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State Convention - 1975
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State Convention - 1975

On May 16 and 17 at the Pagoda Hotel, delegates from local leagues thruout the state met to decide the future course of the LW of Hawaii. Thanks to outstanding convention arrangements by General Chairman Dorothy Bremner, participants had the opportunity to

- meet and share interests and ideas

- learn more about what's happening in Hawaii in the areas of Environmental Quality, State Finance, Human Resources, and Education

- learn the tools of effective action from experienced Leaguers and other state and community leaders

- select a program and slate of officers to serve in the best interests of Hawaii.

The meetings were open to all league members and the general public, but few attended besides the convention delegates. The business meetings were actually a small part in comparison to the wealth of information from the panels and small group discussions - something to keep in mind when the next convention rolls around in 1977.


ACTION WORKSHOP Three success stories point out principles of effective action. Panel participants were:

Sharon Sabado from the Welfare Recipients Advisory Council which worked for the flat grant legislation.

Muriel Seto, chairman of the Adhoc Committee for Kawainui Park, which saved Kawainui from becoming a shopping center.

Patty Vidinha, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Hawaii which worked for legislation to provide mental health services for children.

Some of their successful strategies were:

  1. Gather information from all possible sources.

  2. Contact and work with other groups interested in the same issue.

  3. Go to the top with the problem - whoever carries ultimate decision-making power.

  4. Work with a legislator or other official who is i sympathetic to your cause.

  5. Be on constant watch at legislature or other body considering the matter.

  6. Follow up to make sure legislation that is passed is also signed into law and that appropriated funds are released.

More specific procedures for action were discussed by Ronald Amemiya, Attorney General of the State of Hawaii, and League leaders Diane Hastert, Jerry Hess and Melvia Kawashima.

SPARK MATSUNAGA addressed the convention and added his advice for effective lobbying:

  1. Show you have constituent support for your case which should be built on convincing facts.

  2. State your case well and briefly.

  3. Leave a written statement in support of your position containing summary of facts, argument showing where public interest is served, requested action.

  4. Ask Congressman to sent letter stating his vote on the issue.

  5. Support only a few measures and see them thru to passage.

PERSONNEL COSTS IN GOVERNMENT This topic is of particular importance since 85% of the state budget goes for personnel costs.

Henry Epstein, State Director of the United Public Workers, Local 646 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, attributed the rise in number of government employees to the public's demand for more public services and a duplication of mainland facilities (such as a law school) in our island community.

Fred W. Bennion, Director of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, was concerned about the statistics of government growth - government employment has doubled in the past 10 years, while growth in the private sector has been 50%. Personal income has risen 10%, while state spending has gone up 15%, which means that taxes take a bigger cut out of our paychecks. Mr. Bennion questioned whether the quantity of spending has been matched by the quality of services.

Robert Kimura, Majority Floor Leader, Hawaii House of Representatives, described the legislature's role in collective bargaining, and Sonia Faust, Executive Officer of the Hawaii Public Employment Relations Board (H-PERB) discussed the board's function.

VOTER EDUCATION COURSE High school students became engrossed in the study of government thru role-playing by interviewing candidates for office, reporters, etc. and then assuming those positions in a mock election to learn how our political system works and how to participate in it. Rhoda Miller gave an exciting slide presentation of the course she developed and taught to students at Kaiser High School.

PARENTS' GUIDE TO SCHOOLS IN HAWAII The newest League publication, introduced at convention, will be appearing in translation in three dialects of Filipino, Samoan, Korean and possibly Vietnamese. The Leeward Immigrant Center requested permission to do the translations and the League was most happy to grant it. Since the booklet was released in June, public response has been very good with requests from all over the state and from out-of-state as far as Michigan and Wisconsin. MAHALO to Pat Shutt, Carole Whitesell, Helen Griffin, Laura Goo, Jerry Hess, Rath Snyder and Rhoda Miller for yeoman service in mailing 1000 booklets.


The 1975 budget total is $6015.50 compared to last year's $5220.00 - inflation at work!

The 1975-1977 state program includes:

  1. Continuing responsibilities in the areas of land Use, Schools, Housing, Solid Waste, Ethics and Campaign spending.

  2. An extension of the Hawaii Wallet study of state finances to issues and the LW! role.

  3. A greater emphasis on Community Education in basic government.

  4. Priority action on Environmental Quality (with a focus on Energy), Human Resources and Representative Government within our National League positions.

The convention also adopted a resolution to support a Constitutional Convention in 1978 or sooner and to undertake a study of Con-Con issues (see Leg Log, pp. 7 & 8).

WELCOME to Pat Shutt, already a very busy present president, who reported to convention from her trip to National Council in Washington, D.C.:

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