Current Chair

The Truth about being Chair:

Over the past year I’ve learned that being Chair has less to do with what I WANT, but instead how to get others activated and involved.  The most important thing I’ve learned is the meaning of what Nicholas Sarwark has said many times, the Chair is the least important person in the room.  We are an all-volunteer organization so the Chair needs to be able to listen and see what the volunteers, members and activists are interested in and then give them the ability to be involved in the things that interest them most.  The Chair needs to insure that during meetings all members have a voice no matter if I agree with them or not; the Chair’s opinion isn’t something that can be voiced.  I can discuss the direction I think the organization should go, but not make demands that things go the way I feel is best.  By listening to others and truly hearing their concerns I can lend information on the direction I think we should be going in a way that will engage new activists rather than chasing them away.

Another lesson I’ve learned is that it’s impossible to wear too many hats at once.  When I ran for Chair last year I admit I didn’t even consider that I had a chance at making it to the Top-Two in my State Assembly race, since it hadn’t been done since the Top-Two primaries were instituted in 2012.  I progressed to the General Election but unfortunately that meant I had to split my attention between my campaign and the state party.  Although I believe I’ve gotten a lot accomplished in the state I think I could have gotten more done if my efforts weren’t split.  Because of that I will not be running for any public office in 2020 but will instead focus on the state party and all of our candidates!  I will be running for Long Beach City Council in 2022 so I will not seek the office of Chair at the 2021 Convention.  I also believe that it’s a conflict of interest for the State Chair to be an officer in any one county organization or on the LNC so I won’t be seeking any position at either of those levels while serving as Chair.

Highlights of the accomplishments made during the last year:

  • In the past year the registered Libertarians in the state has soared!  I believe that many people in the state have had enough of the two “major” parties and are looking for an alternative; I believe we are that alternative and we need to reach out to all the voters of the state to insure they know who we are and what we stand for
    • Since the 2016 Presidential Election the number of registered Libertarians in California has increased almost 24%
    • In the final 45 days prior to the 2018 mid-term election the increase in registered Libertarians in California was 7,727 or 5.5%
    • The registered Libertarians in the state increased 6.5% overall in the period between January 2nd and October 22, 2018
    • The percentage of registered Libertarians over the past two years in many of the smaller counties is up more than 50%
    • Of the larger counties, San Diego County had an increase of 34% and Riverside County, where Jeff Hewitt was victorious, had an increase of 42%!
  • From 2017 to 2018 donations to the Libertarian Party of California has increased 211% and the net income has increased over 250%
  • From 2017 to 2018 donations to the Candidate Support Committee have increased 300%
  • I have worked closely with the Treasurer to streamline the tracking of County Dues Sharing liabilities and put in place a regular biannual distribution of dues sharing to the County Affiliates
  • I have worked closely with the Secretary to insure continuity after I was elected Chair and therefore vacated the position of Secretary
    • Worked with the Treasurer to simplify the process for providing all county affiliates the monthly membership totals; this process had previously taken approximately 2 hours and now the Secretary can complete this report in minutes
  • I was made aware of an issue with the IRS; the Party’s corporation type had been set up improperly many years ago so we were being told we were liable for many years of unfiled tax Returns
    • Worked closely with the Treasurer to get this straightened out; we are now listed properly as a Political Party and the IRS no longer is sending notifications for past due or future returns
  • In the past the Chair had contracted with fund-raisers for the Candidate Support Committee, therefore putting all the eggs into one basket; unfortunately these individuals raised a combined total of $0
    • Since becoming Chair the Candidate Support Committee has raised $25,972.55 with $13,985.80 raised year-to-date in 2019
    • At the June 2018 Executive Committee Meeting I put forth my proposal that I planned to hold fundraising events and reach out to donors in addition to contracting with any individual to do fundraising for the committee
    • Since becoming Chair we have held two fundraising events that raised a total of over $10,000 for the CSC (with eight additional Life Members, or $8,000, for the LPC) for a total of $18,000
    • I added additional members to the committee and named Tim Ferreira Director of the committee, therefore allowing him the ability to reach out to donors and plan events
    • I appointed Emily Tilford as the Treasurer of the Committee and have worked closely with her to insure we can work in the most effective way possible
      • The Committee was initially set up as an all-purpose PAC and therefore had limits on both donations and the amount we could spend on candidates; we changed the committee to a political party committee to remove those restrictions
      • Realized that having two FPPC committees for the party wouldn’t allow us to share funds between the two committees; we worked on a proposal that was approved by the ExCom to consolidate the two entities under one FPPC committee to solve this problem
  • Recognized that in the past there were no systems in place to attract volunteers or support the county affiliates
    • At the June 2018 ExCom meeting I created the Volunteer Committee and appointed Paul Vallandigham as Chair to insure that individuals that submitted volunteer forms through the state and national websites were contacted promptly and referred to their nearest group to get involved
    • After working with David Naranjo and Brent Olsen on the Affiliate Summit that was held at the 2018 Convention, I worked closely with them to plan an Affiliate event in Sacramento in August and create an Affiliate Support Committee to insure that the counties get the help they need to grow
  • Became aware that several social media assets were unable to be accessed which included our business management accounts
    • Over the past election season the party was unable to run ads as there was no access to the business account; I was able to regain access and add additional administrator so that going into the 2020 election season we will be able to promote both the party and our candidates
    • Was able to obtain access to 83 Facebook groups and immediately add additional administrators so that we will have continuity going forward
    • Reactivated the twitter account and worked to hand that off to a new volunteer who will get the account active after almost a year of being dormant
  • Have been invited to, and spoke, at several high schools leading up to the 2018 election; this was one of my favorite activities as I enjoy seeing the kid’s faces light up when they hear ideas that they weren’t previously aware of
  • I have been asked to write a bi-weekly Op-Ed for a local newsgroup that includes the Long Beach Press Telegram, the Orange County Register and the South Bay Daily Breeze; this is an amazing opportunity to get the party’s messaging to a wide variety of voters and I will begin writing these pieces in March