Through the years the CFRW has expanded it's objectives and activities with the goals of:
- Electing Republicans to public office
- Promoting participation of women in politics informing members on current legislative issues providing membership input into legislators at local, state and national levels
- The development of a community volunteer program to address the important social issues and concerns
In 1974 California women wanted a stronger voice in the legislative process so the Legislative Advocacy Program was started. Its purpose was to put CFRW in direct communication with the members of the State legislature. Nancy Ehlers was appointed the first chairman and in 1976 she was registered as the first full time volunteer CFRW lobbyist. Issue Chairmen were appointed statewide to study proposed legislation and prepare the "Pro and Con" analysis. The division presidents and the state president then decide if CFRW would support or oppose significant legislation.
Our advocate in Sacramento monitors and reports on the progress of these bills through the legislature. The "Canvassing the Capitol" newsletter was started in 1976 to keep all of federation clubs in California informed about pending legislation and other significant events in Sacramento. In 1976 the Action Alert Hot Line was first organized in order to ensure even faster statewide CFRW member response to pending legislation or other action when needed. Also in 1976 the first Legislative Advocacy Workshop was convened in the State Capitol to improve and expand communication with incumbent Republican legislators. CFRW members also turned out in large numbers to attend the Campaign Management Schools, Polling Schools and Women Candidate Seminars.
All of this educated our members into a more effective campaign management pool at all levels to support Republican candidates for local, state or national office.
In 1978 the Advocates office was formally established two blocks from the State capitol funded by member contributions. In August of 1982 Debra Beck was hired as the first paid Advocate and a full time secretary was added. The CFRW Bylaws were amended during the 1983 Biennial Convention in order to fully fund this program through each member's per capita.
In 1984 Legi-Tech (bill tracking) service and a monitoring intercom system connected with the Capitol Committee rooms. Ellenor Howell was hired as Advocate following Debra Beck's appointment to the Governor's Office.
In June of 1993 Advocate Ellenor Howell retired. Valerie Otis was appointed to fill the vacancy until the summer of 1994 when Kathy Nelson Turner was hired. During the summer of '94, members from the Sacramento Republican Women Clubs donated their time in the Advocacy Office so CFRW wouldn't have to pay office help enabling Kathy Nelson Turner to purchase and update office equipment with new computer technology.
In September of 1994 Helen Lazar was hired as Legislative Assistant to assist Kathy Nelson Turner in the Advocacy office. We lost Kathy Nelson Turner to an appointed position by the Governor and so the CFRW Executive Committee in Executive Session after Advocacy workshop voted to approve Helen Lazar as Advocate. Since that time our advocates have evolved often leaving our employ to take even more influential positions within government.
CFRW has accomplished much over the past 78 years: 58 of those years as a member of the National Federation of Republican Women. Millions of American Women from age 19 to 90 have helped shape our nation through wartime and peace, through depression and prosperity, through good times and bad, all through their membership in their local club, a part of the State and National Federation of Republican Women.
Those goals of the Women who met in Chicago in 1938 continue to be the goals of all the Republican Women's Clubs today to encourage women's participation in the governing of our Nation, to elect Republicans to office at all levels, and promote public awareness of the issues which shape America. We have proven we are ready and willing and equal to any cause identified or assigned to us. The members of the California Federation of Republican Women and the National Federation of Republican Women will continue to help build a better tomorrow by promoting the promise and Opportunity for all Americans today.