For the last 13 months, I have been heavily involved in the local tea party, Hampton Roads Tea Party. My involvement started out simple enough. I was contacted because my local chapter’s co-chairs were not well-versed in Facebook. and they needed help. My position quickly morphed into “Social Media Maven” as I added Twitter and YouTube to the Suffolk Chapter. Not long after, I wound up taking over the newsletter. In mid-November, HRTP sent me to the VATPP conference, along with several others. It was amazing! I learned so much, and tried to help our group incorporate the stuff I’d learned.
Our little group became more and more active. We talked to the Budget Director, issued a challenge to our city council, and even won some victories on the local level at budget time. I met some really wonderful people, and had a blast! We were making a difference! A small difference, but it was enough that the local government started to take notice of us. The Mayor would search us out at events to talk to us. One of our Councilmen came to a meeting to talk to us. We began to learn so much about how our city really works.
By April, I had been made Vice-Chair of the Suffolk Chapter of the Hampton Roads Tea Party. In June, I was tasked with designing a new brochure for HRTP to hand out. I also joined the HRTP IT Team, and began to help the awesome volunteers there to transform the website into something so much better than it had been. In July, our local chapter waded into the Sheriff’s Race & endorsed the Sheriff’s opponent, Jen Pond.
After that, things kind of turned into a blur. I was working hard to keep educating myself and the rest of the group about the inner workings of the City of Suffolk, pitching in to help Jen Pond’s campaign whenever possible, attending all kind of events and meetings, recording HRTP’s now-defunct weekly radio show for the podcast, occasionally filling in on the radio show as a host, writing to the local paper, and trying to keep HRTP’s website fresh & relevant with news from around the state. All while trying to homeschool my kids, and keep up with the house – which admittedly, I failed to do the latter. My husband, God bless him, wound up doing the housework for the better part of the last year. My involvement in the Hampton Roads Tea Party was burning me out, and affecting my family in ways I didn’t realize.
So after the election this past November, I tendered my resignation to the board. It’s been a heckuva a year, and I wish the group all the best. But I need to focus on my family. It was a tough decision, right up until a conversation I had with my 8 year old. He asked if I was really leaving the Tea Party. When I told him that I thought I was, yes, he responded,
“Good. Because I missed you.”
That was it. That cemented my decision to leave HRTP in ways nothing else would. Good luck guys. I hope you are able to build on the foundations we helped build, and grow. But I can no longer be a part of it. God Bless America, and God Bless Hampton Roads Tea Party.