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From the President's Desk

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Christmas in New Hampshire

What a tremendous year! The FSP keeps going from strength to strength. This year, more than 1,500 participants signed up. Since August, we have clocked 55 new movers, with many others expressing their intent to move soon. And, that’s what we need: people on the ground, right here in New Hampshire, working on issues important to them individually in order to achieve Liberty in Our Lifetime.

2012 Has Seen the FSP Mature

Admin: Chris Lopez was hired as our part-time administrator, and immediately started making an impact. New signers now receive welcome packets, Friends of the Free State get the newly designed “Proven Strategy for Freedom” brochure, and our overseas supporters receive an email with more information about the movement. Chris also coordinates visitors, answers newbie questions, and provides phone support, in addition to other tasks. She is paid solely through donations, so please consider supporting this vital role. She makes a HUGE difference!

Marketing: New marketing and booth materials were designed, allowing the FSP to make a stand-out impact at outreach events. Typically, the FSP booth is the hopping spot at events, primarily, I believe, because the FSP offers one of very few, if not THE only viable solution to the question: “What’s next for the liberty movement?” We also overhauled the newsletter, started accepting Bitcoins, and a team of volunteers have been hard at work on social media fronts, where our support grows daily.

Internal Systems: Decentralization is grand, but in order for the FSP to thrive, systems need to be in place. The IT team built an “IT Help Desk,” Louis Calitz drafted an FSP Handbook, and all projects are now tracked on project management software.

Publicity: This summer, the FSP started working with new mover Kari dePhillips, owner of a successful PR firm. In November, we hosted a PR offsite where we trained volunteers to be more effective PR operatives. 2012 also saw more media interest and interviews with FSP participants, with stories ranging from jury nullification to anarchism, and everything in between.

Porcfest and Liberty Forum: Both educational outreach events were once again smashing successes, and my thanks goes to the organizers, Jason and Sharon Osborne and Chris Lawless, and their teams of amazing volunteers. Thank you for your hard work!

Big Plans for 2013-2014: Trigger the Move

You heard it here: We plan to Trigger the Move by December 2014. This means we need to recruit 6,000+ signers over the next two years, which averages to about 60 per week. Aggressive? Yes. Impossible? No.

How are we going to do it?

Free State Now: A new team, spearheaded by FSP movers JJ Schlessinger and William Kostric, is in place. Their plans include phone banking, an affiliate program, live/college outreach, a road tour, fundraising, and more. This is a worthy cause, and I hope you will support them when they launch early next year.

New website: A complete overhaul of the website is in progress, with Version 1.0 slated to launch this winter. This attractive, easy-to-use site will make signing up seamless, and will serve as a positive promotional tool for the FSP, especially as we aim to attract more high-level donors.

Fundraising: The FSP applied for 501c3 status this year, and we are eagerly awaiting the state’s response (they’re late, but of course!). Several foundations and other interested donors are lined up, their support contingent on this change in status. In the meanwhile, we continue to rely solely on your donations to fund all of our projects. The “Pay it Forward” campaign is currently underway, where your donation of just $35 goes towards recruiting a new signer.

Partnerships: We are working on very exciting plans with mover Aaron Day, CEO of The Atlas Society--more on this next year. We also continue to appreciate our relationships with organizations like the NHLA, Freedom Phoenix, Free Talk Live, and The Survival Podcast.

Merchandising: 2,000 FSP copper rounds were just delivered! Buy them today. We will also be casting silver rounds in the next few months, pre-ordering will be required. New FSP merchandise is also in the pipeline. Hoodies, anyone?

Advertising: To Trigger the Move, we have to aggressively ramp up our advertising. This will be one of the greatest expenses over the next two years. In addition to the Free State Now’s affiliate program, we need to advertise on high traffic libertarian websites like Lew Rockwell, and in print magazines like Reason.

Outreach: The FSP should continue to sponsor and speak at liberty-oriented conferences and events, such as Freedom Fest, Libertopia, and others.

Staffing: The FSP needs a full-time paid executive director (that’s me!). In typical chicken and egg fashion, we need to raise the funds to make this possible. If you are interested in supporting this endeavor, please contact me directly at president@freestateproject.org.

Of course, we will also continue to do what has been working in the past. Liberty Forum with Tom Woods as keynote speaker looks to be an educational blast. And, next year will be the 10th anniversary of Porcfest, so be prepared for big things there too.

Phew! This has been a very busy year for the FSP--especially considering all this was accomplished by volunteers--and the next two years will be even busier. When we Trigger the Move, imagine the influx of new movers with new ideas, capital, energy, and more. I know I can’t wait. And neither should you!

Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year! From me to you: may you have a peaceful holiday season and happy New Year!

