Free State Project Early Mover: Former President Carla Gericke
Carla Gericke was born in South Africa, and moved to the United States after winning a green card in a lottery. She practiced law as in-house counsel for Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley before completing her Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing at City College of New York. Gericke and her husband Louis moved to New Hampshire from New York for the Free State Project in February 2008.
Turning her attention and energy to liberty activism, Gericke performed a great deal of volunteer work for the FSP, including organizing the Porcupine Freedom Festival (aka PorcFest)—one of the world’s largest liberty gatherings—in 2009 and 2010. Thanks to her tireless work toward increasing individual liberties, Gericke ultimately became president of the Free State Project in 2011.
In 2013, she successfully led efforts to remove fraudulent claims about Free State Project participants from a federal BEARCAT grant application. Gericke was also named one of NH Magazine’s Remarkable Women in 2014.
“The Free State Project is really the heart of what is creating this liberty movement within New Hampshire, and it’s bringing thousands of principled, peaceful people together to achieve liberty in our lifetime.” —FSP president Carla Gericke
Landmark case affirming right to film police
In 2014, Carla Gericke won a landmark First Circuit Court of Appeals case affirming the 1st Amendment right to film police encounters, while also removing the potential for police to claim qualified immunity as a defense for violating this right. Based on a previous ruling, Glik v. Cunniffe, the court found that Gericke’s right to film the officers was established at the time of her arrest. She was represented by another FSP early mover: attorney Seth Hipple from the Law Offices of Martin & Hipple, P.L.L.C..
“It is clearly established in this circuit that police officers cannot, consistently with the Constitution, prosecute citizens for violating wiretapping laws when they peacefully record a police officer performing his or her official duties in a public area.” —First Circuit Court of Appeals, Gericke v. Begin
Triggering the Move! 20,000 signers!
The Free State Project is now the most successful intentional migration movement in American history! On February 3rd, 2016, the Gericke announced that the Free State Project met its goal of getting 20,000 pro-liberty activists to pledge to move to New Hampshire, where they will “exert their fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals’ rights to life, liberty and property.”
Gericke—joined by Free State Project founder Jason Sorens, Ph.D and FSP board member Matt Philips—made the momentous “Trigger The Move” announcement at a press conference in Manchester, NH:
“This is the culmination of over a decade of grassroots and volunteer work, and I am thrilled to be announcing that the Free State Project has surpassed the 20,000 signer mark. Early movers are bringing their businesses, families and charities with them to New Hampshire–not to mention disposable income. So far we’ve purchased more than $30 million in real estate alone, and I can’t wait to see what kind of larger impact will be made as a result of individual efforts within this growing and thriving community.” —FSP president Carla Gericke
You can read the transcript of Carla’s full “Trigger The Move” speech on the Free State Project website.
Foundation for New Hampshire Independence
In late February 2016, Carla Gericke stepped down as president of the Free State Project, having completed her goal of triggering the move. She has since accepted the position of president at the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence, a non-profit organization that promotes the benefits of New Hampshire declaring its independence from the United States federal government.
Carla Gericke for NH Senate
Shortly after announcing that she’d joined the Foundation for NH Independence, she also announced her Carla Gericke for NH Senate 2016 campaign. Gericke is running in NH Senate District 20 (representing Manchester & Goffstown) against nine-term incumbent Lou D’Allesandro, who recently received a pathetic “D-minus” grade from the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, a non-partisan coalition that works to increase individual freedoms in NH by monitoring bills in the legislative sessions, reporting how they effect civil liberties, personal responsibility, property rights, accountability, constitutionality, affordability, regulation, fiscal impact, and taxation.