June-July 1998 Home   Newsletters

August 1998

September 1998

Paradise in Jeopardy? (Ruth Brantley)
President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Voter Registration (Arlene Ellis)
Candidates in Focus
Candidate Forum (Arlene Ellis)
Testimony Before the Charter Commission
Con Con Committee (Jean Aoki)
Forum for Congressional Candidates
Voter Registrars
Violence Concurrence

President's Message

As we expected this summer, and into the fall, the League will be busy with a variety of issues, most expected, but one not expected -- i.e. the convening of the City Charter Commission. We understand the Mayor's frustration with the Council when they approved some of his reorganization plan, but not others. But to convene a Charter Commission four years early to railroad everything he wants in two months - that was too much. We believe this to be illegal, and the Honolulu Board met and agreed it was time to sue.

Another issue that caught us by surprise was Robert Rees' article in the July 22-28 issue of the "Honolulu Weekly" on the brutality and torture used within the prison by the guards. Apparently, over the years these things have occurred but there has never been any action taken against those responsible. No one can deny that these prisoners have been difficult, arrogant, abusive, requiring punishment, but torture, beatings, being even driven to suicide and death? This is something we do not think should occur in our country. Our Constitution forbids "cruel and unusual punishment". When this occurs in other countries, we speak out loudly against it. Why has our state government, the Attorney General, the authorities within the prison system has not taken measures to prevent these abuses? The State League has written to the co-chairs of the Senate Judiciary committee urging then to investigate these charges of brutality and corruption at Halawa with a full fledged hearing with subpoena powers.

Registration of voters took up a big hunk of time by the many of us who helped all over the city, in condos and retirement homes and public housing. Our hope now, is that, people not only register, but also VOTE.

We also had our second Orientation meeting for new and prospective members August 1st. It is important for our new members to understand League policies and restrictions, as well as become acquainted with all our programs. Most new members join because of an interest in one of our programs, so the realization of the range of our activities frequently surprises them and increased their respect and appreciation of League. For prospective members also, this orientation gives them the understanding of whether or not this is the organization for them. I would like to set up a "buddy" system, but have not had the time to do this. It could be a great project for one who preferred being at home doesn't mind using the phone, and who has the time. Please contact me if you have an interest and we can get together.

Because we are a local League, we are not exempt from the State programs, which are so active now with the upcoming elections. Pearl Johnson is working with Marion Saunders on a questionnaire and bio on Board of Education candidates. Jean Aoki, and everyone she can collar, is working hard to promote a "No" vote on the two issues on the ballot - granting the convening of a Con Con and the ' amendment to grant to the Legislature the right to limit marriage to same-sex couples. Suzanne Meisenzahl, even though she is out of town, is getting publicity on her Violence Prevention Report, which unfortunately hit the press before our final consensus. I have been busy with Hawaii Clean Elections alliance while Toni Worst is out of town. We have had several meetings in spite of people coming and going. HI CLEAN alliance, of which we are a part, has decided to hire, on contract, someone to help educate the candidates on public funding of elections. This group also needs to broaden its base of groups and individuals. We will, also, be working with the Campaign Spending Commission to set up a pilot project for selected seats, as mandated by the Legislature.

So, as we always do, we appeal to those members who can, to move in and help us with any and all of these projects.

Grace Furukawa

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