Flushing, New York, October 31— Queens Libertarians are saddened by the loss of Dr. Tom Stevens, who has led the organization from its days as the original LPQC, until his passing last week after 13 years of Libertarian activism in Queens County and beyond. His passing occurred at the end of a month where members of the Queens Libertarians (or QL) have celebrated their 25th anniversary of activism. Services for Stevens are scheduled at the Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage on November 1.
In honor of Stevens’ service and contributions, the organization will also hold “A Remembrance of Tom Stevens” open discussion and tribute at its November 9 monthly meeting at the Takara Sushi restaurant in Whitestone from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The sister of Dr. Stevens, Joanne Bair, has stated “Tom loved life and people and knowledge. He was so smart. He lived a spirited and enthusiastic life and he truly cared about people. Tom had a great sense of humor and touched so very many lives in such a positive way.”
Dr. Stevens served as truly the ‘Ironman’ of the organization over the years in turns as its Chair, Membership Secretary, state rep, and main program scheduler, as part of the successful Libertarian education speaking program QL has run through its 25 year straight history of monthly meetings. Stevens also served as Chair of the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party, as a local GOP party leader, and as a Presidential candidate of the Objectivist Party. Stevens previously was also active in the “United We Stand” movement of Ross Perot.
After joining the LP in 2003, Stevens served two terms on the LPUS Judiciary Committee, having been elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2008. He has since served as the elected Chair of the LPQC (then President of the Queens Libertarians). Stevens was crucial in fighting off a monumental effort by the Republican Party to keep the PA LP off the ballot in 2012, for which he was commended by Third Party Watch, and 2012 LP Presidential candidate Gary Johnson.
In addition to maintaining an active email and member list in the hundreds, he organized conventions, holiday dinners, and a speaker program featuring guests over the last year including Robert Schulz, Bill Schmidt, Gary Popkin, Ron Litchman and others. QL meets (as since 1994) on the second Saturday of each month. After their November 9 Stevens meeting, the Queens Libertarians will also hold its annual toy drive for charity, and invites Libertarians in the NYC area to attend to donate new or gently used toys. Drive Coordinator Michelle Yaskel estimates they will deliver over 170 toys, as was done last year, to several church-based children’s charities. The Queens Libertarians annual Holiday Toy Drive will be held at its meeting in Whitestone on December 14.
As for the controversies related to (or inflicted upon) Stevens and the original LPQC, QL acting head John Clifton has prepared a full background history summarizing those issues from the group’s perspective, available here:
http://www.queenslibertarians.org/past-controversies/. In addition, in July 2019, QL members agreed upon a “solidarity statement” motion passed by the currently chartered Queens LP, that re-affirms LPQC’s complaint to the LPNY state committee from 2011 was never properly resolved. The statement in part reads, “As per a 2017 petition that dozens of LPQC members signed, the LP of Queens recommends the state committee seek to resolve the complaint or dispute with Queens Libertarians with positive and constructive actions, and to respect chapter autonomy. We note that Libertarians in Queens, old and new, will continue to raise these matters until they are resolved.”
The complete solidarity statement of the Queens LP and the Queens Libertarians may be found here:
The Queens Libertarians (formerly the original Libertarian Party of Queens County), is the authentic voice of libertarian views, activism, education and advocacy in Queens since 1994. It is not currently chartered with the Libertarian Party of New York (LPNY) due to a bylaws dispute, and over its documenting wrongful expulsions, and ongoing defamations of several Queens activists led by certain factions within the state party. QL expects its positive achievements and fully active organization is resulting in a re-merging or restoration of its status and/or members with LPNY, through a future state convention or committee. The Queens Libertarians plan to complete its conversion into a Political Action Committee in 2020.