Sam Adams Alliance - SAM's Sunny Sojourn to California

Snapshots of Activism from California

Dear Friend of SAM,

It has been one year since I joined the Sam Adams Alliance (SAM) as Executive Director.  And what a year it's been!  We've launched cutting-edge research, recognized some of the most extraordinary activists in America, and continued to earn the support and confidence of so many new friends and allies across the country.


Our trip to California last week was a great testament to the progress SAM's made in the last year on behalf of the footsoldiers of freedom, and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.


On July 30, several of us landed in the city by the bay to launch a week dedicated to celebrating citizen activism and sharing SAM's latest Tea Party market research, "The Next Wave."  The team and I met so many of what we call "(extra)ordinary" Americans on the front lines fighting for freedom.


To kick off the trip, our communications director Evan Peterson and external relations director Julie Grisolano set off for the West.  They joined our chairman, Eric O'Keefe, at the U.S. Conference on Initiative and Referendum in San Francisco.  Eric began the conference with remarks about the importance of citizens engaging in democracy, much like SAM's podcast series of citizen activists from coast to coast titled, "Engaging Democracy."  In fact, Eric and the team interviewed eleven national and international leaders and activists who are making a difference in their respective countries AND communities.  These podcasts will be released in the coming weeks, so please be sure to visit our Engaging Democracy page. 

SAM's Sunny Sojourn in Los Angeles

From San Francisco, Evan and Julie traveled down to Los Angeles, where they met up with our marketing director Anne Sorock and me.  Once in LA, Anne shared the insights into the momentum behind the Tea Parties from her research, "The Next Wave:  A Surf Report" with Los Angeles-area journalists. 


"The Next Wave" is the first in a three-part series SAM will release this fall that builds on our earlier report, "The Early Adopters:Reading the Tea Leaves." This new report focuses on who is part of the "next wave" of tea party activists, how they are shaping the movement, and whether they are gaining momentum.  Why is SAM so interested in the Tea Party?  Because this new breed of activists is helping Americans wake up from a decades-long "political depression."  And SAM's research not only helps shed light on the dynamics behind this movement, but also enables us to share those insights with freedom-loving Americans and organizations seeking to work with them. It's a great time to be an American, and you can bet that any time a new wave of activists surfaces, SAM will be exploring their motivations and their influence.  For an in-depth look at our research, please click here


After Anne shared some of her most interesting findings with media in LA and across the country, the SAM team traveled out to Santa Monica for dinner with some of our closest supporters.  Among the guests was our friend (Sammies keynote speaker and Irreverent Messenger), Andrew Breitbart.  We hope everyone had a great time at the beach, and, more importantly saw how their support of SAM enables us to reframe the conversation about freedom and opportunity in our country.



Our second day in LA included a team meeting at the Reagan Library (that's us waving from Air Force One) to discuss an upcoming research project, an introductory meeting with Gen Next (each time we talk with this group, we find we have more in common), and Anne's interview about our Tea Party Research on the nationally syndicated Joe Bohannon Radio Show.  You can click here if you'd like to listen to their spirited discussion. 


One of many lessons learned on this trip was that Chicago traffic doesn't hold a candle to the 405 in LA.  So, by 9:00pm on Wednesday, Julie and I had logged more than six hours in the car.  We were ready for some dinner and stopped at Duke's in Malibu.  We learned that one of my personal heroes, the original Gidget, still works there on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  I will be back.  Luckily, we still experienced a star sighting.  As Julie and I were waiting for our fish tacos, a motorcycle gang came in and sat down next to us.  The group included none other than the singer Pink, who apparently is a regular at the bar and lives a short ride away. (Is it bad that I would have been more excited about Gidget?!)

Connecting "The Next Wave" and Legislators

With all that excitement, I kept my promise to my husband and two young children not to abandon them for more than seventy-two hours at a time.  I headed home to Chicago while the rest of the gang traveled down to San Diego to attend the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual conference.  While there, Anne Sorock participated in a panel discussion about citizen activism and the staff met dozens of legislators who wanted to learn more about "The Next Wave" of tea party movers.  By the end of the conference, "The Next Wave" report and Sam Adams Alliance had more than forty-five media mentions, including outlets like Breitbart, Yahoo, Forbes, USA Today, OC Register, "The Huffington Post," and The Washington Times.


The launch of "The Next Wave" wiped us out!  But it was worth it, and I genuinely hope you will will take some time to review the report and let me know what you think.  You can email me directly at  Also, I hope you will stay tuned to our future adventures and look forward to future snapshots from the road.


As I said before, this is an extraordinary time to be an American.  It is our privilege to have the opportunity to support the rising demand for freedom among our fellow citizens. Your partnership allows SAM to help citizen activists promote individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise with the marketing and p.r. tools they need to seize back control of our destiny.


Thanks for "joining" me from a look back at our trip to California and for joining SAM on this critical mission for our Republic. 


With warm regards,


Yvonne Ralsky

Executive Director


P.S.  Part two of "The Next Wave," our "Surface Tension" report is coming out in September--so stay tuned.