The counter now stands at more than 13,000 signers! Imagine: if YOU recruit ONE person in the next year, we’d be done! Done with the “paperwork,” not with our mission: getting MOVERS to New Hampshire, and having those individuals change the world--or a tiny little piece of it!
This month, I was honored to attend not one, but two, Atlas Shrugged II premieres. The first, very swanky, very exclusive, was held at the Ronald Reagan Building in D.C., where I got to rub shoulders with the who’s who of the Beltway libertarian crowd. Watch ReasonTV clip (I’m at 2:00: “We’re building Galt’s Gulch!”). Due to the generosity of two FSP board members, this trip didn’t cost the FSP a dime. Thank you to Jody Underwood for donating miles and Seamas O’Scalaidhe for putting me up (putting up with me?).
The other premiere, held in Nashua, NH, before the movie’s general release, was equally wonderful, with speeches, drinks and dinner, and goodie bags containing an FSP-branded copper round. This event was a collaboration between the FSP, state legislators (spearheaded by George Lambert), and The Atlas Society, whose CEO, Aaron Day, is an FSP signer and MOVER. We will be sharing a clip from this event, including a speech by Speaker of the House William O’Brien, on our Facebook page and in next month's newsletter.
Two new movers have stepped up to volunteer, grabbing the proverbial “do” in “doer” by the horns. First, Kari DePhillips, featured in this month’s “We Made the Move” column, and co-owner of The Content Factory, will be taking the lead on FSP public relations. Next, Becky Anderson, who blogs at The New Porcupine and, along with her husband, has been making waves on Facebook with the Goldman Sachs 2012 satirical campaign, has taken on the role of newsletter editor. She will be building on the new format, and I look forward to continuing to work with her.
Other volunteers did a ton of outreach this month. Ron Paul’s Frigging Giant, Chris Lawless attended Liberty Fest II in New York City and Jody Underwood attended Libertopia in San Diego. Read more about their experiences below. Chris also spearheaded FSP volunteer outreach at the launch of Atlas Shrugged at various theaters throughout the country. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped! Interested in doing some outreach yourself? Download fliers here.
Our social media presence continues to explode. A volunteer experimented with paid advertising on Facebook. Curious? Check out the stats. Maybe you’d like to try something similar? Also, remember when you are couch surfing, drop a link to the FSP website online where appropriate. It’s a simple, cost-effective way to help get the word out.
Catch Ron Paul’s recent endorsement of the FSP on Free Talk Live. Dr. Paul had many kind things to say, including: “I love the idea of the Free State movement and hopefully they can set the example for others to follow."
And that’s it, that’s what it is all about. Being an example through our actions, through our interactions, through personal responsibility, through persuasion not coercion. In order for us to build Galt’s Gulch, or whatever you envisage, we need more bodies.
Now, with the elections coming up, those involved in local politics--be they movers or like-minded locals--reaffirm this to me daily. We need more people. More people to sign and move. More people to build the beacon of liberty. Help me make this happen!
Yours in peace and liberty,
President, Free State Project
We are happy to announce that registration is now live for Liberty Forum 2013, happening February 21st through 24th at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua, NH. Register soon to take advantage of early-bird discounted pricing.
If you’re considering joining us in the “Live Free or Die” state but have concerns about the weather, attending Liberty Forum is an excellent reason to come see what winter is all about. Spend a weekend having intelligent conversation, making merry with new friends, and taking in thought-provoking speeches and panel discussions, and you’ll barely even notice the chill in the air!
Celebrating its 6th year, Liberty Forum is New Hampshire’s premiere liberty-oriented conference. In the past we’ve hosted Ron Paul, Stephan Molyneux, Dr. Mary Ruwart, Joel Salatin, and many more speakers who have done much for the liberty cause. Stay tuned for the latest announcements about the 2013 speakers. This year’s theme is “Made in New Hampshire,” so expect a focus on local achievements, innovation, and community.
