Welcome to the Party!

We are the Southern Tier Tea Party, a grassroots organization of people from all walks of life gathered to understand and impact our government. We believe that people are most free and society most fair when government is as limited and local as possible.

Located in and around Broome and Tioga counties in New York’s Southern Tier, we typically meet at the Vestal Library on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm. Check our snazzy new calendar for this month’s date along with other community events.

Our group includes doctors, plumbers, teachers, engineers and business people of all stripes as well as active retirees with a wealth of experience. We are Democrats, Independents, Republicans and plenty of folks who have never paid any attention to politics in the past.

Our focus is on our families and the generations to come who will benefit from, or pay the price of, our actions today.

We share a common concern about the consolidation of power in Washington, the accumulation of crushing debt and a common belief that freedom is the best guarantee of fairness and justice.

Despite what you may have been led to believe – we are not meanies, bigots or ogres! We are kind, friendly and welcoming. We don’t want to force anyone to do anything, just the opposite – we’re all about freedom.

A note about “Social Issues”

The group does not actively advocate or take positions on specific social issues except as they relate to constitutional government. That said, we occasionally pass announcements for or make common cause with other groups that support our constitution and free society.  Our core concerns: Limited Government, Fiscal Restraint, and Free Trade are discussed at length below.

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Official Statements:
Goals & Principles
The mission statement of the Southern Tier Tea Party contained in the current Bylaws is:

Section 3
The mission of the Southern Tier Tea Party:

  1. A. The Organization is a grassroots, non-partisan effort to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core principles of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets. (Underlining added and see description of the three Principles below)
The Tea Party is the only organization specifically self tasked with supporting the three core principles. Therefore it is necessary that the STTP concentrate its efforts primarily on actions that will encourage the achievement of those principles in the public square. We accomplish our mission by following the four tasks defined in the mission statement. In fact we have committees and a Board structure directly charged to conduct the four tasks:
  • Attract – Membership, Events and Media Committees
  • Educate – Education Committee
  • Organize – Board of Directors and STTP Officers
  • Mobilize – Get Out The Vote (GOTV) and Legislative Action Committees

The Board tries to maintain the STTP’s organizational focus on those issues where we as a Tea Party can have a direct effect for Tea Party principles. Issues on which we undertake actions should clearly be illustrative of core principles and not marginally related. There are certainly enough of those issues fully to occupy our resources.

STTP members should and do join advocacy groups and work diligently for their goals. This is as it should be. We commend those members for their commitment to their personal interests and their actions in support of those interests. The STTP, too, welcomes members of other advocacy organizations who will join us in support of our mission. Our welcome is irrespective of the pro- or con- advocacy group they may be members of beyond their STTP membership. We can tolerate diversity of opinion, except about the three core principles.

Description of Southern Tier Tea Party Core Principles

The following paragraphs describe the three Core Principles of the STTP.

Fiscal Responsibility:
Fiscal Responsibility by government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of his own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject its citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our U. S. Constitution was designed to protect. Such runaway deficits pending as we now see in Washington D.C. compels us to pressure our elected officials to take action as the increasing national debt is a grave threat to our national sovereignty and the personal and economic liberty of future generations. Striving to achieve a Balanced Budget Amendment for the Federal Government isa worthwhile goal.

Constitutionally Limited Government:
We, the members of the Tea Party, are inspired by our founding documents and regard for the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent. Like the founders, we support states’ rights for those powers not expressly stated in the U. S. Constitution. While we respect the rights of individuals to believe or not believe in a higher power, we expressly do not recognize such a wall of separation between Church and State that all forms of religious expression should be banished or banned from public events and affairs of state. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law.

Free Markets:
A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. A definition of a “Free Market” is a market economy based on supply and demand with little or no government control. Such a “free market” is probably not achievable nor actually desirable in today’s environment. The body of legislation and Supreme Court decisions are overwhelming on this subject, and most probably irreversible in their entirety. Some legislation such as anti-trust, workplace safety and certain environmental protection laws have proven beneficial to society, if somewhat cumbersome to singular pockets of industry. However, too much government interference distorts reasonable market freedoms and inhibits the pursuit of individual and economic liberty. Our Founding Fathers believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. Therefore, we the people oppose excessive government intervention in the lives of individuals and in operations of private business.