Name: Aaron Kruse
External links: Website
Candidate: International Vice Chair
Member since: 2017
Country/Countries: China / Lion City
I've been involved in politics most of my life, including both personally and academically. Since joining Democrats Abroad, I have used my research, data, and survey design experience in order to grow our membership and make our organization more representative of our membership.
Professionally, I work in communications, public speaking, and financial technology..
Describe your volunteer work with DA and cite your greatest DA accomplishment.
My first formal involvement was as the Chair of DA China. As a result of Ada’s efforts, I flew to DC to attend my first global meeting in 2017 where DACN was formally recognized as a country committee. I have served at almost every level of organization, including serving on the NEC, as Chair of the Bylaws Committee, as the Chair of the Platform Committee, and presently serving as the youngest-ever elected DNC representative. So far, what I am most proud of is the design and execution of a survey for the DA Platform process that was sent to every one of our members. The survey generated more than 5000 responses that were used to make the DA platform truly representative of our entire organization.
Why are you running for this office?
I’m running for Vice Chair because this work is more important to me, and there is still more that I can do. I believe the Vice Chair has a crucial role to fill in helping the Executive Committee build the tools our country committees need to turn out voters and advocate on issues that matter to us as Democrats living overseas. I am especially passionate about voting rights and climate change. I want to be your Vice Chair because I aim to be ever more effective at helping DA advocate on behalf of our members on these crucial topics. I also would not be running for this office if it wasn’t for the extraordinarily positive feedback from the members and other leaders of DA that have encouraged me and been a part of my experience within this organization so far. I'm also excited to start working with those of you I haven't yet met. Thank you, all.
How will your skill sets and experience contribute to DA's success?
I believe that my experience organizing at every level of DA and working with an incredible number of other leaders in our organization has prepared me to contribute to DA’s success.
A trait I believe will help me be an effective Vice Chair is empathy. It is impossible for one person to use the limited set of their own experiences to derive the answer to all of the challenges we face as an organization. I am a deeply empathetic person, and it has enabled me to connect with so many incredible people within DA and understand what they need to elevate their own advocacy. I also believe that the Democratic Party should aspire to be a deeply empathetic organization, and I hope to have the opportunity to build with other DA leaders on that basis.
Are there any DA organizational or practical issues (not political goals) that you would like to address should you be elected?
One organizational issue that I believe I’m well-positioned to help address is how we can have faster, more efficient, and more transparent voting for remote members. I’ve discussed with many of our leaders the need to make the “business” of governing ourselves more efficient and easier to understand. As a practical example, when serving as Chair of the Bylaws Committee and as the Chair of the Platform Committee I prepared materials specifically to make it easier for our voting members to understand the issue, express their views, and cast a well-informed vote. Improving our own governance is a topic I discuss with other leaders frequently, and I would love to continue those discussions and be able to execute on our ideas as the Vice Chair.
How can Democrats Abroad best raise our profile among American voters abroad and better work to elect Democrats?
Like so many others, I’m closely following the ongoing suppression of Americans’ voting rights. While voter suppression has a long and ugly history in the US, these new attacks are an opening salvo in what will be a protracted fight. Not only do we need to give people a reason to vote, we must be deeply involved in the protection of voting rights. Some of the most important work that DA can do right now to raise our profile among voters abroad and to elect Democrats is to aid the fight for voting rights at every opportunity. Our organization has also made incredible strides in coordinating with state parties and in elevating our members’ voices, notably with the work being done by our Caucuses and within our country committees. We should continue and expand upon that work.
Endorsement from Samantha Wong, Deputy Regional Vice Chair Asia Pacific, DA China
I am honored to endorse Aaron Kruse for International Vice Chair.
Aaron and I became the first Chair and Vice Chair of DA China in 2017. That same year we both flew to DC to attend our first global meeting. It was at this meeting that I saw Aaron’s unwavering passion and commitment to progressing DA forward as an organization. He is unafraid of taking on new challenges and does so with enthusiasm. Although it was his first global meeting Aaron was confident and motivated in his speech to all DA leaders in attendance as to why China should be recognized as a formal country committee.
As Chair of DA China Aaron made it a point to have frequent one-on-one conversations with each of our 11 board members. He made sure that both our board members and volunteers vision for the chapter were heard and that those who wanted to take on new initiatives had the support to do so.
I was continually impressed with the ethical and thoughtful approach Aaron maintained throughout his time as DACN Chair. I am confident Aaron will bring this same passion and commitment if elected the next International Vice Chair. Please join me in supporting Aaron Kruse for International Vice Chair.
Endorsement from Wen Wen Lindroth
I am wholeheartedly endorsing Aaron Kruse for the role of Vice Chair of DA. I view Aaron as extremely well qualified as the second-in-charge for Democrat Abroad, having worked closely with him on the 2020 DA Platform. Aaron served as Co-Chair of the Platform Committee while I was a Co-Vice Chair; we spoke weekly, if not daily.
From these interactions and watching Aaron in action both behind the scenes and in front, e.g. moderating the Platform debate at the 2020 DPCA Global Convention, I can say without reservation that Aaron is empathetic, considerate, highly competent, persuasive and strategic - regardless of rank. I have found him consistently thoughtful and patient, inclusive and careful to include input from our membership and our leadership. One example was his spearheading of the DA policy issue survey that he designed, and then analyzed, for the Platform drafting process, and that included the entire DA membership.
As a leader of leaders, Aaron is also effective in soliciting views before taking action. I personally found him highly supportive and engaged in helping me to introduce a Diversity and Inclusion editing panel for the Platform, and I know that he spent a significant amount of time working directly with Caucus leaders and members to ensure that the Platform reflected our diversity.
Aaron is an exemplary DA member and leader. I believe that he will partner extremely well with our other new DA leaders and will be a strong support for our incoming Chair to be elected on May15th. I endorse Aaron for Vice Chair without reservation and encourage DPCA voting representatives to support Aaron for Vice Chair.