We’ve had party members and interested parties contact us regularly regarding COVID-19 and what this means for party activities for LPBexar. We’re now 4 months into the pandemic, so now seems like a good time to provide an update as well as some context for our decision making.
San Antonio, and Texas more broadly, has unfortunately seen a surge in cases of COVID-19, resulting in the reopening of Texas being “paused” and several businesses, services, etc. choosing to resume restrictions voluntarily in the hopes of slowing the spread. This has put an unexpected and unfortunate damper on things for Texas.
What this means for LPBexar is that we will be hosting online events, and not in-person events, for the foreseeable future, despite our hopes that we would be able to resume in-person events in July. We will be revisiting this question during our operations meeting at the end of every month to determine if we can go back to our usual in-person meeting schedule, as we have been during the pandemic thus far.
Since I know this decision will be disappointing to many, and disagreed with by some, I wanted to provide some context for it. I first want to make it clear that those of us running the show here at LPBexar are equally frustrated and disappointed by the COVID-19 situation. We depend on our in-person meetings and events to find new volunteers and new donors, engage in activism, and just generally maintain the social cohesion of the party and the libertarian movement in Bexar County more broadly. The last 4 months have been difficult for us, and these certainly have been trying times for me to begin my tenure as Chair.
That being said, there are two major considerations that have to go into making this kind of decision. The first and most straight forward is whether there will be venues in which we can hold in-person meetings or events. With capacity restrictions in place more or less across the board, it’s simply not feasible for us to reach out to a restaurant, bar, or other venue and arrange to have a meeting where we don’t know how many participants there will be. At this time, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for us to actually arrange a proper meeting in a proper venue.
The second major consideration is the safety of our members. Even if we were able to secure a venue, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Many of our members are elderly, and some have medical conditions that make them vulnerable, and moving to in-person meetings and events at this time puts them in a position of either having to put themselves at risk or not participate at all.
I realize that we have a wide range of opinions on COVID-19 within our membership, including those who believe fears of the virus are overblown and have found the various restrictions and measures over the last few months frustrating. If you find yourself in this camp, I would ask you to put yourselves in the shoes of those who do not share your point of view, and consider the fact that party leadership has to make decisions for the benefit of the entire membership, including those members that don’t agree with your point of view. I have my own views, of course, but party leadership’s job is to make decisions for the party as a whole, rather than to simply push down our own views on the party more broadly.
We will of course make every effort to keep our membership informed as situations developed, and I personally look forward to when we can resume in-person meetings. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in Liberty,
Chair, Libertarian Party of Bexar County