By Greg Stempfle
Do you have experience planning public events? Are you interested in helping the Libertarian Party of Michigan (LPM) make a significant impact on the 2020 elections? If so, the LPM is looking volunteers to help plan our state conventions next year.
Our first state convention will be the National Delegate Selection Convention, which must take place before April 9. That’s six weeks before the first day of the Libertarian Party National Convention, which begins Thursday, May 21, 2020 in Austin, Texas. The purpose of our National Delegate Selection Convention will be to select a slate of delegates and alternates to represent Michigan. Please note that this convention is too early, per our bylaws, for us to nominate candidates for public office.
Because delegate selection will be the primary business of this state convention we hope to have additional events throughout the day, such as; candidate training seminars, our annual Defender of Liberty Awards banquet, and speeches by candidates seeking our Presidential nomination. For those seeking a national delegate nomination please keep in mind that all delegates will need to attend the Party National Convention in Austin and should be familiar with the responsibilities of their position. While location is uncertain at this time, sites in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, such as Traverse City or Gaylord, have been discussed by the LPM.
The second state convention will be the Candidate Nominating Convention. At this convention the LPM will nominate our candidates for State and Federal offices. This convention must be held between the filing deadline for the 2020 primary, April 21, 2020, and the Michigan primary election, August 4, 2020. Because we will be selecting our presidential candidate at the end of May, the Libertarian Executive Committee (LEC) believes we should hold our state nominating convention in June or July. This year is unique because for the first time since 1992 the LPM will be able to nominate our Michigan candidates after our Presidential candidate! It is my hope that if we select a strong presidential candidate and the national convention is well covered by the media. It will help us to recruit more members and candidates in Michigan and across the nation.
This state convention will consider changes to the LPM platform (but not bylaws) and could coincide with a visit by our presidential candidate. This convention will be our most important and well publicized event of the season and should be held in a suitably large population center to maximize attendance and recruitment. The LEC has not discussed a location for this convention but for maximum impact should be in the greater Grand Rapids, Lansing, or Detroit area.
The LEC prefers to have these conventions planned early. Conventions should run as smoothly as possible and pre-planning is a large part of that. Additionally, given that the conventions could be a short as three months apart, they will have an overlapping planning phase. Given this, the LEC is interested in selecting a single committee to organize both conventions. The date and location of the second convention should already be determined by the time we hold our first. This serves the efficiency of the convention process and allows for its announcement by the Chair on C-SPAN when it’s time to declare how we voted for President.
If you are interested in being on or chairing the 2020 Conventions Committee, please email LPM Chair Greg Stempfle at email@example.com no later than Friday, August 9. Please include a brief statement about why you wish to help and what skill sets or background you have that would make your contribution valuable to the committee. The LEC would prefer a Committee Chair with previous experience, one who could share their knowledge and help train a newer group of party activists for future events.