A number of recent smaller municipalities have been brewing in Texas, the main purpose is to protect the residents from the overreach and annexation of local governments. The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), is the group that has spearheaded this movement released a paper on March 3rd titled “The Liberty City: A New Concept for Self-Governance.”
The author, Jess Fields a Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for Local Governance details that a Liberty City is a town that..
incorporates for the express purpose of maintaining limited government, pro-free market policies, and protecting the rights of its citizens.”
“The Liberty City stands in stark contrast to many local governments that attempt to manage their economies and regulate the lives of their citizens,” and it prevents forceful annexations to “higher-tax and higher-regulation larger cities.”
TPPF says that these municipal jurisdictions set the principles and guidelines by which they are incorporated. “the unifying factor is that the city seeks to protect its citizens from undue government regulation, taxation, and spending, as opposed to enacting it. The city purposefully seeks to protect the Constitutional rights of its citizens in how it governs. One means of doing so is a citizen bill of rights, guaranteeing that citizens will not face regulations on, for example, their freedom of speech or assembly.”
In the document it reads that a small suburb of San Antonio, called Von Ormy was the first Texas town to be labeled a Liberty City.
“Von Ormy incorporated in 2008 to protect the rights of its citizens from the higher tax and regulatory burden of San Antonio … to provide basic, but important city services to its citizens, such as police coverage and infrastructure maintenance.” They also went on to eliminate it’s property tax and steered away from many regulations.
Sandy Oaks, a small community of about 1000 residents just south of San Antonio incorporated itself last year with over 75% of the residents voting in support. A couple of their main goals are to get better services and permanently block any annexation attempt from the large booming metropolis of San Antonio.
Most recently a group of freedom seekers with the same general philosophies are settling in between two small towns about 60 miles east of Dallas. The Texas Freedom Grounds is nestled in a couple of communities on Lake Tawakoni. They are practicing self-sustainability, with most having large gardens and hen houses, and developing their own homeschool group, and are expanding at a rapid rate. Some live down the street from one another and others are scattered within at least 10 miles or so to have their own privacy and still participating in events, cook-outs, and like-minded conversations. These friends and families are also assisting each other with day-to-day issues that arise due to having several people with different specialties. They have people from the construction, and auto mechanic fields and even have lawyers, journalists, and a veterinarian. They’ve had people come from all around the country, and are welcoming three new families in February. A couple of the residents have collaborated and purchased a four bedroom home to remodel so that these families will have somewhere to stay until they can find a home of their own. Participation in the nearby town of Lone Oak city council meetings has led to the city saving money by instead of outsourcing some repairs needed to the city hall, they voted to do them in-house with the no-cost labor coming from the citizens themselves. Kory Watkins, who has been out there for over a year now stepped in to regenerate the Libertarian Party of that county and became its chairman and was just elected to the State committee. When they found out about another proposed property tax in their county they ramped up their activism by gathering frequently with help from a local Republican group and held signs on street corners, poll locations, and shopping centers encouraging the citizens to vote against it. They slayed it with %63 saying no more taxes. The next task is to convene at the city council meeting in the county seat of Greenville where they are no stranger, their voice and solutions are being requested and welcomed. A proposed panhandling ban is up for discussion, and water fluoridation will once again be debated. This is a start to another Liberty area where they can seek to be untouched by the corrupt hands of the bigger cities, with a group of residents who are collaborating to govern themselves with the belief of Voluntaryism as the core. From voluntaryist.com: “Voluntaryism is the doctrine that relations among people should be by mutual consent, or not at all. It represents a means, an end, and an insight. Voluntaryism does not argue for the specific form that voluntary arrangements will take; only that force be abandoned so that individuals in society may flourish. As it is the means which determine the end, the goal of an all voluntary society must be sought voluntarily. People cannot be coerced into freedom. Hence, the use of the free market, education, persuasion, and non-violent resistance as the primary ways to change people’s ideas about the State. The voluntaryist insight, that all tyranny and government are grounded upon popular acceptance, explains why voluntary means are sufficient to attain that end.”
In an interview with the PanAm Post, Liberty City advocate Jess Fields explained that despite the fact that Liberty Cities are a newly found idea in Texas, the concept behind them is not Fields goes on to state “it has been reflected by some local governments in Texas recently, but the idea of self governance is a very old philosophical concept in which America and Texas were founded on. The intention of avoiding high taxes and creating an environment conditioned to individual freedom. For this current election cycle in May, there is a small town in Guadalupe County, called Kingsbury, that received the permission of the county judge to have an incorporation election, and it is potentially the next Liberty City. They are literally incorporating to avoid annexation by a larger city … and pursue a low tax, low regulation concept, intended to protect the rights of their citizens.” Mr. Fields was asked why are these necessary? Fields responded by saying these people have the ideas with the individual in mind. and said “These will be able to ensure that free speech and the Second Amendment right to bear arms are protected, that you are able to operate your business without undue regulation or taxes while they still provide basic services.”
Fields also stated that with any level of jurisdiction there is always a risk that the “government will do things it is not supposed to do.”
Fields is pressuring some lawmakers in Austin for the Liberty City movement to be introduced through a new chapter detailing the general law of cities. That their policies “would be, by law, limited to policies that only protect the liberty of their citizens, and that is a really unique idea.”
Mr. Fields envisions that this movement will reach far beyond small communities and extend into larger cities and even State governments “I would argue that talking about state government, the best model to look at is the state of Texas, which is, without a doubt, the freest state in the United States of America.”
The movement out of these large Authoritarian Cities is on the rise in Texas, people are craving freedom and liberty in such a way that they will seek it by any means necessary.