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Minutes
League of Women Voters
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Neighborhood Place of Kona, Kailua-Kona
10 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

PRESENT: Marni Herkes, Pat Stolfa, Susan Dursin, Donna Oba, Maiden Temple, George Wilkins, Marian Wilkins.

CALL TO ORDER: Dursin officially called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m. Prior to that, those members who arrived early discussed having a meeting in Kapa`au and issues important to the North Kohala community.

MINUTES: Dursin indicated the Minutes for the March Kona meeting and the May Annual meeting were on the website.

NEW BUSINESS:

  • The topic for the July Kona meeting was discussed and various issues raised: same day voter registration; vote-by-mail; habeas corpus. Various members assumed responsibility for different tasks to obtain more information about vote-by-mail and the July Kona meeting will be a working meeting on that topic.
  • Temple will approach a retired law professor about speaking on habeas corpus at the general meeting in August.

OLD BUSINESS:
Candidate Forums: Pat Stolfa presented the results of her research on the formats used by other Leagues and people who have organized candidate forums. She spoke about the items in her handout, Candidate Forums: Points to Consider, attached, and each point was discussed. Herkes and M. Wilkins, who have been LWV representatives involved in organizing the past two series of candidate forums, (co-sponsored by LWV, Kona Outdoor Circle, and the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce,) shared information on how past forums have been organized and operated. Agreed:

  • LWV should establish the principles guiding the organization and implementation of future forums.
  • 2008 Forums will be limited to County and State races.
  • In order to broaden the base of participating organizations and make forums more diversely relevant, LWV will invite unions, religious groups, schools, professional organizations, and community organizations to support future forums by donating money and/or people to assist in planning and implementing 2008 forums.
  • Public access television will be used for more widespread dissemination of forums.
  • Evaluations will be used to obtain feedback to continuously improve formats.
  • Timeline: February, 2008 invitations to community groups, with planning meetings thereafter.
    • Stolfa will draft questions for a brief evaluation form.
    • Oba will obtain a LWV book, which she previously used, about how to hold forums.
    • Dursin will research the use of public access television.
    • Temple will compile a list of community invitees.
    • Everyone will think of community organizations to invite.

Prepared by Maiden Temple, Assistant Secretary


CANDIDATE FORUMS: POINTS TO CONSIDER

Candidate forums sponsored by LWV in West Hawaii can be improved. Based on a review of pertinent material, these are features of our forums that might be changed.

  1. To initiate a commitment to flexibility and continuous improvement in these forums, we could ask participants for their brief evaluation of each forum. To do so, we need to construct brief questionnaires for audience, candidates, and any other participants, review results, and act on them.
  2. We could secure better, more diversely relevant questions by various means—involving a wider spectrum of special interest groups in planning, and putting on the forums, more aggressively seeking questions from the public in advance of the events, and the audience, at the events. To do this, LWV needs to reach out to a broader spectrum of interest groups—unions, environmentalists, senior citizens etc. starting early to secure their active participation.
  3. We could change the format to have more than one questioner—perhaps a panel. To do this, LWV needs to decide what community leaders it thinks would do a good job and seek their assistance. Kauai used a radio personality with good success.
  4. We could have different questions for different candidates: is it really fair or useful to ask an incumbent and a challenger the same question? We could permit follow-up questions. We could let candidates question or rebut each other. To do this, LWV would need to work extensively with questioners in order that they maintain fairness. Kauai encouraged audience member to submit questions and designate which two candidates they wanted to respond.
  5. We could seek a broader audience by video-recording the forums and getting them on public access TV.
  6. We could have varied formats for different circumstances, and in races with many candidates for a single position, we could use the “speed dating” format in which participants sit at table of 6-10 persons, and ask their own questions of the candidates, who rotate from table to table at set intervals.


NOTICE OF MEETINGS

Saturday, July 14, 2007, 10 a.m. - noon, Neighborhood Place of Kona, 74-5565 Luhia Street (at the crossroads of Luhia and Kaiwi streets in the “Old Industrial Area.”) Working meeting on Vote-by-Mail and Candidate Forums.

Saturday, August 11, 2007, 11 a.m., General meeting, Tex’s Drive In, Honoka`a. Guest Speaker: Addison Bowman discussing Habeas Corpus. Bowman is a retired law school professor specializing in Evidence.

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