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Fayette Tea Party group widens its umbrella to all of south metro
Tue, 02/23/2010 - 5:19pm
By: Ben Nelms
It has been nearly a year since a small group of people from Peachtree City determined that they would take a stand for their values, their families and their country. That stand led to the formation of the Southern Crescent Tea Party Patriots.
Now 11 months later, the organization is undergoing a transformation, complete with a new name, new website expected to be up today (Wednesday) and expanded initiatives. Today they are the South Atlanta Tea Party.
“After six months of deliberation on the various names that have been debated, we determined that the choice of the South Atlanta Tea Party is most consistent with our goals and makes identifying our group easier,” said organizer and group president Cindy Fallon. “It identifies us regionally and allows others to come under our umbrella. We also are interested in supporting other area tea parties in becoming free-standing, like the Coweta Tea Party Patriots that continue to attract more people.”
The local movement sprang last year from the assertion by some that Americans are Taxed Enough Already (TEA) and the nationwide tea parties quickly followed. Fallon said the local movement came into existence when she contacted Teresa Clark, Claudia Eisenburg, Denise Ognio and Jim Richter about putting on an event April 15.
“We hoped that 30-100 people would show up at Peachtree City Hall,” Fallon said. “But it was in the hundreds.”
Since then the organization has conducted educational forums on healthcare and the U.S. Constitution. More than 2,000 people turned out last July 4 to hear local businessman and talk show host Herman Cain and others at the Frederick Brown amphitheater, the organization said.
“Because so many people are interested in finding out what they can do to help stop the freight train of higher taxes and out-of-control spending by the government, we have been bombarded with ideas and events to participate in this year,” Fallon said. “As a result, we felt it was critical that we deliver a clear and concise message so that we can focus on the things that will make us effective locally and nationally.”
“The bedrock of the tea party movement is limited government, fiscal responsibility, free market systems and preservation of our American heritage. Our goals are to help register and motivate others to vote our values, find candidates that agree with these values, encourage current government representatives to vote these values and to inspire fellow Americans to initiate neighborhood tea parties where these values can be discussed,” Fallon said.
The South Atlanta Tea Party continues to work with other tea party groups across the south metro area. For a time the local group had so many email contacts that some Internet service providers mistakenly identified their emails as spam. Fallon said that issue has now been corrected.
“People in south metro Atlanta can still contact us to help set up their own groups,” Fallon said. “The more people that get involved the better voice we have. We just want to help more communities become active.”
Concerning communication, Fallon said the group is currently working with former Disney staff member Joe Cannin to produce a video that people can play in their homes. Local businessman Marty Harbin is narrating the production. Fallon said the video explains the tea party mission, its value statements and history and describes what the movement wants to accomplish. The video will be in either a CD or downloadable format.
“We’re having people wanting to hold meetings in their homes. I think people will be able to use this when they meet at the neighborhood level,” Fallon said of the production that is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. “It’s a way to interact and not feel alone in your beliefs.”
The South Atlanta Tea Party is also working on a healthcare committee populated with local board members along with insurance experts and physicians with the idea of taking healthcare reform to the local level of awareness.
Along with revamping its website, the group is working with a political consultant to keep them abreast of upcoming legislative issues. The organization is also working to have a billboard presence on I-85 and is looking at holding a gubernatorial debate, Fallon said. Further out in time, she said the group is considering holding a Christian leadership event.
As for the emerging question of what direction tea party groups will take in coming elections, Fallon said the group is willing to align with Republicans if they are in sync with “our value system. This is about more than power and prestige. It’s about the right motivation. I feel like this administration is pushing a godless agenda. If we put Republicans in and they don’t stand for God and country then we’ll get citizen statesmen to run for office. So we can back the Republicans and hold them to it. But this isn’t an endorsement. If they can’t get a backbone and stand up for American values then we’ll back other candidates.”
Many mainstream media outlets responded to the nationwide tea party rallies by dismissing them as a type of fringe phenomena composed of people who opposed President Obama. What those outlets failed to report was the deep dissatisfaction that had been brewing while George Bush was in office. And what they also failed to report was the significant presence of mothers that filled the ranks of the protesters. This is a point not lost on Fallon and so many women who populate the local tea party movement. For Fallon, the reason is simple.
“I’m speaking from a mother’s perspective where I love my family and where God is the center of everything. A mom’s heart is about her family,” said Fallon. “We have to fight this godless agenda.”
Looking back to previous months, Healthcare Visions, Inc. CEO and national health insurance expert Ron Bachman commented on how he became affiliated with the local tea party organization.
“Last summer I was asked by the Southern Crescent Tea Party Patriots in south Atlanta to speak at an educational session on healthcare reform. I had heard the media mocking of the tea parties and had seen the images on television, but I wanted to see it firsthand. In August as I entered the meeting, I met organizers Claudia Eisenburg, Cindy Fallon, and a few other women wearing Tea Party t-shirts. I asked them how they came to be the leaders of the event and if they were political organizers.”
“I learned that they had never been actively involved in politics,” Bachman continued. “This was a group of concerned parents who shared concerns about excessive government spending and the dangerous impact of a mounting national debt on their children’s future. They knew firsthand how families needed to carefully budget, cut back during tight times, and postpone ‘nice to haves’ so as to afford ‘need to haves.’ They had a common feeling that their country was moving away from fiscal logic and their family values. Not knowing what to do, someone said, ‘Maybe we should call a meeting of neighbors.’ Finally a finger was pointed to moms Claudia and Cindy as previous organizers of school, PTA, and church meetings.”
Members of the South Atlanta Tea Party now have nearly a year of experience under their belt. Fallon said the group is committed to continuing its efforts.
For more information on the South Atlanta Tea Party contact Cindy Fallon at 678-612-6624 or visit www.southatlantateaparty.org.login to post comments