Yours in peace and liberty,
Carla Gericke
FSP President

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Be Charitable and Win a VIP Ticket to Liberty Forum

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The Free State Project and Jack Spirko have teamed up to offer fans of The Survival Podcast a chance to win a ticket to the New Hampshire Liberty Forum in Nashua, NH, February 21-24, 2013.

You could win one of the following prize packages:
* Grand Prize is a VIP Pass to Liberty Forum, including all speeches and meals, VIP perks, and seats with Jack and Dorothy at Saturday night’s dinner.
* First Prize is a speeches and meals Liberty Forum ticket and seats with Jack and Dorothy at Friday night’s dinner.
* Second Prize is a speeches and meals Liberty Forum ticket.

To enter the contest, donate at least $10 to the cause or charity of your choice, above and beyond your regular charitable contributions. Then email libertyforum@freestateproject.org with the word "Community" in the subject line. Let us know the amount you donated, name of the charity, and your name, address and phone number. One entry per person; entries must be submitted by midnight EST on January 14.

At the Liberty Forum, hear Jack Spirko’s talk as well as his mini-session on “How to Pack a Bug-Out Bag.” In addition to Jack and Keynote Speaker Tom Woods, many other exciting speakers have recently been announced, including Cory Doctorow and Jeffrey Tucker. Check our website for the latest speaker announcements and register now, before early bird pricing ends.

The contest winners will be contacted by the Free State Project and have their first name and town announced on the Survival Podcast. Visit The Survival Podcast's page to learn more about the contest.

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We Made the Move: Zed and Aahz

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A few years ago, my father started listening to a radio show called Free Talk Live. I was 13 or so, and politics was something I never thought about. I knew who the president was and what school taught us about voting Republican or Democrat, but that was about it. My dad had always told me he was an anarchist and that meant he didn't believe in government. My mother worked with the state police department and I didn't understand how he could want her to be out of a job. How could he not want police? They keep us safe! After opening my eyes, things changed a lot.

Dad started talking to me about things he heard on Free Talk Live, asking thought-provoking questions like, “without government, who will build the roads?” I guess I had never realized before that taxes were stolen money, and although schools, food for unemployed neighbors, and roads were important, this was not the way to go about it.

My father had decided that when I was 18, he'd move to New Hampshire to join the fight for personal freedom and less government intervention in daily life. We started following stories of some liberty activists and I was outraged every time someone was arrested for a victimless crime. Even at 16, I wanted to do something to help. When I heard about the Bartholomew case and trial, it was time for me to take a stand.

The Bartholomew brothers, founders of Good Men Do Something, were arrested while holding a sign that said “Taxes = Theft” and wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Facing a misdemeanor for resisting/obstructing, their trial was only two hours away from us, so the next day Dad and I drove up and got a motel, ready to support these men we had never met but with whom we wholeheartedly agreed.

This was my first time observing a jury trial and seeing how the California court system worked. It was also my first time around any number of liberty activists. I can say confidently, I felt at home and I realized California was not the place for me to be. I didn't want to grow up there anymore. I wanted out. Now. After a two-day trial, Dad and I were driving home and in the car I blurted out, “I think it's time to move.” He was confused. I had never expressed an interest in moving to New Hampshire and it seemed quite random to him. We didn't talk about it much that day. He wanted me to think for a few days about what I'd be leaving behind and make sure I wasn't deciding on a cross-country move in the heat of the moment. It was definitely what I wanted.

Two months later, we had rented an apartment from a fellow liberty activist, shipped 22 boxes of our belongings away, hugged our family and friends goodbye and were on our way. Three weeks were spent on the road, traveling the country. We went on a showboat and a zip line and stopped at every little tourist trap we could find. We even went to a huge glass restaurant lined with hundreds of different sodas for purchase, and a 66-foot pop bottle out front!

July 3rd was the day we finally crossed into New Hampshire. We stopped in Keene and met some activists before making our way to our new apartment. By waking up in New Hampshire for the first time on July 4th, we were celebrating a true Independence Day! It felt good to be home.

Since then, I've jumped into many groups and done much activism. After noticing a hole in the liberty media market, I started PorcTeens, the only liberty-oriented podcast for teens, by teens. Dad and I have gone to several trials including Ademo's wiretapping trial, and participated in Shire Sharing’s Thanksgiving Basket Brigade for the first time. I'm so glad I made the move and that I made it when I did. This is where I belong, and I'm not going anywhere.

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December Outreach Round-up

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New Hampshire activists represented the Free State Project at the Maine Liberty Summit on December 15. Several people stopped to get information at the FSP table and expressed interest in attending Liberty Forum, and we even had a speaking slot! Antigone Darling of Sex, Lies, & Anarchy reached a crowd of over 100 liberty-minded Mainers with a speech about women in the liberty movement and secession. Free Stater and videographer JJ Schlessinger also spoke about using art, media, and blogs to change culture.

