January 1985 Home   Newsletters

February 1985

March 1985

General Membership Meeting: "New City Directions in Planning..."
President's Message (Dorothy Lum)
Spring Fundraiser
Urgent! Volunteers Needed for Vote Counts...
D Minus in Literature (Marilyn Bornhorst)
Unit Meetings Revised for March
New Publications on Our Book Shelf or on File in LWV Office
Report from the Hill
Care to Learn a Little Hawaiian? Ride TheBUS...
Make Your Mark on U.S. Tax Policy
Honolulu's Dee Lum Receives Certificate of Appreciation...
Welcome to New Members...
Calendar - Meetings/Events: 1985

D Minus in Literature

The Aloha Voter is pleased to have the fourth in a continuing series of articles written by League members who are also elected officials of Hawaii. We are proud of these members and welcome their views and reports.

I was playing with a mixture of fables to describe what I think is the most important thing I have learned about good government. The ant and the grasshopper? -- no. The ant and the butterfly? -- no. The rabbit and the tortoise? -- maybe.

I couldn't find the proper message in Aesop, so I have to say it the hard way. Good government is hard work. There are no easy answers. We need to be led by people with new ideas and ideals and the ability to set goals and keep striving toward them. But it also takes people who will do the careful work of research and analysis to find reasonable solutions that work.

One of the easy answers we're hearing now fairly regularly is "Get the government off of our backs and out of our pockets. Do away with red tape. Let free enterprise do it." We know that our lack of affordable housing is destructive to our whole community. So we're being asked to cut the red tape, allow builders to build everywhere, ease standards of building construction and standards of city infrastructure, do away with restrictions on building on agricultural land, preservation land, forget shoreline protection.

Red tape is another description for laws and regulations created to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. We have extended them to include the health, safety and welfare of our island environment which, in turn, is good for our people in the long run. Our laws were passed the hard way -- slowly, building support after many bad examples of the need for government to set rules. If the rules are no longer needed or are too restrictive, we should ease up, but that needs to be done carefully and with careful thought about all of the secondary and tertiary effects.

The ant needs the viewpoint of the butterfly? We should hitch the rabbit and the tortoise together? I just know that good government isn't easy. It takes hard work, it takes people who are willing to pay attention to the solution of the problems and then go solve the problems that are caused by the solutions to the problems.

The other reason I can't use fables to make my point is because I don't want to call the League of Women Voters the tortoise. The League has provided the hard workers who do the research, then get together, talk problems through and reach consensus. That's the basic hard work. The planning studies and publications the League did in the early 70's was basic to winning support for good planning.

I wonder if the League should now consider it time to be the idea makers. Instead of waiting for issues to come up and then testifying from the solid League position, can League be a little assertive and lead us??

I'm sort of sorry for my mixture of Aesop animals, but I would like to see the League of Women Voters be a butterfly sometimes.

Marilyn Bornhorst
Council Member

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