Mark February 3rd, 2024 on your calendar, 9am - 5:30pm!
Attend WLN's Fourteenth Annual "TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!" Leadership and Activist Training Conference!
EXPERT TRAINERS AND PRESENTERS [ALL CONFIRMED]. (Pictured above, clockwise from upper left) Fox News contributor, economist and fmr. Senior Economic Advisor to president Trump Stephen Moore, Fox News Contributor and attorney Emily Compagno, Americans for Tax Reform Executive Director Grover Norquist, WLN Exec. Dir. Richard Burke (not pictured), and fmr. Oregon House Minority Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (not pictured). At right is a photo of the conference hotel.
OVERVIEW. 2024 promises to be a pivotal year for our region and our nation. Congress, state legislatures, the U.S. senate and the White House will be in play. Legislatures will pass bills. Ballot measures will be on state and local ballots. Schools will be adopting curricula and setting policy. This is the PRIME SEASON to hone your skills for immediate impact while continuing to build "farm teams" that will lay foundations for future success.
WLN invites and challenges you to "TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!" by attending its 14th Annual Leadership and Activist Training Conference at 9:00 am on Saturday, February 3rd, at the recently remodeled Holiday Inn Portland Columbia Riverfront hotel located at 909 N Hayden Island Drive, Portland, Oregon 97217. Your admission will include access to all presentations, an information-packed attendee packet, a badge and lanyard, and a quality hot buffet lunch!
AVAILABLE TRAINING. Twenty breakout sessions will take place throughout the day and featured speakers will present during three assemblies. Between the assemblies there will be twenty breakout training sessions organized along these four instructional tracks (you can mix and match!): 1) How to SKILLFULLY Volunteer for 2024 Campaigns You Care About, 2) How to be an Effective Citizen Lobbyist, 3) How to Build and Fund Your Campaign or Political Organization, 4) Tactics vs. Strategy and the Running of Campaigns.
A FANTASTIC BUFFET LUNCH. Admission includes a top-notch hot buffet lunch including smoked marinated tri-tip steak, cedar plank salmon, ravioli stracciatella, sun dried tomato pasta salad, warm Yukon & red potato/bacon salad, Northwest kale salad, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, caramelized wild mushroom quinoa, roasted vegetables, and chef-selected desserts. To drink there will be coffee, water, iced tea, hot tea, and lemonade. NEVER RUBBER CHICKEN AT WLN EVENTS! NOTE: Let us know in advance if you have dietary restrictions so we can arrange alternatives.
ADDITIONAL FREE EVENT. At 7PM on February 2nd, the night before the conference, there will be a reception/mixer at the conference hotel open to anyone who loves liberty! There will be hot appetizers, a no-host bar, live jazz music, and good company! Meet presenters and speakers, make new friends, see old ones, and have a good time!
DELUXE LODGING AT A GROUP RATE: Rooms at the conference hotel are all luxury rooms with rich amenities. The hotel has recently been remodeled and upgraded. WLN's group rate of $150 includes ALL taxes and fees (you will be responsible for any incidental expenses). To get this group rate you must secure your room through this website's registration process. Discounted overnight secured parking is also available.
SPONSORSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS AND EXHIBITION TABLES. If you want to support this conference, whether you attend or not, you can purchase a sponsorship or an exhibition table at right. Sponsorships help us to meet expenses, get WLN off to a good start in the coming year, and help us to provide scholarships for students and veterans. If you are a student or veteran who wants to attend but are short of cash, send WLN an email by clicking on the ORGANIZATION tab of this website and send us a message. NOTE: The presence of an exhibition table is not meant to establish or imply that WLN endorses or opposes any given exhibitor, statements made by the exhibitor or any content within any materials exhibitors may distribute.
