July-August, 1981 Home   Newsletters

September, 1981

October, 1981

Facts, Fellowship and Fun!
President's Message (Barbara Farwell)
It's Costing Us!
Juvenile Justice Committee
We're Looking for Talent
General Meeting - Juvenile Justice
Call to Action: The Federal Clean Air Act
International Scene: Localizing International Issues (Dottie Gullicksen)
Call Women USA-Hawaii
Voting Rights Act
Stand Up and Be Counted - League Action
Hawaii Congressional Votes on Issues of Interest (Mabel Keesling)
Now You See it Now You Don't! The Impact of Federal Funds...
Role of Religion in Politics
Hawaii's 1000 Friends
CarsCarsCarsCarsCarsCars
Have You Heard?
Note from Nebraska
Membership Update
Nuclear Issues
September Calendar

President's Message

During the past few weeks the term "pro-development" has been leveled at the City Council. The agricultural subdivision bill, supported by the League and diverse sections of the community, was deferred and in effect killed for the moment. Two mayoral nominees to the Planning Commission were turned down by the Council, presumably for having strong views on how land should be used. We are still waiting for the Development Plans to be acted upon. In the meantime, building continues as usual, and the inclusionary zoning bill that would require developers to put a portion of their profits from favorable City zoning decisions into low-cost housing does not seem to have much Council support. Thus the conclusion that the Council is foot-dragging on development issues is reached with some cause.

However, to align people or groups with "pro-growth" or "anti-growth" sentiments is too simple. Few people here want no development at all. What the League and others want is development that is planned not for the profit of a few, but in the interests of the entire community. That means building housing for all income groups, not just the well-to-do, keeping green space and viable agriculture, protecting diverse lifestyles, and so forth. But this is not anti-growth, and such labeling only obscures the real issue of competition between individual and community interests.

All this is especially ironic in light of how people are treated at City Hall. On August 19th, when the League testified on the inclusionary zoning bill, the public hearing on this and another bill started over an hour late because Council was clearing up leftover business. Once that business was over, the majority of Councilmembers left, and at one point only three (of a total of nine) were present to hear the Administration and public testimony. The bills being heard were of considerable community interest, and a large number of people were present either to testify or show support for a particular viewpoint.

We realize that not every Councilmember can be present at every public hearing. We also know that Council business must be taken care of. However, when only one or two Councilmembers will ask hard questions of developers and their spokespersons but private citizens and those from public interest groups are often subjected to either total indifference or rough treatment, and when few Councilmembers stick around to hear citizen testimony, we have every right to wonder: what interests are being served by the Council?

The League will continue to lobby for what we perceive to be in the community interest. Our planning positions are based not on "anti-growth" or "pro-growth" criteria, but on considerations of overall development on Oahu. No matter what labels are put on the City Council, and how difficult things get at City Hall, we will base our efforts on those considerations. That's what we are here for.

Barbara Farwell

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