about you are the power
Founded and operated by Spike Cohen, You Are The Power is a Membership-based nonprofit whose network has a shared social media reach of over 50 million, and a working relationship with activists and organizations in all 50 states.
The Mission of YATP is to spread, and act on, the Principle of Human Respect.
We accomplish this through:
- Building Community Roots – We find people who are in need, activate our Members to organize that community around their cause, and demonstrate that we care, our solutions work, and they are welcome to join us to accomplish even more.
- Network Effect – We grow and nurture a network of engaged and likeminded activists, train them on best practices for organizing and winning on causes, and communicate the principle behind why our solutions work: that people flourish without coercion, force or theft.
- Education and Action – For both our Members and the general public, we use these causes and our network as an opportunity to educate them about the foundational Principle of Human Respect, and give them a direct call to action to implement this Principle into practice.
Our purpose is to use localized, grassroots, single-issue activism to empower people to work together to set our communities free, restore individual rights, and take the power away from government and put it back in your hands, where it belongs.
We are a non-partisan network of activists, community leaders, and candidates for elected office who identify problems and work to implement solutions.
Below you will find our Statement of Goals, our Statement of Values, our Accomplishments, and information about our Team.
Our Statement of Goals
You Are The Power engages in activism to accomplish the following Goals:
Empowerment: When people feel helpless in their communities against an overreaching government, we show them how much power they have to enact the changes they wish to make. For far too long, politicians and bureaucrats have convinced many that they have no power. We’re here to remind them that they do.
Accountability: When politicians, law enforcers, or other people in positions of power abuse their authority, we use our resources and experience to expose their deeds to the public and hold them accountable. Those who abuse their power should have an example made of them. We will do just that.
Service: We can help those in need, and improve our communities far better than politicians, bureaucrats and cronies, and we demonstrate it regularly through direct charity and mutual aid initiatives.
Awareness: We utilize positive, solutions-oriented messaging and hands-on grassroots activism to demonstrate to the public that we have the best ideas and a feasible strategy to implement them. We win people to our side and achieve victory.
Nullification: Bad laws, policies and actions by politicians and bureaucrats can be nullified in many ways. Nullified at the ballot box through referendums and initiatives, nullified by informed jurors in unjust trials, and nullified by local governments through “sanctuary” laws and other nullification laws. The elected officials in the state and federal offices are not our rulers, and we show them just how little control they truly have over us.
Respect: Harmful measures from government come from a lack of respect for people, and growing a culture of human respect is the best way to combat it. In all of our endeavors, we drive home the message that theft, violence and coercion always reduce happiness, harmony and prosperity every single time, and that cooperation and respect are the way to create the kind of society we wish to live in.
Liberation: We have a long-term goal of dismantling the oppressive, tyrannical, and harmful systems and programs that those in power have been building up for quite some time. There are many steps that need to be taken on this journey, and we’re prepared for the long-haul – there’s no time to start like now!
Our Statement of Values
You Are The Power operates under the following Values:
We Value Autonomy. We do not harm people except in defense, we do not steal people’s justly-acquired property, and we do not threaten or coerce people into acting against their own will.
We Value Freedom. We believe that all of us do best when we are most free, and respect people’s freedom to do as they wish, as long as they don’t violate anyone else’s lives, rights or property.
We Value Trust. We trust one another, and we are trustworthy. We do not lie or cheat. The truth is on our side, so we have no reason to veer from it.
We Value Decisiveness. We identify problems, determine the solutions, and then work to implement them in a way that helps to inform and shape public opinion. We do not fear failure, because we will learn from it. Failure is better than inaction.
We Value Courage. Our opponents have vastly more resources than we do, but we know that the truth and justice are on our side. We forge ahead.
We Value Dignity. We speak and conduct ourselves in a way that attracts others, wins them over to our side, and inspires them to join us. We act calmly, courteously and with the truth on our side. We do not act disrespectfully, or with disrespect towards others.