THE USUAL SMALL PRINT. While unlikely, the conference agenda, confirmed events, or the lunch offerings may be changed at any time without notice. Download or view the agenda at any time by clicking on "VIEW THE AGENDA" button shown at right. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan organization, WLN does not support or oppose any candidate, legislation, or ballot measure including those who secure exhibition tables. The opinions and statements of presenters at WLN events are exclusively their own. All purchases related to this conference are non-refundable. Sponsorships constitute contributions to WLN and are tax-deductible.
Click on the above button to register for the conference ($125/person) and, if you need to, secure lodging ($150/night including taxes/fees).
Click on the above button to purchase a conference sponsorship.
WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON!
Click on the above button to view or download a three-page PDF version of the conference's promotional flier and full agenda
Here is a beautiful photo of the conference hotel, the newly remodeled Holiday Inn Portland Columbia Riverfront Hotel!
Secure a deluxe room at a discounted group rate when you register for the conference!
Western Liberty Network is training winners of Oregon's 2023 special district elections how to govern effectively!
Winning an election feels great and is exciting! You ran for office because you want to be an agent of change and now the electorate has given you a mandate. But after the last ballot is counted and you are sworn in, you may think to yourself, "Now what do I do?"
A lot of activists who win elections get frustrated once they are sworn in because they don't know how to govern or hot to function in their office day-to-day. Sometimes this leads to limited-government activists getting subsumed by an entrenched bureaucracy or incumbents who don't support limited-government This is why WLN provides post-election training to the winners of local non-partisan elections!
New office holders need to know things like how board/staff governance works, how to use Robert's Rules of Order in meetings, how to avoid breaking state ethics laws, how the local budgeting processes works, what their powers are as a board and individual commissioners/directors, and more! Western Liberty Network provides training in all of these areas and more. This training can help inexperienced limited-government activists who get elected to office hit the ground running! Need training? Contact Western Liberty Network!
In Prineville, candidates receiving WLN training flipped their local school board and won other seats. Here, some of these election winners are receiving training on how to function in office.
Newly elected to office at any level?View or download this selection of WLN training materials for newly elected local office holders! Just click on the image above!
Western Liberty Network training works! In Oregon's May 16th special district elections, over 540 people receiving WLN training were elected to local nonpartisan office!
High level elections are important, but they cannot create ENDURING change. Enduring change comes from building a political culture from the grassroots that generates leaders, volunteers, and a mindset that advances limited-government principles. This culture is built at the local level as citizens run for, get elected to, and serve in local offices.
It is THIS idea which lies at the center of Western Liberty Network. By working for change at the local level, WLN works to "reweave the fabric of our political culture." Over time, developing talent among limited-government activists by providing them with skills training that will help them: 1) Win local nonpartisan office in their communities, 2) Serve competently in local office once elected or appointed, 3) Lobby office holders effectively and, 4) Skillfully volunteer for ballot measure and candidate campaigns they care about.
Over time, as a growing pool of talented limited-government office holders, citizen lobbyists and trained volunteers hit their stride, a climate and infrastructure for electing limited-government advocates to higher office comes into being. As these pools of talent continue to develop and grow, the accumulated effect will be that the foundation for enduring change - and enduring change itself - will come into being.
Through the preceding year, at training sessions held at its conferences, live on-site training sessions held throughout Oregon, live online training sessions held via Zoom, and available on-demand online training resources, over 750 limited-government activists running for local office in Oregon's 2023 special district elections received training from Western Liberty Network. Of those tallied so far, 540 won their respective elections. This is a 72% success rate consistent with WLN's track record since 2013!
Statewide, over 3,500 such positions were up for election and included such posts as school boards, water boards, fire and rescue boards, park & rec boards, and more. WLN did not have the bandwidth to identify and reach ALL of the limited-government activists among those 3,500 candidates but we will work to do so in future elections as we expand our financial, technological, organizational, and personnel resources.
In the meantime, more limited-government activist in office will mean more freedom in the communities where they serve as they work to expand freedom and limit the role of government in peoples' personal affairs, businesses, families, and other aspects of life. Every limited-government office holder, citizen lobbyist, and campaign volunteer developed by WLN also represents another person capable of bringing about enduring change!
