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Getting Involved in Your Party

Glenn Reynolds, the famed Instapundit, wants people to know that they can make a difference nationally by getting involved locally. As linked by Ed Morrissey at HotAir, Reynolds notes:

You might join a political party — many small-government activists are trying to take over the Republican (and some even the Democratic) Party at the grassroots level and work from the bottom up, from the precinct to the state level.

It’s surprisingly easy to get involved in politics locally, and you can acquire responsibility and influence quite rapidly if you’re good with people and willing to put in the work.

The parties have a similar structure, mostly dictated by state law at this point. State chairs, district and county chairs, sometimes are separated by more layers from the grass roots level. But the grass roots is almost always something called a Precinct Committeeman.

The PCs are usually elected by the primary voters in a party. They in turn vote on the higher offices in a given party.  But here’s the big secret: nationwide, about half of these slots are empty. When empty, either fewer people vote for the higher offices, giving those who do vote more power, or the incumbent (e.g., county chairman) gets to vote for himself by proxy.

We at the Precinct Project have been trying to get principle-driven, constitutional conservatives to join the major pary of their choice by becoming Precinct Committeemen. Really, we don’t care which one you choose: both parties need to be more influenced by conservatives.

Browse about the site and you’ll see instructions for contacting your county chairman and offering to help.  Probably the chairman is overworked and underpaid, because he’s a volunteer, and will welcome the help. But if you get stonewalled, you can contact me (@lheal) or the Project main account (@PrecinctProject) on Twitter, and we’ll get to the bottom of things.

Despite what you may have heard, the parties are not the same. They are just weak, and controlled by incumbents who make the laws circumscribing what the parties can do. What is needed is for ordinary citizens to get off their couches and spend a couple of hours a month regenerating the party structures.  If we do that, the politicians will sit up and take notice, because we will engage the people in their government once again.

Originally published July 4, 2011.

Comments

  1. Tim Williams said

    Jul 28, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    Hi. I am the political director for the Clark County Republican Party in Nevada and would like to work with you on the precicnt organization here if possible. We are currently putting together our precinct organization and am reviewing your materials as I have been building the material from scratch. My number is (702) 427-7807. Thanks Tim.

  2. Craig "Cragar" Miller said

    Aug 10, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    I am SSgt. Craig “Cragar” Miller USMC 1981-1989 Medically Retired. I am a staunch Constitutionalist & Fiscal Conservative. I am also 100% disabled and hold a disabled Veterans status as well. I am very well spoken & take part in motivational speaking. I am also a Co-page owner of the face book home page ROE-(Rules of Engagement) US Military & very active in keeping myself in contact with my Missouri State Representative Congressmen Todd Akin & Senator Claire McCaskill as well as select members of the Armed Services Committees. I reside in St. Charles, Missouri 63301. Please contact me via email with others involved with the Precinct Project in my area. I would be privileged to become active as soon as possible in whatever capacity that would better use my talents and expertise. Kindest regards..

  3. Craig, I’d contact your the local political party of your choice and get involved directly. That contact info may be easily available on Missouri’s state party web site. If not, and you know a local official in St Charles (city or county), call them up and ask for the contact information of your party’s county chairman.

    Also, sign up for FreedomWorks FreedomConnect at connector.freedomworks.org. They have a geolocator that lets you easily find nearby activists.

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