NAPLES — Getting people involved in their government, as it turns out, is a difficult chore.
A national, non-partisan grassroots effort aimed at ousting every member of Congress in November held a meeting Thursday night at the Golden Gate Community Center. Known as Get Out of Our House, the group is referred to as “go,” the accepted pronunciation of the shortened version of its name, GOOOH.
Keith Flaugh, assistant local organizer for the effort, said the road ahead for the group will be challenging.
“This is going to depend on you and me getting angry enough to put our foot down and change it,” Flaugh told the group of about 25 mostly older citizens assembled at the Golden Gate Community Center.
“I can’t tell you how difficult it is for people to get off the couch,” Flaugh told them. “It’s tough slugging, it really is. I didn’t expect it to be really this difficult.”
In accomplishing its goal, the group has three principles, which Flaugh recited during the meeting. Flaugh said the group intends to hold legislators accountable for their votes, impose tighter term limits and eliminate the power of special interest groups in Washington.
One way in which the group intends to pursue its goal is to have citizens fill out a 100-question survey it will use to determine what the average individual is interested in seeing their representatives support. Then, they’ll uphold only those candidates who support those principals.
“Are we talking about forming a third party here or what,” one member of the audience asked Flaugh.
“It ain’t going to happen over night,” another man said in response.
Those in attendance were encouraged to bring 12 people with them to the effort, and get those 12 people to bring 12 more.
Leaders are also being sought. The group plans to hand out flyers at area tea party rallies, farmers markets and gun shows in the near future in an effort to recruit new supporters.
On April 22, the group’s founder, former Dell Computer executive Tim Cox, will make a presentation on Marco Island at 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Marco Presbyterian Church, 875 W. Elkcam Circle. In evening, he will present at 7 p.m. to the Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District 27701 Bonita Grande Drive.
Those in attendance seemed receptive to the ideas presented by Flaugh, including some facts and figures he shared and discussions ensued.
Seasonal Naples resident Jerry Grillo, 81, said he enjoyed Flaugh’s presentation.
“I thought he did a great job. If anybody wants to listen and check it out, they can find if there is any truth to it,” Flaugh said. “And if there is, then do something about it.”
Robert Bartunek, 71, who lives in unincorporated Collier County, was the one who asked about the group forming a third party.
“I also don’t think they’re progressive enough. They’re too pie in the sky and unrealistic,” Bartunek said. “There should be more calls to action. There are a lot of people who politically are afraid to do anything.”