Acting Locally, Working Globally
We are told to "think globally and act locally." As president of the LWV Hawaii, I have definitely been acting locally, but given my own nature, I have also been worrying globally.
My most recent worries:
1) We have just seen the worst hurricane season ever to hit the East Coast of South, Central and North America. Is this due to global warming? Quite possibly, but the response of our government has been to waive environmentally sound planning processes in a shortsighted response to jump-start the economy in the South. Someone needs to tell Washington that ultimately, the economy depends on a healthy environment. "Nature bats last!"
2) Along with our war in Iraq, we are fighting a "war on terror," but increasingly we are authorizing our citizens to use torture in our efforts to get information from the accused terrorists. I imagine everyone reading this knows about our policy of "renditioning" suspected terrorists. Now we hear that there are eight secret CIA prisons in foreign lands, where there is absolutely no oversight of how prisoners are being treated. What effect is this having on our intelligence, and more importantly on those with absolute power over detainees?
Locally, we are fighting for "sunshine" and citizen access on several fronts:
1) League is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Honolulu City Council challenging their use of "serial meetings" to take action. (See the article on our lawsuit. in this issue of Ka Leo.)
2) Kaua'i League has been monitoring their Council which, earlier this year, refused to release executive session minutes requested by Kaua'i residents and a journalist. On appeal, OIP reviewed the minutes and ruled that the records must be made public. The case is now in court.
3) Neighbor island Leagues are testifying for "Fair Access" legislation which should increase the accessibility and delivery of government information, services, and proceedings to residents living on the neighbor islands.
4) Hawaii County League testified at a vitriolic meeting of the Hawaii County Council after the Council appointed a task force (thus avoiding sunshine laws) to evaluate reorganizing the Council. The Council did not reorganize that day (too embarrassed by public scrutiny?) but did so subsequently.
League of Women Voters of Hawaii
President - Sue Irvine
Vice President - Pearl Johnson
Treasurer - Diana Cummings
Mary Anne Raywid
Mary Anne Raywid