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Turning Point USA opens new headquarters in Phoenix

The conservative student organization picks Phoenix for expansion


Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, cuts the ribbon at the opening of their new downtown Phoenix headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. 

Turning Point USA officially opened its newest headquarters in Phoenix on Aug. 10, 2018.

Founded in 2012 by conservative activist Charlie Kirk, TPUSA is one of the leading conservative student organizations in the nation. With a focus on promoting the principles of freedom and limited government, TPUSA has a presence on over 1,300 college campuses and high schools in the U.S.

Originally based solely out of Illinois, TPUSA's expansion to Phoenix spells new opportunities for the conservative organization, especially with Maricopa County remaining one of the most conservative counties in the nation.

Troy Meeker, operational director for the organization, said he sees a bright future for TPUSA's newest base.

“Arizona is a much more business-friendly environment to work within than Illinois,” Meeker said. “Currently, we have about 30 Turning Point staff working out of this office and we have the ability and space to double that number."

The conservative history of Arizona makes this new location desirable in the eyes of the right wing student organization as well. 

“As the birthplace of Barry Goldwater, who was a massive figure in the conservative movement that a lot of our staff, including myself, look up to, being in Arizona is amazing,” Meeker said. “Arizona does have the whole political spectrum, but compared to Illinois, it’s a lot friendlier to our values.”

In addition, ASU’s Turning Point chapter is among the largest and most successful branches of the organization, according to Meeker. The student group meets the first Wednesday of each month, and regularly invites political candidates and office holders to come in and speak with members. 

“Our last headquarters wasn’t nearly as close to a chapter; we’re just right down the street from ASU,” Meeker said. “Being here lets us connect to one of our largest campuses as well as with more students.”

Elyse Cervantes, the field program administrator for TPUSA, as well as an Arizona native, said the shift to Phoenix is a welcomed one for many employees.

“We have lot of employees originally based out of Phoenix, so it was an easy decision to decide to move out here,” Cervantes said. “We’re hiring and growing a lot, especially with all the graduating college students in this area, and focusing on starting new chapters.”

With events and conferences on the horizon for TPUSA over the next several months, Arizona is a strong central location to remain interconnected with its many chapters. Western Regionals, based out of Newport, California, is among one of the largest events TPUSA is involved with and is a key place in which young members of the group can continue to discuss and grow as politically aware citizens. 

“It’s really great to see young people getting so passionate about their ideals, and standing up for their values,” Cervantes said. “Tuning Point takes pride in holding non-partisan debates and discussions and giving our younger members the ability to understand why people see issues in certain ways and understand all sides of the argument.”

ASU’s young political minds seem to feel the same. Richard Thomas, the first officer in College Republicans United, a splinter group from the College Republicans, had positive words for the organization's expansion to Phoenix.

“It’s great that (TPUSA) chose Phoenix. It puts their focus and attention on Arizona, which we need as we become a purple state more and more,” Thomas said. “There’s always areas in Arizona that are safe red seats, but as we are now a battleground state, they need the attention here.”

See more: ASU Republicans fracture over Trump politics

Despite being a separate group from the TPUSA chapter on campus, the College Republicans United organization sees their coexistence as a partnership rather than a competition, Thomas said. 

According to Thomas, TPUSA's broad recruitment style has been effective in getting students organized and passionate about the organization.

“That said, Turning Point can’t do everything by itself, so they subcontract to groups like ours," Thomas said. “It’s the different perspective that Turning Point brings, the different energy, that unites all these groups into working towards the same goals.”

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