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Honolulu Sunday Advertiser
November 25, 1956

League of Women Voters

By Barbara Prock

The elections are over for this year, but the 110 women of the League of Women Voters of Honolulu have not closed up shop.

CHARTER Ballard Atherton, chairman of the City and County Charter, Commission, explains a point to Mrs. C. F. Schulte, left, a commission member, and Miss Laura Draper, who is first vice president of the league.

Getting out the vote, presenting an unbiased, impartial report of the city and county candidates, as they do before each election, is just one phase of the work these public-spirited women do around the calendar.

Headed by Mrs. Joseph R. Smith, president, and 13 other officers and directors, the local group, like its counterparts across the country, is a non-partisan organization whose purpose is the promotion of political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government.

* * * *

This week the league welcomed one of its national officers. Mrs. George A. Dreyfous, member of the organization since 1947 and holder of the portfolio for individual liberties on the national board, arrived with her husband Wednesday morning. They are at the Royal Hawaiian hotel.

Mrs. Dreyfous, who left New Orleans the day before with plans for an extended world tour, represents the national group unofficially on this trip. She will confer with interested government officials and private citizens in various countries, including Formosa, where officials are interested in the education program of the organization.

A recent participant at the annual meeting of the national board of the league, Mrs. Dreyfous reports that member units will be asked to emphasize international questions in their programs of study.

* * * *

The league is a child of the long and sometimes discouraging fight for woman suffrage. Carrie Chapman Cott, leader in that struggle, was the first to call for a "league of women voters" in an impromptu and impassioned plea in the spring of 1919 before a meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.

FINANCES Mrs. Warren Thomas, left, and Mrs. Jules Fine talk with Supervisor Matsuo Takabuki about city finances during a city hall meeting of the committee.

With passage of the 19th amendment in 1920, the league became an actuality and its charter members set up a five-year plan which encompassed the education of twenty million new women voters, plans to awaken the electorate to active participation in government, and the study of needed legislation.

The organization numbers 127,000 members with leagues in over one thousand American towns and cities in the 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska the District of Columbia. From an original group of 30 members who attended the organizational meeting of the Hawaii league in 1948, one is presently on the board and several others are still active in the group.

* * * *

Members of the Honolulu league divide their efforts between local and international problems. In addition to their voters' service, which is most active just prior to elections, they devote much time and effort to study of proposed legislation and community needs.

A monthly bulletin goes to the membership and to interested officials, and publicity is given to the replies of candidates to the questionnaire sent to each of them before the polls open.

In this year's race, one candidate for mayor and two for supervisor failed to reply, but usually the response is 100 per cent.

* * * *

The local league is limited in territory and confines itself strictly to matters pertaining to the city and county of Honolulu. Members take action only on issues which al. feet the good of all citizens and never support special interest groups.

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