Friends, as you may or may not know, the YRFV election is coming up on April 20th As such, we emailed both candidates, Phil Bell and John Scott, in order to give them an opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about their campaigns. Scott was the first to respond, so below is his guest blog post. Enjoy!
- Not Jim Moran
Two years ago, I delved into the world of YRFV by becoming Chariman of the Shenandoah Valley Young Republicans and serving as the lone delegate from that club to the 2011 YRFV Convention. It was an exciting time of joining a new organization and learning the ropes. In August, I was appointed and confirmed as the Federation’s Vice Chairman, and in Feburary 2012, became Chairman. Although I didn’t have much time to transition from enjoying life to a member, to enjoying life (arguably less so) as leadership, I was ready for the challenge to improve what I had just been placed at the head of.
Since becoming Chairman 13 months ago, I have governed with wise words from President Reagan: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Every day I interact with YRs across Virginia, I try to do just that—instill a sense of duty and purpose in serving Virginia through this organization.
And I think our results reflect that inspiration.
For starters, the way we run the Federation Board has markedly improved. I’ve always taken an incredible amount of pride in not holding Board meetings for the sake of holding Board meetings. Prior to becoming Vice Chairman, the Federation would hold Board meetings that wouldn’t make quorum (which at the time was 10 people.) That’s simply not acceptable. Since becoming Chairman, all of our meetings have near perfect, or perfect, attendance. The Board knows I don’t want to waste their time, and when we do hold meetings—it’s for actual business.
We will improve our communication with membership by increasing business posts on our website, Twitter, and Facebook. And we must begin a reoccurring online newsletter to not let just our Board, but our members, know of club activities and Federation efforts.
Our strong leadership has enhanced our recruitment efforts. Folks want to join our ranks. We are making it cool, once again, to be a Republican. During my time as Chairman, our clubs have grown our Federation’s total numbers by over twenty percent. I envisioned a Federation where members of all stripes—from Ron Paul to Rockefeller—would work together for the Federation’s betterment. And we accomplished that by recruiting wherever we could find.
But to repeat this extraordinary result, we can’t stop. We must double-check with campaigns and units to ensure no fruit is left on the tree. We must establish a Women and a Minority Outreach program to start recruiting where our senior party members have failed. And, finally, I call on Convention-goers to support the proposed bylaw allowing College Republicans the choice to become Young Republicans.
We recently chartered new clubs in areas like Fauquier County, the Winchester area, and the Peninsula. Although there are few areas left that can likely sustain membership, I am determined to make a permanent club in two areas: Charlottesville and the Fightin’ Ninth.
But there’s not point in growing clubs and recruiting members unless they are going to deploy for our Republican candidates.
And last year, Virginia YRs didn’t just deploy, we had deployment FEVER. When we weren’t knocking doors in Virginia, we were helping Scott Walker win his recall, and helping Pat McCrory win in North Carolina. In addition to our two Virginia deployments last cycle, our membership deployed to seven states. At the last quarterly National Federation meeting, the YRFV was recognized for being the model for deployments. But what I am proudest of is our GOTV deployment. We combined regional forces, sending over 100 people to Virginia Beach. We micro-targeted truly undecided voters (didn’t even know they existed three days before a Presidential election) in several precincts. On Election Night, although we couldn’t turn Virginia red, we did turn Virginia Beach red. That alone makes it worth working so hard for this Federation.
If 2012 was a bestseller, 2013 will be one for the books. Both Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain know that; that’s why they endorsed me for reelection. We are already in the process of recruiting YRs across the United States to deploy here this election cycle. Mark my words, we will turn Virginia red.
It’s also time we start cheering for our YRs when they are up at bat. When our fellow colleagues take the leap and run for party leadership and elected office, they deserve the full support of this organization. Folks like Ron Meyer, Zach Martin, Dustin Curtis, Joshua Ferrar, and Terrence Boulden. I finally convinced the Federation to eliminate the endorsement prohibition at the 2012 Annual Meeting, so our leadership can back our fellow colleagues in competitive nomination contests. By God, let’s put it to use!
There’s so much more to discuss, and if you are interested, please contact me at JohnScottVA@gmail.com. I hope y’all will join me at Bailey’s in Arlington on April 20th. And I hope I can count on your support for my slate and me.
- John Scott