December 1968 Home   Newsletters

January 1969

February 1969

And How Is the Electoral College Study?
Information Sheet: U.S.-China Relations
Human Resources (Evelyn Oishi)
From the President's Desk - Prospects for Program Action 1969 (Elaine Vik)

From the President's Desk -

We lead off 1969 with an effort to roach nationwide agreement of League membership on phases of US-CHINA relations—culminating three years of study.

What should be the objectives of US policy toward the People's Republic of China? Would we support changes in specific US policies? If so, in what directions? Should the US take the initiative in relaxing tensions?

Our members' thinking on these three questions combined with the opinions of Leaguers all over the country, will formulate League's National future position and areas of action.

Support of WATER QUALITY STANDARDS is a long-term position of the LWV.

In a statement on Proposed Water Quality Standards, Dept. of Health, May 19, 1967, Pat Shutt, speaking for the LWV of Honolulu, supported the classifications and quality standards as recommended by the State of Hawaii, but held reservations concerning the enforcement and implementation plan outlined by the Dept. of Health. She said, "Since the greater share of the cost of pollution abatement will be borne by the public through increased taxes, and possibly increased product costs to consumers, we feel that citizen participation should be an important factor in the implementation of the program. The people who live in our state were given on opportunity to help set our water quality standards through the hearings... The citizens have an equal stake in how final standards are implemented."

Recent events indicate that early in 1969 we may have the opportunity to further this objective of citizen participation. Our goals will be seeing that the public is aware of the problem of pollution and working with all concerned -- State, City, industry, developers -- to assure that adopted standards are enforced.

During the last of 1968 Leagues were asked by our National office to seek general agreement on fair housing for use in developing National criteria for future legislation and action regarding open housing. The second phase of the Open Housing Law becomes effective the first of this Year, and locally the State Attorney General's office is assigned the prime responsibility for its implementation. The Honolulu League will be alert to local activities.

Later in the year the HUMAN RESOURCES committee will turn its attention to other means of eliminating poverty--proposals as they are advanced by the new National administration will be analyzed and presented to the members.

Rep. Gerald Ford, Rep. Mich., in a speech before the Dec. 1968 National Conference of State Legislative Leaders, stated that changing our system of electing the President is the most pressing reform to face the new Congress.

Delegates to the LWV 1968 National Convention voted to begin study of the ELECTORAL COLLEGE, and locally the basic study of the present system has been accomplished. Early in 1969 we will present alternative methods for electing the president to our members for their evaluation.

Our National office warns that no action is possible until at least one full year's study is completed, but some time in 1969 we should be ready to seek membership consensus and work for Congressional action. Following up with concerted action in our own State legislatures is essential because a Constitutional amendment is required with ratification by three fourths of the State legislatures. Rep. Ford emphasized that reform must be submitted to the States by 1970 to assure an improved system for the 1972 presidential election. Can we lead in this vital reform?

Our two STATE STUDY ITEMS: Ethics and Election Laws have many of their major objectives accomplished. Our delegates to State Convention this April will decide to either expand the scope of the present studies or select new items.

At Honolulu League's 1968 Annual meeting, the members adopted a new program item: THE CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU: A Study of how Local Government Functions. This is basic government study and will update Honolulu's original study completed during territorial days that culminated in League's two publications, WE ELECT and WE APPOINT. We have had difficulty getting this study on its way, but we have an energetic new chairman, Kay Adams, and the committee will aim, at making its first presentation to the members in April.

At the local level we anticipate being the most active on two issues that fall within our CR to support the CHARTER OF THE CITY AND COUNTY: a strengthened code of ethics for both elected and appointed officials and apportionment of the City Council.

You noted that one question on our VOTERS GUIDE last fall was "Do you believe elected officials should be covered under the same Code of Ethics as appointed and salaried City officials?" Our new mayor and all members of the new City Council answered "Yes" (two qualified), which encourages us to think that this year we may realize our goal; for a more inclusive code.

We are extremely hopeful that the membership at this year's annual meeting will either extend our present charter study to permit exploring various methods of apportioning the City Council in line with the one-man, one-vote ruling, or preferably, adopt a single list of study items (similar to our National program) to allow this flexibility.

With membership approval, a study of Council apportionment ideally should be completed and general agreement reached in time to influence the proposal presented by local government to the electorate. If time does not permit this, however, we will strive for a position by fall of 1969 so that League can inform the voter before he casts his ballot.

We will watchdog, under our PLANNING study CR, for the orderly development of the City and County of Honolulu, and we will be following with interest the preliminary report due the middle of this month (January) from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. This latter concerns us because of our third CR: Support of measures to insure a CITY AND COUNTY JAIL which meets the standards of a modern correctional institution for security, segregation and rehabilitation.

The speaker for our first general meeting in the new year, January 23, will be the Chairman of the Hawaii Council on Crime and Delinquency, Mr. J. Ward Russell. He will have at that time this preliminary report to assess the problems and programs on juvenile delinquency and crime in Hawaii.

Our local program items--whether we wish some changed, some dropped, or left as they are; whether greater flexibility can be achieved by adopting a single list of items rather than continuing with the present lists of CA's and CR's--will be discussed at our next round of unit meetings.

The recommendations from you members will be the basis for your Board's recommendations concerning local program at the March 28th Annual meeting. Consider carefully.

Elaine Vik

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL......Remember Units start Wednesday the 8th and 50th ANNIVERSARY THURSDAY - JANUARY 23 — 10:00 A.M.

December 1968 Top   Home   Newsletters February 1969