In his speech in Alumni Hall, Empower Texans founder Michael Quinn Sullivan called upon students to encourage more people to be involved in their local governments.
“Political philosophy comes second to people being engaged in their government,” Sullivan said.
This Tuesday, Knox Conservatives hosted Sullivan, who created his nonprofit organization, in 2006.
According to Sullivan, Empower Texans set out to accomplish this goal after he began noticing the same issues over and over again during his time as a journalist. He recalled that there was a general lack of people participating in local government, which he believes is the root of most problems in any kind of government.
“Problems in government come from too few citizens being involved,” Sullivan said.
After giving a brief description of his past and Empower Texans, Sullivan quickly pivoted into the main reason he was at Knox. He continuously stressed the importance of local government and the need for everyone to get involved in it.
“You can go a really long time without the President of the United States touching your life but try not having your trash being collected for six weeks,” Sullivan said.
From there, Sullivan mentioned the Founding Fathers to further back his claim of the importance of local government.
“When he was President, George Washington was mainly interested in the affairs of Virginia,” Sullivan said. “Most of his correspondences were of him asking about the state of affairs in [the city of] Alexandria.”
Towards the end of the event, Sullivan called the attendees to action by suggesting they volunteer for local candidates, or even run themselves. He then stuck around to answer questions and socialize, an opportunity many attendees took advantage of.
For sophomore Jessica Hickey, President of the Knox Conservatives, the event went as she hoped it would. She had planned on achieving more recognition among the student body by having a large turnout at the event.
With more than 20 people filling the room in Alumni Hall, the event did bring the turnout and engagement that Hickey wanted.
“I was not disappointed when we had every chair taken and a room full of students willing to come and listen at a Knox Conservative event,” Hickey said after the event.