Democrats Abroad Thailand Covid-19 Task Force Takes up the Call for Vaccines

As Thailand experiences increasing numbers of Covid infections and deaths as part of the “Third Wave,” we at Democrats Abroad Thailand are concerned about the effect on Americans living here, as we still have limited access (if at all) to vaccines.

DAT has formed a COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, with the goal of urging and assisting the US government to fulfill its pledge of making coronavirus vaccines available to all Americans -- including the tens of thousands of U.S. citizens living in Thailand. The Task Force has held regular weekly Zoom meetings and has engaged in productive exchanges with the acting US Ambassador and the US Consul General. Most importantly, we would like to determine whether U.S. citizens and their immediate families residing in Thailand want access to US-approved vaccines if provided by the U.S. government, and if so, what we can do to help to make the “shot in the arm” a reality for U.S. citizens who want to be vaccinated here.

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Accordingly, please take 3 minutes to read and complete the Democrats Abroad Thailand COVID-19 Vaccine Survey.  This will help us understand your needs and concerns, and offer a quantitative assessment to assist us in advocating for the US State Department to make access to vaccines possible.

The survey is in the form of a Google Doc and thus can be shared with other Americans living in Thailand – in fact, we encourage you to pass the survey link on to all your American friends and acquaintances! We will update DAT members with the overall survey results in due course.

The Task Force currently includes eight volunteers -- members of the DAT Executive Committee, healthcare professionals, and members living in Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Bangkok. We value your interests and insights and we also seek the input of other American organizations and communities in Thailand; feel free to contact us to get involved. In the meantime, please remain safe from the very real threat of COVID-19.

Call for Nominations: DA Asia Pacific RVC

Call for Nominations:
Democrats Abroad Regional Vice Chair Asia Pacific

We are now accepting nominations for the bi-annual election of Regional Vice Chair (RVC) for the Asia Pacific (AP) region! This election will take place during the AP Regional Meeting on the 16th of May as part of the Democrats Abroad Global Meeting. One vote is allocated to each AP country committee and will be cast solely by country committee chairs and vice chairs. The chair and vice chair each carry ½ vote. If either is not present, the other will carry the full vote.

Democrats Abroad has three RVCs, one for each region, who:

  • Are elected to a two year term that begins and ends with the regional election.
  • Cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.
  • Serve as one of 8 voting members of the International Executive Committee. Meetings are currently held weekly and typically last from two to three hours, but this is subject to change with the new leadership. 
  • Organize and lead monthly regional calls of about one to two hours to encourage, inform, and create a sense of community among regional country committees. 
  • Organize and lead a one to three day annual regional meeting to encourage, inform, and create a sense of community among regional country committees. When practical, these annual meetings are held as in-person events with remote participation available. 
  • Act as a liaison between the International Executive Committee and one or more of the Democrats Abroad committees, lending a hand to the committee chair and assuming chair responsibilities should that position not be filled.
  • Assist in organizing and attend the annual Democrats Abroad Global Meeting, preferably in person when conditions allow. Note that travel costs are the responsibility of the RVC.
  • Work with existing country committees to mediate and resolve issues within their committees including election issues, membership queries, etc. 
  • Track compliance status of country committees with Charter requirements and work with emerging and out-of-compliance countries to help bring them into compliance.
  • Communicate International Executive Committee decisions, policies, and Democrats Abroad best practices to the country committee leaders.
  • Bring regional issues to the International Executive Committee for discussion and resolution.

The eligibility requirements for AP RVC are as follows: 

  • Be a citizen of the United States. 
  • Be a member of Democrats Abroad residing within a country in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Adhere to the principles of the Democratic Party of the United States.
  • Due to the extenuating circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of the AP region who are temporarily residing outside of their country of residence due to the pandemic may still run for AP RVC (example: resident of Singapore who is temporarily residing in France due to quarantines and travel restrictions). There must be an intent to return to the AP region following the lift of travel restrictions.

Self-nominations and nominations of others are both welcomed and encouraged! Please submit any nominations via the nomination form at this link no later than 23 March 11:59 PM EDT (UTC-4). Each nominee is required to accept their nomination no later than 31 March 11:59 PM EDT (UTC-4). Nominations from the floor of the election meeting will be accepted as well, and all official candidates will be given time to make a short speech.

A list of candidates will be released on 1 April following the nomination acceptance deadline. 

Please direct any questions to [email protected].

On behalf of the 2021 AP Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC),

Anthony Nitz (Vietnam, Chair)
Christine Valverde (New Zealand)
Michael Ramos (Australia)
Phong Quan (Singapore)

FWAB and FPCA postage paid envelope templates fit Thailand envelopes

The pdf envelope templates in the links fit standard business size envelopes (108 x 235 mm) available in Thailand.

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FWAB and FPCA postage paid envelope templates fit Thailand envelopes

The pdf envelope templates in the links FPCA envelopefit standard business size envelopes (108 x 235 mm) available in Thailand.

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Sending ballots and absentee ballot requests via Postal Mail

Some states require that ballots or absentee ballot requests must be returned via postal mail.  Yet there is no airmail between Thailand and the USA.  Two options: 1) send via DHL/FedEx/UPS (fast but costs $) or 2) send via the US Embassy (slow but FREE).  Click on "read more" for info from the US Embassy website. For the Embassy option, allow 2-4 weeks for the Embassy to take it to the USA plus at least one week for the US Postal Service to deliver; total: allow 3-5 weeks!  The info is below (you may have to click on "read more").