Since 2013, WLN has consistently shown that its model works. Support WLN, help us scale up our operation, and be a part of re-weaving the fabric of our political culture!
Newly elected to seat on one of Oregon's special district boards?Want to know more about what they do? Download this incredible guide published by the Special District Association of Oregon! Just click on the image above!
At the 2023 WLN annual training conference, the quality of featured speakers and training sessions was unprecedented. The confab was a great launch for the 2023 local elections!
A flavor for the event (Top to bottom, left to right) - Featured speakers include fmr. NATO ambassador Kurt Volker, state senator Dennis Linthicum, FreedomWorks vice president of policy Cesar Ybarra, fmr. GOP candidate for governor Marc Thielman. Attendees checking in, WLN exec. dir. Richard Burke addressing attendees, state senator Kim Thatcher leading a breakout session, the high school jazz band hired to play the WLN pre-conference reception, the fantastic lunch served, and attendees enjoying themselves at WLN's pre-conference reception.
On February 4th, 2023 WLN held its 13th Annual Leadership and Activist Training Conference at the Holiday Inn Columbia Riverfront hotel. This conference was the most information-rich conference WLN has held to date. Twenty breakout sessions were held organized along four tracks of instruction including: 1) How to run for local office in 2023, 2) How to be an effective citizen lobbyist, 3) How to be an effective parent and school choice advocate and, 4) How to manage and execute local candidate and ballot measure campaigns. Each session was taught be an expert in the topic covered. Training materials were included in attendee packets and provided by presenters.
There were three assemblies between the breakout sessions including four featured speakers including FreedomWorks vice president of policy Cesar Ybarra, state senator Dennis Linthicum, fmr. GOP candidate for governor and school choice activist Marc Thielman, and fmr. NATO ambassador and special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Overall, the 120 attendees received practical training they can use this year where they live. They also received perspectives on important events taking place on the statewide, national, and international stages.
The conference wasn't all work! An informal reception was held the night before the conference with a cash bar, live high school jazz band (they were REALLY good), brief presentations by school choice advocate Janet Bailey and fmr. GOP candidate for governor Brandon Merritt, and good fellowship. During the conference a fantastic buffer lunch was served.
All in, the conference represented the premiere grassroots training conference for the year in the Pacific Northwest and served as a lauch pad for activists to go into the coming year with the information, inspiration, and skills that they will need to be politically successful in 2023 and build a foundation for success in 2024!
Click on the above image to view or download the PDF version of our "Conference in Review" slideshow!
Want more information about our 2023 conference, click on the image shown above!
WLN and FreedomWorks hold a great end-of-Summer conference for grassroots leaders in Vancouver, Washington!
What a great program (from left to right): Congressional candidate Joe Kent, National Executive Director of Parents Rights in Education Suzanne Gallagher, FreedomWorks National Grassroots Director Marissa Hamilton, and the Rev. C.L.Bryant, Senior Fellow at FreedomWorks with WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke.
With FreedomWorks as a co-sponsor, WLN held its third conference of the year at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, Washington on October 1st. Dubbed the "Washington Freedom Summit," a series of informational, training, and inspirational presentations were made to leading grassroots activists from Oregon and Washington.
In addition to the speakers presented above, the agenda featured FreedomWorks' Vice President of Policy Cesar Ybarra, Greg Burnett of the Burnett Media Group, FreedomWorks' Director of Senior Initiatives Clara Del Villar, and Tamra Farah, FreedomWorks' Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives. All told, the lineup represented one of the highest-power collection of featured presenters WLN has ever assembled.