We Value Vision and Commitment. We seek to set people free from coercion in our time. We understand that this is a long journey, and that there are many steps we need to take to get there. We seek to identify those steps, and commit to taking them, all the way through to victory.
We Value Diversity of Thought and Perspective. All of us come from different walks of life, have different perspectives and experiences, interact in different social circles, and have a different way of doing things. It is in that diversity that we are able to reach everyone, while remaining committed to the same goals and operating from the same values.
We Value Decentralization. We do not order people around or force people to accept the majority opinion. Democratizing everything simply pits allies against one another constantly, squashes minority opinion, and creates losers on every issue for no good reason. We do not form factions or try to create division. We inspire others to join us by doing great work and encouraging others to join us.
We Value Respect. If we disagree with another Member’s activism, we do our own activism. We respect the rights and motivations of others, and are more focused on being productive than criticizing or nitpicking one another.
We Value Tolerance. Not all of us live the same way, and that is good. We respect everyone’s right to live as who they are and how they wish, and we respect everyone’s right to their opinion on others as well. We do not force people to accept, or condemn, the lifestyles of others. We only expect tolerance.
We Value Knowledge. On any subject, hard data is our preferred source. Our second preferred source is the opinion of those with the most experience on the subject. Thinking and feeling are important, but we derive our opinions primarily from data and knowledge.
We Value De-Escalation. When we see the beginnings of conflict, we use positive communication to de-escalate it. We disagree by focusing on positive alternatives, and avoid insults and divisiveness.
We Value Love. At the root of our values, and our activism, is love. Love for ourselves and those closest to us, love for our communities, love for the freedom and wellbeing of others, love for future generations whose lives we want to improve by winning for liberty. When all things are considered, we default to love.
Our Top Members
Leigh Ann Cogliano
Gary Fletcher II
Alvin J Starling
Moises Roa Ortiz
John David Roberson
Mike ter Maat
You Are The Power, our Regional Organizers, and Spike Cohen have been working with activists across the country to identify problems, implement solutions and spread freedom:
defending a family IN ARIZONA
Joe Wood, a widowed Navy veteran, lives in an RV on his grandchildren’s property in Springerville, AZ. Tim Rassmussen, the town manager, has a problem with Joe living in his RV on his family’s property. He doesn’t care what happens to Joe, he just wants him gone.
You Are The Power members sprang into action, emailing Mr. Rasmussen, imploring him to discontinue his harassment of Joe Wood and his grandchildren, the Hightower family. Henry Lever spoke before the city council, imploring the manager and the council to find an amicable resolution and eliminate the ordinance which allows so much power over the residents of Springerville.
Getting justice for Rasheem IN MISSISSIPPI
The last time Rasheem Carter spoke to his mother, he told her someone was trying to kill him. Days later, he went missing. His decapitated remains would be found in a wooded area south of Taylorsville, Mississippi around a month later.
In the effort to find justice for Rasheem Carter, You Are The Power is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. You can submit any information confidentially to youarethepower.net/tips.
FIGHTING FOR CHARITY IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Be Kind Be Great saw a need and felt called to fill it. Every week, Ericka Brown and her team provide meals and assistance to the unhoused and marginalized members of their community. Assistance the city managers objected to. Police told what she was doing was blocking sidewalks, and, in the words of one councilman “creating an attractive nuisance.” Ericka was told they could no longer serve and would face fines, or worse, if they persisted.
You Are The Power members joined in the fight, helping via donations, service at feeding events, and speaking to the City Council on the needs of the community and the benefits of having groups like Be Kind Be Great ministering to those in need.
Exposing a corrupt Sheriff in West Virginia
Late at night on January 6, 2023, Sherriff Nathan Harmon’s daughter Carrie had an accident. Her car left the road at a sharp curve on Cemetery Rd in Martinsburg, WV, rolled through the front yard, fence, and over the retaining wall of a residence. Fortunately for Carrie, neither she nor anyone else was injured. What happened after the accident, however, raises quite a few questions.
