Jenise Treuting, DAJ secretary (Japanese-language media)


For details on the March for an Inclusive America, visit

(This link is not hosted by Democrats Abroad Japan and is provided for reference only.)


TOKYO, Jan. 13 – Americans living in Japan will hold a series of events that are open to the public in connection with the U.S. presidential inauguration, including a march and a vigil near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to thank outgoing President Barack Obama for his service and to thank our civil servants for the work they do for Americans overseas.

These events, coordinated by Democrats Abroad Japan, will be held in conjunction with others taking place across the world as a part of Democrats Abroad’s Global Week of Action.

“As Americans overseas, we want to thank President Obama for his service not only as a leader at home, but also globally,” said Tom Schmid, chairman of Democrats Abroad Japan. “Many Americans and our friends from other nations are concerned that President Obama’s progressive policies will be reversed by the new administration and a Republican-controlled Congress. We welcome all people who have the same concerns to join us as we organize worldwide to help protect President Obama’s accomplishments in the areas of health care, the environment, civil rights, equality, diversity, peace and international cooperation.”

On Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, a vigil will take place outside the U.S. Embassy from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a march starting at Hibiya Park at 6:30 p.m. and ending at Mikawadai Park in Roppongi at approximately 8:00 p.m.


On Jan. 22, a teach-in featuring professor and author R. Taggart Murphy will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wesley Center in Minami-Aoyama to analyze the 2016 election and to discuss how the Democratic Party can move forward towards the 2018 Mid-Term Election. Other speakers include Alex Gonzalez, Democrats Abroad delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and former Democrats Abroad Japan Chair Mike Stensrud. All events are free and open to the public.


Further details on each event are available at: and


Contacts (for press inquiries only):

Tom Schmid
Chairman, Democrats Abroad Japan

Leslie Anne Rogers

Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad Japan

For Japanese media:

Jenise Treuting
Secretary, Democrats Abroad Japan


The 2016 General Election is less than 12 weeks away, and we urgently need your help to get out the overseas vote. Our global leadership has established an online calling platform that allows volunteers from all parts of the world to phone bank. Join the phone banking campaign at


Our goal

Democrats Abroad Japan wants to make sure that each and every one of our members votes in the upcoming election. To make sure that our members have 1. Requested their ballots, 2. Received their ballots, and 3. Returned their ballots (i.e., voted), our goal is to place over 10,000 calls between now and the election.


Why is phone banking important?

In addition to guiding all of our members through the process of requesting, receiving and returning their ballots, the information we gather from this process will be vital to verifying our members’ contact information, which increases the accuracy and effectiveness of our membership database. If we have enough volunteers to contact our members, we will also encourage DA members around the globe to vote, particularly those who vote in battleground states.


Need a few more reasons?

►      Ensuring that the Democratic justices regain a majority on the Supreme Court

►      Ensuring that strong, progressive Democrats are elected to re-take the Senate

►      Electing more Democrats to counter the stranglehold the far-right has in the House

►      And, of course, making sure that the closest The Donald ever gets to the Oval Office is from outside the fence surrounding the White House


It’s easy to sign up

Go to and login to your account. Click the “Get Involved” tab and then click on “Volunteer”. The direct link to the signup page is


No experience necessary

Democrats Abroad will provide training and calling scripts to make the process of calling fast and easy. Whether you are an experienced phone banker or a first-timer, this phone banking campaign is for you. We have a fantastic new phone banking system that is 100% online, so you don’t have to use a single minute of your phone plan to help out.  All you need is a computer or laptop, Internet access, and a headset.  

You are in control of your time: you can call as many members as you would like, at any time that’s convenient to you.  Maybe you have a spare fifteen minutes a few evenings during the week. Maybe the rainy weather is keeping you indoors and you have an hour on a dreary Sunday afternoon.  The choice is yours.


Request your ballot now

If you have not done so, register to vote and request your ballot today by visiting By law, election authorities in the US are required to send ballots to registered overseas voters 45 days prior to the election, which is on or about September 24th.


Thank you for your dedication and for being a part of Democrats Abroad.  We can’t do what we do without people like you.




What is WebEx?

The Internet continues to bring the world closer together. Starting this month, DAJ is able to offer web conferencing for its membership and other meetings by using Democrats Abroad's WebEx web conferencing platform.  Web conferencing will allow DAJ members to participate in meetings whether they live in Kanto, Kansai, Hokkaido, Okinawa, and so on.  In fact, DAJ members can even participate in meetings if they are vacationing in Europe or visiting family back in the United States. DAJ leadership hopes that web conferencing will increase interest and participation in DAJ meetings, enhance our GOTV efforts, and ensure that DAJ is nationwide organization that services Democrats no matter where they live in Japan.

How does it work?

