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August 2005
President's Message (Marianna Scheffer)
Minutes for LWV Hawaii County Annual Meeting - 4/9/05 (Maiden Temple)
Proposal for Legislative Advocates (David Holzman)
Message from Lois Cecil, Our Past Co-President (Lois Cecil)

Proposal for Legislative Advocates made by David Holzman

(Attachment B to Minutes for Annual Meeting, April 9, 2005)

PROBLEM

There are over 3,000 bills submitted to our State Legislature each session. The House is particularly overwhelmed by the volume of work and issues. If the League wishes to be more effective, we must meet with the Big Island Legislators early in the year and focus our efforts. Waiting until key bills are in committee meetings often can be too late to change minds. Although e-mails, fax and letters help they are not as effective as personal contacts. However, once the session is under way it becomes very difficult to make even phone contact with our legislators much less face to face meetings.

On the Hawaii Council bills are often submitted with little or no forewarning. We sometimes hear about them for the first time in the paper.

SOLUTION

It is recommended that the Big Island Chapter establish Lobbying Teams of two to four members. By sharing the effort no one takes on too much responsibility. Each Team selects two House members, one Senator and two Council members. The numbers and assignments will have to be worked out but, we could have two teams on the West side and two on the East side with one Team in the North.

STRATEGY

Once the National, State and Local Chapter approves issues for the year each Team meets with their assigned Legislators as early as possible before January. The Team goes over the LWV issues with the Legislators and at the same time inquires as to what the Legislator is going to propose or support for the coming session. We learn more about what they stand for and they learn more about us, but the real purpose is to find common ground and begin to work out an approach to getting a bill passed.

TACTICS

Once personal contact of the entire Team has been made with the Legislator then much of the ensuing contact can be by phone or e-mail.

We ignore the issues where there is disagreement and work on the ones where there is agreement.

We are attempting to educate them not to argue with them.

Pass on any and all information on the issues throughout the year. Keep up a constant contact but always try to be informative not critical.

David Holzman
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