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July 1965

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Calendar of Events
Your Invitation
Word to You Prospective Members
Notes from the President (Nancy Dykes)
Local Agenda Committee Reports
State Fair Booth (Sue Thorndike)
Aloha to Our Newest Members

The Local Agenda Committee Reports

Although the Local Agenda Committee has made no report to the membership of the League since before the May unit meetings, even cursory reading of the front pages of our local newspapers should have kept everyone aware that the Committee has not been exactly idle.

Since League consensus and approval by the Board, following the May meetings, turned on the green light for action in the area of ethics in government, the Local Agenda Committee has represented the League in a rapid series of developments of major importance in our community. These are the highlights:

  1. On May 25, the League was one of 15 organizations to meet with the Mayor to express concern about recent actions to the Planning Commission. As a result of our statement at this meeting, we received a letter from the Mayor indicating that he would like to meet with us after his return from the Mainland.

  2. When the Mayor returned on June 26, he received the League's package recommendation for improvement in the ethical standards of City-County government. This report, copies of which were given to the Council, the Mayor's Committee on Ethics, and the press, listed briefly the 12 points the League felt should be covered by an ethical code, together with recommendations for broadening the base for selecting appointees to boards and commissions, and a request for specific legislation to enforce the ethical provisions of the Charter.

  3. On July 1, we received clearance from our president to send a supplementary report to the Council suggesting two temporary amendments to their procedural rules; one permitting a Councilman to abstain from voting in the face of a conflict of interest, and the other specifying how conflicts of interest should be published. This report made it clear that these requested procedural amendments were to be temporary; a stopgap until re-evaluation of our code of ethics brought permanent change.

  4. On July 8, six. League representatives met with the Mayor, the Corporation Counsel, one of his deputies, the Chairman of the City Council, the head of the Department of Information and Complaint, and several members of the Mayor's Committee on Ethics. While this meeting was not too productive in terms of arriving at any agreement as to a mutually satisfactory course of remedial action, it seemed to result in increased respect for the advice and knowledge of the League as,

  5. On July 15, by invitation from the Mayor, the League met once More with basically the same group. A third meeting will be held before the end of July, and, as of this writing, there seems to be every indication that officialdom will be receptive to some modification in the ethical ground rules in Honolulu, based on our recommendations.

The membership is reminded that League responsibility in this area continues. If our suggestions result in an effort to amend the Charter to achieve the goals we have proposed, our assistance will be required in persuading the public that this is the proper course of action.

Meanwhile, the Local Agenda Committee is confronted with continuing. research and action in the fundamental problem of ethics in government, and has been asked by the membership to pursue three supplementary topics in the same general area. Each of these will require a project chairman and a dedicated sub-committee, so if our current conspicuous success persuades you to join the efforts of the Local Agenda Committee, please call chairman Lela Brewer at 983-924 or Vice-chairman Mary George at 264-496. The supplemental areas to be researched with the idea of presentation to the membership in our fall meetings are:

  1. A board or commission to evaluate architectural and artistic contracts and awards.

  2. An evaluation of the City-County Prosecutor's office.

  3. Political activity on the part of appointive officials; campaign financing and contributions; lobbying. (This might offer a tie-in with State League interest in election procedures.)

The Local Agenda Committee will continue to meet during the summer (first and third Thursday mornings at 9:30) at Bea Levine's new home -2182 Round Top Drive. Please come.

Credit where it is due in the current project: Marguerite Simson has represented the State League, and Nancy Dykes the Honolulu League. The Local Agenda Committee representatives have been Lela Brewer, Mary George, Peggy Gressitt, Anne Miller, Fredda Sullam, and Ginger Yeager.

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