Freedom2Fish - 501C Start-Up Fund
Recreational Fisherman's Fund to provide seed money to organize and take back the Gulf from federal fisheries and return it to the people.
Hi, my name is Steven Briggs and I along with a few others have started a new Non-Profit and PAC called, Freedom2Fish. We are raising money to fund the start-up of these efforts with the ultimate goals of returning a fair and equitable access to our Gulf of Mexico Fisheries. All funds raised will be transferred into a business checking account with financial controls in place to ensure appropriate use of the funds. These funds are to offset the formation costs and to provide some basic expense money to the initial board of directors. The benefactors of this effort will be all Americans with a vested interest in free public access to our Nation's resources.Freedom2Fish
Second - our goal is not to raise a few 10 thousand dollars. Its much larger. This will be seed money and any balances will be moved into the 501c3 once the filing is finalized and the IRS determination has occurred. The actual 501c we believe will generate millions to promote your voice LOUD and CLEAR and free of other distractions.
Here are some Q & A on a recent exchange with one of our larger rec fishing facebook communities.
Who's behind this?
Gulf of Mexico fishermen who feel that current approaches are not working. As of now, we have a small start-up team that includes myself (I have a Masters of Science from Tulane in Public Health and have extensive mid-level leadership experience in the Oil Industry), Tom Hilton, Mike Osgood (CPA and has a group of attorneys assisting in formation paperwork), and Steve Hoyland, a full-time fishing guide in Galveston.
What type of 501C is this?
It will be a 501C3, though we are investigating ways to expand the role under the advisement of a few participants with extensive experience organizing and especially 501c's.
Where will the money go?
Right now we asked for initial seed money for the filing fees, perhaps to cover some web design, and to defray other costs associated with organizing; specifically we are working out a relationship with a MAJOR powerhouse in the 501c sportsman world to coach us on fundraising design after their proven success models. In addition, we are asking for our congressional districts as well as others to support a rework of the MSA and specifically a full return of recreational management to the states and fully independent of the obviously self-serving Gulf Council under NMFS. We are making quite a bit of noise and most of the congressional players associated with this issue are now becoming aware that a large, perhaps mega, voting block is forming on this single issue. If we are called to present our positions, then the initial seed money would be used to cover basic reasonable travel costs. Be aware that much of our set-up is being done pro-bono and we are all fully employed volunteers. No one is earning a penny, our CPA and attorney fees are donated, as well as web design once we get there. We set a modest but acceptable GoFundMe goal of $5K and that was blown out in less than 1 day (plus we had quite a few folks semi angry that we didn't ask for more). We raised GFM to $20K (for now). Our 501c goal will be millions once established. For now, this is seed money, not the primary funding of the 501C.
Press Release and Intended Officers?
Not yet (we are a few days into formation). The initial officers are responsible for drafting the overall mission statement and setting the operational parameters of the 501C. Once we coalesce on this, we will go for a formal press release. In the meantime, we are moving the word via social media about our 501C http://www.freedom2fish.org/. If you want to hear more about what we stand for, please listen to the podcasts from the Houston CBS affiliate on AM610's Outdoor Show with Captain Mickey Eastman. They dedicated the entire 3 hour program to our cause and the Red Snapper fisheries debacle. http://houston.cbslocal.com/2017/05/14/outdoor-show-sun-may-14/
What is your differentiation from the "Center for Sportfishing Alliance", a 501C PAC?
Really, what is the difference from them and RFA? CCA? FRA? ASA? So to my point...these groups all do great work and may have different overall missions and membership goals. This is the essence of the failures IMO on how we have arrived to where we are. There is no singular entity bridging everyone together to form a cohesive fighting unit relative to what is happening to our rights in the Gulf of Mexico. All are active in lobbying in various capacities, but the commercial industry sea lords and their CFH minions are highly dependent on our disorganization, lack of direct focus, and lack of leadership. In addition, they are dependent on their abundance of EDF money and free public resources. However, what we have if we can align are many orders of magnitude in numbers of people affected, substantial damage to our coastal economies, and the simple morality of the fact they are ripping off the public and our kids and grand kids and using the federal bureaucracy to accomplish this. You all are aware. So Freedom2Fish has come together to encourage memberships across all groups to unite and join us at the front lines, the GoM Red Snapper fights. So our primary mission is to unite all of these small memberships, large memberships, plus suppliers into a single fighting force that demands Congress and the Executive Branch to take urgent action to fix this issue or lose the support of the recreational base.
We believe based on the history and comments made publically that NOAA/NMFS under the influence of the EDF is using the GoM and specifically Red Snapper as the launching point of an all out assault on the rights of all recreational fishermen in all states and territories of the USA. Once they get the snapper actions codified, then they have a basis for all fisheries. Make no mistake - they do not want anything short of a complete takeover and ownership of this resource. Snapper are the first domino of a long chain. This fight is the sentinel fight of our lifetime and is worthy and important to for all citizens and conservation groups to unite around this effort.
Yes this is for Freedom2fish This is their fundraiser to launch.