Through the day, FreedomWorks representatives spoke of their new "FreedomTeams" initiatives whereby activists would receive training in specific issues and then work on those issues in their communities. There was a panel discussion about "Parents as Chief Stakeholders of Our Schools." WLN training was provided on "How to Canvass Neighborhoods" and "How to Use Social Media to Win Candidate and Ballot Measure Campaigns." Analysis was provided about the American economy, specifically with regard to inflation. Additional training was provided on how to work for more secure elections and holding our leaders in Washington county accountable.
Finally, motivational presentations were made by congressional candidate Joe Kent and the Rev. C.L. Bryant on the importance of grassroots activists to American governance and the need to be engaged, get trained, and stand up for our liberties. Attendees enjoyed a quality Mexican buffet during the working lunch. Throughout the day people networked, shared ideas and best practices, and discussed how to use what they learned for the day. Because of events like this, WLN values its ongoing partnership with FreedomWorks!
What a GREAT aganda!
Curious? Click on the above
graphic to see more!
WLN's 2022 Sprint/Summer Training Campaign has given hundreds of activists and candidates the tools needed for political success in the fall and beyond!
Some of the live on-site training sessions held Western Liberty Network during its 2022 Sprint/Summer Training Campaign (from left to right, top to bottom): Klamath Falls, Salem/Keizer, Astoria, Klamath Falls again, on-line with Parents' Rights in Education (PRIE), Coos Bay, Take Back America in Estacada, Bend, Hood River, PRIE Annual Conference in Portland, Cottage Grove, Salem, a golf tournament sponsored by a political action committee, and at the 2022 Gathering of Eagles Rally and Conference outside of Turner, Oregon.
WLN's 2022 Spring/Summer Training Campaign. Throughout the Spring and Summer of 2022, Western Liberty Network has worked very hard to provide limited-government grassroots activists with the training and skills they need to be politically effective and successful in the fall 2022 elections. Beginning with a day-long conference at the Running Y Ranch in Klamath falls with three trainers and five speakers, live training was provided around Oregon and on-line. This campaign reaches its successful conclusion with training conferences held in Multnomah county and Vancouver, Washington as discussed above. Hundreds of activists received training over the course of the campaign!
Skills Provided to Activists. The focus of the training campaign was to provide trainees with skills they need to support campaigns they care about in the fall 2022 general elections and in election integrity efforts undertaken by a variety of grassroots organizations. These skills include such things as neighborhood canvassing, getting out the vote, working with volunteers, working with the media, drafting campaign plans, raising money, doing telephone canvassing, executing earned media campaigns, how to be a good precinct leader/organizer, how tp be persuasive in discussions, and more!
Impact of WLN's Training Campaign: Through work done by WLN during 2021 and 2022 (thus far), WLN has been building "farm teams" of local candidates, citizen lobbyists, and skilled campaign volunteers. We look forward to seeing the impact of these "farm teams" in the 2022 general elections, the coming legislative sessions in a variety of states, and the 2023 local non-partisan elections to be held in the Spring. Previous results have shown that TRAINING WORKS!
WLN's first Klamath Falls training conference, packed with content, gets wide participation and great reviews!
From left to right, top to bottom: Greg Burnett leads a training session on how to use social media; state representative Werner Reschke discusses opportunities he sees in 2022 for limited-government activists; business coach Tom Cox leads a training via Zoom on how to organize around local issues; retired judge Ted Abram discusses the importance of local action; Kristen Clark and Rejeana Jackson discuss opportunities for people to get involved and, finally, attendees of the conference take in a day of training.
One of the biggest differences between Western Liberty Network and various east coast training organizations is that WLN provides on-site training everywhere with the states it operates in all year round. Toward that end, WLN held a training conference on March 26th, 2022 at the Running Y Resort located just outside of Klamath Falls, Oregon.
About 40 activists attended throughout the day. In addition to a fantastic buffet lunch, grassroots training was provided on the use of social media, organizing around local issues, canvassing neighborhoods, testifying before public boards, and the components of a campaign plan. The conference, themed "TAKE THE OFFENSIVE!," as always, was designed to give limited-government grassroots activists the training and tools they need to be politically successful where they live.
