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AFP: Crossing the Finish Line

AFP Oregon

WE DID IT!!!

They said it couldn’t be done.  In two months, the Oregonians Against Job Killing Taxes coalition – with AFP playing a leading role – collected a combined 250,000 signatures to refer the Legislature’s two job killing tax increases to the ballot for a January special election!

AFP Members finished the signature gathering phase with well over 40,000 signatures submitted and a truly incredible 92 percent validity rate, the highest among all groups participating.  In coming days, we will have a complete count for AFP’s effort, including a county-by-county break-down.  We will also update you on the status of Petitions 303 and 304 on which so many AFP members worked so hard.

At today’s “signature turn-in rally” at the Public Service Building which houses the Elections Division across from the State Capitol, AFP volunteers turned out in force to celebrate the “Quarter of a Million Miracle.”

We’ll also let you know as the Secretary of State’s process of verifying signatures gets underway.  Needless to say, since each measure has almost 2.5 times as many signatures as required, it is highly likely both measures will qualify easily.

See more rally pictures here

5 Things Every American Can Do

Courtesy of Rep Matt Wingard‘s “The Wingard Report.”  AFP encourages you to subscribe to this free twice monthly email publication from Rep. Wingard.  It is full of important policy information, humor and updates on key discussions on political philosophy – click here to subscribe.

There is a great deal of frustration these days about the direction of national and local politics.   People frequently ask me for advice on how they can fight for the cause of freedom.   It’s easy to feel overwhelmed or outnumbered–to become numb or check out. Don’t.

First, understand that you are not alone and that there are just as many people in this country dedicated to advancing freedom as there are people dedicated to advancing socialism–with a group in the middle who just don’t care as much about these issues as you do.

Second, stop looking for a finish line.  The battle for freedom is eternal. It’s a lifetime commitment. You don’t get to retire or to quit. You’re either in or out of the struggle.  The collectivist movement will always be with us. Face that reality, accept it, and try to limit the whining.

The good news is that once you’ve decided to devote yourself to the cause of freedom, there are things you can do to make a difference and and advance the movement of liberty forward.

Everyone has their own strengths and weakness, but I have outlined five basic actions that you can take to further the cause of freedom. They are simple, require modest sacrifice, and ANY American can do them.

In my opinion, any citizen who accomplishes these five goals can answer “Yes” to the question, “Am I doing enough?”

INVEST: Dedicate 1% of your income to the cause of freedom.  Give that money to candidates or organizations that fight for freedom. For a person making $50,000 a year, that would be $500.  Most of us tithe for religious or charitable reasons.  Add the fight for freedom to your basic expenses.  Everyone can afford to give something.  Is your freedom worth 1% of your income?  Set up an automatic payment to freedom out of your own bank account.  Even $10 a month would make a difference somewhere.

TEACH: Create and maintain a circle of influence. You know a certain number of people who will listen to you provided that you keep it brief, don’t “kookify” yourself, and limit the number of times you contact them.  You can do this.  Pick a subject or two that you feel most informed about and focus on educating your circle.  Be patient.  Think of this in terms of years, not months.  If you are teaching a principle of freedom, wait for current events to provide you with excellent examples (teachable moments). Don’t worry, the examples will come.  Keep it positive and persistent.  You’d be surprised how much of an affect you can have on people’s opinions over time.  Don’t be a hammer.  Instead, think of yourself as water. Both move mountains.

GROW: Become a lifelong learner.  Read one conservative book each year.  Keeping up on current events is not enough.  You must be a book reader.  Sorry, there is no alternative.  Listen to them on tape if you just can’t sit down and crack a book.  One book a year is not a huge obligation.  The effect on your intellect and sanity cannot be overstated.  There are hundreds of conservative book titles out there.  Gravitate towards quality.  When you finish a good one, either give your copy away or buy a new one for someone else.

STAND UP: Everyone must take a turn serving in government.  EVERYONE.  No exceptions. The reason is very simple–if you don’t, a big government type will.  You don’t have to run for office.  There are hundreds of appointed positions in government.  You’d be shocked at how many committees, task forces and panels have been created by your government (or maybe you wouldn’t).  I won’t lie.  The meetings can be very boring.  However, these positions draw control freaks like moths to a flame.  You have two choices: either they serve, or you do.  This is more important than jury duty and only slightly less important than military service. So, fill out the form and politely pester them until they appoint you.

DOUBLE DOWN: Your final task before they put you in the grave is to create political mitosis.  Think demography.  When you pass from this earth, you must leave behind at least two Warriors for Freedom to replace you. That way the movement grows.  Just having children doesn’t count.  We’re talking about two people, at least one generation younger than you, who will carry the flag when you’re gone.  If someone mentored and encouraged you, it’s your turn to pay it forward.  After decades in the field of battle, you should be leaving behind at least two younger people dedicated to these five objectives–primarily because of your influence.

These are the five tasks that any American citizen can accomplish in their lifetime.  Do all five and you truly will be able to call yourself a Warrior for Freedom.

Defending the American Dream Summit

Time is short, but just in case you’re looking for something to do October 2nd and 3rd, why not join a couple thousand activists from across the nation at the Third Annual AFP Defending the American Dream Summit in Arlington, Virginia?  Inspirational speakers, background information on key issues in Congress and a chance to rally at the U.S. Capitol are among the fun items planned for this year’s Summit.

Do we have your complete contact information?

It’s very important that AFP has your home address (where you are registered to vote), so that our Action Alert system will work properly.  We also need your home and cell phone numbers.  While we won’t often call you, it’s possible we may need you to respond quickly to an opportunity.  If we don’t have all this information, please either visit www.myafpor.org and click on “Join AFP” to provide it, or send it to [email protected] Remember, AFP-Oregon will never share your information with anyone, nor will we sell it to anyone.

Thank You Again

Whether you helped just a little or a whole lot, the AFP Oregon Staff owes you a tremendous debt of thanks.  Turning in the signatures today was a victory for our grassroots movement.  Without our Chapter Leaders, signature captains and hundreds of volunteers, it simply would not have been possible.  You should take tremendous pride in what was accomplished.  AFP Oregon is going to build on this victory so that we earn many more victories in the future.  You showed it can be done.

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