"TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!" Attend WLN's Tenth Annual Activist and Leadership Conference and Expo on February 1st!






Left to right: Featured speakers include Andrei Illarionov, State Representative Bill Post, WLN Exec. Dir. Richard Burke, Mike Nearman, State Rep. and Oregon Director of the Freedom Foundation, and Dercy Teixeira of FreedomWorks,

Join us at 9:00 am on Saturday, February 1st at the Portland Airport Embassy Suites Hotel for WLN’s 10th Annual Activist and Leadership Conference! The hotel is located at 7900 NE 82nd Avenue in Portland.

Andrei Illarionov, formerly Vladimir Putin’s senior economic advisor, will be one of our featured speakers. Illarionov left authoritarian Russia to live in freedom. He now works as a senior fellow in the Center of Global Liberty and Prosperity at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC.  He will talk of his experiences and how to work against authoritarianism at home.

State representative Bill Post, also a leading radio personality in the region, will talk about the direct impact citizen advocates have in state legislatures and in campaigns they care passionately about.

State representative Mike Nearman  also the Oregon Director for the Freedom Foundation, will talk about his organization's success with the U.S. Supreme Court's "Janus Decision" and how that impacts Oregon politics and its impact on the power of public employee unions.

Dercy Teixeira of the FreedomWorks National Office will give all attendees a primer in using social media in campaigns and citizen advocate activities.  He will also lead a breakout session which will cover these subjects in more detail.

WLN’s Annual Conference has grown into the premiere training event for activists in Oregon and Washington. You will get the information, motivation, and inspiration you will need to advocate for yourself, your family, and the things you believe in during 2020.  Each year, WLN’s conference features twenty breakout sessions organized along four tracks of instruction. Attendees can mix and match throughout the day. This year, the tracks of instruction include:

     1) How to be Effective as a Citizen Lobbyist or Advocate
     2) How to Get Elected and Successfully Serve in Local Office
     3) How to be An Effective Campaign Volunteer in 2020
     4) Defeating Tactics Designed to Silence Free Speech


All breakout session leaders are experts in their field. This year’s presenters include WLN Exec. Dir. Richard Burke, state senators Kim Thatcher and Brian Boquist, state representatives Bill Post and Mike Nearman, former state representatives Patti Milne, Jeff Kropf and Knute Buehler, Slavic Vote president Dmitriy Sashchenko, official trainers from the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, Aurora City Manager Scott Jorgensen, Dercy Teixeira of the FreedomWorks national office, Tualatin Valley Water District Financial Manager Paul Matthews, and former Tualatin Valley Water District CEO Mark Knudson.

The entire event is $75 which includes a quality hot buffet lunch (including smoked tri-tip sirloin and grilled chicken with tomato herb relish), admission to all Saturday events and the Friday night reception. Need Lodging? Deluxe suites are available at the WLN group rate of $139 including all taxes, fees, and a made-to-order hot breakfast on Saturday morning! Tickets to this event will sell fast. Last year we sold out!  Hotel parking is $5 for the entire event and overnight parking is $15.

Register (and, if needed, secure your lodging) by clicking on the red "REGISTER NOW" button shown at right!

OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER:  Western Liberty Network is a recognized 501(c)3 organization.  As such, while WLN supports limited-government principles, it does not take any position in favor of (or in opposition to) any candidate, political party, ballot measure, or specific legislation.  WLN does not necessarily endorse positions taken (or statements made by) featured speakers presenters, and/or sponsors.  Event agendas are subject to change without notice.

Click on the above button to register for the conference and to secure lodging (if needed).

Click on the above button to purchase a conference sponsorship.

Click on the above button to view or download a PDF version of the conference agenda.

First annual WLN "End of Summer Conference" brings local activists, statewide and national opinion leaders together







Left to right: Over 60 local activists and people interested in learning about self-advocacy attended WLN's first annual "End of Summer" conference.  Former state representative Patti Milne talked about the importance of local activism.  The Rev. C. L. Bryant talked about the importance of minority groups to become politically active.  National figure Steve Moore talked about national economic trends and Dechutes county commissioner Phil Henderson talks about how local activists can impact policy by simply making their opinions known.

