I have spoken to several over the years about why they should be a part of the CRA. But for the first time in my 8+ years as a CRA State Officer – I had a club President ask me point-blank, “why should we pay dues to the state, why not be an independent club?”
The CRA is an idea. It is greater than any person, club, group of people or campaign. It will continue despite the imperfections of its’ members – this may be the most important point of all. Because the CRA is an idea – people who participate in the CRA benefit from the below:
The CRA has existed since 1934 with a mission and a charter to endorse Republican Candidates vetted by the 14 principles of the CRA.
The CRA is more relevant than ever in this post Prop 14 world. We exist as the only bona-fide Conservative Republican grassroots organization in California. More importantly, the CRA endorses candidates pre-primary making our endorsement a coveted symbol of Republican credentials.
It is the attempt to control and the participation in the endorsement process that draws all types to the CRA. Political Consultants know that a CRA endorsement plays well in a campaign. Candidates approach the CRA, sometimes years in advance of their runs for office in order to gain the support of the CRA and its’ members.
The CRA gives member clubs a sense of community. At most CRA conventions, it is like a family reunion. Clubs from all over the state send delegates and visitors to conventions where people meet and debate everything in Republican politics.
As the oldest grassroots organization in the State, the CRA is well-known in insider political circles. Active units carry with them substantial credibility because thousands have walked precincts for years before us. The CRA has made a quantifiable impact for years and that weight of history is behind every legitimate CRA unit.
With the Relevance, Community and Credibility that the state CRA represents, local units are empowered to make an impact. You simply do not have that as a local independent club. This is why many independent Republican clubs in the past have re-chartered as CRA units.
The CRA has been around since 1934. While local independent clubs come and go, CRA units continue for years. Some CRA chapters trace their roots back to the 1950’s in their current territory and by-laws.
People new to the political process can meet far more elected officials by being a member of the CRA than they ever could in any other venue (save for a Republican Women’s Group).
When a unit is run effectively – the above can make even the smallest CRA unit have a devastating impact on local politics and even at the state/federal level.
It is the above thesis that makes a compelling case for a group of like-minded Republicans to form a CRA unit or to join the existing one in their area.