Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), four years ago, set a lofty goal to recruit 250 state legislators as Hazlitt Coalition members. This was to pass pro-liberty legislation across the country. YAL achieved its goal with good old shoe leather and knocking on millions of doors through an initiative called “Operation Win at the Door”. YAL built a coalition of nearly 300 state legislators in almost 40 states after the 2022 midterms.
YAL-recruited students made nearly six million calls in recent months and knocked on almost four million doors to support Hazlitt members. This has allowed them to deliver the message of liberty directly to American voters. PJ Media’s CEO Lauren Daugherty says that YAL’s grassroots efforts will have broad-reaching effects across America.
Daugherty points out that legislation sponsored by Hazlitt Coalition members and supported by YAL, YAL, and its thousands of student activists in 2021 made 88 million Americans freer. YAL’s Hazlitt Coalition, its allies, and other pro-liberty legislation have made over 91 million Americans free this year. This program also builds a cadre of pro-liberty legislators to serve in higher office. The first Hazlitt member will travel to Washington, D.C., this year, to serve in Congress. Eric Burlison, a former Missouri State Senator, will represent the 7th congressional District in the 2023 freshman class.
In the midterm elections, three other Hazlitt legislators were elected to statewide office. Andrew Sorrell was elected State Auditor of Alabama. Andy Matthews, Nevada’s State Comptroller will succeed him. Chuck Gray, Wyoming’s Secretary-of-State, will succeed him. Daugherty stated that building a bench was a great accomplishment and that YAL is proud to have members running for higher offices. YAL focuses primarily on the legislative output at the state level.
Since 2020, YAL’s Hazlitt Coalition has passed 24 bills in 10 States related to COVID-19 and healthcare freedom. Arizona’s legislation is an example of recent success in COVID. Shawnna Bolick, a state representative, proposed legislation that would prohibit hospitals from excluding family members and clergy from visiting patients in a medical emergency. Daugherty admits that no one would have thought of a reason to pass such a law a few years back. She said that COVID had taught her something else.
YAL supported and promoted New Hampshire’s COVID legislation. The state’s House of Representatives has 59 members of the Hazlitt Coalition. They sponsored or cosponsored eight of the eight bills. Two of the bills were sponsored by Rep. Leah Cushman. One forbade healthcare providers to refuse service due to a patient’s immunization status. Cushman stated that medical freedom was a matter close to her heart as a registered nurse, mother, and healthcare provider. It is crucial that everyone has the right to make their own medical decisions, from birth to death to vaccines to vasectomies. This session at the New Hampshire House was largely about expanding and strengthening Granite Staters’ choices regarding their health.
Healthcare freedom is a key focus of YAL, but YAL also continues to expand other freedoms. Daugherty is also proud of Indiana’s recent passage of constitutional carry. The legislation was first proposed by Curt Nisly during multiple sessions. It died on the floor. The legislation was defeated on the floor by Curt Nisly, who had proposed it during several sessions.
Soon after the law was passed, an armed citizen exercising his constitutional carry right took out an Indiana mall shooter. The shooter was armed with three guns and 100 rounds of ammunition. Elisha Dicken (22), took him out in 15 seconds. Dicken, 22-year-old from Elisjsha Dicken, believes Dicken saved many lives that day. Daugherty also believes so. She believes that Dicken’s actions will prevent future gunmen. She said, “This was a powerful deterrent for other bad guys looking to take advantage of gun-free zones throughout Indiana.”
Despite the negative press about Gen Z’s allegiance to Democrats and the media coverage of them, there are still young liberty-minded individuals on campuses across the nation. They can achieve amazing results if they are properly trained and activated. Daugherty stated that they mobilize pro-liberty students at the state level, where they can make a significant impact. “COVID overreach triggered so many people. It is difficult to believe that these events took place in America, whether it was school closures or medical freedom mandates, or forced business closings. She added that most of these rules were made at the state level and it has increased our confidence in the state-led model.”