May 2023 - From the Chair
We are in the midst of a flurry of legislative activity, and the Libertarian Party of North Carolina has everything you need to understand what is going on. We have sent out calls to action when we had a chance to influence important legislation concerning your rights, and you all responded in force. I am deeply thankful for that.
Not that things are finished, and we are here to get you through it. We showed up to push for constitutional carry to be the standard in NC. We will see where that goes over the next few days and weeks. Our Communications Director, Rob Yates, sat down for an interview with Grass Roots North Carolina's Andy Stephens to look into it in detail.
School choice is on the docket, and one of our at-large Executive Committee members, Angela Humphries, has been a stalwart voice fighting for our children's education in NC for a long time. She has some specifics here, and I chime in on the issue as well.
Other issues around children are in the legislature, regarding sports participation and drag shows, as well as appropriation bills, criminal justice bills, and so much more. If you want to be involved with the Party reading, examining, or identifying legislation that we should speak to, please reach out. While we are past the crossover date already, there will be plenty of opportunity to lobby the General Assembly in order to get Libertarian results.
We are excited to announce that we will be launching the third season of our Liberty iNC podcast this month, and we will look at all this legislative activity with LPNC members who are engaged on the front lines. Keep an eye out for further announcements around that.
We are also putting out a call for candidates. This year is a great time for the LPNC to pick up some local offices, and we have resources that we want to share with those of you interested in making the commitment and sacrifice to put yourself out there and run for office.
I am excited to see things materializing. All the hard work from so many Liberty warriors is coming to fruition, and it is hugely gratifying. But it's by no means the destination. We are just getting started.
-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair
April 2023 - From the Chair
More than anything I want to say, at the top of my list is making sure I express how appreciative I am for all of you.
Every day, we build on the day before. The days become weeks, and months, and years, and we slowly advance the cause of Liberty, growing the party, taking action, showing up for those in need, and spreading the messaging. The grind, all of you getting back to it in the face of tremendous pressure, is how we scrap for our victories, inching forward. Of course, we look to influence legislation wherever we can as well.
And sometimes we have beautiful moments where it all comes together, and major progress is realized in one fell swoop. Like this month…
The North Carolina legislature passed a bill repealing the pistol purchase permit restrictions, a racist vestige of Jim Crow era North Carolina. Then, when Governor Cooper vetoed that bill, the legislature pulled together enough votes to override his veto.
This didn’t happen by accident. Combined with guidance on messaging from the people who serve you in the LPNC, you called, wrote, and didn’t give up. Not once, but twice you all bombarded your representatives offices with phone calls, emails, voice mails, and even in-person visits, and you made sure the people you elected heeded the voice of the people who elected them.
And it was beautiful.
But we haven’t even gotten started yet. We have an off-cycle election season coming up with a number of local candidates, some of whom have a real shot at winning, but not without your support. We have drives planned to target the ABC monopoly in NC, an entity with violent and racist roots that maintains its tyrannical abuse of power with violence even today, all of which we explore in today’s Tar Heel.
We have LPNC activists fighting to end asset forfeiture laws that are so authoritarian as to defy belief. We have school choice, and marijuana legalization, and constitutional carry, and certificate of need, and a partisan battle that promises to get exceptionally nasty, even by today’s standards, with politicians switching parties, and vitriol pouring from both sides.
We have open roles on the LPNC staff that we need to fill. We listed the most pressing in today’s newsletter, but there are plenty of others. We have a full calendar of events around the state coming up that are futile without people to staff the tables and engage with crowds. We have mailings, and content, and research, and data organization, and meetups, and protests, and all these are just the baseline for things we hope to accomplish this year.
I’m not overwhelmed, though, at how long the road ahead of seems. Instead, I’m hopeful. I saw what happened when you, the people of North Carolina, rallied around something that mattered. And this was only the first time in this environment. We’ll get better, win more.
So I am asking, give what you can. If you can give fifty dollars a month, that’s incredible, and we will take it gratefully. And if you can give five bucks a month, that’s incredible, we will take it gratefully. If you can give twenty hours a week, we will keep you busy, I promise. And if you can give one hour a week, then we have lots on the agenda that should suit you perfectly.
