LPC membership down over 70% since October 2005

County 5 Sept 2005 5 Oct 2005 % Change
Colusa 0 1 N/A Inactive
Modoc 1 2 100.00% Inactive
Sutter 4 6 50.00% Inactive
Amador 2 3 50.00% Inactive
Calaveras 8 9 12.50% Inactive
Humboldt 18 19 5.56% Inactive
Sonoma 68 70 2.94% Non-MARA
San Mateo 117 120 2.56% Non-MARA
San Luis Obispo 40 41 2.50% Non-MARA
Contra Costa 125 127 1.60% MARA
Placer 35 35 0.00% MARA
Mendocino 16 16 0.00% Inactive
Mariposa 2 2 0.00% Inactive
Plumas 4 4 0.00% Inactive
Merced 6 6 0.00% Inactive
San Joaquin 17 17 0.00% Non-MARA
Tehama 3 3 0.00% Inactive
Yolo 13 13 0.00% Inactive
Yuba 4 4 0.00% Inactive
Sierra 3 3 0.00% Inactive
Siskiyou 17 17 0.00% Non-MARA
Stanislaus 22 22 0.00% Non-MARA
Kings 1 1 0.00% Inactive
Imperial 6 6 0.00% Inactive
Glenn 0 0 0.00% Inactive
Kern 29 29 0.00% Inactive
Inyo 4 4 0.00% Inactive
Madera 7 7 0.00% Inactive
Alpine 0 0 0.00% Inactive
Del Norte 3 3 0.00% Inactive
Lassen 0 0 0.00% Inactive
Alameda 146 145 -0.68% Non-MARA
San Diego 460 454 -1.30% Non-MARA
Orange 298 293 -1.68% MARA
Santa Barbara 52 51 -1.92% MARA
Los Angeles 666 649 -2.55% MARA
Santa Clara 263 254 -3.42% MARA
Marin 53 51 -3.77% Inactive
San Bernardino 94 90 -4.26% Non-MARA
Nevada 22 21 -4.55% Non-MARA
Santa Cruz 42 40 -4.76% MARA
Riverside 95 90 -5.26% Non-MARA
Butte 37 35 -5.41% Non-MARA
Sacramento 85 80 -5.88% Non-MARA
Ventura 110 103 -6.36% MARA
San Francisco 124 116 -6.45% Non-MARA
Shasta 13 12 -7.69% Non-MARA
Solano 35 32 -8.57% Inactive
Lake 11 10 -9.09% Inactive
Monterey 32 29 -9.38% Non-MARA
Fresno 39 35 -10.26% Non-MARA
El Dorado 17 15 -11.76% Inactive
Napa 17 15 -11.76% Inactive
Tuolumne 7 6 -14.29% Inactive
Tulare 19 16 -15.79% Inactive
Mono 4 3 -25.00% Inactive
San Benito 3 2 -33.33% Inactive
Trinity 2 1 -50.00% Inactive

Subtotal 1428 1394 -2.38% Non-MARA
Subtotal 1591 1552 -2.45% MARA
Subtotal 302 292 -3.31% Inactive

Total 3323 3238 -2.56%

Secretary’s Report 10/9/11

The latest State Party membership counts as of October 6, 2011.

575 Annual dues-paying members (new and renewed)
40 Continuing members (members that donate continually per month)
12 Elected officials
333 Lifetime members
960 Total Members

October 2005 - LPC membership = 3,323
October 2011 - LPC membership = 960

  The Libertarian Party of California has lost over 70% of our membership over the past six years.

  If we're only looking narrowly from the perspective of the party, rather than broadly from the perspective of the larger freedom movement, that's unequivocally bad news. But in the bigger picture, a good portion of those people probably quit the LP or let their memberships lapse so they could join the GOP in order to support Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012.

  To me that's a perfectly logical move for someone who supports freedom, and if I weren't planning to serve as a Libertarian delegate and potentially run for office again as a Libertarian (things that registering Republican would interfere with), I might well do the same. The *movement* is what matters, not the party label!

