By Mike Engleman on Jan 2, 2023
In my previous Blog, I outlined how I became a partner with others forming a coalition of affecting change locally. I also provided some background about myself, what we encountered and how we proceeded forward. I closed with a Remonstrance process that was really a key point strategically going forward. We knew the County Council would approve the bloated budget, which they did, but the 4-3 vote sent shock waves and changed the course of County government and politics. Let me explain.
Immediately after that vote, more questions came from the community because of our efforts in bringing this to the public arena. We used the local newspapers with Letters to The Editor, and I was responsible for creating social media awareness with Facebook posts, supported by facts, figures, articles, and statistics. To properly inform and educate the public, it was important to use print media and social media together to insure we reached as many people as possible, because not everyone is on social media, and not everyone reads online and print media. I created a Facebook page where people could comment, share, and ask questions! We keep that page going because our work is not yet complete.
I(We) then started preparing for the 2022 election, where 4 County Council seats would be up for election. Three of the four council members were going to run for reelection. I helped with recruiting and vetting people to run as primary challengers against 3 Republican incumbents sending the local county Republican Party leadership into a tizzy. How dare we, how could we do this? My answer was, “easy, the current council members are not being fiscally responsible or conservative, so it’s time for a change!” Instead of the Republican Party staying neutral, they were actively supporting the incumbents, which exposed them as the worthless RINO’s they were, just like we see at the national level. It was disgusting, but I and our coalition was up to the task. I was more politically savvy than the leadership, plus we had great people engaged in helping our team of candidates.
We formulated a campaign strategy and message that resonated with the voters. It was forward thinking, aggressive, and took no prisoners in calling out how irresponsible the current local county council had become. We had four very sharp, young individuals who wanted to put the taxpayers first without hampering County economic development. It was a bold strategy, but it worked. There was an effective message on social media and print media that had the public engaged better than I thought possible. I believe that may have been due in large part to the effective way we informed and educated voters on just what was going on. The campaign was a well-oiled machine, and for the first time in political history in our county, 3 Republicans were about to be primaried out of office.
Fast forward to the May primary! Because of getting involved, getting skin in the game, to affect change locally, forming a coalition of like-minded people who had enough of out-of-control spending, raising taxes, ignoring their constituents, and a full-blown Remonstrance, success arrived with 4 new conservative principled leaders were voted in, 3 of which took down establishment incumbent RINO’s. Victory was absolute sweetness! No longer did the county establishment ridicule our efforts or think we were a joke. We had impact. To see where we arrived from where we began in just 9 months was amazing, nonetheless. It all started because I had decided to get involved, get engaged, get skin in the game. I had no idea what I was really doing, or how I would be able to put this together. I just knew I had to do something! Like many of you are already wondering about what you can do!
Find others to join the cause. Form a coalition. Meet weekly to outline and discuss objectives. Attend meetings, ask questions, make elected officials uncomfortable in defending their decisions while ignoring you! Use social media and print media to inform and educate others. You will be amazed at its impact, results, and effectiveness! Recruit candidates or run yourself for office or precinct committee.
In my final Blog message about ‘Change Is Local’ I will outline the strategy to change the Republican Party leadership. Also, what I discovered to be successful, and things that were not successful. Mind you, again, it is not a one size fits all approach. Just offering insight from my experience and observations! Until then, stay focused!