MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 03, 2016: As of today, The Free State Project is the most successful intentional migration movement in American history. This is because today the organization has announced that 20,000 participants have signed the Statement of Intent to move to New Hampshire, where they will “exert their fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty and property.”
The 20,000 mark is significant, because it ‘triggers the move’ – the mass migration of the Free State Project participants who have all agreed to move to New Hampshire within the next five years. So far, almost 2,000 have already relocated to the state.
“In the last few months, using various social media targeting tools, we expanded our audience and a significant number of new people signed the pledge,” says Carla Gericke, President of the Free State Project. “Early movers have already made their mark on the Granite State by passing life-saving drug reform legislation, expanding school choice and protecting first amendment rights – this has drawn in a whole new crowd of participants. Just imagine what can be accomplished with 10 times as many people.”
Since the first early movers flocked to New Hampshire, Free State Project participants have followed their individual passions to the center of some of the state’s most contentious political fights. They were instrumental in organizing resistance to Real ID in 2008, legalizing same-sex marriage through the legislature in 2009, and establishing a medical cannabis program in 2013.
The Free State Project started in 2001 with an essay by Jason Sorens, who was then a graduate student at Yale. Sorens, who is now a lecturer at Dartmouth College, theorized that if 20,000 committed activists moved to a single state with a small enough population, they could push policy and culture in a more free, open direction. In 2003, early participants chose New Hampshire as the state to migrate to. Now that the move has been triggered, the Free State Project will continue the effort to attract more participants, and inspire signers to move to the Live Free or Die state sooner rather than later.
"I'm thrilled by how far the Free State Project has come since the essay I wrote 15 years ago. Freedom lovers from around the country have turned concept into reality by moving to New Hampshire and building all kinds of exciting efforts to secure liberty and prosperity for all--efforts I could never have imagined back in 2001. Good ideas are powerful, and the idea of freedom is spurring many thousands of Americans to commit to move to the Granite State for a better life."
This news comes on the heels of the announcement that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will be the headline speaker at the Free State Project’s 9th annual Liberty Forum, held in Manchester, New Hampshire from February 18-21.
“This is the culmination of over a decade of grassroots and volunteer work, and I am thrilled to be announcing that the Free State Project has surpassed the 20,000 signer mark,” says Gericke. “Early movers are bringing their businesses, families and charities with them to New Hampshire – not to mention disposable income. So far we’ve purchased more than $30 million in real estate alone, and I can’t wait to see what kind of larger impact will be made as a result of individual efforts within this growing and thriving community.”
The Free State Project will hold a press conference to announce this news at 11AM on February 3 in the Frost Room of the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, NH. If you’d like to reserve a media pass for the press conference, or want to interview Carla Gericke or Jason Sorens, please contact Brinck Slattery.