Sunday, October 10, 2010
One of the amazing things about the Virginia Tea Party convention is the fact that the efforts were 100% volunteer. Not one person involved got paid a single dime. I have been to quite a few conventions in my day, and this one went off without any noticeable problems. I am sure that behind the scenes things were crazy at moments over the two days, but the attendees didn't notice them. That is quite an accomplishment.
This convention had world wide eyes watching it. There was international press there from several countries, am I not sure exactly how many, but it was at least three countries; Finland, of all places being, one. The pressure to make everything go smoothly must have been enormous for the Tea Party Confederation. Virginia has a good organization of the different tea parties around the state. They have conference calls regularly and keep everyone else informed on the events that are going on around the state.
One of the things that I found very amusing at the convention was how many people I knew or at least recognized. I hung out briefly with a woman that I was sitting with at the 9.12 rally. She was unable to attend the conference due to work constraints but did come out for the party Friday night.
My point being, don't be afraid to help the tea parties in your state to stay connected with one another, even if you are working some different issues. We are never going to agree on everything and the autonomy of the different groups is a good thing, not a bad thing. The issues in your local communities are going to differ and the local groups can deal with the issues that are important to that specific area. There is so much to do that individual groups working on different issues is a plus not a negative. We will get much more accomplished if stay tuned into our local issues first.
The Virginia Tea Party Convention can be used as a building block for other states. Help your state organize your own convention, it will be easier now that the Virginia one is now over and has been successful. We were able to get the speakers to help draw the patriots. Our local politicians came and spoke on the issues that we care about, and it wasn't all love and roses. Our Governor was asked some difficult questions about our budget and spending. I am sure that our coordinators will be happy to give some tips.
Don't be afraid, get out there and help organize. Don't think that your neighbors are not interested in direction of the country. If you don't have a local tea party in your area, build one. It can be as simple as putting up some flyer's around your town announcing a date and time and get together to discuss your concerns. You will be amazed at how many will show up. I remember thinking the first time I went to an event that not too many people would be there, as I live in not just a liberal area, but a progressive area. We had a house full and it has just grown. We had about 2,000 people show up over the weekend from all over the state. I personally know many that were not able to make it for a variety of reasons, some of which were that they needed to go out and canvass for upcoming election. I also met two people that didn't even live in Virginia but came because of their concerns and didn't have much going on in their own states.