So thank you now for all you have, and thank you in advance for everything we are going to do. Just make sure you’re part of it.
-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair
March 2023 - From the Chair
Hello North Carolina, and thank you for the honor of electing me Chair of the state party. It is my privilege to introduce myself here. I am humbled by your support. This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I promise I will be tireless in my dedication, diligent in my duties, and responsive always to the needs and concerns of everyone in the LPNC.
I am hoping you all will get to know me and my plans a little better today, but first I have to mention the prior EC and the wonderful job they did. Jonathan, Sarah, Steven, Mike, Kim, and Travis, you all taught me so much over the last couple of years. I will take what I learned working with you and apply it, and I ask only that you hold me accountable, as I have always tried to do. Thank you for the time and energy you gave to the LPNC.
I want to say a special and direct thank you to Joe Garcia, our previous Chair. Joe, you have been an example, a mentor, and a friend to me in so many ways. From arguing over bylaw technicalities to coming together to support Joshua, I am deeply appreciative of all you have done over the last few years, and before, and for all the lessons I learned watching and working with you. I aim to serve the LPNC as Chair in a way that makes you proud to have passed the Liberty torch to me.
To the rest of the LPNC, and everyone reading this, I want to let you know that we are ready to get to work! I have a number of things I want to accomplish relatively quickly, building on the work of the prior EC, to position the party for success now and into the future. Early priorities will involve modernizing the website, building out a social media strategy, providing the resources needed to grow affiliates, and working with affiliates to strengthen our pipeline of candidates and give them the tools they need to run successful campaigns. The 2023 Election season is right around the corner. If you are running or know someone who would like to run, please get in touch with us. We'll be happy to support our candidates in any way we can.
This is on top of the strong progress we have made in recent years from the hard work all of you have been doing, work I hope to see continue. Our EC will remain dedicated to supporting each of you when you need, and to getting out of your way when you need. We have seen so much growth and so many successes recently. Joe covered many of them in his address to the convention on Saturday, and yet it was only a handful of the many accomplishments that the state party and so many of the affiliates have realized. I am here to help that continue.
Convention was a huge success, and I want to personally and publicly thank and commend Zac Lentz and Dee Watson for all their hard work in pulling off a successful event. We had great speakers, smooth voting, a fantastic auction, and even a gubernatorial announcement.
Finally, to Sean, Mike, Dee, Christina, Mac, Nick, and Angela, I want to say how much I look forward to working with you as we bring this party to the next level. Building on the work of those who have come before us, let’s see some tangible results, and take things to a level we only dreamed of previously.
Thank you, all of you, again for your support. I promise to spend the next two years proving your faith in me was justified.
-Ryan Brown, LPNC Chair
February 2023 - From the Chair
Catholic Saint Valentine was killed by the Romans on February 14, in the year 269. He was known for constantly risking his life to advocate for those without political power, which was mostly persecuted Christians at that time. Now we celebrate a day dedicated to the most powerful and selfless feeling – love – on the anniversary of his death.
Valentine was not associated with romantic love until legends spread by Geoffrey Chaucer over 1,000 years after Valentine's death. The association isn’t surprising, though. Perhaps the greatest expression of love is willingness to sacrifice for fellow humans.
It's so easy to get lost in the day-to-day routine of sunrise, sunset, and everything in between, and, when we do pay attention, we are bombarded with messaging designed to distract us from the things we can change. National controversy over which we have zero control or influence dominates the conversation, and we miss the opportunity to drive real change right around us.
The Libertarian message, ultimately, is one of love. We stand on principle, and our unwavering dedication to our core beliefs often requires sacrifice. For that, I am thankful for all of you giving what you can to advance the cause of Liberty. We see you, your monthly contributions, your volunteer hours, and your willingness to engage and serve as ambassadors for Liberty, and we appreciate it.
In return, the LPNC is here to support you in any way we can, and to keep you informed on opportunity to make a difference near your home, all across North Carolina. In today’s newsletter, we feature contributions from many members of the Libertarian Party right here in NC, who are looking to make changes to the arts, to gun laws, to the ABC, to the way fund the military, and to our entire outlook on freedom in the Tar Heel State.
We are all here to spread this message of love, of selfless sacrifice for principle, and of putting ourselves out there to advocate for those without political power. Today, and every day, we hope to serve as a guide for you to cut through the noise and focus your energy where real change is within our reach.