WebEx has its tricks, but it is fairly easy to use. For each meeting, you will receive an email from the host of the meeting.  The email will contain the meeting password and a link that you can click on when you are ready to join the meeting. You enter your name, email address, and the password when prompted.  Once the program loads, you need to call into the meeting by clicking on "Call in Using Computer". At that point, you should be connected to the meeting, which broadcasts using video and audio.  To save bandwidth, we typically ask attendees to turn off video and mute their audio when not speaking.  The WebEx platform also has document sharing and text messaging capability.  Click here for general instructions on joining WebEx meetings.

Do I need to download anything?

Yes, you need to have ActiveX plug-ins installed on your computer. You should be prompted to do this when you start WebEx for the first time.  Also, Java script is required.  If you are a presenter and would like to share pdf documents during the meeting, you should make sure that you have installed the most current version of Adobe. Click here for general instructions on setting up WebEx on your computer.

Other tips

Unless advised otherwise, please mute your microphone and turn off your video. With many people participating in the meeting, feedback, background noise and talking are common problems if microphones are not muted.  The procedure for asking a question during a WebEx meeting is to type **Hand Up in the text box.  Please make sure that your text settings are set to message "everyone". This procedure forms a queue, which will be managed by the WebEx host or an assistant. 

If you use Windows 10, you may have a problem using the Microsoft Edge web browser. In the start up panel, search for Internet Explorer, and open the application (this has the light blue "e" instead of the dark blue "e"). Mac users have reported problems accessing the toolbar (at the top of the page) when working in the WebEx program. Make sure you move your mouse all the way to the top of the screen, which causes the toolbar to drop down.


If you have questions about WebEx or would like to assist us with WebEx administration at our meetings, please email Tom Schmid at We're looking forward to seeing you online at our next meeting!


DAJ Executive Committee



On July 3, 2016, DAJ Chair Tom Schmid announced the appointment of Japan’s 2016 Voter Information and Get-Out-the-Vote Team. The team is chaired by GOTV Coordinator Ruth McCreery. David Littleboy and Patrick Schumaker have been appointed as Assistant GOTV Coordinators. In collaboration with the DAJ Executive Committee, the GOTV Team will plan and organize DAJ’s GOTV activities for the 2016 election.

Activities that have already been planned include voter registration at Shibuya Crossing and at the National Azabu supermarket in Tokyo, the US Embassy Friendship Day BBQ this fall, and phonebanking. The GOTV Team will explore other opportunities to engage and register voters in the Kanto region and throughout Japan.

More information on how to volunteer for DAJ’s GOTV events will be coming soon, and we will review the details of our planned events at the General Meeting on July 17 (which can be attended in person or via web conference).

Please join the DAJ Executive Committee in congratulating Ruth, David, and Patrick on their appointments, and thanking them in advance for their continued contributions to Democrats Abroad.


I. Welcome & Announcements
II. Officers' Reports
III. Report from DAJ Kansai
IV. Guest Speaker (Alex Gonzalez, DA Delegate to the  Democratic National Convention)
V. Upcoming GOTV Activities
VI. Member Questions and Comments
TOWN HALL (1 hour)
I. Session 1 (30 min.):  Policies and strategies for a stronger Democratic Party in 2018
II. Session 2 (30 min.): Enhancing the relevance of Democrats Abroad and Democrats Abroad Japan to our members


Photo from the Japan Times

Welcome to Democrats Abroad Japan!

Democrats Abroad Japan (DAJ) is the official country committee for all Democrats living abroad in Japan.  All English teachers and all salaried workers. All spouses and children. All refugees and students abroad for the first time. The goals of our organization are to provide you the tools and means by which you can make your voice heard, even halfway across the world. With DAJ, you can be sure you, your friends, and family are registered to vote.

If you haven’t already, you can get started by clicking the “Join” tab above in the right corner to register for Democrats Abroad.

Watch this space for upcoming announcements of events and news pertaining to DAJ. We have events planned throughout the year, and anyone interested is encouraged to join.

Are you interested in rising up and doing more? Want to volunteer? Join us on Slack- our dedicated activist organization hub. We have several different committees with open positions, and we would love your support on any of them. The committee openings are as follows:

  • Communications Committee – Drafting announcements, working on messaging, promoting our causes on social media sites (FB, Twitter, etc.) and helping to write articles on the DAJ website.
  • Events Committee – Helping to organize and plan nation-wide events.
  • Fundraising Committee – Helping to raise the funds needed to reach more voters and get the election results you want.
  • Outreach Committee – Expand the DAJ membership into new areas and interface with our international network!
  • Get Out The Vote – Directly help Americans abroad get registered to vote and request their absentee ballots. Votes are what count the most.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our Executive Committee listed on the right under “DA Japan Leadership.”

Let’s work together to uphold democratic values at home and abroad!

Your DA Japan Committee