Our biggest activism this year has been a push in local community service with an effort we call “Libertarians #RiseUpCleanUp”.
Our activism effort began during the major federal government shutdown in January 2019, with the National Park Service unable to maintain and clean up trash of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. There was an idea from the national Libertarian Party to mobilize libertarians to come do the job that government was failing to do. LPNOVA stepped up to organize the effort, which involved mapping out “lanes” for volunteers to focus on, grouping them into teams as they arrived as the start point near the Smithsonian Castle, then receiving and disposing of the trash as they arrived at the designated end near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This involved more than 30 volunteers from as far away as Pennsylvania and West Virginia and resulted in 16 full bags of trash (photo attached), as well as significant media attention and recognition within the libertarian community:
- NowThis Politics (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=589022358209999
- Independent Journal Review (IJR): https://ijr.com/national-park-clean-up-national-parks/
- The Libertarian Vindicator: https://libertarianvindicator.com/2019/01/04/libertarian-party-to-clean-up-national-mall-during-government-shutdown/
- News2Share: http://news2share.com/start/2019/01/06/libertarians-clean-up-national-parks-during-government-shutdown/
- LibertarianRedhead (Twitter): https://twitter.com/LibertarianRed1/status/1082005397249105922
- HotAir Personal Blogs: https://hotair.com/archives/taylormillard/2019/01/13/libertarian-party-organizes-national-park-cleanups/
LPNOVA didn’t stop there, however. We quickly pivoted this success into ongoing efforts to adopt and clean up local roads and parks in the northern Virginia area. Now called “Libertarians #RiseUpCleanUp”, a label we are using to tie together our trash cleanup, park adoption, and other environmental efforts. We have adopted a major neighborhood street in Fairfax County, as well as a local park in Arlington County. These efforts have involved not only picking up loose trash, but also removing an old dilapidated fence and digging up old park benches as part of a major re-development and landscaping improvement for the park (photos attached). It also provides an opportunity for future Libertarian candidates to gain experience in community organizing and promotion.
For 2020 we will be greatly expanding this program by working with other local LP affiliates to help them adopt parks, streams, and roads in their area under the #RiseUpCleanUp banner, turning it into a nationwide Libertarian Party effort that brings recognition and training opportunities. Finally, we will also evolve the program into it’s true intended goal: a focus on municipal policies and budgets of parks and recreational services for local LP affiliates. Parks and Recreation Departments are often the first to suffer budget and service cuts by cities, towns, and counties. Libertarians will be ready to pick up the slack from government, proving that volunteer action can overcome all problems – including building up your neighborhood park to the best it’s ever been.