Our biggest outreach project this month was some good old fashioned snail mail. Organized by Chris Lopez, dozens of volunteers gathered to stuff, stamp, and seal welcome letters and other FSP information. Packets were sent to 1200 recent signers and Friends of the Free State Project who had requested more information. JJ Schlessinger was there to get the story and created this short video from footage taken on Envelope Stuffing Day.

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Nominate A Free Stater

The First Liberty Inspiration Award

Libertycandidates.com is sponsoring a new award this year and requesting nominations for people who showed positive effort and energy throughout the year in spreading the message of liberty. One can nominate up to three people by writing to express why your nominees are so award-worthy. If your nominee becomes one of the five award recipients, your comments will be published on libertycandidates.com for a full year and could even become part of a future anthology. Nominations must be sent by December 30.

So what amazing Porcupine do you think deserves this award? We’d start our list with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge of Free Talk Live, FSP President Carla Gericke, State Rep and local business owner Mark Warden, or Shire Sharing founder Amanda Bouldin -- but we could fill pages with the names of Free Staters who have inspired, helped, and enlightened their communities and are growing the liberty movement. More information about the Liberty Inspiration Award and nomination process can be found here.

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In New Hampshire

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Bested only by Maine and Vermont, New Hampshire is the third most peaceful state in the country, according to the Vision of Humanity’s United States Peace Index. If you value peace, looks like Arcadia is the place to be!

Shire Sharing’s Basket Brigade was a huge success, providing Thanksgiving dinners to over 650 impoverished New Hampshire residents. NPR’s All Things Considered reported on Shire Sharing and the ideas of voluntary charity in their piece entitled “N.H. Group Says People, Not Taxes, Should Help Needy.”

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In the News

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Read about the Foundation of New Hampshire Independence’s recent launch, covered by the Concord Monitor.

State Representative Mark Warden is featured in an introductory article about the Free State Project on newhampshire.com. It's the first article in a series that plans to explore the Free State Project from multiple angles.

Bill Walker wrote an article about the Free State Project for The Freeman, The Foundation for Economic Education’s print publication. Scroll to page 11 of the pdf to read.

Your Daily Dose of Armchair Activism

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If you’ve already signed, now it’s time to Pay it Forward! Donate $35 to help us reach others through advertising and outreach. Donations can be made through Paypal or using Bitcoin.

Website of the Month

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The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan, independent think tank focused on state and local public policy issues that affect the quality of life for New Hampshire’s citizens. The Center has core beliefs of individual freedom and responsibility, limited and accountable government, and an appreciation of the free enterprise system’s role in society. Check out the Center and follow political and economic news in New Hampshire from a common-sense, free-market perspective.

Facebook Page of the Month

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You already know about the New Hampshire Liberty Forum in February. Like Liberty Forum’s Facebook page and RSVP to the event, and be among the first to learn about newly announced speakers and other news.

Even More Social Media!

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Facebook not your thing? Join us on Google+

Some proactive Porcupines have started a Free State Project Pinterest account. Whether you’re looking for great shareable liberty quotes or stunning photos of New Hampshire scenery, visit our Pinterest page now!

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Handy FSP Links

If you've moved to NH or otherwise changed your info, please update your contact info or send a message to Moved@FreeStateProject.org to let us know.

Find NH job info on the website - post your resume & check the FSP forum for a job! Join the FSP Job Alert page on Facebook for up-to-date job listings.

Check out NH housing and other community & logistical information at NH Info.

Are you ready to join the FSP, move to New Hampshire and work with us towards Liberty in Our Lifetime? Join here!

And if you're planning a visit, email visitnh@freestateproject.org, and we'll be in touch.

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We Keep Growing and Growing...

As of 12/16/2012:

Participants: 13,471
Participants in NH: 1,118

As of 11/15/2012:

Participants: 13,139
Participants in NH: 1,106

As of 10/16/2012:

Participants: 13,000
Participants in NH: 1,097

As of 09/16/2012:

Participants: 12,762
Participants in NH: 1,082

As of 08/15/2012:

Participants: 12,542
Participants in NH: 1,063

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The Free State Project

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The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire. We are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in our Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people's rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else.

SIGN UP TODAY!

The work of creating and sustaining such a society in New Hampshire is the job of residents, including project participants, not the Free State Project itself.

The FSP does not endorse any specific changes to government or strategies to achieve them. The FSP does not take positions on issues, candidates, legislation, places to move within New Hampshire, tactics or methods of action. The one stipulation the FSP does make is that people who promote violence, racial hatred, or bigotry are not welcome.

Reporting by the FSP on participant activity or NH events on the website, in the newsletter, or in any other place does not represent support or endorsement and may not portray the diversity of opinions and activities that exists among participants.

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