  Ironically, embracing this perspective that loyalty to libertarianism, not loyalty to the LP, is what matters, could help grow the party! Imagine if registered Republicans and Democrats were allowed be LP members, hold party office, serve as delegates, etc., but that to do so they were required to score at least 90/90 on the Nolan chart quiz, retake the quiz prior to each convention or term in party office, and have copies of their quiz results publicly viewable on our website. Heck, we could even require people registered as Democrats to score 100 on economic liberties, and people registered as Republicans to score 100 on civil liberties, and/or reword the questions so that quiz-takers would need to embrace a more explicitly radical pro-freedom stance in order to score a "yes" on a particular question (e.g. "Whether or not you shoot up heroin -- who decides, you or government?", "Whether or not you issue your own currency that people can use as money -- who decides, you or government?" This approach should pretty much eliminate the possibility of non-libertarians from one of the establishment parties coming in to take over, and ensure that we admit only those Democrats and Republicans who are hardcore philosophical libertarians and don't have any significant conservative/liberal baggage. This could bring in a boatload of new (and former) members, *without* sacrificing our libertarian principles.

  The above idea is something I just came up with. I think it's worthy of serious consideration. But what should be obvious to everyone is that the current model of the Libertarian Party of California is failing by its own main traditional criteria (party membership), and that *something* needs to change.

  I believe most of you have read the Five Key Values of the Grassroots Libertarians Caucus, which offers a broad critique of where we've gone wrong as a party (not just at the state level, of course; the LP isn't looking so hot nationally either) and what we can do to fix it:


  If you agree with this vision and believe as I do that it could be the change we need to get back on track fulfilling our mission of bringing about freedom in the world, please speak out and let other Libertarians know.

Love & Liberty,
                                                ((( starchild )))
At-Large Representative, Libertarian Party of California Executive Committee

Hi Starchild,

Good to have those numbers. Thank you. In the case of the LPSF, we have declined in membership around 94% since I joined in 2002 (around 200 vs. around 12).

Although I agree that a significant reason for the decline is due to so many Libertarians leaving to work for Ron Paul in 2008 (and I submit to some extent leaving to join the Tea Party also), the decline started way before that, at least in the case of LPSF. In 2004/2005 we started to connect the departure of Silicon Valley jobs and the beginning of the poor economy with LPSF's decline. What that connection says to me is that in times of plenty folks can afford to talk about "liberty", about pot, and about sex -- the cornerstone issues of the Libertarian Party; however, in times of need (no job, no money for school, no money for health care, house payments difficult), those issues become irrelevant to a majority of voters.

Your proposal to change the Libertarian Party of California into a libertarian social club is a good one, if we have completely given up on the viability of the Party as a political party. Then we could concentrate on "liberty", without worrying about working for ballot access (I fail to see why Democrats or Republicans would work to register Libertarians), or supporting Libertarian candidates (we won't have any without ballot access).

For those who have not yet given up on the Libertarian Party as a political party, the answer needs to be electing good leadership at the LPCA level and WORKING at the county level.

Leadership at the LPCA level needs to be one that does not waste a whole convention weekend on whether a pedophile can be county chair, that will not waste an incredible amount of energy debating where to hold a convention, that understands political and economic issues affecting the majority of voters, and that has the ability to define "liberty" in terms of laws that we the people pass and candidates that we the people elect.

As I said before, being an activist at the county level does not consist of only meeting for pizza once a month. It means volunteering to be officers and committee members, it means tabling to distribute Libertarian literature, it means running for local office. Without that, the membership numbers will inevitably continue to decline, Ron Paul or no Ron Paul.

And speaking of working at the county level, LPSF has been looking for an active member who will volunteer to serve as the official LPSF webmaster. Our former webmaster Rob is now a resident of New York. Also, county election of officers will be upon us in January 2012; do I see a show of hands?

So, Starchild and All, sorry for my rant; especially if this post appears twice; my IPad ran out of juice in the middle of my first version, and I do not know where that version went!