January 1998 Home   Newsletters

February 1998

March 1998

President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Planning and Zoning Activity (Astrid Monson)
Congresswoman Patsy Mink Receives BPW Award
Vote Counts (Arlene Ellis)
National Convention
Orientation Meeting
Motor Voter - National Voter Registration Act (NVRA)
Campaign Finance Reform

President's Message

I have started to review portions of the Membership information forms that were mailed to all members on Oahu. of the 250 members sent a form, 93 have returned it. I HOPE THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PUT IT TO THE SIDE, WILL STILL MAIL IT IN.

Analysis of the returns will be slow, but I want to share what I found so far in the STRENGTHS OF THE LEAGUE and WEAKNESS OF THE LEAGUE as perceived by our members. I listed these in the frequency in which they were mentioned. First, the exhaustive review of facts on issues – our study of pros and cons – and our reputation for impartiality and integrity.

Then our dedicated follow up of educational ... for members and the public of our position and our consistent lobbying of our positions. There is belief by the members that the public sees League members to be educated, knowledgeable, fair minded and objective. There is an appreciation of League's position as non-partisan. A number of members felt the League is unique being multi-issued, its willingness to take on unpopular issues, its open discussions and debates on these issues.

Members felt the League draws a lot of talented people who know how to get things done. It has the ability to attract people committed.

Some felt the League keeps government lawmaker honest by monitoring candidate positions. A few felt our connection with the National organization adds strength. One commented that the League is well funded. (for this we can thank the Vote Counts and the volunteers who work on them under Arlene Ellis.)

In reviewing League WEAKNESS, it was not surprising that members recognized our primary weakness as a lack of active members; especially younger members, while at the same time acknowledging younger people are working and have families, or are involved in other organizations. In spite of this, it was felt that same people are potential leaders and more should be done to train new people for leadership within the ranks.

Next it was felt that League should network more with other organizations to get the work done. One organization mentioned was the Woman's Political Caucus.

Many members were concerned that we don't have enough publicity - our voice is not loud enough - we need more community exposure. On this we all agree and we have been for years trying to find someone who will be a PUBLICITY CHAIR. (anyone interested?)

Some felt we lost some people power when we dropped monthly unit meetings. One felt we should have meetings in other areas of the island, not just Honolulu. It would be an opportunity to attract possible members, say in west Oahu.

Some criticism was expressed that League members sometimes speak "off the top of their heads" and they should be more focused whenever they meet with the press. One felt the League is still seen as elitist. A couple of members felt our organizations was too conservative and cautious. One brought up the question of using the word "women" in the League of Women Voters, and wonders whether that helps or hinders in limiting the number of active members. The last comment was about the League office - it was felt to be too small and crowded.

These suggestions are useful in helping us determine where we are and where we want to go. We will implement these suggestions wherever possible.

The Aloha Voter welcomes "Letters to the Editor". If you feel so inspired, write one and send it in. In the future I will be reviewing other areas in the Membership Questionnaire and will share them with you.

Grace Furukawa

January 1998 Home   Newsletters March 1998