For Immediate Release
January 4, 2008
NEW VISION FOR FREE STATE PROJECT, TIPPING POINT FOR LIBERTARIANISM
Nashua, NH - The first day of presentations for the 2008 Liberty Forum covered several broad themes and brought together members, speakers and activists from across the country and across the world, with attendees coming from as far away as Hawaii and Australia.
At the opening ceremonies, FSP President Irena Goddard related her own family's story of escaping Communism and the parallels of her later journey as part of the Free State Project. She then announced "FSP 3.0" which will let members decide their own threshold for making the move, be it the election of a certain statist politician, the imposition of "universal health care", or the number of participants. "The goal is to refocus on the members themselves, who are really what drives the Project and its success." said Goddard.
This initiative was modeled on the successful "First 1000" project to commit 1000 members to move to New Hampshire by the end of 2008. So far, 508 members reside in New Hampshire. The new membership thresholds will be rolled out in January.
The opening ceremonies also featured Sharon Harris, of the Advocates for Self-Government, showing how Libertarianism is a "sticky" idea that is approaching its tipping point of mass adoption. She explained how liberty is a simple, profound, credible idea, the foundation for any widespread movement. The only facet it traditionally lacks, if only in tone, is the emotional impact and appeal. She pointed out that "people care about your ideas when you care about them."
Harris reminded the audience that all great progress in history has been the story of liberating humanity, be it ending feudalism or prohibition or the separating church and state. She said, "Libertarianism is the new anti-slavery movement. Be it warrantless searches, huge tax burdens, or undeclared wars, the people are yearning to be free. The future of western civilization depends upon you, let's move liberty forward."
The Liberty Forum continues until Sunday at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua. Full details are at http://www.freestateproject.org/libertyforum
The Free State Project needs a new Director. We also have an opening for Secretary, so if you are interested in this board position, think about if you are interested in being the Secretary. The Secretary position will be voted on by the board, this election is for one of two open Director slots.
If you have been an active volunteer for the Free State Project in an official capacity between March 1, 2006 and February 28, 2007, you will have the opportunity to vote on who will be the next person to join the Free State Project Board of Directors. For the purposes of this election, this means if you actually worked on behalf of the FSP during this period, you can have a ballot. Some examples: Organizing or volunteering at PorcFest 2006 or working on the organization of PorcFest 2007. Organizing or volunteering at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum. Making calls for the First 1000 program. Working at an FSP booth/table at an event. If you're not sure, feel free to ask.
The nomination and voter registration period will be from March 14, 2007 until March 20, 2007. Please submit your request to be a voter, along with a description of the volunteer activity you engaged in, to email@example.com
If you would like to be a candidate, please submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the word Candidate in the subject line. Only self-nominations will be accepted.
Please note that to be a Director, a person must be a signed Participant of the Free State Project.
The ballot will be provided to all voters on March 21, 2006. Voting will be done via the Condorcet method. More information on the Condorcet voting method can be found at: www.freestateproject.org/archives/state_vote/voting_methods
Ballots must be returned by March 23, 2007. If you wish your ballot to be secret, please make note of this when you return it. Results will be published on March 24th, and the winner will be certified by the Board of Directors at the March 25th meeting.
2006 FSP Action Areas of Focus
This plan primarily relates to activity
the FSP's primarily volunteer organization will attempt to undertake
through the end of 2006. In addition to the work described below,
there are two groups of people working to promote the FSP:
1: Individuals and small groups
working to recruit for the FSP on their own without coordinating with
the FSP organization.
2: Positive Impact Consulting and
other businesses the FSP contracts with for the purpose of promoting
This plan mostly, though not entirely,
excludes the work done by both 1 and 2 above.
1: Achieve 8000 or more total signers
of the SOI by 12/31/2006
2: Achieve 1000 or more total signers
of the First 1000 pledge by 12/31/2006
At the present, there are just over
7000 signers of the SOI and about 200 signers of the First 1000
Between 3/1/2005 and 2/28/2006 there
were 862 signers of the SOI. A breakdown of those signers is
available in the FSP sign up stats spreadsheet. Meeting goal #1
above will require increasing our signup rate on average by ~75%
through the end of 2006 to roughly 1000 signers in that period of
time. No data was reported for direct mail, though direct mail did
account for some SOI signers. There was also a significant
percentage of signers who did not report or reported 'other' for
their first point of FSP exposure.