On September 21st in Bend, WLN held a free training session on how individuals can impact public policy.  Over 60 people showed up for the training featuring experts known throughout the local community, state, and the entire nation.  FreedomWorks was a key co-sponsor to the event.  While WLN's main annual conference takes place in Portland every winter, the annual "End of Summer" conference will take place in different parts of the state on a rotating basis.

State senator Tim Knopp provided training on how people can lobby public officials at any level.  Emily Stack of FreedomWorks trained attendees on how they could use social media to impact public policy.  Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger talks about the pros and cons of proposed climate taxes.  Former state representative Patti Milne talked about the role of grass roots politics in Oregon and Deschutes county commissioner Phil Henderson led a training on how to testify before public boards and commissions.

In all, conference attendees received world-class training on how to advocate for themselves at the local and state level while learning how their activism has importance on the larger stage.  A copy of the agenda can be downloaded by clicking on the image shown at right.

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Click on the image above to see the agenda of this "End of Summer" Conference.

WLN field trainings help people become stakeholders in their communities by offering them instruction where they live
















Top to bottom, left to right: WLN Exec. Dir. Richard P. Burke giving a training on leadership at the annual Gathering of the Eagles/Rally Around the Flag event held in Turner, Oregon; Natasha Burke talking about her experience growing up in the Soviet Union before a Multnomah county womens' group; Richard Burke providing a training on initiative petition signature gathering before the Ontario Chamber of Commerce; Burke providing leadership training before citizen groups in Pendleton and Enterprise, Oregon.

During the summer, WLN has done extensive leadership training in central and eastern Oregon in cities including Sisters, Bend, Pendleton, Milton-Freewater, La Grande, Enterprise, Baker City, and Ontario.  WLN plans field training throughout the rest of Oregon and Washington in the weeks and months ahead.  Beyond that, WLN plans to expand in Idaho, Montana, and northern California.

84 % of local candidates receiving WLN training won!

After four cycles, WLN shows that training works!









Left: WLN trainee Mahesh Udata (4th from the left) on the campaign trail with his supporters.  Center and right:  Photos of WLN training sessions covering a variety of topics on how to run for local non-partisan office and how to serve once elected or appointed.  Such trainings take place between annual conferences in all states where WLN is organized.  This training is provided free of charge and is open to everyone regardless of their political parties or other affiliations.


Since the beginning of 2019 WLN has provided training to 160 candidates running for local offices in May's Oregon non-partisan special district elections.  Of those, 134 won their races for school boards, water boards, fire boards, and more.  This represents 84 percent of those receiving training!

2019 represents the fourth election cycle where WLN has provided training to limited-government activists running for local non-partisan offices in their communities.  Since 2013, 672 candidates receiving WLN training have won their elections.  Training WORKS!  It shows a path to effectiveness and builds confidence!  WLN exists to re-weave the fabric of our political culture by helping regular people, not professional politicians, take responsibility for their own governance.

WLN takes no position for or against political parties, candidates, legislation, or ballot measures.  Instead, we give regular citizens the skills they need to advocate for themselves, their interest, and constructively contribute to their communities through local democratic processes.

WLN's Mission Statement


Western Liberty Network works to help people by training them how to effectively represent their interests, advocate for themselves, and take part in their community's democratic processes. WLN's work creates empowered stakeholders who can participate in building a better future for themselves, their children, and their communities.

2019 Annual Conference the Best Ever!
Sold out venue featured training and nationally known speakers.


Positive energy! (From left to right, top to bottom) Featured speaker Kat Timpf from Fox News, WLN Exec. Dir. Richard Burke addressing attendees, retired marines Keith Fritch and Bruce Broussard present the colors, senator Kim Thatcher leads a breakout session on lobbying public officials, Burnett Media Group president Greg Burnett leads a breakout session on social media, Roxanne Ross gets the WLN annual award for outstanding activists, talk show host Lars Larson addresses the crowd, and Julie Parrish is awarded the Adam Mayer Memorial Award for outstanding public service.


