President's Message: Acting Locally, Working Globally (Sue Irvine)|
CEDAW - What is it and why should you care? (JoAnn Maruoka)
Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling (HCALG) (Grace Furukawa)
Eight groups file suit to end secret meetings
Increased public awareness for public funding... (Laure Dillon)
Welfare for Politicians OR Restoring Power to Voters? (Jean Aoki)
Local Reports - Honolulu (Jackie Parnell)
Local Reports - Maui (Joshua Cooper)
Local Reports - Kauai (Carol Bain)
Local Reports - Hawaii (Marianna Scheffer)
Increased public awareness for public funding from now until the end of the Legislative Session
Most of the community outreach action from September 2005 through the 2006 legislative session will be centered on "talk story" house parties to enhance understanding of the public funding program and its bearing on all legislative issues. The action plan contains a petition drive to show public support for public funding as a campaign option, and a willingness to have the program funded from general funds.
The AARP study released in April 2005 showed public willingness to have a small amount of the taxes we all pay yearly allocated to supporting the public funding option. The petition drive uses a symbolic $5 bill that is being signed at house parties. It says two things: (1) that the signer supports the public funding option; and (2) that approximately $5.00 per Hawai'i resident yearly be allocated to meet the cost of public funding of campaigns. On Oahu supporters are asked to attend Neighborhood Board meetings to show their support. Statewide, once session starts, we will need written testimony and, when feasible, visits to legislators' offices to support Voter Owned Elections. It is vital legislators know their constituents support them in passing this legislation. However, in truth, the problem is not about the money. Everyone understands that when legislators want a program, they find the money. To fund the public funding option for state house races would cost about 1/10 of 1% of the state budget a tiny amount for greater accountability and increased emphasis on issues important to voters. A deeper, and understandable, concern is legislators' discomfort about changing the rules of the game. Other news includes our change of name from "Hawaii Clean Elections" to "Voter Owned Elections Hawaii." This starts to erase the perception by legislators that we consider them "dirty." Voter Owned Elections (VOE) better conveys the intention of the program. The change is well received by everyone. Along with the house parties campaign, we have two new lobbyists who began in October to meet with legislators to discuss the bill that will be proposed in 2006. The Voter Owned Elections lobbyists are Alicia Maluafiti, formerly AARP's associate state director of advocacy and communications, and John Higgins, UH political science graduate (and football player). Both Alicia and John are from local families and therefore connected into various communities.
We continue to need your support by agreeing to host a "talk story" house party for 10-15 neighbors and friends. We are now building a team of citizens for the long term to support the establishment of voter owned elections, and be able to defend the arrangement against inevitable attacks once it has become law.
To build our statewide citizen team, it is important to have as many house parties as possible in order to let each legislator know that the public, their voting constituents, support them in voting for public funding. The office has a step-by-step plan to make hosting a house party simple and easy everything from the invitations to the speakers are provided. Leaguers on Maui and Kauai are especially needed to host a house party. If you are willing to help, or for questions, please call Laure Dillon at the office (808) 599-1600 or after hours on her cell Ph. (808) 384-4202.
Liaison for Voter Owned Elections Hawaii
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