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Coweta County Tea Party Patriots - 1 year and going strong

Most grassroots efforts in any community start with a bang and quickly fizzle within weeks or months. But such is not the fate of the Coweta Tea Party Patriots. The organization is well past its first anniversary and is only showing signs of increasing its numbers.

“We’re not a huge group, but the group of people we have are very engaged and so many of them want to work for this effort,” said local organizer Wendy Bloedt. “We have a core group of 30-40 people and a larger group of more than 60 who attend our meetings.”

Those volunteers also worked at the Tax Day Tea Party rally held April 15 in Newnan.

“Some of our group that worked the rally called us afterward, thanking us for getting them involved,” said organizer Denise Ognio.

But both Ognio and Bloedt noted that becoming “involved” in matters affecting people’s lives is akin to being awakened from a type of slumber in which one trusts without question everything the federal government and party leaders say.

“The moment I woke up was when (former Treasury Secretary) Hank Paulson walked out on the steps (to announce the TARP bailout). In the times of the Patriot Act (in 2001) I trusted my government. That was my fault,” Bloedt said.

For Ognio, her awakening was more incremental and spanned more than a decade.

“I woke up from the little things that happened along the way; things like what Clinton got away with and the lack of respect for morals on the part of a President and Congress. Am I the only one who thinks about moral behavior on the part of our leaders?” said Ognio. “More recently, I responded to a (2009) letter to the editor in The Citizen that had been written by (Fayette County Tea party organizer) Cindy Fallon asking for help. So I called her.”

“I believe everybody in this movement had a wake-up moment when they realized they weren’t the only one thinking that something was wrong,” Bloedt responded.

The women said the Coweta Tea Party picked up more interest from the local community during and after the April 15 rally. That local interest is important, they said, because local groups are made up of regular people that live in the community, people that are seeing over the months and years that much of what comes out of Washington cannot necessarily be believed. That reality, they said, puts the responsibility for demanding action from national leaders squarely on the backs of ordinary citizens. And that is what the Tea Party is all about, they insisted.

The Coweta County Tea Party Patriots meet the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Odyssey Charter School in Newnan.

For more information contact Wendy Bloedt at 678-898-0257 or Denise Ognio at 404-597-3673.

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