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August, 1977

Unit Meeting Schedule for May
Initiative and Referendum Consensus Questions:
Honolulu Calendar
Aloha to these New Members
Leaguers in Action
Accomodations Needed
Voters Service Report (Helen Griffin)
Amendment to Rules for Election of Neighborhood Boards (Carol Whitesell)
Confessions of a Program Committee Addict (Karla Williams)

Confessions of a Program Committee Addict

Seattle Voter

Anyone who has been in League for more than a few hours is aware that League has immeasurable catalytic properties. League causes things to happen in the community, and changes individuals as well. Some say League is their continuing education, their college, or their graduate school. League encourages us to do more than we ever dreamed we could.

My first League meeting was on tax reform. I was impressed by women talking knowledgeably about net and gross income, B & O tax, revenue bonds and excise taxes. The unit leader mentioned other issues League was investigating -- urban renewal, United Nations, schools, city budget, housing and welfare. Such a wealth of fascinating subjects! I might actually get to know something about them.

If you know nothing about a subject, what do you do in League? You join a program committee. Do you think they are for experts? They aren't. During my first year I was so anxious to overcome my own case of ignorance that I asked if it was possible to sign up for two (!) program committees. Perhaps I was being greedy? Should I give someone else a chance?

I learned how to confront people on street corners and convince them to sign petitions on redistricting, campaign disclosure, or a call for a constitutional convention. I picketed and marched in demonstrations. I loaded my kids and leaflets into a wagon and doorbelled for causes and candidates, because I was on a program committee and learned how to care about issues.

Today I feel a glow of satisfaction as I read the study on the county judicial system or the rapid transit authority. I think to myself,"I was a part of that." As a program committee member sharing in research,drawing up consensus statements based on unit discussions and eventually helping to get the measure passed by voters,' helped make these changes a reality. The new City Charter also was an outgrowth of. League study and recommendations. Improved budget procedures, neighborhood planning and increased responsiveness of government have resulted from League work. These things come about through, study, consensus testimony, and coalitions with other groups. They are the end products of program committees.

Karla Williams

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