On Wednesday, April 15, nearly 100 Tea Party and affiliated patriot groups will gather in Austin on the south steps of the state Capitol for the first ever statewide Texas Tea Party rally. The rally is for all those who support the principles of limited government, fiscal sanity, personal responsibility, rule of law, and national and state sovereignty. It does not matter if people are formally affiliated with like-minded groups in their area or not.
The afternoon of festivities will kick-off with a “rally before the rally” at 11:30 am followed by the main rally at 12:00 pm. An all-star lineup of speakers, grassroots training sessions plus canvassing on key issues while the 84th Legislative session is well underway will round out the rest of the day. This is a free event.
Headlining the noontime rally will be prominent grassroots voices including Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby, President of Empower Texans/Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and Breitbart Texas contributor Michael Quinn Sullivan, Raging Elephants Radio personality Heidi Hansing, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (schedule permitting).
At 2:00 pm and again at 3:30 pm, there will be workshops. Joseph Wade Miller, South Central Regional Coordinator for Heritage Action, will conduct two of the five sessions that will focus on shoring up online social media skills. One workshop is for beginners and the other is an advanced class. They are intended to teach and strengthen advocacy skills and outreach capabilities.
Breitbart Texas spoke to Miller. He said, “The point of the social media training is to educate activists in how social media can be used to track and understand what their members of Congress are, or are not doing, and how social media can then be used to advance accountability efforts and encourage elected officials to stand on principle and advance conservative policies.”
The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) will hold a presentation on how-to lobby effectively for Second Amendment rights. There will be sessions on training candidates, and another on how-to “follow the money”. Leaders from the largest Tea Party groups in the state – NE Tarrant County, Clear Lake, and Kingwood – will hold a Q&A on how-to start and grow a grassroots group. To attend any of the workshops, sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perhaps, no state is more closely represented by the Tea Party than Texas. Constitutional, small government conservatives swept the November 2014 Lone Star midterm elections, which Breitbart Texas reported. On Facebook, the rally is also called the Texas Tax Day Tea Party Rally. Over the past year much has come to light regarding the IRS targeting these kinds of tax-exempt conservative groups for audits.
Breitbart Texas spoke to Julie McCarty, President of the NE Tarrant Tea Party, whose group is among those participating. She said that although the event is being held on April 15, which is the deadline for federal income tax, the impetus for mega-gathering actually came during the last legislative session in 2013.
“We watched as one group after another rallied at the Capitol in support of their pet issue. So we asked ourselves, why isn’t the Tea Party in Austin?” McCarty stated.
She added that the coordination of the rally got a helpful assist from Stickland’s office. He is a North Texas Tea Party favorite. McCarty commented that some of the participating organizations from around the state are “helping by promoting it, organizing buses, speaking at the rally or at breakout sessions, and encouraging folks to join in.”
McCarty also told Breitbart Texas that she looks forward to the speakers and training sessions to serve as an opportunity for Texans “to get energized, get educated, and get moving. The rally will hopefully motivate and energize. The breakout sessions will prepare citizens to go a step further. And then we’re handing out flyers to share ideas on what issues they might want to talk to key legislators about while they’re there.”
Concurrent citizen lobbying from 1:30 – 5:00 pm will allow participants to check on legislation mid-session and to show the combined strength of Texas Tea partiers on such issues as Second and Tenth Amendment rights, taxes, pro-life, school choice, federal overreach, and American Laws for American Courts, among others.
Although it is an opportunity for a statewide voice of the Tea Party to be heard, McCarty summed up the Austin adventure by saying, “We are all just regular citizens. Stay at home moms, retired persons, working dads and moms, even kids.”
She mused that, bottom line, this would be a day about ordinary people voicing their concerns. “Ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”
In addition to the hyperlinks in the article, more rally information can be found on social media and web sites for those participating Texas Tea Party groups around the state.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.