A message from our State Chair: Now that we are officially done with 2020, I wanted to take a look back. Although the year was very difficult for many, there were also many positives. I try to look on the brighter side of life, so I wanted to share with you some lowlights, but more importantly, many of the highlights of 2020 and what’s to come in 2021 for the Libertarian Party of California (LPC). But let’s start with what’s coming and what we have to look forward to!
Many of our LP county organizations, as well as the LPC, are getting more involved in ending the state lock-downs. We will keep you posted on when and where these events will be held!
Our 2021 Convention will be held in Visalia over the weekend of May 14-16. We have already confirmed that both Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen will be speaking, and additional speakers will be announced soon. Through the end of January you can get our early bird pricing at https://ca.lp.org/convention/.
There are several special elections this year, and of course the 2022 midterm elections will be here before you know it. We could really use your help to ensure we have many more elected Libertarians. If you're interested in running for office please send an email to [email protected]. If you aren't running, your financial support will be vital for those who are. You can give at https://www.candidate.fund/, and setting up a recurring donation of as little as $5/month there is easy and will mean so much! And now for a look back at 2020.
2020 started out pretty great, and seemed to be filled with tremendous opportunity. Coming out of a record-breaking year for the state party, we held our Convention over Valentine’s Day weekend in Los Angeles and had one of the most successful and well-attended events in the party’s history. We also, for the first time in many years, not only filled our delegation for the National Libertarian convention, but had a full slate of alternates! Most all of our Presidential nominee hopefuls were in attendance and we held a professional debate that was watched across the country. We were also able to raise a substantial amount of money at the Convention that allowed us to help many of our candidates, including our presidential ticket, during the election season.
In March, as you all know, the nation shut down in response to the novel corona virus pandemic. Covid-19, or more specifically the government’s response, has wreaked havoc in our country, and especially in California. At the beginning of 2020 the LPC endorsed the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom that has gained momentum thanks to his overreactions to the pandemic, and many of our counties have held events to get signatures! If you haven't already signed the petition you can download one at https://recallgavin2020.com/petition/.
Due to the pandemic and government responses to it, the Libertarian National Convention originally scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend in Austin, TX was cancelled. Despite these difficulties we were able to get our candidates nominated on schedule, and were still able to hold an in-person convention!
An online nominating caucus was conducted over that original weekend in May, resulting in the nomination of Dr. Jo Jorgensen for President and Spike Cohen for Vice President. Then in July the National convention was held in Orlando, Florida, where the delegates voted to allow remote participation and ratified the nominations of Jo and Spike. This hybrid convention was a huge success. I am especially proud, as a Libertarian, that over 400 of us gathered in Orlando from all around the country and not one attendee tested positive for Covid-19 or got sick! It just goes to show that with voluntary cooperation we can all gather safely, following appropriate guidelines, and prevent virus transmission!
Over the summer and fall all focus was on the elections, and California had many wins! There were several events in California for Jo and Spike, and all were huge successes! Due to this, Libertarian Party voter registration is at the highest level in history, with almost 200,000 registered Libertarians in California -- a 14% increase in just one year and a 32% increase since the end of 2018. Our state party membership is also at an all-time high and continues to grow daily!
All of this brought us to the November elections, and California had MANY wins! Although Jo and Spike didn’t win, they had the second highest results for a presidential ticket, in every matrix, in the party’s history.
Here in California we knocked it out of the park! Nationally 27 Libertarians were elected, and seven of those wins happened right here! Kalish Morrow won her seat on the Hanford City Council with 42.5% in a three-way race, winning against the incumbent! The day after the election, Councilman Francisco Ramirez changed his voter registration to Libertarian after working with Kalish, and on the night Kalish was sworn in, Francisco was elected Mayor! Wendy Hewitt won one of three at-large seats in Calimesa, running against the three incumbents, coming in with the highest vote total. Other wins were Bob Karwin, Menifee City Council; Mike Frost, Dana Point City Council; and Brian Holtz and Kate O’Brien were re-elected to their seats on the Purissima Hills Water District Board and Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District Board of Directors, respectively. And finally, Ryan Kelley, Imperial County Supervisor, ran unopposed and was re-elected to his seat in March.
Last, but not least, I’m excited to announce that at the December LPC Executive Committee Meeting, Tim Ferreira was appointed as the Party’s interim Executive Director! We are very fortunate to have someone with so much enthusiasm and expertise becoming such an important part of the LPC team!
So in looking back, although 2020 held many challenges, it was a good year for the party, and I’m looking forward to what 2021 will bring!
Yours in Liberty,
Mimi Robson, Chairperson, LPC