By Sonja Dagny Yago
What a great weekend at the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania's convention in Shippensburg, PA!
Did you attend and make new friends or gain clarity on a libertarian concept, leadership, or how you can get more involved? If not, you missed out!
Libertarian Governor candidate Ken Krawchuk was there advocating for liberty, smaller government, and, of course, the Toast Masters!
There were inspiring and informing speakers as young as 17, much older (we won't say how old!), and ages in between!
We even had Libertarian "Not- Presidential" hopeful Adam Kokesh from Arizona not only visit and speak but also join our state party.
The Vice Chair debate was another highlights of the first day, with four candidates giving their perspective on the libertarian party, the liberty movement, and how the national can support our state parties. Sitting chair Arvin Vohra and challengers Alex Merced, Joe Hauptmann, and Steve Scheetz were all informed, unique, and compelling.
Women were also represented in the audience and with Kathleen Smith, our candidate for Lieutenant Governor, speaking.
Michael Heise of Lancaster County, founder of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus and 2018 US Senate candidate Dale Kerns of Delaware County also spoke and then-Congressional candidate Drew Gray Miller led our fund-raising auction near the end of the day.
The first day was definitely filled with a number of opportunities to hear many perspective and updates on the national and state parties and the libertarian movement and culture, too.
We also had speaker Carol Kuniholm, chair of Fair Districts PA , update us on state politics concerning district gerrymandering and Jerry Feaser talked about how to work with the local Bureau of Registration and Elections. With both, there was a lot of information on what we can do to help promote policies that support greater liberty and make our voices for liberty heard throughout our state.
Over all, it was a liberty-loving, festive day that was also very informative and entertaining. There was also plenty of time for connecting with speakers and other attendees. People are very friendly and welcoming when you talk with them but also will respect your desire to sit quietly in reflection with your own ideas if that's what you prefer.
The second day was business. This day was a bit more formal. If you're familiar with the Robert's Rules of Order, you'll have an easier time understanding what's going on and the rules for who speaks when, how, and why. This is the day of focused work - discerning if we'll support certain candidates or not, hearing reports of our officers, and making any other decisions deemed necessary as the day progresses.
On this second day, if you are a voting member and relatively new to being active politically, then there's an extra bit of joyful thrill in casting your votes because you know you are participating in supporting liberty with every vote you cast. This can't necessarily be said so consistently at the election ballot when you're voting in other types of elections, so when you have a day where you get to do nothing but be certain that your vote is a clear vote for liberty, it is very heart-warming and thrilling, especially the first time.
What rang clear as officers and candidates spoke was that we are at a wonderful turning point. We have a lot more clarity on how we need to organize and present our party more professionally and our leadership is focused and highly motivated.
Clearly the members of our state party agreed with their vision and commitment as several members currently sitting on the Board won a second term.
Ken Krawchuk (for Governor), Kathleen Smith (for Lieutenant Governor), and Dale Kerns (for US Senate) were officially nominated. In accepting her nomination, Kathleen Smith also affirmed the focus and commitment of our party when she spoke of how she wasn't thinking of running until she saw how organized Ken Krawchuk and Dale Kerns were and what kind of team they had built.
Which brings us to you. YOU are a part of this team working for the liberty movement (and hopefully our libertarian party), too. I know you are because you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't.
Certainly, the convention is a great way to get tapped into the team for liberty more deeply, get energized on love for liberty, make more liberty-oriented friends and connections, and get informed on what you can do. But, if you missed out on our recent convention, there are two things you can do.
First, plan and commit to attending the next LPPA convention. Second, locate your local county party and approach your county chair. Connect and ask what questions you have. See how you can participate in a way that promotes liberty and fits in with your time, talent, and treasure you have because in the movement and party that supports individual liberty, every individual counts. You matter and can make a meaningful contribution that fits with your local party and where you are in life.
It doesn't take long to figure out what your bigger and better "fit" is in the liberty movement and it doesn't matter if you contribute in a way that others do or don't. What matters is that you show up because, when it comes to the government we do have, it works for those who show up. So the big question is, how will you show up for your liberty and the liberty of other individuals?
Parting thought: along the way, remember to have fun. Life's far too short and too long to work for individual liberty without making it fun.
Sonja Dagny Yago is a contributing writer for LPPA, advocate for individual liberty and empowerment, and a mentor-coach for busy emerging leaders, service-based entrepreneurs, empaths, and those with ADHD who want to get more done and have more impact and influence with less stress and more freedom.