The First 1000 pledge has had a
significant number of signers from existing NH residents who have
moved since 10/1/2003. Other signers have been SOI signers ready to
move sooner, new SOI signers, and non SOI signers. No mail promotion
has yet been made to SOI signers.
Focus for goal #1:
To meet our objective, we will employ a
mix of tactics demonstrated to be effective and some presumed to be
effective but not yet demonstrated.
1: Internet –
The FSP should focus
significant resources increasing its Internet presence. Internet
accounted for 27% of initial contacts, more than any other reported
category. Given that Internet advertising is relatively inexpensive
and other forms of Internet outreach (blogs, articles, linking, etc.)
are free, focusing efforts on those tactics should provide an
excellent rate of return as measured in signups per dollar and/or
2: Radio –
The FSP has received a
significant number of signups from radio. Many of these come from
Free Talk Live. The remainder, I believe, come from interviews and
other 'earned' media. The FSP should continue to focus advertising
dollars on Free Talk Live and explore other pro-freedom radio shows
to advertise on. Additionally, we should focus more effort on
increasing FSP call ins and guests on radio shows.
3: Word of mouth –
The FSP has
received many signups from word of mouth. We should continue to
encourage participants to spread the word via word of mouth. Having
said that, I expect word of mouth signups to grow more slowly than
other categories due to our relative inability to persuade large
numbers of people to recruit via word of mouth (see AAA program
results for details).
4: LP –
The LP has and will likely
continue to be a significant source of signups. We should continue
to advertise in LP News and place speakers and/or tables at LP
5: Direct Mail –
though no results
were reported for direct mail, one mailing has proven that direct
mail can result in new signups at a negative cost per signup. We
should test this with other lists and, if continued low / negative
cost per signup is encountered, we should take maximum advantage of
direct mail opportunities.
By focusing on the above 5 areas, I
believe we can increase the FSP's signup rate significantly. I favor
allocating resources to the above five areas to the maximum extent
feasible to give us the best chance at increasing recruiting.
Focus for goal #2:
Goal #2's plan will be significantly
aided by Goal #1's plan. Data has shown that early movers are likely
to sign the First 1000 pledge and that FSP participants are also
likely to sign the First 1000 pledge. To meet our objective, we will
maximize our efforts on those groups of people.
1: Early movers –
many of them have
already been signed up. To persuade the rest, we should focus on
personal networking in NH to reach them. At some point, we should
examine the participant database to determine who has not yet signed
the First 1000 pledge and reach out to them personally.
2: Current FSP participants –
will mail a promotional piece to all current FSP participants. We
have been emailing them information about it in the FSP News but have
not done any dedicated First 1000 email or mail promotion. Both
should be done several times before the end of the year to ensure the
best chance of recruiting from this group of people.
3: New FSP participants -
starting new participant mailings again and will include First 1000
promotional material in those mailings. Our mailings to new
Participants this year should focus on First 1000 and are expected to
provide a significant number of First 1000 signers.
The FSP should employ the following
resources in an effort to accomplish the above plans:
1: Volunteer time –
The FSP likely
has the second largest cadre of pro-freedom volunteers in the world
(next to the LP itself). These volunteers are creative and
productive and should be used to their maximum potential. They can
(and should) promote the FSP via the internet, radio shows, word of
mouth, and to the LP.
2: Money –
The FSP has money in the
bank and the ability to raise significant additional funds for the
above purposes. I believe we could have at least $50,000 available
to spend between now and 12/31/2006.
3: Professional consulting –
has retained PIC, a political PR consulting firm who is able to
assist us in publicizing the FSP. They can help with producing
materials, fulfilling direct mail campaigns, obtaining earned media
(including our radio focus, above), and other recruiting oriented
activities. In addition to the above specific areas of focus, PIC
will be pursuing multiple types of publicity which has been
demonstrated to be effective.
The FSP's focus through the end of 2006
will be on gaining at least another 1000 SOI signers and ~800 First
1000 signers. Those goals will be accomplished by focusing on:
Internet, Radio, Word of Mouth, Direct Mail, and LP outreach to gain
new SOI signers, and on NH residents, current SOI signers, and new
SOI signers to gain First 1000 signers.
None of the above plan should be
construed as an attempt to reduce any current activity aimed at
gaining new participants and facilitating their move to New