December 1987 Home   Newsletters

February 1988

April 1988

From the President (Anne Lee)
Speaking Out: Fear of Volunteering (Rhoda M. Dorsey)
Water Quality Issue Survey (Kiyoko Nitz)
Women's History Month
Lobbying Needed for Initiative (Marian Wilkins)
Join the Debate on Agriculture
New League Publication: Reapportionment in Hawaii
Fundraising Update
Initiative Forum (Marian Wilkins)
Natural Resources at the Legislature (Kiyoko Nitz)
From the Local Leagues...
And Other LWV/Hawaii News...
What Kind of School Would I Like? (Marion Saunders)

Initiative Forum

Approximately 100 people gathered at the State Capitol on January 23 to hear ten speakers, led by initiative expert David Schmidt, discuss their experiences with initiative and referendum here and on the mainland. Some of the most important points made at the forum, which was sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Clayton Hee and Senator Mary-Jane McMurdo, Select Chairwoman on Initiative, were:

  • When the citizens of a state or locality finally win initiative rights the political scene is never the same again; when people see that they can actually influence the political process, their attitude changes from one of "what's the use" to one of interest and participation.

  • Even though most areas have long-range planning, that process is not immune from questionable uses of power and influence; therefore it is critical that the people have the power of initiative and referendum - just in case.

  • There are bills currently before the Hawai'i Legislature to amend the Constitution to prohibit the use of initiatives or referendum on any issues dealing with land use, zoning, or planning. If passed, these proposed amendments would be on the November, 1988, ballot.

  • Across the nation, most initiatives withstand court challenge. Furthermore, courts have ruled that the people have the right to use initiative and referendum for land use and zoning.

The forum, which was ably moderated by Dr. Ted Becker of the University of Hawai'i Political Science Department, was organized by the League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women, Common Cause/Hawaii, and the Initiative Committee Hawaii.

Marian Wilkins

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