Chair, Democrats Abroad Japan, former GOTV Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Region

I believe each person's voice matters. I also believe people want to live in safe communities with good services and neighbors but many are not aware of their own power to affect change. That's where we come in.


  • published Voter Outreach Volunteer Opportunities in News 2022-09-28 05:29:08 -0400

    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.

  • published Vote from Japan in Japan 2022-09-06 09:01:54 -0400

    Vote from Japan

    If you're a U.S. citizen you have the right to vote in every election - no matter where you live.

    FOR INFORMATION ON THE DEC 6, 2022 Georgia Runoff elections - please visit the DA main page for GA voters

     

    FOR THE GENERAL ELECTIONS - SEE BELOW

    You can register to vote from abroad while residing outside the US permanently or temporarily by submitting one form, the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). It doesn't matter if you were registered to vote before you left the U.S. or how long you have lived outside the U.S. (including if you've never resided there).

    Below you'll find an overview of how to vote from abroad:

    1. Register to vote and request your ballot
    2. Confirm your request has been accepted
    3. Receive your ballot
    4. Fill out your ballot
    5. Return your ballot
    6. Confirm your ballot arrival
    7. Having trouble? Need help?

    1) Register to vote and request your ballot 📝

    Visit www.votefromabroad.org to fill out your FPCA absentee ballot request — it only takes 5-10 minutes! If you're not registered to vote, the FPCA also serves as a voter registration form. We strongly encourage you to request that your absentee ballot be sent via email.

    Watch a video on how to use www.votefromabroad.org in English

    Need_help_with_requesting_a_ballot.png

    Once you've filled out the form on www.votefromabroad.org, submit it to your local election office in the United States. Most states allow you to submit your FPCA directly from www.votefromabroad.org without the need to print out the form. But some states require that you print out your completed form and submit by email attachment, fax, or mail. If your state requires that you submit your FPCA by postal mail, state deadlines and submission methods can be found here.

    If you have any questions, you can also always refer to Vote from Abroad's FAQ section, type your question in the website's chatbox (red circle in the bottom right-hand corner), or send an email to [email protected].

    2) Confirm your request has been accepted and that you will receive a ballot ☑️

    You should always verify with your local election official (LEO) that you will be receiving a ballot. After you send in your FPCA request form, call or email your LEO to verify they received it and will be sending a blank ballot to you. Your LEO's contact information is listed in the instructions generated when you complete the FPCA on Vote from Abroad. You can also look up their contact info here. Alternatively, most states provide a website where you can verify your voter status, although these sites can sometimes be outdated. You can find it by searching for "[state] verify voter registration."

    3) Receive your ballot 🗳️

    Under the MOVE Act, all states must send absentee ballots to overseas voters no later than 45 days before a federal election (this year: September 24, 2022).

    When it's time for ballots to come and you don't see yours, check your spam folder -- ballots can hide in there! If you still don't see it, please contact your LEO and confirm they sent your ballot out. You can look up their contact info here. You may need to send in a new ballot request form, just go to www.votefromabroad.org.

    You don't need to wait for ballots to come out on September 24. If you must mail back your ballot, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot NOW. The Backup Ballot (the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot or FWAB) is specifically for overseas voters who are concerned they won't receive their official ballot in time to return it by the deadline. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.

    If you don't have your ballot by October 1 and you must mail it back, we recommend you send in a Backup Ballot to make sure your vote gets to your state in time. All details about the Backup Ballot can be found here.

    4) Fill out your ballot 📝

    It’s very important to fill out your ballot completely and vote for every race and ballot initiatives. Some elected positions do not have a party affiliation directly associated with the party, like school boards, judges, and others. To learn about candidates and their platforms, you can do the following: 

    • League of Women Voters offers a personalized ballot service at https://www.vote411.org/ballot. You can learn where candidates running for office in your community stand on the issues.
    • Google: Ballotpedia "your state" elections 2022 - Example: Ballotpedia Florida elections 2022
    • You can Google the candidate's name to find their campaign website and information about each person.

    5) Return your ballot 🗳️

    Once you've filled it out - return it immediately. Ballot return methods vary by state (online, email, postal mail, fax). Especially if your state only allows return by mail — which is the case in many swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin — you must return your ballot as quickly as possible.

    Check your state's exact ballot return methods here.

    If your state allows email or fax ballot returns, please use these options as they’re not subject to delay. Here is more information on fax submission.

    Need help scanning? Watch this video on how to scan using your smartphone.

    If you don't have a scanning app on your phone, you can use Adobe Scan mobile app for iPhone & Android

    If your state requires that the ballot is returned by mail, the best option is to take your ballot to a post office as soon as possible.

    • We do not recommend booking or paying online with any courier service. You will not receive a postmark if you book or pay online.
    • Even with expedited courier services, ballots still take several days to get to the United States. You must send it as soon as possible! Do not wait. Too much is on the line!
    • Japan Post is reliable, but the US Postal system, not so much.  From Hokkaido or Okinawa to Wisconsin is 2~3 days using the EMS service at 3900 yen.  Regular airmail is 190 yen, and 8~10 days to San Francisco or New York. Japan Post English delivery estimates (click here), but don't risk it.  Get your ballot in as soon as possible.  

    BALLOT RETURN THRU THE US EMBASSY - Returning your ballot via diplomatic pouch:  Your completed ballot must reach the Embassy at least 3 weeks prior to the election. Find the exact address, check for updates and find out more on the US Embassy Japan page (click here).

    Regardless of how you send in your ballot, remember that you (the voter) must be the one who places it in the mail. In some states, it is unlawful for any other person to handle your voted ballot, even if it is sealed.

    And when filling out your ballot and packaging your ballot, don't forget to review the instructions carefully. Don't let human error spoil your ballot! 

    6) Confirm your ballot arrival at your local election office in the United States

    Once you've mailed your ballot, follow up with your local election official to make sure that it arrived and will be counted. Please do not just assume that your ballot has made it! Nearly all states have online tracking services. To find your state's website, click here and scroll down to "Track Your Ballot". You can also look up your local election office's contact details here and try contacting them directly.

    7) Having trouble? Need help? 😕

    We understand that the voting process can be confusing — that's why we're here to help. Send an email to [email protected].


  • published DAJ Newsletter July 28,2022: DAJ needs you! in News 2022-07-29 09:56:26 -0400

    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]


  • donated via 2022-05-31 08:18:48 -0400

  • signed up on GOTV signup 2021-08-29 00:42:03 -0400

    GOTV signup

    Click below to receive periodic updates from the GOTV and Voting Rights teams regarding our voting rights work.  We will message you when there are important updates and developments to report.

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  • signed up on Tiny Actions Signup 2019-09-22 05:02:06 -0400

Japan-based Nonprofit NGO consultant, always looking for new projects, focused on progressive social change from the grassroots up.