Toledo Liberty — Activism Report

Toledo Liberty was the brainchild of a late night brain-storming session I had in January. I imagined what a great idea it would be to be able to gather a fair amount of liberty speakers at The University of Toledo to spread the ideals of Liberty. It was such a good idea I figured I and the rest of UT YAL had to act on it! So that next week I went to see its feasibility.  I decided we could pull it off and then the rest of YAL learned of the idea and we went full force after it.

Table in front of Toledo Liberty

Preparations

The first obvious preparation was booking the room.  Once the room was finalized, I went on the hunt for possible speakers. The speakers that stood up to the challenge were:

Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher
Conservative Blogger and Former Congressional Candidate

Tom Waniewski  
Republican Toledo City Councilman

Todd Grayson
Libertarian Perrysburg City Councilman

Unfortunately, Joe had a death in the family and could not attend, so we had to scramble to find a replacement and we did! The candidate that filled in on such a short notice was:

Nathan Eberly
Libertarian Blogger and Chairman of the Wood County Libertarian Party

With all the speakers finalized, we had just a few final things left to do, like managing our advertising efforts and baking the goods for the bake sale. After that we were all set!

Marketing

Our marketing efforts I believe were successful, however I believe the horrible time for our event negated them. However, I am going to list what we did and the results we believe each produced:

Announcement (Facebook Post)
Reach: 3,102  (according to Facebook)
Description: I designed an awesome flyer and we at UT YAL posted it online to make a big splash. In addition to this, I told about 30 people to share and like the photo to increase exposure.

Flyers on and off Campus
Reach: People passing through the student union and off-campus locations
Description: The flyer I designed was printed out in full color and hung all across the student union and in local gathering spots across Toledo such as Starbucks.

Jenga Tower Raffle
Reach: 2,595 (according to Facebook)
Description: We raffled off the Jenga tower we were given from Jenganomics to promote this event.

YesFM Interview
Reach: 7,000-10,000 on average (probably much less due to Toledo signal out)
Description: Myself and Chris went to the YesFM’s studio and did an interview. However, I am pretty sure the signal for the station was out.

Flyering at local events
Reach: 20-40 dedicated conservatives
Description: I went to a few North West Ohio Conservative Coalition events and handed out flyers for attendants.

Press Release
Reach: Local news stations
Description: I sent out press releases to a few local media outlets and our local Fox affiliate contacted us back. However, we are unsure if they aired a story or not.

Event

The event overall was a blast, though it was not as packed as we’d hoped. 

I skipped my speech due to the fact I didn’t want to waste our speakers’ time,  however our speakers themselves gave awesome speeches.

Tom spoke over the dangers of government intervention on a local level and how he works with politicians outside the liberty minded perspective to pass liberty minded legislation or stop a bad bill.

Councilman Tom Waniewski Speaking

Todd spoke of how to really create change we must get elected to office and how one can get elected to office. 

Councilman Todd Grayson Speaking

Nathan spoke about the growing liberty movement in the Toledo and Bowling Green area and expounded upon how we can produce change.

Nathan Eberly Speaking

At the end of the event, we had bakesale leftovers. So I and Amy went around the student union giving away free desserts and YAL flyers to get out UT YAL’s name a little more. 

All in all I’d say Toledo Liberty was a success, albeit with some major problems. Thankfully we learned from our mistakes and next year’s event will be even better!

Mistakes

Unfortunately the lack of time was one of the event’s downfalls. Since the reservation was so close to the day of the event there were hardly any days to choose a reasonably sized room. We ended up stuck in a room with poor visibility, having the event the Friday night before exams.

Some bad luck attributed to our low attendance, but it was primarily my fault. However that did not mean it was a failure; quite the opposite—it was a great learning experience. Our speakers gave some of the best speeches I have ever heard and now we at UT YAL know what not to do when planning an event.

Results

Even though Toledo Liberty was not well attended, it still helped us get our name out on campus. We also learned as a chapter to work together as a team, and in the future we’ll be able to avoid the mistakes we made this time around. This project also provided us with more contacts among local leaders in the liberty movement.

Overall Toledo Liberty was a great event. My chapter put in tons of footwork making sure to come to the event and helping where they could. We plan to host a second, better Toledo Liberty in 2014. I will start working on the planning of the event this summer and by the time it comes around we will have the event of a lifetime!

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