November 19, 2021
Aloha, HFRW Members and Fellow Republicans:
A.W.A.R.D.S! Book Nook. Resolutions 101.
It has been several months since I updated my newsletter, so as always, this one will be lengthy.
I attended the National Federation of Republican Women’s (“NFRW”) 41st Biennial Conference in Orlando held the latter part of September, but because traveling to the mainland is so costly, my husband and I decided to embark on another month-long journey. After the conference, we stayed in Apopka, FL another week for kayaking and bike riding, then we headed to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite and enjoyed the outdoors. But, at Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, it was cold: in the 40s to 20s.
When I became President of the HFRW back in 2019, I attended the NFRW 40th Biennial Conference in Indianapolis, and I learned that the women who were present are all competitive and professionals in the world of politics. The NFRW also has awards programs which measures how well a state federation is doing with regards to gaining and keeping membership, involvement in their local Republican parties, assisting with campaigns, and so forth. I came back a little overwhelmed but much better prepared because since then there were three strategies I wanted to implement and focus on: (1) learning the issues that are important to our members and our Republican values; (2) having a presence in the HRP so that our key players would know HFRW is involved; and (3) having HFRW engaged at the national level.
Strategy 1: The key issues we focused on were and will continue to be pro-life, preventing the exploitation of children, battling socialism, and protecting our constitutional rights.
Strategy 2: Our members have worked so hard for our party: One is a former HRP Chair, we have a former and current HRP National Committeewoman; and a former HRP Treasurer. We are delegates to the Rules Committees (State and County) and the Platform Committee. One of our secretaries is now the HRP Vice Chair for Communications. My second secretary is a District Chair on the Big Island. As President of the HFRW, I have a seat on the State Committee. Newly-elected HRP Chair Lynn Finnegan has recently joined HFRW. Most do not realize that 8 out of the 19 resolutions that were voted on at our May 2021 Hawaii Republican Party convention were authored by the HFRW. During the 2021 legislative session, 2 bills and 3 resolutions were introduced. At the community level, one of our members is President of a foundation.
Strategy 3: The NFRW allows members to sit on its various national committees, and after sending resumes to the NFRW President, Ann Schockett, two of us, Mary Smart and I were accepted with Mrs. Smart sitting on the special Armed Services Committee, and I to the Legislative and Research Committee and eventually heading the Human Trafficking Task Force.
I am incredibly excited to note that at this year’s NFRW Conference, a Membership and the Betty Heitman Awards were issued to the HFRW. I will focus on the Betty Heitman award. This award is presented to states that demonstrate excellence, achievement or accomplishment in membership development, campaign activities, programs, community relations, and state functions. There was a very lengthy document with criteria we had to meet to qualify for one of three levels: Accomplishment, Achievement, and Excellence. Only 29(!) states were given this prestigious award. I want to thank what I call is our “core group” of the HFRW because had it not been for their incredibly challenging work, their diligence at attending meetings and upholding the high standards of the NFRW and HFRW, and especially, participating in HRP and community activities, we would not have achieved this award. At the September 2021 NFRW convention, Hawaii is now known as the up-and-coming State Federation. This year, it is the Betty Heitman Award; in the distant future, it would be an absolutely incredible (yet impossible) dream to win the Ronald Reagan Award, the most prestigious award given to a State President in the NFRW. By the way, the NFRW is now 63,000 members strong. But, moving forward, the Betty Heitman Award should be our future leaders’ goals. In short, the current officers have set the standard.
Updates to the website are as follows:
I am not sure if our website will be updated by Thanksgiving, so at this time, I would like to send my most ardent thank you to my husband, Jack, who has been my number one supporter through all the difficulties since being involved with the HFRW.
To all of you, I pray that Almighty God will continue to keep you and your families safe and healthy.
My fondest aloha,
Donna P. Van Osdol
President, Hawaii Federation of Republican Women
Leader, Task Force on Human Trafficking, National Federation of Republican Women
HD36 Delegate, Rules Committee