In addition to the training, presentations were made by WLN advisor and retired judge Ted Abram, state representative Werner Reschke, and local activists Kristen Clark and Rejeana Jackson talked about the need for local involvement and some of the opportunities which exist for limited-government activists in Klamath Falls and the surrounding area.
Click on the image above to
view or download the slide show on organizing around local issues. Click HERE for the video.
Click on the image above to view or download the slide show relating to activists can use social media.
Click on the image above to view or download the slide show on how candidates can use social media.
Click on the image above to view or download a PDF slideshow covering the conference.
WLN's 12th annual confab sells out gain, breaks attendance records, and is WLN's first conference in Washington!
Left to right: Comedian and Fox News Contributor Joe Machi who is a frequent guest on the "GUTFELD!" show, HALF of the room featuring 180 attendees during the morning assembly, participants of one of the twenty breakout sessions held during the conference, and Slavic Vote member Kristina Soltys who won election to the city council of Covington, Washington. This conference was the best ever. Great speakers, great sessions, good attendance, everything ran on time, and the food was great too!
On February 5th WLN held its Twelfth Annual Leadership and Activist Conference at the Hilton hotel in Vancouver, Washington. 180 participants were counted through the day, the most ever to attend a WLN conference despite other events held for limited-government activists taking place on the same day. Seventeen presenters during the day, including national, state, and local figures, provided attendees with the tools, information and inspiration that will help activists impact their communities and their state.
Featured speakers were Amazing. John Tamny of the FreedomWorks national office provided insights into what is going on in DC. Oregon state senator Dennis Linthicum highlighted the critical role of grassroots activists in the limited-government movement. City councilwoman Kristina Soltys described her journey as a member of the Slavic community to the Covington, WA city council, and Fox News Contributor and comedian Joe Machi (of the GUTFELD! show) cracked up the crowd and concluded the conference on a high note.
Between the morning, lunch, and afternoon assemblies, there were twenty breakout sessions led by experts in their fields offering training along four tracks of instruction: 1) How to fight critical race theory and promote school choice, 2) How to effectively volunteer for the campaigns one cares about, 3) Expanding the limited-government, electorate, 4) And how to be proficient in a number of specialized skills activists will need to be successful in 2022. The lunch, featuring steak tri-tips, lemon chicken, and Mediterranean vegetables got rave reviews!
By training cadres of local nonpartisan office holders, citizen advocates, and volunteers to take responsibility for their own governance where they live, WLN advances limited-government principles. At the same time, WLN training empowers citizens, strengthens communities, and helps people become true stakeholders in their communities.
If you wish, you can STILL experience the conference. At right, you can download a pictorial review of the conference and audio from some of the presentations made by featured speakers!
Click on the "Play" icon above to hear state senator Dennis Linthicum's address to the conference.
Click on the "Play" icon above to hear councilwoman Kristina Solty's address to the conference.
Click on the image above to view or download a PDF slideshow covering the conference.
In Oregon's May 18th local non-partisan elections, 418 of those receiving WLN candidate training won their elections!
Campaigning for a local nonpartisan office, swearing in, and serving can be one of the most satisfying things someone can do in their civic life. There are thousands of positions needing to be filled by people like you!
During the Oregon’s biennial special election held on May 18th, 2021, 418 people who received WLN training won election to local office. Of the 80 trainees who lost, 40 ran against other WLN trainees (in some races, multiple limited-government activists receiving WLN training ran for the same office). Since 2013, over 1,090 limited-government activists receiving WLN training have been elected to local office. Training builds confidence, inspires participation, and results in success!
The May 18th elections were dominated by races for seats on the boards of school districts, water districts, fire and rescue districts, park and recreation districts, conservation districts, and more throughout Oregon. Over 7,000 such offices exist in Oregon, which typically involve four-year terms. In odd-numbered years half of them are up for election in May.
