From May 12-15, 2016, officers and elected officials from Japan will participate in a series of important Democrats Abroad meetings in Berlin: the Global Meeting, the Asia-Pacific Regional Caucus, and the Global Convention. The full delegation representing Japan includes DAJ Chair Tom Schmid, who will attend the convention in person, and Vice Chair Leslie Anne Rogers, Secretary Jenise Treuting, and Kanto Member-at-Large John Helwig, who will all attend via web conference.
Once each year, leaders of Democrats Abroad travel from all parts of the world to attend the Democrats Abroad Global Meeting. The Global Meeting is where the organization elects its international leaders, conducts its annual business, shares information and best practices, and facilitates networking and cooperation between country committees. This year, the Global Meeting will be held on May 12, 2016. Items on the agenda for the Global Meeting include voting on three resolutions and a resolution to amend the DPCA Charter. Also, the venue will be selected for the next Global Meeting, which Japan has submitted a bid to host.
One of the propsoals is a resolution to amend the DA charter, which was proposed and co-sponsored by International Chair Katie Salon, New Zealand Chair Kat Allikian, and Japan Chair Tom Schmid. The proposal reflects a compromise in which country committees will be required to hold annual general meetings anytime in the first half of the year rather than in the first quarter, thus increasing compliance and providing country committees with greater discretion and flexibility. The other resolutions include a proposal to hold Democrats Abroad Global Meetings in Washington D.C. every year and a proposal to keep the Democratic Party Platform free from expressions of religious belief.
Regional Caucuses and the Global Convention
After the Global Meeting, a series of very significant ancillary meetings will be held from May 13 to 15. These meetings include three regional caucuses, one for each of Democrats Abroad’s three regions (Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa), and the Democrats Abroad Global Convention. Each of these meetings will involve the selection of delegates pledged to Senator Sanders or Secretary Clinton. These delegates will represent their preferred candidates and Democrats Abroad at the Democratic National Convention (the “Convention”) in Philadelphia this July.
The regional caucuses and the Global Convention will also elect a total of six people to represent Democrats Abroad on the Democratic National Committee. Moreover, the planks of the Democrats Abroad platform will be debated, discussed and adopted at these meetings.
At the Asia-Pacific Regional Caucus, which will be held on May 14 at 5 am Central European Time, two regional delegates will be selected to attend the Convention. One of the delegates will be pledged for Bernie Sanders, and the other will be pledged for Hillary Clinton. Overall, Democrats Abroad is expected to send 13 pledged delegates to the Convention for Sanders and four pledged delegates for Clinton. Pledged delegate allocations are based on the proportional results of the Democrats Abroad Global Presidential Primary.
However, the individual delegates are selected by certified electors, and Japan has four electors participating in the Asia-Pacific caucus. Schmid, Treuting and Helwig are pledged electors for Sanders; Rogers is the only pledged elector for Clinton. Because Japan led the GPP voting in the Asia-Pacific region with a total of 1,356 valid ballots cast, Japan holds roughly 27% of the voting strength, also the highest in the region, in the upcoming Asia-Pacific Regional Caucus.
From Japan, six members are seeking pledged delegate slots. The names and pledged status of the approved delegate-candidates appear below:
Delegate-Candidates from Japan
Alex Gonzalez (Sanders)
Philip DeTruck (Clinton)
Skipp Orr (Clinton)
Leslie Anne Rogers (Clinton)
Lauren Shannon (Clinton)
Steve Tatham (Clinton)
Each of Democrats Abroad’s eight unpledged delegates will have half a vote at the Convention. The unpledged delegates are the International Chair and Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad and the six sitting DNC members.