May-June 1986 Home   Newsletters

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October 1986

Issues at Large
Amnesty Day - Toxic Waste Disposal
Speak Out Hawaii
Rice and Roses
President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Honolulu League Members Running for Political Office - 1986
Mililani Town Award
Help! Help! Help!
Convention '86 - A Capital Idea - I (Evelyn Bender)
Convention '86 - A Capital Idea - II (Dorothy Doudna)
Convention '86 - A Capital Idea - III (Anne Lee)
Convention '86 - A Capital Idea - IV (Marian Hatton)
Vote Count
Bus Fare Opinion Survey
Teamster Vote Count!
Project of Year Award
Oahu Connection
Magnet Schools
Planning & Zoning Committee (Astrid Monson)
Richards Street Testimony
Registration Drives
ASUH Candidates Forum
Election Laws Study Committee
Welcome New Members
New Member Orientation
Convention '86 - A Capital Idea - V (Yvonne Kearns)

President's Message

One of my first official acts as president was to testify at the Waiola Project public hearing held at Farrington High School at 7:00 p.m. on May 15th. Astrid called the City and made and confirmed all the arrangements. She was told that the League would be the first to testify, because we were the first to call in.

Helen went to the Hearing with me as moral support. When we got to Farrington, we discovered that I was scheduled to be number 246 rather than the number 1. Helen ran interference for me and managed to get me listed among the first 10.

The first few persons who testified for the project got rousing applause and cheers. Then it was my turn. All was quiet as I began stating the League's position and support for low-cost housing. My next sentence was, "We oppose the Waiola Project because....." but I got no further. 1500 voices gave me a "standing boo". It went on for what seemd like minutes, while I stood my ground and waited. The booing continued until Andy Anderson finally quieted the audience and asked them to let me have my say. I started my sentence again. Another rousing boo: I stopped. I started. I stopped. I finally finished my testimony interrupted by intermittent boos. My 1½ minute of testimony took me over 5 minutes. My knees didn't begin shaking until after I got to Helen's home in Niu Valley.

Shortly after my "Waiola experience", I headed for the National Convention in Washington D.C. My trip over and back was miserable, but I want to discuss the good things. That was the Convention. We began immediately with a working session called "Parliamentary briefing" that was an eye-opener. I thought I knew Robert's Rules of Order, until I went through this session. This and the following "Orientation for Convention First-Timers" prepared me in some measure to understand and enjoy the fast-paced Plenary Sessions.

I selected "Strategic Planning: Making Hard Choices" as the Leadership Development Session to attend. This was a workshop in which we wrestled with several problems, looking not at the answers, but at our thinking process in trying to reach the answers. I was made painfully aware of my shortcomings in goal orientation, but secretly happy to discover that long-time Leaguers in my group also had problems. This workshop opened a vista previously obscured for me; understanding League language and League procedure. Not complete understanding, mind you, but tilling the soil so that seeds can take root. How proud I was to discover that our own Pat Shutt was one of the planners of this Session.

Much of what went on at the Convention will be discussed by the delegates to the Convention from Hawaii on another section of this "Voter". I would, however, like to share my "thrill on the Hill" with you. Just being on the Capitol steps with thousands of other Leaguers was exhilarating. The memory of standing arms length away from Senators Packwood and Bradley as they gave us some intimate glimpses of the machinations of the political arena still gives me "chicken skin". The one-to-one meeting with Akana, Heftel and Matsunaga as we lobbied the League positions was interesting and revealing.

In closing I would like to address the $1.00 increase in our PMP to LWVUS, from $13.00 per year to $14.00. The Hawaii contingent voted for the increase. The National office was forced to lay-off 15 staff members this year because of lack of funds. Two new programs were voted in by the delegates although only one recommended by National was budgeted for, It was estimated that each new program cost $40,000 to launch. Even though our Local League will have a $1.00 deficit from our member dues with which to pay the National PMP of $14.00 and our State PMP of $12.00, we felt that the increase was a necessary one This will mean that to maintain our dues at the current rate, we will all have to work harder at fund drives and vote counts to maintain our high level of voter service and education for the public, but I am confident this League can and will do it

Arlene Ellis

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