Like Governor Rick Perry I was a cheerleader, and I’m excited about the opportunities to lead the growth in the liberty movement during the coming election year. So I sent out a letter to our state chapters to stir things up a bit and get us rolling as we go into this new season of amazing possibilities – DN
State Chapters, Let’s Get Moving!
RLC State Chapter Leaders:
It’s time for me to check in with some news and important opportunities.
First the news. As you may have heard, RLC Vice Chairman Aaron Biterman resgined last week. Aaron has a been a huge asset to the RLC in recent years, but he decided to leave so that he could pursue other interests which were incompatible with a prominent role in the organization. We really appreciate his contributions and we’ll all have to work harder to make up for his absence. A lot of that slack will be taken up by our outstanding Regional Directors who will be providing enhanced direct support and assistance to chapters in their regions.
In this long election season there are great opportunities and we need to step up on the state and national level to take advantage of them. A good example of this comes from the recent efforts of the Texas chapter to publicize some of the problems with Governor Rick Perry’s record through a press release which we picked up and promoted on the national level. The timing was excellent and it resulted in extensive media coverage, about 6000 shares of the press release on social media and a spike in traffic to the RLC website which has more than doubled the number of hits we’re getting per day.
To take advantage of the added exposure and potential for organizational growth we want to upgrade the national RLC website in a couple of ways.
First, we’re undertaking a redesign to make the site more accessible and more interractive. You can see the first phase of this in our new front page at www.rlc.org, though it’s still a work in progress and we’d welcome your suggestions.
We also want to upgrade the content on the site and this is where you come in. We need more news and more articles and more coverage of our chapters, with photos and videos if possible. If you’ve got some skilled bloggers in your area who write on liberty issues, we want to run their articles in our opinion section, so put them in touch with us. Even more important, we want news about your chapter and events in your state so we can promote them through the site and get your chapter the kind of attention our Texas chapter has been getting over the last week. Coverage on the national site drives traffic back to your site and helps grow your chapter.
We’re making this easy to do by configuring the national site to pick up any news you post on your state website from your RSS feed. For this to work you need to post new content to your state site on a regular basis and you need to have a site with a functional RSS feed. Right now too few states are updating their websites with news and other content on a regular basis and that needs to change. Nothing discourages interest in the organization more than going to the local chapter site and finding out of date information and old news.
Your chapter should be engaging in activism and promoting issues and you ought to be publicizing your efforts through your website. If you’re not doing this aggressively that’s a serious problem. If you’re only doing it face to face or through social media, then you need to take the time to put activity reports and important items on your website too. If you don’t have anything to report, then you need to start getting more involved in local activism and speaking out on issues. Don’t tell me there’s nothing to protest and nothing to raise a ruckus over. Government is exceeding its proper authority in every state and liberty is always under threat somewhere nearby.
Every chapter ought to have a member whose specific job is to promote the activities of the chapter, posting to the website, posting to social media and getitng the word out about what you’re doing. You also ought to be cultivating contacts in the local press. I’m tired of reading about Andrew Hemingway of the New Hampshire chapter on Google News every week. I want to see articles about other chapters and their prominent activists there too. If you need help with this, drop me a line and I’ll be glad to give some advice.
One very important opportunity for chapter activity is promoting the campaigns of liberty candidates in your state. We had over 400 state and federal endorsees in 2010 and from what I’ve seen so far we’re going to see even more promising candidates running for office in 2012. We need to get off our asses and start working on endorsements right now. There are going to be so many candidates to assess that we’re going to need every chapter working as hard as they can to find the good candidates, get them interviewed or have them fill out your state or national surveys and get the good ones endorsed before the primary season gets too far along.
If you don’t already have a survey to give to candidates running for state office, check out the examples from some of our other state chapters. And start getting the national survey out to candidates for federal office right away. We want to take at least as many seats in Congress as we took in 2010 and ideally twice that many more, so we need to find the candidates, sign them up and get them endorsed. A very useful resource in finding candidates in your state who have declared for office is politics1.com. Not only does it have pretty up to date candidate listings for top offices, but it also has links to your state governments pages which list filings for lower level office.
It’s time to do more than talk about liberty. This election is a time of extraordinary opportunities which we can’t afford to pass up. If we can’t grow the RLC into the dominant force in the liberty movement in the next 18 months we will have thrown away the greatest opportunity we’ve ever been given. As the RLC grows, liberty grows and it starts in the grassroots and rises to the national level. It all depends on you and your chapters. You are the movement, so get moving.