OVERVIEW.  WLN's ninth annual "TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!" Leadership Conference and Expo attracted a sold-out crowd this year with over 170 attendees, the most ever!  The conference featured twenty breakout sessions along four tracks of instruction including: How to Get Elected to Local Office, How to Serve Effectively in Local Office, How to be a Good Citizen Legislator, and How to Build a Good Local Organization.  Instructors featured experts in their field including state representatives, state senators, a representative from the Oregon Government Ethics Commission and More!

Featured speakers included comedienne Katherine "Kat" Timpf of Fox News, radio talk show Lars Larson, and FreedomWork's national vice-president of advocacy, Noah Wall.  During the Friday night reception, attendees enjoyed fellowship and hot appetizers along with a presentation by John Tamny, FreedomWork's Director for the Center for Economic Freedom.

WLN does not advocate for any candidate, ballot measure, or legislation.  Instead, we train citizens to participate successfully in their local democratic processes!  The Tenth Annual WLN "TAKE THE OFFENSIVE" Leadership Conference and Expo is scheduled to be in the Portland area on February 1, 2020.  Until then WLN will focus on field training as widely as its resources will permit!

NOTE: The views expressed by featured speakers and guest trainers are entirely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Western Liberty Network or its Independent Affiliates.

Click on Katherine ("Kat") Timpf's photo to head her afternoon address to the 2019 WLN Annual Conference attendees.

Click on Lars Larson's photo to head his lunch address to the 2019 WLN Annual Conference attendees.

Click on Noah Wall's photo to head his morning address to the 2019 WLN Annual Conference attendees.

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Click on the page image above to see a PDF version of a PowerPoint presentation reviewing WLN's 2019 conference.

WLN year-round field training helps activists shape their communities through local elections and in local governance!










Here you see photos of field trainings in different communities which take place between annual WLN conferences.  This training is provided free of charge to anyone who wishes to attend.


Is WLN's training connected with a political party?  No.  WLN is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 educational organization.  WLN's training is non-partisan in nature, intended to enable activists to take their power back and become more responsible for their own governance where they live.  To date, 512 activists who have received WLN training have been elected to public offices at a variety of levels.  One, Mike Nearman, was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives after attending several WLN trainings and using what he learned.

What Sort of Training is Offered?  Depending on where a state is within any election cycle, WLN emphasizes training in the areas of: 1) Getting Elected to and Serving in Local Non-Partisan Public Office - WLN's core function, 2) Impacting Local Leaders and State Legislators as Citizen Lobbyists, 3) Becoming Aware of State Ethics Laws and Local Budget Processes, 4) Circulating Initiative Petitions, 5) Impacting the Candidate and Ballot Measure Campaigns Activists Care About.  Though WLN emphasizes values consistent with limited government, training is non-partisan and open to anyone  To learn more about WLN training and review training documents, click on the TRAINING tab of this website.

How is This Training Provided?  Activists can get WLN training by attending WLN's annual conference or at regular meetings of WLN Independent Affiliates where training is scheduled.  For a list of WLN's Independent Affiliates, and to see a copy of the affiliate agreement, click on the  AFFILIATES tab of this website.  WLN also provides training to non-affiliated groups at their invitation and offers training at its offices in Tigard, Oregon.  WLN's Training materials are all available via the TRAINING tab of this website, and trainings are provided remotely using Internet technology.

Steve Moore headlines a great 2018 WLN training conference as activists across Oregon work to "Take the Offensive!"






















WLN's best conference to date! (from left to right, top to bottom):  WLN Exec. Dir. Richard Burke and his wife, Natasha, speaking with Stephen Moore during the Friday night reception; Attendees registering for the day; Gubernatorial candidate Sam Carpenter and his wife Diana chatting with reception attendees; Civil rights activist Bruce Broussard asking Stephen Moore a question; Ben and Sabrina Fisher working at the registration desk; Half the room applauding the beginning of the conference; Richard Burke shaking hands with gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler; Speech coach Le Snelling leading a breakout session on debates; Greg Burnett leading a breakout session on social media, Snelling speaking with particular attendees; and other featured speakers and trainers including Noah Wall of FreedomWorks, Bobbie Jager of the Cascade Policy Institute, and Sarah Hunt of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Over 100 leading activists from Oregon and Washington attended the 2018 WLN Annual Leadership Conference and Expo held at the Tigard Embassy Suites hotel in late January.  Featured speakers included Fox News/CNN commentator Stephen Moore, Noah Wall of FreedomWorks, Bobby Jager of the Cascade Policy Institute, and Sarah Hunt of the American legislative Exchange Council.

