Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall - Time to Move to New Stage

The events of the summer are past us.  The VOA and DC Rally were huge hits and the fight for Health Care reform is in full gear.  It's time for us to move into a new focus that is more issue oriented than we have been in the past.  We have established ourselves, our comittees are starting to form, our meetings are familiar to our members and people now generally know who and what we are.  The time is ripe to get down to the real business of what we are really about and that is educating ourselves and others on what the issues are and what can be done about them.  This is the real "red meat" of the Tea Parties!  The Liberty Township Board is working well.  We understand each other and we have a good understanding of the issues and of our members.  We are always open to what our members have to say and we always have an open dialog period in each meeting to ensure that the members voices are heard.  We have no intention of this being a top down organization, our intention has always been that this will be an organization that the members will drive the direction of the agenda.  We certainly have much to do.  The Health Care Reform bill will dominate the agenda for some time.  We have Cap and Trade to deal with.  We have the expiration of the Bush Tax cuts.  We have all the energy issues, immigration and all the other issues on this administrations shopping list that we will have to address.  Not to be left out are the Czars, the corruption of individual representitives, lack of transparancy, not delivering on campaign promises, and many more issues to many to enumerate here.  Suffice to say our plate is full.  But, our group is ready for the challenge and up to the task.  The stakes are high.  It is time to take a stand.  We owe our country and our children this.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

VOA - DC Over! Time To Get On With Building the Movement!

The Voice of America Rally on September 5th was a huge success!  It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the Patriots were out in force even if the media was hiding in the shadows.  The crowd was estimated to be 18,000 but that was the high end estimate.  The Cincinnati Enquirer had it at 6000 but that number was soon discredited and the paper provided a very lame retraction the following day.  In the end the crowd was clearly above 10,000 and probably somewhere near 13 to 15 thousand give or take when all was said and done.  People were coming and going all day long.  It was the opening day of college football and the Ohio State game delayed some people but by 3:00 PM the crowd was in full swing.  The speakers were all great! The crowd was great and all-in-all the day exceeded all expectations.  Liberty Township was very well represented.  We had an opening March in with over 100 people that made a big splash and statement! Our booth was busy all day and we even got to distribute our flyer on the Health Care proposal.  Not to mention that we had a volunteer staff of over 75 people working all day long in a variety of tasks behind the scenes.  It was a pretty good day for a Community Group that is only two months old.  We also picked up a many new members.  Great Day!

Then on Septermber 12th along comes the March on Washington.  I had a pretty busy weekend so I did not directly get to catch much of the news as it was happening but as I was on the road I did see a couple of the busess heading to Washington and  and on my way home from a wedding in Pennsylvania I did see some of the participants coming back.  From the little that I did get to view it appeared that it was a great event and a huge success but once again ignored by the media and denied by the administration.  Pretty much par for the course.  I did hear that it was one of the most orderly and polite crowds to ever demonstrate in Washington and when it was over there was not a speck of garbage left by the demonstrators.  No left behind placards, no water bottles, no trash. no nothing.  Speaks a lot of who we are. 

So now we are back to our regular meeting schedule and hopefully these big events are behind us and we can get down to the hard work of focusing on building this organization.  We need to focus.  The big stuff is fun, but it is time for the hard stuff.  Because if we are to make a difference it is going to be one person at a time, house by house, neighbor by neighbor, neighborhood by neighborhood, town by town, city by city, state by state.  We have a long way to go.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Phase Two - Training Wheels Off!

We have had our eighth Board meeting and our fourth group meeting and significant milestones are being met. We are moving in a bigger direction. Our membership now stands at over two hundred and fifty. We are in more than half of the township neighborhoods. We draw from all over the county. People who come to our meetings do so to learn and to be involved. It is clear that our members want to take action not just sit in a meeting and listen. We have established a Health Care subcommittee and we have had no problem getting volunteers to work on this issue and they are doing fine work. We have another committee, working on the upcoming Cincinnati TEA Party event that is to be held at the Voice of America Regional Park on Sept. 5th. This event is expected to draw thousands from around the state right into our backyard. All of this activity makes the board very busy. Our last meeting attracted a reported and a photographer from the local press and we are expecting to be featured in an article in this Sunday's Journal-Press in an article on local Grass Root Groups. The article will feature both Conservative and Liberal groups. All of this drives me to say that we are moving into a stage of the group’s development where it is time for the volunteers to step forward and take on more of the load. We can't be just about the meetings; we have to be about more than that. We have committee's to fill and positions that need to have volunteers doing the work on a regular basis. The people are there and they are willing to do the work. It is the Boards job to identify what needs to be done and then guide the group in the direction it needs to go. The question is how? We don't want to lay out a long laundry list of positions to fill and then have people fill in on a roster sheet where and when they will work. That is sort of like the snack bar duty at the local youth sport activity, nobody likes to do that. No, our challenge is a bit different. We have a number of interesting tasks or positions and we need to find and match people that have the interest and the skill to the positions so that we have the right people with the right interest and skill in the right position. This is a harder task. But this is what we must do. In the end, we will have a stronger organization if we do this right.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Butcher, the Baker, and the Candlestick Maker!