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Photo Credit: Sukit Vanichrudeee

Democrats Abroad Thailand (DAT) is the official country committee for US Democrats living in Thailand.  We provide opportunities for Americans in Thailand to get involved in the Democratic party and issues that matter to them. These are trying times and it will take all of us to fight back.   US citizens around the world are organizing for a fairer and more just America that embraces diversity- let's raise our voices together and be heard all the way from Thailand.

We support our great Democratic candidates and encourage discussion about the ideas and solutions they offer through debate watch parties, post-debate discussions, live chats with the candidates.   We host political pub nights to get your political banter on, Ladies Night, issue based call-congress parties,  film nights,

If you are specifically interested in racial justice, gender equality and/ or  LGBTQ rights - join one or all of our Caucuses here on the website and then follow us on FB : Black Caucus and  Women's Caucus.

We have three official chapters, in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the North, and Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard.  We are always looking to grow our chapter network so if you are interested in organizing for social justice- let me know!

You can find us on Facebook at Democrats Abroad Thailand and Democrats Abroad Chiang Mai or on Twitter @DemsUSAThailand and @DemsAbroadThai

I look forward to welcoming you at the next DAT event.

Paul Risley
Chair, Democrats Abroad Thailand
[email protected]

New Leaders Elected at Annual General Meeting

This June, members and leadership from around the country gathered in Bangkok for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect the Executive Committee for Democrats Abroad Thailand. The AGM is always a great opportunity for active members from around the country to meet face to face to discuss strategy and re-energize for the year. Heartfelt farewells and thank yous went out to Phil Robertson, the outgoing Chair for a job well done, and those present welcomed Paul Risley into the position. Paul is a long time member of DAT and has served in various roles in the organization over the years. He will be supported by 3 Vice Chairs: Gary Suwannarat, Rick Graves and Russel Berman.

Newly elected executive committee members for 2019/ 2020:

Paul Risley, Meghan Driscoll and Rosalia Gitau

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Democrats in Bangkok Get Out the Vote at the Annual Independance Day Picnic


Democrats Abroad volunteers were out in force at the annual American Chamber of Commerce Independence Day picnic.  

A highly anticipated event within the American expat community in Bangkok, this year's attendance was as big as ever with over 2,000  showing up for music, games and good food.    The computers were humming at the DA table with Americans requesting absentee ballots.  Printers were available so that everyone could print and sign their requests, place it in an addressed envelope and send it to the Embassy for mailing.   Old friends joined the effort and many new faces came by to see how they could get involved in making the blue wave happen here in Thailand. 

Fight Back Friday: DA Thailand’s Other Inaugural Event

Please join us for DA Thailand’s Other Inaugural event, where you and your friends will have a chance to say your peace about President Trump, and share views with other Americans who are as shocked as you that this day has indeed come to pass!

When: Friday, January 20, 2016; 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Where: Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT), Maneeya Plaza Building, Chidlom BTS. Directions here
Who: DA Thailand members, and their friends (American and non-American)
How: No-host event, everyone is responsible to pay for what they eat or drink

Here’s the agenda:

5-7 p.m. — Cocktails and Dinner (no-host arrangement)
7-8:30 — Panel of Experts
A panel of Thailand-based experts on what Trump is going to mean in the US and globally for climate change and the environment; women’s rights; international development assistance/foreign aid; human rights; health; trade; labor rights, and other topics; followed by Q&A
8:30-10 — Showing film Trumpland by Michael Moore
10 to midnight — DA Thailand Open Mic
Discussions on flash mob for Women’s March in Bangkok; opposing Trump’s nominations, and mid-term elections 2018 project
Midnight-1 a.m. — The Witching Hour Trump Takes Oath of Office

Please come and join us, as we say that we’re not going to accept this laying down, and we’ve just begun to fight!

For more details, email [email protected] and stay up to date by following us on Facebook at Democrats Abroad Thailand and Twitter @demsabroadthai.

Democrats Abroad in Thailand came out to vote in record numbers

Democrats Abroad Thailand had 918 American voters participate in the Global Presidential Primary from all around Thailand. The results were 681 voters for Senator Bernie Sanders, 235 for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and 2 uncommitted.

Phil Robertson, the chairman of Democrats Abroad Thailand said the following about the results:

"Over 74% of Americans voting in Thailand decided to "Feel the Bern" and support Senator Sanders, and their voice was clearly in line with the majority of Americans living overseas who gave the Sanders campaign a major victory in the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary.

I'm immensely proud that Thailand had the second highest voter turnout among American voters anywhere in Asia, which just goes to show how eager and committed Americans here are to support their candidates and ensure that overseas Americans voices are heard in this important Presidential campaign.

But I'm confident in saying that no matter who is the eventual Democratic nominee for President, all US Democrats living in Thailand will unite to support that person because it's so very clear that both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are completely unprepared and unsuited to lead our great country. Democrats Abroad will be working hard to register Americans living in Thailand to vote in the general election in November, and celebrating our democracy with many events such as debate watch parties between the Democrats and Republicans.

It's going to be an exciting year for US politics, and those Americans who join Democrats Abroad Thailand will be in the front row seats."