In March 2009 a small group of people planned a 'Tea Party' rally for April 15th on the court house steps of the Kalamazoo County court house. Over 1000 people attended the rally and over 700 joined the movement via sign up for email newsletters. We formed several committees to determine what our 'Tea Party' organization mission, purpose and by laws would be. During that summer and fall we were asked to assist in starting Tea Party organizations in Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Calhoun, Barry and Allegan counties. We then changed our focus to be the Southwest Michigan Tea Party and were organized as such to offer support to newly formed organizations.

As the Southwest Michigan Tea Party we eventually helped organize new county organizations in ten counties, but we did not have a local Kalamazoo County Tea Party as such. We held a few regional meetings of Tea Party organizations and soon realized that each county had unique needs and had unique interests. The formal Southwest Michigan organization was discontinued and the VanKal Tea Party took its place serving conservatives in Kalamazoo and VanBuren counties. The VanKal organization is now a member of the Michigan Tea Party Alliance along with the others in our Southwest area.

Our primary issues in the VanKal organization are education of the electorate through town halls and educational events; issues management to include contact with elected representative and the electorate in our area; and building a voter information data base to support our issues management efforts and be able to market to candidates in our area.