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
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".