A stroll through progress thus far in 2016...
Congratulations to all re-elected and continuing club presidents and a big Welcome to our new club presidents:
Jill Schaefer – Kenai Republican Women’s Club
Crystal Nygard – MatSu Republican Women’s Club
Mindy Lowrance – Sitka Republican Women’s Club
My tenure began in June of last year and it has been filled with Federation business. I have had the pleasure of attending many club events and visiting with each club president individually, by phone and in person. These have been what I can only describe as good times as I witness the commitment of dozens of Republican women spring into action as we prepare for the rest of the 2016 election cycle.
Here it is worth noting that a number of our Federation Board members have joined me traveling throughout the State and it is a real credit to their commitment. While many have worked tirelessly, not intending to diminish anyone’s efforts, I believe that it is important to thank the following ladies: Judicial District Vice Presidents Connie McKenzie and Dani Bickford. These ladies have taken the challenge to provide direct support and training throughout their respective districts (regions) and to work cross-regional to advance our cause. This they have done and are continuing to do. Well done!
A stroll down the last few months
Shortly after being elected, I contacted National to develop a working relationship and to discover what benefits could be derived from the relationship. The fruits of this relationship have resulted in a renewal of commitment to more actively communicate, two visits from NFRW Regional Representative Eileen Sobjack, and a recent request to visit our Alaska members from newly-elected NFRW President Carrie Almond.
In January, I attended the Alaska Republican Party State Central Committee meeting, having arrived in Juneau two days prior to the actual meeting, which provided me with the opportunity to visit with Capital City Republican Women’s Club President Joyce Vick, meet with legislators and attend various other legislative meetings. I would encourage all members to visit the State Capitol during session or tune in and watch the various committee meetings via television on Gavel to Gavel.
March came in with a roar! The Presidential Preference Poll was a huge success due to the great work ethic of so many of our members. It was followed closely by the District Conventions. The representation of our ladies was and continues to be stellar, resulting in many of them being elected to district officers and selected as State delegates. Still others are running for various public offices at virtually every level of government. Every position from School Board to U.S Senator as well as State Party officers will be represented at the upcoming Alaska Republican Party Convention, April 28-30, 2016.
I did not attend the March NFRW Spring Legislative meeting in D.C., as it conflicted with district conventions and my work schedule. However, I was kept apprised of the meeting’s business thanks to our NFRW Region Rep and newly-selected NFRW State President Liaison. Thankfully, I had spent a great deal of quality time with our Congressional Delegation during February and March events here in Alaska. God willing, I will be selected as a delegate to the July RNC Convention where the NFRW is also holding its next quarterly meeting.
Commitments and GROWTH
I made a commitment when I ran for this position. It is my intent to do everything possible to fulfill that commitment and I am very proud of the Committee Chairs appointed and confirmed on the AFRW Board.
“I will appoint smart, capable women with proven records of accomplishment to help propel our Federation forward. I will reach out in friendship to all clubs, and I will work hard from day one to ensure we are doing our part to expand our membership and influence as part of our larger mission of getting good Republicans elected.” Yours in Victory and in Unity
The Federation’s mantra has been and will continue to be: raising money and electing Republicans. We, like so many, are facing challenges: economic uncertainly, waning involvement. If we plan to be in this for the long game, we must find new ways of doing things. GROWTH is essential and GROWTH will build up opportunities for raising money and electing Republicans.
GROWTH requires: Reflection, Vision, and a Consistent and Defining Message.
Reflection on unity of purpose, people want to know what to work for something not just ways to be against something. Provide and articulate, by word and action, a shared Vision with a Consistent and Defining Message. These are necessary for GROWTH and sustainability.
GROWTH is compatible with raising money and electing Republicans. There’s a real need for us to develop a bench! To do that we must work to engage and encourage participation; identifying individuals support Republican ideals as members willing to work alongside us. There’s also a need to seek out those who are willing to step up and run for public service. Each person is unique and brings something to the table. We should find common ground, embrace and nurture solid relationships and refrain from devaluing healthy discourse, for this is not compatible with GROWTH.
This is our challenge: build relationships, fulfill commitments, and actively encourage and support efforts for the good of the order. This is not always easy when it calls us to move outside of our personal and collective comfort zone(s). We can do this!