The top GOP presidential contenders are all heading to Philadelphia this week to address one of the most powerful factions of the Republican Party: parents. 

The summit is hosted by Moms for Liberty, which has become one of the most dynamic groups in the conservative movement since it launched two years ago. 

Even though Moms for Liberty doesn’t plan to endorse a candidate in the presidential race, the 2024 candidates are coming to court the group — in large part because of the outsize influence its chapters have had on the local level. Candidates endorsed by the nonprofit have swept dozens of school board races and have begun making big changes in K-12 schools.

Just down the road from the Philadelphia Marriott where former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley will address legions of parent activists, a Moms for Liberty chapter has supported school board members who pushed for policy shifts at the Central Bucks School District. 

After a new conservative majority won school board seats in 2021, the suburban district banned books with “sexualized content” from school libraries and implemented a neutrality policy that resulted in a librarian being forced to remove a quote by Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize-winning author, for appearing political. Educators can no longer display an LGBTQ pride flag or use a student’s preferred pronouns without parent permission. 

“A lot of us feel very led to this particular fight for our children’s innocence,” said Jamie Tromba, chair of the Bucks County chapter of Moms for Liberty. The group’s membership has grown to over 1,200, she said, “because people are unifying behind some of the absurdities that we’re seeing that just don’t make much sense.”

Moms for Liberty members regularly speak at Central Bucks school board meetings, wearing navy T-shirts proclaiming, “We Don’t Co-Parent With The Government.” Moms for Liberty’s opponents, who abhor the group’s positions, admit the conservative activists have been effective messengers. Tromba said they’re just regular parents who feel called by God to get involved in school boards. 

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