Marshall CWA leader attends Washington, D.C. conference
MARSHALL — Local Concerned Women for American (CWA) officer Arlene Markell took the opportunity to attend a Concerned Women for America Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 7-9.
“What a flurry of exciting days,” Markell said.
Markell and Linda Schauer, the state CWA director from South Dakota, took a taxi up to Capitol Hill and met with Sen. Kristi Noem, R-South Dakota, regarding some upcoming legislation pertaining to parental rights.
Thursday morning, CWA members again headed for Capitol Hill. After breakfast, a policy briefing was scheduled, highlighted with speeches by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
“We had an opportunity to meet and converse with both of the senators,” Markell said. “Following that, a lobby briefing was presented by the directors of the Senate and of the House, and then we split into groups of two or three and visited with various senators and their staffers. Our lobbying efforts were focused on encouraging our legislators to expedite the process of confirming current judicial vacancies in the courts.”
After lunch, the attendees left for a White House briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
“This briefing proved to be most memorable part of the trip,” Markell said. “We had quite a group of influential people address our small group, as well as answer our questions pertaining to policy and pending legislation. Participation in conversations with people who serve in cabinet-level positions or serve as close advisers to our president, made them all seem so ‘human’ and approachable.”
Penny Nance, CWA CEO/president; Paul Teller, special assistant to President Trump for legislative affairs; Mark Short, White House director of legislative affairs; Kellyanne Conway; and Dr. Thomas Price, secretary of Health and Human Services all addressed the CWA contingent.
“Another highlight of this briefing was having the opportunity to meet CWA founder Beverly LaHaye, chairman of the board,” Markell said.
Friday was another full day, consisting of leadership training followed by a Q&A with Nance.
A “hot topics” panel discussion was then held, which featured many state CWA directors and other dignitaries. Friday afternoon’s training focused on how to lead meetings, plan events, and recruitment. An in-depth discussion of the Seven Core Issues of Concerned Women followed.
Saturday morning was spent in prayer, worship and praise, all focused on the seven core issues of CWA: Sanctity of Life, National Sovereignty, Support for Israel, Education, Sexual Exploitation, Defense of Family and Religious Liberty.
At one point, the conference attendees had a bit of free time, so a few of them walked to the Trump International Hotel, which is located in the historic Old Post Office Pavilion.
“The entire main lobby floor was elevated to the level it was when the building opened in 1899,” Markell said and gave a full description of it. “There is also a museum area in the basement dedicated to the history of the building and Washington.”
Markell said the Marshall CWA chapter was founded in December 2015. Since then, it has participated in Operation Christmas Child, sponsored Support Your Local Police Day, and participates in pro-life activities. Marshall CWA members are involved in a variety of ways, some enjoy community involvement, others prefer “behind the scenes” activities such as communicating with their local senators and representatives. CWA members and leaders are also active in their schools and school boards across the country, striving to instill quality academic-based curricula.
“Initially, we had about four or five active members, and to date, we have more than tripled our membership,” Markell said. “We are always ready to welcome new members and establish new prayer chapters. Although CWA is primarily a women’s organization, we welcome men into our membership because the issues that we address involve the whole family. Our (national) membership, now 500,000 members strong, consists of men and women of all ages, many different races, political affiliations and numerous religious denominations.”
The Marshall CWA chapter meets at Living Word Church in the Bible Education Room, at 800 E. Southview Court in Marshall. Meetings are from 3:30-5 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.
CWA’s motto has always been: “Protecting the rights of the family through prayer and action.” The mission of Concerned Women for America (CWA) is to protect and promote Biblical values among all citizens — first through prayer, then education, and finally by influencing our society — thereby reversing the decline in moral values in our nation.
To find out more about the issues on which CWA is taking a stand go to www.concerned women.org/ or attend the Oct. 10 meeting.