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09.15.2010 0

These Boots are Made for Walking

By Rebekah Rast –

The tea party movement is not all wild signs, balloons and rallies.

Many in the movement and other concerned voters are beginning to strap on their walking boots and get to work.

These folks are coming together and targeting districts where they want to see change. They are working towards a common goal—to educate voters about how specific Congressional action affects them personally.

In an interview with Heidi Verougstraete in the heart of Christiansburg, Virginia, she says, “We are doing the hard work of freedom. This is our fight for freedom. We don’t have signs or balloons; the way you change the world is at the kitchen table and knocking on doors.”

And that is just what various groups around the nation are doing. Many involved in the tea party movement have been outspoken about their fears and opposition to an ever-growing government and an uncertain spending future. Many tea party activists in districts around the nation are also endorsing their own candidates for Congress, making this an even more contentious election year.

Many Congressional incumbents are seeing the real power these concerned voters have and are now suffering the consequences of not taking them seriously.

“Americans are awakening to the bad policies and wrong direction of the government,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG).

One of the latest efforts to educate voters took place in Virginia’s ninth district on September 11, 2010. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) is the incumbent in the upcoming elections and Virginia citizens want to make sure voters know of his record and job performance since being elected to Congress.

Code Red, an affiliate of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), trains volunteers on the proper ways to go about educating voters without supporting or opposing any candidates. Volunteers give voters information about the candidates so they can then make their own informed decision.

Volunteers came from all over Virginia to help with the efforts in the ninth district. A bus even brought a group from Richmond, Virginia, to Christiansburg for the Saturday morning training. There were about 50 volunteers in all. After being served coffee and donuts and listening to their training, the volunteers were ready and excited to hit the ground running.

“We are trying to reach the people who haven’t thought through what’s happening to our nation,” says Barbara Skinner, a volunteer from Blacksburg, Virginia. “We want to make sure we get the message through to them. People are beginning to wake up to the fact that something is wrong.”

Skinner, with her friend Cathy Kincaid, who she met though various rallies and meetings, view these times of educating voters as the most important thing you could do.

“All the rallies did have an impact,” Skinner says, “but they don’t reach people who don’t know what’s going on.”

Kincaid adds, “I’ve never done this kind of thing before, but I just can’t sit on the sidelines anymore.”

Many of the volunteers interviewed at the Christiansburg gathering echoed Kincaid’s comment. They don’t have a political past, but they are frustrated and scared about where the government is taking America.

“I felt it was my duty to get involved,” says Richard Worssam, who came to Christiansburg to lend a helping hand all the way from Richmond. “I’ve been involved for almost two years and I should have been involved a lot sooner.”

Fred Hollen, a volunteer from Staunton, Virginia, says he got involved out of concern for a “blatant disregard of the Founding Fathers principles in the Constitution.”

The volunteers left the meeting and training session in Christiansburg ready to knock on the doors of Independent voters for the next few hours. Many of the folks at the meeting were meeting each other for the first time and immediate bonds were formed as they discussed past rallies, other districts they had helped and expressed similar concerns about the direction America was headed.

As they broke off in pairs and drove off in cars to head out to various neighborhoods, it was evident that these volunteers put their country first and could no longer sit idly by while the government continues to take America down a path they do not agree with.

Tea party activists and concerned voters have a loud voice in this upcoming election. They are being heard and understood. There opposition should not rest easy.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to the Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau.

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