Libertarians Reach Out to High School Students

The political fair at the recent convention of Junior State of America, held Saturday 22 April in Santa Clara, had a sizeable Libertarian presence. Activists from several Bay Area counties came together to provide a display of literature and buttons and to explain Libertarian ideas to the delegates — students from high schools in Northern California interested in politics and government.

DSC08349f

This year the Libertarian representatives included two organizers of the Libertarian Youth Caucus — high-school students themselves who were able to make use of this opportunity to reach out to future voters in their own age group.

 

DSC08393f

More Photos

State Convention Held in Santa Clara, Elects New Officers

The Libertarian Party of California held its annual convention this past weekend in Santa Clara, electing new officers for a two-year term, along with additional members of the LPC Executive Committee.

DSC08914f(Delegate Ed Wimmers from San Jose and former State Chair Aaron Starr line up to cast ballots, with local members of the Libertarian Youth Caucus acting as tellers.)

The new Executive Committee, including several members elected at the 2016 convention to a two-year term, is as follows:

Chair: Ted Brown
Northern Vice Chair: Kenneth Brent Olsen
Southern Vice Chair: Jonathan Jaech
Secretary: Mimi Robson
Treasurer: Steve Haugh
At Large Members:
Alex Appleby
Dave Bowers
Wendy Hewitt
Robert Imhoff
Tyler Kuskie
Zachary Moore
Boomer Shannon
Eric Vaughnes
Susan Marie Weber
Jason Wu

DSC08944f(Executive Committee members for the coming year.)

Two of the members of the new Executive Committee, Treasurer Steve Haug and At Large member Robert Imhoff, are from Santa Clara County. The convention also elected two Alternates, one of whom is from Santa Clara County.

DSC08914f(Newly-elected LPC Treasurer Steve Haug addresses the convention.)

LP of Santa Clara County Elects Officers

At its annual meeting on 21 January 2017 in San Jose, the Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County elected the following officers for the coming year:

Chair – Joe Dehn
Vice Chair – Mark Hinkle
Secretary – Jennifer Imhoff-Dousharm
Treasurer – Robert Imhoff-Dousharm
Activities Chair – Kennita Watson
Campaigns Chair – John Inks
Fundraising Chair – Jennifer Imhoff-Dousharm
Membership Chair – Chris Le

The officers make up the party’s Executive Committee, which is responsible for conducting party business between meetings of the Central Committee.

The Central Committee also elected the following three members to serve as the Judicial Committee, which serves as an appeals body for party business:

Anirban Das
Al Newman
Bill White

 

LP of Santa Clara County opposes San Jose “flag ban”

[resolution adopted by the county central committee, 21 January 2017]

As it is not a proper function of government to be taking sides in matters of expression or conscience, the city of San Jose should stay neutral with respect to the display of symbols on the property that it controls, including flag poles. The simplest way to avoid problems of this type is for the city not to be involved at all in the display of symbols that have nothing to do with its own operation; for example, to display on city-owned flag poles only its own flag, or those of the state of California or the United States. But if it is going to allow the display of flags representing other entities, it should allow the display of flags of any similar entities. For example if it is going to allow the display of the flags of other nation-states, it should allow the display of the flag of any nation-state.

Accordingly, the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County opposes the resolution currently before the San Jose City Council to “ban” the flag of one particular nation-state from city-owned flag poles. The city should either allow any foreign flag to be displayed, or get out of the business of displaying foreign flags at all.

Delta Sigma Theta Candidates Forum

I attended the September 27, 2016 Candidates Forum organized by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at San Jose State University. Delta Sigma Theta is a national sorority (most of whose members are African American women). First let me say Delta Sigma Theta did a great job. They were gracious and welcoming to me. They also went out of their way to include me even though I was a last minute addition to the program.

There were a variety of candidates: one Congressional candidate, one State Senate candidate, three State Assembly candidates, two city council candidates, four school board candidates, one water board candidate, and one party representative (me).

Given that there were so many candidates, my time was limited (but the moderator did a great job making sure everyone got a chance to speak). My main points in my opening statement were that the Libertarian Party’s positions were based on the Non-aggression principle and we favored cooperation over coercion. During the questions, I gave the websites and when asked about Gary’s Aleppo moment, I made the point the US government should not be messing around in other countries. I also got in that the first woman to receive an electoral college vote was Libertarian Tonie Nathan. For my final remarks, I pointed out that most of what was talked about was government attempting to solve problems but that there was no discussion of stopping the government from doing things that were causing problems. I mentioned that all our presidential candidates, including Gary Johnson, wanted an end to our foreign wars and the war on drugs.

Even though the bulk of the discussion was about expanding government, there were many positive aspects. It was refreshing to chat with a few citizen-candidates running out of concern for their communities rather than a political career (eg, Kimberly Meek for school trustee and Tom Cruz for water board). One of the few Republicans talked about limited government. However, the brightest spot was when Pattie Cortese (running for school trustee) talked about restorative justice. The idea behind restorative justice (as I understand it) is that the criminal should make the victim whole rather that a focus on punishment. I know Wikipedia is not always reliable but it states: “The approach is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual or community, rather than the State”. That is a positively libertarian notion and we might want to look further into the restorative justice movement.

Finally, it was very satisfying when two of the sorors (as the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta call themselves) came up to me after the event. One said she strongly agreed with us and the other said she needs to look into us more.

Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival

The Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County had a booth at the (City of) Santa Clara Art and Wine Festival. It took place on Saturday, Sept 17 and Sunday, Sept 18, 2016 at Central Park in the city of Santa Clara. Our booth location was out of the way so we did not get a lot of traffic. The location assignments were random (and we wound up next to the Hillary booth). We had cordial relations with the Hillary booth (and helped them relocate to a shadier spot).

One of the advantages of being out of the way is that we could talk a little longer with people who stopped by. There were a couple of visitors of note: David Friedman and Patrick Peterson. It was nice having Spanish and Vietnamese literature and we gave out a few of those.

We were able to distribute Gary Johnson yard signs and several libertarian buttons to passers-by. In contrast to past years, most people were aware of the Libertarian Party and Gary Johnson even if they did not know much about us. Because of the heightened awareness, we focused on campaign literature rather than using the Advocates Quiz. There were about 15-20 people who wanted a button, yard sign or door hanger.

Thanks to our all volunteers who staffed the booth: Don Cormier, Robert and Jennifer Imhoff, John Low, and Sam Grove. Special thanks to our full time volunteers: Kennita Watson, Jonathan Ullman, and Ed Wimmers.