Attend WLN's FREE Zoom training session on April 17th @ 1pm PDT when GUEST TRAINER Mark Knudson shows you how local governments REALLY make decisions
Want to know how decisions are REALLY made in local/county governments and big organizations? Are you a candidate for local office, an activist watchdog or a citizen lobbyist/advocate? Participate in WLN's FREE Zoom training session on April 17th @ 1pm (Pacific Time) when GUEST TRAINER Mark Knudson offers training on board/staff governance, how it works, and how you can use this knowledge to make decisions and impact them!
Board/staff governance is the system of organizational governance used by almost every local/county municipal government in the United States. It is also used by many corporations and large organizations. If you plan to be involved in local/municipal/county governments, or just want to know how decisions are REALLY made, attend this free Zoom training at 1PM Pacific Standard Time on Saturday, April 17th.
Mark Knudson was the CEO of the Tualatin Valley Water District, serving major businesses like Nike, Tektronics, and Reiser Foods along with over 250,000 residents. He also held a high staff position with the City of Gresham and now serves as an elected member of the Oak Lodge Water Board. Mark has been nationally recognized for his work along these lines and you can benefit from his experience! Click HERE to download his Powerpoint presentation! Click HERE to download his bio!
IMPORTANT NOTES: To join the Zoom meeting, just click on the red "Sign on With Zoom!" shown on the www.westernlibertynetwork.org website. If prompted (you may not be), the Meeting ID is: "358 890 0478" and the Passcode is: "WLN" (no quotes). If you need the ZOOM conferencing software, you can get it free by https://zoom.us/.
As a 501(c)3 organization, WLN neither supports or opposes any candidate (even the ones we train), political party, ballot measure, or legislation. Comments made by guest trainers and participants are entirely their own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Western Liberty Network. To view recordings of WLN Saturday Training Sessions, go to the TRAINING tab on the www.westernlibertynetwork.org website and scroll until you find what you are looking for.
To participate, make sure you have ZOOM conferencing software on your computer, phone, or other device. At time and date shown above, simply CLICK HERE and you will get into the conference.
Just BEFORE and DURING the 1PM PST Training, click on the ABOVE BUTTON to get into FREE
WLN Zoom Training!
Meeting ID is: "358 890 0478"
Passcode is: "WLN"
Click on the above PDF icon to download the companion document that will be used during this training.
WLN providing training to local non-partisan candidates in Oregon and Washington. Available to all, training works!
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!
Thousands of Positions. In 2021 there are thousands of local positions up for election in Oregon and Washington. These include positions on school boards, water boards, fire boards, park and recreation boards, vector control boards - the list goes on and on. These positions are typically not glamorous, but they impact our freedoms and quality of life where we live on a day-to-day level. As a self-governing society, it is important that citizens step up to take responsibility for our own governance and the future of our communities. Hundreds of limited-government activists have already filed for these positions!
WLN is Providing Training to Candidates! Through WLN Independent Affiliate organizations, local political organizations, and the forms candidates provide when they file for public office, WLN reaches out to limited-government activists and offers them training on how to successfully campaign for public office. Those who win are offered training on how to serve effectively in public office. The filing deadline for being included on the ballot for such offices in Oregon has passed, but will be open in Washington from May 17th-21st.
These Positions are Winnable. The vast majority of local nonpartisan public offices in Oregon, Washington, and most other states, feature small districts and campaigns often do not cost much more money than any candidate filing fees to run and get elected. Many counties offer candidates the opportunity to get their photos and candidate statements published in a voter pamphlet mailed to voters. If you file, you may find that you are running unopposed - then you will very likely win by default. At the very least, you can have a great experience, serve your community, and, if you decide you like politics, serving in local office can create opportunities to do even more in subsequent elections.
You're Not Alone! Western Liberty Network offers anyone running for local nonpartisan offices training on how to campaign for, get elected to, and serve on various local boards. Check the TRAINING tab on this website to see what interest you online. Live in-person trainings can be safely organized if you are working with volunteers or other local candidates who would like professional training. By serving in local nonpartisan office, you can help to re-weave the fabric of your state's political culture while enhancing freedom where you live!
Get Started! Call your county election office and find out what positions you are eligible to run for and how to file. Filing deadlines are coming up! For Washington, the filing period runs from May 17th through 4PM on May 21st. Click on the WA state flag at right to find out how to reach your county's election office if you live in Washington!
Click on the Washington state flag shown above to see a list of all Washington county election offices.
Filing Period May 17-21 @ 4PM
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.