June-July 1999 Home   Newsletters

August 1999

September 1999

Is Social Security Secure (Grace Furukawa)
Correction - Brian Schatz
President's Message (Grace Furukawa)
Violence Prevention (Annelle Amaral)
Orientation Meeting Change
Welcome New Members

President's Message

To Move or Not To Move... That is the Question!

In these days of declining community involvement and League membership, attracting new and younger members remains a challenge we must meet. LWVUS on its website gives the results of a study on what attracts volunteers - and on the subject of PLACE, I quote, "Personal appeals made in settings that are comfortable and informal are among the most effective means of generating new involvement." This must be a consideration along with a setting that facilitates getting the work done by League members who use the office.

This September, the Honolulu Board will be asked to decide whether or not to initiate a search committee to explore and locate space for a possible move. There are pros and cons about moving, but regardless of any decision, the office must be cleaned out. This fall our current and past chairs of committees will be asked to come to the office, review their materials, and determine what to eliminate and what must be saved. If we opt to stay we need to consider a complete reorganization of the office space for more efficient use. And then there are the carpets – need I say more?

Let's consider the pros and cons, and start with – location, location, location. Some complain that new members are deterred because the office is in a poor section of town and there are safety concerns. Others feel the location is "funky" and we should not be elitist. It is conveniently located and within walking distance to city buildings, the State Capitol, libraries, and the planning and neighborhood board commission offices. This is seen as a convenience for those working in the office who need to go back and forth easily. Certainly, a new office must have the same accessibility. We have been in this office for the past 20 years and most of our active members are familiar with it. A new office could possibly be a store front that could advertise League, give it higher visibility, and attract members.

And then there is the parking. Many of our members use the bus and are not concerned with parking problems. The $2.00 for 2 hours is not a sufficient deterrent for most. Others feel the cost and the use of parking that requires stairs most inconvenient. Also, there is no loading and unloading space at all. Free parking close to the office would be something required for new office space.

The move itself. Moving would be costly if not done by volunteers and currently we don't have the money. It is possible we could enlist the help of a service organization which would be interested in taking this on as a project. If we did consider paying, a less expensive office space could offset the one-time expense.

Space requirements. In reviewing space concerns our three rooms appear crowded because of all the boxes and "stuffs". Few people know where things are located. A cleaning out and reorganization may solve this problem and may even suggest that less space is actually needed. Let's not forget that all three rooms are used when we have our larger vote counts – the backbone of our funding. It may be possible to find an alternate space for these events and not have to pay for a space not needed most of the time.

Rent. Because of the economic conditions now, many office spaces are empty and we could get a good deal. It may be possible to get other organizations to share office space and costs, but we should not count on that in case they pull out.

This is not a step to be taken lightly. I would appreciate hearing what our members feel about the office and the possibility of a move. Any suggestions would be helpful. Please call the office at 533-3713, my home at 988.3532, or email gracehf@lava.net.

Grace Furukawa

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