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How Grassroots Conservatives Tap the Power of Open Networks

February 23, 2012

Every day, some 150,000 grassroots conservatives go online to connect with each other locally and around common concerns through Freedom Connector, a social network hosted by Freedom Works. On this call, we'll talk with Martin Avila, the technologist behind Freedom Connector, about the ways open networked community is being used by the Right.

Martin Avila is the Founder and CEO of Terra Eclipse, Inc., a nationwide leader in conservative political technology and consulting. Avila co-founded Terra Eclipse in 1999 while still a High School student and has since built the company into a leader in the field of online resources for conservative candidates. Terra Eclipse clients include FreedomWorks, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's Presidential Campaign, Congressman Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential Campaign, Young Americans for Liberty, Senator Mike Lee and Congressman Tom McClintock. In 2011, Terra Eclipse and FreedomWorks launched a beta version of FreedomConnector (http://www.freedomconnector.com/): an online platform for Tea Party/Freedom activists seeking to network with like-minded people in their own communities. Since its launch at CPAC in February, FreedomConnector has mobilized over 80,000 activists across the country.

In his home county of Santa Cruz, Avila has led a conservative Republican resurgence in one of the state's most staunchly liberal counties, employing grassroots organizational strategy coupled with innovative use of tech and social media. Thanks in large part to the work of Terra Eclipse and its team, Santa Cruz currently has sixty-one locally elected Republicans and holds a majority on a number of Boards and Councils. Avila is a conservative committed to limited government, individual liberty and family values. He and his wife Jessica, whom he met when they attended Junior High School, reside in California.

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