Julie McCarty leads one of the largest and most active tea party groups in Texas – and the nation. But that’s just one of her full-time jobs.
In addition to serving as president of the NE Tarrant Tea Party, Julie’s also a full-time real estate investor with her husband Fred, and a stay-home mom who homeschools their daughter Lizzy.
In short, Julie is a stellar example that everyone can make time to get involved in local politics.
And she works to help others do just that, keeping in mind her own beginnings as a political activist.
McCarty says it was her husband who first got her interested in politics.
“I was always drawn to the civic duty of voting and had a strong sense of right and wrong in the political arena,” she said, “but it was Fred who nurtured that just with every day conversations we’d have about what he heard on the radio.”
Later they attended the first Tea Party rally in Dallas, where they were asked if they’d start a tea party in their own zip code. Julie said she figured she had some free time and loved to organize, so why not?
She added that if she’d known it would grow into the NE Tarrant Tea Party that it is today, she’d have been terrified and said no! What a loss that would’ve been for all the citizens in Tarrant County and beyond who’ve been educated and inspired by Julie and her organization to become activists too.
Julie says her goal is to educate people so that they can make their own best decisions. Often that means finding ways to communicate issues simply to others.
“I love hearing from people when I’ve explained something to them in laymen’s terms and they get excited because it finally makes sense to them,” she says. “I can relate to that! When it clicks for them, they’ll do the right thing. That’s what I’m counting on.”
Through her leadership of the NE Tarrant Tea Party, McCarty works to educate members by bringing in top-notch speakers on political issues. Then they take what they’ve learned and apply it. She says everything they learn has an action item. As a result, they do a lot of interacting with elected officials, campaigning for candidates, and fundraising.
Julie says her key role is communicating.
“Whether it be putting out a call to action via email or harassing a representative on a bill, posting encouragement on Facebook or giving quotes to the media, speaking to other tea party groups or giving advice on how to vote, I have somehow developed a voice in Texas, and as long as people will listen, I’ll keep using it!”
Julie moved to Texas in 1994 when she graduated from college, and 10 years later “married a Texan just to be sure I’d never have to leave.” She and Fred have been married for 12 years, and Julie calls their daughter Lizzy their “Tea Party mascot” because she’s grown up in the tea party and is more comfortable in a political setting than anywhere else. Even at home, Julie is inspiring people to be more politically active.
Julie credits her mom for giving her a strong work ethic. Beyond that, she says everything she does is inspired by her desire to serve God and by the recognition that life is short. She believes we are here for a purpose – to work HARD – and she wants to use every one of her days to do what God has called her to do.
“That includes being the best wife and mom I can be, but it also for some reason includes politics,” Julie says. “He’s given me a platform. I’ve got a big mouth. I’m learning to use it for Him and to be vocal about truth and righteousness and right vs. wrong.”
For others who want to get involved, Julie advises:
“All you have to do is take one simple first step. Place a call to your representative. Attend a meeting. Go vote in an election other than the general election, for crying out loud! Just do one thing. It will empower you. You’ll love the feeling of doing the right thing. You’ll realize it’s not so scary. And you’ll want to do more. The learning curve is short. There are tons of opportunities to get involved. It just takes that one first step.”
Great advice from someone who’s been there, done that – and so much more.