Delegates to the Libertarian Party of California (LPC) annual convention elected Honor “Mimi” Robson as chair on April 29. She replaces two-time LPC chair Ted Brown, who recently relocated to Texas, for the second half of the two-year term.
It was Brown whose 2016 telephone call convinced Robson to run for state senate (33rd district) that year. Now Robson, a licensed professional engineer, is running for state assembly (70th district). She was elected LPC secretary in 2017 and served as organizer of the 2018 convention, held in her city of Long Beach on April 27–29.
To replace Robson as secretary, delegates elected Angela McArdle, the 2018 Libertarian candidate for U.S. House, 34th district.
The Santa Monica Daily Press featured an interview of Robson on May 1. From the article by Kate Cagle, “Samohi alumna elected to lead state Libertarian Party”:
The California Libertarian Party chose longtime member Honor “Mimi” Robson as their chair Sunday, placing a former Santa Monica resident at the helm. Robson, who is also running as the Libertarian candidate for State Assembly in Long Beach, says she plans to reach out to disenfranchised voters to expand the party’s numbers.
Less than one percent [of] Los Angeles County voters, about 30,000 people, are currently registered as Libertarians, but 25 percent, about 1.3 million, have no party preference , according to the Secretary of State. Robson hopes Republicans who dislike President Donald Trump and Democrats fed up with California’s notoriously high taxes will give the Libertarian Party a chance.
“Those people are looking for a political home and they don’t know enough about us,” Robson said. “They really are Libertarians and they just don’t know it.”
Robson says retooling the party’s brand and central message may help attract new members in an era of political discontent. They support choice, LGBTQ equality, antidiscrimination laws, private unions, gun ownership, lower taxes, and privatized retirement options. They do not support a single-payer healthcare system in California.
Robson’s political views formed while she was a student at Santa Monica High School, despite the school’s blazing blue reputation as a bastion of progressive politics.
“I didn’t end up being indoctrinated, like many of [my] friends, to be a Democrat like everyone else was,” Robson said.
Books like The Wealth of Nations and The Fountainhead caused her to drift away from the political leanings of her peers. As a teenager growing up just six blocks from Palisades Park, Robson remembers warning her mom rent control was a bad idea, when it first came to Santa Monica in the 1970s.
“From a young age, I was already conservative in that respect,” Robson said. “I’ve always been interested in economics, the government, and the constitution.”
Robson keeps up with local issues by managing two prominent local Facebook pages: “You know you’re from Santa Monica if…” and “Santa Monica Now,” which have a combined following of about 15,000 users. As the administrator, Robson tries to stay out of politics on the pages.
“I do my venting about politics on other Facebook pages,” Robson said. Much of the political debates on her pages focus on the housing and homeless crisis in California. Robson’s party supports reducing the number of approvals, hearings, and design guidelines for housing projects. It also advocates repealing rent control and subsidized housing fees.
Robson says candidates like herself are the key to the party’s future, especially after Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign in 2016. Johnson received 4.5 million votes, the most of any third-party presidential candidate since Ross Perot won 8 million in 1996. However, he never received enough support to make it onto a debate stage.
“Until we get down-ticket wins, we’re not going to get a presidential win,” Robson said.
Learn more about the Libertarian Party of California: Ca.LP.org
Robson’s campaign website: HonorRobson.com
McArdle’s campaign website: AngelaMcArdleForCongress.com