As most of you know, patriot groups have been encouraging people to become precinct delegates. I have filed to run in my county. I was surprised to find out that delegates are elected during the primary on August 3 and turn around and go to their county convention on August 12!

This gives them a mere 9 days to understand the process and decide who to vote for as the state delegates for their county. With so little time, it will be easy for the party regulars to overwhelm the newcomers. That is, unless we plan and organize!

I have created a website for new delegates to connect and organize at the local level as well as share information across districts. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share this information with anyone you know who has filed. If we want our grassroots conservatives to be truly successful, we need to educate and organize ourselves.

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Comment by patriotm1 on May 14, 2010 at 4:43am
Some things to help navigate or participate in county conventions, etc.

1.) Get a copy of the agenda in advance of the meeting to see the stages and get an idea of goals, etc. If the Tea Party has a meeting objective, meet before the convention to develop strategy -- the other groups are doing it. A small group of well informed and organized individuals can produce results.

2.) Learn a few basics of parliamentary procedure (Robert's Rules) -- entrenched powers know how to use these rules to control the meeting and affect outcomes to their advantage. It's beneficial to know when and how to address the Chair, conduct business from the floor, call the question, timing and procedure to advance planks, etc.

3.) Work the crowd. A lot can be learned by approaching other folks and asking questions or idly chatting. It adds to the experience beyond sitting and watching. There may be a lot of positioning and "block voting" and you can get a feel for the flow.

4.) Meet face-to-face in advance with at least 1-3 delegates that have attended prior conventions and will be going with you.

5.) If possible, get to know your political party's (Dem, GOP) county structure and some activities, etc. Visit their web site if nothing else. Look for names and pictures to help place the faces.

6.) As you mentioned, learn about the candidates and key issues. Developing a delegate consensus on worth candidates prior to the convention may be helpful if the objective is to bring meaningful change to the electoral process by bringing the best candidates forward -- even if they are not experienced. In many cases, a candidate's experience in office may not be as important as their decision making skill sets and background. Finding a candidate that can get a firm grasp on tough issues is not always easy. It's a challenge to get beyond skin deep.

7.) Next steps. Delegates can go on in the process and attend conventions after the county conventions. Example: state and national conventions. Delegates will need to win convention elections to get to the next level. New delegates to the county convention may want to throw their hat in the ring for county party seats or committees to take place during the convention or after the convention in the case of an ongoing commitment to county party participation. Know in advance what spots may be up for election and if precinct delegates want to really get involved. Again, devise a strategy. The process can be fun -- especially if there is a real point to being there.
Comment by Jennifer_MI on May 11, 2010 at 10:19pm
Yes, we are just getting started, but will be working out a plan over the coming weeks. My initial effort will be to get members to request lists of the candidates in each of the counties so we can reach out. I am also gathering a list of folks who are willing to share their experiences and teach all us rookies the ropes. I hope to then start scheduling face to face and some kind of online meetings. Stay tuned. Thanks for your support!
Comment by Sharon Lollio on May 11, 2010 at 2:53pm
I just checked your site out Jennifer but noticed you have no events planned.

Are you planning on holding meetings to address the problem about the "mere 9 days"?

I totally agree with your point but just wondering if you have a plan. I talked to a couple of folks (in the know) who said they would be happy to sit down and walk the newly elected delegates through the process.

Get back with us so we know what your plan is and promote your educational program.

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