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,
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.