ABOUT US

The Club's Mission is to:

  • Bring women together to shape the community's future
  • Provide a forum for discussion and action on political issues
  • Educate women in the political process
  • Support activities in literacy, women's health and Caring for America
CRWC Presidents

2020    Linda App
2017-19    Eileen Brackens
2016   Laurie Kirby
2014-15    Susan Yonts-Shepard
2013    Linda Greenberg  &  Gail  Ledwig
2012    Elizabeth O’Neal  &  Gail  Ledwig
2011    Shari Bolouri
2010    Amy Millican
2009-10     Amy Millican
2007-08     Leslie Anderson
2006    Terri Hauser
2005    Allison W.Cryor DiNardo
2003-04     Ruth Cleveland
2002    Nancy Dever
2001    Elizabeth Furash
2000    Gloria Bachman
1999    Paula  Potoczak
1998    Grace Flores  Hughes
1997    Lisa Cooper
1996    Mollie Worth Calhoun
1995    Regina Brown Schofield
1994    Emily Davies  Springer
1993    Cindi Bartol
1992    Devera  Allday
1991    Miriam  Kochensparger
1990    Betsy Davies Hood
1989    Heidi Wagner  Ring
1988    Diana Rodriquez  (Sargent)
1987    Loree Gunn
1986    Barbara McElroy
1985    Evelyn  Stratton
1984    Rebecca  Becky  Davies
1983    Betty McCann
1983    Karen Kilday
1982    Francine Barber
1979-81     Cindy Coolbaugh  (Doane)
1978-79     Jo Torpy
1976-78     Anne Lash
1975-76     Nancy McCabe
1974    Jane Ring
1973    Kay Mereness
1972    Florence ''Flon" Barkley
1971    Mary Rolfe  Cronin
1970    Anne Haffner
1969    Nancy Ward
1968    Gretchen  Heltzel
1967    Marilyn  Currier
1966    Nina  Anderson  &  Barbara Johnson
1965    Doriene  Steeves
1964    Joan Bradley  Cohen
1963    Betty Ockershausen
1961-63     Jan McNamee
THE HISTORY OF THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB


1961: Founded by a group of young mothers in their mid-to-late twenties, living in Parkfairfax, who had worked together on the Nixon-Lodge campaign.  They were well educated, moderate on social issues, conservative on fiscal issues, and were at home with their children with time to volunteer.  They enjoyed politics and enjoyed working together.  Thus came into being the Parkfairfax Republican Women's Club.  Within a year or two most of them had moved to nearby North Ridge, and so the name was changed to the Commonwealth Republican Women's Club.  Early members included Lou Cook, Betty McCann, Jane Ring and Shirley Jones.

As of that time, there had not been a Republican elected to City Council since Reconstruction.  In March, 1961, all eight Republican workers met at Jane and Connie Ring's house on Monticello Boulevard.  This became the first party headquarters because the Rings had a mimeograph machine in their basement.  Club members with their children in strollers, walked door-to-door to invite neighbors to join the party, to vote for their candidate in the coming election, or to vote their way on issues placed on election ballots.

The women held bake sales, auctions, flea markets and dinners to raise money for their candidates and the party.  They passed out mimeographed leaflets at shopping centers and public events, usually with children in tow.  To attract attention to the Republican cause at these events, children were dressed in pink elephant suits (which they hated).  Because they had the largest basement of the group, campaign headquarters was shifted to the home of Shirley and Homer Jones on Russell Road.


1967:  That year their organizing finally paid off as Wiley Mitchell was elected to City Council.  He was the first Republican elected to the Alexandria City Council since Reconstruction.  Club members also worked with the party against "massive resistance to integration," to abolish the poll tax and to lobby the State Transportation Department for bike paths.

The women learned about politics from the ground up and in a few years they were managing campaigns and running for office themselves.  In 2001, the Club celebrated its fortieth year while continuing to study issues, recruit, and train candidates, and manage campaigns.  The club is a member of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women and the National Federation of Republican Women.           

By CRWCer Rosalind Bovey