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August 2008

March 2009

ConCon Activities Planned (Jean Aoki)
Primer on ConCon (Jean Aoki)
President's Report (Jackie Parnell)
Concurrence Process on Drug Policy Underway (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Campaign Finance Reform in Hawaii County - A First (Jackie Parnell & Beppie Shapiro)
Save this Date (Sue Miller)
Membership Directory
Women's International Meeting
Elections Are the People's Business (Jean Aoki)
Hawaii County Report (Susan Dursin)
Honolulu Report (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Calendar of Events

President's Report


State Council met on May 10. There were two action items. The first was to raise the state dues for members who are not members of a local (County) League to $40 for individuals and $60 for a household. This makes the state dues the same as national and our local Leagues.

The second item was to agree to the Lieutenant Governor’s request that a League representative serve on a committee to project the costs for a Constitutional Convention. Since the meeting the committee has been convened with Piilani Kaopuiki ably representing us.

The bulk of the meeting was devoted to a brainstorming session on increasing membership and improving the league, facilitated by guest Jessica Stabile. We are most grateful for her efforts.


Usually when we return from a convention we are inspired and ready to take on new challenges. A League of Women Voters convention affects us even more than usual. Being around so many powerful women is in itself uplifting, and especially after you hear what they have all been doing.

A number of leagues were recognized for special achievements. The biggest applause went to Indiana and Florida for their unrelenting resistance to their state legislatures’ determination to restrict voting and voter registration.

President Mary Wilson remarked on how the League is envied by other grassroots organizations because of the number of local and state leagues we have – over 800. No other similar national organization can come close to that. And while individual memberships have generally been declining (mainly because of the death of older members), new leagues are being formed and some are growing. Why? The answer turns out to be simple. The recently completed “Membership Initiative” has shown that the best way to get new members is simply to ask people to join. We frequently forget to do that but the overwhelming number of leaguers report that the reason they joined the league was because someone asked them to.

As to business, the convention moved to adopt the program proposed by the LWVUS Board, which reaffirms all the existing positions, including the new one on immigration policy that reads in brief as follows:

Promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises; and provide for student visas. Ensure fair treatment under the law for all persons. In transition to a reformed system, support provisions for unauthorized immigrants already in the country to earn legal status.

The convention also endorsed a proposal recommended by the LWVUS Board to adopt a Health Care program. This program calls for educating members and communities to prepare them for future health care advocacy.

A number of additional program proposals were presented by various delegations. Only two were adopted: 1) “A Multi-Level Education and Advocacy Campaign to promote solutions to global climate change” and 2) A study item entitled: “The advisability of using the National Popular Vote compact among the states as a method for electing a President.” For us, this study will be moot because the Hawaii legislature has already approved the compact bill, overriding the Governor's veto in May.

Our delegation included Suzanne Meisenzahl, representing Honolulu, and Donna Oba, representing Hawaii County. Among us we covered as many workshops as we could and are full of ideas to make our leagues better. Stay tuned.


The state board met on August 16 and approved a position on drug policy to be presented to League members for concurrence (see separate article). Be sure to read the really excellent drug study that supports the proposed position. It can be downloaded from our web site. If you have no access to a computer and need a hard copy, please contact the League office at 541-7448. Kudos to Suzanne Meisenzahl, and new members Claire Sullivan and Pam Lichty for a great job.

Jackie Parnell

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