As advocates of the Constitutional principles of limited government, free markets and individual liberties, all of us continue to be dismayed by the continued government assaults on all these principles. Unfortunately, history teaches us that this is to be expected, i.e. that politicians and government bureaucrats only want to grow government to gain increased power and control. To date, the United States has been an exception, thus the term “American Exceptionalism”, but this is rapidly changing. We receive many suggestions and requests from the various local and national “Tea Party” organizations to write letters, make calls, endorse candidates, attend meetings, attend rallies, educate yourself, and donate. The question thus becomes one of “what to do”?
We too were confronted with these many options for activism, when in July, 2009 at an Advisory Board Meeting for the Ohio Liberty Council, we asked ourselves which of the actions, that we individually could pursue, would have the greatest impact and the “greatest bang for the buck”. We did much research and read books, such as Take Back Your Government by Robert Heinlein and Get Out The Vote, a statistical analyses of what works in politics written by two Yale Professors.
From the research, we concluded that the action we can individually pursue that will have the greatest impact on politics and policy is to go door-to-door in our neighborhood to identify like-minded neighbors, encourage them to join the local “Tea Party” or 912 Organization, encourage them to volunteer in the movement, and lastly to make sure they vote in elections. Anecdotal examples and statistical analyses indicate that the cumulative effect on policy and politics of these individual efforts at the local level cannot be matched by lobbying or money.
The left has known about the power of this simple, but effective action at the local level and calls it “Community Organizing”. With a well-developed, but simple, work-process and access to “volunteers” from SEIU, private-sector unions, ACORN, and many other affiliated organizations, the left has leveraged “Community Organizing” for decades to affect policy and get their candidates elected. The right lacked volunteers and thus, in essence, gave up on door-to-door “Community Organizing” or “Precinct Organizing”. That is why the GOP relies mostly on commercials, phone banking, and mailers. All of these cost much money and, based on statistical analyses, are far-far inferior to door-to-door engagement of neighbors in getting-out-the-vote. For example, statistical analyses show that it requires thirty-three phone calls to a given house relative to one door-to-door visit to have the same get-out-the-vote effect!
The issue of the right not having volunteers changed with the emergence of the Tea Party. Throughout the country the movement has millions of well informed and passionate volunteers focused on attempting to take back our country from big-government, career politicians. What they lack is an understanding of what is the most effective and efficient use of their time, energy, and money. “Community Organizing”, “Precinct Organizing”, or, as we prefer to call it, “Neighborhood Organizing” is the clear answer!
It is for this reason we created our website, TheVoicesOfAmerica.org. Our goal is to provide the best practices and tools, based on research, for “Neighborhood/ Precinct Organizing” to like-minded individuals and organizations everywhere. In essence, we want to teach like-minded conservatives what progressives have known and perfected for decades. We want to broadly and freely share these best practices so that everyone is aware of “Neighborhood/ Precinct Organizing”, does not have to “re-invent the wheel”, or have to conduct the same time-consuming research to learn best-practices.
It is important to point out that “Neighborhood/ Precinct Organizing” is not the same as getting-out-the-vote for individual candidates. With “Neighborhood/ Precinct Organizing” you engage neighbors in a non-partisan, principled way focused on limiting government’s power and control over individuals and local businesses. National polling informs us that close to ninety percent of Independents and Republicans agree with this position, as well as substantial numbers of Democrats. You just need to engage these voters in your neighborhoods to inform them of local Tea Party events, educate them about how they can help by volunteering, and assure they vote in elections. It is that simple! Consequently, any individual can pursue “Neighborhood/ Precinct Organizing”, not just prior to elections, but instead throughout the year to create a precinct group, gain political clout, and win elections. In essence, you are building a “We the People” force in your neighborhood. Everything you need to know to get started and more is on our website, TheVoicesOfAmerica.org.
We must assure that all like-minded liberty-oriented individuals and organizations know the best practices for Neighborhood / Precinct Organizing. Please share this newsletter broadly in your region and nationally with your relatives, friends, neighbors, and associates. To facilitate sharing, just click on the Facebook, Twitter, etc. icons on our home page.
Peter H. Wolf & Warren A. Edstrom