Election 2016 is over, and we are now faced with the upcoming Donald Trump presidency. The Trump Administration is unlikely to promote personal liberty or economic freedom; in fact, it will likely do grave harm to both. We can thank all of the California voters who supported the freedom-loving candidate, Gov. Gary Johnson. As of today, the Johnson/Weld ticket had 4,326,207 votes nationwide, or 3.28% of the vote, which is a record-breaking vote for a Libertarian candidate. Almost 10% of those ballots were cast in California, which translates to 406,000 Californians being counted in the Libertarian column.
There is some good news and a lot of bad news in California. Our state is pretty much the most Democratic state in the country now, and that carries with it the likelihood of an ever-increasing economic stranglehold. Even so, we now have a record number of registered Libertarian voters in California: 139,805 at last count.
Voters agreed with us on only four of the 17 ballot propositions: Yes on 54 and 57, and No on 60 and 61. Left-wing positions carried the day, except on the death penalty, which even liberal commentators couldn’t explain. People across the political spectrum seem to trust the state with the machinery of death.
Let’s look at our five Libertarian victories in California. Aaron Starr, former LPC state chair, was elected to the Oxnard City Council in Ventura County, a city of 203,000 people. He also led the effort to pass Measure M, which would roll back an 87% sewer fee hike. It passed with 72% of the vote. Susan Marie Weber, member of the LPC Executive Committee, was re-elected to the Palm Desert City Council in Riverside County.
Two longtime Libertarian water board members were re-elected: Jonathan Hall to the Tehachapi-Cummings Water District in Kern County, and Brian Holtz to the Purissima Hills Water District in Santa Clara County. Our new special district office holder is Wallace Stewart, who will serve on the Vista Fire Protection District Board in San Diego County.
We had five partisan Libertarian candidates for the state legislature who unfortunately failed to defeat well-entrenched incumbents but campaigned to provide voters with a true choice. Many thanks to Donn Coenen (Assembly District 1), Ken Anton (Assembly District 2), Mike Everling (Assembly District 51), Baron Bruno (Assembly District 62), and Honor “Mimi” Robson (Senate District 33) for their efforts in trying to break the establishment party duopoly in Sacramento. Some areas really responded to our message, with Ken Anton receiving a record high of 43% in Del Norte County for example.
The Libertarian Party of California is going to work hard to increase our membership and activism levels in 2017. There are thousands of Johnson/Weld volunteers and inquiries we want to bring aboard as active Libertarians. We need to keep up the momentum of our best electoral showing in party history. More freedom-minded activists should be sought after to fight against assaults on our liberties in both Washington and Sacramento. Stay tuned for more information about how you can help with these efforts.
Planning is underway for our 2017 state convention, which will be held in the spring in Northern California, with the date and location to be announced within the next week or two. Business will include election of officers and Executive Committee members, as well as discussion of the party bylaws and platform. To serve as a convention delegate, you need to be a dues-paying party member, so I recommend joining up ASAP to be eligible.
If you want to suggest changes to the bylaws, contact Jonathan Jaech at firstname.lastname@example.org, and if you want to suggest changes to the platform, contact Alex Appleby at email@example.com
Chair, Libertarian Party of California