May 1998 Home   Newsletters

June-July 1998

August 1998

Merger of Planning and Zoning Proposed (Astrid Monson)
President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Voter Registration (Arlene Ellis)
Con Con Volunteers (Jean Aoki)
Dividing Governance from Finance (Mary Anne Raywid)
Vote Video
Orientation Meeting

President's Message

Five of us who attended the National Convention in San Diego: Jean Aoki, Arlene Ellis, Helen Hale from Hawaii, Malia Schwartz and I. We elected new National President, Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, a PhD from Colorado Springs, CO. She has served on various positions on the National Board. She is an author, past President of the Pike Peak Business & professional Women's Assoc., Vice President for curriculum for Junior Achievement Inc., appeared in Who's Who of Outstanding Educators, and more. She is an attractive, well spoken and a dedicated advocate for League. Becky Cain retired after three terms with may kudos for work well done.

National recommended a PMP (per member payment) increase from $19.00 to $23.00 starting July 1999. After much discussion the delegates settled on only a $2.00 increase to $21.00 a year. There had not been an increase in 7 years.

The Issue for Emphasis recommended by the national Board was a continuation of Making Democracy Work. This 6-pronged effort is still consuming most Leagues' efforts. Not all states or locals are working on all aspects of the project, but most are involved with some, as we are. Campaign Finance Reform, Voter Participation and Civic Participation will be keeping us hopping for years yet. A non-recommended study of the United Nations got a close vote, but was defeated. Perhaps next convention, it will pass. The need to understand the united Nations as it is in today's world and the need to finance it adequately are areas of importance.

The league voted to continue our current positions as they stand with two additions:

  • Full voting rights for the District of Columbia was added to Issues for Emphasis.

  • The regulation of firearms for consumer safety was added to the current Gun Control position.

Bylaw changes:

  1. Notice of all regular meetings of the Board shall be given in writing one month before the meeting.

  2. Local, state and ILO boards may make recommendations to the national board three months prior to convention and be considered if ordered by a majority vote of the convention.

I tried to connect with delegates of those State Leagues working on Campaign Finance Reform. I found six states actively working on public financing of campaigns. Others were concerned with other various reforms, such as limits on soft money, disclosure of , campaign finances etc. None mentioned a Campaign Spending commission that worked as well as ours.

I was impressed with reports of heavy opposition to efforts for reform. We too have our opponents, but none spending thousands of dollars on TV ad campaigns in opposition to reform. It was appalling to me, who always felt those states with initiative had an easier time getting the desired reforms, to realize that the reform committees had to raise thousands of dollars not only to counteract such opposition but also to PAY PEOPLE to get the petitions signed. Part of the problem is the short time frame required to get "x" thousands of signatures. on public financing, are using the initiative route.

We are indeed ahead of many with S132399. The legislature agreed to a Pilot Project for the study of public financing of campaigns in the year 2002. This gives us the opportunity to work out well thought out, legally valid and acceptable reform to both the candidates and the public. Hopefully by 2002 our state will have recovered from its recession well enough to fund such an undertaking. It also gives us that much time to poll candidates, win them over and educate the public.


We have a full plate this election year, including – Voter Registration, Voter Service, Campaign Finance Reform, Con Con, etc. We appreciate all the assistance our members can give us with these projects.

Grace Furukawa

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