Democrats Abroad Australia Chair

  • published Survey Results & Report - DAA 2017 in News 2017-05-26 21:27:17 -0400

    Survey Results & Report - DAA 2017

    Find the .pdf of this report here:

    Updated: 27/5/17

    This the official Democrats Abroad Australia Survey Results as promised by the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary - part of the new Executive Committee for DAA 2017-2019. This report will offer a basic interpretation of the results with intention to utilise the responses to form the 2 Year Plan for Democrats Abroad Australia at a time when great organising and planning is direly needed. 

    We thank everyone who took time to respond to this very important survey as this will indeed determine our path forward, united, in pushing for change to the state of politics in the Party and USA.

    Basics (Page 1/4)

    Total Responses: 196 (excluding duplicates)

    Total: 196

    Approx percent of membership: 6 %


    Survey Responses by State


    # respondents




    34.7 %



    27 %



    14.3 %



    7.1 %



    7.1 %



    6.1 %



    3.1 %



    0.5 %



    99.9 % (accurate to 0.1)


    Conclusion & Explanation


    The goal was for 200 unique respondents. Ideally wanted 10% membership response (~300). State breakdown was largely as expected per membership numbers, noting that the numbers may not be wholly accurate as they are self identified, and represent a proportionate representation of members per State.


    Preferred Method of Communication



    Will continue to utilise e-mail for:


      • All member-relevant information (routine updates) - we're aware of bombarding people with information and leading to over-saturation.
      • Important matters (this survey, DA International elections, State Chapter elections).
      • Any urgent matters deemed so by ExCom or Member input.
      • State-level organising, meet-ups, actions will be distributed through this channel respective to State/Local Chapter.
      • As nearly everyone selected this, all formal DAA matters will be sent through this channel.

    Social Networks

    Social networks formed the second category, albeit a far-second. The percentage of respondents is proportional to the members currently on/engaged with social networks/media platforms. The Leadership recognises that social media channels can best be used for urgent actions, sharing information and those who want to engage with social media outreach.


    We will use social networks for:


      • Organising & logistics for publicised events, actions, activities, meet-ups
      • Sharing of non-crucial information (concerning Democrats Abroad/Australia)
      • Information sharing between teams, individuals


    Those who are not engaged with social networks and desire to be active are encouraged to join the State Facebook Closed Group (search for group in Facebook and send a request to admin of group), Slack (send email to for invite)

    In-Person and Text Message were a virtual tie for third and utilised for quite different purposes.


    Personal meet-ups should be used whenever possible and to extent of what members prefer. Obviously organised at State level for Capital City/Regional meet-ups aside from AGM.

    In-Person (aside from obvious personal connection):

      • In-depth planning and action
      • Social events, actions, protests
      • Organising where possible given membership location


    Text Message

    Text-Messages are more tricky, and we will utilise when we can. Obviously good for reminders and driving specific tasks/goals but challenging to send mass blasts due to technological limitations. This will mostly be used on a local level.

    Virtual Meetings was last and will be used for connecting regional members and when local members can’t attend the in-person meeting.   


    Larger Picture (page 2/4)


    What are the four most urgent National Issues for the USA? (limited to 4)


    Top Five:


      1. Affordable of Universal Healthcare (77.5%)
      2. Global Climate Change (61.8%)
      3. Income Inequality/Raising the Minimum Wage (46.6%)
      4. Domestic Gun Violence (44.6%)
      5. Corporate & Special Interest Money in Politics (39.7%)

    This was asked to gauge where everyone is at, what they are feeling should indeed be the direction of the Party as a whole. It was also asked so that the Priorities that inform the 2-Year Plan will indeed be member-driven and not just the assumptions of the elected leaders. Our goal for DAA is to ensure that advocacy will largely focused (yet certainly not restricted to) these issues. It’s noted that in the comments, the majority of write-in responses were “all of them” (or an equivalent phrase). We will be prioritising turning out to vote to special, State and Federal elections and these issues to drive DAA forward.


    Is the Democratic Party in need of a transformation?


