April 1995 Home   Newsletters

May 1995

June-July 1995

President's Message: League Lobbies Legislature (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
League Action at the Legislature (Jean Aoki)
Violence Prevention and Education Bill Dies (Pamela Ferguson-Brey & Martha Ross)
Convention Delegates Sought
Restructuring Committee Put on Hold (Jean Aoki)
Letters: Queen's Beach (Jean Aoki & Astrid Monson)
League Reviews Oahu Regional Transportation Plan (Arlene Ellis)
Action Alert
Vote Count Volunteers Needed (Arlene Ellis)

Restructuring Committee Put on Hold

After the 1994 Annual Meeting approved the motion "that a committee not to exceed seven members, study the feasibility of and prepare a possible plan for merging the League of Women Voters of Honolulu with the state League, the League of Women Voters of Hawaii," I was appointed by the Honolulu League president to chair our Restructuring Committee.

The avowed purposes of the merger were the better utilization of the financial and human resources of both state and Honolulu leagues, an improved committee structure with better representation and communication with local leagues, and an improvement in the relations between state and local leagues.

The concept of restructuring and the way we had approached it was rather heatedly discussed at State Council a month later.

In the meantime, the state by-laws revision committee came up with a proposal to include local presidents on the state board.

Since this would have been a key point in any restructuring plan, I scheduled a meeting to discuss the possibility of postponing any League restructuring attempt until we saw if that change might not bring about the desired improvements. I invited many of our long-time members to the meeting to get as diverse a range of viewpoints as possible.

The meeting never got beyond the discussion of the proposed amendment of the by-laws revision committee, although many issues were discussed in connection with the debate on that amendment. The main points stressed by those who opposed the amendment were:

  1. The possibility that local league presidents would not be able to assume additional portfolios at the state level because their responsibilities as local presidents would consume all their time and efforts, and would create resentment among the other board members who would be expected to carry portfolios.

  2. That members who were not satisfied with the way League was organized and functioned should leave the League, rather than try to change things.

  3. To the suggestion that since state board is merely a board and does not have a membership of its own, that the cooperation of the local leagues be utilized in carrying out its program and that the inclusion of local presidents would facilitate this, the reply was that whatever state board felt unable to address because of lack of time and resources would remain unaddressed.

Our major concern was on this third point, that there are issues that are of particular interest and importance to local leagues that should be addressed at the state level. The discussion was heated, and ended without a consensus.

At the Feb. 16, 1995, meeting of the Honolulu board, I moved that we deactivate the restructuring committee for at least two years and put our efforts into seeking approval of the state by-laws amendments, especially the one seating local presidents on the state board. My purpose was to give us time to see whether that particular change would result in meeting some of the concerns that had spawned the idea of a restructured League. The motion was approved.

Jean Aoki
Chair, Restructuring Committee

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