We are working hard to open up hotel registration and rooms should be available at the special conference rate by the end of this week. Visit our website’s Liberty Forum 2013 page to register and find out more, including details for interested Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Volunteers.
Liberty activists in Manchester, NH are giving thanks this holiday season for the freedoms we still have -- in particular, the freedom to engage in private charity. Last year, Shire Sharing, a new charitable organization founded by early movers in the Free State Project, raised private funds to provide Thanksgiving dinners to over 170 impoverished people in New Hampshire. This year's goal is to touch the lives of at least 600 individuals. Volunteers aim to use the generous donations conservatively by buying in bulk, buying wholesale, and using coupons whenever possible.
Shire Sharing was founded on the concept that charity afforded through taxation is not charity at all, but theft. The small, grassroots organization has seen a tremendous outpouring of support in its second year. Within the first 5 days of fundraising, over $2,500 had been donated by liberty activists and supporters nationwide. The goal is $4,000. The meals include all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings; a turkey for each family and even foil, a pan, and a recipe for cooking the turkey. Last year's average cost was $6 per person -- so what you might spend on Taco Bell tomorrow will afford one impoverished person in New Hampshire a lavish, traditional, heart-warming Thanksgiving dinner.
If you would like to be a part of this incredible effort, learn how you can volunteer or donate at Shire Sharing’s website, where you will also find information about Shire Sharing's past projects and video of last Thanksgiving's charity outreach.
I signed on for the Free State Project when I was a sophomore in college, and it took me almost 10 years to make the move from Pittsburgh, PA. When my husband and I moved to Lincoln last month, we knew we had made the right decision. Once we walked through the door of our new home, we realized that the 14.5 hours we spent driving in a car with two not-sedated-enough cats and an impatient 90-lb dog were well worth the effort.
Our rental came fully furnished, so we didn’t have much to move in. However, we did have some beds to move out to make room for office space – and several people offered to make the drive upstate to help. Mark Edge and Ian Freeman were two of them, and it’s not every day you get two nationally syndicated radio hosts in your house moving furniture around! Thanks again to everyone who helped, and we still have plenty of beer left over if anyone wants to come up for a visit.
There are a lot of advantages to living in New Hampshire. For one, I haven’t been bored once since I’ve been here. Hiking, biking, taking photos of the foliage, dodging moose and making fun of tourists with the townies are keeping us busy. Soon we’ll have election-related activities to participate in, and the only problem is that there are so many FSP people running for office that it’s hard to choose just one or two to help out. We went to the Atlas Shrugged premiere in Nashua last week and got to meet tons of new (and awesome) people in the liberty community. I even managed to take a picture with Ron Paul’s mythical giant, although I’m still looking for his leprechaun friend.
If there’s a heaven, I’m pretty sure it looks a lot like New Hampshire. It’s absolutely gorgeous here. I’ve already noticed the difference in the sales tax – when you buy something at the store, you actually pay the same price that’s on the tag! The liquor stores practically give away Mark West Pinot Noir and lobster is cheaper than ground beef (albeit the extra lean kind). Every restaurant we try becomes our new favorite: the Common Man has replaced the Gypsy Café, which replaced the Woodstock Inn.
Speaking of favorites, our new favorite charitable project is Shire Sharing, which is run by FSP participants and aims to provide Thanksgiving food for 600 needy families this year. If you haven’t yet, please check out their Facebook page and donate a few dollars – they’ll definitely be put to good use. The FSP community has been incredibly welcoming and supportive, and Joe and I look forward to being a part of it for a long time.
Thank you to the organizers of Libertyfest III in New York City for inviting the FSP to participate. Chris Lawless (a.k.a. Ron Paul’s Freaking Giant) joined a diverse group of speakers to represent the Free State Project. Chris addressed a very crowded room, speaking of the need for libertarians to unite over common issues rather than debate over the differences. Chris often referred to New Hampshire’s large liberty community in his talk, but found he didn’t have to give much background on the Free State Project because prior speakers frequently used it as a positive example in their talks!