You Are The Power has been following this incident and speaking out about how an elected official can bend the law to keep a family member from facing the consequences of their actions. It is our belief that our public exposure of this incident has led to questions being asked and his upcoming appearance before the Grand Jury.
Helping new families IN MISSOURI
An offshoot of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, Grace Place has, to date, provided diapers and necessities to nearly 5,000 children in their sub-rural community since their inception in June, 2015. Privately funded with no assistance from any government agency, 100% of all donations go back out to those in need. The organizers of Grace Place, like You Are The Power, share the belief that private charities are the most effective way to help individuals within their communities.
One of the advantages of having a nation-wide network of members, You Are The Power can put out a call for donations and have a noticeable effect on causes. Combine this with our social media reach and small, local groups like Pleasant Hill Grace Place get a much-needed boost in funding.
DEFENDING FRIENDS IN WEST VIRGINIA
Friends Feeding Friends is a Clarksburg, WV-based organization that has a simple mission: to support and strengthen the Clarksburg community by providing nourishment, comfort, and resources to those in need. Help which the city council objected to despite the service being privately organized and held on private property.
Our Northeast Regional Organizer, Tom Pinkh, gave an impassioned speech to the city council and it looks like there will be an amicable solution allowing Friends Feeding Friends to continue their mission thanks to the attention brought to this issue.
ending qualified immunity in ohio
When police accountability activists in Ohio needed help to give Ohioans the ability to vote to end qualified immunity, Spike went to Columbus to rally his Ohio supporters to come and help to collect signatures needed to get it on the ballot.
killing the snitching bill in florida
When the Manatee County Council considered a bill that would’ve tried to sidestep the Constitution by creating a weaponized snitching system, using abortion as their flimsy pretext to do so, Spike worked with local activists to speak to the Council (first publicly in session and then privately to individual Council Members), wrote an op-ed in the local paper, and ultimately killed the bill.
getting justice in north carolina
When police in Gastonia, NC assaulted Joshua Rohrer, tased his service dog Sunshine, and then refused to release the body cam footage, activists reached out to Spike for help. Upon further research, his team discovered that the Gastonia City Council had also shut down the only homeless shelter in Gastonia, which was run by Pastor Moses Colbert. Determined to get justice, Spike has attended multiple City Council meetings and spoken directly with the Council Members, organized and spoken at multiple rallies, given interviews about the issues there, and he has pledged not to stop until we get justice for Joshua, Sunshine, Pastor Moses, and the entire community of Gastonia.
fighting eminent domain in kentucky
When the Russell City Council in Russell, KY tried to use eminent domain to seize a privately-owned convalescent home so they could build a parking lot, Spike worked with local activists to raise awareness on social media, contact local media, organize protests and speak directly to the Council about their objections.
With the help of our nationwide team of activists, this is just the beginning!
Founder & President
Spike Cohen is a successful business owner, Libertarian activist, and media figure. He is the Founder and President of You Are The Power, a nonprofit focused on using solutions-oriented activism to grow the Liberty movement.
Spike started a web design company as a teenager in 1998. In 2017, he retired from web design to focus on effective political messaging, entertainment, and activism. This culminated with him becoming Libertarian candidate for Vice President in 2020, where he traveled across the nation by plane and bus, meeting countless Americans and sharing the message of Liberty with them.
Spike is a tireless advocate for freedom with a commitment to help grow the movement at the grassroots level, training candidates and activists in positive and principled messaging to explain libertarian ideas to everyday Americans, and working with elected officials to implement common-sense reforms to improve people’s lives.
Since the 2020 election, Spike has become a regular guest on cable news networks, nationally syndicated radio, international media outlets, and podcasts across the globe.
In 2004 Myra Matejka left her corporate management career to stay home with her children and found herself diving head first into community outreach and activism. Inspired by Ron Paul’s run for the presidential nomination, Myra decided to take her skills into the world of politics.
