New Leadership, New Direction for a New Year
The Richmond Tea Party has embarked on a new direction with fresh faces in 2012. This year will be about communication and elections. If we don’t make a difference in Virginia and national politics—especially as a battleground state for the presidential race—we might as well pack up and go home. Yet, with the vigor and vitality that we have come to know from the thousands of supporters just in the Greater Richmond area, we have the hope and expectation that We the People will make a difference…and a lasting impression.
Throughout this year, you our supporters will be hearing lots more from the Richmond Tea Party. Obviously, during the next 60 days, we will inform you about the latest on events at the General Assembly and ask you to engage your legislators. During that time, you will hear about the effort to collect thousands of signatures to put our very own Jamie Radtke’s name on the ballot for the Republican primary in June. You will hear about our effort to turn out the vote for Jamie on June 12. In the middle of that, we will let you know about the annual Tax Day Rally, but at a new location and with a fresh day of events. And throughout the year, we will inform you about what you can do to elect a candidate to the US presidency that will truly represent Tea Party principles. So, stay tuned and get involved.
To help us through all this and to make the Richmond Tea Party a much nimbler organization, one more responsive to its supporters, we have taken the bold step of appointing a new executive director, Phil Rapp. A retiree from the international corporate world, he brings time, steadfastness, and organization skills necessary to guide us along this path, ensuring that our day-to-day operations flow more smoothly and efficiently and that we meet the short- and long-term goals we set. We have also appointed three additional people to round out the cadre of corporate officers: Andreanna Anastasiou as assistant executive director; Julie Serfass as secretary, and Mike Muldowney as treasurer.
The Board from 2011 will return and be joined by real estate developer, Phil Scott. In addition, government affairs consultant Joe Guarino will be serving as the new chairman.
Turning to elections, last November, we joined other Tea Partiers across Virginia in electing several new Tea Party-minded legislators to come to Richmond to reduce the size of government, cut spending, and push the feds back to their constitutional boundaries. Today marks the beginning of the General Assembly’s 60-day session. Instead of wiping our hands and leaving the legislators to themselves, we will be holding them accountable and following through on the fruits of our labor during the 2011 election cycle. We will be watching and talking closely with the numerous delegates and senators who agree with the Tea Party and who will not engage in politics as usual.
This year will prove to be a pivotal watershed on many fronts. America is being presented with a clear choice: will we continue in the direction of expanding government influence in and control over every aspect of our lives, or will we finally turn around and go in the opposite direction of less government influence and control, freeing the American people to innovate and provide for themselves and each other?
Richmond Tea Party has chosen the latter. Until three years ago, many of you had never engaged in the political process but decided to get involved and support our efforts by attending or writing checks. That’s good and a step in the right direction. We hope that you will take the next step and get active, helping us free our nation and protect our children’s future from an intrusive government that wants to control everything. Stay tuned for opportunities to get engaged and make 2012 the year America turns back to freedom.
The Board of the Richmond Tea Party