Michael Hewitt Wilson: 12 suggestions for growing local party organizations

Posted by Michael Hewitt Wilson on facebook:

This is a list of 12 items to do and it may help new people get involved and grow their local organization. Don’t try to do all at once. Pick an item that you can do one month and then add another the month after that. And always ask for volunteers to pitch in as well. Don’t burn yourself out, especially if you work and have a family.

1. Produce a newsletter on paper and mail it with a nonprofit bulk mail permit to your members, members of the press and to local libraries. By law the state party qualifies for a non-profit bulk mail permit which allows you to mail less expensively than first class and you might save 30 cent a letter or more. Ask for more info at your local post office.

2. Leave literature at the local library and sometimes a coffee shop or a local bar.

3. Send people postcards which you can print on your own computer to let the members know about your meetings. A physical card gets better responses than emails do.

4. Put a notice in the calendar section of the local paper so that outsiders know of of your meetings, especially when you have a speaker on an interesting topic. Video this to show on community tv and for You Tube.

5. Get people to work in their spare time to create shows focusing on Libertarian issues on Community Television.

6. Put up a booth at the local Farmer’s Market from April until Labor Day,

7. Write letters to the editor of the local newspapers including the local alternative papers and business papers as well. I once had 5 letter printed in a month. Believe me it is not difficult.

8. Then step it up and write op-eds for the papers.

9. Put together a team to get out a regular press release every other week.

10. Get on a local government board.

11. Attend every city council, county commission and state legislature meeting that you can.

12. And as Marc Montoni suggest canvas your neighborhood. Take a clipboard and ask your neighbors what issue bothers them and leave them some information on the LP. Start by introducing yourself and say that you are thinking about running for some office and ask what their concerns are. This is a good way to start the year off.

Of course there are more things to do so don’t let this list stop a new idea.

Stop, but not the end.

2 thoughts on “Michael Hewitt Wilson: 12 suggestions for growing local party organizations

  1. Michael Wilson

    Many thanks to Paulie for posting this. I didn’t much time into writing. Just cobbled it together and stuck in on Facebook. I will admit to being annoyed with all the talk about the philosophy and little about actually doing something. So here is #13. Thanks again, Paulie.
    13. Here is one way to get a message out that requires little time.

    Pick a theme that people haven’t heard from us. One that’s not so controversial as legalizing drugs may be best for new people.
    Pick something such as “Libertarians Support Midwives,” or “Support the Bill of Rights”, “Civil Liberties, Economic Freedom”, “Jury Nullification”, “Repeal Zoning Laws” or “Zoning Causes Poverty” and have it painted, printed, or embroidered on a t-shirt, front and back as well as the words Libertarian Party. They’re great to wear to meetings with other groups. My wife used to wear a t-shirt with “Support the Bill of Rights” on it and all kinds of people, especially older women, used to stop her and say how much they liked that message. This requires little or no additional time for most people and gets the message out to the public.
    Of course, there are more things to do so don’t let this list stop a new idea.
    Stop, but not the end.


    Lots of good suggestions here that don’t involve just petitioning and will keep the LP in view 12 months per year. I endorse #11: go to meetings, yes, but speak up too, even if you sense the pols and the crowd are mostly against you. Inevitably there are those in the crowd who agree with you but are too timid to speak up. They’ll come up to you afterward and let you know they agree. Try to get them to become active on the issue. Also, the local newspaper reporter – if she’s doing her job – will want to get a quote from the opposition just to balance her story. That’s going to be you, “a member of the XYZ County Libertarian Party.”

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