Members Gather Informally in Columbus, Ohio
by William Campbell
On a cold and snowy Ohio morning, a small group of people gathered in a Columbus-area Bob Evans restaurant for good company, good conversation, and … pancakes? “Pelicans & Pancakes” is an event created by ASP Columbus as an event intended to get people active in their community. Our discussion ranged across a variety of topics affecting the ASP, from the fundamentals of our platform to ballot access. But by far the topics that generated the most interest were the issues closest to home, which emphasized the need for more grassroots efforts in our party.
Events like “Pelicans & Pancakes” give our members, and those we would like to be members, an opportunity to participate in the conversation about our local and national policies. Where they might get drowned out in the sixty comments on a social media post they feel passionate about online, by having them participate “in-person” at the table, quite literally, their voice can be heard, and their position can be clarified.
The ASP may gain a member or two through online discussion, but the majority of people are not going to be swayed by a Facebook post, or even by an article like this one. They are going to be convinced by friends and family taking the time to share with them the importance of our principles as ASP members, and how those principles inform not just our political positions but also the very way in which we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day lives. How do we truly stand in solidarity with our neighbors if we are not willing to physically stand beside them? Or to put it another way, are we a party that operates in “real life” and in our local communities, or do we just exist behind computer screens and comments on Facebook posts?
For me, I have made the commitment that my labors on behalf of the American Solidarity Party are an extension of my ministry as a Christian man. By that, I mean that I have taken it upon myself to care for my family, my friends, and my neighbors, through prayer and counsel. That counsel often takes the form of encouraging lively conversations about those topics that really matter: the welfare of our earthly bodies and the well-being of our eternal souls. And I believe with my whole heart that the principles of the American Solidarity Party are the natural outgrowth of Christian teachings.
I have heard it said that our party is the “small town” American party. If we want to see our principles impact the society and country the way that we all talk about online, we have to go where the people are. In-person events like “Pelicans & Pancakes” are a low-stakes investment of our time, talent, and treasure. The cost is really just being willing to go out and meet with people and share with them the principles that make us unequivocally Christian Democrats.
Ultimately, people want to feel like they belong and are being heard. They want to participate in the important things that matter in our world. In our digital age, it may seem like such a little thing to sit down, eat, and talk, but it has proved, even in our first social gathering of 2019, very influential and impactful for our people. Frankly, they were excited to be out and meeting with people face-to-face. In fact, we received such positive feedback from our gathering that we are moving quickly to plan more events like this, and we envision bigger goals for our local communities. And it all started with gathering people on Saturday morning over breakfast!
Pancakes helped serve as the starting point for our conversations, but I believe that the “take-home” message is this: it is the “in-person” time that we give to our fellow ASP members that ultimately betters our party and grassroots message. By investing in people, and seeing them in real life, we are making a statement that we value them and their opinions. This will improve us and make us stronger as the “small town” local party, as we continue to work together for the betterment of our families, our neighborhoods, and our nation.