Ramblings from Reggie, Nov. 10-16 column (“An open letter to the Illinois Tea Party movement”) was thoughtful and thought-provoking. As coordinator of the Tea Party to the north of Rockford, let me respond.
1—The Tea Party is a movement of experienced citizens who had better sense than to swallow Obama’s plans to “transform America.” Many who come to meetings from the stateline area are not interested in driving to downtown Rockford. We brought the movement to them last March, and they showed up in force.
2—Every Tea Party group is independent—that is both our strength and our weakness. Rockford Tea Party has priorities, and Northern IL Tea Party has slightly different priorities. We learn from each other, and from other nearby groups, including the Stephenson County Tea Party. Our state group, Illinois Tea Party Patriots, Inc., communicates weekly with the national Tea Party Patriots, and has a weekly call for its 70+ affiliates. They tell us what national Tea sees as priorities, but no group is compelled to work in any direction. We are a true grassroots movement.
3—Northern IL Tea Party members do not live in the City of Rockford, for the most part, and have less interest in issues affecting Rockford residents. Writer Reggie Roberson suggested we go to Rockford City Council meetings in force. Have you been to a meeting there lately? When I went in September, I was shocked at the small size of the gallery. I believe that is purposeful.
Saturday, Nov. 20, coordinators of state Tea Party and Patriot groups met in Wheaton to discuss the priorities for the coming two years. The overturn of the health care “reform” is high on the list, as is extension of the Bush tax cuts and ensuring that future elections are clean and honest. We have our work cut out for us! Come to a meeting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2, at 302 W. Main St., Rockton, and see where your talents might ease the massive problems that face us, or call me at 815-277-1144.
Coordinator of the Northern Illinois Tea Party
From the Nov. 24-30, 2010 issue