Tennessee Precinct Conventions / County Conventions
Just added! Part 2:
County Conventions Teleconference
The Tennessee county party committees will reorganize between January 1, 2013 and March 31, 2013. The exact dates have not yet been set, so make sure you keep in contact with your county party.
This is another opportunity to achieve a center of power and it won't come around again for another two years.
Most importantly, you must show up at your local Precinct Convention or your Mass County Convention.
You must live within the precinct and county boundary.
You must be registered to vote (or 18 years old by the general election in November).
You must indicate your party affiliation for the party you want to represent. You can change party affiliation right at the meeting. If you are known not to be connected to the party, however, you may be challenged by anyone else at the meeting.
I challenge you. Do you have what it takes to actually accomplish something of lasting effect? Or will you use one of your pat excuses? I've heard them all. (See The Power Is There for the Taking.)
To answer questions so that you can get yourself elected at your meeting, Project City Hall will produce a live teleconference to discuss strategy and answer your questions.
Project City Hall will produce a second call in early February to address the county meetings which, in addition to the remaining precinct meetings, will all occur before March 31st. The strategy to get elected at the county meeting as an officer is significantly different.
Who Should Attend
- Anyone who wants to take their country back.
- Anyone who values freedom and liberty.
- If you're already a precinct officer or delegate, attend to encourage others and to relate your own experience.
What You'll Learn
- The power of the officer and delegate.
- What happens at a meeting.
- Why you need to connect with like-minded individuals before the meeting.
- Why you should bring your posse.
- How to win in a competitive election.
How to Determine Your Meeting Location
- Contact your county party (County Party Information) and ask for the date, time, and place of the meeting. (Please share it with Project City Hall and we'll post that information below. Precinct / County Meeting Information)
- Remember that larger counties will meet once at Precinct Conventions and on a different day at a Precinct Delegated County Convention. Smaller counties will combine the two meetings on a single day in a Mass County Convention. See How the Precinct Convention Process Works in Tennessee for more details.
Precinct and County Convention Rules
Most of the rules for these meetings are dictated by the state party. Project City Hall has put together the relevant Tennessee County Re-Organization Rules for your convenience, but don't be afraid to read the complete Bylaws of the Tennessee Republican Party -- it's educational.
While most counties follow the state bylaws and rules, a few may have their own special rules. For those, you'll need to get your local county party rules. Contact your county party to get it's bylaws and rules. (Project City Hall is building a library of State and County bylaws and rules, so if you are able to get or create an electronic copy, please share it.)
Robert's Rules of Order
On the teleconference, I will discuss Robert's Rules of Order. Here is a link to the Motion Chart which will be the reference for the discussion.
I won't be going over the whole motion chart, but you should print it out and bring it with you to any meeting that you attend. The teleconference will take the view of the minority and show you how to get your officers and delegates elected or at least make sure that you don't get run over. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.
Preparing for the Meeting
When you have a plan, you don't have to guess what to do next. Written plans are always better than winging it. With that in mind, we've put together the Precinct Committee Candidate Checklist to give you a starting point for your plan.
- Call your county central committee and ask how many officer and delegates your precinct or county can elect.
- Ask for the names of each of the current officers and delegates and their contact information (e-mail address and telephone number).
- Ask how many people from the county attended at the previous meeting (two or four years ago), and how many votes were cast for each nominated officer and delegate on the ballot.
- Join other Tennesseeans on the live teleconference call (see above) where you can ask questions.
- Prepare printed information about yourself so that you can quickly communicate the information to everyone you meet from your precinct and county.
- Prepare printed information about any party platform ideas that you have.
At your meeting, you have an opportunity to present planks for your party platform for approval by the meeting. If you need help writing a plank, submit your plank idea in the comment area (below). We'll use part of the question and answer period to help you refine your plank to increase that likelihood that the meeting will pass it.
If you're not currently registered, or your registration does not match your current home address, you still have time to get your registration in order. Contact your County Elections Commission.
To check your voter registration and determine your precinct, use the Tennessee Secretary of State's Voter Registration Information Lookup Page at:
Winning the Election
Winning an officer or delegate position is a little challenging, unless no one is running against you. You can do it if you prepare in advance and have a plan. Many people are looking for leaders and will accept almost anyone who simply steps up to lead. Just look at your current set of elected officials for proof of that.
In general, assume a positive attitude and you're very likely to have a say in the process. Only the people who show up get to vote. In the larger counties, your goal is to get elected as a delegate to the county convention. In all counties, your goal is to also be elected as a precinct officer. If your goal does not include election as a goal, then you should attend to help elect like-minded people.
After the Election
- Get a current copy of your state party central committee by-laws and of your county party central committee by-laws along with the rules of the convention you are elected to.
- Keep in touch, because we'll be producing training teleconferences about all the aspects of being an effective meeting participant.
Tennessee has what I refer to as a command-and-control party structure. The state party exercises a lot of control over the county parties, especially as to leadership. This makes it significantly more difficult to change the way the party is run. So, it will take some work, but it is doable as a long-term strategy.
The twelve most heavily populated counties (Blount, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Montgomery, Rutherford, Shelby, Sullivan, Sumner, Washington, Williamson, and Wilson) will have two meetings - a Precinct Convention and a Precinct Delegated County Convention between January 1, 2013 and March 31, 2013. The 83 smaller counties will have a single Mass County Convention between those dates.
At the Precinct Conventions the attendees elect precinct officers and delegates to the Precinct Delegated County Convention.
At the Mass County Conventions the attendees meet by precinct to elect precinct officers and then in a mass meeting to elect county officers.
At the Precinct Delegated County Conventions the delegates elected at the Precinct Conventions meet to elect county officers.
If you have corrections or additions to this information, please let us know.
If you have corrections or additions to this information, please let us know.
If this is your first meeting, it helps to get together with others who may be a little more organized. The party insiders already know the other insiders, so incumbents, as usual, always have an advantage. Here are a list of contacts, by county, who are willing to take you under their wing, so to speak. You may not agree with them on everything, but they are not insiders, so they, like you, are probably in the minority.
All politics is local. We cannot reach the goal alone. We need your help. These people are actively recruiting precinct committeemen in their county. If you'd like to recruit for your county, add your comment to this article and a way to contact you.
County Rules Analysis
Below you will find an analysis of county organization rules that differ from the norm.