Feb 27th marks the three-year anniversary of the first nationwide Tea Party protests. In the span of these three short years Tea Party Patriots has grown from an initial conference call of only 22 patriots from around the country into the largest grassroots organization in the United States.
How did this Start?
On February 16, 2009 Keli Carender held the Porkulus Protest in Seattle Washington, protesting the passage of Obama’s Stimulus Act. This event is widely credited as being one of the first that sparked wider protests against fiscal irresponsibility.
On February 19, Rick Santelli on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, in his infamous rant gives the movement a name – Tea Party.
On February 20, a small group of patriots from cities across the country – from Seattle to Atlanta – got together on a conference call and decided to take Santelli up on his suggestion. A mere 7 days later, on February 27, 2009, the first nationwide Tea Party protests were held, gathering an estimated 30,000 patriots in 48 cities across America.
By April 15, “Tax Day” Tea Parties had grown to an astonishing 850 cities and hundreds of thousands of patriots.
On 9/12 of the same year, more than one million patriots converged on Washington DC, where for the first time it became inescapably apparent that “they could hear us now”.
What Have We Done Since?
One of the greatest effects of your participation in the Tea party movement has to be the stunning victories we contributed to in the 2010 mid-term elections, representing the greatest swing in electoral outcomes in 70 years!
- Working together with several thousand community-based tea party groups around the country, we help provide logistical, educational, networking and other support through several different channels: weekly conference calls with local and state coordinators, online public and private discussion forums, and face-to-face visits.
- Communication is two-way, opinions are solicited and freely given. Our discussions are “lively” (to say the least), and differences of opinion are not uncommon. We believe this is but evidence of our grassroots composition.
- In addition to tens of thousands of local events by our affiliated groups, we help sponsor larger national events with our groups as well as in conjunction with other national groups.
- Events such as the Tax Day Tea Parties, the 9/12 March, “Kill the Bill” healthcare rallies, “Repeal, Reduce, Restore” (held simultaneously in St. Loius, Sacramento & Washington DC), and the “Continuing Revolution ” rally have involved the participation of over 3 million Americans!
- Numerous conferences are held in different parts of the country so local coordinators and supporters can come together, meet each other, and get training from experts to become more effective activists.
- The “Get Out the Vote” conference in October 2010 trained 70 local coordinators.
- The “Hold their Feet to the Fire” freshmen orientation, brought 150 local coordinators together with the incoming congressional freshmen to remind them we would be holding them accountable.
- The American Policy Summit in Phoenix had as many as 5000 attendees.
- Subsequent local coordinator conferences in Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina trained 395 local coordinators in media and electoral skills.
- Congressional Town Halls – thousands attended town halls in their states to discuss the healthcare bill.
- House Parties – held across the country to familiarize our neighbors with our core principles and the issues that face us.
- Grant to Local Groups – TPP administered a $1Million grant which was disbursed to local groups to forward their activities.
- Tele-Town-Halls – held periodically to reach large audiences (20,000-40,000) to hear discussion of issues and conduct voting and surveys or participant opinions.
- GOP Presidential Straw Poll – over 23,000 votes cast.
- Get Out the Vote tour – 34 cities in 13 days.
Following is a video from the two-year anniversary. This is obviously dated , but gives a great recap of the early history of Tea Party Patriots.