about you are the power
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.
We empower people to work together to set our communities free, take the power away from government, and put it back in your hands, where it belongs.
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.
Even before You Are The Power officially launched, Spike Cohen has been working with activists across the country to identify problems, implement solutions and spread freedom:
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.
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.
And we’re just getting started!
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.
Myra Matejka is a former homeschooling mother of four living in Cedar Rapids, IA where she joined the liberty movement in 2012. Over the years, Myra has done it all, from launching County affiliates and serving as a County Chairwoman, to being a Convention Coordinator, State District Representative, State Co-Chair, two cycle candidate for Iowa House, and a District Representative for 7 states in the Jorgensen 2020 presidential campaign.
With an extensive background in music, art, photography, graphics, sales/marketing, and a keen eye for numbers, Myra brings a lot of diverse talent to the team. Myra can be found on podcasts talking liberty with well-known activists and on local news spreading the messages of freedom – but her favorite place to be is behind the scenes, doing the work that needs to be done to push the movement forward and give the support necessary to ensure growth. She continues to do this today with You Are The Power, helping to keep the team on track and efficiently organized.
Media & Events 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 2-year-old girl and step mom 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 later that same year. Ciara has also has contributed to multiple campaigns over the years. She loves helping candidates expand their social media presence, and loves attending libertarian events with her camera in hand!
Video and Graphics Engineer
Having held such varied jobs including bartender, limo driver, webmaster, helpdesk operator, and retail manager, Jeni Floyd is no stranger to hard work. Graduating Cum Laude with a BS in Elementary Education, Jeni found herself teaching computer skills to senior citizens instead.
As a Libertarian, she served as secretary to not only her local chapter, but to her precinct committee, and the Libertarian Party of Illinois. Jeni has worked on several election campaigns, including ballot access petitioning, validating, graphic arts, photography, video creation and editing, and developing campaign materials. She also served on the Illinois LP state convention committee for 6 years, creating programs and co-hosting the popular Libertarian Jeopardy!
She has since fled Illinois and enjoys the mountains of eastern Tennessee with her family and cat, Tycho, where she continues to put her talents to work for You Are The Power.