January 1992 Home   Newsletters

February 1992

March 1992

President's Message - "Grass Tops" - Transit Style (Arlene Ellis)
Home Rule Study Moves Ahead (Jana Chang)
League's Testimony on State-County Rail Transit Dev't Agreement
Vote Count (Arlene Ellis)
League Survey
National Study on Health Care Reform (Grace Furukawa)

President's Message - "Grass Tops" - Transit Style

With the infusion of $50,000 each from the Governor's and the Mayor's campaign coffers, private funding and later funding from the five bidders of the City's rail transit project, "MASS TRANSIT NOW" got "on track" to sell Honolulu's rail transit system.

They hired Adler Wilson Public Relations in San Francisco -- major transportation public opinion experts -who advised them to rename "MASS TRANSIT NOW" to HONOLULU TAXPAYERS FOR TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS". Thus began the "grass tops" effort -- a new term for when organized big business and government do not want it to appear that they are organizing to influence people.

Shades of POI (People Opposed to Initiative). They too began at "grass top" with major contributions from big business and big labor in their opposition to land use initiative in Honolulu.

$300,000 was spent by H.T.F.T.S. on a media blitz to sell the project to "many diverse publics" -- groups like unions, big business and government. They found that "mobilizing passive support" their description of a "grass roots " effort, was more difficult to accomplish.

In an announcement of a meeting called: "On Track" The Selling of Honolulu's Mass Transit, the following was printed.

"Beneath the controversies surrounding the project are deeper questions such as whether the proliferation of small, local groups is causing us to become a patchwork quilt of single-issue minded communities."

They apparently are not familiar with Margaret Mead who stated: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world -- indeed it is the only thing that ever has."

Arlene Ellis

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