With over 12 years of experience in grassroots activism, Myra has seen it all. From organizing volunteers, managing teams, planning events, fundraising, guest appearances on local news shows and podcasts, running for office and so much more; Myra brings a wealth of knowledge to the team.
This former homeschooling mom of four joined forces with Spike Cohen as a staffer on the Jorgensen/Cohen campaign in 2020 and has been with You Are The Power from its inception. Having left politics, she has made it her mission is to focus on community service through the message of human respect.
Hailing from the great state of Maryland, Bob handles the very important task of keeping our financials neat and tidy. He’s been involved with the liberty movement and libertarian politics since the early 2000’s, serving as the chair of the Maryland party, then as treasurer, and working for the national libertarian party for thirteen years.
Bob brings his skills and expertise to our team because he knows people get hurt by the government, at all levels, every day. You Are The Power works to help these people, who usually don’t know how to defend themselves, and can rarely afford to hire someone to help them.
Special Projects Director
Hailing from Chicago, IL where both governors and aldermen share a cell in federal prison, Brian has been fighting the system for over a decade. His experience in managing campaigns, event coordination, communications, marketing, and good old fashioned networking have allowed him many victories that include libertarian candidates earning media endorsements, electing them to office, and garnering record amounts of media attention to their causes. Brian has managed over thirty campaigns, ranging from local office to statewide races. In 2020, he was the media coordinator for the Jo Jorgensen campaign, where he also worked for Spike Cohen and continued to do so after the campaign.
Brian loves to play his guitar and bass, enjoys directing and producing films, is a proud member of the Silent Film Society of Chicago, is an avid camper and hiker all around the country, and likes to indulge in local astronomy clubs late at night looking through telescopes.
Social Media Director
Ciara is a mother to a rambunctious little girl and stepmom to two wonderful bonus boys. With a household this full, she is never afraid of a challenge! Ciara discovered the Liberty movement through the Ron Paul Revolution in 2012. In 2016, she decided to put her love for liberty into action and became an assistant volunteer director for a well-known figure in the movement, before joining a growing alternative media network and attended protests/rallies/events as a reporter/photographer.
She joined the Libertarian Party in 2017, and has been involved in numerous projects ever since, becoming the Chair for her local Libertarian chapter in DeKalb County in 2018 and earning the Outstanding Young Libertarian Award for the Libertarian Party of Illinois in 2018, and she also received The Tonie Nathan Award later in 2022.
Ciara has contributed to multiple political campaigns over the years. She loved helping candidates expand their social media presence and loves attending events with her camera in hand!
She has since directed this passion to You Are The Power by helping us with numerous projects with the main focus of expanding our social media following.
Video and Graphic Engineer
When you have a resume which includes being a bartender, limo driver, webmaster, helpdesk operator, retail manager, educator, and independent film maker, you know a lot about many things.
Being the definition of “creative person”, Jeni brings her skills and life experiences to the team making promotional graphics and print media. She also edits all the content for our TikTok and YouTube channels, helping push our social media presence to over 50 million followers.
Born and raised in Chicago, Jeni now enjoys the quieter life in the foothills of Eastern Tennessee with her family and two cats – Tycho and Edwin.
Jason Lyon is a grassroots activist and former podcast host from South Carolina. Working with allies of different perspectives, Jason has worked tirelessly to end bad practices he sees in our communities, spreading the message of human respect, while working towards a more accountable and responsible government.
A loving husband, father, and veteran of the US Navy, Jason became deeply interested in how politics affects him and his family, leading him to start his own video blog in 2016, and eventually getting elected to County Chair for his local party. Soon after, he was hired into his first professional role in grassroots, where he helped direct activists and causes across the Upstate of South Carolina, and his level of activism and involvement only grew from there.
With the goal of tearing down the barriers that harm our communities and small businesses, Jason continues to work relentlessly to help others become informed, engaged, and activated, to provide a voice for everyone to enable them to reach their fullest potential as the Volunteer Director here at You Are The Power.