Our third meeting this past Monday, attended by our largest crowd to date, 185 Patriots, was our most diverse crowd to date! It was a great meeting! But let's go back to the organizing committee and the two meetings and all the emails that led up to that meeting before we talk about the meeting itself.

These past two weeks have been primarily about our young organization and the issues involved with organization. We have much to do to get this train moving down the tracks. We need volunteers and we need them to fill the right positions. We need to identify what those key needs are so that when we are asked; "what can I do?", we have an answer. We need to think ahead and try to form a vision of where we want to be six months, a year, two years from now and start planning on how we are going to get there. We also have to understand how we fit in with the greater Tea Party movement and in particular with the Cincinnati Tea Party group and our sister groups in West Chester, Mason, Fairfield, Fairfield Township, Middletown, and the surrounding localities. So for the past two weeks we have been, as a group, grappling with those issues and trying to work them out. We also have some competing events that require our attention and support. The Health Care forum coming up and the September 5th Rally at the Voice of America Park will need our support, resources and effort. Plus we have bi-weekly meetings to run, issue groups to get off the ground and neighborhood groups to launch. Full plate!

Once again meeting night came and we had an agenda but no idea what the turnout would be. We were again pleasantly surprised. We had a full room of Patriots. Over 185 came to this event. We saw some familiar faces and some new faces, we saw some young faces, some old faces and some not so old faces. It was a very good cross-section of the community. Perhaps, our most diverse crowd yet, hence the title of this installment. The butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. We are not a mob, we are not an unruly gang of activists bent on overturning the government, we are not even any of the things the left has labeled us to be. We are simply what we say we are; a group of concerned bi-partisan citizens that care deeply about their country and the direction that we see it going and want it to change but not in the direction that the current administration is taking it. It is as simple as that. Every meeting that we have had has been polite, has had a high level of decorum and has been characterized by an extreme level of I just want my voice to be heard. All of the people that come to our meetings are looking for an outlet to have their voices heard in a meaningful and respectful manner. They do now want to be ignored. It is clear to me, at least, that many of them feel that they have been ignored for all too long. We had a speaker from Congressman John Boehner's office describe the process of what happens when you email, call or write a representative. He answered the question; "is it read, does it make a difference?". He did a very good job and a lively discussion followed his presentation. We had our normal opening remarks, pledge and prayer. We had a lady come forward and challenge anyone that wanted to run for public office to pick-up a petition from her. She had drawn all the necessary petitions and had them with her. This is representative government in action and while we may not have been ready for this at this meeting. Next time around we will be! And one gentleman has some very good prepared remarks regarding the Constitution that was very well done. Our topic of the evening, as it has been for the past couple of meetings, was the Health Care bill and we had a good exchange of ideas regarding this topic. We were able to, at the close of the meeting, recruit many people to serve on both our Health Care Issue committee and our Membership Group. So, all in all it was a very productive meeting and moved the ball forward a great deal.

Now it is time to move forward and to start the planning for our fourth meeting. Actually, we have now laid out the schedule for the rest of the year and have scheduled a joint meeting with our sister West Chester group for later on this fall. We are getting there.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gaining Momentum - Strength in Numbers

Who would have thought that 400 people would have attended the West Chester Tea Party meeting this past Friday night? Yes, they did have a local radio personality. Yes, they are a community of 50,000 residents. Yes, they are mostly a conservative leaning community. And yes, all the ingredients were there for a large turnout. All the ingredients with the exception of one or two major ones. What were those ingredients you say? Well how about; no press releases and no mention of the event on the Brian Thomas morning radio program. And with just that and with the Cincinnati Tea Party, its Community Groups email mailing lists and word of mouth over 400 people showed up on a Friday night to hear a great conversation on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by Brian Thomas from 55KRC Radio in Cincinnati. You might wonder why I am making such a big deal out of this? Well, I will tell you, I am making a big deal out of this because the Cincinnati Tea Party organization started on a kitchen table in February of this year and the West Chester group is only one month old. Four hundred people at a meeting with little or no advertisement, basically just email and word of mouth is a fine testament to the strength of this young and growing movement.

