Libertarian Party Beliefs Expand in Georgia

From a curated news item presenting Libertarian Party beliefs, explaining libertarian views on the subject. The application of the philosophy as expressed by the Libertarian Party or others may or may not universally represent what is a libertarian view on the topic for all adherents.

As of July 7, 2017, there is a new party in the Classic City. The Libertarian Party of Athens hosted its inaugural meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Zombie Coffee and Donuts.

The newly formed party will function as a local affiliate of the Georgia Libertarian Party, and will focus on supporting local libertarian candidates as well as spreading the party’s message throughout the community. Approximately 20 people were in attendance at the event, in addition to local event coordinators and state party officials.

Slated to begin at the 7:00 p.m., the meeting did not start in earnest until about 7:20 p.m., as officials set up boxes of donuts for the attendees and allowed people to trickle in, making small talk about their personal Libertarian ideologies.

April Brown, the newly elected chairwoman of the Athens affiliate, hosted the meeting in conjunction with Nathan Wilson, the executive director of the state party.

The two were joined by Ted Metz, chairman of the state party, Ryan Graham, the party’s field development director, and David Bright, a personal friend of Brown’s who aided her in coordinating the meeting.

The meeting had a comprehensive agenda, with topics ranging from future activism and pillars of the organization, to specific bylaws of the organization, detailing the requirements and responsibilities attached to membership.

According to Brown, her plans to start a Libertarian party affiliate began after the election, when Graham approached her online about a Facebook page she ran titled “Libertarians of Jackson County,” where Brown then resided.

“Nothing really came of it, you know — we would share memes, but after the election it just kind of went dead,” Brown said.“Ryan approached me on Facebook and said, ‘Hey, I’m from the state party, would you be interested in starting an affiliate in Jackson County or maybe in Athens since it’s a larger city?’ and I was like, ‘Actually, I just moved to Athens.’”

Brown said the state party was instrumental in setting up the meeting, drumming up interest and guiding her through the process of starting the Athens affiliate. Wilson said local affiliates such as these are equally instrumental to expanding the state party and the Libertarian platform in Georgia.

“Affiliates are the lifeblood of the state party,” Wilson said. “They provide the eyes and ears and local stuff ... the affiliates supply us with candidates, with information, what’s going on; we literally cannot do anything without them.”

All Libertarian affiliates decide on three main pillars of focus for their activism, championing issues such as marijuana legalization or the Fourth Amendment on a local level. While these interests were discussed, nothing was set in stone for the local platform aside from the core libertarian values of small government and expanded personal freedoms.

The major order of business handled at the meeting was the election of officers. The three essential positions in the organization were filled in the unopposed election of Brown to chairwoman, Chris Nekvinda to vice chairman and Bobby Dominy to secretary.

Once regular meeting times, bylaws and membership numbers are established, Brown said the party will begin an extensive outreach plan, aiming to work with large local events such as LGBTQ pride events, AthFest, farmers markets and many others to coordinate volunteer work and tabling to spread the word of the Libertarian party while helping the community.

Once established, the party’s main goal will be the promotion of Libertarian candidates to local offices as well as working with the state party for larger elections.

“Any statewide race we are going to have in 2018, we’ll have a candidate filling in that slot. No one is going to unchallenged in those seats,” Wilson said.

The Libertarian Party of Athens, now having elected its officers and filled out the appropriate paperwork, awaits approval at the monthly meeting of the state party, after which point it will begin operating as an official affiliate of the Libertarian party of Georgia in Athens. Though the road ahead to the 2018 elections is long, The Libertarian Party of Athens is ready to bring Libertarianism’s core message to the Athens community.

“We want to get the government out of your private life and out of your pockets,” Brown said.

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