Greetings Fellow Libertarians,
Recent statements by the current Libertarian Party Vice Chairman have troubled me greatly. I came to the Party and fell in love with the diverse people, great responsibility, and most importantly, a strong message. But more importantly, I stayed in the Libertarian Party because I felt included. People made an effort to build me up, and committed to making me a better leader. I committed my time, skills, and money in return.
Recently, it seems as if the Vice Chairman has made efforts to do the opposite. Rather than providing individuals with a welcoming organization to effectively influence policy, recent statements have made large groups of individuals feel unwelcome, and even unwanted – to the point the Party has seen numerous resignations of leaders and volunteers, and unsuccessful attempts of staff to renew some members’ memberships.
Efforts to make positive conversation, promote discussion, etc., have been met with further divisive statements – some of which are seemingly contradictory to the 2016 platform.
For this reason and others, I have decided to launch an exploratory Vice Chairman campaign. I am currently assembling a group of volunteers that will help me determine the viability of a campaign for Vice Chairman, while simultaneously spreading the issues that I think are crucial to the development of the Party, especially during a short 2 month absence during the summer.
My Preliminary Proposal:
1. The Party must develop consistent and welcoming messaging. A central problem with the party is our lack of messaging. The Party must adopt a message that appeals to a multitude of targets and peoples while maintaining our principles.
2. The Party must invest heavily in youth outreach efforts. The Party currently spends only $1000 on youth outreach annually. this is a disgrace. Millennials and Gen-Zers have the potential to be the Libertarian generations (a subject that I have spoken to a multitude of audiences). We need to invest in them and create a Libertarian Youth National Committee to administer partisan campus organizations.
3. The LNC must invest in strategy research. Every successful company does research to see how to best reach consumers. The LNC must do the same. We need to hire professionals to find out how to best craft our outreach and message.
4. The LNC must invest in staff empowerment. Our staff has a list of resources they have asked for, but the LNC has not provided. The LNC needs to take staff needs into consideration, and empower the group of hardworking individuals that we are blessed to have on our side.
I’ll commit to attempting all of those things.
I joined the Party as a sustaining member in 2014. My first job in the party was county chairman. When I attended my first state convention, I recognized the serious lack of youth outreach present within the Party. I decided to start my own organization to do it for the party. The Libertarian Youth Caucus was formed. It has now spread into a dozen or so campus organizations and multiple states. We’re a 527 political organization and have 1 employee. Because of the kindness and forethought of C Michael Pickens, the LYC is going to be able to offer free activist training to its students through the Libertarian Leadership Academy (which will hopefully go active for us next fall or winter). At the 2016 National convention, I became the youngest to ever be on the LNC. I have since been the brainchild behind the two recent brand improvement efforts. The first, #ReRegister, was the first – ever attempted nationally – administered voter registration drive. The Party will continue this effort. The second effort would have hired professionals to do strategy research. This effort was presented through a special committee comprised of myself, Larry Sharpe, and David Pratt Demarest. I was honored to work with and be mentored by both of these motivated individuals.
During the LP Primaries I coordinated Austin’s campaign in Pennsylvania. I went on to coordinate Gary Johnson’s efforts in Westmoreland County. The Pittsburgh team and LYC developed special branding for Pittsburgh, which resulted in better voter totals than expected. The LYC also helped over a dozen downticket races in 2016.
I want this to be a success. But I need your help. If you want me to run, please send me a message, comment, and share this post. I am the committed candidate. Let’s take this party forward together.
Trent Somes III
Committed Leadership is just on the Horizon.