January 2005 Home   Newsletters

February 2005

March 2005

President's Message (Jackie Parnell)
We Must Make Bottle Bill Work (Pearl Johnson)
Directory Notice
League Supports Legacy Lands Act (Pearl Johnson)
Kenneth Starr Debates
Social Security Revisited (Pearl Johnson)

President's Message

Kung Hee Fat Choy!

We have had the first meeting of our committee on affordable housing which is now the Affordable Shelter Committee. Thank you Malia Schwartz, Shannon Wood and George Fox for coming. We decided that we are going to focus on how we can help address the problems of affordable rentals and houselessness on Oahu. We feel that although affordable housing is a hot topic this year, the legislature will probably favor measures to increase the supply of affordable houses for sale but do little for renters except through a trickle-down effect. That is why we are calling our committee "Affordable Shelter." We also think families and individuals who are houseless because they cannot afford the rents of the few rentals available will get mixed in with the "homeless" that nobody seems to want in their neighborhood. There are other programs for people who are homeless by choice; we want to help the ones who have no choices.

We have asked the Institute for Human Services to help us in identifying legislation that supports our mutual goals and alerting us to scheduled hearings.

We also have some ideas of other things we can do. As part of the planning effort to create the newly-adopted Primary Urban Center Development Plan, the City did a survey of all vacant and potential redevelopable lots in the area from Pearl City to Kaimuki. Many of these lots cannot be redeveloped without changes in zoning that are recommended in the plan. Maybe we can help accelerate that process.

Another thought is to take on the issue of manufactured housing again. Why is it okay to build and use portables for temporary" classrooms but not okay to have similar structures that kids and their parents can sleep in at night? Portables are acceptable in the daytime but at night it is better to sleep on the beach? Thats silly.

The problem is truly urgent. Since our meeting, President Bush has proposed a budget that will restrict Section 8 rental funds even further, and eliminate community block development grants entirely. Please join us at our next meeting: Monday, February 28, 10 AM at the League Office, 49 South Hotel Street, Room 314. Margot Schrire from the Institute for Human Services will attend and advise us on how we can help them and Partners in Care, an advocacy group for people who are homeless, to further their agenda.

In other news, the quarterly meeting of the State Board took place on February 12th at the League office. It is always interesting to catch up on what is happening with legislation of statewide interest and what Leagues on the other islands are doing.

The Big Island has scheduled a "Movie and Popcorn Night" where they will get together and watch one of the educational tapes/CDs that we get from National from time to time and follow up with a discussion. Sounds like something we could do, and to start we have a hot-off-the-press tape of the "You and the Law in Hawaii" segment that was produced along with the Judicial Independence Conference. Do any of you with a 42" flat screen TV want to host(ess) this?

Carol Bain of Kauai reported that she had attended a workshop and discovered that Hawaii Community Foundation has grants available "to enhance the management or governance capacity of a nonprofit." The Board agreed to go for it Carol will develop an application.

The Board also enthusiastically endorsed a request from a young filmmaker to provide mentoring support for her current project, a documentary of Patsy Mink. Kimberlee Bassford, now a brand new League member, has another one of her documentaries scheduled to be shown on PBS in April. We will keep you informed. The aforementioned mentoring involves acting as depository for her grants and keeping track of her expenses.

Jackie Parnell

LWV - Honolulu

President - Jackie Parnell
Vice President - Piilani Kaopuiki
Secretary - Robin Loomis
Treasurer - Malia Schwartz
Aloha Voter Editor - Pearl Johnson
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