Between general assemblies headlined by featured speakers, breakout sessions were held along four tracks of instruction including: 1) How to Be Effective as a Citizen Lobbyist, 2) How to Be Effective as a Campaign Volunteer, 3) Advancing School Choice Where You Live and, 4) Defeating Liberal Attempts to Silence Free Speech.  Professional speech coaches Le and Ann Snelling also provided training in improving the public speaking skills of attendees.  The point of the conference, themed "Take the Offensive," was to empower local activists to take responsibility for their governance where they live by offering them tools they can use to impact decisions made by local, county, regional, and state governments.

During the night before the conference an informal reception was held.  The three major Republican candidates for Oregon governor offered brief introductory speeches, the first time that they appeared together during the Oregon primary election cycle (candidates from other parties were invited).  All of the features speakers were present and were willing to interact and graciously have their pictures taken with conference attendees.  This was a great ice breaker which set the tone for the next day's events.  The next WLN conference will take place on January 26, 2019 - watch this website for details!

NOTE: The views expressed by featured speakers and guest trainers are entirely their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Western Liberty Network or its Independent Affiliates.

Click on Stephen Moore's photo above to hear his address to the attendees of WLN's 2018 annual conference.

Click on the image shown above to download a PDF presentation on WLN's 2018 annual conference.

Click on the image shown above to download a PDF version of the
conference agenda.

Click on Grover Norquist's photo above to hear his address to the attendees of WLN's 2017 annual conference.

Training Works!  In the 2013, 2015, and 2017 local non-partisan elections, 512 of those receiving WLN training won public office!

The May 2017 Oregon primary election represented the third such election where local political activists receiving training from Western Liberty Network ran for and were elected to non-partisan elected offices in their respective communities.  We have learned that this training works.  In 2015, 113 of the 131 candidates who received WLN training were elected to public office.  These office holders join the 78 of 98 WLN trainees who were elected in 2013 for a total of 191.  In the 2017 elections, a similar record was realized.  So far, 512 activists receiving WLN training won public office.

By training limited-government activists to get elected to local non-partisan offices, and then by training them to serve effectively, WLN is helping local activists how to take responsibility for their local governance and thereby change the fabric of the political culture in the communities they live in.

Local non-partisan offices include such positions as school board, water board, fire and rescue boards, park and rec boards, city councils, and even tiny positions like vector control boars and road maintenance boards.  These positions are not always prestigeous or attract a lot of attention, but they make up the nuts and bolts which make our communities work and hold them together.  These positions are often places where talented policymakers get their start before they rise to positions of more responsibility!

As a 501(c)3 educational foundation, WLN does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.  But during local non-partisan election cycles, we DO offer training for anyone who wants it on: 1) How To be a Good Candidate,
2) How to be an Effective Campaign Manager and, 3) How to be an Effective Campaign Volunteer.
 Candidates are typically recruited by local organizations and friends. You can see some of the companion documents which accompany live trainings by going to WLN's TRAINING page!

Prospective candidates are trained to preferentially file for races where they may run unopposed, and from 70%-80% of those elected followed that training.  These races allow candidates and the people who help them to campaign and win (even if they may mistakes) and thereby learn while still being able to serve.    Those who lose gain valueable experience for another run or for serving in other capacities.  But in any scenario, TRAINING WORKS!

The Western Liberty Network (WLN) is a charitable non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization.  WLN offers training to activists at the grass roots level on how to successfully engage in the democratic process at the local level.  WLN does not support or oppose any candidate, ballot measure, political party, or legislation.  For more information about WLN, check out the "Organization" page on this website.  Contributions to WLN are tax-deductible.  To make a contribution, check out the "Support" page on this website.