Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Libertarian Party of Snohomish Co. Convention 2017 in WA

Libertarian Party of Snohomish County Washington 2017 Convention
Libertarian Party of Snohomish County Washington 2017 Convention
I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Snohomish County Libertarian Party Convention hosted by the current County Chair elect Anthony Welti on Saturday February 25th, 2017. His leadership abilities showed strong with his opening speech. He had done really well with the Gary Johnson 2016 campaign and became a strong member of the Libertarian Party. Anthony gave a pledge of liberty being restored and kept in the county.
David Traynor the LPWA chair spoke after the introduction that Welti gave. Traynor gave a rundown of Libertarian candidates who have ran in the State since 2012. In 2012 we had only Gary Johnson on the ballot, 4 in 2013, 14 in 2014, 25 in 2015 and in the most current election cycle we had 32 in the primary, 3 that made it to the general. He talked about a 200 percent membership growth within  the State party with paid membership and 80 percent on the national level. We are on the top 10 percent in national membership in the country. He had highlighted the growth of the party and the continuance of growth in the party. New upstart city and county parties are to come. “The power of the party is in your hands, it starts in your home, it starts in your precinct, your city, your county! You aren’t a cog in the machine, you are the machine!” David states in regards to our principles of personal accountability and responsibility. He states that the State membership dues will be given amongst the county parties to use them to gain stronger communities.
Then they got down to business and had some nominations. We have the newly elected county chair Anthony Welti who gladly accepted the nomination. His leadership began with the Johnson campaign. Getting Gary Johnson to a 3rd party high for president in votes close to 5 percent. Then he reached over and helped work on the Michelle Darnell campaign in Legislative District 48. Michelle got 29 percent of the vote in that race against Patty Kurderer. We have Joshua Gilliland as the vice chair. He ran for office in Colorado’s 4th congressional district in 2012 earning 3 percent of the vote. Now he lives and works here in Washington. They have a full leadership team and are currently looking for new members and PCOs.
Steven Neilsen of the LPWA shared the PCO training program. He ran for office in 2016 for Public lands and now he’s working on projects to help the county parties. Steven has helped build a 40 page manual to give to the counties to build their parties. This is how we get the communities involved in the process. He starts the book with your “why”. This is so people will stay and become engaged. “We are gathering people in a nonpartisan way in the community to grow the LP movement.” There are 7,500 precincts in the state of Washington. From the data from the 2016 election there are 64,000 libertarians voting wise in the state. This PCO program is so we can go out and get communities involved Steven explained.
The real Michael Scott from Project PC spoke next. He runs a nonprofit organization here in Snohomish County. They are trying to change policy public and private on medical marijuana. Also on other alternative health methods. Michael worked in television in the 80s. In mid 2000s got diagnosed with multiple illnesses and cancer. He had watched family die by cancer and radiation. After having doctors diagnose him with cancer and told him to get surgery he freaked out. This is where he thought of marijuana and alternative measures. Went through the two surgeries, took cannabis and became cancer free. This is when he decided to dedicate his time to study and gain knowledge on marijuana. He ran for congress in 2014 and got 24 percent of the vote. Ran again in this last year for congressional district 10 in Washington State and got 28 percent of the vote. He spent less money on his 2016 campaign than in 2014. He ended up spending 420 dollars on his whole campaign. Michael states “We need to get back to grassroots, we need to be our friends, our families, our neighbors. That’s what matters the most!” He started project PC as a grassroots movement to change policies armed with a camera. Promoting through media education by shooting film and writing books.

Michael working with Megan Holtz (the Mother of Maddie) are working on “Maddie’s Law” and “Ducky’s Bill” HB1060 and SB5290 that are currently running through Washington State Congress. As the document on their website reads “HB 1060 requires a school district to permit a student who meets certain requirements to consume marijuana for medical purposes on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event. Requires the board of directors of a school district to adopt a policy that authorizes parents, guardians, and primary caregivers to administer marijuana to a student for medical purposes while the student is on school grounds, aboard a school bus, or attending a school-sponsored event.” This is sponsored by Representative Brian Blake the prime sponsor of the bill, with Representatives Jim Walsh, Sherry Appleton, and Mike Chapman signed on as co-sponsors on the bill in this legislative session. They passed this to go to a vote next month in congress. They are asking for citizens to write their legislative member or come down to Olympia to rally for passage of these bills. To find out more about Michael Scott, Project PC and these bills you can go to www.projectpc.org. 

Next up was Paul Addis who is running for Kent City Council in 2017. Even though he isn’t a current Snohomish County resident he has history in the county living in Bothell. In 2013 He was a PCO in Snohomish County. Last year he ran for Lieutenant Governor against 10 others getting nearly 2 percent of the vote in the primary. This year he is running for Kent City council which is the 6th largest city in the state. He is running nonpartisan in this race for his community. Paul stated how partisan races and titles can get in the way of public service. Also he talked on how you can make an impact on your community through charitable work. Paul and his wife are mentors in the Geared Up Organization, who works with kids who are struggling in school. Also they work with the Bread of Life Mission in downtown Seattle to provide community meals to those in need. They help the Kent Adopt a street program to clean up the community. The Addis’s run a nonprofit in East Africa as well for the last 13 years. He speaks today to bring the community together and for nonpartisan leadership nationwide. “I do politics because there is a need. I see a need out there. I see people getting hurt because of politics and I see people getting hurt because of government being involved in things they don’t do very well.” Says Mr Addis.

This was an awesome event that has kicked off the next moment of community in Snohomish County. The Libertarian Party of Snohomish County will be a steadfast and growing movement with the leadership of Anthony Welti and company in the years to come.

If you want to learn more about the Snohomish County Libertarian party you can go to:
For the State of Washington Libertarian Party you can go to: www.LPWA.org
For Michael Scott and Project PC you can go to: www.projectpc.org
To learn more about the Addis Campaign: http://www.addis4kent.com/ 

Alex Love is an independent journalist from Lynnwood, WA / Phoenix, AZ. He is a community servant and activist who also runs a non profit called Love 4 Liberty.