-Joe Garcia, LPNC Chair
January 2023 - From the Chair
On December 31, 1995, Bill Watterson brought his legendary comic Calvin and Hobbes to an end with a simple, four-frame drawing with only Calvin, Hobbes, a sled, and a world covered in snow. Hobbes says that the world looks "brand new, like a big, white sheet of paper to draw on." Calvin celebrates the new year and the "fresh, clean start" it brings. He lauds the day full of possibilities. Then he closes with the iconic line, "It's a magical world, Hobbes, old buddy… Let's go exploring."
We talk so much about the cause of Liberty. We debate trade-offs with different approaches to furthering Liberty and compare the effectiveness of various strategies to grow Liberty. We work, with no expectation of personal return, to bring about this thing called Liberty.
To me, Liberty is not a destination. Rather, it's a journey, a magical world of possibilities inviting us to go exploring. We have the great privilege of embarking on this odyssey together. The relentless pursuit of Liberty, defending those who are least able to defend themselves from the tyranny of wanton state overreach, with the companionship of other Liberty-minded individuals, these are rewards themselves.
The only requirement is not to hurt others. Not only is this not a high bar, it is also intrinsically rewarding, as we use our energy to improve things around us, and the whole world benefits. Imagine if the resources that we have poured into making bigger and more weapons of war were instead dedicated to developing a truly clean and abundant source of energy. Or if we let the economy grow organically through our participation instead of taking people's money when they earn it, when they spend it, when they live in their house, when they own their car, when they start a business, when they hire someone, and when they die. Or the innovation potential if industry was allowed to thrive rather than being crushed under the weight of absurd regulation enforced by a stifling bureaucratic apparatus which ironically is sustained with the squandering of the money that was taken from us.
Certainly, Libertarian philosophies can get nuanced and complex, but our basic worldview is simple. You have the right to make decisions about what is best for you. Don't hurt others. There is a magical world in front of all of us, and I am in awe at the possibilities when we come together.
Happy New Year. Let’s go exploring.
-Joe Garcia, LPNC Chair
December 2022 - From the Chair
Over the past few weeks, we have seen our beloved home state dominate the national news cycle as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the uber high-profile Moore v. Harper. When the federal government makes sweeping changes, it affects all of us, and we, the Libertarian Party of North Carolina (LPNC), certainly strive to stay aware and informed, and to pass that information along for anyone who finds it useful or wants to act on it further. Our Second Amendment coordinator, Justin Hinckley, did so in this newsletter, for example, and we will continue to use every means at our disposal to keep North Carolina citizens aware of the actions the federal government is taking which could affect their lives.
However, our government gets its power from the people who fill its positions, further its machinations, and wield – or resist – its authority, and the LPNC remembers that, first and foremost. Each individual is worthy of defending, no exceptions, period. We watch national news, but we take local action in defense of people, and our efforts continue to bear fruit. It’s in these moments, interacting with people on a human level, no pretense, no ego, where I feel the holiday spirit most deeply. The easiest path forward is to ignore the realities in our backyard and focus on the loudest national news story, and then expect a national solution to our backyard problems. But that’s not the Libertarian way.
This month, for example, we are proud of the work we put into helping Pastor Moses Colbert raise the money he needed to provide a safe place to sleep and protect from the cold people who have nowhere else to go, which is discussed in detail further down. And I am proud personally to have worked beside all these wonderful people, from the LPNC and many other places, as we came together in defense of individuals who needed it most.
I am also proud of each individual volunteer who sacrificed time and money to run for office this year. Wake County, in particular, has done well recruiting candidates and running campaigns, as Wake County LP Chair Travis Groo discusses in his interview. In the upcoming off-cycle year, I look forward to standing next to more of you as you make the decision to dedicate yourself to furthering the cause of Liberty. The LPNC is here to support everyone who wants to run for office.
Of course, I am also proud when the combined efforts of each individual in the LPNC begin to make a real difference and it gets noticed elsewhere. We are always more than just the sum of our parts, a point that hits home in the discussion between our Political Director, Dee Watson, and Larry Sharpe, on his podcast. They talk about the wonderful things we have accomplished in North Carolina as well as all the things we have left to do.
