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Help Needed: Vote Count
President's Report: LWV National Convention (Pearl Johnson)
Personal Responsibility and the Law in Hawaii
Remembering Norman Meller (1913-2000)
Planning and Zoning: Hawaii Kai Rezoning (Pearl Johnson)
Honolulu Board of Directors
Pay Our PMP with Tax Deductions
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS NATIONAL CONVENTION June 17-20, 2000
As your newly elected president, I attended the national convention of the League of Women Voters in Washington, DC, June 17 to 20. News item #1: Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins was elected to a second 2-year term as president of the National League of Women Voters.
This is news? Well, yes. Coming from 5,000 miles away, not only was I unaware that the president had not been nominated for a second term, I also didn't know that was a departure from LWV custom. It was only at the delegates briefing at the start of the convention that I heard of this raging controversy. A delegate asked our recent visitor Kay Maxwell, a member of the nominating committee, what Carolyn had done to merit this apparent rebuke. Kay gave the only answer every delegate ever got throughout the convention: the nominating committee had conscientiously picked the best people for the League.
Not only was Carolyn nominated from the floor, a supporting slate of three was nominated. There was much campaigning by the supporters of both slates, complete with big campaign buttons and many flyers. Carolyn won, 512 to 329. Her slate won by a small but respectable margin. I have no idea what this all means for the workings of our national office.
Almost as much emotion was generated by attempts to add studies to the national program as well as by pointed questions about the grassroots.comcontract.
The national program proposed only a review of League positions on international relations. Adding the United Nations to the review passed easily.
The California contingent held numerous caucuses to rally support for "a study of election systems used to elect our legislative bodies and executive officers." They pointed out that other voting systems; such as "instant runoff' where voters rank the candidates by preference (e.g. mark 1,2,3,etc. instead of X) would encourage greater participation in elections. By the thinnest of margins, this study was approved. Of the 776 votes cast by yes-no cards, 389 yes votes were needed. The measure got 389 votes. The following day, a motion to re-consider was defeated.
New Mexico delegates pointed to the failure of US government drug control policy over the 30 years it has been followed. They proposed a 2-year study, which was approved by voice vote. Without much discussion or any dissension, we voted to support "the restoration of an annual, predictable federal to compensate for payment to the District of Columbia revenue denied and expenses incurred because of federal presence."
Not approved was a study of the presidential primary system. Taking up too much plenary time was a prolonged discussion of substituting "consensus" for "concurrence" in the review of international trade. That was defeated.
The League's contract with grassroots.com was the subject of even more discussion. Since the last convention, the Nations board contracted with grassroots.com, a commercial entity, to put Democracy network on the Internet. The LWV received over $1 million up front. Some questioned the authority of the Board to enter into such a commitment. Affiliation with a commercial entity was the source of much concern. Members who pointed out that we should trust the Board prevailed and reconsideration failed.
I found the Convention informative, exhilarating, exhausting. Between plenary sessions there were usually at least three interesting things to do, lasting far into the night and starting as early as 7:30 am. The Leaguers I met are just like us: talkative, assertive, opinionated. If you're interested in more detail, I would love to talk to you. Call me at 537-5471.
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