We wanted to share some of the pictures from the inaugural event hosted by the Arizona Freedom Project last Friday. Thank you to everyone who came out. There will be more. See you tonight at 4:30 p.m. on the corner of Speedway and Tucson Boulevard for the Tucson Tea Party Protest!
Our Flag Day street protest was HOT! HOT! HOT! with a turnout of over 60 people I was hoping for more than just myself standing alone on a street corner and as always the amazing patriots I have grown to know and care for in Southern Arizona showed up. Thank you to all that attended. Pictures to come soon.
We have also received many status requests on the Arizona Freedom Project. Jennifer and I are humbled by the enthusiastic response we have received concerning this new organization and we would like to share with you a rundown on where we are on our first few days after founding the Arizona Freedom Project:
Goal: 50 people on the mailing list.
Currently, we have 49. Somebody needs to step up and enter their address into the box on the upper left hand corner. All addresses have been opted in, via sign up form or the webpage.
Currently at 39. Ahead of schedule here, thanks for your support. More activity is certainly appreciated.
Goal: 10 followers.
We set up the twitter account and will begin to start using it. If you are active on twitter, please follow us at @AZFreedomProj.
Check, and it rocks:
We feel like the Gila Monster is the perfect mascot for the Arizona Conservative. It is beautiful, remarkable, and generally just wants to be left alone. However, if cornered or bothered, he will bite and tenaciously cling to his position until the matter is resolved.
Still needs A LOT of help. Working on it. We own all possible permutations of the domain, which makes us happy. Look for many more updates. If you have any expertise in this area and wish to help, let us know.
This is an important step, our hope is not to overshadow any of the good currently being done here in Southern Arizona and throughout the state, but only to help use our expertise gained over the past several years to help shine a spotlight on the important issues facing our state and nation. This cannot be done effectively without making our presence known through events and outreach.
Our initial fundraising goal is $1000 and as we will be a 501c4, donations are not tax deductible, but can be made in any amount. We must also collect your name as this info will be reported to the IRS (we know, we know. . .) Ideally this information should not be in the public domain (but, again, IRS. . .) Donations can also be made via the online link . If you wish to donate by check, I will gladly stop by and pick up anything you wish to donate. Just contact me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most importantly though, your donations of time, energy and shoe leather is always welcome and appreciated.
Events: We are now working towards our next event which we would like to host in July. This should be in an auditorium and should be able to hold 500+ people. It will be timely and interesting and well worth your time. In order to host the event, we will need a little cushion from our fundraising as, although we are always cost effective, we will need to rent the venue and provide event insurance. Once the insurance, location, and speakers are locked up, we will give you the details. Conclusion:
There is a lot of information and details in this post, but we want all of our supporters to understand as well as help create an organization we are sure will be an effective tool to help gain exposure for conservatives throughout this great state. If we have a goal, we want others to know about it and help if they can. We are forever indebted to those that have always supported our efforts and helped us make a difference where we could. Building this organization is a team effort, and, with your help, we have all accomplished things that have never been replicated before or since. Again, thank you for your help, and we will keep you updated.
Four years ago, after seeing what was happening with our country, my wife Jennifer and I got together with some friends and decided to have a barbeque and discuss politics. That barbeque turned into this:
More than 4000 turned out for that first event on April 15th, 2009.
And from there, things got crazier:
8000 showed up for an event at Kino Stadium in October of that same year.
And for the next 3 years, through good times and bad, through success and disappointment we had hope and influence in places where it had been scarce. We met wonderful people, made lifelong friends and learned A LOT.
However, there was a built in flaw to the system. We had previously never intended to create a sustained political organization, and as the rest of America is now finding out, doing so was all but forbidden as a result of the IRS not allowing new Tea Party Groups to obtain 401c status.
As a practical matter this meant that our organization could not raise money in a manner consistent with traditional political groups. Larger donors simply won't give to a group without 401c status, and the tax implications for holding a large reserve of money were far too onerous both from pure taxation as well as a preparation and reporting standpoint. Because of this, we were forced to collect money as we went, put many items on our credit card, and pray for the generosity of people at the events.
Fortunately, people were very generous and we were able to do great things. There was, however, more things that we wanted to do but were not able to do under the restrictions that we had. These things have always bothered us and often made us wonder "what if. . ."
After three years, Jennifer and I, took a break from organizing due to the stresses of shoe string financing and the national spotlight that occurred after the tragedy of January 8th. We also needed time to spend with our family (since expanded) and refocus on my small business. The Tucson Tea Party rolled on under new management, but still saddled with the same development issues as before.
After the developments of last month, that which we in the Tea Party have known for years became common knowledge to America. Because of this, we now have an opportunity to do something we couldn't before. Make no mistake, we never required special treatment, only equal treatment. Jennifer and I are going to found a 501c4 group, the Arizona Freedom Project.
We don't intend to replace the Tucson Tea Party, we intend to supplement and reinvigorate it and other groups. In three years, Jennifer and I had the opportunity to do things, with your support, that other people will never get a chance to do. We learned many, many, lessons of what to do and what mistakes never to make again. Most importantly, however, we developed a Rolodex of the best Patriots Southern Arizona has to offer, and we know what you are capable of.
We will update you on our progress, our struggles, and our great upcoming events focused on issues facing our community, state and nation. We will also keep a log on the day to day status of our 501c4 application. Most importantly, we will be asking, once more, for your assistance.