President's Message (Sue Irvine)|
Maui Will Get Out the Vote (Joshua Cooper & Tamara Horcajo)
Healthcare Task Force Members
Kauai Studies Transportation (Carol Bain)
Informal Discussions Resume
Honolulu League Takes Up Housing (Jackie Parnell)
Task Force Plans Healthcare for All (Jean Aoki)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (HCALG) (Grace Furukawa)
New Board of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii
Secrecy Is on the Rise (Carol Bain)
Sex Offender Web Site (Jaurene Judy)
Still Working for Clean Elections (Grace Furukawa)
Revised Position on Initiative and Referendum
From Grumble to Rumble: The Silver Legislature
The State League has had a busy quarter following our May convention. I anticipated a slow summer until League member and State Senator Les Ihara, Jr. proposed that League co-sponsor a forum on the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Bill (the Akaka Bill) due to be heard before the U.S. Senate as we go to print. Since League has no position on the bill, and I personally felt clueless as to its implications, I agreed that this would be an opportunity to fulfill one of League's important goals, that of "increasing public understanding of major public policy issues."
Les called on August 4th and by the time state board met on the 13th, emails and conference calls had created a stellar working collaboration between League, Les, and Bill Kaneko, President and CEO of the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs, an independent public policy institute which conducts research on Hawaii issues. Bill )brought in McNeil Wilson Communications which did an incredibly quick and thorough job of handling media relations as a public service (i.e., pro bono). By August 22nd, League and the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs had cosponsored a one hour, prime time forum broadcast on KHON and PBS, with newswoman Tina Shelton moderating. Participating in the panel discussion were:
The following evening, we cosponsored a second forum which drew an overflow crowd of 400 plus people to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii for a lively, two hour discussion with most of the time allotted for sponsor and audience questions. For this forum, Anne Keala Kelly, Native Hawaiian journalist and filmmaker, took the place of Kaeo in opposing the bill. Judge Michael Broderick, family court judge for the Ist circuit, skillfully moderated the event and lawyer David Louie, ex-President of the Hawaii Bar Association, gave a brief factual synopsis of the bill as groundwork for the discussion. Olelo taped the session and is running the program several times on Oahu. Tapes/DVD's have been distributed to neighbor island public access channels so we hope to bring this information to all the citizens of the State.
For Hawaii, the Akaka Bill is undoubtedly "the most significant Federal legislation since statehood." It has far-reaching impact on all our residents both Native and non-Native. I am delighted that League was able to help bring these forums to fruition on extremely short notice and with minimal expense. Without the help of Senator Ihara, who apparently never sleeps, the free air time from the media, and the cooperation of all the participants, League could never have co-sponsored an event like this on such short notice.
Thanks in abundance to Leaguers who helped with this effort! First, mahalo to Jean Aoki who was with me every step of the way. Thanks to Pearl Johnson who is distributing the DVD's. Special thanks to JoAnne Maruoka, Jackie Parnell, and Shannon Wood who did some heavy lifting for the forum.
Last, but not least, thanks to our Leaguers who came out, and for handling the logistics of the public forum: Eve Anderson, Roxie Berlin, Charles Carole, Grace Furukawa, Evangeline Funk, and Betty Goodwin. You all do so much!! Next time you are asked to help, we hope you can get one young League member or potential member to accompany you so you can have some assistance (at the same time you are getting the next generation enthused). We care so much! Again, mahalo nui to you all.
League of Women Voters of Hawaii
President - Sue Irvine
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