AFFers inside the Beltway may not know it, but AFF is also flourishing outside of Washington, D.C.
From Chicago to Pittsburgh, AFF is bringing inquisitive, open minds together to discuss and debate the issues of the day.
For example, the Chicago chapter, just last week held “Debate-a-palooza Part Deux!” Following last September’s successful Debate-a-palooza, we reprised it in January. AFFers and old pros alike debated whether income inequality was unjust, whether the presidential race actually matters and is worth the $6 billion it will cost, and whether Ron Paul’s foreign policy is dangerous. Like with most of our chapter’s roundtables, the majority of the speakers in our debate were young professionals working in news media, consulting, and business, but we also included the CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, John Tillman.
In Pittsburgh, AFFers have already tackled Ron Paul’s foreign policy, Ayn Rand, and other subjects. This year they plan to hold even more events to bring their city’s young classical liberal population together. Elizabeth Stelle and her team have been doing an excellent job there.
The Minneapolis chapter–led by Scott Thompson–has also been active, holding six events last year. And I was lucky enough to join Roger at the launch of the New York City chapter last November. Chadwick Ciocci, a NYC-area activist, put together a great program with Wall Street Journal columnist Joe Rago.
AFF also has some new chapters starting this year. The first among them is AFF-Raleigh, which has a great leadership team being led by Joe Coletti and others from the Raleigh-area liberty movement. Their first program this winter will tackle North Carolina’s upcoming referendum on gay marriage, which is set for this spring.
Soon, we’ll have news to report about new chapters in Denver (actually a chapter restart) and Atlanta.
AFF’s chapters outside of D.C. have a special role. Where the D.C. chapter is a place for young liberty movement pros to network with peers and movement elders, AFF’s chapters are developing excellent communicators on free market economics, civil society, and limited government within the business, cultural, and technology worlds. Plus, they’re bringing liberty-loving young people together in cities where they might move for a job, but be unaware of people whose values and world views align with theirs.
So the next time your buddy from college laments that there’s no one in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Nashville, Denver, New York, or Raleigh with whom they can have an intelligent conversation on free markets and liberty, steer them toward one of our excellent chapters in those cities.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more about what AFF’s local chapters are doing to advance understanding and discussion of liberty. AFF’s chapters are a vital part of our movement, and one of the best ways to set the stage for a popular, pro-liberty movement in the years ahead.
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