    Given the result of 2016 and the divide within the party, this was a necessary question. 1 was “no, not at all” and 10 was “yes, totally and completely”. Taking the straight average, the result is just under 8 with highest respondents being in categories 8 and 10 (tie). In fact, 64.2% said that the Democratic party was in need of a total transformation (ranked 7 or higher). It is obvious that DAA members believe the party is in need of change.


    How we'll do it - your involvement

    Excitingly, although only 35 people said they were currently involved in your local chapter, 153 people have said they want to be more involved. And, nearly every respondent saying they’d be willing to take part in activities including social media actions, calling politicians, turning out the vote and other activities.


    If you’ve volunteered to take part in actions and activities, we’ll be passing along your information to your local Chapters, and we’ll be in touch soon!

  • published Survey Results & Report - DAA 2017 in News 2017-05-26 21:25:30 -0400

  • Recap of the DPCA (Democrats Abroad) AGM 12-15 May 2017

    Your Chair and Vice-Chair had the privilege to attend the AGM this past weekend and vote for new leadership of DA. Prior to the AGM, we released a survey to ask you who we should vote for and we wanted to share this publicly below as well.

    First, the AGM was based in Washington DC and roll call began at about 11:00pm Sydney time. This proved very challenging to attend, but we’ll have more on how we worked together with the Asia-Pacific region to change this for next year.

    Elections results

    We had 26 respondents to the AGM Election Survey and we're excited to announce that not only did we reflect your vote - but your vote won!

    Julia Bryan was successful for the Chair position and is who we supported. The majority of the survey responses supported her as well as all Australia’s votes. Julia’s lengthy experience in Democrats Abroad would serve us incredibly well over the next 2 years and feel that we are in very good hands.

    In a surprise move, Art Schankler dropped out of the race allowing Alex Montgomery of Hong Kong acclamation to the Vice-Chair position. Our survey was strongly in favour of Alex, and we eagerly look forward to working with him as key representation in the Asia-Pacific region.

    In surprising similar move, Kari Hiepko-Odermann followed Art’s move allowing Lisette Wright acclamation to Treasurer. Our survey was a virtual tie, a difference of only one vote, between these two qualified women, and it was proving difficult to decide.

    Jeffrey Cheng was successful for Secretary, was strongly supported by our survey and Australia’s votes. Jeffrey has played a key role in the LGBTQI caucus and will make an exceptional Secretary.

    Our survey for Counsel was varied and dispersed unevenly between the four candidates. Although Tom Schmid was marginally 2nd in the results, he was our voting choice based off his record and ability and was ultimately successful for the position. Tom makes the second candidate from the Asia-Pacific region - a feat that has not yet occurred in Democrats Abroad.

    Resolutions and By-Law Amendments

    The Resolutions and By-Law Amendments made for conversation, debate and most eventually ended up being “referred to a committee.” There were over 50 pages of proposed changes to resolutions and by-laws, which you can see here, and once the Wiki is updated with information about how the by-law changes went, we’ll update the link on our website so you can read more.

    Committee & Caucus Updates

    There’s great work happening in Democrats Abroad committees and caucuses, including GOTV, tax, fundraising, young, hispanic and progressive caucuses. We encourage you to get involved in committees related to your interest. You can see the full presentations and updates here.

    Asia Pacific & 2018 

    The Asia-Pacific region also held elections for our region during the AGM, and your Chair served on the election committee. We’re excited to announce that Shaun Barnes from Hong Kong was elected Chair of the region and ran unopposed.

    Before the AGM, we also lobbied and worked with the Asia-Pacific region to bloc behind the next year’s AGM to be held closer to home. We are proud to announce that next year’s AGM will be held in Japan in or around Tokyo! This will hopefully allow more DA Australia members to attend and take part in our party.

  • donated 2017-05-06 20:21:01 -0400

  • published Democrats Abroad Australia National Survey in News 2017-04-04 21:51:37 -0400

    Democrats Abroad Australia National Survey

    The Democratic party is our party. It should reflect and address the concerns you have. And, as we ramp up to the 2018 mid-terms, we need as much member involvement as possible. So let us know what matters to you in the Party - and how you want to get involved to ensure our party reflects our values.