An even finer testimony occurred the following day in Columbus, OH at the Statehouse. You may not have heard about it if you depended upon the "Old" media for your information or if you did hear about it from the "Old" media you may not have known the true size and importance of this event. State Sovereignty is the issue. The founders of the Cincinnati Tea Party, an organization less than seven months old; have created a statewide umbrella organization, the Ohio Liberty Council, to bring together the many groups working within the state that have similar interests. This group the Ohio Liberty Council will sponsor and facilitate statewide events similar to the one that took place this past Saturday. It will bring together people from many different organizations and unite them in a common cause to have their voices heard. I will let this report by Bill Standish speak for itself regarding this event, but the bottom line is ten thousand like minded conservatives from across the state found the time on a Saturday to make their opinion known to the powers that be.

August 2, 2009
Tea Party Excursion

On Aug 1, two bus loads of Cincinnati Tea Party patriots along with another bus load of 9-12 Project supporters all converged on the State House in Columbus, OH for a statewide consolidated rally in support of the State Sovereignty issue.

The buses were packed with excited patriots as we passed by the State House and saw thousands of people from all over Ohio arriving and anxiously awaiting the start of a two hour speaker packed program. Once we disembarked from the buses the Cincinnati contingent of about 165 patriots paraded onto the west lawn of the State House as our arrival was announced from the podium. We got rousing cheers from the growing crowd as our banner carrying group took our place near the podium. Ten minutes before the scheduled start of the event there was a down pour of rain that soaked everyone but it ended quickly. By the time Mike Wilson gave the opening remarks the crowd had swelled to nearly 10,000 enthusiastic patriots.

Our own Mike Wilson was the first on the docket and he also served masterfully as the MC for the whole event. A great singer from a local Tea Party sang a great rendition of the National Anthem and we were off to a amazing line up a dozen speeches about a wide range of issues from liberty to taxes to the 2nd Amendment and of course State Sovereignty. The day was capped off by Judge Andrew Napolitano who spoke eloquently about individual rights relative to our government’s authority and responsibility. For example, he noted that “President Obama said his job is to protect the American people; he is wrong, his job is to protect our liberty”.

Altogether it was a great program and well received by the whole crowd. The Cincinnati group arrived back home right on schedule and everyone was glad they had made the trip. If you ever have a similar opportunity, like the Sep 11-13 trip to Washington DC, you should seriously consider going. A commitment such as this is a small thing you can do for your country yet it can influence the future of the country.

Field Patriot Reporting,
Bill Standish

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported this event to have several thousand in attendance. They buried the story on the obituary page and to add insult to injury they took the story from the Columbus Dispatch. One news outlet reported that only 300 attended. Others ignored it altogether. But my point is not about how the "Old" media reports these events, my point is that in the short time that the Tea Parties have been organized in Southeast Ohio we have had the ability to tap into what is clearly a raw nerve of thousands of concerned conservatives in the state. The numbers speak for themselves. Fountain Square in Cincinnati on March 15th with very little advance or professional planning drew an estimated 5000 protesters and may have been the largest protest gathering since the Vietnam War era. Subsequent meetings at the Miami University Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) in West Chester, OH have drawn upwards of 200 hundred people at each meeting held. The Liberty Township Community group now stands at over 200 active members and is growing. Attendance at each of the Liberty Township meetings have exceeded the last and we are working hard to keep that trend. The point I am making is we have the numbers and the momentum. I think Fountain Square and the Statehouse are connected. Five thousand in March and ten thousand in August! There is an event coming up in September at the Voice of America Park in West Chester, OH. Watch those numbers you may be surprised at what you see. The Tea Party movement is not an aberration, it is the response to years of frustration by many, many deeply concerned conservative people that see their country going in the wrong direction.

