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:
Contacts (for press inquiries only):
Chairman, Democrats Abroad Japan
Leslie Anne Rogers
Vice Chair, Democrats Abroad Japan
For Japanese media:
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 http://www.democratsabroad.org/voter_support_team
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 www.democratsabroad.org and login to your account. Click the “Get Involved” tab and then click on “Volunteer”. The direct link to the signup page is http://www.democratsabroad.org/voter_support_team
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 www.votefromabroad.org. 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.
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 [email protected]. 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.
Welcome to Democrats Abroad Japan, your local voice in the US Democratic Party. We build communities of like-minded American citizens throughout Japan to engage voters in US elections. We are an all-volunteer organization composed of an Executive Committee, Communications, Get Out The Vote, Events, and Fundraising committees, and regional chapters.
We would love to have you support our programs! What interests you most? Social events? Getting people to vote? Writing? Sharing your knowledge or experience? Getting DAJ connected to other people in your area? Whatever your interest or skills, DAJ needs you! (you can always email us at [email protected])
Please join us on Slack – an online work-sharing platform, where our leaders and teams do the planning.
DA Japan publishes a bimonthly email newsletter, with information on all our events and election news. We also run 2 monthly events:
DaJ Speakeasy, an online social gathering on the 2nd Thursday of each month, and the
DAJ Action Meeting, a monthly workshop on a specific pressing issue, on the 4th Thursday. We explore how you can make a difference.
DAJapan will resume in-person events as COVID restrictions relax in Japan. In the past, we have organized and participated in social and political action events, such as the annual summer BBQ at the US embassy, the Women's March, and the Black Lives Matter Tokyo march. Our chapters host local events throughout Japan, including book clubs, happy hours and Fourth of July parties. Our local Thanksgiving events in particular are very popular.
We maintain a calendar of events, DAJ, and of the larger Democrats Abroad organization. Click on the calendar image to see the latest calendar:
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This is your party. Let’s get started!
Secretary, DA Japan