July, 1980 Home   Newsletters

August-September, 1980

October, 1980

LWV Puts Prosecutors on TV
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
League in Action!
Cromwell and the Year of the Coast (Kiyoko Nitz)
Happenings at Honolulu Hale
First Unit Meetings of the Year!
State League Presents...
What Makes the City Run? (Astrid Monson)
Transit Coalition (Dorothy Lum)
Do You Like Money?
Let's Be Candid... This is a Pitch (Claire Gregorcyk)
Act of Congress
Make Your Vote Count

President's Message

Back last spring I had foolish thoughts of spending the summer leisurely catching up on League reading, getting acquainted with the files, sitting in on occasional committee meetings as we planned for the new League year. Instead, the summer has been a whirlwind of meetings, phone calls, and more meetings. Not only have there been planning sessions for all League committees, but many meetings and much work associated with our upcoming live TV broadcast of the City Prosecutor forum.

And, as always, there has been politics -- involving us with Kakaako, the Neighborhood Commission, and Charter amendments. As we all know, politics in real life do not conform to the neat processes set down in civics textbooks. The pluralist system that sounds so equitable on paper in reality pits interest groups against each other with unequal resources.

That is what the fight over the Kakaako bill was all about. There were many interests involved: landowners, developers, big businesses, small businesses, residents of Kakaako. The League tried to speak for the interests of those likely to be displaced by the bill, for citizens who will have to foot the costs of infrastructure, for those who need low-cost housing in that area. Who won? Who lost? And why? That's one part of politics: determining who gets what from the system.

Something else was involved in Neighborhood Commission actions. At its July meeting the Commission passed rules and guidelines for Neighborhood Boards with virtually no discussion. The Boards had objected vigorously to many of the proposed rules, but if this worried the Commissioners, they didn't mention it in public. The League has long upheld the principle of responsible and accountable government operating in the open. And so we protested the high-handed manner in which the Commission operated.

All this is politics, too: determining where and how decisions are made.

League is a political organization. We compete in our pluralist system on behalf of a "public interest." We look for points of access into government. And sometimes, not as often as we would like, we are able to influence how decisions are made, as well as the decisions themselves. It's hard work, it's frustrating and often fruitless (in the short run, at least), but it's also fun and I hope you will all become a part of it.

But be forewarned -- you could become addicted to politics!

Barbara Farwell

July, 1980 Top   Home   Newsletters October, 1980