Changing the subject just a minor bit, we had our Suday meeting as we normally do and we had several issues to discuss and act upon. Our last Liberty Township Tea Party meeting drew over 150 people and we were able to get neighborhood information from all who attended. We now have an email listing of our members that is over 200 hundred Liberty Township Patriots and that allows us to identify folks by neighborhood. We have over sixty neighborhoods in Liberty Township and we are represented in 65% of them. We are working to get 100% representation. We hope to be there by Fall. Our meeting this week centered on a couple of main topics; what should our action items be going forward, and what should the frequency of the meetings be. We also discussed our need for volunteers and what positions they would fill. We are all in agreement that Health Care is a the top of the pile at the moment closely followed by Cap and Trade. However, we did add the Census to the Action Item list as this is coming up soon and will be an issue that has a lasting impact on many issues both at the national and local level. We are looking at sponsoring or co-sponsoring a Health Care symposium as a major event in September and will approach the Cincinnati group regarding this event. We plan to hold a volunteers meeting in the next week to get that effort off the ground. The intent is to keep builidng on the momentum that we have built so far. Our website continues to populate with much useful information but there is much more to do. This is an example of where we need volunteer help. We could use some help initiating a forum and perhaps some data driven applications on the website and a volunteer with IT skills would be a handy addition. The same is true in the Media area. We need somone to help out in Media and Press Relations. An excellent position for someone that wants some experience in this area or that already has these skills and wants to keep them fresh. We need to put out meeting notices and stories regarding our meetings and events that we are involved in. This is a job that won't take a whole lot of time but is a weekly requirement and requires dedication and attention to detail. We have other positions to fill such as comittee chairs and help at the meetings, etc. We will be putting a "help wanted" page on our website. Most of these positions will not require a whole lot of time but will require dedication and attention to detail. Other items we discussed were upcoming events, options for meeting locations, Agenda for the next meeting and the content. Lot's of work to do as always but its worth it. This will be our third meeting coming up, we are looking forward to it. The energy, enthusiasm and commitment that our members bring to each meeting is worth every minute and hour of work we spend in this.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Second Meeting - Already?

Here we are and it is our second meeting already! To say that we are nervous would be a tremendous understatement. The Organizing Committee have been working hard, the emails have flown by, sometimes numbering more than several each day. It is not unusual for one member of the team to be sending them out at 3:00 AM! Most of us read those first thing in the morning and the day starts from there. There is always much to do. We have a whole plate full of organizational tasks plus getting ready for the meeting. This is not a complaint, we knew what this was going to entail when we started the project and we gladly do it. This is certainly one of those cases where the end justifies the means. In fact, the work is very satisfying. But, I digress, so back to getting ready to have a meeting. We had to have an emergency meeting on Sunday to make sure we were ready for this upcoming meeting on Monday. We needed to flush out the final agenda and frankly, the events of the week had to be taken into consideration. The Cap and Trade Bill has taken a back seat for now. Health Care is the big issue and we are making headway. The August deadline set by the administration to pass the bill is not going to be achieved. This is great news and we need to keep up the heat! So we took a hard look at our agenda and made sure that we were addressing all the issues we needed to address. We had to make sure that we informed those new members what we are all about, we need to reinforce that we are about action not just talk, we need to explain our relationship to the Cincinnati Tea Party and our legal status as a 527 organization. We then move on to the important topics of the day, which at the moment is Health Care, but we also had to review the topics that we had collected at the previous meeting and report what we had done with those and what are intentions are going forward. We then would allow time for the group to speak and interact. We feel strongly that we do this at each meeting. It is not about us, we need to cede the floor and let the greater group have their voice. This interaction is extremely important. From this point we then move to forming our Neighborhood Groups and asking for volunteers to step forward. We need to have people work on membership and technology at the moment and a host of other things. Finally we summarize some of the events that are happening locally and close the meeting. All through this we have to try to keep to our one hour time schedule so that we can respect peoples time. In addition to this there are email meeting announcements to send and flyer's to pass out. That is a lot for four people to do! Well, the truth is we have had some help. One of our team members has enlisted the aid of his wife and two daughters and that should not go unnoticed. They have been a remarkable help. They walk the neighborhoods passing out flyer's, they were at the meeting (more about this in a minute) running the sign in tables, and our official photographer is one of our team members wife. So a big Thank You is in order to them!

Now it is time for me to get to the meeting, Holy Cow! We had over 150 people in attendance! This is well over what we had at the first meeting. There were many new faces and many from the first meeting. We had heard from several people that they would be out of town, vacations and other commitments and would not be able to attend this meeting so we were not sure what to expect. So when the room filled up we were very pleased! We were also pleased with the degree of enthusiasm the group always brings with them and the level of respect the group always has as the meeting is conducted. Each meeting has been a pleasure to attend and conduct. I always hear from people, both before and after the event, a thank you for organizing the group and the event and I am sure my team members hear the same and I am always somewhat bewildered when I here it. Please don't get me wrong, I appreciate the thank you and I understand it, but I consider this work my duty rather than something I should be thanked for. This country and its freedom is dear to me and we have to save it because it is in danger. Something has to be done. That is why we have these meetings. The meetings are important. People are watching us. They are counting the numbers. They saw 94 last time, they saw over 150 this time. That is not the outcome they were looking for. Let's show them a bigger number next time, because surely they want us to fail. I don't see failure in the cards. I want to extend my great big thank you to all of you that take the time to come to the Liberty Township Tea Party meetings you presence means something. And for those of you that have not yet attended a meeting, consider this an invitation to come see what we are about.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moving Along - Let the Party Begin!

