The truth is a hard thing sometimes. It’s hard to stare the truth in the face, especially when it makes you uncomfortable. It’s sobering, it’s scary and it’s humbling. The truth is a hard, bitter pill to swallow, but it’s just the prescription for the Harris County Republican Party and its Outreach efforts. Now, before you let out a groan about Outreach, let me say this first; I realize there have been problems with this committee. I was one of the ones pointing out those problems a while back. (I’m part of the solution and here’s the problem) Those problems still exist to an extent, but I’m hopeful for the future. The Outreach Committee over the years has often been unable to make quorums, unfunded and had no vision for the future. It has been hapless and misled and then NOT led at all. We all know that. The Outreach committee failed miserably during last year’s presidential election, we know that, too.
Now, for some good news. There is hope for the party and its Outreach efforts. Shocking, right? The reason is that we have a new Outreach Committee chair in Chris Carmona. He has a vision on how to lead this committee and the party towards victory! He feels that the Outreach Committee was formed so that we as a party might reach out in charitable ways to the surrounding communities in order to help build relationships and thereby, spread the message of conservatism. Chris would like to see the Outreach Committee members and the party work together to share the message that we should be fiscally responsible as citizens and as a government, that free markets do work best for the populous and that the government works best when it’s limited to its constitutional powers. He also feels that implementing the use of Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Spreecast to name a few of the social media outlets can help promote our message of conservatism, something that’s never been done before. He also plans on locating areas and communities and targeting our outreach efforts in those communities to help build a coalition between us and the voters in Harris County. Another reason why I’m hopeful for our Outreach efforts is because I recently read an article written by Anthony Magdeleno that he contributed to Big Jolly Politics about Hispanic outreach. I loved that article because he put outreach into such simple terms that we should all be ashamed of ourselves for not doing it sooner.
Let me remind you, outreach takes time. It isn’t an activity that is going to produce fruit overnight. We as a party recognize that we are behind the eight ball right now, but we have to start somewhere. Like it says, God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. There has to be some relationships built between the HCRP and the surrounding communities, whether Hispanic, Asian or African American. We can’t do just one activity and expect votes in return. I think this has been part of the problem with outreach for far too long. As in Anthony’s article, we need to go back to the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I think that will speak volumes.
Again, I know there are some out there saying, “What are we going to get in return?” Maybe nothing at first and we need to acknowledge that right up front. There is going to be some work involved, boots on the ground, if you will, and we can’t let that deter us. We simply cannot just throw up our hands and say “forget it.” Outreach and relationship building are way too important to give up on them now.
I’ll give you an example. When a business opens its doors, it might do a little marketing first. It might hand out some coupons or free samples as a gesture of good will. Then as time goes by, that business sticks in your mind because they were kind to you. One day you go back and you patronize the place and you like them; they are friendly and make you feel welcome. Then you decide to go back again, and the service and experience you had was pleasant and consistent with the one you had before. Then, before you know it, you’re a regular customer!
The Republican Party and its ideals are a ‘brand’. To quote the late, great Andrew Breitbart, “If you can’t sell freedom or liberty, you suck…!” We are the brand, we do have to sell it and we can sell it once those relationships are built! #WAR
Harris County Republican Party Precinct Chair #877
Member, HCRP Outreach Committee