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September 1967

State Convention Highlights
State Board
Voters Service
Honolulu League in Action (Jane Hewitt)
Council Summary (Marguerite Simson)
LWV and Election Laws (Nan Lowers)

Council Summary

National Council, held every other year between National Conventions, is a very stimulating experience. The Council is composed of two delegates from each State League. Convention is made up primarily of Local League delegates. It is a relatively small body of dedicated, high-powered women.

The biggest benefit Council offers is the opportunity to talk formally and informally with lively intelligent women from all over the country, and to exchange ideas on how to, and how not to do all the things that Leagues try to de.

Hawaii has more in common than we realize with Maine, or with Wyoming; Georgia thinks we may help solve some of its problems; Illinois might tell us something about organization. Puerto Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii, the youngest, get special attention from National and State leaders alike, a heady situation indeed.

This year's emphasis was legislative. Each national committee told us about legislation which is in trouble financially or politically; crucial water pollution control program; CAP programs; compensatory education funds; AID; and D.C. Home Rule.

The League spent a whole day "on the hill". Hawaii's delegates talked with Reps Patsy Mink and Spark Matsunaga over coffee in the morning, exchanging views about legislation, especially CAP and lineation. Later we spent an hour with Senator Dan Inouye, whose office number is 442(!) discussing trade, AID, the League, and Hawaii. Senator Hiram Fong, out of Washington, sent his regrets. Over lunch we drew out Mrs. Mink on her life as a congresswoman, in between quorum call bells and office interruptions. Later we hurried off to the OEO office for a briefing set up by Mrs. Mink on the progress of various projects in Hawaii from the Head Office point of view.

During the week National Board member Mrs. Christopherson testified before the House Foreign Affairs committee in support of Foreign Economic Aid. Mrs. Clusen testified on behalf of Clean Water Restoration Act appropriations. Mrs. Benson, representing the League at the Conference on Women in the War on Poverty, made herself and the League positions known to many sympathetic congressmen. (Our charming intelligent National Board lobbyists make a good impression on legislators.

One Representative wished he could move to Wisconsin after hearing Mrs. Clasen speak.)

Other highlights including a briefing by Secretary Rusk and other top State Dept. officials; a tour of the White House followed by a briefing by the President's White House Staff; and a panel discussion by those who guided the 1964 Civil Rights Bill through Congress.

Besides the stated legislative aim of Council, another aim soon appeared: League Finance. Finance was stressed during every discussion. First mentioned at the pre-Council for very small State Leagues, of which we are the smallest, the point was made - loud and clear - that State Leagues have the responsibility for educating locals in more financing to provide better services.

The five-year goal, which just ended, of $35,000 per year increase in National Budget has nearly been met each year. The extra money was used to raise salaries of National staff members to the minimum Washington salary level; to maintain national services; to increase field services, and to improve the National Voter.

The National League still has to draw upon its reserves to balance its budget, while putting nothing in for future years. The message to delegates was clear.

As a forum for discussion of League's goals and problems, National Connell probably cannot be improved upon. For five days over a hundred women talked, thought, ate, and slept nothing but League.

We will try to bring our added insights to you throughout the year in all of the League's programs.

Marguerite Simson

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