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Summer 2004

Winter 2004

2004 State Council
At the Legislature (Jean Aoki)
Bottle Bill Survives Legislature (Malama Souza)
Berkeley City Council Places Public Funding on November Ballot (Jean Aoki)
Viewpoint: Campaign Finance Reform (Grace Furukawa)
Mark Your Calendars
Report from Kauai (Carol Bain)
East Hawaii Report (Lois Cecil)

Report from Kauai

At our May 15 Council meeting, we discuss the challenges that are facing all of us as League members. Here are some of the ones the Kauai chapter faces:

  • the rural nature of the island tends to isolate us
  • our members are either working 60 hours a week or are "economically challenged"
  • a dearth of local and reliable news
  • the feeling that sometimes we are the only organized voice speaking for an informed and participatory democracy

Nevertheless, we persevere and are not going away. The Kauai chapter is planning to publish a 2004 voter guide and will hold a general membership meeting June 14, noon, at the YWCA to plan voter education projects. We just submitted a $3,000 grant request to Young Brothers, Inc. to help defray costs, and wish to thank the Honolulu chapter for allowing us to use their voter education account.

Our plans to hold an ethics workshop before the election took a blow with the cancellation by our main speaker, Dan Mollway, but we may regroup with the collaboration with the County Board of Ethics. The Kaua'i chapter has no current studies, but has an ongoing Oversight (or Watchdog) Committee that attempts to hold the larger non-profits and the electric utility accountable to state sunshine laws.

A well-informed public depends upon an independent press and diverse sources of accurate and unfiltered news. The fact that only seven corporations now own the majority of our news sources is troubling in a democracy. What our country has witnessed lately is the pragmatic displacement of "truth" by desirable belief. More and more, stubborn facts are replaced by "warranted assertabilities."

Still, no list of challenges should go without a list of solutions. If you cannot find accurate news sources, then you must actively support new alternatives and seek out news on your own. This means:

  • contribute to a new newspaper & demand better reporting;
  • use the internet as a free speech tool;
  • get on the board of a community radio station to encourage more local news programming;
  • sit in on board meetings of the public access TV stations or utility boards, take notes and push for accountability & sunshine
  • attend government meetings & speak your manao
  • tell others to join the League of Women Voters

Carol Bain

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