Here it is a week has past and it is time to plan the next meeting. We are having our Tea Party's every two weeks at least until we get the neighborhood groups built. We have a big task ahead, our first election cycle is really not that far away. We are really not thinking of November here in July but it is only a short four months away. Lots to do! We have 34 neighborhoods in Liberty Township and we need to have people in each of those neighborhoods ready for the election season where we expect to gain more membership. October and November should be a prime time for us with many people focused on the local political process. Organization building is Job Number One right now but the issues are just as important. There is no doubt that people feel passionate about the issues that are on the table. Cap and Trade, Health Care Reform, "Czar of the Week", Government Spending, State Sovereignty, etc. all of these issues need our attention. We need to develop our plan for addressing the issues, develop teams to work them and then have an action to have our voices heard. So yes, there is much to do. At the same time, it is too much for just the four person's on the organizing committee so that means we need to hang up the "help wanted" sign and find volunteers to step forward to manage some of the many tasks that need to be worked. So the focus of this week's meeting will be in organizing the neighborhoods and enlisting volunteers to work on the many committee's that we need to build this organization. The meeting coming up will be held at a local church simply because it offers a larger meeting space, following this meeting we will move to one of the local schools where the meeting space is more than adequate and the cost to rent the space is very reasonable. In the long term we will look for a more permanent space that may be "donated or loaned" for our meetings. Limited Government, Fiscal Responsibility and Free Markets those are our core beliefs. There is no question that our government is getting massively bigger, fiscal responsibility has left the building and Free Markets are under attack. This work is necessary and it is worth it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


On Monday, July 14th 2009, the Liberty Township Tea Party held its first Tea Party at the Township Fire Station on State Route 747 in Liberty Township, OH. Four people had put their hands up and said yes we will help organize a Liberty Township Tea Party organization. This was the result of our first effort. None ouf us had ever worked together before, although three of us by complete coincidence lived on the same street in the same neighborhood. A school teacher, two engineerers and a project manager sat down at a kitchen table to figure out what you had to do to organize a community. No federal funding, no years of activism, no models to follow, just the combined experience of average American's that go to work everyday and get things done. So we had a Saturday morning meeting with the director of Community Ourtreach for the Cincinnati Tea Party and discussed the role of the community groups, got to understand the nature and limitations of the 527c Political organization, got a good understanding of our relationship to the Cincinnati group and learned what was envisioned of the Community groups by the Cincinnati group. With this informaiton in hand we had a follow-up meeting the next day, Sunday, in this meeting we developed the Agenda for our upcoming meeting on July 14th. We decided to keep it simple. To keep the meeting to one hour and to make sure that we followed that meeting up wih one in two weeks to keep the momentum flowing. Oup plan was pretty simple; Opening and introductions, Pledge, Community Group Purpose and Objectives, Featured Speaker, Issues and Discussion, Website and How Can You Help, Closing. We then worked on a flyer and sent out emails. We had an email list from the Cincinatii group. We even had flyers in a couple of neighborhoods. When it came time for the meeting we did not know what to expect. The Fire Chief had been very gracious. We had a room that held 25 to 30 comfortably but we could not tell him how many would acutally show so he said he would pull the engines out of the bay and if we had an overflow crowd we could move into the bay. How great is that? In a small room you don't need a P.A. system but in the bay we would so one of the group brought along a Karokee Unit just in case. We quickly filled up the small room and went to the back-up plan and moved to the bay. In the end we had 94 people show up to our first ever Liberty Township Tea Party! There was much excitement in the air. The people that came were there for a purpose, they wanted to be heard and they wanted to do something to register their disfavor for the direction of this country. They wanted to make a statement. We were very pleased and will have a larger venue for the next Tea Party and will begin the work of oganizing the neighborhoods at that meeting. We have much to do, there are issues on the table now that need to be addressed, phone calls to be made, letters to write, and rallies to attend. But there is also an organization to build if we are truly to make a difference in the long run. Was it not a former Secretary of Defense that said this is going to be a "Long Slog".