LP03: BetteRose Ryan Says Farewell to Colorado LP
by Ari Armstrong, May 7, 2003
"I really believe in the grassroots organization," BetteRose Ryan said April 6 to close out what will be her last Colorado LP convention before she moves out of state with her husband, Tony. Ryan has been involved with the state LP for many years, serving as state chair for a number of them.
People forget "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch," even in LP organizations, Ryan said. "They see by your example." Libertarians must strive to get people to see how their views fit the libertarian framework.
Does bill 1142 mean the LP is losing ground, Ryan asked? No, "it's like a waltz [but] we're always moving forward." When she first became involved in Libertarian politics in 1979, Ryan said, there was no way to register to vote as a Libertarian and little opportunity to vote for Libertarian candidates. The LP is much more vibrant today.
LP leaders need to "nurture our volunteers," Ryan said. Also, "what we need to do is write it down." When leadership turns over, people sometimes repeat the same mistakes because the "institutional memory" is lost. She cited a convention manual put together by her and her sister Michele Poague. "If you have something that works well, write it down!"
As another example, Ryan said centralized events like the People's Fair work great for Libertarian outreach. On the other hand, county fairs often work less well because the number of people is lower. Yet this lesson was nearly lost.
One lesson Ryan learned from Sara Wilson is to ask the question, "What have I done for freedom today?" And Joe Johnson taught her, "The answer is always 'no' until you ask." And, "no doesn't hurt." "No" can actually plant a seed, too.
Ryan continues to serve on the national committee of the LP, and her friends in Colorado can be confident she'll continue to plant the seeds of liberty wherever she goes.