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April, 1980

Transportation and You
President's Message (Jean Ko)
Update: League at Work - Kakaako
Another Election & Vote Count = $ for League
Viewpoint: Initiative (Arlene Woo)
Roasting a Sacred Cow?

Viewpoint: Initiative

The following opinion was presented on KHVH Radio 99 "Viewpoint" by League's Public Relations Chair Arlene Woo. 1

The League is again urging the State Legislature to pass a proposed constitutional amendment to give citizens the right to initiate legislation. Last year a moderate initiative measure was passed by an overwhelming margin in the Senate, but failed to make it out of the House Judiciary committee when several members failed to attend the meeting. Not absent from the proceedings, however, were the lobbyists from some of the more powerful organizations in the state, organizations whose leadership opposes sharing their power with all the people.

Their arguments were the same tired ones used by initiative foes on the mainland for more than 80 years. All of these arguments seem to boil down to one thing--fear of the people. They seem to be saying that the people are not to be trusted because they are either too emotional, too ignorant, too easily swayed, or a combination of all three.

We believe the people of Hawaii are just as intelligent as the people in Alaska or Oregon, or any of the 23 states which have the initiative. We have seen how the system works in these states and it works well. We know it can work well here because we have it at the county level.

Contrary to some of the propaganda against the initiative, giving the people of Hawaii a chance to vote on whether or not we want initiative power is not a Communist plot, a Mainland plot or any other devious foreign conspiracy. The initiative is one thing and one thing only- a tool to allow each of us to have a little more voice in our government.

Arlene Woo

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