March 1992 Home   Newsletters

April 1992

May 1992

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Kakaako's Gentrification (George Mason)
Charter Commission Moves to Revise Planning Process (Astrid Monson)
Addendum (rail stations) (George Mason)
LWV-Honolulu Board Nominees
Annual Meeting

President's Message

The issues addressed by League this past year included:

  1. supported a building moratorium for Waikiki while master planning by the City Administration and the private citizen group "Vision for Waikiki 2020" completed their plans and concepts,

  2. supporting the formation of an island-wide golf course development policy,

  3. opposing the rail transit project as proposed by the City Administration,

  4. opposing the 1/2% General Excise Tax surcharge to finance rail transit and the regressive State Income Tax Credit,

  5. opposing General Plan and Development Plan amendments on golf course developments, additional approvals for residential development in Central Oahu,

  6. supporting the restoration of land use initiative to the Counties,

  7. recommending amendments for review by the City Charter Commission,

  8. supporting the formation of a Waikiki Task Force to find ways to implement the Waikiki Master Plan when adopted, etc.

League was busy all year with no time for "socializing," to cite a complaint by one member. League testified at the City Planning Commission meetings (including one held at Nanakuli from 7:00 pm to past midnight), at Council Committee meetings, at the full Council Public bi-monthly Charter Committee meetings. We also gave three "viewpoints" per month, wrote letters to the editor, and held several press conferences.

In between all these public appearances, we filed a lawsuit against the City and First Development Company for the illegal procedure in which approval was given for the Aloha Motors Convention Center project, and managed to attend an all-day workshop given by the Charter Commission.

But this is not all. We somehow squeezed in ten vote counts (the results of which is reflected in the Treasurer's Report), in which a total of 87 members participated. How do we remember the exact number? Easy, we very recently sent that many invitations for a gala "thank you" party at which 50% attended.

This coming year we cannot and will not sit back, and bask in the sun. The Waikiki Master Plan is still not adopted. The Waikiki Task Force bill is still in the legislature. The rail transit project is not yet a "done deal". The 1/2% General Excise Tax surcharge has not yet been enacted by the Council. We still do not have an island-wide golf course policy. The City Department of General Planning is trying to weaken the comprehensive planning process by proposing individual consideration for all development of 50 acres of less, which can be over 90% of development proposals. The State Senate once again killed the restoration of land use initiative for the Counties. The Charter Review Commission is continuing to hold public hearing on Charter Amendments. The Charter Commission does not yet have a budget approved that will include circulation of pro/cons on the recommended amendments simplified for public edification. Our lawsuit is plugging along and will require our immediate attention on the solicitation of funds. The list goes on and on without even considering new issues that will come up that will require our "pricking and probing".

The task seems monumental -- and is. We get older each year and with the advent of age, tireder. There are mornings when the body refuses to respond properly and it is not until the second cup of coffee, the morning paper and maybe another cigarette, that we can "put on the face to meet the faces we have to meet".

There will be a change this coming year. Members will come forward to volunteer for tasks large and small. Committee Chairs for Voter Service, Program -- monthly, quarterly, etc., Program Planning -- long range, Transportation, Transit, etc. will be in place and each committee filled with eager members ready to serve. The Board will be filled with policy makers whose decisions will help move the League forward.

"Dreamer, what are you smoking?", you ask. The reality is that we may have forgotten what League is all about. Our policy statement is: THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS IS A NON-PARTISAN POLITICAL ORGANIZATION THAT ENCOURAGES THE INFORMED AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF CITIZENS IN GOVERNMENT AND INFLUENCES PUBLIC POLICY THROUGH EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY. And how do we advance our policy? We are a grassroots organization where MEMBERS adopt and amend bylaws which provide a framework for the organization; where MEMBERS adopt the budget, elect officers and select program; where MEMBERS study, discuss, question, agree and reach consensus; where MEMBERS develop positions based on consensus.

Do we sit back after we have reached a position on an issue? No we TAKE ACTION. That is what League is all about. The participatory nature of League membership which gives us the "grassroots" tag is what we may be forgetting. It is all up to you. YOU ARE THE LEAGUE.

Arlene Ellis

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