From the President’s Desk
Ferguson, MO, is a stark reminder of the importance of the Free State Project’s mission: to concentrate enough liberty lovers together to make a real difference in our own lives.
Come stand with the community that has been fighting against police militarization for years. Come stand with the community that believes in government accountability and that affirmed the right to record police officers in public. Come stand with the community where hundreds of pro-liberty candidates are running for office. Come stand with the community whose members run private charities, brewpubs, Bitcoin companies, restaurants, and clubs; who host writing groups, art parties, shoots, hunts, cookouts, workshops, and classes. We plant our own gardens, catch our own babies, breastfeed, home-school, drink raw milk, consume Bulletproof Coffee, and know where our eggs and meat come from (when we’re not harvesting it ourselves). Come stand with the community that knows “Liberty in Our Lifetime” is achievable because we are making it happen, and we are having fun while doing it! Come be part of the solution.
The FSP has now reached 80% of its goal of 20,000 signers. In early August, the Board held a summit to refine our strategic plan to Trigger the Move and to formulate a more comprehensive fundraising strategy now that we have 501(c)(3) status. Aaron Day replaced Rich Goldman as chairman. We also increased the size of the Board, and welcome two new board members: serial entrepreneur and mover Matt Philips, and FSP founder and mover Jason Sorens. Read their bios here and the latest board minutes here.
The majority of signers per capita per state come from New England, where residents are already acclimated to the winters. In the coming months, we will actively market the FSP and New Hampshire to our target audiences within Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine, and upstate New York, using direct marketing, Facebook ads, and AdWords campaigns.
We have jazzed up our signer welcome packet, and in addition to the “welcome letter” with information about how to engage with the Porcupine community, participants now receive a Free State Project bumper sticker and pamphlets about Shire Sharing, PorcFest, and Liberty Forum. Thanks to Paul Best and Chris Lopez for driving this project!
Our social media outreach is growing and growing! We now have more than 60,000 likes on Facebook and 58,700 followers on Twitter. The team has started a new monthly state-by-state comparison meme on Facebook. The first one was a comparison of New York and New Hampshire (see graphic). This post organically reached 448,512 people, garnered 16,688 likes, 4,440 comments, and 6,221 shares on our page—an unprecedented success! If you are looking for an easy way to help the FSP, please like, comment, and share our Facebook posts, and retweet.
We are working on filming mini-documentaries featuring Porcupines in their natural habitats, highlighting “A Day in the Life of an FSP Mover.” We will be making more FSP video ads, like this—sneak peek!—one. The independently made “101 Reasons” feature-length movie is slated for release in November after the elections, when disillusioned libertarian voters will be looking for answers and alternatives. We launched a fun armchair activist project called “FSP Chairborne Rangers” asking “Keyboard Commandos“ to commit for a minimum of six months to posting positive comments about the FSP and the pro-liberty benefits of life in New Hampshire on articles, blogs, podcasts, and forums. You can become an FSP Chairborne Ranger by joiningthis Facebook group or by contacting us. Other exciting projects are in the works. I can’t tell you more about them just yet, but they are going to knock your socks off!
Current projections put us at September 2016 to Trigger the Move, accelerated from 2018. We now have almost 16,000 participants. We’ll be contacting signers to encourage them to start planning their moves, just as this past month’s 29 new movers did. Consult our easy-to-useMoving Guide for tips on making the move. We will also be sending out a survey soon for your feedback on FSP hosted events. Stay tuned!
Word-of-mouth is our #1 recruitment tool. Getting the last 4,000 signers should be a priority for every single Free State Project participant. I attended the Freedom & Unity Festival in Vermont this past weekend, and personally signed 5 of the 8 participants we recruited. I implore you to do the same. Talk to your friends and family about the Free State Project. Encourage people to sign the Statement of Intent. Mention the FSP in comments on articles, blogs, threads, and podcasts. Use our social media tools. Call in to talk shows. Help spread the word. Ultimately, the success of the Free State Project is up to YOU!
Yours in peace and liberty,
President, Free State Project
Promote the FSP! A Fun Opportunity
The regional conferences held by Students for Liberty are a great place to promote the FSP, since college students who are planning their futures have more mobility than people with settled careers and families. There is no charge to attend and no charge to put up a table for the FSP. The first volunteer to sign up for each location gets a box full of FSP swag in the mail!
Locations in italics already have volunteers to head up the tables, but the more, the merrier!
Finally, if you live near Arlington, VA, please consider promoting the FSP at the Students for a Sensible Drug Policy conference September 26-29.
