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Story Archives: Local Tea Party convenes in Alexandria for meeting
|Local Tea Party convenes in Alexandria for meeting|
Delegates from the local Tea Party convened Saturday in Alexandria to network with members of the fledgling grassroots movement from all over Louisiana.
Discussion sessions from the day-long event at Alexandria Baymont Inn & Suites and SAI Conference Center — attended by about 80 delegates from Louisiana Tea Parties — included ways the groups could work together and whether or not the movement should endorse political candidates.
Delegates from the local party who attended the event were Glen Williams, Sam Noble, Marie Stephenson, Kevin Carroll and Kelly Martin.
Williams said the local party would soon meet in Winnsboro to officially confirm the group's name.
"Our Tea Party will meet on Monday, May 24, and we will have our name. We will be called 'An American Patriots Tea Party'," Williams said. "We don't care who you are or where you are from — you can be one of us."
The Tea Party will hold the meeting at 7 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 2801 Loop Road in Winnsboro.
In addition to naming the group, officers will be chosen and by-laws will be agreed upon, according to members.
The Alexandria meeting was a great way to connect with people involved in similar movements and learn what they have been able to accomplish in opposition of what they see as a government growing out of control, said delegates.
"What a joy and honor to share the room with all of my fellow dangerous radicals. The police are outside working a wreck right now, but I'm sure they will soon be in here to keep us under control," quipped Martin.
"There are about 70 to 80 people here, but I would like to see about 70,000," he said.
Some in the room disagreed over what is the most effective way to connect electronically — using social network Web sites like Facebook or a central Internet site — and if Tea Parties should rate and endorse candidates.
Most were in agreement, however, that parties should maintain their independence while finding ways to collectively push an agenda of a smaller, less intrusive government.
"We would like to see Tea Parties in every parish in Louisiana get involved in every election. Starting at the local level and continue to get involved from the ground up," said Cecil Cavanaugh of the Baton Rouge-based Tea Party of Louisiana.
Ideas vetted included parties sending representatives as "watchers" to public meetings and cordinating weekly "sign waving" rallies at busy intersections across the state, similar to one held every Friday by a Shreveport area Tea Party.
Creating education forums to educate citizens on the U.S Constitution was also discussed.
A Constitution forum hosted by the local Tea Party was taught in Winnsboro last month by Kevin A. Unter, assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisiana - Monroe.
Some delegates from other Louisiana Tea Parties said they would travel to Winnsboro for an Independence Day tail-gate party to be held for Tea Party members on July 3 at Davis Park.