"The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Setting Up A Chapter or TEA Party

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO KICK-OFF A CHAPTER: 

1)      Organizing with a Kick-off meeting.

2)      Organizing with a Kick-off Tea Party.

Neither is difficult and the following outline will go a long way to assuring success.  These are observations of what has worked well in the past.  There is room for improvement and if you have some recommendations, please share them so we can help others.

STARTING A NEW CHAPTER: 

1)      You need to begin with a core group of dedicated patriots.  It somewhat depends on the size of the community and the more the better, I suggest at least six.  The larger communities will most likely already have a Tea Party organization.

2)      The first decision is to decide how you are going to kick things off.  You have two options; you can organize a Tea Party and then follow up a week or so later with an organizational meeting, or you can start with an organizational meeting.  Either way works it just depends on the circumstances.  A real small community may want to start with the organizational meeting first.

STARTING WITH AN ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: 

1)      Get some posters in the range of 30 X 24in. – 36 X 30in. and some cheap water base latex paints.  You will need the colors of Red, Blue, and a small amount of White (to hide mistakes).  Get the real cheap 3/4 or 1 inch foam brushes (nothing wider) and some paper towels.  Six people can do about 50 signs in 2 hours.  You may want to get some wire yard sign frames from a printer they are about 0.50 cents each.  Put two signs together and staple them together.

Try to apply a thin layer of paint so it will dry in a reasonable time.  We usually let them set overnight.

The more people the more signs the better.   We painted on them…

TEA PARTY                                                               FREEDOMMAKER

PLANNING MEETING                                          KICK-OFF MEETING

BOONVILLE  LIBRARY                                        BOONVILLE  LIBRARY

DATE & TIME                                                           DATE & TIME

YOU’LL COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT WILL WORK!  Try and get as much discount and free materials as possible.  Unlike ACORN and SEIU we don’t get government funds.  Print shops typically have waste runs and buy in bulk, give them a call.

Some business will allow you to put a poster in their windows.  Always try and patronize the store of patriots that support our causes.

After the event make sure someone picks up the posters.  They may be re-usable with some white paint touch up/

2)      Call the newspapers and the radio stations they will post a Public Service announcement for free.

3)      You need to email and call everyone you can, including the press.  In time some of these local folks may become good resources.

4)      The night of the meeting have a signup sheet.  Use legal size paper 8-1/2 X 14in. in landscape  (this allows plenty of room for email addresses)  Items on the signup sheet:

  1. Name
  2. Address (optional) but do ask for city
  3. Phone
  4. Email

Be sure and have one of the organizers read it right then for legibility (preferably the person that will be loading the data into and Excel sheet and email listing).

5)      The most important thing you can do is open the meeting with a prayer and pledge to the flag.  The second most important is to close the meeting with a prayer.  Keep in mind this is a civic organization with a job to do.

6)      Introduce the leadership and present the FreedomMaker curriculum at the first meeting.  Allow folks to stand up and voice their opinions.  Hold them to a couple of minutes or you’ll lose control.  Taking control politely is one of the most difficult things for new organizers.  You can appoint a time-keeper with the sole responsibility to start waving their hands in 2 minutes.    The first meeting should be held to not longer than an hour and a half. There will be a lot of questions and some folks will want to stay over and talk so try and schedule the meeting place for an hour or so longer than the meeting.

Don’t be discouraged if people do not open up, it will happen.  Schedule the next meeting.

7)      The next meeting is to start laying out the task groups and assigning responsibilities.  Begin a group discussion on having a Tea Party and or other events.  You can also have a speaker present.  At the third meeting try and have the County Clerk present on the election process.

8)      You’ll need a website to contact everyone.  There are some free sites and some that charge (like FaceBook).  Make sure you provide written instructions on the use of the website for the new members.  Also have an official greeter that welcomes new members when they sign up on the site.

9)      FreedomMakers is about redefining the way we look at candidates.  It is not to support any political party.  Regardless of the party when in power they failed us.  Our task is to encourage candidates who will support the constitution and in the process reform both parties.  There are those who will try and hijack it and try and make it a political rally for their party… Don’t let this happen.

 STARTING A TEA PARTY: 

1)      Reserve the area.  You may have to get a permit and might have to purchase insurance.  If there is food sold or other items it may require a permit.

2)      See #1 above except this time it say something like:

TEA PARTY

APRIL 15TH

3:00 PM

COURTHOUSE

3)      Call the newspapers and the radio stations they will post a Public Service announcement for free.

4)      You will need a good sound speaker PA system.  This is one of the major tasks you will encounter.   Don’t scrimp here.  The PA systems with the big horn that auctioneers use will work and are more durable.  One of these will handle a crowd of say 200.  If it gets bigger you’ll need more.  Sometimes these type systems can be connected together.  Three of four of these spread apart will do a large crowd of 1 to 2 thousand.  You may be able to work with a local auctioneer by acknowledging them at the event for allowing the use of their equipment.

The typical system PA audio speaker a JD has is good for a group of around 500.  Their systems may not be waterproof so make sure you’ve discussed this with them so they can have shelter or you have a backup plan.  The last thing you want is for them to bug-out on you at the last minute.

5)      Other items you will need are tables, chairs, legal size sign-in sheets and pens to sign-in people (get those contacts).   A podium for the presenters.  An American flag.  A cooler of bottled water.  Trash bags (ask people to pick up around them).  If it’s going to be an all day event and you may need porta-pottys.

6)      How long an event?  That depends on a lot of factors.  Temperature:  If it is real cold or real hot, limit it to an hour or so.  Do you have restroom facilities?  If not limit it to a couple of hours.  Are there other events going on like lunch and restrooms available.  Quality of presenters is also an issue if you have big names people will stay.  The circumstances dictate the length. I had rather have folks leave soon and be upbeat about the event than for it to run too long and have folks burn out.

7)      Organize your speakers and know how long they are going to speak.  If they have a planned presentation that helps.  Where you will get in trouble is when someone is winging it.  Get an agreement up front on how long they plan to speak and how you will let them know their time is up (if they are doing a fantastic job maybe let them speak a little longer).  Let them know this is not a political party rally (see item #8).

8)      Be sure and have a meeting scheduled and let folks know when and where.  Let them know about the sign-up sheet and the website.  Ask if there is anyone from a different community that needs organizing.  If so invite them to talk with you or someone after the rally.  This is a great time to raise money if you have items to sell.

9)      The most important thing you can do is open the rally with a prayer and pledge to the flag.  The second most important is to close the rally with a prayer.  You can also want to plat the National Anthem (have a sing-along).  You may also want to play some patriotic music in the background.

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