President's Message: Acting Locally, Working Globally (Sue Irvine)|
CEDAW - What is it and why should you care? (JoAnn Maruoka)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (HCALG) (Grace Furukawa)
Eight groups file suit to end secret meetings
Increased public awareness for public funding... (Laure Dillon)
Welfare for Politicians OR Restoring Power to Voters? (Jean Aoki)
Local Reports - Honolulu (Jackie Parnell)
Local Reports - Maui (Joshua Cooper)
Local Reports - Kauai (Carol Bain)
Local Reports - Hawaii (Marianna Scheffer)
Local Reports - Honolulu
The major project for Honolulu in 2005 is following the work of the Honolulu Charter Commission. Our recommendations are focused on strengthening the City Ethics Commission by empowering it to levy civil fines for violation of the city's ethical standards and improving the way the commissioners are appointed by establishing an independent city body to submit nominees to the Mayor for appointment. This would ensure that ethics commissioners are selected in a manner that assures their independence and impartiality.
We also have requested that the Charter Commission consider removing the limitation on the use of the initiative process to levy taxes. We had earlier expressed our opposition to the one-half percent increase in the excise tax, not because it would be used for transit, but because it is regressive and will fall heaviest on the people who can least afford it. We think that registered voters should be allowed to have some control over taxes that affect their daily living costs.
Additionally, we support a proposal that one percent of all real property tax revenue taken in by the city each year should be dedicated to affordable housing programs and land protection (one-half percent for each). Similar proposals for land protection have been adopted by both Maui and Kauai.
Finally, we indicated that the Honolulu League would support a small increase in the number of council seats provided that the seats are at-large. Right now, all nine council members are elected by district.
Our annual meeting will be December 17 at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki. It would be a great day to come to Honolulu to finish your Christmas shopping and join us for lunch. Our speaker will be from A & B Properties, making a presentation on the proposed development around Kewalo Basin, a subject that has become controversial. The hotel is always beautifully decorated for the holidays and worthy of a visit in itself. So please join us.
Jackie Parnell, President
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