Outreach has become a buzzword in the Republican Party the last few years. We elect Outreach Chairs, we create Outreach Initiatives, and write Outreach Literature. We are desperate to be “outreaching”.
However in the last nine months as Chair of the Ottawa County GOP Outreach Committee, I’ve asked what we can do to reach out and I’ve found that we are already “doing” outreach pretty well. We participate in different fairs and festivals, such as LAUP’s Fiesta, the Multicultural Festival, Junteeenth and the Hudsonville Fair. Every parade is a chance for us to connect with voters. This September we did our first round of outreach focused events, one in each part of the county, to begin developing more meaningful relationships with voters and potential future party members.
These are all good and important things that we should and will continue to do. But is that all outreach is? In recent years, our form of outreach has truly been to ask people to join us. But in reality, shouldn’t we be asking the community how we can be more involved with them?
I believe outreach shouldn’t just be about asking people to come to us, by developing new programs, new meetings or activities. It should be about bringing the message of limited government with us wherever we go and becoming more integrated in the community. We should be going to people instead of asking them to come to us.
As we move forward toward Election Day in 2016, we will continue to hold our gatherings and you will see us at community events, however we are also committed to joining existing groups in the community and listening to them- what is important to them and how can we as Republicans, advocate for their freedom and opportunity?
The Executive Committee, our elected officials, in whatever capacity we are serving, be it as a member of a trade organization, as a business owner, as a member of the many excellent Chambers of Commerce, will also represent the Republican Party. We will take opportunities to speak truth about the damage that government overreach is doing to our country, but also, most importantly to our community.
I challenge you, as like minded Republicans, to join us in speaking up where you are, and reaching the one, two or 10 people in your circle of influence, and show them how the Republican Party is working to give them more freedom and opportunity.
This is outreach. It’s not one of the things we do. It is a lifestyle of truly becoming a part of the community we live in.