We have been experimenting with new ways of advertising via Facebook. A $200 one-month campaign garnered positive results.
▪ Ad was viewed 580,049 times (95,090 reach x 6.1 frequency)
▪ Ad received 2,231 clicks
▪ 1,505 new people "liked" our page as a direct result of the advertising
Please contact us if you would like to sponsor future Facebook advertising campaigns. They really help spread the liberty message!
Ask Better Questions
Jody Underwood Reports from Libertopia 2012
Beautiful and sunny San Diego is where I attended my first Libertopia, now in its the third year. Coming from PaulFest in Tampa, where it seemed like every third person signed the FSP pledge, I was hoping to get a similar response at Libertopia, though I knew it was less likely.
Most of the people had heard of the FSP, and nearly all of them support the idea -- at least in theory. Some had already signed the pledge and were waiting for the 20,000 figure to be reached before moving. (My advice? Don’t wait, we are making history already.)
Others had one reason or another why they couldn't move to New Hampshire, usually involving issues with families, friends, and spouses. Careers and the weather didn't seem to come up as much.
The bad news is that the message needs to be made a little more compelling. (We need to change some of those “yes, but…” responses to “yes, so…” responses.) But, the good news is these people have enough integrity not to pledge to do something that they have no intention of doing. Which means they're the kind of people we want to recruit!
In the end, we got five people to sign the pledge, and four people to sign up as “friends.” (Signing up as a friend doesn't commit you to anything, but you get the newsletter, which may eventually get people to sign up!)
Mike and Vanessa Finger, 2011 movers now on a road trip across the country, get credit for at least half of the signers, so kudos and thanks to them for joining me during their tour.
As part of my recruiting strategy, I gave a talk about Bardo Farm (where I live), sustainability (one of the goals we're pursuing there), my move to New Hampshire (how did a city girl from Brooklyn girl end up here?), and how the Free State Project turns out to be one of the keys to supporting the movement towards healthy, natural, local food, and sustainability.
Did it work? Well, one person signed the pledge immediately after the well-attended talk, which generated a lot of interesting conversation during the Q&A. Many went away with a new appreciation for how dangerous and far-reaching some of the laws governing the production and sale of food really are.
I attended other talks, most of which seemed to center around the theme of anarchy, given by people who had had enough of government. Some of the speakers have set up primary residences in other countries, because they find it easier to 'live free' in those places, which include Mexico (Jeff Berwick), Argentina (Doug Casey), and Chile. These individuals travel regularly and live the lives they want to live -- inspiring, if not particularly in line with the FSP’s approach.
The best speaker at the event, I thought, was Roslyn Ross, who spoke in a very organized and compelling way about libertarian relationships, couched in a philosophy of parenting. Look for her -- she's a rising star.
The best advice I received came from Butler Shaffer, who suggested you shouldn't go to these events hoping to find answers. You should, instead, go in order to learn to ask better questions.
Thinking about this made me realize that I tend to go to talks to learn more about topics that I am on the fence about, like whether Intellectual Property makes sense, or whether to vote. And indeed, I did not come to any conclusions about these at Libertopia. But I did come away with some questions about the extent to which I'm living my life as I want to live it--questions that in the long run will probably prove more valuable than the answers I was hoping to find.
The site was scenic, with talks in the morning, and exhibits all afternoon, and parties and entertainment in the evenings. I saw old friends and made some new ones, including some who will be coming to visit Bardo Farm. What more could I ask for?
Oh, right--more dancers. A couple of bands made me get up and dance, and, sadly, no one joined me. Maybe next year, I'll go back and give one of my workshops on dancing as a path to personal and political freedom. In the meanwhile: dance like no one is watching, and question everything. Who knows? The answer for you might be with thousands of others in New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.
PorcCalendar is the best place to find out about pro-liberty events happening in New Hampshire. It's easy to submit your own events to this comprehensive event calendar.
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
As of 06/15/2012:
▪ Participants: 11,833
▪ Participants in NH: 1,035
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.