Finally, I am proud to have worked with Brian Irving this year, who will be stepping down from his role as Executive Director on the LPNC Executive Committee. Brian, you have been a good friend and trusted advisor, and you have always been and remain a relentless steward of Liberty. I am grateful for the work you put into the LPNC, and I look forward to all that we will accomplish together going forward. On behalf of the entire LPNC, thank you.
For all of you reading this, I want to wish you the happiest and most peaceful of holidays. Remember the worth of each individual person in yourself and those around you. Then, get ready for 2023, as we in the LPNC have only just gotten started!
-Joe Garcia, LPNC Chair
November 2022 - From the Chair
Maybe I’m a little old fashioned, but I still think of November as a time to pause and take stock of what is good, and then to express gratitude. Being thankful is a dwindling American tradition, and maybe if we appreciated what we do have before we fixate on what we lack, we, as a country, would feel less polarized against our neighbors.
In the spirit of November thanksgiving, the first thing for which I am thankful is the news that our beautiful home state of North Carolina just became the second ever (after California, which has way more people) to pass 50,000 registered Libertarian voters. Our message is peace and prosperity, and we will never back down in our defense of everyone's right to disagree without violence. While politicians from the uniparty manipulate with fear and jealousy to drive votes, we advocate for "radical" ideas like you should be able to live without the government getting involved in every aspect of what you do. It's clear that people are beginning to realize the duopoly cares only about itself, and are joining us, the party of the people.
Today is election day, and I encourage all of you to vote Libertarian. In our first article, we look at why you absolutely should cast your ballot, but I want to use this space to express more thanks to all 32 of the wonderful candidates we have running for office in North Carolina, and for all the candidates that came before. Publicly, you all are the face of the LPNC, and you wear it well. Personally, I am honored to know each one of you. I am truly grateful for the sacrifice you are making in pursuing the cause of Liberty on the political stage.
Finally, I want to take a moment to say how thankful I am for the time I got with my good friend, and relentless defender of Liberty, Donald Reid Deal. Reid passed away in his home in September, and I miss him a lot. I thought about it, and I am mentioning him in the November newsletter because it felt appropriate and true to the kind of person who Reid was, grateful for the good things and never hung up on the bad. He was a lynchpin of the LPNC for many years, and we all feel his loss deeply. As we move forward together, I am determined that we do so in a way that would make Reid proud.
-Joe Garcia, LPNC Chair
October 2022 - From the Chair
Fall is a beautiful time in North Carolina, and an exciting time for the Libertarian Party here. We have seen real progress in the Liberty movement over recent months, driven by the relentless dedication of the good people in our party. We finally saw the release of the body camera footage from the Joshua Rohrer arrest in Gastonia. The city continues to refuse to have independent review of the video, and we will continue to show up until there is some real accountability for this wrongly arrested war veteran, as we have since the beginning.
We also saw our Mecklenburg County affiliate host a debate between Shannon Bray, Libertarian Party candidate for the U.S. senate, and Matthew Hoh, the Green Party candidate. Shannon is one of 32 Libertarian candidates on the ballots this year in North Carolina, and we are excited for the Liberty message that they are forcing into the conversation. They need our support, and today’s newsletter puts the spotlight on a few of them. Check out the full slate of candidates on the website, and give time or money if you can, they will certainly appreciate it.
We are currently hosting a table at the North Carolina State Fair, as mentioned below. It is an annual event that is always fun, interesting, productive, and well worth the time and energy. Last weekend, our Cape Fear affiliate hosted a strategizing and social event, capped off with a bonfire. In recent months, we’ve had LPNC members representing at Pride parades around the state, reminding people that we were calling for removing restrictions on marriages between consenting adults 40 years before it became the cool thing for the two big parties to do.
We remain tirelessly dedicated to the cause of Liberty, with every person as our inspiration. With the cooling weather and changing leaves as the backdrop, we want to thank everyone, sincerely and deeply, for giving what you can, especially our donors, who provide the financial lifeblood that keeps us in operation. For those of you who are able, we encourage you to do more, as we rely on our individual members to drive our accomplishments, and we are looking forward to achieving so much more.
-Joe Garcia, LPNC Chair