I am the secretary of the Van Buren County Republican Party, and this evening (about 3 hours ago) we had our regular monthly meeting—"regular" meaning the second Tuesday of each month—in Lawrence. What is this meeting? What did we accomplish?
Without typing out the minutes of the meeting here (which I can do, because I take the minutes), let me summarize some of the activities we engaged in tonight:
- Every other month, we have a 6:30 potluck to precede the 7:00 meeting. This was a potluck night. Food and fellowship! (Or you could say, nourishment and networking!) I would also tangentially say that our county organization does some of the best potlucks in Michigan. Period.
- Our state senator and a state representative (who is running for higher office next year) both addressed the group. Both graciously stayed for several minutes after the meeting to talk politics with those assembled.
- A representative from our U.S. Congressman's office came and spoke on his behalf.
- We had discussions and made plans for upcoming county GOP events.
- We discussed various ways that we can increase involvement locally with the Republican Party.
As a result of my attendance the last few years, I can say that I am friends with my state representative, most of the county commissioners, most of the county elected officials (county clerk, county treasurer, etc.), and a variety of folks who hold township-level positions. I have had the opportunity to meet a number of state-level candidates and officials, as well as senators and representatives from other Michigan districts. As an officer of the organization, I was even invited to a private meeting (along with about 50 other people in this part of the state) with John McCain in 2007. And I asked him about that nutty immigration bill he supported two years ago.
My main point is this: If you want to make a difference, get involved. Contact your county Republican Party and ask when and where the next meeting is. (Not sure how? Check out migop.org, or the corresponding website in your state.) Take a friend or two with you if you are uncomfortable showing up in a group of relative strangers...because if you want to know more, your friends probably do, also. Attend a Lincoln Day Dinner or other county event where people and politicians mingle. Join a facebook group (we have one—Van Buren County Republican Party) or other internet social network for interested people; read blogs and news stories written by the people who are doing the actual work. There is much work to be done between now and November 2010; be a part of it!