The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition was organized on February 20, 2009, on a conference call of 50 online conservative activists who decided on that call to sponsor the very first simultaneous nationwide tea party protests on February 27, 2009. Known as the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party, this event was held in 51 cities and attracted more than 30,000 tea party protesters. The leaders of three online groups formed the informal steering committee that managed that first event. Top Conservatives on Twitter was represented by Michael Patrick Leahy, the #dontgo movement (now known as the
- JoAnn Abbot, Washington, DC
- Don Adams, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Gary Aminoff, Los Angeles, California
- Christina Botteri, Sacramento, California
- Vernon Brossard, Williston, North Dakota
- Brian T. Campbell, Denver, Colorado
- Christie Carden, Huntsville, Alabama
- Felicia Cravens, Houston, Texas
- Ben Cunningham, Nashville, Tennessee
- Phillip Dennis, Dallas, Texas
- James Dickey, Dallas, Texas
- Kenneth Emanuelson, Dallas, Texas
- Rita Grace, Culpepper, Virginia
- Zan Green, Birmingham, Alabama
- Leslie Haight, Fredericksburg, Texas
- Kevin Hard, Tyler, Texas
- Bill Hennessy, St. Louis, Missouri
- Wendy Herman, Corpus Christi, Texas
- Greg Holloway, Austin, Texas
- Michael Johns, Deptford, New Jersey
- Michael Patrick Leahy *, Thompsons Station, Tennessee
- Alice Linahan, Fort Worth, Texas
- Dana Loesch, St. Louis, Missouri
- Gina Loudon, St. Louis, Missouri
- Geoffrey Ludt, Portland, Oregon
- Brad Marston, Boston, MA
- Lorie Medina, Frisco, Texas
- Rod Merrill, Western Michigan
- Donna McClure, Corpus Christi, Texas
- Mike Perez, Covina, California The Mustard Seeds Project Contact
- Katrina Pierson, Dallas, Texas
- Chris Shirey, Laurel, Delaware
- Pam Stout, Sandpoint, Idaho
- Gene Sweeney, Bradenton, Florida
- Jon Wallace, Rutland, Vermont
- Patti Weaver, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Thom Whitmore, Manassas, Virginia
A list of the 97 Founding Mothers and Fathers of the Tea Party Movement who organized these 51 tea parties in less than one week can be found here.
On February 28, 2009, the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition launched the website www.taxdayteaparty.com, whose purpose was to be the central organizing group for the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party protest. On March 17, 2009, American Solutions became the fourth organization to join the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. Newt Gingrich, Chairman of American Solutions, was added as the fourth member of the informal steering committee of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. On April 15, 2009, Tax Day Tea Party protests were held in over 900 cities, and were attended by over 1 million tea party protesters.
During the period from February 20, 2009 until April 15, 2009, the leadership team of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition held regular conference calls to coordinate the organization of these two simultaneous nationwide protests. These conference calls were held on a daily basis from February 20 to February 27, and were held twice a week from February 28 to April 15.
Coordination of event scheduling during this time was handled by Amy Kremer, who now serves as the Chairman of Tea Party Express. In addition, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots and Christina Botteri of the National Tea Party Federation were important participants in the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition from the very first conference call on February 20, 2009 to the Tax Day Tea Party protests on April 15, 2009.
The most accurate account of the origins of the Tea Party Movement can be found in this June 2010 feature article from Newsmax Magazine.
Subsequent to the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party, both the mission and leadership structure of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition were changed. The leadership structure was changed from 4 representatives of the groups that combined to form the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition that sponsored the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Party to 30 individuals who played a leadership role in local tea parties around the country. Since May, 2009, some of the original individual leaders have left, and new individual leaders have been added. Decision making within this group is a truly democratic consensus development process, conducted primarily on conference calls of the full membership, but also conducted in periodic personal meetings.
MissionSince May, 2009, the mission of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition has been to organize and launch in a rapid response fashion special nationwide projects that help advance the goal of a return to constitutionally limited government.
ProjectsSuccessful projects which have been undertaken include:
The Whole Foods Buycott
Hall Pass on That
Top Ten Health Care Questions
These three projects were undertaken for a specific purpose at a specific time, and had a beginning, middle, and end.
Three additional projects were conceived of, organized, and launched by the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. These three projects now are stand-alone organizations, but maintain the benefit of the support of individual members of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition. These projects are:
Leadership Tea Party
Take the Town Halls to Washington
Fire the 219
Election Day Tea Party
Organizational StructureFrom its inception, the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition has been an informal collaborative group with no corporate structure. To this day, the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition has no formal corporate structure, and operates on the basis of collaborative decision making and trust between its members.
LeadershipThe current national leadership team of the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition consists of the following 35 local tea party leaders and activists:
* Michael Patrick Leahy represents himself alone and not TCOT as an organization. TCOT strongly supports the Tea Party movement, but does not endorse or have any connection as an organization with any particular Tea Party group