New Hampshire News
The Concord Monitor published an op-ed by Carla Gericke correcting misconceptions about the Free State Project participants and clarifying how the FSP has evolved since 2001.
The New York Times covered PorcFest XI and Nick Gillespie’s keynote in "Has the ‘Libertarian Moment’ Finally Arrived?"
Good news for wine enthusiasts: New Hampshire is the best state in America for wine.
Finally, two FSP participants helped launch Stark360, a political action committee that intends to make the most of New Hampshire’s unique position to influence national politics in a libertarian direction.
Made the Move by Tynan Mohney
Overheard in the Free State
A Visit to Grafton by Scott Herrmann
Outside of the Free State Project, Grafton is not on many peoples’ radar screens. It is nestled in the woods of New Hampshire, some 30-45 minutes from the nearest major town. Grafton is an area a little larger than 40 square miles, struck through with dirt roads, and far removed from the suburbs and infill which one finds in most of America.
Grafton is a place where people go to escape the complexities of modern life and government regulation. One such person is Peter Bosse II, a former web developer at Apple who moved from California to Grafton in pursuit of his lifelong dream of designing and building his own home for himself and his family. Peter’s home is presently a work in progress, with the bones of a beautiful and functional living space. His family’s efforts exemplify a do-it-yourself spirit which I found to be prevalent in Grafton.
Grafton is a place that would probably not appeal to a city slicker. The Free Staters I met occupy their time by cutting firewood, tending to their animals, improving their properties, and (naturally!) participating in local politics. In Grafton, do-it-yourself is a way of life. By moving to Grafton, one gives up many government-provided conveniences, but gains some great benefits in the trade-off: Grafton offers affordable land and the ability for the landowner to build and improve on his land with minimal regulatory stultification.
Grafton is being built from the bottom up, which is a rare thing to see in today’s America. It is not a planned community, or a project sponsored by wealthy developers. Instead, it is a place of homesteaders, farmers, builders, and those ready and willing to live off their land. Cable TV and pizza delivery are not very important to Graftonites, but agriculture, tools, and design are.
I found two common themes among the people whom I visited in Grafton. The first was pride. Free Staters in Grafton are proud of their homes, farms, and homesteads. In this, I could not help but be reminded of the early American settlers and pioneers of history books, who, armed with little more than love of liberty and the tools in their chests, set about building this great country.
The second theme was that of ambition. Almost every person I met had big plans: plans to build on their land or to improve their homes, and to provide for themselves and their loved ones for many years to come. We can all learn something from the hard-working people in Grafton.
I wish the Free Staters in Grafton great success in the coming years, and I hope that the community there continues to grow and move forward in peace and in liberty.
If you’d like to learn more about what Grafton has to offer, contact Peter for a tour or visit during the Grafton Apple Festival on the last Sunday in September.
Facebook Page of the Month
The New Hampshire Liberty Alliance is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization involved in both political and civic action.
Website of the Month
BirdsEyeView Aerobotics is a start-up from Sutton, NH that makes flying robots for recreational use.
Handy FSP Links
Check out NH housing and other community & logistical information at NH Info.
Stay up-to-date on social events and activism opportunities by following the New Hampshire Liberty Central Calendar.
Are you ready to join the FSP, move to New Hampshire and work with us towards Liberty in Our Lifetime? Join here!
And if you’re planning a visit, email email@example.com, and we’ll be in touch.
We Keep Growing and Growing…
As of 8/20/2014:▪ Participants: 15,954
▪ Participants in NH: 1,648
As of 07/17/2014:▪ Participants: 15,850
▪ Participants in NH: 1,619
As of 6/18/2014:▪ Participants: 15,748
▪ Participants in NH: 1,614
The Free State Project
The Free State Project is an effort to recruit 20,000 liberty-loving people to move to New Hampshire. We are looking for neighborly, productive, tolerant folks from all walks of life, of all ages, creeds, and colors who agree to the political philosophy expressed in our Statement of Intent, that government exists at most to protect people’s rights, and should neither provide for people nor punish them for activities that interfere with no one else.
The work of creating and sustaining such a society in New Hampshire is the job of residents, including project participants, not the Free State Project itself.
The FSP does not endorse any specific changes to government or strategies to achieve them. The FSP does not take positions on issues, candidates, legislation, places to move within New Hampshire, tactics or methods of action. The one stipulation the FSP does make is that people who promote violence, racial hatred, or bigotry are not welcome.
Reporting by the FSP on participant activity or NH events on the website, in the newsletter, or in any other place does not represent support or endorsement and may not portray the diversity of opinions and activities that exists among participants.