WLN has provided live on-location training sessions throughout Oregon and Washington (examples in Bend and Burns are pictured above), live online training sessions via weekly Zoom conferences, live and online training sessions at WLN’s Annual Conference in January, and via emails sent to limited-government candidates (WLN uses Mailtrack to document which emails are opened and which training resources were accessed from those emails).
Many of those receiving WLN training were encouraged to file for offices nobody else filed for and then encouraged to campaign as if they had an opponent for the experience. Other WLN trainees ran in active and contested races. Some of those lost, but most of them won.
Winning WLN trainees now have credentials as elected office holders. They can offer meaningful endorsements to limited-government campaigns and causes. They have opportunities to build media, volunteer, donor, and other networks that can help them win re-election, seek election to higher office, or endorse and support others running for office. All of them will become local opinion leaders in their communities. These are the things that, over time, change a political culture.
While serving, WLN trainees will advance limited government principles and promote freedom in their communities. Many will become local opinion leaders in their communities and become part of a limited-government “farm team” that will change the political culture of Oregon.
WLN's 11th annual conference overcomes Covid with a
sold-out live room, an online audience, and first rate trainers!
Left to right: Economist Steve Moore, WLN's special guest, headlined an entire day of great trainers and content; Fifty live attendees (the maximum allowed because of Covid restrictions) stand ready; Michael Strickland prepares for the conference's live webcast over Zoom; WLN Exec. Dir. Richard P. Burke with board members from Slavic Vote, WLN's "Outstanding Independent Affiliate of 2021."
On January 30th WLN held its eleventh Annual Leadership and Activist Conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Tigard, Oregon. Live attendance was limited to fifty activists because of the Covid pandemic, but over 100 people attended online via Zoom. Nine presenters during the day, including national, state, and local figures, provided attendees with the tools, information and inspiration that will help activists impact their communities and their state.
By training cadres of local nonpartisan office holders, citizen advocates, and volunteers to take responsibility for their own governance where they live, WLN advances limited-government principles while empowering citizens, strengthening communities, and helping people to become true stakeholders in the communities where they live.
Speakers included State Sen. Kim Thatcher, who discussed "How to Be a More Effective Citizen Lobbyist," State Sen. Dennis Linthicum who discussed "The Kind of Government We Should Have and Expect," Tom Cox who remotely trained on "The Tactics of Saul Alinski and How to Neutralize Them," and State Rep. Mike Nearman who trained on "How to Raise the First $2,500 for a campaign or project" during a working lunch of individual pizzas and salads.
After lunch, Liliya Zhukova, a board member of Slavic Vote (which works to activate the Slavic immigrant community), discussed her group's work and its partnership with WLN. Following her, WLN Exec. Dir. Richard P. Burke trained on "Running for, Winning, and Serving in Local Nonpartisan Office," Greg Burnett, owner of Burnett Media Group, trained on "Using Social Media in Campaigns for Local Nonpartisan Office," Tootie Smith, Chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, trained on "How to Respond to Executives who Exceed their Authority" and, finally, economist Steve Moore remotely gave a presentation on the economy before and after the Trump administration.
A well-attended reception with featured speakers, hot appetizers, and a no-host bar was held on the night before the conference. During the conference itself, FreedomWorks, Parent's Rights in Education, KSLM Radio, and the Oregon chapter of BLexit ran exhibition tables. Each live participant received a badge and attendee packet containing conference and training materials. Online participants were able to download the same materials. Evaluation sheets were uniformly positive as people left the conference fired up and equipped to be more effective in their communities!
If you wish, you can STILL experience the conference. At right, you can download or view the contents of the attendee conference packet, including all training materials, and download or view a slide show document filled with photos of the event and information about WLN!
Click on the image above to view or download a copy of the conference attendee packet.
Click on the image above to view a document reviewing the conference, loaded with photos!
Covid 19 is hasn't stopped Western Liberty Network from training activists how to be heard in November's Elections
Clockwise, top left to bottom right: Field training provided to those engaged in the "Activate 2020" program in SW Washington. The program is designed to activiate conservative activists in southwest Washington; training to the board of directors of the Slavic Vote PAC, training provided to the Deschutes County GOP (WLN offers training to everyone regardless of party affiliation), a WLN-hosted ZOOM training on fundraising, a training in central Oregon for precinct committee chairpersons, a presentation before Oregon Grassroots United, and a training session provided to the Cottage Grove 9-12 organization, one of WLN's first "independent affiliates,"
LIVE TRAININGS: Covid 19 or no Covid 19, the world keeps turning and people still need to be able to advocate for themselves. WLN is helping people to do this despite the pandemic, within the parameters set by state law and executive orders. From the pandemic's beginning to the present, WLN has thread the needle on various restrictions to offer training on a variety of topics.
Among them, how to design and execute a PERSONAL Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaign by reaching out to the personal networks of activists. Another is how to design and execute a PERSONAL media campaign, Both of these are perfect for Covid 19-era activism as they can be done from home. These campaigns can be used to support or oppose any candidate or ballot measure campaign, and make it possible for grassroots activists to make their influence felt in the 2020 election cycle. You can download the companion documents for these training topics by clicking at left as indicated or on the TRAINING tab of this website.
NEW WLN AFFILIATES: The Slavic Vote PAC and the East County for All PAC have signed on as "Independent Affiliates" of Western Liberty Network. Even under the pandemic, WLN is continuting to expand. In the coming election cycle, WLN looks forward to working with these organizations, leading the way toward limited government within their communities, in their efforts to train their members to be politically effective.
Click on the above image to download WLN's training document on how to plan an execute your own personalized
Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Campaign!
Click on the above image to download WLN's training document on how to plan an execute your own personalized
Tenth annual conference breaks all records, reaches out to the huge Slavic community in Oregon and Washington
Left to right, top to bottom: Featured speaker Andrei Illarionov, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute; Attendees listen to the morning presentation; Members of Slavic Vote take a picture with Illarionov; Attendees and speakers mix at the Friday night reception; State representative Mike Nearman leads a breakout session on initiative petition signature gathering; WLN Executive Dir. Richard Burke emcees the lunch assembly and; State senator Kim Thatcher leads a breakout session on lobbying legislators. Evaluation sheets completed by attendees describe one of our best conferences ever!
On Saturday, February 1st, Western Liberty Network held its TENTH annual conference themed, "TAKE THE OFFENSIVE" at the Portland Airoport Embassy Suites hotel. Over 170 people attended the event which included a free reception in the hotel lounge on the previous evening.
Andrei Illarionov, formerly Vladimir Putin’s senior economic advisor, was 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. State representatives Bill Post and Mike Nearman, along with Dercy Teixeira of the national FreedomWorks office, were also featured speakers.
WLN’s Annual Conference has grown into the premiere training event for activists in Oregon and Washington. During the conference, twenty breakout sessions led by experts in the field were offered along the following tracks of instruction:
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
This year’s breakout session leaders included WLN Exec. Dir. Richard Burke, state senators Kim Thatcher and Brian Boquist, state representatives Bill Post and Mike Nearman, former state representatives 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.
This summer, WLN plans to hold its second Summer Conference in another part of the state. Between conferences, WLN will provide field training free of cost to activists in Oregon Washington, and possibly other states as WLN expands. Watch this website for more information!
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 Andrei Illiaronov's photo above to hear his afternoon address to the 2020 WLN Annual Conference attendees.
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.
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 hear her afternoon address to the 2019 WLN Annual Conference attendees.
Click on Lars Larson's photo to hear his lunch address to the 2019 WLN Annual Conference attendees.
Click on Noah Wall's photo to hear his morning address to the 2019 WLN Annual Conference attendees.
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
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.